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City-ZEN Site Grenoble

Country & City

  • France
  • Grenoble


Contact Information

As a major player in the Local Climate Plan since 2004 and as a Covenant of Mayors’ member since 2008, the city of Grenoble is committed to reducing energy consumption, encouraging the use of renewable energies, promoting social solidarity, setting up alternative forms of transport and developing environmental, architectural and urban quality. The main objectives of the Grenoble Local Climate Plan, launched in 2004, and revised in 2009, remain the reduction of local greenhouse gas emissions by factor 4 by 2050.

Between 2005 and 2010, energy consumption decreased by 5,4% and greenhouse gas emission were reduced by 18%. The final energy consumption per inhabitant in 2011 was 19.7 MWh. To go further and turn Grenoble into a true smart city for its inhabitants, the municipality has launched the Éco-cité project in the north side of the town. Eco-cité is gathering private and public stakeholders around demonstration projects for which political decisions have already been taken in the fields of mobility, building and energy.

Grenoble's overall objective of the City-zen project was to transform the Éco-cité area into a positive energy and carbon neutral district through retrofitting private co-owned buildings and social housing, creating a low-temperature heating and cooling network, and to develop a territorial monitoring system to monitor and manage all energy flows in order to save energy and assess the systems’ and policies’ efficiency.


Lessons Learned:

In 5 years of City-zen, the 20 projects yielded many lessons learned.

Top 3 lessons learned overall:

1. Connect
Although it is far from easy, it is also highly advisable to organize peer meetings and exchange ideas between teams from different cities as the meetings will lead to deeper levels of understanding

2. Plan time
Even when fully involved in the implementation of solutions it is important to devote time for experience sharing and dissemination

3. Empower citizens
Involve citizens/inhabitants and truly put them at the heart of the solutions' implementation

More overall learnings can be found in this document:

Learnings per project (for example, smart grid projects, retrofitting projects, etc) can be found in the project reports on this page:

*Information regarding the technical and financial performance will be available at a later stage.

The total CO2 emission savings amount to 10 900 tonnes per year.

Best Practices

Best Practices



Although the City-zen demonstration projects take place in the frontrunner smart cities of Amsterdam and Grenoble, the project’s focus is sharing its knowledge and experience with other European cities, not only by demonstrating to others how it can be done in the Netherlands and France but by going ‘glocal’ – combining specialist global expertise with local stakeholder energy and knowledge of the context and lifestyle on location. This is achieved by a unique methodology called the City-zen Roadshow. Over a 4-year period, the City-zen Roadshow team will visit 10 cities that are seeking expert guidance on how to become more sustainable and move towards energy neutrality. The team will help these cities and their neighbourhoods to develop a sustainable agenda or, in other words, a sustainable City Vision.

The roadshow spends 5 days in each hosting city to deliver energy and urban design workshops in which all local stakeholders are welcome and encouraged to join and to take ownership of the final outcomes. These outcomes will allow each city’s resources, people, knowledge and renewable energy potential to be directed effectively over a realisable timescale that will meet their energy transition. The process starts by identifying a neighbourhood’s urban lifestyle and energy challenges. Then, on the final day of the event model, a definitive sustainable City Vision is presented to the city that responds to all levels of their built and natural environment.

The City-zen Roadshow team has so far visited Belfast (United Kingdom), Izmir (Turkey), Dubrovnik (Croatia) and Menorca (Spain). The team is currently in preparation talks with Seville (Spain), Roeselare (Belgium) and Klaipeda (Lithuania).


The technologies used in the various projects that were developed during the 5 years of City-zen are plentiful. Examples are:

- the development of a demanding roadmap to 2030
- various smart grid technologies such as a collaborative energy data management, a PV plant with storage on tertiary building, demand response on tertiary site
- innovative heating and cooling technologies such as a geothermal drainage network, a low carbon heating network
- improving the energy performance of existing buildings (social and private housing) to the level of current thermal regulation : BBC level

You can read the technical details in the project reports on this page:

SRT data