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Sustainability, Volume 10, Issue 5 (May 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) The 20th century was the age of great acceleration. Population grew by a factor 3.7, material [...] Read more.
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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review, Other

Open AccessEditorial Open Innovation of James Watt and Steve Jobs: Insights for Sustainability of Economic Growth
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1553; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051553
Received: 11 May 2018 / Revised: 12 May 2018 / Accepted: 12 May 2018 / Published: 14 May 2018
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Abstract
This paper analyzes open innovation approach similarities and differences of James Watt and Steve Jobs—symbolic entrepreneurs of the First and Fourth Industrial Revolutions, respectively. The methodologic approach includes a review of the literature. Firstly, the key characteristics of the First and Fourth Industrial
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This paper analyzes open innovation approach similarities and differences of James Watt and Steve Jobs—symbolic entrepreneurs of the First and Fourth Industrial Revolutions, respectively. The methodologic approach includes a review of the literature. Firstly, the key characteristics of the First and Fourth Industrial Revolutions are determined by comprehensively reviewing the literature—particularly books on both legendary innovation entrepreneurs. Secondly, the related preceding research that describes open innovation characteristics that James Watt and Steve Jobs possessed are critically analyzed. Thirdly, open innovation strategies promoted by the two innovation entrepreneurs are scrutinized by analyzing the related literature. The findings reveal the common and differing points of the two entrepreneurs’ open innovation strategies and approaches. This paper serves as an editorial piece and introduces the special issue entitled ‘Sustainability of Economic Growth: Combining Technology, Market, and Society’, where the special issue contains 19 papers directly related to the open innovation strategy of Steve Jobs and James Watt. Full article
Open AccessEditorial Advances in Multiple Criteria Decision Making for Sustainability: Modeling and Applications
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1600; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051600
Received: 10 May 2018 / Revised: 11 May 2018 / Accepted: 11 May 2018 / Published: 16 May 2018
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Abstract
With the surging complexity of real-world problems in important domains such as sustainability, there is a need to leverage advanced modern computational methods or intelligent techniques to support decisions or policy-making. In this Special Issue, 15 selected and formally peer-reviewed papers contribute their
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With the surging complexity of real-world problems in important domains such as sustainability, there is a need to leverage advanced modern computational methods or intelligent techniques to support decisions or policy-making. In this Special Issue, 15 selected and formally peer-reviewed papers contribute their novelty and findings, by applying various advanced decision methods or computational techniques to resolve different sustainability problems. Despite the innovations of the proposed models, most of the selected papers involve domain expert’s opinions and knowledge with in-depth discussions. These case studies enrich the practical contributions of this Special Issue. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperEditorial The Politics of Agribusiness and the Business of Sustainability
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1648; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051648
Received: 2 April 2018 / Revised: 8 May 2018 / Accepted: 17 May 2018 / Published: 20 May 2018
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Abstract
The sustainability and the prospects of contemporary agribusiness are discussed taking into account trends, controversies, ideologies, practices and pending demands. The growing hegemony of agribusiness in the world today is analyzed making use of a conceptual framework of agro-neoliberalism that embraces three main
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The sustainability and the prospects of contemporary agribusiness are discussed taking into account trends, controversies, ideologies, practices and pending demands. The growing hegemony of agribusiness in the world today is analyzed making use of a conceptual framework of agro-neoliberalism that embraces three main areas of interaction, namely, renewed public–private alliances, novel techno-economic strategies that intensify socio-ecological exploitation and the containment of critical reactions. The critical importance of export-led agribusiness for the Brazilian economy provides a paradigmatic opportunity to apply this conceptual framework and investigate the foundations and geographical specificities of agro-neoliberalism. The article also discusses recent politico-economic adjustments and early signs of the exhaustion of Brazilian agro-neoliberalism, despite its undisputed hegemony. Neoliberal agricultural policies in Brazil have enabled the mobilization of agricultural resources, not for the purpose of domestic food security, but primarily for capital accumulation and the reinforcement of long-term social and economic trends that, ultimately, undermine prospects for sustained agricultural growth and broader sustainable development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agribusiness and Agri-food Prospects)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review, Other

Open AccessArticle Exploring Environmental Awareness and Behavior among Guests at Hotels That Apply Water-Saving Measures
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1305; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051305
Received: 26 February 2018 / Revised: 9 April 2018 / Accepted: 20 April 2018 / Published: 24 April 2018
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Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate guest profiles at a hotel that has created a best-practices water management model to determine how different types of guests contribute to saving water during their stay. To do this, we analyzed levels of environmental
