Greensboro is a city in the U.S. state of North Carolina. It is the third-largest city, by population, in North Carolina and the largest city in Guilford County and the surrounding Piedmont Triad metropolitan region. As of the 2000 census, Greensboro was home to 223,891 residents. As of July 1, 2009, its estimated population was 257,997. The city is located at the intersection of two major interstate highways in the Piedmont ("foot of the mountains") region of central North Carolina. In 2003, the previous Greensboro - Winston-Salem - High Point metropolitan statistical area (MSA) was re-defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, resulting in the formation of the Greensboro-High Point MSA and the Winston-Salem MSA. The 2008 population estimate for the Greensboro-High Point MSA was 709,751. The Greensboro - Winston-Salem - High Point combined statistical area (CSA), popularly referred to as the Piedmont Triad, had an estimated population of 1,603,101 in 2008 making it the 30th largest metropolitan area in the USA. Source: US Bureau of the Census, Annual Estimates of the Population Table CBSA-EST2007-02 In 1808, Greensborough (as was the spelling prior to 1895) was planned around a central courthouse square to succeed the nearby town of Guilford Court House as the county seat. This act moved the county courts closer to the geographical center of the county, a location more easily reached by the majority of the county's citizens. Much has changed since then. Greensboro has grown to be part of a thriving metropolitan area called the Triad, which encompasses three major cities (Greensboro, High Point, and Winston-Salem) and more than a million people. Greensboro evolved from a small center of government to an early 1900s textile and transportation hub, and today is emerging as one of the South's up-and-coming centers for relocating businesses. Two centuries later Greensboro is still collecting accolades for its beauty and livability. In 2004 the Department of Energy (DOE) awarded Greensboro with entry into the Clean Cities Hall of Fame.