France: EuropaCity Project Near Paris Ultimately Failed
The ambitious multi-billion mega leisure project EuropaCity, which was planned to be created in the Val d’Oise department, approx. 15 km northeast of Paris, has now finally failed after the French government, which was previously considered a supporter of the project, officially withdrew from it yesterday. Instead, the French government prefers the development of an alternative project in this area in order to shape a sustainable future in the region.
In EAP issue 2/2018 we had presented the detailed plans for the construction project. Already in the spring of this year, a ruling by the administrative court of the municipality Cergy-Pontoise, which declared the local development plan for the area in the “Triangle de Gonesse” ineffective (cp. EAP news of 13 March 2019), caused another setback for the supporters of EuropaCity. Initiated and supported by Alliages et Territoires (in short: AET), a company founded by French Auchan group and Chinese conglomerate Wanda, project plans called for the creation of a giant retail and leisure complex consisting of a mixture of leisure and theme parks, shopping malls, restaurants, hotels, congress facilities etc., which was expected to draw millions of visitors and create around 10,000 jobs. From its very beginnings, the project, which was especially supported by local representatives, encountered resistance from environmental and retail associations. (eap)