Cambridge is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States, in the Boston metropolitan area, situated directly north of the city of Boston proper, across the Charles River. It was named in honor of the University of Cambridge in England, an important center of the Puritan theology embraced by the town's founders. Cambridge is home to two of the world's most prominent universities, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Cambridge has also been home to Radcliffe College, once one of the leading colleges for women in the United States before it merged with Harvard. According to the 2010 Census, the city's population was 105,162. It is the fifth most populous city in the state, behind Boston, Worcester, Springfield, and Lowell. Cambridge was one of the two seats of Middlesex County prior to the abolition of county government in 1997; Lowell was the other.
Consisting largely of densely built residential space, Cambridge lacks significant tracts of public parkland. This is partly compensated for, however, by the presence of easily accessible open space on the university campuses, including Harvard Yard, the Radcliffe Yard, and MIT's Great Lawn, as well as the considerable open space of Mount Auburn Cemetery. At the western edge of Cambridge, the cemetery is well known as the first garden cemetery, for its distinguished inhabitants, for its superb landscaping (the oldest planned landscape in the country), and as a first-rate arboretum. Although known as a Cambridge landmark, much of the cemetery lies within the bounds of Watertown. It is also a significant Important Bird Area (IBA) in the Greater Boston area. Public parkland includes the esplanade along the Charles River, which mirrors its Boston counterpart, Cambridge Common, a busy and historic public park immediately adjacent to the Harvard campus, and the Alewife Brook Reservation and Fresh Pond in the western part of the city.
As of the census of 2010, there were 105,162 people, 44,032 households, and 17,420 families residing in the city. The population density was 16,422.08 people per square mile (6,341.98/km²), making Cambridge the fifth most densely populated city in the US and the second most densely populated city in Massachusetts behind neighboring Somerville. There were 47,291 housing units at an average density of 7,354.7 per square mile (2,840.3/km²).
Image: "Cambridge Skyline" by en:User:Shinkuken - English Wikipedia. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.