In our small town of Sharon, PA there are 5,000 properties and 20% of them are abandoned properties or vacant lots. Our community knows that this is a problem and so do we. Abandoned properties and vacant lots have multiple issues including tall grass, accumulation of trash, a habitat for unwanted animals, and problems for emergency responders. VLASTA is the only one of its kind for smart cities. Through VLASTA, communities can keep track of out of code grass on abandoned properties and vacant lots. This will reduce crime and make the communities more appealing.
VLASTA uses smart city technology to report issues in regards to abandoned properties and vacant lots. Properties can be reported through city code enforcement and approved individuals/organizations. Reporting can be as easy as
1) Determine which property needs updated by using our Google Maps based web app.
2) Select the property and corresponding color code to indicate the properties’ status.
3) Add comments for additional detail and select submit.
Sign up or log in today by selecting the get started button on the menu drop down. Use any valid e-mail and password to get started by giving back to your community with VLASTA!
How do I use VLASTA as a citizen of Sharon?
First, registration is required for the security of this application. To register, read the "Get Involved" section and then click on "Register as a User of VLASTA."
Next, provide your name, full address, and email address and click submit. Information will be sent to your e-mail for the next steps and making a difference in Sharon using VLASTA!
How do I change the condition (color) of a property?
In order to change the condition of a property on our interactive map, users need to be registered. Once registered, then users are able to submit a condition change and wait for review before it is updated on the map.
If I don't have internet access, how do I use VLASTA in Sharon?
Users are able to gain internet access at the Community Library of the Shenango Valley or may directly contact us by phone (coming soon)!
The Tiger Techs Robotics Team, Team Black, is a FIRST Lego League Team from Sharon, Pennsylvania. The team is comprised of students in 5th to 9th grades. During their 2019-2020 season, the Techs tackled a problem in their hometown. After speaking with several city officials, the Techs determined that there was a problem associated with abandoned properties and vacant lots- unkept grass. With the help of a software engineer, the Techs developed VLASTA, a web application that tracks grass for vacant lots and abandoned properties in the City of Sharon.
After surveying 500 properties in a target neighborhood of Sharon, the Techs identified a property that had not been taken care of for over 6 months. With grass over 5 feet tall, the Techs adopted to care for this property filling over 20 ten gallon garbage bags . Over 20 individuals helping to tackle this property in just two hours turned it into an appealing spot!
On December 4, 2019, the Sharon Tiger Techs, Team Black, presented their innovative solution to Sharon City Council. The team hopes to work with city officials in the near future on developing this product further. The Techs would like to thank city officials including:
Melissa Phillips, Community and Economic Director,
Dave Tomko Sr, Code Enforcement Director
Geno Rossi, Code Enforcement Officer
Brian Kepple/Bill Dodd, Sharon Revitalization Committee
A special thanks to John Ackley, software engineer, who the Techs worked alongside to develop this product.