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Christopher W. Zobel, Milad Baghersad, & Yang Zhang. (2017). Calling 311: evaluating the performance of municipal services after disasters. In eds Aurélie Montarnal Matthieu Lauras Chihab Hanachi F. B. Tina Comes (Ed.), Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response And Management (pp. 164–172). Albi, France: Iscram.
Abstract: As part of a movement towards enabling smart cities, a growing number of urban areas in the USA, such as New York City, Boston, and Houston, have established 311 call centers to receive service requests from their citizens through a variety of platforms. In this paper, for the first time, we propose to leverage the large amount of data provided by these non-emergency service centers to help characterize their operational performance in the context of a natural disaster event. We subsequently develop a metric based on the number of open service requests, which can serve as the basis for comparing the relative performance of different departments across different disasters and in different geographic locations within a given urban area. We then test the applicability and usefulness of the approach using service request data collected from New York City's 311 service center.