Metro

INTERACTIVE

Boston’s college students are returning

Boston University president Bob Brown once proclaimed: “There is more intellectual energy — and students — in the Charles River Basin than in many countries.” In fits and starts in the coming days, that energy is about to burst into full display around the city, over the river in Cambridge, and across Greater Boston.

This late-summer ritual, the return of tens of thousands of college students to more than 50 area schools, replenishes Boston and infuses it with youth. The transformation is hard to miss. Boston traffic backs up and horns blare as families double-park to unload; the city’s shops and restaurants bustle with new activity; the Esplanade fills with joggers and bikers.

Boston, the country’s ultimate college town, is back.

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