CIVIC NEEDS: San Francisco

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**New Project**   San Francisco Purchasing Department: Build A Car Webtool

Context: San Francisco’s central purchasing department oversees the procurement of goods and services for the City worth hundreds of millions of dollars each year. The purchasing process can often be complex, and this is very evident when the City buys vehicles that require significant customization (such as fire trucks or airport vehicles). Adding to the complexity is the fact that vehicle manufacturers are constantly bringing new models and technologies into the marketplace, so technical specifications are always evolving. The City Purchaser is looking for a way to simplify the vehicle procurement process and make it easier to generate complete, accurate and standardized specifications that can be included in Requests for Proposals (“RFPs”).

Technology Tool: The City’s vehicle purchasing team would like a web-based tool that allows users City staff to build up a vehicle’s specifications by clicking on a series of images or icons contained in a comprehensive menu of options. The tool could possibly leverage the latest specification data published by major vehicle manufacturers and distributors, and ultimately generate a  “spec sheet” document that can be incorporated into Requests for Proposals or other formal solicitations by the City.  Think “Build-a-Bear”, but for the purchase of police cars, ambulances, fire trucks, and even lawnmowers and street-sweepers.   

Animal Care and Control (ACC): Coyote Mapping Tool

Context: The Department of Animal Care and Control (ACC) is committed to the delivery of effective, courteous, and responsive animal care and control services to the residents of San Francisco. Coyotes play an important role in a healthy ecosystem by keeping the rodent population under control. Problems arise when people help coyotes lose their natural fear of humans by feeding and interacting with them and by not using vexing techniques to keep them fearful. Coyote safety is rapidly becoming a hot button issue for communities throughout the City.

Technology Tool: ACC seeks a mobile app that contains helpful information for the public about coyotes and has the ability to mark and map coyote sighting locations in the City and send alerts to the public.

Adult Probation Department: Mobile Probationer Success & Management Tool

Context: The San Francisco Adult Probation Department (APD) is an integral partner in the City’s criminal justice system and contributes to public safety through its court services, community supervision and treatment referral functions. APD supervises approximately 4,300 persons on court-ordered supervision, diversion programs and post release community supervision.

Technology Tool: APD seeks a mobile app that would assist probationers by providing them with increased access to important information, resources and appointment reminders to maintain contact with their Probation Officers. Additionally, this tool might include features that assist Probation Officers with probationer supervision such as option to locate, file field reports, upload case data, and sharing documents with internal APD staff.

Department of Public Health (DPH): Rethink Health e-Alerts

Context:  The mission of the San Francisco Department of Public Health (DPH) is to protect and promote the health of all San Franciscans. Currently, the system DPH has in place to communicate information to the health care community (e.g., physicians, hospitals, clinics, community based organizations) relies on retrieving contact information from an outdated 11,000+ person database. Critical notifications such as Health Alerts are sent by fax and email and the process of sending this information is time-consuming, cumbersome, and sometimes results inaccuracies.

Technology Tool:  DPH seeks a user-friendly, customer-facing platform that allows members of the San Francisco health care community (e.g., physicians, hospitals, clinics, community based organizations) to enter their own contact data, organize this data into specific categories, and distribute health information via-text message, e-mails, and faxes in an efficient manner that improves access to potentially life saving information.

Entertainment Commission: Filing and Notification Tool for Residential Developments Near Places of Entertainment

Context: The Entertainment Commission (EC) regulates, promotes and enhances entertainment and nightlife in the city of San Francisco. As part of new legislation passed in 2015 (Chapter 116 of the San Francisco Administrative Code), residential landlords are required to notify new residents if there is a Place of Entertainment located within 300 feet of their unit. The landlord, o must file an “Affidavit of Disclosure” with the Entertainment Commission as proof of compliance (see Admin. Code Sec. 116.8).

Technology Tool: The Entertainment Commission seeks a technology solution that will allow landlords to file the acknowledgement affidavit with the Commission electronically and includes electronic storage of these signed affidavits with the Entertainment Commission.

Fire Department: Neighborhood Emergency Response Team (NERT) Record Keeping, Training and Communications Platform

Context: NERT is a free training program offered by the San Francisco Fire Department for volunteer individuals, neighborhood groups and community-based organizations in San Francisco.  Through this program, individuals learn the basics of personal emergency preparedness and prevention.  The training also includes hands-on disaster skills that help individuals respond to an emergency as well as act as members of a neighborhood response team.

Technology Tool: As part of its training of over 1,000 volunteers each year, the NERT team seeks a digital solution that retains and manages volunteer information, enables San Francisco residents to apply to join NERT online, ensures volunteer qualifications are accurate and up-to-date, and shares important information with NERT volunteers during emergencies. For example, during an emergency, the application should be able to share basic directions, locations, needs and resources by cell or automated phone calling, and SMS.

