Akron is a city in and the county seat of Summit County, Ohio. It is the fifth largest city in the state, and falls in the Akron Metropolitan Statistical Area, which also include Portage County. The city is in the Great Lakes region along the Little Cuyahoga River. It has a total area of 62.1 square miles. 0.3 square miles of the area is water, and the rest is land. The terrain is variable and has rolling hills as a part of the topography. The city is divided into west and east sections by the Ohio and Erie Canals. The city has a number of nicknames, including "The Rubber Capital of the World", "The Rubber City", and "City of Invention".
The area was settled in 1825. Formerly known as Cascade, the North and South Akron were unified in 1836, and incorporated later in the same year. The early twentieth century saw a huge boom for the city, with growth of over 200% in population. A number of industries were established here, including cereal, lamp, toy & marble, and tire & rubber plants. The Goodyear Polymer Center and the National Polymer Innovation Center are located within the campus of University of Akron, and serves as a leader in polymer research. Polymer Valley is considered the national center for polymer production and research. It has educational, mineral, and transportation resources devoted to that industry, and more than 400 companies manufactured polymer-based materials in the region, in the year 2001.
The architecture here is a mix of old and new, with evidence of the small town buildings that were built early in the city's establishment. Notable industries here include the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company and FirstEnergy, A. Schulman, GOJO, Advanced Elastomer Systems, FirstMerit Bank, Roadway Express, Myers Industries, Acme Fresh Market, Sterling Jewelers, and Lockheed Martin, Maritime Systems & Sensors Division. Eastern Ohio Division of KeyBank has a regional headquarters in the downtown area. The largest employers are the Summa Health System, Akron General Health System, University of Akron, County of Summit, Akron Public Schools, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, Akron Children's Hospital and Time Warner Cable. The city has the only biogas plant in the country, that uses decomposing sludge material to make electric power.
Part of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park is located here. Other parks and recreational areas include Lock 3, Firestone, Goodyear Heights, the F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm. There is also a town bike trail, the Ohio and Erie Canal towpath. Local print media includes the daily Akron Beacon Journal and the weekly West Side Leader. There is also a monthly magazine. The city hosts a number of festivals attracting large number of tourists, such as the National Hamburger Festival, the First Night Akron celebration on New Year's Eve, the local Art in the Square festival, and many more. A number of movies have been filmed here, such as Dance, Girl, Dance. The Akron-Canton Regional Airport is the biggest public use airport here. The local healthcare system, administered by two systems, the Summa Health System and Akron General Health System, are acclaimed for having some of the best hospitals in the country. Along with that is Akron Children's Hospital, which specializes in pediatric care. The Akron City School District administers public education here, comprising a number of elementary, middle and high schools. A number of private and parochial schools also exist in the city.