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Living in Wonderland: Urban development and placemaking by David Twohig

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CASE STUDY: Masterplanning – La Défense, Paris

The three key ingredients for La Défense’s success are instructive: its positioning on Paris’s historic axis, a defining icon, and separation of pedestrians and vehicles.

La Défense is the major modern business district in Paris. The primary aim of this development was to provide large modern office buildings with the expansive floor-plates demanded by multinational tenants that could not be provided for within the constrained historic centre. Canary Wharf plays a similar role in London (though the City has since competed with large modern offices of its own), as does Pudong in Shanghai.

Located several miles west of the historic city, the positioning of La Défense is a great metropolitan planning ...

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