September 16, 2011

Mayor Emanuel Kicks Off Social Media Week by Announcing Chicago Is First in World with City Foursquare Badge

Mayor highlights innovative efforts in social media; Chicago is a host city for international week

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Emanuel today announced that Chicago is the world’s first city with its own foursquare City badge, the “Windy City” City badge, in advance of Social Media Week (SMW), which kicks-off on Monday.

“I am pleased that Chicago can be the first city to offer a foursquare City badge and participate in this innovative program,” said Mayor Emanuel. “I am committed to leveraging new technologies to celebrate Chicago’s diversity and drive interest in small businesses. This badge and partnership with foursquare will allow Chicagoans and our visitors to discover and share the City’s neighborhood gems and diverse cultural attractions in a new way. ”

Mayor Emanuel was joined by foursquare co-founder Naveen Selvadurai to make the announcement about Chicago’s foursquare City badge and kick off Social Media Week.

“foursquare was built to help people explore the world around them,” Selvadurai said. “Chicago, with its rich diversity in culture and business, is the ideal environment for that exploration. Mayor Emanuel has advocated and promoted exploring the neighborhoods of Chicago, and we're excited to help Chicagoans and visitors check in to new places and enjoy the city."

foursquare users who “check-in” at five of 20 designated cultural and small business attractions will receive the Windy City badge. These locations include The Oriental Institute Museum in Hyde Park, Garfield Park Conservatory in Garfield Park, Du Sable Museum in Washington Park, Chicago Velodrome in South Chicago, and Jane Addams Hull-House Museum in Little Italy.

Mayor Emanuel commemorated the event by announcing that he will now be on foursquare (; the Mayor will be “checking in” as he goes to communities across the city as well as leaving tips for other users.  His office will also be hosting a special SMW forum on Twitter and Government Engagement, featuring the manager of government and politics for Twitter. This event is taking place from noon to 1 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 22, at Columbia College’s campus at 618 S. Michigan Avenue.

The foursquare announcement comes on the heels of the Mayor’s Office release of the interactive map City Hall in your Community, which uses Google Mapping technologies to provide the people of Chicago with an easy-to-use, up-to-date way to see how the City is serving and interacting with residents across the city, and is part of the Emanuel Administration’s continuing efforts to increase accountability and transparency across City government. These efforts include:

  • Revolutionizing the City of Chicago’s data portal, To date the Mayor’s Office has released over 200 datasets, including salary information, crime data, city contracts, lobbyist disclosures, debarred vendors and abandoned buildings. Since May 16, 2011, the City of Chicago’s open Data Portal has logged more than 430,373 views and about 35 million rows of data have been accessed.
  • Creating the City’s most comprehensive lobbyist disclosure database. Last week, Mayor Emanuel announced the release of additional lobbyist data, for the first time linking City lobbyist activities, compensation and expenses with each lobbyist client.
  • Implementing, the first interactive budget website. People across Chicago can engage in the City’s budget process. To date, more than 8,600 ideas and comments for addressing the City’s challenges have been posted, generating over 55,000 votes from nearly 3,000 people.
  • Hosting the first Facebook Town Hall #AskChicago. On June 30, Mayor Emanuel was the first sitting mayor of a major city to hold a live online chat in which questions were submitted and ranked by the public. The Mayor has committed to hosting similar forums in the future.
  • Launching @ChicagosMayor on Twitter. Mayor Emanuel is the first Chicago Mayor to leverage Twitter to connect with the public, answer questions and share news.

Social Media Week is an international event that will be held during the week of September 19th. Chicago, along with Los Angeles, is one of two United States host cities. Other host cities around the world include Berlin, Buenos Aires, Glasgow, Milan, Sao Paulo, and Moscow. Free events will be taking place across Chicago and a full schedule is available online at Chicago activities are hosted by Zócalo Group and the Chicago Tribune.

The Windy City foursquare City badge is already active. The 20 locations are: The Oriental Institute Museum in Hyde Park; Garfield Park Conservatory in Garfield Park; Du Sable Museum in Washington Park; Chicago Velodrome in South Chicago; Jane Addams Hull-House Museum in Little Italy; Glenwood Avenue Arts District in Rogers Park; Green Mill in Uptown; Dat Donut in Chatham/Morgan Park; Chicago’s Home of Chicken and Waffles in Bronzeville; Renegade Handmade in Wicker Park; Co-Prosperity Sphere in Bridgeport; Vida Simple Mural in Pilsen; Ping Tom Park in Chinatown; Merz Apothecary in Lincoln Square; Swedish Dala Horse in Andersonville; 63rd Street Beach in Jackson Park; Milio’s Hair Studio in Lakeview; Music Box in Lakeview; Michael Jordan Statue at the United Center; and Revolution Brewing in Logan Square.



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