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City-zen: a balanced approach to the city of the future


EU contribution
Total costs
Funding programme
4- Demonstration of optimised energy systems for high performance-energy districts.


City-zen was a joint project of Amsterdam, Grenoble and 28 partners that was granted EU-funding to develop and demonstrate energy efficient cities and to build a methodology and tools for cities, industries and citizens to reach the 20-20-20 targets.


Project demonstration sites


  • Sanquin cooling by raw water realized
  • Houthaven comfort cooling realized
  • Amount of renovated (residential) buildings: 76000 m2
  • Amount of dwellings connected to a smart grid: 10000
  • Innovative collective drainage network for a significant density of highly energy performance groundwater heat pumps realized
  • Development of two roadmaps to carbon neutrality
  • Smart grid elements tested:
    • Virtual power plant in Amsterdam and PV combined with batteries in Grenoble
    • Multi-territorial monitoring system (heat, water, electricity)
    • Vehicle to grid
    • End to end smartification
  • 10 Roadshows executed (intense, one week programs at cities that want to kick-start their energy transition)


The City-zen project has yielded the following results:
* saving 35,000 tons CO2 per year
* renovated 76,000 m2 residential buildings
* connected 10,000 dwellings to smart grid
* 20 pilot projects completed in Grenoble and Amsterdam


    Birgit Vandevelde

    Building aspects

    • Building Energy Services
    • heating (only)
    • Building Energy Services
    • heating and DHW
    • Building Energy Services
    • lighting and appliances
    • Building Energy Services
    • other please specify
    • Installed Renewable Energy Sources
    • photovoltaic
    • Installed Renewable Energy Sources
    • solar thermal collectors
    • Technology used to supply the buildings
    • boiler
    • Technology used to supply the buildings
    • condensing boiler
    • Technology used to supply the buildings
    • electrical equipment
    • Technology used to supply the buildings
    • heat pump: compression
    • Technology used to supply the buildings
    • other please specify
    • Technology used to supply the buildings
    • stove

    Energy Carriers

    • Cold/district cold
    • Domestic gas - grid-bound
    • Electricity
    • Light oil
    • Other
    • Wood pellets
    • ‘Green’ electricity

    Energy Systems Types

    • Infrastructure & System Integration
    • DHC extension
    • Storage
    • Electrical Storage
    • Sustainable Generation
    • Solar Thermal Plant

    Mobility Type of Intervention

    • Infrastructure

    Thematic Field

    • Energy System(s) Integration
    • Mobility and Transport
    • Refurbished Building(s)

    Project data