ProjectBlog: Here’s how locals in Chicago rate their city

Blog: Here’s how locals in Chicago rate their city

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The following is the first of a 6-part series on using market research in smart cities to improve quality of life.

Periodically, we conduct market research studies at Wyzerr around topics that we are passionate about and share our findings with the public. Recently, the team and I became obsessed with smart cities, and understanding whether or not the integration of modern technologies at scale across a city actually improves the lives of inhabitants in that particular city. To better gauge the impact, we conducted surveys of locals in different smart cities across the US around a variety of topics central to city life. The first on our list was Chicago. Based on the feedback of 100+ locals, we generated this initial report:

Chicago Wyzerr Report Card, 2019

Overall, Chicago received a 2.3 grade point average (‘GPA’) out of a possible 4.0 GPA in our system. Yes, our system is based on the grading system in academia. Similar to school, a 2.3 GPA isn’t actually bad. It’s passing. However, there’s definitely room for improvement. Our data set provided some insight into what locals feel could be done to improve Chicago’s overall grade. The top five recommendations in sequential order of importance to locals were:

  1. Address cost of living and job opportunity issues.
  2. More activities for kids and teenagers to stay busy — if kids stay out of trouble, more likely to do well in school and get good jobs. Crime rate would also be lower.
  3. Improve general equality. There’s a consensus that there is a huge gap in racial/financial/housing/education equality in the city.
  4. Fix roads and better maintenance of public spaces. Locals had a lot to say about the allocation of funding for public works, especially around potholes, construction, traffic, and green space.
  5. More shopping centers: eliminate shops that aren’t doing well to make space for more popular shops. The tone of this had less to do with the actual shops themselves, and more so the aesthetic appearance and effect in the neighborhood of stores that are rundown, have inconsistent operation hours, and have no clear standard business practices.

Next week, we’ll take a look at the city of Houston. We’re also open to suggestions on what cities we should survey next. For more information on our smart cities studies, please visit

For those interested in understanding who were surveyed in Chicago, the following are some of the demographic data of the respondents. As with any of our public studies, the complete data set is available upon request.


18–24 | 10%

25–34 | 32%

35–44 | 30%

45–54 | 13%

54+ | 15%


Male | 53%

Female | 47%


Student | 7%

Self Employed | 7%

Employed | 51%

Unable to Work | 4%

Housemaker | 5%

Retired | 10%

Unemployed and looking | 11%

Other | 5%


White | 59%

Black | 20%

Hispanic | 11%

Asian | 4%

Multiracial | 2%

Other | 4%

Source: Artificial Intelligence on Medium

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