The administrative capital of Fife, Glenrothes is a 'new town' situated on the River Leven between Leslie and Markinch.
Developed during the 1950s and 1960s on the principles of a 'Garden City' style layout of well-landscaped, low-rise suburban housing, its planners originally envisaged a target population of 32,000. The town grew up adjacent to existing paper mills but by the 1970s had gained a 'Silicon Glen' reputation for its hi-tech industries. A wide range of food processing, engineering and hi-tech industries are located on its Whitehill, Viewfield, Queensway and Southfield industrial estates and a major town centre retail complex has been developed at the Kingdom Centre. In 1975 Glenrothes superseded Cupar as administrative capital of Fife.
To the north of the River Leven Greater Glenrothes incorporates the districts of Formonthills, Coul, Pitcairn, Collydean, Balgeddie, Whinnyknowe, Leslie Parks, Forester's Lodge, Pitcoudie, Balfarg, Cadham, Mount Frost, Balbirnie Burns and Prestonhall.
To the south of the river lie the districts of Macedonia, South Parks, Queensway, Auchmuty, Woodside, Eastfield, Pitteuchar, Viewfield, Rimbleton, Caskieberran, Tanshall, Newcastle, Goatmilk, Whitehill, Southfield, Finglassie, Stenton, Bankhead and Bankhead West.
The town is well endowed with playing fields and parks which include the Riverside Park, Gilvenbank Park, Balbirnie Park, Tanshall Park, Warout Wood, Carleton Park and Lochty Park.
There is a 22.6 ha (56 acre) airfield at Goatmilk, a swimming pool and sports centre adjacent to Glenrothes College at Viewfield, the Lomond Community Recreation Centre at Woodside, Stenton Community Centre, a hospital at Forester's Lodge, a bowling Green at Tanshall Park and two 18-hole golf courses at Goatmilk and Balbirnie.