Braga, Source: Braga Municipality

Braga goes 100% digital on urban permits

Braga goes 100% digital on urban permits

There have been some positive outcomes from the lockdowns this year

The authorities of the northern Portuguese city of Braga were happy to report that the application for urban permit licenses can now be submitted and approved fully online without having to go to municipal offices in person. This piece of good news originates, at least partly, in the anti-pandemic lockdown measures that the city has had to experience. If it were not for them, the transformation to full digital service might have happened at a slower rate but in this case, necessity sped up what had already been in the works.

This shows the capacity to adapt and be flexible in the face of new challenges

Often, radical circumstances can bring about a significant shift in habits, practices in attitudes. For example, the Braga authorities reported that between January and October this year 92 % of licensing applications were submitted online – a testament to the acceptance of new ways in dealing with administrative tasks among the population. The fact is the option to submit your application online has been available since July 2019 but only gained notable traction with the introduction of the sanitary restrictions.

And the authorities need to be there to respond to such a shift in a timely and efficient manner.

The modernization and dematerialization of services have made the process of procedures and the response of citizens more efficient and transparent, also representing a reduction in the time taken to monitor the processes that are being filed,” said Miguel Bandeira, a councillor from Braga. 

Braga, just like other Portuguese municipalities, offers its residents the so-called Balcão Único Online, in other words, a one-stop shop for all things related to the daily tasks involved when dealing with one’s local administration.

At that online space, people can search and apply for all documents and information related to urban improvement licensing, legalizations, declarations, complaints and so on.



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