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The oldest part of the city, known as Old San Juan , mostly features the influence of Spanish architecture. This part of the city is comprised by a network of "setted" roads usually surrounded by ancient, two-storied houses built on masonry. Some colonial structures have been restored and serve either as government offices or museums. The architecture is more varied in other districts of the city. The district of Santurce features a lot of influence from art deco , while the districts of Hato Rey feature more modern structures. During the 20th century, the main population centers surged well beyond the walls of the old city and onto Puerto Rico's main island, and merged with the existing settlements east and south of Old San Juan.

Eight of the 18 barrios are further subdivided into subbarrios, including the two barrios San Juan Antiguo and Santurce that belonged to the original municipality of San Juan. The 18 barrios are:. During the Spanish colonial times most of the urban population resided in what is now known as Old San Juan.

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This sector is located on the western half of a small island called the Isleta de San Juan , which is connected to the mainland by two bridges and a causeway. The main central part of the city is characterized by narrow streets made of blue cobblestone and picturesque colonial buildings, some of which date back to the 16th and 17th century. Sections of the old city are surrounded by massive walls and several defensive structures and notable forts. Beaches such as nearby Ocean Park , popular with swimmers, surfers and kitesurfers , are found all along the district's Atlantic coastline which is also the locus of numerous hotels.

Near Condado are two separate business districts, Santurce and Miramar. Miramar is mainly a residential area rising south of the Condado Lagoon. In Miramar was designated an historical district of Puerto Rico. Santurce, originally named San Mateo de Cangrejos Saint Matthew of the Crabs , was a settlement for freed African slaves during the early days of the city.

At the beginning of the twentieth century an electric trolley was installed, the township was split into three parts, and its main settlement, merged with the city, was renamed using the Spanish spelling of Santurtzi Saint George in Basque , Ubarri's birthplace in Vizcaya , Spain.

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Hato Rey was grazing ground for cattle owned by the royal government hence its name, the King's Herd in Spanish as early as the 16th century, [52] and is now considered the financial center of the island. A section of this district is often referred to as Milla de Oro actually 0.

The Spanish colonial governors also had their summer home there on land which eventually gave way to the main campus of the University of Puerto Rico. San Juan is the largest city in Puerto Rico by population. For this reason, population data and land area for the period make reference only to the Antiguo San Juan and Santurce barrios , or subdivisions, of San Juan. According to the Census , the racial composition of San Juan was as follows:. Among the Hispanic and Latino population, Puerto Ricans are, unsurprisingly, the largest group; they make up People of Dominican descent made up Other Hispanic and Latino groups collectively formed 3.

There are 4, whites of non-Hispanic origin living in San Juan; 1, blacks of non-Hispanic origin living in San Juan. Non-Hispanic whites and blacks form 1. There are also approximately Asians of non-Hispanic origin in San Juan; they make up less than 0. However, Asians of Hispanic and non-Hispanic origin together number at 6, Chinese comprise 1. The only other sizable Asian group in San Juan are Indian Americans ; there are people of Indian descent in the city, forming 0.

There are very small numbers of people of Filipino , Japanese , and Vietnamese ancestry; none of these groups number more than members. According to the — American Community Survey, Of the native population, The remaining 0. The remaining In recent years, an increasing number of Americans not of Hispanic ancestry both of African American and of White American descent have moved to San Juan. In addition, a large number of Stateside Puerto Ricans have settled in the city upon their return to Puerto Rico. There is also a growing West Indian population, both of Hispanic and non-Hispanic origin.

In terms of ancestry, 23, people claimed American ancestry, which is equivalent to 5. Other sizable ancestry groups included those of Italian descent, French descent, and West Indian descent. People of Italian descent numbered at 1,, forming 0. Finally, those of West Indian descent numbered at 1,, forming 0. Approximately 1, people claimed Sub-Saharan African ancestry; claimed Irish ancestry; claimed German ancestry; claimed Arab ancestry, and claimed English ancestry. There are many other ancestry groups in San Juan, but they are very scant.

During this period the city underwent an industrial revolution , although as of it had never generated its own economic region. The district of Hato Rey contains a corporate sector known as "La Milla de Oro", The Golden Mile which serves as the headquarters of local and international banks. Technological advances after World War II in the development of the airliner, coupled with the island's climate and natural setting, have transformed San Juan into the springboard for tourism around the island, and has made the rest of the Caribbean known throughout the world during the last fifty years.

