Policy objectives aimed toward zero-energy buildings call for the utilization of building-integrated renewable energy and distributed energy resources (DER). To enhance the utilization of DER, previous literature proposed the concept of an integrated community energy system (ICES). This research suggested using superblocks (units of multiple urban blocks) to define geographical limits, social contexts, and possibly common administrations for ICESs along with other living- and sustainability-related activities in an urban context. Through interviews with key stakeholders and an analysis, this research investigates the applicability of the superblock-ICES as a way of reaching the low-carbon objectives in the Hiedanranta brownfield development project in the city of Tampere, Finland. This research confirms that the driving forces of community-based solutions are economic benefits, technical development, and objectives of sustainability, and reveals or confirms that social acceptability, missing planning practices, economic risk, and missing or hindering legislation are the main issues or barriers of superblock-ICESs. For a wider adoption of superblock-ICESs, this research suggests cross-disciplinary piloting, together with developing planning practices and simulation tools. In Finland, legislative reforms are needed to remove the barriers and clarify issues related to security, reliability, customer protection, and public interest in governing a locally and collectively owned energy system.
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