Found in the southern part of Orange County, located about 40 miles south of Los Angeles, the city of Irvine, California, is a city of more than 212,00 residents, as of 2009 population estimates. It was incorporated in 1971, and encompasses an area of nearly 70 square miles. The city was inhabited by Mexican citizens after the country declared its independence from Spain in the mid-1800s. Parts of it were then sold to a man named James Irvine, for whom the town gets its name. Two military bases were built around the area during World War II, accounting for much of its growth and development.
Irvine’s City Council is made up of the mayor and four city council members. The top employers within the city are the University of California, Irvine, with more than 7,500; Irvine Unified School District, with nearly 4,000; St. John Knits clothing company and Irvine Company real estate, both with more than 2,500; and Parker Hannifin aircraft and Allergan pharmaceuticals, both with nearly 2,000 employees each. There are over two dozen companies headquartered here, included those such as Linksys, Taco Bell and Mossimo Corp.
The city is probably best known as the home to the University of California, Irvine, a research university with more than 20,000 students. In addition, however, the city is home also to Concordia University, Irvine Valley College, the Orange County Center of the University of Southern California, and the Irvine campuses of Alliant International University, California State University Fullerton and Pepperdine University. Most children attend public schools in the Irvine Unified School District, with four high schools, though parts of the north and west of the city fall in the Tustin Unified School District.
Three public libraries cater to city residents: Heritage Park Regional Library, University Park Library, and Katie Wheeler Library. The Irvine Global Village Festival is held each year to celebrate the diversity of the community. There are 20 community parks and a number of smaller village parks for residents to enjoy as well as nearly 50 miles of off-road cycling trails and almost 300 miles of on-road lanes. Transportation in Irvine is provided by the Orange County Transportation Authority, which operates several local bus routes. A commuter rail service has stops at the Irvine and Tustin stations of the Metrolink Orange County Line and the IEOC Line. The city also recently began offering its own bus service, named iShuttle, which provides three routes connecting the Tustin Metrolink station to the Irvine Business Complex area and John Wayne Airport.