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The aim of this study was to investigate guest profiles at a hotel that has created a best-practices water management model to determine how different types of guests contribute to saving water during their stay. To do this, we analyzed levels of environmental awareness and pro-environmental behavior among the guests. Information was gathered through 648 structured surveys with guests at Hotel Samba in the Spanish seaside resort of Lloret de Mar between September 2015 and August 2016. Cluster analysis revealed four profiles of guests with different sociodemographic characteristics and different levels of awareness and proactivity in relation to water conservation. We combined our findings to develop a framework that illustrates how the two dimensions of environmental awareness and pro-environmental behavior are related in this setting. This article provides new insights into how hotel guests’ environmental awareness and engagement can influence a hotel’s water-saving efforts. These insights should help hotel operators to devise new, guest-centered strategies for saving water. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Safety Assessment Model for Dangerous Goods Transport by Air Carrier
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1306; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051306
Received: 15 March 2018 / Revised: 19 April 2018 / Accepted: 20 April 2018 / Published: 24 April 2018
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Abstract
The safety of dangerous goods transport by air is directly related to human health and environmental pollution. This paper investigates a model to evaluate the safety performance of the transport of dangerous goods by air carriers. Based on a literature review, international regulations
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The safety of dangerous goods transport by air is directly related to human health and environmental pollution. This paper investigates a model to evaluate the safety performance of the transport of dangerous goods by air carriers. Based on a literature review, international regulations related to dangerous goods air transportation, and expert opinions, this paper identifies an assessment factor system with five drivers: organization/regulations, equipment/facilities, operations, emergency, and training. A hybrid evaluation method of a joint analytical hierarchy process and entropy weight is used to determine the importance of each factor and driver. The results suggest that the regulation of dangerous goods acceptance, sufficient equipment/facilities, and the condition of the equipment/facilities are the most important factors affecting the safety performance of dangerous goods transportation by air. An empirical study reveals that the proposed model is stable and reliable; thus, the model can guide resource allocation for air carriers to improve safety management of dangerous goods transportation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Freight Transport)
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Open AccessArticle A Sustainable Land Utilization Pattern for Confirming Integrity of Economic and Ecological Objectives under Uncertainties
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1307; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051307
Received: 1 February 2018 / Revised: 18 April 2018 / Accepted: 18 April 2018 / Published: 24 April 2018
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Abstract
In this study, an integrated crop–forest system with market approach (ICFM) associated with recovering forest and withdrawing cultivation was developed for confirming regional integrity of economic and ecological objectives under uncertainties. A mixed quadratic stochastic-fuzzy programming method (QSF) was proposed for planning an
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In this study, an integrated crop–forest system with market approach (ICFM) associated with recovering forest and withdrawing cultivation was developed for confirming regional integrity of economic and ecological objectives under uncertainties. A mixed quadratic stochastic-fuzzy programming method (QSF) was proposed for planning an ICFM issue under uncertainties. QSF can not only deal with spatial and temporal variations of meteorological condition, but also handle uncertainties expressed in terms of probability distributions and fuzzy sets. Meanwhile, it can also tackle nonlinear relationships between land resource plan and economic data. The developed QSF was applied to an ICFM issue in Xixian county, China. The results of adverse effects from irrigation, ecological effects from forest, land utilization with market approach and optimal system benefits were obtained. It can facilitate policymakers to adjust current land utilization with market approach to improve the productivities of land resources. The tradeoff between crop irrigation and forest protection can prompt generation of optimized plans with consideration of economic and ecological objectives, which can be availed to generate strategies for confirming integrity of socio-economic and eco-environmental sustainability. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Assessing the Effect of Spatial Proximity on Urban Growth
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1308; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051308
Received: 15 March 2018 / Revised: 17 April 2018 / Accepted: 19 April 2018 / Published: 24 April 2018
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Abstract
Land-Use/Cover Change (LUCC) reacts to demographic pressures, economic trends, or improved transport networks. Urban growth with implications on LUCC patterns can be measured using a diversity of methods. Our study derives from Tobler’s first law of geography: ‘everything is related to everything else,
