The City of Evanston is among only five local governments nationwide to win the Public Technology Institute’s (PTI) 2014 Web 2.0 Award, which identifies best practices and excellence in the field of Web. 2.0 and civic/social networking and citizen engagement among state and local governments.

Evanston received special recognition from PTI judges for its “clever and innovative” 311 live chat web application. The application allows visitors to the City’s website to chat live with 311 Service Center staff to ask questions, submit service requests and more. About 2,000 people have used the website’s live chat tool in the last six months.

Building upon the success of the live chat tool, last week Evanston announced a new and improved service allowing residents to send text messages from their mobile phones directly to the 311 Service Center’s 10-digit phone number, 847-448-4311. The City’s 311 operators can respond to both online web chats and text messages using one interface on their computers.

Other cities to receive Web 2.0 recognition this year were Boston, MA; Philadelphia, PA; Raleigh, NC; and Santa Monica, CA.

In July, Evanston was the only city in the nation to receive PTI’s Tech Savvy Award. The City was also recognized in May 2014 with the highest PTI 2013-2014 Technology Solutions Award for Web Management & E-Government, as well as two Significant Achievement awards, which were in the categories of Public Safety Technology and IT & Telecommunications.

Created by and for cities and counties, the not-for-profit Public Technology Institute supports local government executives and officials with research, education, advisory services and recognition programs. For more information visit pti.org