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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Two major projects for Paris Region: Plateau de Saclay and Plaine de France

© C Kermarrec – SOLEIL

The Secretary of State for the development of Paris Region is looking to launch “major structural projects” designed to re-shape the region.
He has mentioned two key projects in particular: the creation of a global science and technology hub around the Plateau de Saclay and the development of the Plaine de France area to the north-east of Paris.

The Plateau de Saclay, a vast hub of scientific innovation and research, hosts a university specialising in science (Orsay), prestigious “grandes écoles” (elite universities: the Polytechnique, HEC, Supélec, etc.) and many multidisciplinary and international research laboratories (CEA – the French atomic energy commission, CNRS – the French National Centre for Scientific Research, INRA – the scientific institute for agricultural research, etc.). This cluster of institutions is unrivalled anywhere else in France, generating synergies and technological innovations which make waves across Europe and the world. This is the only cluster in France comparable with the major global centres for training, research, development and innovation, and it’s also home to many high-tech companies.

Benefiting from its dense concentration of national and international amenities and infrastructures, Plaine de France is one of Europe’s major transit and business hubs. The growth of Roissy, the recent economic regeneration of the Plaine-Saint-Denis, and development projects focused around the airport platform of Le Bourget make Plaine de France one of the most dynamic zones in France and in the whole of Europe. The area also has nearly 50,000 university-level students, at the Paris 8 Paris 13 universities, CNAM (the National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts), SUPMECA (higher institute of mechanical and industrial engineering) and the Institut Galilée. The area’s youthful population, the availability of real estate, its amenities and research centres and its dense network of transport infrastructures, give it immense potential for economic development. The centre and north of the Plaine de France area offer huge undeveloped spaces which will come under pressure as Roissy’s economic development continues.

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