Territory and strategy

First Tower and Grand Paris 2021 horizon © Paris La Défense Carlos Ayesta

In 60 years, Paris La Défense has become an exceptional area with international influence. It is now the fourth most attractive business district in the world and has become a showcase for the dynamism of the French economy. With 500 companies, 41% of which are foreign, 15 Fortune 500 companies and 180,000 employees, the district offers 3.7 million sq.m of office space in more than 125 buildings and 40,000 sq.m. of coworking space. The 564-hectare area covers four communes in the Hauts-de-Seine: Courbevoie, Puteaux, Nanterre and La Garenne-Colombes.

The success of the business district should not, however, mask the many challenges it faces: global warming, new global balances, the Covid 19 health crisis and the rise of teleworking, but also the transformation of lifestyles. In order to better meet the current needs of residents, employees and businesses, the business district has accelerated its transformation and is diversifying. Every day it becomes more and more a real living district.

Paris La Défense, the local public establishment in charge of the development, management, animation and promotion of the area, has undertaken an ambitious action plan to ensure the resilience of the district and its development. Uniting the major players in the area around a common vision, the institution acts in a constant spirit of cooperation to serve the area and the common interest. This is why Paris La Défense adopted a Raison d'être in 2021, which aims to make the area the first post-carbon business district in the world. Paris La Défense aims to halve the territory's greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

The public establishment

Created on 1 January 2018, Paris La Défense is a local public establishment whose governance brings together the Hauts-de-Seine Department, the municipalities involved (Courbevoie, Nanterre, Puteaux, La Garenne-Colombes), as well as the Île-de-France Region, the Greater Paris Metropolis, the City of Paris and the State. Uniquely in France, Paris La Défense brings together competencies in development, management, animation and promotion of the territory.

Ambiance Paris La Défense 2023 © Sabrina Budon

The strategic course of Paris La Défense

After more than 60 years of existence, Paris La Défense is opening a new chapter in its history by setting a new strategic course and giving itself a Raison d'être. The climatic challenges and the Covid 19 health crisis require a reflection on the district's development model. This is why Paris La Défense is committed to becoming the first post-carbon business district in the world.

Empreintes: a call for mixed-use, low-carbon urban projects

Empreintes: a call for mixed-use, low-carbon urban projects

Paris La Défense opens a new chapter of its history with Empreintes, La Défense’s first call for mixed-use, low-carbon urban projects. Our objective is to become the world’s first large-scale post-carbon neighborhood. The Empreintes Call for Innovative Urban Projects (APUI) concerns the transformation of five lots located at the boundary between the business district and the cities of Puteaux and Courbevoie. Overarching themes include technical innovation, longevity, environmental excellence and contribution to local life.

View of La Défense from the Arc de Triomphe

Paris La Défense in figures

The key figures for the Paris La Défense area are synonymous with excess, both in terms of the total surface area of its offices, with more than 3.7 million sq.m., and with its 63 million visitors per year in one of the largest shopping centres in Europe, its 300 brands and 60 bars and restaurants, reflecting its dynamism. All this on 566 hectares of developed space, including 31 hectares of pedestrian areas.

The Cnit at La Défense in 1967 © Paris La Défense archive fund

The history of Paris La Défense

The history of this district in the west of Paris, "like no other", began in 1958. At the beginning, what was only the National Centre for Industry and Technology, the CNIT, would become a few years later, the first business district in the Paris region with the La Défense district before being called, in 2018, Paris La Défense.