San Diego is the eighth-largest city in the United States of America and second-largest city in California. The city is located on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in Southern California, immediately adjacent to the Mexican border. The birthplace of California, San Diego is known for its mild year-round climate, natural deep-water harbor(Dell N3010 battery), extensive beaches, long association with the U.S. Navy, and recent emergence as a healthcare and biotechnology enclave. The population was 1,301,617 at the 2010 census.
Historically home to the Kumeyaay people, San Diego was the first site visited by Europeans on what is now the West Coast of the United States. Upon landing in San Diego Bay in 1542, Juan Cabrillo claimed the entire area for Spain(Dell Inspiron N4010 battery), forming the basis for the settlement of Alta California 200 years later. The Presidio and Mission of San Diego, founded in 1769, were the first European settlement in what is now California. In 1821, San Diego became part of newly independent Mexico, and in 1850, became part of the United States following the Mexican-American War and the admission of California to the union(Dell INSPIRON 1100 battery).
The city is the county seat of San Diego County and is the economic center of the San Diego–Carlsbad–San Marcos metropolitan area as well as the San Diego–Tijuana metropolitan area. San Diego's main economic engines are military and defense-related activities, tourism, international trade, and manufacturing(Dell Inspiron 1200 battery). The presence of the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), with the affiliated UCSD Medical Center, has helped make the area a center of research in biotechnology.
Main article: History of San Diego
Kumeyaay people lived in San Diego before Europeans settled there.
Namesake of the city, Didacus of Alcalá: Saint Didacus in Ecstasy Before the Cross by Murillo (Musée des Augustins)
Mission San Diego de Alcalá
Namesake of Horton Plaza, Alonzo Horton developed "New Town" which became Downtown San Diego(Dell Inspiron 1420 battery).
Original inhabitants of the region are now known as the San Dieguito and La Jolla people. The area of San Diego has been inhabited for more than 10,000 years by the Kumeyaay people. The first European to visit the region was Portuguese-born explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo sailing under the flag of Castile(Dell Inspiron 1464 battery). Sailing his flagship San Salvador from Navidad, New Spain, Cabrillo claimed the bay for the Spanish Empire in 1542 and named the site 'San Miguel'. In November 1602, Sebastián Vizcaíno was sent to map the California coast. Arriving on his flagship San Diego, Vizcaíno surveyed the harbor and what are now Mission Bay and Point Loma and named the area for the Catholic Saint Didacus(Dell Inspiron 1564 battery), a Spaniard more commonly known as San Diego de Alcalá. On November 12, 1602, the first Christian religious service of record in Alta California was conducted by Friar Antonio de la Ascensión, a member of Vizcaíno's expedition, to celebrate the feast day of San Diego.
In May 1769, Gaspar de Portolà established the Fort Presidio of San Diego on a hill near the San Diego River(Dell Inspiron 1764 battery). In July of the same year, Mission San Diego de Alcalá was founded by Franciscan friars under Father Junípero Serra. By 1797, the mission boasted the largest native population in Alta California, with over 1,400 neophytes living in and around the mission proper. Mission San Diego was the southern anchor in California of the historic mission trail El Camino Real. Both the Presidio and the Mission are National Historic Landmarks(Dell Inspiron 1520 battery).
In 1821, Mexico won its independence from Spain, and San Diego became part of the Mexican state of Alta California. The fort on Presidio Hill was gradually abandoned, while the town of San Diego grew up on the level land below Presidio Hill. The Mission was secularized by the Mexican government, and most of the Mission lands were distributed to wealthy Californio settlers(Dell Inspiron 1521 battery).
As a result of the Mexican-American War of 1846–1848, the territory of Alta California, including San Diego, was ceded to the United States by Mexico. The Battle of San Pasqual, a battle of the Mexican-American War, was fought in 1846 in the San Pasqual Valley which is now part of the city of San Diego. The state of California was admitted to the United States in 1850(Dell inspiron 1525 battery). That same year San Diego was designated the seat of the newly established San Diego County and was incorporated as a city. The initial city charter was established in 1889 and today's city charter was adopted in 1931.
The original town of San Diego was located at the foot of Presidio Hill, in the area which is now Old Town San Diego State Historic Park(Dell inspiron 1526 battery). The location was not ideal, being several miles away from navigable water. In the late 1860s, Alonzo Horton promoted a move to "New Town", several miles south of the original settlement, in the area which became Downtown San Diego. People and businesses flocked to New Town because of its location on San Diego Bay convenient to shipping. New Town quickly eclipsed the original settlement(Dell Inspiron 1720 battery), known to this day as Old Town, and became the economic and governmental heart of the city.
In the early part of the 20th century, San Diego hosted two World's Fairs: the Panama-California Exposition in 1915 and the California Pacific International Exposition in 1935. Both expositions were held in Balboa Park, and many of the Spanish/Baroque-style buildings that were built for those expositions remain to this day as central features of the park(Dell Inspiron 2000 battery). The buildings were intended to be temporary structures, but most remained in continuous use until they progressively fell into disrepair. Most were eventually rebuilt, using castings of the original facades to retain the architectural style. The menagerie of exotic animals featured at the 1915 exposition provided the basis for the San Diego Zoo(Dell INSPIRON 2600 battery).
Balboa Park on the cover of a guidebook for the World Exposition of 1915
Significant U.S. Navy presence began in 1901 with the establishment of the Navy Coaling Station in Point Loma, and expanded greatly during the 1920s. By 1930 the city was host to Naval Base San Diego, Naval Training Center San Diego, San Diego Naval Hospital, Camp Matthews(Dell INSPIRON 3800 battery), and Camp Kearny (now Marine Corps Air Station Miramar). The city was also an early center for aviation: as early as World War I San Diego was proclaiming itself "The Air Capital of the West." The city was home to important airplane developers and manufacturers like Ryan Airlines (later Ryan Aeronautical), founded in 1925, and Consolidated Aircraft (later Convair) (Dell INSPIRON 4000 battery), founded in 1923. Charles A. Lindbergh's plane The Spirit of St. Louis was built in San Diego in 1927 by Ryan Airlines.
During World War II, San Diego became a major hub of military and defense activity, due to the presence of so many military installations and defense manufacturers. The city's population grew rapidly during and after World War II, more than doubling between 1930 (147,995) (Dell Inspiron 5000 battery) and 1950 (333,865). After World War II, the military continued to play a major role in the local economy, but post-Cold War cutbacks took a heavy toll on the local defense and aerospace industries. The resulting downturn led San Diego leaders to seek to diversify the city's economy by focusing on research and science, as well as tourism. (Dell INSPIRON 500M battery)
From the start of the 20th century through the 1970s, the American tuna fishing fleet and tuna canning industry were based in San Diego, "the tuna capital of the world". San Diego's first tuna cannery was founded in 1911, and by the mid 1930s the canneries employed more than 1,000 people. Due to rising costs and foreign competition(Dell INSPIRON 5100 battery), the last of the canneries closed in the early 1980s. A large fishing fleet supported the canneries, mostly staffed by immigrant fishermen from the Portuguese Azores and Italy, whose influence is still felt in neighborhoods like Little Italy and Point Loma.
Downtown San Diego was in decline in the 1960s and 1970s but experienced some urban renewal since the early 1980s, including the opening of Horton Plaza(Dell INSPIRON 510M battery), the revival of the Gaslamp Quarter, and the construction of the San Diego Convention Center; Petco Park opened in 2004.
See also: Beaches in San Diego and Parks in San Diego
San Diego lies next to the Pacific Ocean
According to SDSU professor emeritus Monte Marshall, San Diego Bay is "the surface expression of a north-south-trending, nested graben". The Rose Canyon and Point Loma fault zones are part of the San Andreas Fault system. About 15 miles east of the bay are the Laguna Mountains in the Peninsular Ranges, which are part of the backbone of the American continents. (Dell INSPIRON 6000 battery)
The city lies on approximately 200 deep canyons and hills separating its mesas, creating small pockets of natural open space scattered throughout the city and giving it a hilly geography. Traditionally, San Diegans have built their homes and businesses on the mesas, while leaving the urban canyons relatively wild. (Dell INSPIRON 600M battery) Thus, the canyons give parts of the city a segmented feel, creating gaps between otherwise proximate neighborhoods and contributing to a low-density, car-centered environment. The San Diego River runs through the middle of San Diego from east to west, creating a river valley which serves to divide the city into northern and southern segments(Dell Inspiron 6400 battery). The river used to flow into San Diego Bay and its fresh water was the focus of the earliest Spanish explorers. Several reservoirs and Mission Trails Regional Park also lie between and separate developed areas of the city.
Notable peaks within the city limits include Cowles Mountain, the highest point in the city at 1,593 feet (486 m); Black Mountain at 1,558 feet (475 m) (Dell INSPIRON 7000 battery); and Mount Soledad at 824 feet (251 m). The Cuyamaca Mountains and Laguna Mountains rise to the east of the city, and beyond the mountains are desert areas. The Cleveland National Forest is a half-hour drive from downtown San Diego. Numerous farms are found in the valleys northeast and southeast of the city(Dell INSPIRON 700M battery).
Communities and neighborhoods
Normal Heights, a neighborhood
Main article: List of communities and neighborhoods of San Diego
The city of San Diego recognizes 52 individual areas as Community Planning Areas. Within a given planning area there may be several distinct neighborhoods. Altogether the city contains more than 100 identified neighborhoods.
Downtown San Diego is located on San Diego Bay. Balboa Park encompasses several mesas and canyons to the northeast, surrounded by older, dense urban communities including Hillcrest and North Park(Dell Inspiron 710m battery). To the east and southeast lie City Heights, the College Area, and Southeast San Diego. To the north lies Mission Valley and Interstate 8. The communities north of the valley and freeway, and south of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, include Clairemont, Kearny Mesa, Tierrasanta, and Navajo. Stretching north from Miramar are the northern suburbs of Mira Mesa, Scripps Ranch(Dell INSPIRON 8200 battery), Rancho Peñasquitos, and Rancho Bernardo. The far northeast portion of the city encompasses Lake Hodges and the San Pasqual Valley, which holds an agricultural preserve. Carmel Valley and Del Mar Heights occupy the northwest corner of the city. To their south are Torrey Pines State Reserve and the business center of the Golden Triangle(Dell INSPIRON 8600 battery). Further south are the beach and coastal communities of La Jolla, Pacific Beach, and Ocean Beach. Point Loma occupies the peninsula across San Diego Bay from downtown. The communities of South San Diego, such as San Ysidro and Otay Mesa, are located next to the Mexico – United States border, and are physically separated from the rest of the city by the cities of National City and Chula Vista(Dell INSPIRON 9100 battery). A narrow strip of land at the bottom of San Diego Bay connects these southern neighborhoods with the rest of the city.
