Irvine Spectrum District is one of the world’s most successful mixed-use districts. See its live-work-play environment in this month’s photo montage.

Welcome to the heart of Irvine – and the envy of cities throughout the Golden State. It’s where one-third of all Fortune 500 firms have offices, while a thriving, open-air dining, shopping and entertainment center attracts 17 million visitors annually – about the same as Disneyland. Spectrum’s apartment communities and new homes allow residents to live, work and play in what architect and longtime resident Alan Hess calls “Irvine’s 21st-century update of the traditional downtown.”

“The Spectrum is one of the most successful examples of a mixed-use district that I’ve seen anywhere in the world,” says Nate Cherry, director of urban planning at the global architecture and design firm Gensler. Cherry credits Irvine Company’s Master Plan for that success.

Want to know what a day in the life at Irvine Spectrum District is like? Take a look at these photos by John Gilhooley.