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Land-Use/Cover Change (LUCC) reacts to demographic pressures, economic trends, or improved transport networks. Urban growth with implications on LUCC patterns can be measured using a diversity of methods. Our study derives from Tobler’s first law of geography: ‘everything is related to everything else, but near things are more related than distant ones’. We identified and measured the influence of neighbouring distance on urban growth from the edge of existing urban areas. For that, we have developed a method, built using the NetLogo software tool, which we called Land-use chAnge and Neighbouring Distance (LAND). We selected Torres Vedras (Portugal) to conduct our case study due to its increasing urban development in the past few years. The periods of analysis were 1995–2010, 1995–2007, and 2007–2010. The results have shown the influence and the effect of strong spatial correlation between the proximity of existing artificial surfaces and the emergence of new ones. The understanding of the patterns of urban growth is helpful to plan forward land developments. This method can be used to write guidelines for decision makers to monitor urban expansion and define spatial planning priorities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Land Uses and Rural Governance)
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Open AccessArticle The Interactive Role of Temporal Team Leadership in the Telecom Sector of Pakistan: Utilizing Temporal Diversity for Sustainable Knowledge Sharing
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1309; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051309
Received: 14 February 2018 / Revised: 18 April 2018 / Accepted: 19 April 2018 / Published: 24 April 2018
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Abstract
Human or social dimensions need to be significantly considered to maintain organizational sustainability. Unfortunately, this aspect has received relatively little attention when compared to other dimensions of sustainability. This study promotes the presence of a leader to manage conflicts, which cause hindrances in
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Human or social dimensions need to be significantly considered to maintain organizational sustainability. Unfortunately, this aspect has received relatively little attention when compared to other dimensions of sustainability. This study promotes the presence of a leader to manage conflicts, which cause hindrances in achieving sustainability. This is possible by maximizing sustainable knowledge sharing in a team, by effectively utilizing temporal diversity, including time urgency, time perspective, and pacing style diversity under a certain time pressure. This study has examined the effect of temporal diversity on knowledge sharing within teams by taking temporal conflict as a mediator. Moreover, it was also investigated whether the role of team temporal leadership is effective in utilizing the conflicts arising from the temporal diversity. The research design was quantitative in nature. A purposive sampling technique was used to gather data from 100 dyads working in the telecom sector of Pakistan, by distributing questionnaires. The findings suggest that team temporal leadership plays an effective role when a conflict arises rather than after it has arisen because more time and resources will be required to resolve such conflicts arising from temporal diversity. When the temporal diversity is low, the leader can manage the conflicts quite well, but as the diversity increases, the role of the temporal leader become much harder which may cause increased conflicts because of the limited capacity of a leader to manage those conflicts. Furthermore, it was observed that conflicts, if managed properly, may lead to increased knowledge sharing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Interpreting Circularity. Circular City Representations Concealing Transition Drivers
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1310; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051310
Received: 30 January 2018 / Revised: 12 April 2018 / Accepted: 17 April 2018 / Published: 24 April 2018
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Abstract
Embodying circular economy transition as a sustainable city concept, circularity in cities is increasingly the subject of policy innovations, urban strategies, and research & development agendas. It seems evident that a circular city should include more than the sum or multiplication of urban
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Embodying circular economy transition as a sustainable city concept, circularity in cities is increasingly the subject of policy innovations, urban strategies, and research & development agendas. It seems evident that a circular city should include more than the sum or multiplication of urban circular economies. Nevertheless, prevailing discourses remain till today business focused, and how circular economy creates economic, social, and environmental resilience in cities has yet to be explored. This paper conceptualizes the notion of urban circularity. It introduces an analytical framework sorting existing circularity concepts that are based on design and planning characteristics. Adopting comparative case study research on four contemporary forward-looking spatial representations of ‘circular’ places, this paper articulates their circularity interpretation. Demonstrating how diverging sustainability framings and political positions are embedded within the studied spatial representations, this paper aims to bring clarity in contemporary circular city approaches for policymakers as well as for spatial practitioners. The paper concludes with an agenda for multi-perspective and multi-dimensional circular city design, which is anchored in place specific and multi-scalar transition relations. It suggests urban landscape design as a disciplinary field to act as a pivot in transdisciplinary circularity design and research. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Social Work Practices and the Ecological Sustainability of Socially Vulnerable Communities
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1312; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051312
Received: 12 March 2018 / Revised: 20 April 2018 / Accepted: 22 April 2018 / Published: 24 April 2018
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Abstract
Environmental problems are also social problems. Social work, as a scientific area, has increasingly assumed the importance of including environmental problems in social intervention. This close linkage to ecological issues is particularly relevant when addressing vulnerable communities. In this article, we analyze the