For the most part, San Diego neighborhood boundaries tend to be understood by its residents based on geographical boundaries like canyons and street patterns. The city recognized the importance of its neighborhoods when it organized its 2008 General Plan around the concept of a "City of Villages"(Dell INSPIRON 9200 battery).
Main article: List of tallest buildings in San Diego
San Diego was originally centered in the Old Town district, but by the late 1860s the center of focus had relocated to the bayfront in the belief that this new location would increase trade. As the "New Town" – present-day Downtown – waterfront location quickly developed, it eclipsed Old Town as the center of San Diego(Dell INSPIRON 9300 battery).
The development of skyscrapers over 300 feet (91 m) in San Diego is attributed to the construction of the El Cortez Apartment Hotel in 1927, the tallest building in the city from 1927 to 1963. As time went on multiple buildings claimed the title of San Diego's tallest skyscraper, including the Union Bank of California Building and Symphony Towers(Dell Inspiron 9400 battery). Currently the tallest building in San Diego is One America Plaza, standing 500 feet (150 m) tall, which was completed in 1991. The downtown skyline contains no super-talls, as a regulation put in place by the Federal Aviation Administration in the 1970s set a 500 feet (152 m) limit on the height of buildings due to the proximity of San Diego International Airport. An iconic description of the skyline includes its skyscrapers being compared to the tools of a toolbox(Dell Inspiron E1505 battery).
San Diego is one of the top-ten best climates in the Farmer’s Almanac and is one of the two best summer climates in America as scored by The Weather Channel. Under the Köppen climate classification system, the San Diego area straddles areas of Mediterranean climate (Csa) to the north and semi-arid climate (BSh) to the south and east. (Dell Inspiron E1705 battery) As a result, it is often described as “arid Mediterranean” and “Semi-arid Steppe”. San Diego’s climate is characterized by warm, dry summers and mild winters with most of the annual precipitation falling between December and March. The city has mild, mostly dry weather, with an average of 201 days above 70 °F (21 °C) and low rainfall (9–13 inches [23–33 cm] annually) (Dell Inspiron Mini 9 battery).
The climate in San Diego, like most of Southern California, often varies significantly over short geographical distances resulting in microclimates. In San Diego, this is mostly because of the city’s topography (the Bay, and the numerous hills, mountains, and canyons). Frequently, particularly during the “May gray/June gloom” period(Dell Latitude D400 battery), a thick “marine layer” cloud cover will keep the air cool and damp within a few miles of the coast, but will yield to bright cloudless sunshine approximately 5–10 miles (8.0–16 km) inland. Sometimes the June gloom can last into July, causing cloudy skies over most of San Diego for the entire day. Even in the absence of June gloom, inland areas tend to experience much more significant temperature variations than coastal areas(Dell STUDIO 1450 battery), where the ocean serves as a moderating influence. Thus, for example, downtown San Diego averages January lows of 50 °F (10 °C) and August highs of 78 °F (26 °C). The city of El Cajon, just 10 miles (16 km) inland from downtown San Diego, averages January lows of 42 °F (6 °C) and August highs of 88 °F (31 °C).
A sign of global warming, scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography say the average surface temperature of the water at Scripps Pier in the California Current has increased by almost 3 degrees since 1950(Dell Vostro 1400 battery).
Surfers in Pacific Beach
Rainfall along the coast averages about 10 inches (250 mm) of precipitation annually. The average (mean) rainfall is 10.65 inches (271 mm) and the median is 9.6 inches (240 mm). Most of the rainfall occurs during the cooler months. The months of December through March supply most of the rain, with February the only month averaging 2 inches (51 mm) or more of rain(Dell Vostro 1500 battery). The months of May through September tend to be almost completely dry. Though there are few wet days per month during the rainy period, rainfall can be heavy when it does fall. Rainfall is usually greater in the higher elevations of San Diego; some of the higher elevation areas of San Diego can receive 11–15 inches (280–380 mm) of rain a year. Variability of rainfall can be extreme(Dell XPS M1210 battery): in the wettest years of 1883/1884 and 1940/1941 more than 24 inches (610 mm) fell in the city, whilst in the driest years as little as 3.2 inches (80 mm) has fallen for a full year. The wettest month on record has been December 1921 with 9.21 inches (234 mm).
Snow in the city is so rare that it has been observed only five times in the century-and-a-half that records have been kept(Dell XPS M1330 battery). In 1949 and 1967, snow stayed on the ground for a few hours in higher locations like Point Loma and La Jolla. The other three occasions, in 1882, 1946, and 1987, involved flurries but no accumulation.
Official temperature record-keeping began in San Diego in 1872, although other weather records go back further. The city's first official weather station was at Mission San Diego from 1849 to 1858(Dell XPS 1340 battery). From August 1858 until 1940, the official weather station was at a series of downtown buildings, and the station has been at Lindbergh Field since February 1940.
Coastal canyon in Torrey Pines State Reserve
Like most of southern California, the majority of San Diego's current area was originally occupied by chaparral, a plant community made up mostly of drought-resistant shrubs. The endangered Torrey Pine has the bulk of its population in San Diego in a stretch of protected chaparral along the coast(Dell XPS M1530 battery). The steep and varied topography and proximity to the ocean create a number of different habitats within the city limits, including tidal marsh and canyons. The chaparral and coastal sage scrub habitats in low elevations along the coast are prone to wildfire, and the rates of fire have increased in the 20th century, due primarily to fires starting near the borders of urban and wild areas(Dell XPS M170 battery).
San Diego's broad city limits encompass a number of large nature preserves, including Torrey Pines State Reserve, Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve, and Mission Trails Regional Park. Torrey Pines State Reserve and a coastal strip continuing to the north constitute the only location where the rare species of Torrey Pine, P. torreyana torreyana, is found(Dell XPS M1710 battery).
San Diego viewed against the Witch Creek Fire smoke
Due to the steep topography that prevents or discourages building, along with some efforts for preservation, there are also a large number of canyons within the city limits that serve as nature preserves, including Switzer Canyon, Tecolote Canyon Natural Park, and Marian Bear Memorial Park in the San Clemente Canyon, as well as a number of small parks and preserves(Dell XPS M1730 battery).
San Diego County has one of the highest counts of animal and plant species that appear on the endangered species list among counties in the United States. Because of its diversity of habitat and its position on the Pacific Flyway, San Diego County has recorded the presence of 492 bird species, more than any other region in the country. (Dell XPS M2010 battery) San Diego always scores very high in the number of bird species observed in the annual Christmas Bird Count, sponsored by the Audubon Society, and it is known as one of the "birdiest" areas in the United States.
San Diego and its backcountry are subject to periodic wildfires. In October 2003, San Diego was the site of the Cedar Fire, which has been called the largest wildfire in California over the past century. The fire burned 280,000 acres (1,100 km2), killed 15 people(Dell Latitude E5400 battery), and destroyed more than 2,200 homes. In addition to damage caused by the fire, smoke resulted in a significant increase in emergency room visits due to asthma, respiratory problems, eye irritation, and smoke inhalation; the poor air quality caused San Diego County schools to close for a week. Wildfires four years later destroyed some areas, particularly within the communities of Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Santa Fe, and Ramona(Dell Latitude E5500 battery).
The city had a population of 1,307,402 in 2010, according to the census that year, on a land area of 372.1 square miles (963.7 km2). The urban area of San Diego extends beyond the administrative city limits and had a total 2010 population of 2,880,000, making it the third-largest urban area in the state, after Los Angeles metropolitan area and San Francisco metropolitan area(Dell Latitude E6400 battery).
As of the Census of 2010, there were 1,307,402 people living in the city of San Diego. That represents a population increase of just under 7% from the 1,223,400 people, 450,691 households, and 271,315 families reported in 2000. The estimated city population in 2009 was 1,306,300. The population density was 3,771.9 people per square mile (1,456.4/km2) (Dell Latitude E6500 battery). The racial makeup of San Diego was 58.9% White, 6.7% African American, 0.6% Native American, 15.9% Asian (5.9% Filipino, 2.7% Chinese, 2.5% Vietnamese, 1.3% Indian, 1.0% Korean, 0.7% Japanese, 0.4% Laotian, 0.3% Cambodian, 0.1% Thai). 0.5% Pacific Islander, 12.3% from other races, and 5.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 28.8%. Among the Hispanic population(Dell Inspiron Mini 12 battery), 24.9% are Mexican, and 0.6% are Puerto Rican.
A U.S. Navy vice admiral and an intelligence specialist celebrating Hispanic American Heritage Month in San Diego
As of January 1, 2008 estimates by the San Diego Association of Governments revealed that the household median income for San Diego rose to $66,715, up from $45,733, and that the city population rose to 1,336,865, up 9.3% from 2000. (Dell XPS M140 battery) The population was 45.3% non-Hispanic whites, down from 78.9% in 1970, 27.7% Hispanics, 15.6% Asians/Pacific Islanders, 7.1% blacks, 0.4% American Indians, and 3.9% from other races. Median age of Hispanics was 27.5 years, compared to 35.1 years overall and 41.6 years among non-Hispanic whites; Hispanics were the largest group in all ages under 18, and non-Hispanic whites constituted 63.1% of population 55 and older(Dell XPS 13 battery).
In 2000 there were 451,126 households out of which 30.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.6% were married couples living together, 11.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.8% were non-families. Households made up of individuals account for 28.0% and 7.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.30(Dell XPS 16 battery).
The U.S. Census Bureau reported that in 2000, 24.0% of San Diego residents were under 18, and 10.5% were 65 and over. The median age was 32; two-thirds of the population was under 35. The San Diego County regional planning agency, SANDAG, provides tables and graphs breaking down the city population into 5-year age groups(Dell XPS 1640 battery). In 2000, the median income for a household in the city was $45,733, and the median income for a family was $53,060. Males had a median income of $36,984 versus $31,076 for females. The per capita income for the city was $23,609. According to Forbes in 2005, San Diego was the fifth wealthiest U.S. city but about 10.6% of families and 14.6% of the population were below the poverty line(Dell XPS 1645 battery), including 20.0% of those under age 18 and 7.6% of those age 65 or over. Nonetheless, San Diego was rated the fifth-best place to live in the United States in 2006 by Money magazine.
According to Forbes magazine, San Diego was the ninth-safest city in the top 10 list of safest cities in the U.S. in 2010. Like most major cities, San Diego had a declining crime rate from 1990 to 2000(Dell XPS 1647 battery). Crime in San Diego increased in the early 2000s. In 2004, San Diego had the sixth lowest crime rate of any U.S. city with over half a million residents. From 2002 to 2006, the crime rate overall dropped 0.8%, though not evenly by category. While violent crime decreased 12.4% during this period, property crime increased 1.1%. Total property crimes per 100,000 people were lower than the national average in 2008(Dell Latitude 131L battery).
