Access to parks, trails and open space makes Irvine one of America’s healthiest cities, new studies say.

New studies rank Irvine among the top 10 healthiest cities due to its green design

by TOM BERG

Nearly 300 parks. More than 300 miles of bike trails. Tens of thousands of acres of open space a short drive from your home.

These are the gifts of the green, sustainable design, which year after year delivers kudos for Irvine as one of America’s healthiest places to live.

Once again, this year, Irvine ranks among the top 10 healthiest U.S. cities, according to separate studies by the Anthem Foundation, WalletHub and Niche.

All three found that convenient access to Irvine’s parks, open space and bike trails help make its residents fitter and happier. That outcome is a central goal of the city’s Master Plan, designed to create a place where “nature and people prosper.”

But it’s not just nature that is making Irvine so healthy. Residents also benefit from the city’s two award-winning hospitals, Hoag and Kaiser Permanente, as well as 18 MemorialCare locations and one of America’s top research universities, UCI Health. In addition, the City of Hope’s $1 billion cancer-treatment center is expected to be completed in 2022.

“That’s the beauty of Irvine,” says Lucy Dunn of the Orange County Business Council. “It attracts the best and the brightest. Whoever your health care provider is, they are already here.”


HOW GREEN DESIGN PROMOTES HEALTH

Nature preserves - Residents enjoy access to 57,500 acres of natural open space that have been compared to having “a national park in our backyard.”
Active parks - “Parks are key to healthy cities,” says Adrian Benepe, senior VP of the Trust for Public Land, which ranks Irvine’s more than 270 parks the best in SoCal.
Bike trails - Irvine’s 364 miles of bikeways, considered the best in Orange County, connect neighborhoods with parks, shopping centers and business hubs.
Tree City USA - Irvine’s 550,000 trees lower temperatures by up to 15 degrees and add 71 tons of oxygen each year into the air we breathe.