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MIT - Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MIT and the Community

MIT is an integral part of its host city of Cambridge, a diverse and vibrant community noted for its intellectual life, history, and thriving business climate. With a campus located between Central and Kendall Squares, and across the Charles River from Boston, the Institute has an optimal position to engage in collaborative endeavors with its neighbors and give back to the community.

MIT and Cambridge. The city’s approximately 105,160 residents, including 36,198 college and university students, rub shoulders within its 6.26 square miles. Cambridge is pedestrian and bicycle friendly, with 80 parks and playgrounds, six subway stations, a commuter rail line, 29 bus routes, multiple shuttles, 24 bike sharing stations, and numerous dedicated bicycle lanes, enabling visitors and students to get around the city and the MIT campus without a car.

Service. Since its founding, MIT has maintained a commitment to serving the local community as a resource for education and technology and as a good neighbor. The Institute solidly supports nonprofit organizations that address local challenges such as meeting the needs of underserved populations, youth and family support, and environmental sustainability.

Students, faculty, and staff at MIT are involved in a broad range of volunteer activities in the community. The Institute's Public Service Center provides programming, guidance, information, and support to those interested in public service, and serves as a resource for both MIT and the wider community.

Economic impact and innovation catalyst. MIT has a far-reaching impact on the economy of the region. The Institute is Cambridge's second largest employer and largest taxpayer, paying taxes on its commercial property and providing an annual payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) for property that is used for academic purposes and is legally tax-exempt. In fiscal year 2012, the Institute made a voluntary PILOT contribution of $2.3 million to the City of Cambridge and paid over $36.5 million in real estate taxes. It is also a magnet for investment and fuels an innovation economy with the research, start-ups, and talent pool it generates. Kendall Square, at the eastern end of MIT's campus, is the seat of a growing innovation cluster in which MIT plays a catalyzing role.

  • More than 200 life science and technology–related companies have offices in Cambridge.
  • In 2011, five of the top 10 employers in the city were biotechnology companies, providing jobs for almost 8,000 workers.

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