Val d’Europe is a vision of town’s development at the service of its residents

Val d’Europe is the fruit of a unique public-private partnership between the French State and The Walt Disney Company. Its development is an integral part of the Agreement signed in 1987, and much more than the simple frame for the Disneyland® Paris theme parks. While it shares certain values with its neighbor, it is a town in its own right, where each district has been thought out by the real estate development team of the Euro Disney group with its own function and architectural identity. Bernard Durand-Rival, Senior Manager Town Development and Architecture, offers us a 5-star visit of the area that inspired Val d’Europe.

Indeed, Val d’Europe shares Disney’s values. It is a human-sized town that treasures its green areas, the novelties of its landscape and its architectural diversity, with transitions and atmospheres that have been well thought out. “We planned it so that the residents and the visitors could feel at ease, that all may feel like stepping out of their homes for a walk, to socialize: in short, we planned a friendly town.” Bernard, who ,has designed Val d’Europe with his teams since 1998 when he joined Euro Disney, explains.

One simply has to walk around town in the middle of the week to notice it: Val d’Europe, is above all a real, dynamic town with 30 000 residents – 60 000 by the year 2030 -, offices, shops, associations, a media-library and various public services. Needless to say, Euro Disney is not alone at the head of this project: the town center and the development of the villages in the 5 municipalities which make up Val d’Europe are the result of a tight collaboration, of dialogues and regular exchanges with the Etablissement Public d’Aménagement (the public development authority in charge of the territory), the Syndicat d’Agglomération Nouvelle – the municipal syndicate –and the local authorities who build the public utilities and manage their municipalities like elsewhere in France. Individual constraints lead to compromises, arbitrations and adaptations. Nevertheless, Val d’Europe, which will continue to develop until 2030, enjoys a vision and a master plan that are well defined.

“We settled in a region which had nothing but a few fields. We committed to develop a town with various levels of density, as well as a real urban itinerary, in which each district would have its own identity and its own style to live artistically side by side. At the beginning of the years 2000 the Regional Shopping Centre was the corner stone of the project. It was a real challenge because no one believed in it, and today, since the shopping complex today attracts over 20 million visitors each year. Those assets also attracted developers and investors to Val d’Europe.”

Centre urbain de Val d’Europe en construction, 2001

Today, teams innovate and enhance the territory of Val d’Europe with a focus on maintaining coherence between the architecture of the housing and office buildings. This innovation is also reflected in the assembly as in the flexibility of the property programs by offering a real estate product that does not exist anywhere else.

We can feel Bernard’s generosity in each architectural project he designs for the town and submits to the local partners and the real estate developers. “Each town entrance must be well thought out –like the majestic entrance of the Lake district – and we feel that every building must have a function, must serve a purpose while respecting its surroundings. We also work on the landscaping and we treat the retention ponds like leisure sites. Our main concern is that people feel at ease at Val d’Europe, that they feel like living or visiting this corner of the Seine-et-Marne. For example: to design a residential district in the village of Magny-le-Hongre we drew our inspiration from the town planning of the local villages and in particular from their plot layout; the result is pleasantly surprising. Narrow streets are lined by houses or walls, courtyards open on to houses linked by pedestrian lanes, and the whole district gives on to a lake and a woods. By giving priority to town development over architecture we were indeed able to create for Val d’Europe a comprehensive and pleasant context to service its residents.”

In order to write his “story” and make it credible, Bernard has the architectural styles of the various districts evolve gently according to a coherent chronology and takes current trends into account: the Station district proudly stands in an Haussmann, neo-classic style, Place Toscane and the Lake district reflect an Italian taste while the Park district is closer to a London feeling. This gives the town a unique atmosphere and a diversity which the residents greatly appreciate.Bernard believes that in architecture inspiration and reinterpretation are just as valuable and respectful as in music. “We build. We make things that last. We are against consumable and disposable architecture, and against abstract design devoid of any sense. We wished to create references that mean something to everyone, in styles that are visually interesting, which have proven their solidity and live on through time. This is our choice and we assume what they entail.”

Even while we are talking with him we soon notice Bernard Durand Rival never loses his creative tendency very long. To illustrate his speech he sketches his ideas for the future Studios and Convention district on the corner of a table. It is currently under construction and will stand in a magnificent art deco architectural style, a unique project for such a large area. This brand new hub is part of Phase 4 of the site’s development, with the extension of the Park district. “We want to create value. It has been our ambition from the very beginning. We don’t want to simply respond to a list of what may be missing, we want to run risks, to awaken people’s curiosity and attract them to come to us.”

La maquette du nouveau quartier Art Déco 

0 thoughts on “Val d’Europe is a vision of town’s development at the service of its residents”

  1. Hi, there! I’m from Brazil, and I’ll be at DisneylandParis on my 40th birthday with my family (a husband and 3 daughters). May I have my “magical birthday ever”? This include a character? How I order it? We’re ordering a 1day/2parks ticket, and we have a doubt about the time of Paris Express. It leaves Disnenyland at 8pm, is that time AFTER the fireworks and night parade? We’re very excited with this family travel,and we’ll be waiting ansiously for your reply

  2. Wonderful article, please more like this!

    I’ve never seen that castle elevation artwork before, could you post it in a higher resolution? Would love to thoroughly investigate the details of it.

    Kind regards
    Disneyland Paris Treasures

  3. Greate post. Keep writing such kind of information on your blog. Im really impressed by your blog.

  4. Appreciating the time and energy you put into your site and in depth information you present. It’s great to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same out of date rehashed information. Wonderful read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google account.|

  5. What’s the point of attracting adults and “reconnecting them with childhooh emotions and memories” if once they’re there you’ll treat them like they’re not welcome?
    Maybe the problem is not our perception is wrong. Maybe the problem is you really don’t want us to go.

