La Défense near Paris

Saturday, 23 March 2013 - 01:26 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Hotels, Paris

La Défence and the Grande Arche from the top of the Arc de Triomphe © Hofi0006/cc-by-sa-3.0

La Défence and the Grande Arche from the top of the Arc de Triomphe © Hofi0006/cc-by-sa-3.0

La Défense is a major business district of the Paris aire urbaine. With a population of 20,000, it is centered in an orbital motorway straddling the Hauts-de-Seine département municipalities of Nanterre, Courbevoie, and Puteaux. The district is at the westernmost extremity of Paris‘s 10 km long Historical Axis, which starts at the Louvre in Central Paris and continues along the Champs-Élysées, well beyond the Arc de Triomphe before culminating at La Défense.

Around its 110-metre (360 ft)-high Grande Arche and esplanade (“le Parvis”), La Défense holds many of the Paris urban area’s tallest high-rises. With its 77.5 acres (314,000 m2), its 72 glass-and-steel slick buildings including 14 high-rises above 150 metres (490 ft), its 180,000 daily workers, and 3.5 million square metres (37.7 million sq ft) of office space, La Défense is Europe’s largest purpose-built business district.

La Défense is named after the iconic statue La Défense de Paris, which was erected in 1883 to commemorate the soldiers who had defended Paris during the Franco-Prussian War.

The Eiffel Tower and La Défense business distric taken from the Montparnasse Tower © Rosss/cc-by-sa-3.0 La Defense © David Monniaux/cc-by-sa-3.0 Arc de Triomphe seen from La Defense © Myrabella/cc-by-sa-3.0.jpg La Defense statue © David Monniaux/cc-by-sa-3.0 La Défense © Brejnev La Défence and the Grande Arche from the top of the Arc de Triomphe © Hofi0006/cc-by-sa-3.0
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The Eiffel Tower and La Défense business distric taken from the Montparnasse Tower © Rosss/cc-by-sa-3.0
On 9 September 2008, La Défense celebrated its 50th anniversary with a huge fireworks display. In December 2005, Bernard Bled, CEO & Chairman of EPAD (La Defense Management & Development Officey) announced an ambitious 9-year development plan called La Defense 2006–2015.This important modernisation plan has to give a new dimension to the district and focuses on four main axes: regenerate outdated skyscrapers, allow new buildings, improve the balance between offices and residential housing and make the transport of local employees from their homes to La Défense easier. There are 3 aims: building 150,000 square metres (1,600,000 sq ft) of offices within demolition/rebuilding projects, building 300,000 square metres (3,200,000 sq ft) of offices within new projects, and building 100,000 square metres ( 1,100,000 sq ft) of housing.

The government confirmed in July 2006 this plan which has to be carried out around 2015. It is justified by the strong estate pressure, which plays in favour of building new skyscrapers near Paris. Those constructions have also the advantage to be more economical than little buildings. But it will have to overcome some difficulties: French economy faces a short-term slowdown; the government tries to balance tertiary sector employment in the whole region again, because La Défense today concentrates a major part of those jobs; and traffic is already saturated in the district, while it would need huge investments to extend transport infrastructures.

Read more on La Défense and Wikipedia La Défense. Photos by Wikipedia Commons.






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