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Environmental problems are also social problems. Social work, as a scientific area, has increasingly assumed the importance of including environmental problems in social intervention. This close linkage to ecological issues is particularly relevant when addressing vulnerable communities. In this article, we analyze the results of a study focused on social work intervention in two Portuguese eco-neighborhoods in the context of ongoing urban regeneration projects, which suggest that social vulnerability accentuates the damage of exposure to environmental threats and amplifies its effects. The analysis of data collected from social workers, through 9 semi-structured interviews and through questionnaires (N = 131), with the residents of the neighborhoods together with non-participant observation, allowed to highlight the difficulties, contradictions, but also the potential of this type intervention. Results appear to support an eco-social model which may help social worker to promote social transformation and change, respecting community rhythms, promoting empowerment of individuals, addressing the challenges of socially vulnerable communities within the complexity of a globalized world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle Consumer Preferences for Local Food: Testing an Extended Norm Taxonomy
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1313; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051313
Received: 5 April 2018 / Revised: 18 April 2018 / Accepted: 20 April 2018 / Published: 24 April 2018
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Abstract
Consumer attitudes toward consuming and buying locally produced food are well studied. By contrast, the topic of consumer preferences for local food, with a special emphasis on the role of norms, still lacks empirical evidence. To study the influence of norms and morals
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Consumer attitudes toward consuming and buying locally produced food are well studied. By contrast, the topic of consumer preferences for local food, with a special emphasis on the role of norms, still lacks empirical evidence. To study the influence of norms and morals on the intention to buy local food products, a quantitative study (N = 327) focusing on external social and internalized moral norms was conducted using the constructs of the theory of planned behavior in combination with an extended norm taxonomy and the perceived consumer effectiveness measure. The norm constructs consisted of two different personal norms, integrated and introjected, and two social norms, descriptive and injunctive. In a factor analysis, two factors for social norms but only one for personal norms were obtained. Multiple regressions explained 50 percent of the variance in intentions and 29 percent of the variance in past behavior. Norm constructs were proven important in the model, as personal norms had the largest effect among all constructs on intentions, and descriptive norms strongly influenced past behavior. An additional mediation analysis showed that personal norms were internalized social injunctive norms and that intentions mediated the relationship between all constructs. The implications of the findings and recommendations for future research are given accordingly. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Coordination in International Manufacturing: The Role of Competitive Priorities and the Focus of Globally Dispersed Facilities
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1314; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051314
Received: 27 March 2018 / Revised: 18 April 2018 / Accepted: 20 April 2018 / Published: 24 April 2018
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Abstract
In this era of globalization, network integration has received great attention, as it certainly has implications for the competitiveness in international manufacturing. A key issue in integration is to coordinate activities of dispersed facilities in a way to align the target of locating
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In this era of globalization, network integration has received great attention, as it certainly has implications for the competitiveness in international manufacturing. A key issue in integration is to coordinate activities of dispersed facilities in a way to align the target of locating abroad and the priorities to be competitive. This study explores and clarifies the effect of competitive priority and focus of dispersed facilities on coordinating the activities in intra-firm network manufacturing. Based on a multiple case study involving four different companies manufacturing in globally dispersed facilities, the results confirm that both competitive priorities and specific focus of global manufacturing are important for selecting mechanisms to coordinate overseas facilities, with the competitive priorities ‘quality’ and ‘flexibility’ being the more important. Furthermore, the findings reveal that companies place emphasis on informal mechanisms to coordinate the low-cost focused facilities. In turn, the importance of formal mechanisms seems equal for coordinating both low-cost focused facilities and those focused on capturing a local market. Finally, the findings of this paper suggest that elements of competitive priority, as well as the focus of dispersed facilities, should be considered towards making the choice for mechanisms of coordination. The findings bear important implications for the effective coordination of activities in international manufacturing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle On the Estimation of the CO2 Emission, Economic Growth and Energy Consumption Nexus Using Dynamic OLS in the Presence of Multicollinearity
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1315; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051315
Received: 26 February 2018 / Revised: 13 April 2018 / Accepted: 18 April 2018 / Published: 24 April 2018
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Abstract
This paper introduces shrinkage estimators (Ridge DOLS) for the dynamic ordinary least squares (DOLS) cointegration estimator, which extends the model for use in the presence of multicollinearity between the explanatory variables in the cointegration vector. Both analytically and by using simulation techniques, we
[...] Read more.
