On the doorstep of Paris and next door to Disneyland, an ambitious sustainable tourism project based on the ten One Planet Living principles is breaking new ground.
A green future for the family beach holiday
Euro Disney and Groupe Pierre & Vacances Center Parcs are creating a model for low impact mass tourism 20 miles east of the French capital.
This exciting, large scale project has been using the One Planet Principles through a decade of design and planning stages. In early 2013 Villages Nature became a One Planet Community with an updated, Bioregional-endorsed Sustainable Action Plan. With all the necessary planning permissions and financial backing secured, construction of the first, 180 hectare phase of 916 holiday homes began in the summer of 2014. This first phase should attract 900,000 visits a year.
Villages Nature is designed to connect people with nature in family friendly, short to medium stay visits. It has its own farm, forests, meadows, lake and spa. Families will enjoy activities such as boating, hiking, horse riding and enjoying seasonal festivals and culinary events. Pride of place is being given to natural materials, green walls and hanging gardens.
Sited just three miles from the busy TGV/Eurostar/RER railway station of Marne La Vallee-Chessy, visitors from a large part of north west Europe will be able to reach the resort in a few hours by high speed rail. Central Paris is just 35 minutes away by the RER system.
With its 2.5 hectare open air swimming lagoon heated to 30°C by carbon-free geothermal energy from an aquifer, Villages Nature becomes a viable alternative to a beach break in southern Europe – reducing the carbon footprint of travel four fold in the process. Green, geothermal energy will meet the development’s entire heating requirements, saving 9,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year.
In 2013 the United Nations Environment Programme selected Villages Nature as a major project for inclusion into the “Global Partnership for Sustainable Tourism.” It is due to open to the public in 2016.
About the developer and partners
Euro Disney S.C.A owns and operates Disneyland Paris, which has had more than 275 million visits since it opened in 1992.
Pierre & Vacances-Center Parcs manages some 50,000 holiday apartments and homes across more than 300 sites in Europe.