Located about 40 miles from Los Angeles and Hollywood, Irvine is a planned city of more than 210,000 residents. Incorporated in 1971, it is established in over 45 square miles. With a past rich in Spanish history, much of the land was purchased by James Irvine, after which the city is named, accounting for much of its successful development since the 1960s. In 2008, Irvine placed (by CNNMoney.com) as the fourth best place to live in the United States. The city has master planned and continues to convert the former El Toro Marine Base land into the Orange County Great Park—spanning more than 1,300 acres (nearly twice the size of New York’s Central Park) and embracing environmental sustainability, it will become one of the nation’s metropolitan treasures.
With great schools, plenty of job opportunities, many planned neighborhoods and communities; it also boasts one of the lowest violent crime rates in the nation. There are over twenty companies headquartered in Irvine, including: Allergan, Broadcom Entertainment, Epicor Software, Freedom Communications, Gateway, Inc., and LA Fitness, Parker Hannifin, St. John Knits, Taco Bell, and Western Digital.
Irvine is divided into townships, called villages. There are over forty villages in Irvine, each with a distinct architecture. Many parks, playgrounds, tennis courts and swimming pools are within the village communities. Homes and condominiums abound in Irvine and offer varied price ranges.
The city is well known for its college, The University of Southern California, Irvine, a university with more than 20,000 students and over 7,000 employees. There is also Irvine Valley College and neighboring Soka University, California State University Fullerton and Pepperdine University. The Irvine Unified School District has many elementary and middle schools and four award winning high schools. Irvine has three public libraries, including The Heritage Library which serves as the regional reference library for Central Orange County.
The city is well positioned for all major transportation and recently began operating its own mass-transit bus service called the iSHuttle, routing to the Tustiin Metrolink station and nearby John Wayne Airport. Irvine is also knows for a bicycle lane system, with over 40 miles of off-road bicycle trails and over 200 miles of on-road bicycle lanes in Irvine.