Sunday, July 21, 2024

The Common at CX in North Point is one of Cambridge’s newest open spaces. (Photo: Marc Levy)

Fortune magazine ranks Cambridge as the best place to live in its Second Annual Fortune 50 Best Places to Live for Families List, released Wednesday on Well, its vertical focused on healthy lifestyles.

Fortune said it evaluated nearly 1,900 cities, towns, suburbs and villages across 50 states.

In each metric, locals might quibble, but writer Kerri Anne Renzulli found Cambridge scoring high on education, aging resources, general wellness, financial health and livability in a claimed review of more than 200,000 data points.

The city’s recent effort to strengthen neighborhood bonds by encouraging block parties with streamlined permitting and $200 grants was cited as an example of fostering a strong sense of community, one of Fortune’s top considerations. The money can be used for food, games and even DJ. “Creating opportunities for residents to gather socially after years of isolation measures became a priority for the city in the last year,” said Iram Farooq, assistant city manager for Community Development.

Beyond community building, Cambridge boasts a remarkable education system, with top-tier public and private schools such as Harvard and MIT that rank consistently among the best in the nation. That contributes to cultural opportunities such as museums and programming, along with “charming historic buildings, cafés, boutiques, theaters and performance spaces,” the magazine says. Businesses were prominent in the writeup, with Renzulli saying this city has everything from “cozy bookshops and high-fidelity audio stores to tech-startup firms.”

Nightlife contributes as well, with businesses such as the Cantab Lounge and Lamplighter Brewing called out by name, and the fact that “every Sunday from late spring through early fall, you can find residents biking, walking and enjoying Riverbend Park – a portion of riverside roadway turned off-limits to cars.”

The presence of health care institutions contributes to the city being an ideal place for multigenerational families seeking care for loved ones. Fortune Well data on Cambridge notes “28 hospitals within 25 miles of Cambridge that are recommended by over 50 percent of patients.”

The rest of Fortune’s top 10: Portsmouth, New Hampshire; Silver Spring, Maryland; Tualatin, Oregon; Middletown, Delaware; Olathe, Kansas; Eastvale, California; Wellington, Florida; Greenburgh, New York; and Fitchburg, Wisconsin.


This article was written in partnership with Cambridge Local First.