See also: List of companies headquartered in San Diego
The largest sectors of San Diego's economy are defense/military, tourism, international trade, and research/manufacturing, respectively.
Defense and military
Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR)
The economy of San Diego is influenced by its deepwater port, which includes the only major submarine and shipbuilding yards on the West Coast. Several major national defense contractors were started and are headquartered in San Diego, including General Atomics, Cubic, and NASSCO(Dell Latitude C400 battery).San Diego hosts the largest naval fleet in the world: it was in 2008 was home to 53 ships, over 120 tenant commands, and more than 35,000 sailors, soldiers, Department of Defense civilian employees and contractors. About 5 percent of all civilian jobs in the county are military-related, and 15,000 businesses in San Diego County rely on Department of Defense contracts(Dell Latitude C500 battery).
F/A-18 Hornet flying over San Diego and the USS John C. Stennis
Military bases in San Diego include US Navy facilities, Marine Corps bases, and Coast Guard stations. Marine Corps institutions in the city of San Diego include Marine Corps Air Station Miramar and Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. The Navy has several institutions in the city, including Naval Base Point Loma, Naval Base San Diego(Dell Latitude C510 battery) (also known as the 32nd Street Naval Station), Naval Medical Center San Diego (also known as Bob Wilson Naval Hospital), the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center San Diego, and Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command ("SPAWAR"). Also near San Diego but not within the city limits are Naval Amphibious Base Coronado and Naval Air Station North Island (Dell Latitude C540 battery) (which operates Naval Auxiliary Landing Facility San Clemente Island, Silver Strand Training Complex, and the Outlying Field Imperial Beach). San Diego is known as the "birthplace of naval aviation".
The city is "home to the majority of the U.S. Pacific Fleet's surface combatants, all of the Navy's West Coast amphibious ships and a variety of Coast Guard and Military Sealift Command vessels". Two Nimitz class supercarriers(Dell Latitude C600 battery), (the USS Carl Vinson, and USS Ronald Reagan), five amphibious assault ships, several Los Angeles-class "fast attack" submarines, the Hospital Ship USNS Mercy, carrier and submarine tenders, destroyers, cruisers, frigates, and many smaller ships are home-ported there. Four Navy vessels have been named USS San Diego. (Dell Latitude C610 battery)
Tourism is a major industry owing to the city's climate, its beaches, and numerous tourist attractions such as Balboa Park, Belmont amusement park, San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and SeaWorld San Diego. San Diego's Spanish and Mexican heritage is reflected in the many historic sites across the city(Dell Latitude C640 battery), such as Mission San Diego de Alcala and Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. Annual events in San Diego include Comic-Con, the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament, San Diego Pride, the San Diego Black Film Festival, and Street Scene Music Festival. Also, the local craft brewing industry attracts an increasing number of visitors for "beer tours" and the annual San Diego Beer Week in November; San Diego has been called "America's Craft Beer Capital." (Dell Latitude C800 battery)
San Diego County hosted more than 30 million visitors in 2009, of whom approximately half stayed overnight and half were day visitors; collectively they spent an estimated $15 billion locally. The San Diego Convention Center hosted 68 out-of-town conventions and trade shows in 2009, attracting more than 600,000 visitors. Transient Occupancy Taxes (TOT) have created funding for the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture. (Dell Latitude C810 battery)
San Diego's cruise ship industry used to be the second largest in California. Each cruise ship call injects an estimated $2 million (from the purchase of food, fuel, supplies, and maintenance services, not counting the money spent by the tourists) into the local economy. Numerous cruise lines, including Carnival, Holland America, Celebrity(Dell Latitude C840 battery), Crystal and Princess, operate out of San Diego. However, cruise ship business has been in steady decline since peaking in 2008, when the Port hosted over 250 ship calls and more than 900,000 passengers. By 2011 the number of ship calls had fallen to 103 (estimated). Holland America and Carnival Cruises operated weekly cruises to the Mexican Riviera for many years, but both ended their regular scheduled service in spring 2012(Dell Latitude D410 battery), which was an economic loss to the region of more than $100 million. The decline is blamed on the slumping economy as well as fear of travel to Mexico due to well-publicized violence there.
There are local cruises in San Diego Bay and Mission Bay, available through companies such as Hornblower and H&M(Dell Latitude D420 battery). These include sightseeing and "sunset" cruises as well as private-event or "party" cruises. Also available are whale watching cruises to observe the migration of tens of thousands of gray whales that pass by San Diego, peaking in mid-January, and year-round sport fishing expeditions.
Downtown of San Diego
San Diego's commercial port and its location on the United States-Mexico border make international trade an important factor in the city's economy(Dell Latitude D430 battery). The city is authorized by the United States government to operate as a Foreign Trade Zone.
The city shares a 15-mile (24 km) border with Mexico that includes two border crossings. San Diego hosts the busiest international border crossing in the world, in the San Ysidro neighborhood at the San Ysidro Port of Entry. A second, primarily commercial border crossing operates in the Otay Mesa area; it is the largest commercial crossing (Dell Latitude D500 battery)on the California-Baja California border and handles the third highest volume of trucks and dollar value of trade among all United States-Mexico land crossings.
One of the Port of San Diego's two cargo facilities is located in Downtown San Diego at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal. This terminal has facilities for containers, bulk cargo, and refrigerated and frozen storage(Dell Latitude D505 battery), so that it can handle the import and export of perishables (including 33 million bananas every month) as well as fertilizer, cement, forest products, and other commodities. In 2009 the Port of San Diego handled 1,137,054 short tons of total trade; foreign trade accounted for 956,637 short tons while domestic trade amounted to 180,417 short tons. (Dell Latitude D510 battery)
Manufacturing and research
Qualcomm corporate headquarters
In 2010, former Governor Schwarzenegger’s Office of Economic Development designated San Diego as an iHub Innovation Center for collaboration potentially between wireless and life sciences, citing the area's wireless business, pharmaceutical research and start-ups for medical devices and diagnostics. (Dell Latitude D520 battery)
San Diego hosts several major producers of wireless cellular technology. Qualcomm was founded and is headquartered in San Diego, and still is the largest private-sector technology employer (excluding hospitals) in San Diego County. Other wireless industry manufacturers headquartered here include Nokia, LG Electronics, Kyocera International., Cricket Communications and Novatel Wireless. (Dell Latitude D600 battery) According to the San Diego Business Journal, the largest software company in San Diego is security software company Websense Inc. San Diego also has the U.S. headquarters for the Slovakian security company ESET.
The presence of the University of California, San Diego and other research institutions has helped to fuel biotechnology growth. (Dell Latitude D610 battery) In June 2004, San Diego was ranked the top biotech cluster in the United States by the Milken Institute. There are more than 400 biotechnology companies in the area. In particular, the La Jolla and nearby Sorrento Valley areas are home to offices and research facilities for numerous biotechnology companies. Major biotechnology companies like Neurocrine Biosciences and Nventa Biopharmaceuticals are headquartered in San Diego(Dell Latitude D620 battery), while many biotech and pharmaceutical companies, such as BD Biosciences, Biogen Idec, Integrated DNA Technologies, Merck, Pfizer, Élan, Celgene, and Vertex, have offices or research facilities in San Diego. There are also several non-profit biotech and health care institutes, such as the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, the Scripps Research Institute(Dell Latitude D630 battery), the West Wireless Health Institute and the Sanford-Burnham Institute. San Diego is also home to more than 140 contract research organizations (CROs) that provide a variety of contract services for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.
Historically tuna fishing and canning was one of San Diego's major industries, and although the American tuna fishing fleet is no longer based in San Diego, seafood companies Bumble Bee Foods and Chicken of the Sea are still headquartered there(Dell Latitude D800 battery).
Skyline view of the Village of La Jolla in San Diego
Prior to 2006, San Diego experienced a dramatic growth of real estate prices, to the extent that the situation was sometimes described as a "housing affordability crisis". Median single family home prices more than tripled between 1998 and 2007. According to the California Association of Realtors, in May 2007 a median house in San Diego cost $612,370. (Dell Latitude D810 battery) Growth of real estate prices was not accompanied by comparable growth of household incomes: the Housing Affordability Index (percentage of households that can afford to buy a median-priced house) fell below 20 percent in the early 2000s. The San Diego metropolitan area had one of the worst median multiples (ratio of median house price to median household income) of all metropolitan areas in the United States(Dell Latitude D820 battery), a situation sometimes referred to as a Sunshine tax. As a consequence, San Diego experienced negative net migration since 2004. A significant number of people moved to adjacent Riverside County, commuting daily from Temecula and Murrieta to jobs in San Diego. Many of San Diego's home buyers tend to buy homes within the more affordable neighborhoods, while others are leaving the state altogether and moving to more affordable regions of the country. (Dell Latitude D830 battery)
San Diego home prices peaked in 2005, then declined as part of a nationwide trend. As of December 2010, home prices were 60 percent higher than in 2000, but down 36 percent from the peak in 2005. The median home price declined by more than $200,000 between 2005 and 2010, and sales dropped by 50 percent. (Dell Latitude 2100 battery)
According to the City's 2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:
Main article: Primary and secondary schools in San Diego
Public schools in San Diego are operated by independent school districts. The majority of the public schools in the city are served by the San Diego Unified School District, also the second largest school district in California, which includes 11 K-8 schools, 107 elementary schools, 24 middle schools, 13 atypical and alternative schools, 28 high schools(Dell Latitude 2110 battery), and 45 charter schools. Several adjacent school districts which are headquartered outside the city limits serve some schools within the city; these include the Poway Unified School District, Del Mar Union School District, San Dieguito Union High School District and Sweetwater Union High School District. In addition, there are a number of private schools in the city(Dell Latitude E4300 battery).
Colleges and universities
San Diego State University's Hepner Hall
According to education rankings released by the U.S. Census Bureau, 40.4 percent of San Diegans ages 25 and older hold bachelor's degrees. The census ranks the city as the ninth most educated city in the United States based on these figures.
Public colleges and universities in the city include San Diego State University (SDSU), University of California, San Diego (UCSD), and the San Diego Community College District(Dell Vostro 1310 battery), which includes San Diego City College, San Diego Mesa College, and San Diego Miramar College. Private colleges and universities in the city include University of San Diego (USD), Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU), Alliant International University (AIU), National University, California International Business University (CIBU), San Diego Christian College, John Paul the Great Catholic University(Dell Vostro 1320 battery), California College San Diego, Coleman University, University of Redlands School of Business, Design Institute of San Diego (DISD), Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising's San Diego campus, NewSchool of Architecture and Design, Pacific Oaks College San Diego Campus, Chapman University's San Diego Campus, The Art Institute of California-San Diego, Southern States University (SSU), UEI College, and Woodbury University School of Architecture's satellite campus(Dell Vostro 1510 battery).
