The Rings of Irvine

As a Computer Lab Consultant for Campus Village, one my responsibilities is to write for the Campus Village Chronicles. My articles really aren’t that great, but I’ve decided to post them here anyways.
Written in October, 2006
Have you ever heard the UCI is laid out in the way it is to allow police control over student rioting or perhaps heard something similar? I heard this rumor the first day I came to UCI, but is it true? The circular layout is certainly peculiar, but the rumor itself just isn’t true. The University was planned in the 1950s before the era of civil unrest. Still, there was a reason for the planned layout.
UCI was to represent the center of knowledge and the center of the community. It was planned to be constructed in the very center of the Irvine Company’s land, before Irvine was even a city, but the Irvine Company wanted to keep that land for something else. They did, however, sell one thousand acres of land not in the very center for one dollar (policy wouldn’t let them donate) to the University of California for the use of what would be one day the University of California, Irvine.
According to the Office of Admissions, planners perceived UCI as being laid out in concentric circles representing different levels of knowledge. The center of UCI, now Aldrich Park, was originally called Central Park, and was placed in the center, a park with open spaces to represent the open sharing of knowledge. Surrounding the park is Ring Road, with buildings on either side of it and a tunnel underneath it with utilities to allow easy addition of new buildings. Each school (at the time) at UCI had a segment of Ring Road, each with its own central plaza serving as a meeting place for students. These plazas gave each school a center for sharing just as the park gave the University a center. Undergraduate schools (most of the schools) are located closer to the center, and graduate schools further out. Surrounding the schools is a ring of parking lots and parking structures as well as student housing.
This layout represents the stages students go through in life. In the center, all around you is the University. But as you go further out, through undergraduate school and then graduate school, you gain progressively wider views on life and the world. Eventually you reach the outside world, outside and surrounding the circle of the University.