Originally Posted by BenL
Very impressive. From the aerial pictures it would appear that the immediate area around La Defense isn't quite as prosperous as the area around Canary Wharf with the swaves of yuppie flats that are going up. That said, go a couple of miles away and you're in the poorest area of London...
I disagree, the immediate area around La Défense is actually very prosperous and very well-furnished. A lot more than around Canary Wharf. Granted few buildings of yuppies are built nearby CW, but that can't be compared with the old and rich municipalities of Courbevoie, Puteaux and Neuilly.
The only place in the immediate area around La Défense which isn't well built is Nanterre, right behind the Grande Arche. It used to be an industrial area. However, that's exactly the place where the major constructions are currently taking place. It's called "Seine-Arche" and consists actually in building a whole new district dedicated to business.
Canary Wharf is actually a lot more peripherical than La Défense is. I know that people are suspicious when they hear so because CW is in the Greater London when LD isn't located in the City of Paris, but you shouldn't be misleaded by the very different administrative organization of both cities.
La Défense is fully part of the dense core of Paris. The whole area between La Défense and the center of Paris is very densely built and consists exclusively of appartment buildings. A significant number of them being built as soon as during the 19th century. LD is located on the historical axis starting at the Louvre and continuing through the Champs-Elysées and the Arc de Triomphe. And that historical axis is currently extended further than La Défense with the new Seine Arche business district. At the opposite, CW is separated from the City of London by a wide area made of residential houses.
LD is clearly better located and better connected to the city center than is CW. As for the the immediate surroundings of both district, I would clearly like better to live in Courbevoie than in Greenwich.