The French writer Chateaubriand lived in the estate Vallée-aux-Loups at Châtenay-Malabry. The Garden City in the Butte Rouge, the Cité Jardins, is one of the earliest examples of housing at moderated rents (HLM).
Châtenay is the location of École Centrale Paris, of the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Paris-Sud and of French national laboratory of doping detection. It was also for many years the home of the world-renowned horticultural nursery. The high-speed LGV Atlantique crosses the city through a tunnel covered by a park called Coulée verte (greenway).
Since 31 December 2002, it has been part of the Communauté d'agglomération des Hauts de Bièvre
Originally called simply Châtenay, the name of the commune became officially Châtenay-Malabry in 1920.
The name Châtenay comes from castellanum = petit château (little castle) and Malabry comes from a deformation of badly located, spoiled ground.