Disney launching eco-village heated by geothermal energy near Paris, France
Last week, Euro Disney S.C.A. and Pierre & Vacances-Center Parks opened Villages Nature Paris. The ceremony was attended by Jean-Baptiste LEMOYNE, State secretary to the Minister of Europe and of Foreign Affairs, and Valérie PECRESSE, President of the Regional Council of Ile-de-France.
The Villages Nature Paris project was born in 2003, and is the product of a vision shared by the founding Groups, and based on harmony between Man and Nature.
Each partner brings its individual and complementary knowledge:
- the Euro Disney group brings its expertise and creativity in theme parks, its mastery of the art of storytelling, and their knowledge of the European tourist markets which will contribute to the quality of the experience and stay;
- Pierre & Vacances-Center Parcs, leader of residential holidays in Europe, brings its 50 years of experience in the design, development, sales and operational management of tourism residences.
A unique European vacation destination right next to Paris
Just 32 km from Paris and 6 km from Disneyland® Paris, Villages Nature Paris is a destination for short- and medium-term stays, all year long.Measuring 120 hectares, the first development includes 868 apartments and cottages and 5 interactive universes to explore and relax.
Joe Rohde, Senior Vice President Creative Walt Disney Imagineering, and Thierry Huau, landscape architect and town developer, supervised all the artistic aspects of Villages Nature Paris.
The architectural design of the cottages and apartments, overseen by Jean de Gastines, is inspired by the idea that buildings and the surrounding vegetation become interwoven, and create a whole. Three types of residences are available: VIP Cocoon, Country Premium, and Clan Comfort.
Five different interactive universes are spread throughout the site:
- The Aqualagon, designed by architect Jacques Ferrier, is the destination’s crowning jewel. It includes an outdoor 2,500m² lagoon open to bathers all year long with its 30°C temperature, neighboured by one of the largest covered water parks in Europe and spanning some 9000 m2 and including 7 giant slides. Guests can access the pyramid-shaped building through a winding walkway to its summit, offering an impressive panoramic view of Villages Nature Paris and the surrounding area.
- The BelleVie Farm, imagined by architect Lionel de Segonzac, measures 2.6 hectares and gives guests an authentic taste of farm life, with cows, ponies, goats, backyard animals, and educational themed workshops.
- The Extraordinary Gardens, dreamt up by Thierry Huau and spanning over 2 hectares, celebrate the four elements of nature: Earth, Fire, Air, and Water. The plants that thrive in these Gardens have been chosen because they flower year-round, and will delight guests as they follow contemplative or fun pathways through the greenery.
- The Forest of Legends is a wooded area measuring 2.5 hectares designed just for children aged 2 to 12, who will love exploring this magical play area.
- The Lakeside Promenade is the heart of the Villages Nature Paris lifestyle, the perfect spot to stroll and enjoy brands such as Nature et Découvertes, Franprix, Swind, Chez Meunier, Les Petits Chaperons Rouges, and restaurants like PUR etc., Cépages, and Vapiano.
Sustainable and responsible tourism as the guiding line
Villages Nature Paris leads a pioneering and complete approach to sustainable tourism, through its Sustainable Action Plan. This includes ten targets with timelines, inspired by the One Planet Living methodology developed by BioRegional.
The strategy is focused on reducing the carbon imprint of the site, reaching social and economic balance, and valuing heritage and cultural wealth of the land it is based on, through qualitative and quantitative objectives for every phase of design, construction, and operation.
This commitment from Villages Nature Paris to sustainable development was recognized by UNEP, which chose the site as part of its “Global Partnership for Sustainable Tourism”.
Geothermal energy at Villages Nature Paris: precursor to an energy transition
The site’s heating and hot water comes from the geothermal energy that springs from 1,900 metres below ground. What is more, this renewable and sustainable energy source produces zero greenhouse gases.
A sustainable strategy for local development
Euro Disney S.C.A. and Pierre & Vacances-Center Parcs, energized by their shared desire to fully participate in the government’s policy of promoting France, chose to build Village Nature Paris in the heart of Val d’Europe. This area, developed for 30 years by the Euro Disney group, offers unprecedented business opportunities for relaxing holidays, just steps from major tourist areas.
As indication of their support, public authorities named the creation of Villages Nature Paris as an ‘Operation of National Interest’ for its contribution to innovation in tourism, economic development, and promotion of the eastern Ile-de-France region.
Investment for the first phase of development totals approximately €500 million, and has seen 868 of a total 1,083 apartments and cottages ready on September 1, 2017, as well as some recreational features.
Currently, Villages Nature Paris is planning to welcome 1 million holiday-goers by year, 50% of whom are French and 50% of whom are European (mostly Dutch, Belgian, and British).
Villages Nature Paris and its operation has generated 600 direct jobs, more than 75% of which remain local.
Through the coherence and scope of its composing parts, including events, architecture, landscaping, and sustainable and local development, Villages Nature Paris strives to represent model innovation for responsible tourism in the 21st century.
“We are proud to officially open Villages Nature Paris, product of a unique partnership between two major players in global and European tourism. By combining innovation and sustainability, we have helped to write a new page in the tourism of the future,” stated Catherine Powell, Présidente of Euro Disney S.A.S.
“Villages Nature Paris is proof of the shared desire of Euro Disney and Pierre & Vacances-Center Parcs to contribute to making France more attractive than ever, and solidify its reputation as the world’s number one tourism destination,” added Gérard Brémond, CEO of the Pierre & Vacances – Center Parcs Group.
Source: Disneyland Paris