ASK IRVINE RESIDENTS where they live and you will likely hear “Turtle Rock” or “Oak Creek” or maybe “Portola Springs”.
This is evidence of the vision of the Master Plan to create a City of Villages.
Each of Irvine’s 24 villages – from the first University Park to the newest Orchard Hills – has its own identity, and each is valued for one simple reason: They make life easier.
“It’s so incredible,” says Alan Hess, a resident of University Park and author of 20 books on architecture and planning. “Everything is close. I can go to the market, library, school, parks and shops. It’s just good design that connects with my community. “
Hess conducts walks with residents, planners and historians from around the world to demonstrate the benefits of Irvine’s village design.
Village lifestyle “unparalleled”
A recent scientific public opinion poll found that almost 90% of residents rate their quality of life as “excellent” or “good,” compared with just 1% who are dissatisfied. National research firm FM3 Research, which conducted the survey, said the positive numbers were “unprecedented in their decades-long surveys of cities across America”.
The village design has also resulted in consistently strong real estate values. According to market research firm Metrostudy, Irvine homes appreciate faster in good times and lose value more slowly in difficult times. As of 2010, Irvine new home scores have been nearly 40% higher than the Orange County’s average new home.
“We chose Irvine and Orchard Hills because of the beautiful trees and rolling hills,” says new Irvine resident Minghua Liu. “We see our new home as a wonderful long-term investment.”
Villages defined by the country
Irvine villages are characterized by natural and artificial features in order to convey individuality, uniqueness and a sense of place. For this reason, Eastwood is defined by towering swaths of eucalyptus, some of which were planted 120 years ago, and why Orchard Hills overlooks thousands of lush green avocado trees. In Woodbridge, two famous lakes are the stars.