Human Services Agency Family & Children Services: Engage and Recruit Potential Foster Parents

Context:   The Human Services Agency (HSA) promotes well-being and self-sufficiency among individuals, families and communities in San Francisco. Among its important programs is HSA’s Family and Child Services. HSA had 862 children in active foster care placements as of July 1, 2013. (See,).

Technology Tool: HSA seeks a mobile app and hosted software solution for individuals interested in becoming foster parents in San Francisco’s foster care system. The platform would create a pipeline for potential foster parent candidates starting from initial interest to final certification (e.g. ability to create a foster parent profile, view qualification results)  and also help HSA to identify individuals who could successfully mentor non-minor dependents. Additionally, a second tool, connected to this app, would (a) help HSA staff educate the public about foster care, (b) document HSA staff interactions with interested potential foster parents, (c) determine if potential foster parents qualify based on data entered in the field, and (d) provide application forms.

Mayor’s Office of Housing & Community Development (MOHCD) – Affordable Housing Feasibility Drawings & Analysis

Context: One of MOHCD’s core missions is to provide financing for the development, rehabilitation and purchase of affordable housing in San Francisco. MOHCD staff are always on the look-out for cost-effective land and building acquisitions for affordable housing development, and multiple land/building owners and brokers contact MOHCD every week with information and proposing to MOHCD the purchase of their parcels. Currently, MOHCD assesses the suitability of each site for potential affordable housing development the old-fashioned way: by checking zoning requirements and sketching out a proposed building manually with paper and pencil.

Technology Tool: Design a software solution to allow MOHCD staff to quickly evaluate whether a land parcel is suitable for affordable housing development. The solution should produce digital feasibility drawings of land parcels that include building massings based on the City’s zoning controls. A tool is needed that can incorporate inputs from non-architectural MOHCD staff (proposed unit types, bedroom size, community space requirements, open space requirements, and per-unit comparable cost values) and provide cost estimates and conceptual architectural designs for each possible development.

Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA) – Curb Management Tools & Maps

Context: The SFMTA plans, designs, builds, operates, regulates, and maintains one of the most diverse transportation networks in the world. Among other things, the Agency oversees and regulates the City’s on-street parking spaces, parking meters, curb cuts, fire hydrants, colored (painted) curbs, car-share spots (cumulatively referred to as “curb management”).

Technology Tool: SFMTA seeks a hosted software solution that captures and updates data related to the status and use of curbside space in the City. Specifically, the data inventory tool would permit storing and updating of spacial dimensions and other important data associated with the curb (e.g., meter type, time limits, curb color, the MTA Board resolution that created the parking space, etc.). The tool should take information from a variety of sources to create outputs like publicly facing parking regulation maps and alerts for parking enforcement officers when a permit to park in an area begins and ends.

Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA) – Parking Officer Beats that Improve Quality of Life

Context: The SFMTA plans, designs, builds, operates, regulates, and maintains one of the most diverse transportation networks in the world. SFMTA Parking Control Officer (PCO) are assigned to routes (or “beats”) but do not necessarily use up-to-date parking data for targeting enforcement efforts. As a result, PCOs tend to focus on parking violations that are easy to enforce (i.e., expired meter, no meter payment) instead of those that adversely affect transportation and quality of life such as double-parking, blocking intersections, and sidewalk parking.

Technology Tool: SFMTA seeks a mobile app or hosted software system to help PCOs focus their routes and enforcement efforts on quality of life issues such as double-parking, blocking intersections, and sidewalk parking, instead of parking violations that are easiest to enforce (i;e., expired meter, no meter payment). There is a need for a tool that can utilize parking enforcement data received from PCOs and meter payment feeds to revise the PCOs’ routes in order to maximize efficiency and communicate route changes to officers while they are on the job. The solution should be easy for PCOs to use and provide features such as officer alerts and meter mapping.

Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA) – Rethink the On-Street Parking Availability Map

Context: The SFMTA plans, designs, builds, operates, regulates, and maintains one of the most diverse transportation networks in the world. The City’s SFpark program used to include an app/website that showed parking availability on every block using in-ground parking sensors. Those sensors have reached the end of their useful life, and the SFpark app/website no longer shows on-street parking availability.

Technology Tool: SFMTA seeks a mobile app that utilizes existing MTA data feeds and outside resources such as phone movements to build a real-time, on-street parking availability map available to the public. There is a need for a system that utilizes passive data collection from mobile app users with smart devices to create a visually appealing, publicly-facing mobile app to find street parking. This digital service would reduce traffic congestion, pollution, and headaches from circling.

Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD): Visualize & Analyze PDR (Production, Distribution and Repair) Zoned Spaces

Context: The Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) supports San Francisco’s ongoing economic vitality by strengthening its neighborhoods, businesses, commercial corridors and workforce. San Francisco’s Production, Distribution, and Repair (“PDR”) businesses in industrialized areas play a critical role in San Francisco’s economy as they create new manufacturing jobs for workers of every skill level and revive pride in high quality, locally made goods and products.   PDR businesses conduct activities including mailing, printing, production, construction, and garbage disposal.