This paper introduces shrinkage estimators (Ridge DOLS) for the dynamic ordinary least squares (DOLS) cointegration estimator, which extends the model for use in the presence of multicollinearity between the explanatory variables in the cointegration vector. Both analytically and by using simulation techniques, we conclude that our new Ridge DOLS approach exhibits lower mean square errors (MSE) than the traditional DOLS method. Therefore, based on the MSE performance criteria, our Monte Carlo simulations demonstrate that our new method outperforms the DOLS under empirically relevant magnitudes of multicollinearity. Moreover, we show the advantages of this new method by more accurately estimating the environmental Kuznets curve (EKC), where the income and squared income are related to carbon dioxide emissions. Furthermore, we also illustrate the practical use of the method when augmenting the EKC curve with energy consumption. In summary, regardless of whether we use analytical, simulation-based, or empirical approaches, we can consistently conclude that it is possible to estimate these types of relationships in a considerably more accurate manner using our newly suggested method. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Willingness to Pay for Environmentally Friendly Products among Low-Income Households along Coastal Peninsular Malaysia
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1316; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051316
Received: 5 April 2018 / Revised: 22 April 2018 / Accepted: 23 April 2018 / Published: 24 April 2018
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Abstract
In an attempt to promote the mass consumption of environmentally friendly products in Malaysia, this study presents an investigation of the effects of several selected factors upon willingness to pay and purchase behavior of environmental-friendly products. This study employed a cross-sectional design, in
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In an attempt to promote the mass consumption of environmentally friendly products in Malaysia, this study presents an investigation of the effects of several selected factors upon willingness to pay and purchase behavior of environmental-friendly products. This study employed a cross-sectional design, in which quantitative data were gathered from a total of 380 low-income household heads from 38 coastal districts in Peninsular Malaysia. The outcomes of this study revealed the positively significant effects of eco-literacy and environmental concern upon attitudes towards environmental-friendly products; normative beliefs and perceived behavioral control on willingness to pay for environmental-friendly products; as well as willingness to pay for environmental-friendly products and perceived behavioral control on payment behavior for environmental-friendly products, among low-income households in coastal Peninsular Malaysia. Programs and policies should therefore focus on promoting environmental awareness and knowledge concerning the relative advantages that are expected to improve willingness among consumers to pay for environmentally friendly products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marketing and Sustainability)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Assessing Nature-Based Coastal Protection against Disasters Derived from Extreme Hydrometeorological Events in Mexico
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1317; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051317
Received: 23 January 2018 / Revised: 17 April 2018 / Accepted: 19 April 2018 / Published: 24 April 2018
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Abstract
Natural ecosystems are expected to reduce the damaging effects of extreme hydrometeorological effects. We tested this prediction for Mexico by performing regression models, with two dependent variables: the occurrence of deaths and economic damages, at a state and municipality levels. For each location,
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Natural ecosystems are expected to reduce the damaging effects of extreme hydrometeorological effects. We tested this prediction for Mexico by performing regression models, with two dependent variables: the occurrence of deaths and economic damages, at a state and municipality levels. For each location, the explanatory variables were the Mexican social vulnerability index (which includes socioeconomic aspects, local capacity to prevent and respond to an emergency, and the perception of risk) and land use cover considering different vegetation types. We used the hydrometeorological events that have affected Mexico from 1970 to 2011. Our findings reveal that: (a) hydrometeorological events affect both coastal and inland states, although damages are greater on the coast; (b) the protective role of natural ecosystems only was clear at a municipality level: the presence of mangroves, tropical dry forest and tropical rainforest was related to a significant reduction in the occurrence of casualties. Social vulnerability was positively correlated with the occurrence of deaths. Natural ecosystems, both typically coastal (mangroves) and terrestrial (tropical forests, which are located on the mountain ranges close to the coast) function for storm protection. Thus, their conservation and restoration are effective and sustainable strategies that will help protect and develop the increasingly urbanized coasts. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Impact of Intelligent Transportation System Implementations on the Sustainable Growth of Passenger Transport in EU Regions
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1318; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051318
Received: 29 March 2018 / Revised: 19 April 2018 / Accepted: 22 April 2018 / Published: 24 April 2018
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This article discusses original studies that demonstrate the relation between developed elements of the transportation network (road system density; railway system density; number of regional railway and bus connections, length of regional railway and bus connections, online accessibility to transportation services and other
