Defacto: the new face of La Défense
Defacto was created by the law of 27 February 2007 to meet the needs of Europe’s leading business district. This public institution, the Établissement Public de Gestion du Quartier d’Affaires de La Défense, is responsible for managing, promoting and energizing the public areas conferred to it by the law.
In 2010, Defacto set new goals and is now aiming to breathe new life into the image of La Défense.
The stated objectives of this public institution are to improve service offerings in La Défense, strengthen the district’s appeal and influence, and make it safer, more vibrant and increasingly lively.
To meet these expectations, broad outlines will guide Defacto’s action in the upcoming years:
- Showcase and maintain the area’s heritage in an exemplary manner
- Ensure the renewal of public areas by introducing an innovative project
- Provide a level of security and safety in line with the site’s importance
- Offer a high degree of services to employees and residents
- Institute entertainment and neighborhood promotion
- Coordinate construction sites
- Focus it action on users, fostering continuous dialogue and exchanges
Defacto aspires to make La Défense an even more attractive, more user-friendly and more convenient neighborhood that offers its users an ever-expanding range of services.
Patrick Devedjian, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Defacto, stresses that, “La Défense must become the reference in France for exemplarity in public space.”
Ambitious Undertakings for La Défense
Before the law of 27 February 2007, the public institution for development of the La Défense region, EPAD (Établissement Public pour l’Aménagement de la Région de La Défense), was also responsible for management, entertainment and promotional operations in La Défense. The creation of an entity entirely dedicated to these pursuits provides all players in the area with a clearly defined, legitimate and accountable partner.
As owner of the structures and public space in Europe’s premier business district, Defacto maintains infrastructures and ensures the safety and security of people and property. In addition, provides information, and organization and coordinates activities in this multi-faceted office, residential and commercial neighborhood.
Entirely dedicated to heightening La Défense’s appeal, Defacto has initiated an approach to development based on a new organization capable of meeting the business district’s new ambitions.
Seven separate departments carry out Defacto’s missions :
- Three operational departments are responsible for Defacto’s “core business”: the public space and infrastructure department, the business services and entertainment planning department, and the safety and security department.
- Two cross-cutting departments serve the operational departments and assist management on forthcoming issues and questions of communication: the strategy and development department and the communication department.
- Two support departments guarantee that the establishment runs smoothly: the administrative, financial and legal department, which manages financial, legal and accounting concerns, and the human resources department, which is in charge of recruitment, employment, skills, and training.
Today and tomorrow
Quality service, enhancing public areas and neighborhood renewal – Defacto is preparing La Défense for the future with ambitious projects. Some of them have already taken shape…
Getting around LA DÉFENSE made easy
Equipping the business district with simple and understandable signage was Defacto’s first major initiative. The selected project was the subject of a comprehensive consultation with all stakeholders: residents, employees and property managers.
Meanwhile, public transit stations were used as references to divide the area into four major sectors, North and South Arche and North and South Esplanade, thus facilitating access.
The project included installation of easily identifiable, color-coded signage for greater clarity and easier circulation and a major information campaign with the creation of the retrouvezvous.ladefense.fr website and a Smartphone application.
rethinking Urban Space
With the launch of Forme Publique, the first bi-annual street furniture exhibition, Defacto wanted to send a clear signal of how it intended to make visible the renewal of public space.
For the first time, we called upon the creativity of designers, artists and students to help Defacto imagine tomorrow’s street furniture. This innovative and experimental concept was perfectly suited to the site’s specific characteristics.
Striving to be attentive to the needs and feedback of users, Defacto is showcasing full-scale versions of the selected projects on site through the end of the year. For more information, please click here.
A renewed and coherent public space
Defacto decided to put forth a Guidance Plan to serve as a reference for questions involving the public space so unique to La Défense: green areas, urban facilities, lighting, street furniture, travel, etc.
This Plan will be a living document, designed to foster reflection, debate and strategy among all stakeholders in the area, local authorities and private partners alike.
Incorporating state-of-the-art technology, it will also reflect the institution’s commitment to environmental excellence.
During the elaboration of this Plan, Defacto will continue to work closely with and consult stakeholders in the area.