As a result, an industrial and business region was established along the east side of the river in what is now downtown Kent.
Factories and mills were either planned or constructed along the Cuyahoga River, some of which either were never built or ultimately failed, due mostly to effects of the Panic of 1837.
Kent has nearly 20 parks and preserves and hosts a number of annual festivals including ones related to Earth Day, folk music, and the U. Kent is part of the Cleveland-Akron media market and is the city of license for three local radio stations and three television stations and includes the regional affiliates for National Public Radio (NPR) and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).
Local transportation infrastructure includes a public bus service and hike-and-bike trails.
With the decline of the canal and the emergence of the railroad, the town became the home of the Atlantic and Great Western Railroad maintenance shops through the influence of Marvin Kent.
The Kent City School District and the Kent Free Library provide additional education opportunities and resources.
Many of Kent's demographic elements are influenced by the presence of the university, particularly the median age, median income, and those living below the poverty level.
The city is governed by a council-manager system with a city manager, a nine-member city council, and a mayor. In addition to the Kent State athletic teams, the city also hosts a number of amateur and local sporting events at various times during the year.
As part of the Connecticut Western Reserve, the area was divided into survey townships in 1798 and almost all of what is now Kent was originally part of Town 3 Range 9, which would eventually be known as Franklin Township.
Franklin Township was surveyed in 1803 and settled in November 1805 when John Haymaker and his family moved west from Warren to the banks of the Cuyahoga River.