Somerville is a city located directly to the northwest of Boston, in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. As of 2010, the United States Census lists the city with a total population of 75,754 people, making it the most densely populated municipality in New England. As of 2010, it was the 16th most densely populated incorporated municipality in the country. Somerville was established as a town in 1842, when it was separated from Charlestown. In 2006, the town was named the best-run city in Massachusetts by the Boston Globe. In 1972, in 2009, and again in 2015, the city received the All-America City Award. It is home to Tufts University.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Somerville has a total area of 4.2 square miles (11 km²), of which 4.1 square miles (11 km²) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km²) (2.61%) is water. Somerville is bordered by the cities of Cambridge, Arlington, Medford, Everett, and the Boston neighborhood of Charlestown. It is located on the west bank of the Mystic River.
Somerville has experienced dramatic gentrification since the Red Line of Boston's MBTA subway system was extended through Somerville in 1985, especially in the area between Harvard and Tufts. This was especially accelerated by the repeal of rent control in the mid-1990s followed directly by the dot-com bubble of the late 90s. Residential property values approximately quadrupled from 1991 to 2003, and the stock of rental housing decreased as lucrative condominium conversions become commonplace.
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