Places and monuments emphasized in tourism campaigns include: Old San Juan, promoting the historic nature of its colonial buildings and narrow streets covered by adoquine, a blue stone cast from furnace slag; they were brought over as ballast on Spanish ships. San Juan is the birthplace of artists and musicians, locally known as Sanjuaneros , who have significantly influenced Puerto Rican culture. Rafael Cordero — , was influential in the development of Puerto Rican education and has been once renowned [ by whom?

The city is also the home of contemporary and classic art museums. The Puerto Rico Arts Museum owns the largest collection of contemporary art in Puerto Rico, housing over 1, permanent art pieces and displaying temporary exhibitions containing artwork from various locations through Latin America.

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The paintings displayed in the permanent exhibition are either acquired by the museum's administrative personnel or donated by artists and collectors. They are judged by a panel of painters, art critics, and scholars before being displayed.

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As one of Puerto Rico's 78 municipalities , San Juan's government consists of two branches, the executive and the legislative. Those citizens eligible to vote directly elect a mayor and the municipal assembly for four-year terms.

The executive branch is headed by a popularly elected mayor. Before her, Jorge A.

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Santini held the position for 12 years. In addition to running the city's day-to-day operations and supervising associated departments, the mayor is responsible for appointing a secretary-auditor and a treasurer. San Juan's Municipal Legislature is made up of 17 municipal legislators, elected at-large, which represent the city's population.

In there were homicides in San Juan, a rate of around 50 per , residents. It currently employs over 1, sworn officers plus civilian staff. San Juan is home to many of Puerto Rico's institutions of higher learning. In addition to dozens of state-run elementary, intermediate, and high schools, the government of the city of San Juan operates two bilingual schools, including one sports-magnet school, the first municipal-run schools in Puerto Rico. The Port of San Juan is the fourth busiest seaport in the Western Hemisphere, ranked among the top 17 in the world in terms of container movement.

It is also the largest home-based cruise port in the world with over a dozen cruise ships. It is the second busiest port in cruise volume after Miami.


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The Metropolitan Area is served by two airports. The airport accommodates more than 30 domestic and international airlines and is the busiest airport in the Caribbean. It is often referred to as "The Gateway to the Caribbean" because it serves as the main connection to the island and the rest of the Caribbean for the United States and vice versa. There are bridges in San Juan. At 4, vehicles per paved mile, San Juan has by far the highest density of vehicles on the road of any country in the world.


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Its fleet consists of regular buses and 35 handicap-accessible buses. AMA's ridership is estimated at , on weekdays. In an attempt to decrease vehicle dependency and road congestion, the city built a metro system dubbed " Tren Urbano " "Urban Train". The The Tren Urbano has received less ridership than was originally projected and has not significantly reduced the city's automobile traffic, despite a reported 7. There is a planned project to build a "interurban light rail system" connecting the cities of San Juan and Caguas. Increased investment in public transportation, however, has not changed the fact that San Juan is an automobile-reliant city and its fast growth has sparked urban sprawl.

As of mid, the government has approved plans for a redesign of this Puerto Rican city, featuring a new mass transit system, new roads and intersections, and more beach-access points. No cars will be allowed inside the oldest part of city Old San Juan. The plans hope to remedy previous poor urban planning in the oldest section of the city, the Isleta, while curbing reliance on motor vehicles. The plans for redevelopment also hope to make the city more appealing in order to attract new residents, as San Juan has suffered from a shrinking population over the past 60 years.

San Juan has an elaborate system of triage , hospital, and preventive care health services. The municipal government sponsors regular health fairs in different areas of the city focusing on health care for the elderly and the disabled. There are 20 hospitals in San Juan, half of them operated by the government. It is made up of eight other hospitals. The city of San Juan operates 10 hospitals. The main hospital is located at Centro Medico. These 10 hospitals are:. Teams based in San Juan have been notably successful in athletic competition. The Santurce Crabbers won the National Superior Basketball League championship in , , , and during this period being recognized as a dynasty.

The San Juan Senators and the Santurce Crabbers were the two major baseball teams in the city, winning the championship of the Puerto Rican Professional Baseball League a total of seventeen times. The Santurce Crabbers are located third among teams with more championships in the Caribbean Series , winning championships in the , , , and editions of the tournament. The city has also been the host of events within the sports community; some examples include:. In July , the San Juan Golf Academy and its driving range began operating atop the city's former sanitary landfill in Puerto Nuevo and will eventually include the city's first and only 9-hole golf course.