Modern urban development is not what it was twenty years ago. Long projects that are improperly researched or inflexible will become outdated or ineffective for citizens by the time they’re completed, and the needs of an increasingly connected world shift more quickly and wildly than at any point in history. On the upside, finding out what citizens need and want most is no longer a matter of exhaustive and expensive polling or little-attended public forums. With the internet and vast connectivity, the gap that once existed between urban planners and citizens has all but vanished.

But how can urban planners stay on top of an ever-changing environment while also remaining dedicated to the needs of citizens? One powerful tool implemented by developers and planners across the country is document management software, or DMS. Powerful document management tools allow users to digitally scan any document, make files automatically searchable, archive and organize information based on the parameters of users’ choice, and keep that data secure and safe from any digital or physical disasters.

In this article we’ll discuss some of the main issues and areas of focus facing urban development today and how document management systems can dramatically improve users’ ability to address these issues.


Urban Planning in the Age of Data

In urban planning, the “smart city” concept has come to prominence, a concept that imagines a city where all information is interconnected and can be communicated directly to leaders and planners in order to react quickly to ever-changing needs and trends. So what are some of the main logistical needs of urban planners in the information age?

Tight budgets and passionate citizens make inefficient projects a real problem. Projects and plans must now be fluid and constantly evolving, and that level of flux is difficult to successfully maintain when dealing with cumbersome and outdated paper filing systems. A document management system allows urban planners to share documents digitally and securely on the fly, whether in an office, on a worksite, or a thousand miles away on a golf trip. Leaders on a project can share updated plans and sudden changes instantaneously, allowing progress to constantly move forward and adapt.

Planning for Extremes
Natural disasters and climate change are unquestionably on the rise, and unexpected calamities must be taken into account in urban planning and development. “Hoping for the best” is no longer a viable excuse for failing to plan for the worst, and this area is of particular importance because it concerns the safety and security of human beings. Failure is not an option, so urban planners must stay up-to-date on the most recent methods for ensuring that any buildings, structures, developments or large-scale plans take into account what might happen if the worst comes to pass.

Directly Addressing the Needs of Citizens
The citizens of today demand and expect transparency of local governments and urban planners, and accountability has never been more important. A document management system allows an organization to stay on top of requests, impact studies, and other critical documents that will allow them to fully address the needs of the people their projects will affect most.


Urban Planning and Document Management

Modern projects require a modern approach. Going paperless with a digital document management system will dramatically transform your ability to address everything from the smallest project to the most in-depth and long-term urban development. Here are some features of an effective DMS that will prove the most critical to your success:

Data Encryption
Keep your plans and documents secure and available only to those who need to see them to ensure confidentiality and safety throughout your processes. Advanced encryption ensures that only those who are authorized to access certain documents are given that access.

Full Text Searchability
A powerful document management system doesn’t simply scan an image of a document as if taking a picture—it can recognize and archive every line of text it receives, meaning your physical documents instantly become digitally searchable.

Dedicated Customer Support
Ongoing projects can’t be put on hold for technical issues. A worthwhile DMS will provide in-depth and dedicated customer support to help address any issues or concerns that may arise.

Streamlined Workflow
There’s nothing worse than having a project derailed because information can’t be efficiently shared between employees or partners. A DMS will allow you to seamlessly transfer documents from person to person or even between organizations, all within a secure framework.

To find out how a powerful document management system like eFileCabinet can transform your projects, fill out the form on this page to receive a free 15-minute demo.