• Sustainable neighbourhoods with zero greenhouse gas emissions


We will enable the transition to a low carbon society by developing sustainable neighbourhoods with zero greenhouse gas emissions.

We are convinced that our future cities and communities should ensure optimal energy use and be good places for people to live and work in.

Read more about us

Whats new?

22 May

Urban Future global conference

«The URBAN FUTURE global conference is Europe’s largest event for sustainable cities. It’s the place to meet the most passionate and inspiring CityChangers from all over the world. (…) In 2019 the  event will be held in Oslo, the European Green Capital 2019.

Join us at #UFGC19 in Oslo and become part of the CityChangers-movement!»

Location: CityChangers Time: - End date: 24. May 2019
Latest publication
Nielsen, B.F., Baer, D. & Lindkvist, C. (2019): Identifying and supporting exploratory and exploitative models of innovation in municipal urban planning; key challenges from seven Norwegian energy ambitious neighborhood pilots.

Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Volume 142, pages 142-153, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2018.11.007

More publications

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What is a zero emission neighbourhood?

The ZEN Research Centre, together with its partners, has set out to create zero emission neighbourhoods (ZEN).

A zero emission neighbourhood aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions towards zero within its life cycle.




The ZEN Research Centre has 9 pilot projects spread all over Norway

The ZEN pilot projects serve as innovation hubs where our researchers, together with building professionals, property developers, municipalities, energy companies, and building owners and users, test new solutions for the construction, operation, and use of neighbourhoods in order to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions to zero on a neighbourhood scale.


Our Research

The ZEN Research Centre’s research is highly multi-disciplinary.
We have organized our research activities in 6 work packages:

  • Work package 1: Analytical framework for the design and planning of zero emission neighbourhoods (ZEN)
  • Work package 2: Policy measures, innovation and business models
  • Work package 3: Responsive and energy efficient buildings
  • Work package 4: Energy flexible neighbourhoods
  • Work package 5: Local energy system optimization within a larger system
  • Work package 6: Pilot projects and living labs
Learn more about the Centre’s research


The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) is the host and leads the Centre together with SINTEF Building and Infrastructure and SINTEF Energy.