Technology Tool: Create a software solution that would allow OEWD staff to visualize, map, and track changes to PDR parcels in the City, for example monitoring vacancy or change of use. There is a need for a tool that can identify PDR zones with GIS, analyze such parcels, and determine the threshold for defining “underutilized space” in PDR zones in the City.

Recreation & Park Department (RPD): Dynamic People Counters & Visual Analysis

Context: The Recreation and Park Department (RPD)’s mission is to provide enriching recreational activities, maintain beautiful parks and preserve the environment for the well-being of our diverse community. With one of the best park systems in the country, see, RPD often receives questions about park usage that it cannot answer. For example, how many people visit Mission Dolores Park annually? Or at 2pm on Sunday? Do more people go to south side of the Park with the big view, or the north side to throw a Frisbee? Such data is needed for internal planning purposes, as well as to provide public information.

Technology Tool: RPD seeks an IT solution to enable the department to count the number of park users in City parks and better understand park user behaviors. This tool will enable RPD staff to make data-driven decisions about department resource deployment, programming, and public safety. The solution should enable visualization, analyze patterns, and provide counts in outdoor areas.

Recreation & Park Department (RPD): Field Scheduling Lottery for Youth Athletic Teams

Context: The Recreation and Park Department’s (RPD) mission is to provide enriching recreational activities, maintain beautiful parks and preserve the environment for the well-being of our diverse community.  In order to reserve athletic fields, thousands of San Francisco youth athletic teams currently must fill out an online form requesting practice fields in RPD parks with information including days, times, and locations.  RPD staff then manually review each request and work to accommodate the teams, but inevitably staff run out of options for all teams.

Technology: RPD seeks a mobile app or hosted software that would support an on-line lottery system for coaches of youth athletic teams to reserve time slots for practice fields in City parks. A real-time tool is needed that allows RPD staff to update open practice fields and times, categorize teams by age bracket, and allow coaches/teams to select fields during their designated lottery time. The platform should sync field selection and reservation information with other City permitting systems to print permits and track field utilization metrics.

San Francisco Public Works – Post-Earthquake Mobile Evaluation App

Context: San Francisco Public Works designs, builds, operates, and maintains the City’s infrastructure, public rights-of-way and facilities. After earthquakes occur, there is a need to gather information regarding the structural integrity of the City’s buildings. Currently, there are several technology products on the market, but they are not often available to be customized to fit the need of inspecting San Francisco’s unique building stock. ATC-20 forms are the standard fail-safe way to document damage when a digital interface is not available. But completing, compiling, reviewing and transferring this data from hard copies to digital format can be onerous and time consuming – not to mention valuable data can be lost in the transfer and consolidation of this information.

Technology Tool: San Francisco Public Works seeks a mobile app that would allow City engineers and inspectors, following an earthquake, to fill out the ATC-20 form online, and input building data (on approved checklists), photos, video recordings, notes, and Global Positioning System (GPS) data while simultaneously syncing information with a database. The proposed work includes the development of the database framework, along with capabilities for mapping and reporting.

SF Environment: Green Purchasing Compliance Tool

Context: The San Francisco Department of the Environment (“SFE”) creates visionary policies and innovative programs that promote social equity, protect human health, and lead the way toward a sustainable future. San Francisco’s landmark Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Ordinance, Chapter 2 of the S.F. Environment Code, requires that City staff buy only “green” products, as defined by the ordinance. “Green purchasing,” also known as environmentally preferable purchasing, aims to identify products with smaller impacts on human health and the environment compared to conventional products.

Technology Tool: Develop a software tool to help City staff comply with the requirements of Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Ordinance, by creating a comprehensive system for City to identify, purchase and use environmentally preferable products. There is a need for an easy-to-use purchasing and compliance solution for City departments and agencies that integrates with the City’s existing green product database called SFAPPROVED. The solution should include tools to make green purchasing easy for City staff and track compliance with optional features like calculating the environmental impacts of the products that are purchased.

SF Environment: Bin Sensors & Engagement Tool for Zero Landfill Waste

Context: The San Francisco Department of the Environment (“SFE”) creates visionary policies and innovative programs that promote social equity, protect human health, and lead the way toward a sustainable future. As the City moves closer to its goal of sending nothing to landfill (“Zero Waste”), the challenge becomes greater. After years of steady increase, participation by SF residents in recycling and composting programs has stagnated, and the City has a need for more efficient feedback loops relating to garbage collection.

Technology Tool: Build an IT hardware or software system that analyzes San Francisco residents’ trash disposal, monitors bin fill rates, analyzes user habits, and engages the public about recycling and composting. The technology solution would be used by SFE staff as well as by San Francisco Public Works to track waste disposal more efficiently and effectively and optimize waste collection by using optical or weight measuring sensor technologies incorporated into rubbish bins.