University City is a community in the City of San Diego, California. It is located in the area of the city that is bounded by three freeways: Interstate 5, Interstate 805, and California State Highway 52. These freeways form a triangular border around the region, hence the area is often referred to as “the Golden Triangle”. There are two distinct parts of University City, divided by Rose Canyon (and the railroad tracks). South of Rose Canyon is the older part of University City (University Square, San Diego), centered on Governor Drive. South UC is primarily single family homes, and local commercial centers. The eastern mesas of North UC have more recently been developed for industrial use, and are home to several biotech companies. North UC was developed primarily in the 1980s and 90s, and growth and development continue to the present. In the past 5 years with San Diego’s housing price boom, there has been a strong drive to convert apartments to condos.
There is also a demographic divide between North and South UC. Residents of South UC tend to be homeowners and there is a large population of retired persons, in part due to the presence of a retirement community east of Genesee. There is little racial diversity in South UC, with whites predominant. North UC tends to be younger – young professionals and college graduates as well as university students. Also, more of the population of North UC rent rather than own their homes. There are several university owned off-campus housing projects for graduate students. The racial makeup of North UC is a bit more diverse, with more Asians and Latinos as well as foreign nationals (often postgraduate researchers).
The topography of University City is mesas and canyons with most surviving open space being canyons, such as Rose Canyon and San Clemente Canyon, with their accompanying feeder canyons. The canyons provide opportunities for recreation, views, and wildlife habitat but are challenges to transportation connectivity and fire protection. The only roadway connecting North UC and South UC is the four-lane arterial Genesee Avenue.
Issues facing University City include transportation congestion, growth accommodation, and the growing division between the interests of the residents of South UC, and the businesses and residents of North UC.