How to review and approve applications on CityGrows

CityGrows is the first self-service digital platform for local government. That means that government employees set up processes on CityGrows to improve their operations by replacing paper forms with online workflows. For example, governments use CityGrows to manage things like online pet licensing, special event permits, and business licenses. You’re probably reading this guide because someone in your organization wants you to be a reviewer for a process on CityGrows.

CityGrows makes it easier and faster for both staff and community members to complete permit and licensing processes. We promise it will take you more time to read this guide than it will actually take you to review a permit or license on CityGrows!

Please get in touch at [email protected] if you have questions or need more information than what’s included here, or use our online chat (the little black chat icon on the lower right of any CityGrows page) any time!

Here are the steps to using the review process on CityGrows.

  1. Accept the invitation to join CityGrows. You’ll receive an email from CityGrows with an invitation to join the platform. (One of your colleagues will have sent this to you.) The first time you log in, you’ll set a password. From them on, it’ll be easy to log in. You can always log in using the button at the upper right of, or by using a link in a CityGrows email.

2. Check out your dashboard. Once you’re signed up, you’ll get an email when it’s your turn to review an application. If you click through the email, you’ll land on your dashboard. You can also log in any time to CityGrows and check to see if you have something to review. When you log in, you’ll see all of the active applications for the processes (permits or licenses) that you’re part of, sorted by those with the most recent activity on top. But don’t worry, the only ones you have to worry about will show up with “Review” in blue. You can also use the “Sort” tool in the left sidebar to pull everything that’s your responsibility up to the top of the list - just select “Needs my attention.”

3. Click on an application you want to review. That will open the application to show your review screen. We’re showing this on a desktop, but you can also do this whole process on your phone if you prefer. We recommend that for any review group, there should be more than one person included on the list. When there is more than one person who can complete a review, someone else from the department can take over and complete the review if one person is on vacation, out sick, or very busy.

4. When you open up an application to review it, you automatically land on your review step, In order to see the information that an applicant submitted, you’ll need to click on the earlier steps in the process where they uploaded and entered their information. Click on the step in the process where the applicant submitted information and then scroll, so you can see all the info submitted.

5. If everything looks good, go ahead and complete your review. It’s easy. Click back over to the review step, then click “Mark as reviewed” on the document for which you approved the application, and then click the green “Go to next step” button at the bottom right if you’re the last reviewer. Once the review step is completed, the applicant will get an automatic notification that they can move forward.

6. If something doesn’t look right, or you need the applicant to revise something, you can use the “Discussion” function. You click on the “Start Discussion” button at the upper right of the screen, and can ask the applicant to change something. You can also start an “Internal Discussion” if you want to ask the other people working on your team a question or encourage them to pay attention to something specific. You can then wait to see if the applicant responds/ makes the changes you request before you finish your review.

7. What if something doesn’t work or you have a technical problem?

The CityGrows team is here to help! You can always use our “chat’ feature - it’s the little white chat bubble at the bottom right of the screen. Ask your question any time during business hours and a CityGrows team member will usually respond within 10 -15 minutes. We’re here for you!

Thanks and please feel free to give any feedback via chat or email to [email protected].


Have questions about this article or comments on how it can be improved? Send us a message using the chat icon in the bottom right of the screen.