OPE COMMUNITY IS BEING CAREFULLY DESIGNED FOR A PROSPEROUS FUTURE.
BY MICHAEL FOREMAN
WHEN DISNEYLAND RESORT PARIS
debuted in 1992, its U.S. brand of cartoon fun
clashed with French sensibilities. Villagers
protested, railway workers went on strike and
terrorists bombed the park’s electrical system.
Poor attendance led to losses that plagued the
company for years as critics dubbed the park
“Euro Dismal” and a “cultural Chernobyl.”
Even so, Euro Disney Associés SCA forged
ahead with an ambitious public-private partnership
aimed at developing Val d’Europe, a planned
community to support the resort. It wasn’t going to
be an easy sell, however. Government officials
were looking for a pragmatic way to curb suburban
sprawl from nearby Paris and steer growth in the
rural region, not another shiny theme-park ride.
To win over the skeptics, the project team
meticulously designed a mixed-use community
firmly rooted in the local culture. With a focus on
traditional architecture, accessibility and sustainability, Val d’Europe beat the odds. It now boasts
a booming business community and more than
23,000 residents—not to mention hordes of
happy tourists from around the world.