Albany is one of the smallest and best-educated cities in the East Bay. With a population of around 17,000, half of its citizens are 35 or younger, and 64 percent of them have a bachelor’s degree or higher. In addition, Albany’s excellent schools consistently produce some of the highest academic test scores in California. Albany is made up primarily of single-family homes and small businesses. One prolific builder, Charles Manning MacGregor, is credited with over 1,500 homes in Albany and is largely responsible for the city’s array of charming cottage-style homes. Bordered by El Cerrito, Richmond, and Berkeley, Albany is centrally located in a major metropolitan area but has a small-town feel. Restaurants, cafes, and boutique shops along Solano Avenue, which runs through the heart of the city, delight the urban pedestrian. With its strong services and programs for youth, families, and the elderly, Albany prides itself on being a safe, community-oriented city.