Bd Circulaire Sud
Redevelopment of the Boulevard Circulaire Sud and its surroundings
Contracting authority : Paris La Défense
The project led by the Hauts-de-Seine Department to the north on the Courbevoie side, and Paris La Défense to the south, consists of developing a real urban boulevard that will allow access to sectors that were previously not very accessible. The transformation of the Boulevard Circulaire continues on the Puteaux side
The objectives are as follows:
- The boulevard will be converted into a two-lane road, with new public lighting, new traffic lights and innovative equipment to improve traffic flow,
- Development or extension of 5.6 km of cycle paths, creation of wider and safer pavements, 14 pedestrian crossings and parking spaces,
- Re-vegetation of the boulevard and fallow spaces, planting of more than 500 trees, reduction of heat islands, reduction of noise and air pollution,
- Redevelopment of seventeen intersections, reduction of traffic gradients.
Developments on the Michelet side
On the Michelet side, the circular boulevard will be lined with a south-facing square, which will stretch between the Vignes and Orme footbridges and will become the new gateway to the Michelet district from Puteaux.
Both a place of passage and a place of waiting, this space, which is currently very mineral, can benefit from planting in the open ground. A maximum of surface area will be freed up to :
- give pedestrians a large space and offer them various possibilities such as crossing the boulevard, accessing The Link and Cours Michelet, or strolling...
- to create a public space with a strong identity, which will reduce the effect of the break between the La Défense slab and the boulevard, and will create a continuity between Puteaux and the business district that has not existed until now.
- Organise multimodality (soft modes, public transport, drop-off points, etc.)
A new sustainable and connected road
At the same time, the Hauts-de-Seine Department has taken advantage of this project to start thinking about innovative developments for its roads. In 2019, it launched the RD 993 Lab. In partnership with Cerema (the study and expertise centre on risks, mobility and development) and in collaboration with Paris La Défense, this call for projects aims to find innovative solutions to improve traffic flow and safety.
Four projects have been selected and are being tested on the site:
- Flowell, from the Colas group, is an innovative road marking system based on the installation of LED tiles. The markings are made more visible and light up when motorists pass through complex junctions.
- Intelligent traffic management was designed by the Vinci, Actemium and Qucit consortium. It is an intelligent video analysis system that collects traffic data. The traffic light cycles are then adapted according to the volume of traffic in order to avoid congestion.
- Luciole, from the Eiffage group, is an economical and intelligent system for reducing the energy impact of urban lighting. In addition to the installation of LEDs on the existing streetlights, a clear coating and a device for varying the light intensity are installed. The lighting is intensified when a vehicle, bicycle or pedestrian approaches, and then gradually dimmed as they move away.
- SOFFTV2I, from Aximum, is a set of equipment that communicates with motorists (connected vehicles, via a smartphone application or via information panels on the route), making it possible to provide speed advice depending on the speed of the vehicle. This solution aims to improve traffic flow and optimise road sharing.
Developments in Courbevoie
Today, Paris La Défense has completely rehabilitated the circular boulevard of La Défense and its surroundings from the Pont de Neuilly to Avenue Gambetta in Courbevoie. New or renovated real estate programmes such as the Eqho, Carpe Diem, D2, Europe towers, the Melia Paris La Défense hotel or the Alto and Saint-Gobain towers have been delivered and have been accompanied by the redevelopment of the surroundings.
On the Carpe Diem tower, a monumental staircase now provides access to the La Défense slab from Courbevoie and the circular boulevard. The tower has a taxi drop-off point, the "Marie Paradis" square. The Corolles car park has been renovated and modernised and the Place des Corolles redeveloped.
The D2 tower has benefited from numerous new developments:
- two structures, the D2 "Frida Kahlo" square and the Corolles "Annette Kellerman" square, were built from scratch;
- the 1,000-space Reflets 1 car park has been completely modernised
- the tower benefits from its own local service, linked directly to the Place des Reflets on the one hand, and to the Place de l'Iris on the other, thanks to the creation of a staircase and the installation of a double lift on the Alsace footbridge.
The public spaces around the Melia Paris La Défense hotel have also been redesigned.
On the Boulevard Circulaire side, the "Josephine Baker" square was created to improve access for coaches, cars and taxis. A staircase provides access to line 1 of the metro and to the La Défense esplanade from the Boulevard Circulaire, thus creating a new link with the town of Courbevoie. A new access also provides access to the Iris and Reflets car parks.
The international headquarters of Saint-Gobain and its surrounding developments contribute greatly to the liveliness of the district, both on the Boulevard Circulaire side, with the creation of a staircase providing a direct link with Courbevoie, and on the slab side, with the redevelopment of the Place de l'Iris and the creation of shops. Finally, the Alto tower, is part of the requalification and development of generous urban spaces with the creation of the "Zaha Hadid" square.
The history of the Boulevard Circulaire
**1960-1970: Creation of the Boulevard Circulaire de La Défense
The Boulevard Circulaire de La Défense, forming a one-way road ring surrounding the business district, isolates it from the neighbouring districts of Puteaux and Courbevoie. A veritable urban motorway, reserved for cars, pedestrians cross it via footbridges or subways.
**2004 to 2008: Redevelopment of the Boulevard Circulaire in La Défense and the Boulevard Gambetta in Courbevoie
The opening of the A14 motorway in November 1996 made it possible to reconfigure the Boulevard Circulaire de La Défense into an urban boulevard, more legible, more human, quieter, offering safe pedestrian crossings, a two-way cycle path 2km long and landscaping. This qualitative development has made it possible to reduce the number of cars and began with the deconstruction of the Gambetta viaduct. The structure, which spanned the Boulevard Circulaire de La Défense, linked Courbevoie to the business district. This road complex made pedestrian traffic difficult and difficult to read, using an underground passageway, "la fosse aux ours", which was not very attractive.
In June 2004, the development of the Boulevard Circulaire de La Défense began to take shape. The Ségoffin traffic light junction offers a new permeability, with safe, level pedestrian crossings, green spaces and the outline of the cycle path. The Gambetta crossroads opens up a green corridor, the "Cours Gambetta", to pedestrians with recreational areas and a pond. From the Neuilly bridge to the Folie crossroads in Puteaux, the first phase of development, completed in 2008, achieved its objectives: to take space away from cars in order to create soft links, to reduce speed, to create green spaces, and to create an urban seam by eliminating the motorway "moat".
**2009-2012: Consultations to make the boulevard more human and more urban
Paris La Défense entrusts the Richez & Associés agency and the Artelia Ville et Transport design office with the mission of developing this axis into a more urban and more human boulevard, by encouraging a mix of uses on its approaches. Indeed, the operations of the Renewal Plan, with the numerous high-rise projects in this part of La Défense, have provided an opportunity to continue the reflection undertaken on the evolution of the Boulevard Circulaire. The objectives are to rework the public spaces to facilitate links between La Défense and the town of Courbevoie and to transform this former urban motorway into a real urban boulevard.
In summary, the main objectives of the consultation phase were
- the development of the boulevard to create a real urban and landscape unit (homogeneous treatment of the ground, tree planting, lighting plan, etc.)
- the creation of new transverse walkways (stairs, lifts, etc.) to ensure the link between the town of Courbevoie and the La Défense slab
- the enhancement of the foot of the towers and the new programmes that are being set up there.