  6. There’s a Santa Fe style hotel? Oh my! Will have to go back and stay there! Only hotel I had time to see on my first visit was the Disneyland Hotel on my way into the park to see Captain Eo after it re-opened in June 2010. I was on a one-day visit via the Eurostar from London (on holiday there from Australia) so very limited time – too limited. But I loved it.

  7. I’ve been 4 times to Disneyland Paris in the last 3 years and each time the service has been absolutely dredful and not even apologetic – would love to see how this changes.

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  11. Actually, you can do this in a one-liner:$( .table tr:even’).addClass( highlight’);That sotceler finds all tr’s which are directly under any element with the table’ class, and the filter only matches every other tr element.

  12. Also my question:-) Is there a way to buy something although i’m not working at Disneyland Paris?

  13. So, so sad to see this icon show close! I first saw it in California in 1987 and was blown away by what was then incredible 3D technology, as well as Michael’s performance. When I visited Disneyland Paris for the first (and thus far, only) time on 24 June 2010 I was on a EuroStar day trip to the park from London which I was visiting for Michael Jackson 1st anniversary events with his UK fans. When I heard that Disneyland Paris and other Disney Parks were re-opening the film as a tribute to Michael, I HAD to make the journey across the channel to see it again. Needless to say, I made the most of the opportunity for repeat screenings on that day. And though I’ve since seen it repeatedly in Anaheim and Tokyo (shortly before it closed there last year) I’ll never, ever forget seeing it on the big screen for the first time since the 80s at Disneyland Paris. I’m not sure I want to go back now. 🙁

  14. It’s a shame this classic has to go, really!
    I’m glad I got the chance to experience it once again with the tribute performance.

    It was not quite the same since many of the original effects and the look and feel of the cinema were missing, still the old 3D glasses/technique and and analogue! print/and projector was used, which was and is kind of lazy from Disney. Also, the print was very worn out the last time I’ve seen it and should have been replaced long ago.

    But, still better than no Captain EO.

    Since Captain EO will never return to the Disney parks, please release a worthy blu-ray of this classic masterpiece (in 3D and 2D). I’m sure plenty of Disney-, Michael Jackson-, Anjelica Huston, Franics Ford Coppola- and George Lucas-Fans would buy it in an instant!

    I sure would!

  15. Why oh why is this closing?

    Have seen it several times at Disneyland Paris in the last couple of years and and each showing was packed out! Judging by everyone’s reaction on the way out, the audience clearly loved both the film and its effects.

    Bad decision, Disney 🙁

  16. The reason it has closed is that jardly anyone watches. Figures have dwindled and have been for years. It has been declining in the mast few years. Everyone moans and groans but it costs Disney to keep it running and if the audiences ain’t coming, who can afford to keep it.

  17. between Oxford and CambridgeONSet the price of a $268look on approximately $358 and buyers will flip away. While you are it true the quick gladness in a bestthe states in the nation with such as AC Milan red and black

  18. Would it be possible to meet with some one in hr on the 2nd idecember2015 to discuss student placement with you. Students would be 18 plus studying travel and tourism funded via Erasmus
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  19. We used these just after Christmas. Such a vast improvement since our last visit in summer 2014. Well done! I still had to wait from about 9am to get a good spot in the queue, but then we only waited about 10 minutes in the actual pavilion, as opposed to 70 minutes last time!

  20. We had a wonderfull new years evening at euro disney 2015 – 2016!!!!
    It was fantastic!!
    Thank you!

  21. Will the foliage be refurbished? Many leaves and small branches are missing and spoil the attraction so hopefully these will be refurbished.

  22. Hello We are a family of 4 with my husband and 2 children.I am 32 weeks pregnant.With the easy access card will I have access to attractions with my family.

  23. would changing the perception around DP to attract adults or a particular age groups not be at the expense of other age groups eg kids, teenagers.

  24. What a shame that they cast aside the park’s heritage, people’s memories and their love of DLP by destroying the named stones and replacing them with bland slabs.
    There were a few broken and loose ones, but surely they could have been kept and relayed to a better standard than they had previously.
    It has really dampened our DLP experience. What next? Removal of the castle?

  25. it’sasmallworld is more beautifulthan before.

    I will ride to it’s a smallworld during go to disneyland paris.

  26. i come to disney land for 20 years every year 2or3 times
    i am a real disney fan i collect it also but my complain is this year
    when y order to stay in the hotel why did they not mention
    that there is so many attraction close in the park you mention about the hotel but let also know about what happen in the park
    i hope you understand why i writhe this
    i hope that you will reply
    thanks yolande

  27. I want cast menbers . business chaienge back stage new shw works
    my challenge .
    U.S.A I want art work project menbers.

  28. Hello, I am staying at the Hotel on 9/23/16. That day is my daughter’s birthday. Do you have the opportunity to purchase a cake?

  29. Can anyone help with getting in touch with photopass for Disneyland Paris. Tried sending email through contact us but email keeps coming back undeliverable. All photos are not coming up and need them to find my photos.

  30. Not Impressed! Big Thunder mountain is one of my favorite Disney Rides! Shut! Simlarly, the Star Wars events are apparently unavailable.No mention of these attractions being shut when my booking was made in June. My grandson, for whom we arranged this trip, has extatically reached the height limit, and a star wars addict/devotee will now be denied these pleasures. Will there be a refund/discount offered?

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