Engaging local communities of the Knowledge Axis in the clean energy transition

The “Knowledge Axis” is the innovation playground for the city of Trondheim. How can local residents, businesses and organizations become active players in this playground to accelerate the clean energy transition?

Energy transition in the Norwegian context 

When it comes to energy, each country has its own context. Norway is in a unique situation. For decades, Norwegians have had access to clean and cheap electricity from hydropower. There has been a strong focus on building energy infrastructure with a high degree of grid stability. Norwegians, in a way, take energy for granted. As a result, there has been less emphasis on energy efficiency and local renewable energy generation. 

Zero Emission Neighbourhoods (ZENs) and Positive Energy Districts (PEDs)

In recent years, there has been a growing focus on local energy infrastructure in urban development. Zero Emission Neighbourhoods (ZENs) aim to reduce their direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions towards zero within its life cycle. Similarly, Positive Energy Districts (PEDs) are areas within cities that are capable of generating more renewable energy than they consume. 

These two concepts are currently being developed in Trondheim, through FME ZEN and +CityxChange, to bring energy efficiency and local energy production to the forefront. They require interaction and integration between buildings, users and the regional energy, mobility and ICT system. The transition requires comprehensive urbanisation strategies including environmental, societal, and economic factors. This transition must be co-created with residents, businesses and organizations to make it a reality!

The “Knowledge Axis” - the innovation playground of Trondheim

The Knowledge Axis (Kunnskapsaksen) is the area stretching from Sluppen in the south to the waterfront Brattøra and Nyhavna in the north. The area is called the “Knowledge Axis” as it is concentrated with many prominent knowledge actors from research, education, industry and the public sector in Trondheim. This knowledge-intensive area is an innovation playground for smart and sustainable Trondheim.

The five demonstration areas, including Sluppen, Elgeseter, Midtbyen, Brattøra and Nyhavna, each have their own character. Many urban planning activities and initiatives are happening in these areas. Elgeseter will be developed into an innovation district along with the NTNU campus relocation, while Sluppen and Nyhavna are being regenerated and revitalised. When it comes to energy transition, each area has their own dilemma. Joint efforts are needed to increase interaction and integration. And the local stakeholders have to be involved and activated. 

City challenge 2020: We need active players in the innovation playground!

These are some important stakeholders: 

  • residents and community groups
  • different departments in the municipality
  • public authorities 
  • technology and service providers (energy, mobility etc)
  • property owners
  • businesses
  • employees and commuters
  • universities and research institutions 
  • NGOs


How can we mobilize these groups in the clean energy transition of Sluppen, Elgeseter, Midtbyen, Brattøra and Nyhavna?
Strategies and methods, co-creation platforms, or new/imprvoed products and services that bring people into action? We need your innovative ideas and suggestions!

Watch this short video to learn more about the energy transition in Trondheim: https://youtu.be/105Cg9AV9xs

Some useful links:

Related Challenges

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