Skip to content
Maxwell X Lab

Project Report

City of Evanston, Illinois 311

July 2018

Project Description

  • Partners: City of Evanston, IL
  • Intervention: Extracted requests from 311 portal and developed decision rules to assign requestors to a City neighborhood
  • Method: Mapping
  • Outcomes: Insight on differences in participation rates

Project Report

The Maxwell X Lab partnered with the City of Evanston, Illinois to analyze individual resident use of the 311 portal across neighborhoods. The 311 portal is a way for city residents to report issues in their community, such as graffiti, sanitation issues, etc. We were tasked with extracting requests from the 311 portal and developing decision rules to assign these requestors to a City neighborhood (which we proxy by Census tract). We also combined our sample of 311 requestors with Census Bureau data on the demographic and socioeconomic indicators to understand which neighborhoods and residents were using the 311 system.

The results of this analysis showed that resident participation in the 311 system ranged from 0.8 percent to 2.3 percent by neighborhood, with high poverty neighborhoods generally participating at lower rates. Additionally, neighborhoods with greater educational heterogeneity participated more than neighborhoods with a high portion of residents with at least a bachelor’s degree. Neighborhoods with high percentages of Asian residents participated at rates lower than average, while neighborhoods with high percentages of Hispanics participated more than the average. Residents at the extremes of the socioeconomic distribution had similar request frequencies within certain categories (e.g., infrastructure), suggesting underutilization in high poverty neighborhoods, overutilization in low poverty neighborhoods, or both.

Maxwell X Lab
426 Eggers Hall