When cities began implementing 311 call centers in the 1990s, they did so to better understand and respond to citizen needs. With one phone call, residents could report graffiti, potholes, and broken street lights. But it was a one-way service. As resident needs expanded and digital communication channels matured, 311 call centers didn't always keep up, feeding the perception that local government is ineffective and unapproachable. This is a frustrating situation for residents and City Hall alike.
Yet, forward-thinking cities across the country are breaking the mold and public perception by adopting innovative ways to interact with their citizens. They're giving a voice to their residents, making their city a better place to call "home."