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This article discusses original studies that demonstrate the relation between developed elements of the transportation network (road system density; railway system density; number of regional railway and bus connections, length of regional railway and bus connections, online accessibility to transportation services and other services related to the development of IT techniques to benefit mass transit) and the regional GNP. A new development relative to preceding studies (as quoted) is that the correlation coefficients calculated do not indicate any essential interrelations between elements of the transport system, or even the number of regional passenger transport services and regional GNP. A determination of the remaining data interrelations indicated the elements of the network which are considered essential to the development of mass transit, as resulting from a study carried out for the first time in 2015 for the Górnośląska-Zagłębioska Metropolis. Considering the fact that the number of railway connections has proven to be the most important determinant of the overall number of passenger transport services, the second part of the article presents studies that focus on the modeling of the railway network, applying the graph theory (extensively applied for ITS). Selected optimized models were analyzed and assessed in terms of possible implementability of specific improvements and the resultant growth in the number of passenger transport services. The research method applied was not novel, but the conclusions drawn from it were surprising, as they indicated that an optimized network of railway connections would not cause any significant increase in the number of passenger transport services. Successive surveys (supplementing statistical analyses) have confirmed the importance of ITS in increasing the share of mass transit in overall transit. (1) The study was carried out in Polish regions, with particular emphasis on Silesia. (2) Its conclusions emphasize the importance of data accumulated for ITS in decision-making processes aiming to ensure the sustainable development of mass/passenger transport. The article confirms a hypothesis which claims that “modeling the regional public transportation grid, applying the principles of ITS, stimulates a growth in the share of passenger transport in the overall bulk of transport, thus contributing to the sustainable development of the region”. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alliances and Network Organizations for Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle Assessing the Needs and Gaps of Building Information Technologies for Energy Retrofit of Historic Buildings in the Korean Context
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1319; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051319
Received: 27 March 2018 / Revised: 17 April 2018 / Accepted: 19 April 2018 / Published: 24 April 2018
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Abstract
Most domestic modern buildings from the early 1900s have been constructed as heavy mass, and for many years have relied on passive measures for climate control. Since effective passive measures eventually reduce the heating and cooling loads, thus also reducing the system size,
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Most domestic modern buildings from the early 1900s have been constructed as heavy mass, and for many years have relied on passive measures for climate control. Since effective passive measures eventually reduce the heating and cooling loads, thus also reducing the system size, passive and hybrid measures are the most preferred Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs). In addition, the domestic situation and climate are additional constraints in energy retrofit decision making, such as a shorter budget and time, poor maintenance history, and uncertainties in vernacular lifestyle. For this reason, the performance improvement and side-effects prior to installing ECMs should be predictable, particularly in case the originality can be damaged. This complexity confirms that simulation-based Measurement and Verification (M&V) would better suit the energy retrofit of domestic historic buildings. However, many domestic investors still believe re-construction has a larger economic value than restoration. Therefore, they are even unwilling to invest in more time than a preset audit period—typically less than a week. Although simulation-based M&V is theoretically favored for retrofit decision making, its process including collecting data, modeling and analysis, and evaluating and designing ECMs could still be too demanding to domestic practitioners. While some manual, repetitive, error-prone works exist in the conventional retrofit process and simulation-based M&V, it is proposed here that enhanced Building Information Technology (BIT) is able to simplify, automate, and objectify, at least the critical steps of the retrofit project. The aim of this study is to find an efficient and effective energy retrofit strategy for domestic historic buildings that appeals to both domestic investors and practitioners by testing selective BIT tools on an actual historic building. This study concludes with the suggestion that software vendors are asked to develop enhanced features to resolve users’ pending demands. It is also suggested that, in the domestic context, how the current practice for each process of the energy retrofit of historic buildings needs to shift to take a full advantage of BIT. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cultural Heritage Conservation and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Seeking Control in a Precarious Environment: Sustainable Practices as an Adaptive Strategy to Living under Uncertainty
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1320; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051320
Received: 27 March 2018 / Revised: 17 April 2018 / Accepted: 22 April 2018 / Published: 24 April 2018
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Abstract
Our societies and our economies are struggling to transform in response to the climate crisis with the speed and intent that the rapidly deteriorating environmental situation requires. Resistance to change is invoked as one of the reasons for the slow adoption of new
