Proof of the Pudding: Applying the City-Zen Methodology to Other European Cities.

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Back in 2012, a group of enthusiasts submitted a project proposal to the EU. Many talks, partner proposals, and city explorations later, City-zen 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”. The program, rooted in Amsterdam (NL) and Grenoble (FR), had its first official kick-off in March 2014.

In the past five years, no less than 28 partners have been working on 20 pilot projects, aiming for an annual saving of an impressive 59,000 tonnes of CO2. Academics, industries and residents have been brought together to face the cities’ challenges. An integrated methodology has been developed, as have roadmaps to sustainability for Grenoble and Amsterdam.

City-zen did not shield its learning from other urban environments, either. A vehicle aptly named the ‘Roadshow’ sent a group of experts in the fields of sustainability, energy, and urban design to various European cities to ideate with local governments, knowledge institutions, entrepreneurs and residents. Based on the results of workshops, field visits and serious games, municipalities have been shown feasible avenues towards sustainability. Next to Amsterdam and Grenoble, the following European cities were visited: Belfast, Izmir, Dubrovnik, Menorca, Sevilla, Roeselare, Preston, Nicosia (north and south), and Amersfoort.

This interactive book, entitled 'A TALE OF TWO CITIES' documents all City-zen activities since 2012, including those of the Roadshow in the section "Proof of the Pudding' (pp.40-43). The book has been fully translated in English and French, highlighting its international reach and collaborative network. Included in the Roadshow section are quotations of support from two key city decision makers, Mayor Declercq of Roeselare (Belgium) and Mayor Bolsius of Amersfoort (The Netherlands). Both City Mayors worked with the Roadshow when the project visited their cities in April 2018 and October 2019 respectively.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCity-Zen New Urban Energy - A Tale Of Two Cities
Subtitle of host publicationHow Amsterdam & Grenoble Combined Forces On Their Way To Carbon Neutrality
EditorsCharles-Henri Bourgois, Nathalie Moyon, Marjolein Bot
Place of PublicationAmsterdam, The Netherlands
PublisherEU Commission
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Urbanism
  • Zero-carbon
  • Co-creation
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Citizen participation
  • Architecture
  • Energy
  • Food
  • Transport
  • Carbon accounting
  • Health
  • Wellbeing


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