There is one medical school in the city, the UCSD School of Medicine. There are three ABA accredited law schools in the city, which include California Western School of Law, Thomas Jefferson School of Law, and University of San Diego School of Law. There is also one unaccredited law school, Western Sierra Law School(Dell Vostro 1520 battery).
University of California, San Diego's Geisel Library, named for Theodor Seuss Geisel ("Dr. Seuss")
The city-run San Diego Public Library system is headquartered downtown and has 34 branches throughout the city. The libraries have had reduced operating hours since 2003 due to the city's financial problems. In 2006 the city increased spending on libraries by $2.1 million. (Dell Vostro 2510 battery) A new nine-story Central Library is under construction on Park Boulevard at J Street.
In addition to the municipal public library system, there are nearly two dozen libraries open to the public which are run by other governmental agencies and by schools, colleges, and universities. Noteworthy among them are the Malcolm A. Love Library at San Diego State University and the Geisel Library at the University of California, San Diego(Dell Vostro 1014 battery).
The Museum of Man
Main article: Culture of San Diego
See also: City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture
Many popular museums, such as the San Diego Museum of Art, the San Diego Natural History Museum, the San Diego Museum of Man, and the Museum of Photographic Arts are located in Balboa Park. The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) is located in La Jolla and has a branch located at the Santa Fe Depot downtown(Dell Inspiron 1410 battery). The Columbia district downtown is home to historic ship exhibits belonging to the San Diego Maritime Museum, headlined by the Star of India, as well as the unrelated San Diego Aircraft Carrier Museum featuring the USS Midway aircraft carrier.
The San Diego Symphony at Symphony Towers performs on a regular basis and is directed by Jahja Ling. The San Diego Opera at Civic Center Plaza(Dell Vostro 1015 battery), directed by Ian Campbell, was ranked by Opera America as one of the top 10 opera companies in the United States. Old Globe Theatre at Balboa Park produces about 15 plays and musicals annually. The La Jolla Playhouse at UCSD is directed by Christopher Ashley. Both the Old Globe Theatre and the La Jolla Playhouse have produced the world premieres of plays and musicals that have gone on to win Tony Awards or nominations on Broadway(Dell Inspiron 1088 battery). The Joan B. Kroc Theatre at Kroc Center's Performing Arts Center is a 600-seat state-of-the-art theatre that hosts music, dance, and theatre performances. The San Diego Repertory Theatre at the Lyceum Theatres in Horton Plaza produces a variety of plays and musicals. Other professional theatrical production companies include the Lyric Opera San Diego and the Starlight Musical Theatre(Dell Vostro A840 battery). Hundreds of movies and a dozen TV shows have been filmed in San Diego, a tradition going back as far as 1898.
Qualcomm Stadium (formerly named "Jack Murphy Stadium" after a sports writer) hosts a San Diego Chargers game with the St. Louis Rams.
Main article: Sports in San Diego
See also: San Diego sports curse
The National Football League's San Diego Chargers play in Qualcomm Stadium. Three NFL Super Bowl championships have been held there. Major League Baseball's San Diego Padres play in Petco Park. Parts of the World Baseball Classic were played there in 2006 and 2009(Dell Vostro A860 battery).
NCAA Division I San Diego State Aztecs men's and women's basketball games are played at Viejas Arena at Aztec Bowl on the campus of San Diego State University. College football and soccer, basketball and volleyball are played at the Torero Stadium and the Jenny Craig Pavilion at USD.
Petco Park(Dell Inspiron Mini 1012 battery)
The San Diego State Aztecs (MWC) and the University of San Diego Toreros (WCC) are NCAA Division I teams. The UCSD Tritons (CCAA) are members of NCAA Division II while the Point Loma Nazarene Sea Lions and San Diego Christian College (GSAC) are members of the NAIA.
Qualcomm stadium also houses the NCAA Division I San Diego State Aztecs(SONY PCG-5G2L battery), as well as local high school football championships, international soccer games, and supercross events. Two of college football's annual bowl games are also held there: the Holiday Bowl and the Poinsettia Bowl. Soccer, American football, and track and field are played in Balboa Stadium, the city's first stadium, constructed in 1914(SONY PCG-5G3L battery).
Rugby union is a developing sport in the city. The USA Sevens, a major rugby event, was held there from 2007 through 2009. San Diego is one of only 16 cities in the United States included in the Rugby Super League represented by Old Mission Beach Athletic Club RFC, the home club of USA Rugby's Captain Todd Clever who plays rugby professionally in Japan's Top League with Suntory Sungoliath. (SONY PCG-F305 battery) San Diego will participate in the Western American National Rugby League which starts in 2011.
The San Diego Surf of the American Basketball Association is located in the city. The annual Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament (formerly the Buick Invitational) on the PGA Tour occurs at the municipally owned Torrey Pines Golf Course. This course was also the site of the 2008 U.S. Open Golf Championship(SONY PCG-5J1L battery). The San Diego Yacht Club hosted the America's Cup yacht races three times during the period 1988 to 1995. The amateur beach sport Over-the-line was invented in San Diego, and the annual world Over-the-line championships are held at Mission Bay every year.
See also: List of media set in San Diego
The following are published within the city: the daily newspaper, U-T San Diego and its online portal, of the same name, and the alternative newsweeklies(SONY PCG-5J2L battery), the San Diego CityBeat and San Diego Reader. Another newspaper is the North County Times, which is distributed in San Diego's North County area. Voice of San Diego is a non-profit online-only news outlet covering government, politics, education, neighborhoods, and the arts. The San Diego Daily Transcript is a business-oriented daily newspaper(SONY PCG-5K2L battery).
NBC San Diego (left) is outside Horton Plaza on Broadway downtown.
San Diego led U.S. local markets with 69.6 percent broadband penetration in 2004 according to Nielsen//NetRatings.
San Diego's first television station was KFMB, which began broadcasting on May 16, 1949. Since the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) licensed seven television stations in Los Angeles(SONY PCG-5L1L battery), two VHF channels were available for San Diego because of its relative proximity to the larger city. In 1952, however, the FCC began licensing UHF channels, making it possible for cities such as San Diego to acquire more stations. Stations based in Mexico (with ITU prefixes of XE and XH) also serve the San Diego market. Television stations today include XHTJB 3 (Once TV), XETV 6 (CW) (SONY PCG-6S2L battery), KFMB 8 (CBS), KGTV 10 (ABC), XEWT 12 (Televisa Regional), KPBS 15 (PBS), KTCD-CA 17 (Univision), XHTIT 21 (Azteca 7), XHJK 27 (Azteca 13), KSDX-LP 29 (Spanish Independent), XHAS 33 (Telemundo), K35DG 35 (UCSD-TV), KBNT-LD 51 (Telefutura), KNSD 39 (NBC), KZSD-LP 41 (Azteca America), KSEX-CD 42 (Infomercials), XHBJ 45 (Canal 5), XHDTV 49 (MNTV), KUSI 51 (Independent), XHUAA 57 (Canal de las Estrellas), and KSWB-TV 69 (Fox). San Diego has an 80.6 percent cable penetration rate. (SONY PCG-6S3L battery)
Due to the ratio of U.S. and Mexican-licensed stations, San Diego is the largest media market in the United States that is legally unable to support a television station duopoly between two full-power stations under FCC regulations, which disallow duopolies in metropolitan areas with fewer than nine full-power television stations and require that there must be eight unique station owners that remain once a duopoly is formed(SONY PCG-6V1L battery) (there are only seven full-power stations on the California side of the San Diego-Tijuana market). Though the E. W. Scripps Company owns KGTV and KZSD-LP, they are not considered a duopoly under the FCC's legal definition as common ownership between full-power and low-power television stations in the same market is permitted regardless to the number of stations licensed to the area(SONY PCG-6W1L battery). As a whole, the Mexico side of the San Diego-Tijuana market has two duopolies and one triopoly (Entravision Communications owns both XHAS-TV and XHDTV-TV, TV Azteca owns XHJK-TV and XHTIT-TV, and Grupo Televisa owns XHUAA-TV and XHWT-TV along with being the license holder for XETV-TV, which is run by California-based subsidiary Bay City Television) (SONY PCG-7111L battery).
The radio stations in San Diego include nationwide broadcaster, Clear Channel Communications; CBS Radio, Midwest Television, Lincoln Financial Media, Finest City Broadcasting, and many other smaller stations and networks. Stations include: KOGO AM 600, KFMB AM 760, KCEO AM 1000, KCBQ AM 1170, K-Praise, KLSD AM 1360 Air America, KFSD 1450 AM, KPBS-FM 89.5(SONY PCG-71511M battery), Channel 933, Star 94.1, FM 94/9, FM News and Talk 95.7, Q96 96.1, KyXy 96.5, Free Radio San Diego (AKA Pirate Radio San Diego) 96.9FM FRSD, KSON 97.3/92.1, KIFM 98.1, Jack-FM 100.7, 101.5 KGB-FM, KPRI 102.1, Rock 105.3, and another Pirate Radio station at 106.9FM, as well as a number of local Spanish-language radio stations(SONY PCG-6W3L battery).
San Diego City Council chambers
The city is governed by a mayor and an 8-member city council. In 2006, the city's form of government changed from a "city manager system" to a "strong mayor system". The change was brought about by a citywide vote in 2004. The mayor is in effect the chief executive officer of the city, while the council is the legislative body. (SONY PCG-7113L battery)
The members of the city council are each elected from single member districts within the city. The mayor and city attorney are elected directly by the voters of the entire city. The mayor, city attorney, and council members are elected to four-year terms, with a two-term limit. Elections are held on a non-partisan basis per California state law; nevertheless, most officeholders do identify themselves as either Democrats or Republicans(SONY PCG-7133L battery).
Mayor Jerry Sanders
Although San Diego has a Re
San Diego is part of San Diego County which is governed by a 5-member Board of Supervisors. The City of San Diego includes all or part of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th supervisorial districts, represented by Republican County Supervisors Greg Cox, Dianne Jacob, Pam Slater-Price and Ron Roberts. (SONY PCG-7Z1L battery)
Areas of the city immediately adjacent to San Diego Bay ("tidelands") are administered by the Port of San Diego, a quasi-governmental agency which owns all the property in the tidelands and is responsible for its land use planning, policing, and similar functions. San Diego is a member of the regional planning agency San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) (SONY PCG-7Z2L battery). Public schools within the city are managed and funded by independent school districts (see above).
