Tucson’s geographic location makes it an ideal destination for outdoor activities and use of solar technology. The four mountain ranges surrounding the city provide abundant hiking and cycling opportunities, while the 340+ days of sunshine a year has allowed the region to emerge as one of the leaders of technology development, manufacturing and solar power generation.
#1 Bike Town in the U.S. - Outside Magazine
#2 Entrepreneurial Hot Spot
#5 Best Place for Outdoor Activities
#7 Community in the Nation for Energy Star Homes
#9 Cities Best Suited for Fitness and Walking
#10 Healthy Lifestyle Top 10 Places to Retire
In addition to the economic benefits the region's natural surroundings offer, Tucson is home to the University of Arizona which is responsible for some of the most recognized optics, astronomy, and medical industries in the nation. The University of Arizona was the largest regional employer in 2012 with 11,604 full-time employees and has an economic impact of approximately $2.1 billion annual. In 2014, the annual Academic Ranking of World Universities placed the University of Arizona at No. 46 among U.S. schools and No. 86 worldwide.
#1 Ranking College of Science among observational, theoretical, and space astronomy programs in the U.S. – National Science Foundation
#1 Largest optics program among U.S. institutions – College of Optical Sciences
#1 Among U.S. business schools in the amount of federal grant support attracted by college faculty – Eller College of Management
#4 Ranking of the School of Art MFA Photography program among public institutions – U.S. News & World Report
19th in research and development expenditures among public universities with $650 million in federal funding – National Science Foundations