Climate-Neutral Trondheim 2030?

Climate-Neutral Trondheim 2030?

This village will work together with Trondheim Municipality (TK) and relevant stakeholders on rethinking the municipality’s climate policy. The Municipal Energy and Climate Plan (Kommunedelplan: energi og klima 2017-2030) is under revision, and the course will allow students to critically analyse the key challenges facing Trondheim on its journey towards becoming a climate-neutral city by 2030, with a particular focus on planning, implementation and improvement for a climate transition over the next three years (2023-2025).

This village rests on two key foundations. The first is University City TRD 3.0, a partnership between NTNU and TK, which includes collaboration for an existing EU-project +CityxChange (2018-2023) for upscaling and knowledge transfer. The other foot stands on EU’s Cities Mission and the New European Bauhaus program with its NTNU-lead CrAFt platform.

Relevant competency

We call for multidisciplinary student profiles with backgrounds such as urban planning, engineering, social and political science, natural science and art. Students should have a desire to understand and address complex societal challenges through collaborative thinking and a passion to help make Trondheim’s transition to climate neutrality just, inclusive and beautiful.

Aerial view of Trondheim. Photo
Photo: NTNU

About the village

This village is offered by the Smart Sustainable Cities group at the Department of Architecture and Planning in cooperation with Trondheim kommune. Trondheim was selected as one of the 112 EU’s climate-neutral and smart cities by 2030 (Cities Mission) in April 2022, and will therefore act as an experimentation and innovation hub for the other European cities wishing to reach climate neutrality by 2030. This raises important considerations for the revision of Municipal Energy and Climate Plan (Kommunedelplan: energi og klima 2017-2030) and the interplay between the climate action plan and other policy instruments in the municipal planning system. The new plan has been in public hearing and the new plan and the revision process is documented at Trondheim kommune: "Ny energi- og klimaplan for Trondheim på offentlig høring!" -

When rethinking the municipal climate policy, students need to identify challenges for achieving multiple goals at the same time, such as sustaining a high-quality urban living environment (affordable, inclusive, beautiful, and just) and reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other negative environmental impacts. Furthermore, the implementation of actions needs to be done in a very short time frame (in less than eight years). During this period risk of shocks and stresses to the urban environment and related damages will increase.

These complex issues provide multiple relevant aspects to be examined, and NTNU has a lot of on-going activities to connect to. The Smart Sustainable Cities group works in the following focus areas that could have applications for the task in this village:

  1. Systemic changes in governance, regulatory structures  and  advocacy

    Climate neutrality requires a mission-driven and cross-disciplinary approach. Not (only) based on the efforts of engaged individuals, but firmly embedded in organisational structures, reducing fragmentation of responsibilities, strengthening policy coherence across sectors, firmly embedding them in innovative regulatory and political policies.
  2. Cultural and spatial quality

    How can we engage with stakeholders on concrete activities related to their daily lives and experiences? How can we make urban transformations more tangible and visible, and engage people on a more personal level, to empower them to take on more active roles?
  3. Financial and circular value chains

    How can we identify investment opportunities, create public-private-people partnerships, de-risk assets and monetise co-benefits between climate neutrality and urban quality? How can we balance commercial interests and urban quality across a broad range of stakeholders?
  4. Data-driven co-creation

    Data-driven tools are often technical, mono-sectoral, such as energy and mobility, and not used in systemic co-creative planning approaches with municipality, professional stakeholders and citizens. How can we obtain better-fit and better-quality data, improve understanding of how simulation and monitoring tools can be integrated in urban planning and design, and create participatory governance structures that translate data into decision-making and action?
  5. Energy and mobility

    Improving urban space access without increasing greenhouse gas emissions from transport or energy, without deteriorating water and waste management, and without decreasing air and sound quality, is a challenge for all cities. The cities also need to deal with large amounts of tourists throughout the year, in a sustainable manner.
  6. Nature-based solutions

    How can we integrate nature-based solutions in long-term Territorial Transformation Plans to boost climate change mitigation and adaptation, urban quality, biodiversity, health and well-being, air and sound quality, and local food production.

This village plans to work with Trondheim kommune on this topic in the next three years to gain both knowledge and insight. This may also give the students extra motivation when they are engaged in something long-lasting and impactful. Primary focus areas over the next three years are envisioned as follows:

  • The first phase - planning (2023)

    The village will closely observe the revision of current Municipal Energy and Climate Plan and join a discussion with the kommune on the key challenges to make Trondheim to be climate - neutral by 2030.
  • The second phase - implementation (2024)

    The village will analyse the key  actions  in the newly updated climate action plan and investigate whether there is a gap between plan and implementation.
  • The third phase – improvement (2025)

    The village will continue to monitor the action plan implementation and move the focus on uncovering the impacts of the plan on the city and its citizens and room for potential improvements.



  • Course code: AAR4912
  • Village title: Climate-Neutral Trondheim 2030?
  • Type: Intensive
  • Language: English
  • Village supervisor: Yu Wang
  • Contact information:
  • Semester: Spring 2024
  • Location: Trondheim
  • Host faculty: AD

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