State and federal
In the state legislature San Diego is located in the 36th, 38th, 39th, and 40th Senate District, represented by Republicans Joel Anderson and Mark Wyland, and Democrats Christine Kehoe and Juan Vargas, and in the 74th, 75th, 76th, 77th, 78th, and 79th Assembly District, represented by Republicans Martin Garrick and Nathan Fletcher, Democrat Toni Atkins(SONY PCG-8Y1L battery), Republican Brian Jones and Democrats Marty Block and Ben Hueso, respectively.
Federally, San Diego is located in California's 49th, 50th, 51st, 52nd, and 53rd congressional districts, which have Cook PVIs of R +10, R +5, D +7, R +9, and D +12 respectively and are represented by Republicans Darrell Issa and Brian Bilbray, Democrat Bob Filner, Republican Duncan D. Hunter, and Democrat Susan Davis, respectively(SONY PCG-8Y2L battery).
In 1916, rainmaker Charles Hatfield was blamed for $4 million in damages and accused of causing San Diego's worst flood, during which about twenty Japanese American farmers died.
Then-mayor Roger Hedgecock was forced to resign his post in 1985, after he was found guilty of one count of conspiracy and twelve counts of perjury, related to the alleged failure to report all campaign contributions(SONY PCG-8Z2L battery). After a series of appeals, the twelve perjury counts were dismissed in 1990 based on claims of juror misconduct; the remaining conspiracy count was reduced to a misdemeanor and then dismissed.
A 2002 scheme to underfund pensions for city employees led to the San Diego pension scandal. This resulted in the resignation of newly re-elected Mayor Dick Murphy and the criminal indictment of six pension board members. (SONY PCG-8Z1L battery)Those charges were finally dismissed by a federal judge in 2010.
On November 28, 2005, U.S. Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham resigned after being convicted on federal bribery charges. He had represented California's 50th congressional district, which includes much of the northern portion of the city of San Diego. In 2006, Cunningham was sentenced to a 100-month prison sentence. (SONY PCG-7112L battery)
In 2005 two city council members, Ralph Inzunza and Deputy Mayor Michael Zucchet — who briefly took over as Acting Mayor when Murphy resigned — were convicted of extortion, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud for taking campaign contributions from a strip club owner and his associates, allegedly in exchange for trying to repeal the city's "no touch"(SONY PCG-6W2L battery) laws at strip clubs. Both subsequently resigned. In 2009, a judge acquitted Zucchet on seven out of the nine counts against him, and granted his petition for a new trial on the other two charges; the remaining charges were eventually dropped.
Water is supplied to residents by the Water Department of the City of San Diego. The city receives its water from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California(SONY PCG-5K1L battery).
Gas and electric utilities are provided by San Diego Gas & Electric, a division of Sempra Energy.
Main articles: Transportation in San Diego and Streets and highways of San Diego
I-5 looking south toward downtown San Diego
With the automobile being the primary means of transportation for over 80 percent of its residents, San Diego is served by a network of freeways and highways. This includes Interstate 5, which runs south to Tijuana and runs north to Los Angeles(SONY VGP-BPS9 battery); Interstate 8, which runs east to Imperial County and the Arizona Sun Corridor; Interstate 15, which runs northeast through the Inland Empire to Las Vegas; and Interstate 805, which splits from I-5 near the Mexican border and rejoins I-5 at Sorrento Valley.
Major state highways include SR 94, which connects downtown with I-805, I-15 and East County; SR 163, which connects downtown with the northeast part of the city(SONY VGP-BPS9/S battery), intersects I-805 and merges with I-15 at Miramar; SR 52, which connects La Jolla with East County through Santee and SR 125; SR 56, which connects I-5 with I-15 through Carmel Valley and Rancho Peñasquitos; SR 75, which spans San Diego Bay as the San Diego-Coronado Bridge, and also passes through South San Diego as Palm Avenue; and SR 905, which connects I-5 and I-805 to the Otay Mesa Port of Entry(SONY VGP-BPS9A battery).
The stretch of SR 163 that passes through Balboa Park is San Diego's oldest freeway, and has been called one of America's most beautiful parkways.
San Diego's roadway system provides an extensive network of routes for travel by bicycle. The dry and mild climate of San Diego makes cycling a convenient and pleasant year-round option. At the same time, the city's hilly(SONY VGP-BPS9A/B battery), canyon-like terrain and significantly long average trip distances—brought about by strict low-density zoning laws—somewhat restrict cycling for utilitarian purposes. Older and denser neighborhoods around the downtown tend to be utility cycling oriented. This is partly because of the grid street patterns now absent in newer developments farther from the urban core, where suburban style arterial roads are much more common(SONY VGP-BPS9/B battery). As a result, a vast majority of cycling-related activities are recreational. Testament to San Diego's cycling efforts, in 2006, San Diego was rated as the best city for cycling for U.S. cities with a population over 1 million.
View of Coronado and San Diego from the air
San Diego is served by the trolley, bus, Sprinter, Coaster, and Amtrak. The trolley primarily serves downtown and surrounding urban communities(SONY VGP-BPS9A/S battery), Mission Valley, east county, and coastal south bay. A planned Mid-Coast line will operate from Old Town to University City along the 5 Freeway. The Amtrak and Coaster trains currently run along the coastline and connect San Diego with Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura via Metrolink. There are two Amtrak stations in San Diego(SONY VGP-BPL9 battery), in Old Town and Downtown. San Diego transit information about public transportation and commuting is available on the Web and by dialing "511" from any phone in the area.
The city's primary commercial airport is the San Diego International Airport (SAN), also known as Lindbergh Field. It is the busiest single-runway airport in the United States. It served over 17 million passengers in 2005, and is dealing with an increasingly larger number every year. (SONY VGP-BPS10 battery) It is located on San Diego Bay three miles (4.8 km) from downtown. San Diego International Airport maintains scheduled flights to the rest of the United States including Hawaii, as well as to Mexico, Canada and the United Kingdom. It is operated by an independent agency, the San Diego Regional Airport Authority. In addition, the city itself operates two general-aviation airports, Montgomery Field (MYF) and Brown Field (SDM). (SONY VGP-BPL10 battery)
Several regional transportation projects have been undertaken in recent years to deal with congestion in San Diego. Notable efforts are on San Diego freeways, San Diego Airport, and the cruise terminal of the port. Freeway projects included expansion of Interstates 5 and 805 around "The Merge," a rush-hour spot where the two freeways meet(SONY VGP-BPS11 battery). Also, an expansion of Interstate 15 through the North County is underway with the addition of high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV) "managed lanes". There is a tollway (The South Bay Expressway) connecting SR 54 and Otay Mesa, near the Mexican border. According to a 2007 assessment, 37 percent of streets in San Diego were in acceptable driving condition. The proposed budget fell $84.6 million short of bringing the city's streets to an acceptable level. (SONY VGP-BPL11 battery) Port expansions included a second cruise terminal on Broadway Pier which opened in 2010. Airport projects include expansion of Terminal 2, currently under construction and slated for completion in 2013.
Lima /ˈliːmə/ is the capital and the largest city of Peru. It is located in the valleys of the Chillón, Rímac and Lurín rivers, in the central part of the country, on a desert coast overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Together with the seaport of Callao(SONY VGP-BPL12 battery), it forms a contiguous urban area known as the Lima Metropolitan Area. With a population approaching 9 million, Lima is the most populous metropolitan area of Peru, and the fourth largest city in the Americas (as defined by "city proper"), behind São Paulo, Mexico City, and New York City. Lima is home to one of the largest financial hubs in Latin America. It has been defined as a beta world city by GaWC international ranking(SONY VGP-BPS12 battery).
Lima was founded by Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro on January 18, 1535, as la Ciudad de los Reyes, or "the City of Kings". It became the capital and most important city in the Spanish Viceroyalty of Peru. Following the Peruvian War of Independence, it became the capital of the Republic of Peru. Today, around one-third of the Peruvian population lives in the metropolitan area(SONY VGP-BPS13 battery).
Lima is home to one of the oldest higher learning institutions in the New World. The National University of San Marcos, founded on May 12, 1551 during Spanish colonial regime, is the oldest continuously functioning university in the Americas.
According to early Spanish chronicles the Lima area was once called Itchyma, after its original inhabitants. However, even before the Inca occupation of the area in the 15th century(SONY VGP-BPS13Q battery), a famous oracle in the Rímac valley had come to be known by visitors as Limaq (Limaq, pronounced [ˈli.mɑq], which means "talker" in coastal Quechua). This oracle was eventually destroyed by the Spanish and replaced with a church, but the name persisted in the local language, thus the chronicles show "Límac" replacing "Ychma" as the common name for the area. (SONY VGP-BPS13A/Q battery)
Modern scholars speculate that the word "Lima" originated as the Spanish pronunciation of the native name Limaq. Linguistic evidence seems to support this theory as spoken Spanish consistently rejects stop consonants in word-final position. The city was founded in 1535 under the name City of the Kings (Spanish: Ciudad de los Reyes) (SONY VGP-BPS13B/Q battery) because its foundation was decided on January 6, date of the feast of the Epiphany. Nevertheless, this name quickly fell into disuse and Lima became the city's name of choice; on the oldest Spanish maps of Peru, both Lima and Ciudad de los Reyes can be seen together as names for the city(SONY VGP-BPS13/B battery).
The river that feeds Lima is called Rímac, and many people erroneously assume that this is because its original Inca name is "Talking River" (the Incas spoke a highland variety of Quechua where the word for "talker" was pronounced However, the original inhabitants of the valley were not the Incas(SONY VGP-BPS13B/B battery), and this name is actually an innovation arising from an effort by the Cuzco nobility in colonial times to standardize the toponym so that it would conform to the phonology of Cuzco Quechua. Later, as the original inhabitants of the valley died out and the local Quechua became extinct, the Cuzco pronunciation prevailed. In modern times, Spanish-speaking locals do not see the connection between the name of their city and the name of the river that runs through it(SONY VGP-BPS13A/S battery). They often assume that the valley is named after the river; however, Spanish documents from the colonial period show the opposite to be true.
Main article: History of Lima
Pachacamac was an important religious centre before the arrival of Spanish conquistadors
In the pre-Columbian era, the location of what is now the city of Lima was inhabited by several Amerindian groups under the Ychsma polity, which was incorporated into the Inca Empire in the 15th century. (SONY VGP-BPS21A/B battery)In 1532, a group of Spanish conquistadors led by Francisco Pizarro defeated the Inca ruler Atahualpa and took over his Empire. As the Spanish Crown had named Pizarro governor of the lands he conquered, he chose the Rímac valley to found his capital on January 18, 1535 as Ciudad de los Reyes (City of the Kings). In August 1536, rebel Inca troops led by Manco Inca besieged the city but were defeated by the Spaniards and their native allies. (SONY VGP-BPS21B battery)
Lima gained prestige after being designated capital of the Viceroyalty of Peru and site of a Real Audiencia in 1543. During the next century it flourished as the centre of an extensive trade network which integrated the Viceroyalty with the rest of the Americas, Europe and the Far East. However, the city was not free from dangers; the presence of pirates and privateers in the Pacific Ocean lead to the building of the Lima City Walls between 1684 and 1687. (SONY VGP-BPS21 battery) Also in this last year a powerful earthquake destroyed most of the city buildings; the earthquake marked a turning point in the history of Lima as it coincided with a recession in trade and growing economic competition with other cities such as Buenos Aires.
