Evanston was one of only four cities in the nation to be recognized as a 2012 Web 2.0 winner by the Public Technology Institute.
Other winners were the cities of San Francisco, Boston and West Palm Beach.
PTI also honored four states and two counties. These 10 governments were named the country’s leaders in the innovative application of Web 2.0 technologies and civic/social media tools, saying the award winners “achieved impressive results in citizen engagement, government accountability and operational efficiencies.”
“As residents change the way they obtain their information and news, it is critical that the city adapt as well, so residents stay engaged with their local government,” said City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz. “The City of Evanston is tremendously proud of this coveted designation.”
Web 2.0 technologies and social media tools for government are increasingly affecting how public institutions function and deliver services.
In this second year of the PTI awards program, the Institute found that top agencies provided centralized access to data, created one-stop citizen service, increased interagency collaboration and were innovative in their use of social media, such as Facebook and Twitter.
The city now has 4,125 Facebook “likes” and 3,209 people follow its tweets to find out about breaking news, such as street closures and water main breaks.
Bobkiewicz said, “Just a few years ago, it was unimaginable that some people would use the Internet as their primary source for news and information. At the City of Evanston, we take pride in providing information to residents through the medium they desire. Whether it’s sending street sweeping text reminders or informing teens about a free beach party via Facebook, we are improving our residents’ lives.”
Created by and for cities and counties, the not-for-profit Public Technology Institute promotes innovation and collaboration for thought-leaders in government, and advances the use of technology to improve the management and delivery of services to the citizen.