Four Quadrants of Albuquerque

The city is divided into four quadrants:  NE, NW, SE and SW.

Northeast Quadrant

This quadrant has been experiencing a housing expansion since the late 1950s.  It abuts the base of the Sandia Mountains and contains portions of the foothills neighborhoods which are significantly higher in elevation and price range than the rest of the city.  Running from Central Avenue and the railroad tracks to the Sandia Peak Aerial Tram, this is the largest quadrant both geographically and by population.  The University of New Mexico, the Maxwell Museum of Antrhopology, the Uptown area which includes two shopping malls (Coronado Center and ABQ Uptown), Journal Center, and Balloon Fiesta Park are all located in this quadrant.

Some of the most affluent neighborhoods in the city are located here, including Tanoan, High Desert, Sandia Heights, and North Albuquerque Acres.  (Parts of Sandia Heights and North Albuquerque Acres are outside the city limits proper.)  A few houses in the farthest reach of this quadrant lie in the Cibola National Forest, just over the line into Sandoval County.

Northwest Quadrant

This quadrant contains historic Old Town Albuquerque, which dates back to the 18th century, as well as the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center.  The area has a mixture of commercial districts and low to middle income neighborhoods.  Northwest Albuquerque includes the largest section of downtown, Rio Grande Nature Center State Park and the Bosque (“woodlands”), Petroglyph National Monument, Double Eagle II Airport, Martineztown, the Paradise Hills neighborhood, and Cottonwood Mall.

Additionally, the “North Valley” area, which has some expensive homes and small ranches along the Rio Grande, is located here.  The city of Albuquerque engulfs the village of Los Ranchos de Albuquerque and borders Corrales in the North Valley.  The rapidly developing area on the west side of the river is known as the “West Mesa” or “Westside” and consists primarily of traditional residential subdivisions.  The city proper is bordered on the north by the city of Rio Rancho.

Southeast Quadrant

Kirtland Air Force Base, Sandia National Laboratories, Sandia Science and Technology Park, Albuquerque International Sunport (airport), Eclipse Aerospace, Central New Mexico Community College, Albuquerque Veloport, University Stadium, Isotopes Park, The Pit, Mesa del Sol, The Pavilion, Albuquerque Studios, Hard Rock Casino, National Museum of Nuclear Science and History, New Mexico Veterans’ Memorial, and Talin Market are all located in the SE quadrant.

The upscale neighborhood of Four Hills and the Four Hills Country Club are located in the foothills of southeast Albuquerque.  Other neighborhoods that can be found in this quadrant include Nob Hill, Ridgecrest, Willow Wood, and Volterra.

Southwest Quadrant

Traditionally consisting of agricultural and rural areas, the SW quadrant is often referred to as the “South Valley.”  Although the city limits of Albuquerque do not include all of this area, the South Valley is considered to extend all the way to the Isleta Indian Reservation.  The includes the old communities of Atrisco, Los Padillas, Kinney, Westgate, Westside, Mountainview, and Pajarito.  The south end of downtown Albuquerque, the Bosque, the Barelas neighborhood, the National Hispanic Cultural Center, and the Albuquerque Biological Park are also located here.


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