Balconies were a major feature of Lima's architecture during the colonial period(SONY VGP-BPS21/S battery).
In 1746, a powerful earthquake severely damaged Lima and destroyed Callao, forcing a massive rebuilding effort under Viceroy José Antonio Manso de Velasco. In the later half of the 18th century, Enlightenment ideas on public health and social control shaped the development of the city. During this period(SONY VGP-BPS13AS battery), Lima was adversely affected by the Bourbon Reforms as it lost its monopoly on overseas trade and its control over the important mining region of Upper Peru. The city's economic decline made its elite dependent on royal and ecclesiastical appointment and thus, reluctant to advocate independence. (SONY VGP-BPS13S battery)
A combined expedition of Argentine and Chilean patriots under General José de San Martín landed south of Lima in 1820 but did not attack the city. Faced with a naval blockade and the action of guerrillas on land, Viceroy José de la Serna evacuated its capital on July 1821 to save the Royalist army. Fearing a popular uprising and lacking any means to impose order(SONY VGP-BPS13B/S battery), the city council invited San Martín to enter Lima and signed a Declaration of Independence at his request. However, the war was not over; in the next two years the city changed hands several times.
Lima City Walls were built between 1684 and 1687 by viceroy Melchor de Navarra y Rocafull.
After independence, Lima became the capital of the Republic of Peru but economic stagnation and political turmoil brought urban development to a halt(SONY VGP-BPS13B/G battery). This hiatus ended in the 1850s, when increased public and private revenues from guano exports led to a rapid development of the city. The export-led expansion also widened the gap between rich and poor, fostering social unrest. During the 1879–1883 War of the Pacific, Chilean troops occupied Lima, looting public museums, libraries and educational institutions. (SONY VGP-BPS14 battery) At the same time, angry mobs attacked wealthy citizens and the Asian population; sacking their properties and businesses. After the war, the city underwent a process of renewal and expansion from the 1890s up to the 1920s. During this period, the urban layout was modified by the construction of big avenues that crisscrossed the city and connected it with neighboring towns. (SONY VGP-BPL14 battery)
In 1940, an earthquake destroyed most of the city, which at that time was mostly built of adobe and quincha. In the 1940s, Lima started a period of rapid growth spurred by migration from the Andean regions of Peru, as rural people sought opportunities for work and education. The population, estimated at 0.6 million in 1940, reached 1.9 million by 1960 and 4.8 (SONY VGP-BPS14/B battery)million by 1980. At the start of this period, the urban area was confined to a triangular area bounded by the city's historic centre, Callao and Chorrillos; in the following decades settlements spread to the north, beyond the Rímac River, to the east, along the Central Highway, and to the south. The new migrants, at first confined to slums in downtown Lima, (SONY VGP-BPS14/S battery) led this expansion through large-scale land invasions, which evolved into shanty towns, known as pueblos jóvenes.
Lima seen from the SPOT satellite
The urban area of Lima covers about 800 km2 (310 sq mi). It is located on mostly flat terrain in the Peruvian coastal plain, within the valleys of the Chillón, Rímac and Lurín rivers. The city slopes gently from the shores of the Pacific Ocean into valleys and mountain slopes located as high as 500 metres (1,600 ft) above mean sea level(SONY VGP-BPS14B battery). Within the city there are isolated hills which are not connected to the surrounding hill chains, such as El Agustino, San Cosme, El Pino, La Milla, Muleria and Pro hills. The San Cristobal hill in the Rimac district, which lies directly north of the downtown area, is the local extreme of an Andean hill outgrowth.
Metropolitan Lima has an area of 2,672.28 km2 (1,031.77 sq mi) (SONY VGP-BPS22 battery), of which 825.88 km2 (318.87 sq mi) (31%) comprise the actual city and 1,846.40 km2 (712.90 sq mi) (69%) the city outskirts. The urban area extends around 60 km (37 mi) from north to south and around 30 km (19 mi) from west to east. The city center is located 15 km (9.3 mi) inland at the shore of the Rimac river, a vital resource for the city(SONY VGP-BPS22 battery), since it carries what will become drinking water for its inhabitants and fuels the hydroelectric dams that provide electricity to the area. While no official administrative definition for the city exists, it is usually considered to be composed of the central 30 out of the 43 districts of Lima Province, corresponding to an urban area centered around the historic Cercado de Lima district. (SONY VGP-BPS18 battery) The city is the core of the Lima Metropolitan Area, one of the ten largest metropolitan areas in the Americas. Lima is the second largest city in the world located in a desert, after Cairo, Egypt.
Weather averages for Lima International Airport
Lima's climate is mild, despite being located in the tropics and in a desert. Although classified as subtropical, Lima's proximity to the cool waters of the Pacific Ocean leads to temperatures much cooler than those expected for a subtropical desert(SONY VGP-BPS22/A battery), and can be classified as a cool desert climate. It is neither cold nor very hot. Temperatures rarely fall below 12 °C (54 °F) or rise above 29 °C (84 °F) throughout the entire year. Two distinct seasons can be identified: summer, from December through April; and winter from June through October. May and November are generally transition months, with the warm-to-cool weather transition being more dramatic(SONY VGP-BPS22A battery).
Summers are warm, humid, and sunny. Daily temperatures oscillate between lows of 18 °C (64 °F) to 22 °C (72 °F), and highs of 24 °C (75 °F) to 29 °C (84 °F). Skies are generally cloud free, especially during daytime. Occasional coastal fogs during some mornings and high clouds during some afternoons and evenings can be present. Lima summer sunsets are well known for being colorful(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ battery). As such, they have been labeled by the locals as "cielo de brujas" (Spanish for "sky of witches"), since the sky commonly turns into shades of orange, pink and red around 7 pm. Winter weather is dramatically different. Gray skies, breezy conditions, high humidity and cool temperatures prevail. Long (1-week or more) stretches of dark overcast skies are not uncommon. Persistent morning drizzle occurs occasionally from June through September(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ11S battery), coating the streets with a thin layer of water that generally dries up by early afternoon. Winter temperatures in Lima do not vary much between day and night. They range from lows of 12 °C (54 °F) to 16 °C (61 °F) and highs of 16 °C (61 °F) to 19 °C (66 °F), rarely exceeding 20 °C (68 °F) except in the easternmost districts.
Relative humidity is always very high, particularly in the mornings. (Sony VAIO VGN-FZ15T battery) High humidity produces brief morning fog during the early summer and a usually persistent low cloud deck during the winter (generally developing in May and persisting all the way into late November or even early December). Predominant onshore flow makes the Lima area one of the cloudiest among the entire Peruvian coast. Lima has only 1284 hours of sunshine a year(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ15G battery), 28.6 hours in July and 179.1 hours in January, exceptionally low values for the latitude. Winter cloudiness prompts locals to seek for sunshine in Andean valleys located at elevations generally above 500 meters above sea level.
Although relative humidity levels are high, rainfall is very low due to strong atmospheric stability. The severely low rainfall impacts on water supply in the city(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ4000 battery), which originates from wells and from rivers that flow from the Andes. Inland districts receive anywhere between 1 to 6 cm (2.4 in) of rainfall per year, which accumulates mainly during the winter months. Coastal districts receive only 1 to 3 cm (1.2 in). As previously mentioned, winter precipitation occurs in the form of persistent morning drizzle events. These are locally called 'garúa', 'llovizna' or 'camanchacas'(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ460E battery). Summer rain, on the other hand, is infrequent, and occurs in the form of isolated light and brief showers. These generally occur during afternoons and evenings when leftovers from Andean storms arrive from the east. The lack of heavy rainfall arises from high atmospheric stability caused, in term, by the combination of cool waters from semi-permanent coastal upwelling and the presence of the cold Humboldt Current(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ11L battery); and warm air aloft associated with the South Pacific anticyclone.
The climate of Lima (as that of most of the Peruvian coast) gets severely disrupted during El Niño events. Water temperatures along the coast, which usually average around 17–19 °C (63–66 °F), get much warmer (as in 1998 when the water temperature reached 26 °C (79 °F)). Air temperatures rise accordingly. Such was the case when Lima hit its all-time record high of 34 °C (93 °F). Cooler climate develops during La Niña years(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ11Z battery). The all-time record low in the metropolitan area is 8 °C (46 °F), measured during the winter of 1988.
Slums in the outskirts of Lima.
With a municipal population of 7,605,743, and 8,472,935 for the metropolitan area and a population density of 3,008.8 inhabitants per square kilometre (7,793 /sq mi) as of 2007, Lima ranks as the 27th most populous 'agglomeration' in the world. Its population features a very complex mix of racial and ethnic groups(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ11M battery). Mestizos of mixed Amerindian and European (mostly Spanish and Italians) ancestry are the largest ethnic group. European Peruvians are the second largest group. Many are of Spanish, Italian or German descent; many others are of French, British, or Croatian descent. The minorities in Lima include Amerindians (mostly Aymara and Quechua), Afro-Peruvians(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ18M battery), whose African ancestors were initially brought to the region as slaves, are yet another part of the city's ethnic diversity. There are also numerous Jews of European descent and Middle Easterners. Asians make up a large number of the metropolitan population, especially of Chinese (Cantonese) and Japanese descent, whose ancestors came mostly in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Lima has, by far, the largest ethnic Chinese community in Latin America. (Sony VAIO VGN-FZ18 battery)
The first settlement in what would become Lima was made up of 117 housing blocks. In 1562, another district was built at the other side of the Rimac River and in 1610, the first stone bridge was built. Lima then had a population of around 26,000; blacks made up around 40% of the population, and whites made up around 38% of the population. (Sony VAIO VGN-FZ31S battery) By 1748, the white population totaled 16,000–18,000. In 1861, the number of inhabitants surpassed 100,000, and by 1927, this had doubled.
During the early twentieth century, thousands of immigrants came to the city, including people of German, French, Italian, and British descent. They organized social clubs, and built their own schools(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ31Z battery). Examples are The American-Peruvian school, the Alianza Francesa de Lima, the Lycée Franco-Péruvien and the hospital Maison de Sante; Markham College, the British-Peruvian school in Monterrico, Antonio Raymondi Italian School, the Pestalozzi Swiss School and also several German-Peruvian schools.
