Named for the early 20th century Zionist activist Ze'ev Jabotinsky, Pisgat Ze'ev was founded in 1982. The neighborhood was established to create a link between the Jerusalem center and the outlying neighborhood of Neve Yaakov, which was isolated at the time. Pisgat Ze'ev is located near several Arab villages and the neighborhood of Shuafat.
Perhaps due to the ideology of its namesake, many of the central streets in Pisgat Ze'ev are named for Israeli army units circa the 1948 and 1967 wars.
In ancient times, the region where Pisgat Ze'ev is now located was once a major source of oil and wine for use in the Temple in Jerusalem.
This neighborhood is now home to many Jewish families with children, and consequently has many kindergartens, elementary schools and a few high schools. The population is a mix of religious and secular Jews, with a significant number of synagogues throughout the neighborhood. A small but increasing number of Arabs have been moving to Pisgat Ze'ev, as well.
In 2009, a luxury building project in Pisgat Ze'ev was approved that has already attracted the interest of several buyers. The project has also attracted controversy, since Pisgat Ze'ev, despite being part of metro Jerusalem, lies beyond the 1967 Green Line and is classified internationally as a settlement. But the popularity of the project indicates an ongoing phenomenon in Jerusalem: local buyers are looking to move away from the city center, going instead where prices are more affordable.