City-zen, a project in blossom

It’s late spring. The narcissus near the Sloterplas in Amsterdam have fainted away and the temperature in the valley of Grenoble is rising slowly but steadily. Some days it feels like summer already.  It’s not only spring in nature, but also in our project. City-zen is gearing up to get to full blossom.


The first reports have been delivered to the European commission. The consortium held its first General Assembly and visited demo city Grenoble. Demo’s have been further defined, developed and sometimes changed.

In both demo cities, a plan to connect locals to the sometimes quite technical projects is being developed. In Grenoble, ALEC is welcomed as a 3rd party, bringing a strong experience in connecting with locals on energy reduction with impressive results (Défi Familles à énergie positive). In Amsterdam, a first family stores its own solar energy in their home battery. In Grenoble, 2 blocks in the Arlequin area will be retrofitted with help of City-zen subsidy. In Amsterdam, talks with the local housing corporations to include City-zen subsidy in local retrofit projects are coming to a close.

Young people testing the alpha version of the fun energy game where very enthusiastic, making us all looking forward to play the beta version in a few months. And also the roadshow, where academics from City-zen will bring their knowledge to cities across Europe, is getting shape.

The framework of the methodology of energy transition is already there, the blocks to fill the frame are being composed over summer. This methodology will probably never reach a final point. Each demo delivered, each city visited and each new technology will bring new input and new options to work towards Zero Energy Cities.

This transition methodology is also at the heart of the CO2Zero game that can be played by decision makers soon. Energy transition is not only a matter of technical solutions, but also of cooperation and mutual understanding between stakeholders. That’s exactly what this game is aiming for.

Summer is on its way. The people in Grenoble look to the mountains and make plans to escape the summer heat, the Amsterdam people are filling the terraces and planning a boat tour in the canals. The consortium of City-zen is working full speed to showcase the first demo’s and results in the year to come. Follow us via twitter, LinkedIn, website and e-newsletter, and we’ll keep you posted.

  • The Project

    A city operating entirely on clean energy. In theory, it's possible. But in real life? How to integrate new solutions in existing buildings, systems and people's lives? What are the technical, economic or social barriers? And how to overcome these? That's what we've learned by doing in 20 projects in Grenoble and Amsterdam.

  • Our Activities

  • Achieved Impacts

    • 20 innovations in Grenoble & Amsterdam
    • 35,000 tonnes CO2 saved per year
    • 76,000 m² renovated residential buildings
    • 10,000 dwellings connected to a Smart Grid