The immigrants influenced Peruvian cuisine, with Italians in particular exerting a strong influence in the Miraflores and San Isidro areas with their restaurants, called trattorias. (Sony VAIO VGN-FZ31E battery)
A great number of Chinese immigrants, and a lesser amount of Japanese, came to Lima and established themselves in the Barrios Altos neighborhood near downtown Lima. Lima residents refer to their Chinatown as Calle Capon, and the city's ubiquitous Chifa restaurants – small, sit-down, usually Chinese-run restaurants serving the Peruvian spin on Chinese cuisine – can be found by the dozen in this Chinese enclave(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ31J battery).
Lima is the industrial and financial center of Peru, and one of the most important financial centers in Latin America. Today it is home to many national companies. It accounts for more than two thirds of Peru's industrial production and most of its tertiary sector.
The Metropolitan area, with around 7000 factories, spearheads the industrial development of the country, thanks to the quantity and quality of the available workforce(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ31M battery), cheap infrastructure and the mostly developed routes and highways in the city. Products include textiles, clothing and food. Chemicals, fish, leather and oil derivatives are also manufactured and/or processed in Lima. The financial district is located in the district of San Isidro, while much of the industrial activity takes place in the area stretching west of downtown Lima to the airport in Callao(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ31B battery). Lima has the largest export industry in South America, and is a regional hub for the cargo industry.
Industrialization began to take hold in Lima in 1930s and by 1950s, through import substitution policies, by 1950 manufacturing made up 14% of the GNP. In the late 1950s, up to 70% of consumer goods were manufactured in factories located in Lima. (Sony VAIO VGN-FZ21S battery)
The Callao seaport is one of the main fishing and commerce ports in South America, with 75% of the country's imports and 25% of its exports using it as their entry/departure point. The main export goods leaving the country through Callao are oil, steel, silver, zinc, cotton, sugar and coffee(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ21M battery).
Lima generates 53% of the GDP of Peru. In 2010, GDP per capita in Lima reached $20,000. Most of the foreign companies operating in the country have settled in Lima.
In 2007, the Peruvian economy grew 9%, the largest growth rate in all of South America which was spearheaded by economic policies originating in Lima. The Lima Stock Exchange grew 185.24% in 2006 and in 2007 grew 168.3%,(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ38M battery)making it one of the fastest growing stock exchanges in the world. In 2006, the Lima Stock Exchange was the most profitable in the world. The unemployment rate in the metropolitan area is 7.2%.
The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit and the Latin America, the Caribbean and the European Union Summit were hosted by the city of Lima(Sony VGN-NR11S/S Battery).
Lima is headquarters to major banks such as Banco de Crédito del Perú, Interbank, Bank of the Nation, Banco Continental, MiBanco, Banco Interamericano de Finanzas, Banco Finaciero, Banco de Comercio, and Credit Scotia. It is a regional headquarters to Standard Chartered. Insurance corporations based in Lima include Rimac Seguros, Mapfre Peru, Interseguro, Pacifico, Protecta, and La Positiva. (Sony VGN-NR11M/S Battery)
Government Palace of Perú
Lima is the capital city of the Republic of Peru and the department of Lima. As such, it is home to the three branches of the Government of Peru. The executive branch is headquartered in the Government Palace, located in the Plaza Mayor. The legislative branch is headquartered in the Legislative Palace and is home to the Congress of Peru(Sony VGN-NR11Z/S Battery). The Judicial branch is headquartered in the Palace of Justice and is home to the Supreme Court of Peru. All the ministries are located in the city of Lima. In international government, the city of Lima is home to the headquarters of the Andean Community of Nations and the South American Community of Nations, along with other regional and international organizations(Sony VGN-NR11Z/T Battery).
The Palace of Justice in Lima is seat of the Supreme Court of Justice the highest judicial court in Peru with jurisdiction over the entire territory of Peru. Lima is seat of two of the 28 second highest or Superior Courts of Justice. The first and oldest Superior Court in Lima is the Superior Court of Justice of Lima belonging to the Judicial District of Lima(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ21E battery). Due to the judicial organization of Peru, the highest concentration of courts is located in Lima despite the fact that its judicial district only has jurisdiction over 35 of the 43 districts of Lima. The Superior Court of the Cono Norte is the second Superior Court located in Lima and is part of the Judicial District of North Lima. This judicial district has jurisdiction over the remaining eight districts all located in northern Lima(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ21Z battery).
Main article: Metropolitan Municipality of Lima
The city is roughly equivalent to the Province of Lima, which is subdivided into 43 districts. The Metropolitan Municipality of Lima is utmost authority of the entire city while each district has its own local government. Unlike the rest of the country, the Metropolitan Municipality, although a provincial municipality, acts as and has functions similar to a regional government, as it does not belong to any of the 25 regions of Peru(Sony VAIO VGN-FZ21J battery).
Lima's architecture is characterized by a mix of styles. Examples of early colonial architecture include the Monastery of San Francisco, the Cathedral of Lima and the Torre Tagle Palace. These constructions are generally influenced by the Spanish baroque, Spanish Neoclassicism, and Spanish Colonial styles. After independence, a gradual shift towards the neoclassical and Art Nouveau styles took place. (Sony VAIO VGN-FW11 battery) Many of these constructions were greatly influenced by French architectural styles. Many government buildings as well as major cultural institutions were contracted in this architectural time period. During 1960s, constructions utilizing the brutalist style began appearing in Lima due to the military government of Juan Velasco. Examples of this architecture include the Museum of the Nation and the Ministry of Defense(Sony VAIO VGN-FW11M battery). The 21st century has seen the appearance of glass skyscrapers, particularly around the city's financial district. There are new architectural and real estate projects.
The largest parks of Lima are located near the downtown area such as the Park of the Reserve, Park of the Exposition, Campo de Marte, and the University Park. The Park of the Reserve is home to the largest fountain complex in the world known as the Magical Circuit of Water. (Sony VAIO VGN-FW11S battery) A number of large parks lie outside the city center, including Reducto Park, Pantanos de Villa, El Golf (San Isidro), Parque de las Leyendas (Lima Zoo), El Malecon de Miraflores, and the Golf Los Incas. The street grid of the city of Lima, is laid out with a system of plazas of which serve a purpose similar to roundabouts or junctions. In addition to this practical purpose(Sony VAIO VGN-FW21E battery), plazas serve as one of Lima's principal green spaces and contain monuments, statues and water fountains.
Society and culture
Woman in White Poncho on Horseback. Cantonese watercolor, sold in Lima mid-19th century. These paintings were copies of works of Francisco Fierro, a popular Afro-Peruvian artist of the time. Collections of the Museum of International Folk Art, Santa Fe(Sony VAIO VGN-FW21J battery).
Strongly influenced by European, Andean, African and Asian culture, Lima is a melting pot of cultures due to colonization, immigration, and indigenous influences. The Historic Center of Lima was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988.
The city is known as the Gastronomical Capital of the Americas. Lima's gastronomy is a mix of Spanish, Andean, and Asian culinary traditions. (Sony VAIO VGN-FW21L battery)
Lima's beaches, located along the northern and southern ends of the city, are heavily visited during the summer months. Restaurants, clubs and hotels have opened in these places to serve the beachgoers. Lima has a vibrant and active theater scene, including classic theater, cultural presentations, modern theater, experimental theater, dramas, dance performances(Sony VAIO VGN-FW41M battery), and theater for children. Lima is home to the Municipal Theater, Segura Theater, Japanese-Peruvian Theater, Marsano Theater, British theater, Theater of the PUCP Cultural Center, and the Yuyachkani Theater.
Known as Peruvian Coastal Spanish, Lima's Spanish is characterized by the lack of strong innotations as found in many other regions of the Spanish-speaking world. It is heavily influenced by the historical Spanish spoken in Castile(Sony VAIO VGN-FW41M/H battery). Throughout the colonial era, most of the Spanish colonial nobility based in Lima were originally from Castile. Limean Spanish is also characterized by the lack of voseo, a trait present in the dialects of many other Latin American countries. This is because voseo was primarily used by the lower socioeconomic classes of Spain, a social group that did not begin to appear in Lima until the late colonial era(Sony VAIO VGN-FW21M battery).
Limean Spanish is distinguished by its clarity in comparison to other Latin American accents. Limean Spanish has been influenced by immigrant groups including Italians, Andalusians, Chinese and Japanese. It also has been influenced by anglicisms as a result of globalization, as well as by Andean Spanish, due to the migration from the Andean highlands to Lima. (Sony VAIO VGN-FW21Z battery)
Main article: Museums in Lima
Lima is home to the highest concentration of museums of the country, the most notable of which are the Museo Nacional de Arqueología Antropología e Historia del Perú, Museum of Art of Lima, the Museum of Natural History, the Museum of the Nation, The Sala Museo Oro del Perú Larcomar, the Museum of Italian Art, and the Museum of Gold, and the Larco Museum(Sony VAIO VGN-FW32J battery). These museums focus on art, pre-Columbian cultures, natural history, science and religion. The Museum of Italian Art shows European art.
As the major point of entry to the country, Lima has developed a tourism industry, characterized by its historic center, archeological sites, nightlife, museums, art galleries, festivals, and traditions. Lima is home to restaurants and bars where local and international cuisine is served. (Sony VAIO VGN-FW17W battery)
The Historic Center of Lima, made up of the districts of Lima and Rimac, was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988. Some examples of colonial architecture include the Monastery of San Francisco, the Plaza Mayor, the Cathedral, Covenant of Santo Domingo, the Palace of Torre Tagle, and much more(Sony VAIO VGN-FW31E battery).
A tour of the city's churches is a popular circuit among tourists. A trip through the central district goes through churches dating from as early as the 16th and 17th centuries, the most noteworthy of which are the Cathedral of Lima and the Monastery of San Francisco, said to be connected by their subterrestrial catacombs. Both of these churches contain paintings, Sevilian tile, and sculpted wood furnishings(Sony VAIO VGN-FW139E battery).
