Val d'Europe (pronounced [val døʁɔp]; lit. Valley of Europe) is the westmost part of the new town of Marne-la-Vallée, located around 35 km to the east of Paris, France. It was built in conjunction with The Walt Disney Company, who wished to create a town near the Disneyland Paris resort. The final area of the district is currently in development.
Val d'Europe is made up of five communities, which have grouped together to form a town council. The five districts are:
The area is primarily given over to Disneyland Park, as per the contract between the government and The Walt Disney Company. One of the terms was that the Euro Disney Resort (now Disneyland Paris) immediately got 19.40 km² of land to build Festival Disney (now named Disney Village).
Euro Disney SCA is the only private company within France that has had such a large say in the development of an urban area of this scale. The government was represented by an EPA (governmental development company). Disney has also contributed to the development of the new town Marne-la-Vallée.
The building work started in 1987, after Jacques Chirac (then French prime minister) and Disney signed the contract. Val d'Europe was to be opened with the Euro Disney Resort in 1992. The villages of Bailly-Romainvilliers, Magny-le-Hongre and Serris were to be made into housing estates for the employees.
It was not until the start of 1998 that Val d'Europe saw the opening of its shopping centre, which included a hypermarket and boutiques. However, the garden centre (Delbard) was opened in 2004 in a building to the south of the shopping centre.
As of 2005, Val d'Europe has a population of 19,700 people, but this is expected to increase to 40,000 people and 60,000 employees. 19.43 out of 30.00 km² is currently given over to development by Disney. Euro Disney SCA has spent €5 billion ($5,953,266,855/£3,420,806,667), compared to €500 million ($595,326,686 /£342,080,667) from the French government.
The architectural style takes inspiration from the "neo-traditional" style of the Baron Haussmann, who supervised the construction of many buildings in Paris in the 19th century. The town plan, by Cooper, Robertson & Partners of New York City, was designed based upon traditional French town planning principles consistent with the New Urbanism, a design philosophy which is frequently used in the United States and used with the intent to plan new cities based upon known working principles studied by architects. Disney had previously created a New Urbanist city in Florida, known as Celebration, also designed by Cooper, Robertson & Partners. It is believed that Val d'Europe and Celebration are descendants of Walt Disney's original plan for the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, which was originally intended as Walt Disney's plan for a city of the future.
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