Good News!!! The Smart Chicago team is moving and now will be co-located with the City Digital Team at UI Labs. As such, our individual emails will be changing to:

Kyla Williams 

Sonja Marziano

Denise Linn     

Leslie Durr       

Our new mailing address is 1415 N. Cherry Avenue Chicago, IL 60642 and general phone number is 312.281.6900.

Please check our website at or follow us on twitter @smartchicago for more updates.

We appreciate your patience during this time of transition.

Smart Chicago and the Chicago Department of Transportation launch Textizen campaign for placemaking

CDOT Textizen Poster

We’re partnering with the Chicago Department of Public Transportation to help get citizen feedback on their Chicago Complete Streets Program.

CDOT is using flyers and posters on the Chicago Transit Authority asking Chicago residents to take a quick text survey about how they want to see Chicago’s street spaces improved.

Smart Chicago is helping CDOT through our CivicWorks Project through our Textizen account. Textizen’s web platform sends, receives, and analyzes text messages so you can reach the people you serve with the technology already in their pocket, 24/7.

We are a customer of Textizen because we believe in their product and we believe in helping them make it even better. By connecting them with organizations like CDOT, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events for their Public Art Plan, and the Metropolitan Planning Council for transit-oriented development in Logan Square, we’re able to fund not just projects, but products.

All of this leads to a stronger civic innovation sector of the technology industry, one that can support itself with revenue driven by software that people love.

Christopher Whitaker runs the CivicWorks project and has been his amazing self in pulling together this initiaitve. CDOT has also launched a campaign on to get ideas from Chicago residents about placemaking in Chicago.

For more information, you can visit CDOT’s Complete Streets website at If you would like to get started on your own texting campaign for civic engagement, take a look at our Developer Resources.


Metropolitan Planning Council Uses Textizen for Planning out Logan Square Corridor

When the Metropolitan Planning Council needed feedback on their planning initiative for the Logan Square Corridor, they turned to Textizen. Textizen is a text based survey tool that delivers real time results for government agencies seeking to get citizen feedback.

Smart Chicago provided access to our Textizen account, allowing them to use their services for free under our Civic Works Project.

Logan Square, photo by Steve Vance

Logan Square, photo by Steve Vance

For this survey, MPC asked several questions regarding development near the Logan Square CTA stop. About 200 people filled out the survey, with public results being posted here. According to MPC, about 60 percent of text respondents consistently responded that they had not attended the most recent meeting. This suggests that the text polling reached a different audience than the meetings themselves. Seventy five percent of respondents found the text polling valuable for this public input experience.

You can read the entire report here.

If you’re interested in using Textizen take a look at our Developer Resource program.

Chicago Cultural Center launches Textizen campaign with Smart Chicago

The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs has launched a Textizen campaign to get feedback on their new Public Art Plan. The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy.

Textizen is an SMS based survey tool that civic organizations can use to get resident feedback. Organizations can create a survey campaign and then place the survey options on posters, postcards, or on screens during live events. Organizations can then receive real time feedback as people text in their answers.

Chicago Cultural Center

Chicago Cultural Center

Smart Chicago Collaborative is a local service provider for Textizen under our CivicWorks Project. Smart Chicago will work with you to design a campaign, signage advertising your survey, and help manage the campaign.

There is no cost to organization for this service, but organizations will be responsible for their own printing.

You can get more information about our Textizen program here.