The first business district in Europe, La Défense was designated within the Grand Paris project as the reference cluster for financial and value-added services, with the aim to give this sector more international visibility.
First European business district
Spanning the towns of Courbevoie, Puteaux and Nanterre, La Défense’ services district stands at the North-West vicinity of Paris:
- With 3.5 million m² of office stock, it is the first European central business district (CBD);
- Headquarters of multinational companies stand alongside the offices of major investment banks, and large French groups (EDF, GDF-Suez, Société Générale, Axa, Total…) are located next to international companies (HSBC, American Express, Philip Morris…);
- Labelled an operation of national interest (Opération d’Intérêt National, or OIN) since 1983, this strategic centre is accessible by métro Line 1 and RER Line A.
An extended transportation network will soon strengthen La Défense’ position on the international scene
The future Grand Paris Express transportation network reflects a political decision to reinforce the business district’s international attractiveness.
As an alternative to métro Line 1 and RER A, RER Line E (Eole project) is to be extended westwards up to Nanterre by 2020. Considered a public-interest project, it is jointly supported by STIF, SNCF and RFF. The budget is equally shared between the Greater Paris Region and the French state.
Beyond the momentum owned to Greater Paris, La Défense is the object of an ambitious renewal plan
Most projects recently developed at La Défense are part of the district’s renewal plan (Plan de Renouveau de La Défense) decided by the French state in 2006 in order to secure the future of La Défense. Based on a renewal master plan (Schéma Directeur du Renouveau) produced by EPAD (Établissement Public pour l’Aménagement de La Défense), the plan aims to:
- Upgrade obsolete buildings and roll out demolition-reconstruction programmes to obtain nearly 150,000 m² of additional offices;
- Build 300,000 m² of new offices;
- Build 1,400 new residential units (around 100,000 m²);
- Improve the district’s accessibility (RER line E extension, Eole project);
- Reform governance with the creation of a public agency, called Defacto, to manage, drive and develop the district;
- Transform the business district to adapt it to the current needs of its users and integrate it further in its surroundings;
- Contribute to the balanced development of the Greater Paris Region;
- Establish its role within a sustainable development approach.