Is the business district model obsolete?

Business areas in Greater Paris - Métropole du Grand Paris
Business areas in Greater Paris - Métropole du Grand Paris - Challenges and prospects
The future of work is sometimes foreseen as becoming much more dispersed than it is today. The era of fixed hours,  salaried employees and the pyramid hierarchy being a thing of the past. Work will tend to become diffused geographically, floating in time, dispersed in its methods. The development of nomadic work modes - co-working, teleworking,  mobile work units - will lead to a part of the tertiary stock becoming obsolete. Rather than large hubs generating rush hour traffic and commuters, a multitude of micro polarities will reduce distances between home and the work place.
In opposition to this theory, numerous studies highlight the benefits of the spatial concentration of businesses: risk sharing, specialisation, sharing productive amenities, the effects of pairing, social interaction, creating, distribution and the accumulation of knowledge. All these elements lead us to understand why the spatial concentration of the tertiary sector will not disappear. The clustering effect still largely predominates over the centrifugal forces.  
On the initiative of Jean-Louis Missika, Deputy Mayor of Paris responsible for urbanism, architecture, Grand Paris projects, economic development and attractiveness, a work group of public authority representatives directly confronted by these issues was formed in 2015 with the intent of considering the future of the large business areas in the metropolis. A study mission was assigned to teams of the AIGP (Grand Paris International Agency).    
Parallel to this, Apur assigned a team of Science-Po Masters students “Governing large metropolises” to produce an international benchmark for business districts.
This note endeavors to take into consideration all the approaches which often converge and complete each other.


Documents to download

  • Summary – Is the business district model obsolete?

    Format : pdf, 4.36 MB
  • Business districts: challenges and prospects / Benchmark

    Format : pdf, 23.9 MB
  • Large business districts in the Grand Paris Metropolis - Dominique Perrault’s Team of Architects

    Format : pdf, 7.68 MB
  • La Defense: Towards a business district with top quality services - François Leclercq Agency

    Format : pdf, 63.36 MB
  • Le Bourget, Roissy, Aulnay, Gonesse, Villepinte: plan B for Europacity and the overall project to optimize GPE stations - Saura Architectes

    Format : pdf, 19.47 MB
  • New business districts in Grand Paris - From sectorial urbanism to a territorial circular economy - TVK Architectes

    Format : pdf, 57.2 MB