Irvine is one of the nation’s largest planned urban cities with a population of about 225,000. It is situated in Orange County adjacent to other suburban cities such as Tustin, Costa Mesa, Lake Forest, and Laguna Hills. It is an affluent residential community, but it is also home to a number of corporations, particularly in the technology and semiconductor sectors. Most of the residential areas are divided into villages, which are separated by six-lane streets. Each village contains houses of similar design, along with commercial centers, religious institutions, and schools.Many of the villages have very active homeowners’ associations which govern the village neighborhoods and exercise varying degrees of control on the appearances of homes. In more restrictive areas, houses’ roofing, paint colors, and landscaping are regulated.However, the more tightly regulated villages generally offer more amenities, such as members-only swimming pools, tennis courts, and parks, and etc.
Irvine is also the home to the University of California, Irvine (UCI), Concordia University, and Brandman University. The city of Irvine has three public libraries: Heritage Park Regional Library, University Park Library, and Katie Wheeler Library. Irvine residents can enjoy a plethora of community and neighborhood parks, golf courses, tennis centers, as well as the Irvine Spectrum shopping plaza.In 2014, Irvine was named the best run city in America by 24/7 Wall Street. In 2008 Irvine was chosen in by CNNMoney.com as the fourth best place to live in the United States.
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