NEUTRALPATH is a European project funded under the European Climate Neutral and Smart Cities Mission.

The 25 NEUTRALPATH partners will work to design positive and clean energy districts (PCEDs) within the five cities and implement the defined measures in the two lighthouse cities. They will also work together to improve governance processes and ensure scalability and replicability.


NEUTRALPATH aims to support cities in their transition to climate neutrality by designing a collaborative plan for a more sustainable future for all. To this end, the project will:

  • Design two PCEDs in the lighthouse cities to demonstrate that they are valid solutions to reach climate neutrality.
  • Set up five CN-Labs in the lighthouse and fellow cities that will act as innovation hubs to coordinate and facilitate co-creation processes.
  • Establish innovative governance strategies to enable the transformation of cities towards climate neutrality.
  • Define metrics for the evaluation of PCED, the annual energy and CO2 balance.
  • Promote upscaling and replication through PCEDs.
  • Promote city networks to build on existing knowledge, technology and funding, and in turn provide a factual contribution toward the climate targets.

The project will achieve positive results by involving several stakeholders:

Residents will be involved in co-design activities.

Public authorities and policy makers will contribute to policy development and implementation.

Industry and technology providers will integrate expertise in the development of new systems, tools, and services.

Investors and financial players will demonstrate benefits and returns on investment from PCEDs.

Scientific community will enable further exploitation in future R&I initiatives and launch new research lines.

Positive and clean energy districts

Positive and clean energy districts (PCEDs) are crucial elements of the urban transformation process towards climate neutrality and must be at the core of cities’ decarbonisation plans.

In the role of lighthouse cities, Dresden and Zaragoza will demonstrate two PCEDs through the design, implementation and evaluation phases. To this end, both will establish CN-Labs to design participative and human-centred solutions and promote faster dissemination and replicability at the EU level.

Dresden will focus on measures to decarbonise district heating with geothermal energy and waste heat and the development of a low-ex branch from the district heating. The PCED will be developed in two areas involving 17 buildings.

Zaragoza will focus on the reduction of thermal energy demand through façade renovation, window replacement and the use of innovative insulation materials in two residential and four public buildings in the Actur Rey Fernando district.

In addition, through their respective CN-Labs, three fellow cities (Istanbul, Ghent, and Vantaa) will become direct participants in the processes and later actors in the design of their own PCED.



Networking is crucial to our progress toward climate neutrality.

NEUTRALPATH is part of the EU climate-neutral and smart cities mission. It is actively engaged with several networking initiatives aimed at strengthening collaboration with other projects and cities. The aim is to contribute to a cohesive and synergistic approach to achieve shared objectives within the broader European network ecosystem.

NEUTRALPATH Community of Practice

A unique forum for professionals to exchange knowledge and foster collaboration at the EU level. 

Through collaborative webinars and forum discussions, the NEUTRALPATH Community of Practice connects diverse participants, including technology providers, practitioners, industry professionals, planners, and researchers. The aim is to drive innovation towards climate neutrality, by supporting upscaling, replication and policy advocacy.