Zelenograd was built in 1958 and later developed as a reflection of the US Silicon Valley. It was officially a closed city until 1991. It was one of the most powerful centers of electronics, microelectronics and computer industry in the former Soviet Union, and it still plays a similar role in modern Russia. Some residents attest and writings suggest that the concept of building a high tech geographical satellite of Moscow was conceived of by two fugitive Silicon Valley engineers - Alfred Sarant (more known in Russia as Philip Staros) and Joel Barr (Joseph Berg), who pitched the idea to the Soviet government. As Zelenograd was built de novo on a previously empty, forested place, its architecture and civic layout yields to one general architectural plan (chief architect I. A. Pokrovsky).
In 1988, Zelenograd incorporated the former village of Kryukovo, one of the important sites during the Battle of Moscow (October 1941 – January 1942). Several monuments to the Defenders of Moscow and the heroes of the Great Patriotic War are located in Zelenograd and the surrounding area, the most famous of which is the Shtyki Memorial complex (Шты́ки, lit. "bayonets"), from which the remains of the Unknown Soldier were taken for reinterment at the Kremlin Wall in the Alexander Garden in Moscow.
Zelenograd is home to the Moscow Institute of Electronic Technology (MIET).
Zelenograd was headquarters of Sitronics Concerne since founding in 1997 until 2005 (then headquarters had been moved to Moscow). Now the city is headquarters of its microelectroniс solutions department and residence of all production facilities of EMS-department.
A local soccer team Zelenograd (nickname - green-white) was founded in 2002 and since 2007 has been playing in the Russian Second Division.
The Skhodnya River originates near the village of Alabushevo (one of settlements, which are under Zelenograd jurisdiction) and forms three ponds within the precincts of city: Water-tower Pond (School Lake), Small and Large City Pond.