Mayor Emanuel Opens Tech Week with Remarks About the Smart Chicago Open 311 Project

Here’s a snip from “Rahm’s Latest Accountability Plan: An App That Tracks City Services” on

Mayor Rahm Emanuel will soon unveil an app Chicago residents can use to request city services—and then track the city’s response—he said this morning in the keynote address at Chicago’s TechWeek 2012 conference.

“We’ve opened up reams of city data for programmers to have at it and come up with the most innovative apps for their fellow residents to use: an app to find a towed car, snow plows, and street closures, an app for 311 calls, including tracking like a fedex shipping order,” he told the gathering of hundreds of digital businesspeople and techies at the Merchandise Mart.

Since 1999, Chicagoans have been able to call 311 to request city services or information. In recent years the service has offered status updates on the web, but Emanuel hopes to implement real-time tracking of citizen requests via a smartphone app as soon as this fall:

“I actually want the ability by by fall, when you call 311 and say you want to get X done—tree trimming, pot holing—you will actually get a tracking number. And so the next time you call it’s not like Groundhog Day at 311. Did they ignore me? Do I start this again? No.

“You may not like where you are in the queue, but you’ll be able to track it. You’ll be able to get information back.”

The Mayor shared this vision of a complete service request view in our recent meeting about the project sponsored by Smart Chicago. More to come!