Also notable is the Sanctuary of Las Nazarenas, the point of origin for the Lord of Miracles, whose festivities in the month of October constitute the most important religious event in Lima, and a major one of Peru. Some sections of the Lima City Walls still remain and are frequented by tourists. These examples of medieval Spanish fortifications were built to defend the city from attacks by pirates and privateers. (Sony VAIO VGN-FW139E/H battery)
Beaches are visited during the summer months, located along the Pan-American Highway, to the south of the city in districts such as Lurin, Punta Hermosa, Santa María del Mar (Peru), San Bartolo and Asia. Restaurants, nightclubs, lounges, bars, clubs, and hotels have developed to cater to beachgoers. (Sony VAIO VGN-FW31M battery)
The suburban districts of Cieneguilla, Pachacamac, and the city of Chosica, are tourist attractions among locals. Because they are located at a higher elevation than Lima, they receive more sunshine in winter months, something that the city of Lima frequently lacks under seasonal fog. (Sony VAIO VGN-FW31J battery)
Main article: Peruvian cuisine
Lima is known as the Gastronomical Capital of the Americas. A center of immigration and the center of the Spanish Viceroyalty, Lima has incorporated dishes brought from the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors and waves of immigrants: African, European, Chinese, and Japanese. Besides international immigration there has been, since the second half of the 20th century(Sony VAIO VGN-FW31Z battery), a strong internal flow from rural areas to cities, in particular to Lima. This has influenced Lima's cuisine with the incorporation of the immigrant's ingredients and techniques (for example, the Chinese extensive use of rice or the Japanese approach to preparing raw fish). The genres of restaurants in Lima include Creole food, Chifas, Cebicherias, and Pollerias. (Sony VGN-NR11Z Battery)
Main article: Sport in Lima
The Estadio Monumental "U" during a match of the Peruvian national soccer team
The city of Lima has sports venues for football, volleyball and basketball, many of which are located within private clubs. A popular sport among Limenos is fronton, a racquet sport similar to squash invented in Lima. The city is home to seven international-class golf links. Equestrian is popular in Lima with private clubs as well as the Hipódromo de Monterrico horse racing track(Sony VGN-NR11S Battery). The most popular sport in Lima is football with professional club teams being located in the city.
The historic Plaza de Acho, located in the Rimac District a few minutes from the Plaza de Armas, holds bullfights yearly. The season runs from late October to December.
Lima is made up of thirty densely populated districts, each headed by a local mayor and the Mayor of Lima(Sony VGN-CR11Z Battery), whose authority extends to these and the thirteen outer districts of the Lima province.
The city's historic centre is located in the Cercado de Lima district, locally known as simply Lima, or as "El Centro" ("Downtown"), and it is home to most of the vestiges of Lima's colonial past, the Presidential Palace (Spanish: Palacio de Gobierno), the Metropolitan Municipality of Lima (Spanish: Consejo municipal metropolitano de Lima), and dozens of hotels, some operating and some defunct, that used to cater to the national and international elite(Sony VGN-CR11S Battery).
The upscale San Isidro district is the city's financial center. It is home to politicians and celebrities and where the main banks of Peru and branch offices of world banks are headquartered. San Isidro has parks, including Parque El Olivar, with has olive trees that were brought from Spain during the seventeenth century(Sony VGN-CR11M Battery).
Another upscale district is Miraflores, which has luxury hotels, shops and restaurants. Miraflores has more parks and green areas in the south of Lima than most other districts. Larcomar, a popular shopping mall and entertainment center built on cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, featuring bars, dance clubs, movie theaters, cafes, shops, boutiques and galleries(Sony VGN-CR11E Battery), is also located in this district. Nightlife, shopping and entertainment also center around Parque Kennedy, a park in the heart of Miraflores that is always bustling with people and live performances.
La Molina, San Borja and Santiago de Surco, home to the American Embassy and the exclusive Club Polo Lima, are the other three wealthy districts of Lima.
The most densely populated districts of Lima lie in the northern and southern ends of the city (Spanish: Cono Norte and Cono Sur, respectively) (Sony VGN-CR21E Battery), and they are mostly composed of Andean immigrants who arrived during the mid and late twentieth century looking for better living standards and economic opportunities, or as refugees of the country's internal conflict with the Shining Path during the late 1980s and early 1990s. In the case of Cono Norte (now called Lima Norte), shopping malls like Megaplaza and Royal Plaza have been built in the Independencia district(Sony VGN-CR21S Battery), on the border with the Los Olivos district, the latter being the most residential neighborhood in the northern part of Lima. Most of the inhabitants of this area belong to the middle class or lower middle class.
Barranco, which borders Miraflores by the Pacific Ocean, is known as the city's bohemian district, home or once home of Peruvian writers and intellectuals like Mario Vargas Llosa, Chabuca Granda and Alfredo Bryce Echenique(Sony VGN-CR21Z Battery). This district has acclaimed restaurants, music venues called "peñas" featuring the traditional folk music of coastal Peru (in Spanish, "música criolla"), and beautiful Victorian-style chalets. It along with Miraflores serves as the home to the foreign nightlife scene.
Lima is home to the oldest higher learning institution in the New World, San Marcos University founded in 1551. Home to universities, institutions, and schools, Lima has the highest concentration of institutions of higher learning in the continent(Sony VGN-CR31S Battery). The National University of San Marcos, founded on May 12, 1551 during Spanish colonial regime, is the oldest continuously functioning university in the Americas.
Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería (UNI) was founded in 1876 by Polish engineer Eduardo de Habich and is the most important engineering school in the country. Other public universities also play roles in teaching and research, such as the Universidad Nacional Federico Villarreal (Sony VGN-CR31E Battery) (the second largest in the country), the Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina where ex-president Alberto Fujimori once taught, and the National University of Callao.
The Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, established in 1917, is the oldest private university. Other private institutions that are located in the city are Universidad del Pacifico, Universidad de Lima, Universidad San Martín de Porres(Sony VGN-CR31Z Battery), Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Universidad Cientifica del Sur, Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola, Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas, Universidad Privada San Juan Bautista and Universidad Ricardo Palma.
Lima is served by the Jorge Chávez International Airport, located in Callao (LIM). It is the largest airport of the country with the largest amount of domestic and international air traffic. It also serves as a major hub in the Latin American air network(Sony VGN-CR41Z Battery). Lima's Jorge Chavez International Airport is the fourth largest air hub in South America. Additionally, Lima possesses five other airports: the Las Palmas Air Force Base, Collique Airport, and runways in Santa María del Mar, San Bartolo and Chilca.
For more details on this topic, see Highways in Peru.
Lima is a major stop on the Pan-American Highway. Because of its location on the country's central coast, Lima is also an important junction in Peru's highway system. Three of the major highways originate in Lima(Sony VGN-CR41S Battery).
The Northern Panamerican Highway, this highway extends more than 1,330 kilometres (830 mi) to the border with Ecuador connecting the northern districts of Lima with many major cities along the northern Peruvian coast.
The Central Highway (Spanish: Carretera Central), this highway connects the eastern districts of Lima with many cities in central Peru. The highway extends 860 kilometres (530 mi) with its terminus at the city of Pucallpa near Brazil(Sony VGN-CR41E Battery).
The Southern Panamerican Highway, this highway connects the southern districts of Lima to cities on the southern coast. The highway extends 1,450 kilometres (900 mi) to the border with Chile.
The city of Lima has one big bus terminus station located next to the mall Plaza norte in the north of the city. This bus station is the point of departure and arrival of a lot of buses with national and international destinations. There are other bus stations for each company around the city(Sony VGN-CR42Z Battery). In addition, there are informals bus stations located in the south, center and north of the city; these bus stations are cheap and confusing, but manageable if you know your destination and have a basic comprehension of Spanish.
The proximity of Lima to the port of Callao allows Callao to act as the metropolitan area's foremost port. Callao concentrates nearly all of the maritime transport of the metropolitan area(Sony VGN-CR42S Battery). There is, however, a small port in Lurín whose transit mostly is accounted for by oil tankers due to a refinery being located nearby. Nonetheless, maritime transport inside Lima's city limits is relatively insignificant compared to that of Callao, the nation's leading port and one of Latin America's largest(Sony VGN-CR42E Battery).
Lima is connected to the Central Andean region by the Ferrocarril Central Andino which runs from Lima through the departments of Junin, Huancavelica, Pasco, and Huanuco. Major cities along this line include Huancayo, La Oroya, Huancavelica, and Cerro de Pasco. Another inactive line runs from Lima northwards to the city of Huacho. (Sony Vaio VGN-CR11S/L Battery)
Eighty percent of the city's history having occurred during the pre-automobile era, Lima's road network is based mostly on large divided avenues rather than freeways. Lima has developed a freeway network of nine freeways - the Via Expresa Paseo de la Republica, Via Expresa Javier Prado, Via Expresa Grau, Panamericana Norte, Panamericana Sur, Carretera Central, Via Expresa Callao, Autopista Chillon Trapiche, and the Autopista Ramiro Priale(Sony Vaio VGN-CR11S/P Battery).
The urban transport system is composed of over 652 transit routes which are served by buses, microbuses, and combis. The system is unorganized and is characterized by the lack of formality. The service is run by 464 private companies which are poorly regulated by the local government. Fares average one sol or $0.40 USD. The city of Lima has more than 100 km of cycle paths(Sony Vaio VGN-CR11S/W Battery).
Taxis in the city are mostly informal; they are cheap but can be dangerous because of the way the "taxistas" drive. There are no meters, so drivers are told the desired destination and the fare is agreed upon before the passenger enters the taxi. Taxis vary in sizes from small four-door compacts to large vans. They are everywhere, accounting for a large part of the car stock. In many cases they are just a private car with a taxi sticker on the windshield(Sony Vaio VGN-CR13/B Battery). Additionally, there are s
Automobiles, known as colectivos, render express service on some major roads of the Lima Metropolitan Area. The colectivos signal their specific destination with a sign on the their windshield. Their routes are not generally publicitized but are understood by frequent users. The cost is generally higher than public transport however they cover greater distances at greater speeds due to the lack of stops(Sony Vaio VGN-CR13/L Battery). This service is informal and is illegal in the city. Some people in the periphery of the city use the so-called "mototaxi" for short distances
Main article: El Metropolitano
Metropolitano articulated buses run on an exclusive lane
The Metropolitan Transportation System or El Metropolitano is a public Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system which integrates the Independent Corridor of Mass-Transit Buses known by its Spanish initials as (COSAC 1) (Sony Vaio VGN-CR13/P Battery). This system links the principal points of the Lima Metropolitan Area. The first phase of this project has thirty three kilometres of line from the north of the city to Chorrillos in the south of the city. It began commercial operations on July 28th, 2010.
Main article: Lima Metro
Metro train at Villa el Salvador station
The Lima Metro is an above ground mass transit system. The section to the city's center was opened in July 2011, decades after construction was first initiated and significant cost overruns, linking Villa el Salvador with downtown Lima(Sony Vaio VGN-CR13G Battery).
The Lima Metro has sixteen passenger stations, located at an average distance of 1.2 km (0.7 mi). It starts its path in the Industrial Park of Villa El Salvador, south of the city, continuing on to Av. Pachacútec in Villa María del Triunfo and then to Av. Los Héroes in San Juan de Miraflores. Afterwards, it continues through Av. Tomás Marsano in Surco to reach Ov. Los Cabitos and then on to Av. Aviación to finish in Av. Grau in the city center(Sony Vaio VGN-CR13G/B Battery).