Irvine is a city in Orange County, California, United States. It is a planned city, mainly developed by the Irvine Company since the 1960s. Formally incorporated on December 28, 1971, the 66-square-mile (170 km2) city had a population of 212,375 as of the 2010 census; in 2015 the city’s population was 250,384. The city’s mission statement is “to create and maintain a community where people can live, work, and play in an environment that is safe, vibrant, and aesthetically pleasing”.
Because Irvine is home to highly-rated public schools, a large number of jobs requiring a skilled workforce, and residential housing, Irvine was chosen in 2008 by CNNMoney.com as the fourth best place to live in the United States. In 2012, it was ranked sixth nationally. In September 2011, Businessweek listed Irvine as the fifth best city in the United States. Irvine consistently ranks as the safest city in America with a population over 100,000. In 2014, Irvine was named the best-run city in the U.S. by 24/7 Wall Street. A number of corporations have their national or international headquarters in Irvine, particularly in the technology and semiconductor sectors.
Irvine’s tourism information is coordinated through the Destination Irvine program run by the Chamber of Commerce. The program provides information on Irvine as a place to vacation and as a destination for meetings, events and other business initiatives. Irvine has been rated one of the top cities for start-up businesses and its strong, fast-growing economy helped place Orange County as one of the top ten fastest growing job markets. Irvine is also used as a location for film projects. The city government grants free or low-cost filming permits and offers location information to prospective productions.
Irvine has community parks and neighborhood parks. The community parks have public facilities located on each site. Neighborhood parks provide open space and some recreational amenities within the various villages of Irvine. Northwood Community Park in particular has recently made a unique addition: The Northwood Gratitude and Honor Memorial is the first memorial in the US ever built before the wars were over. It lists the U.S. military dead from Iraq and Afghanistan, and when dedicated November 14, 2010 listed over 5,700 names (of the 8,000 available spaces). Also unique in the history of war monuments, it will be updated yearly.