In this thesis I answer the research question: what barriers were faced in the implementation of the Burnaby Mountain District Energy System, and what was the role of the SFU Community Trust in overcoming these barriers? I base this analysis on the typology of barriers to district energy implementation in Canada as suggested by the Canadian District Energy Association. I bring in ideas from community energy planning and governance of sustainable development in understanding the role of the SFU Community Trust in realizing this neighbourhood-scale and capital-intensive effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the urban built environment of the UniverCity community in Burnaby, British Columbia. While I find that the SFU Community Trust was not responsible for reducing all barriers faced in the implementation of this district energy system, their significant leadership role in shaping the normative, cognitive, imaginary and regulative aspects of the institutional framework surrounding UniverCity’s development enabled the implementation of the Burnaby Mountain District Energy System in 2012.
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