1. Nature connection
Irvine’s Master Plan has created one of the greenest cities in America, with 277 parks and access to 57,500 acres of open space that has been compared to a “national park in our backyard.” The benefits? Walking in all this nature, according to recent research, makes us feel calmer, happier and more creative.
2. UCI Health
Irvine’s Master Plan designed the city around UC Irvine, so residents today enjoy the benefits of its medical research, education and network of medical facilities. “Irvine residents have access to care that is provided only at the best institutions in the world,” says UCI Vice Chancellor of Health Affairs Dr. Steve Goldstein.
3. Bike trails
Irvine is regarded as one of the most bikefriendly cities in Southern California, offering 301 miles of onstreet bike lanes and 63 miles of off-street bikeways. The system stretches from the mountains to the coast, connecting neighborhoods with parks, shopping centers and business hubs. Irvine’s Mountains to Sea Trail has been designated a National Recreation Trail.
4. Tree City USA
Irvine is forested with 550,000 trees, making it a Tree City USA. Years ago, the Irvine Master Plan called for hundreds of thousands of trees to be planted for environmental and aesthetic benefits. These tree canopies lower temperatures by up to 15 degrees and add 71 tons of oxygen each year into the air we breathe.
5. Active sports
Irvine is home to more than 124 sports courts, 98 tennis courts, 81 athletic fields, 10 pickleball courts and dozens of pools. Its ballfields? “I’ve had the privilege of traveling around and seeing how lucky we are in Irvine,” says softball coach Kim Wojciechowski. “Our fields are laser-leveled and pristinely maintained. They’re the best.”
6. Medical corridor
The Sand Canyon Medical Corridor, anchored by Hoag Irvine and Kaiser Permanente hospitals, provides Irvine residents with over 2,000 doctors, nurses and specialists. Right up the street, City of Hope is building a $1 billion cancer-research-andtreatment campus, which will provide the county’s first cancer-only hospital.
7. Farm to table
Irvine residents have direct access to fresh fruits and vegetables. You can pick your own fruits and vegetables at Tanaka Farms; purchase seasonal produce boxes there or at Manassero Farms; browse three weekly farmers markets; or get fresh avocados that are grown on the 100,000 avocado trees rising above Orchard Hills.
Irvine’s 400 medical technology companies offer 18,000 jobs and generate billions of dollars in economic activity – pushing medical research to the forefront in Irvine. Heart-valve maker Edwards Lifesciences has spawned hundreds of medical-device companies in Irvine, while Allergan has helped make Irvine the ophthalmology and eye care capital of the world.