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Our societies and our economies are struggling to transform in response to the climate crisis with the speed and intent that the rapidly deteriorating environmental situation requires. Resistance to change is invoked as one of the reasons for the slow adoption of new sustainable practices. In this paper, we argue that the transition to sustainable behaviors is part of a wider adaptation to the new uncertain and precarious conditions of contemporary living and this constitutes a unique opportunity for rapid cultural change. The analysis of a growing innovation space that is at the crossroads of digital transformation and ecological transition shows that the digital culture of sustainability actually goes hand in hand with the changing practices emerging from an increasing economic and professional precariousness. Since the invention of the world wide web, we have seen that digital innovation is an accelerator of cultural change. When applied to the ecological transition, will digital innovation create the conditions for an equally rapid and profound transformation of practices? To start exploring this question, we built a dedicated research tool called If You Want To that collected several thousand digital environmental projects. Our initial findings suggest that this wide landscape of services enables new sustainable forms of exchange, collaboration, consumption, and production, giving rise to alternative social, environmental, and economic models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychology of Sustainability and Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle Measurement and Prediction of Regional Tourism Sustainability: An Analysis of the Yangtze River Economic Zone, China
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1321; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051321
Received: 5 April 2018 / Revised: 20 April 2018 / Accepted: 21 April 2018 / Published: 24 April 2018
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Abstract
In view of sustainable development of tourism, this paper firstly constructs a more comprehensive and scientific index system from the economical/societal/resource-related/environmental aspects of tourism and evaluates the sustainable and comprehensive development level of tourism in 11 provinces and cities of the Yangtze River
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In view of sustainable development of tourism, this paper firstly constructs a more comprehensive and scientific index system from the economical/societal/resource-related/environmental aspects of tourism and evaluates the sustainable and comprehensive development level of tourism in 11 provinces and cities of the Yangtze River economic zone by using the weighted TOPSIS (The Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to an Ideal Solution ) method; secondly, it analyzes the coupling coordination evolution relationship between tourism and the economy/society/resources/environment in different provinces and cities of the Yangtze river economic zone based on the coupling coordination model from the spatio-temporal dimension; and finally, it predicts the coupling coordination degree of the provinces and cities in the region in the next few years by the grey model (1,1) and puts forward some countermeasures and suggestions. According to the study, this method provides an effective reference to the study on the sustainable development of tourism and is very significant for learning the sustainable development of regional tourism and establishing specific and scientific countermeasures for improvement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Employment and Income Growth from Sustainable Tourism)
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Open AccessArticle Environmentally Friendly Utilization of Wheat Straw Ash in Cement-Based Composites
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1322; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051322
Received: 15 March 2018 / Revised: 6 April 2018 / Accepted: 6 April 2018 / Published: 25 April 2018
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Abstract
The open burning of biomass residue constitutes a major portion of biomass burning and leads to air pollution, smog, and health hazards. Various alternatives have been suggested for open burning of crop residue; however, each of them has few inherent drawbacks. This research
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The open burning of biomass residue constitutes a major portion of biomass burning and leads to air pollution, smog, and health hazards. Various alternatives have been suggested for open burning of crop residue; however, each of them has few inherent drawbacks. This research suggests an alternative method to dispose wheat straw, i.e., to calcine it in a controlled environment and use the resulting ash as a replacement of cement by some percentage in cement-based composites. When wheat straw, an agricultural product, is burned, it is very rich in SiO2, which has a pozzolanic character. However, the pozzolanic character is sensitive to calcination temperature and grinding conditions. According to the authors’ best knowledge, until now, no systematic study has been devised to assess the most favorable conditions of burning and grinding for pozzolanic activity of wheat straw ash (WSA). Hence, a systematic experimental program was designed. In Phase I, calcination of WS was carried out at 500 °C, 600 °C, 700 °C, and 800 °C for 2 h. The resulting ashes were tested for color change, weight loss, XRD, XRF, Chapelle activity, Fratini, and pozzolanic activity index (PAI) tests. From test results, it was found that beyond 600 °C, the amorphous silica transformed into crystalline silica. The WSA calcined at 600 °C was found to satisfy Chapelle and Fratini tests requirements, as well as the PAI requirement of ASTM at 28 days. Therefore, WSA produced at 600 °C (WSA600) showed the best pozzolanic performance. In Phase II, WSA600 was ground for various intervals (15–240 min). These ground ashes were tested for SEM, Blaine fineness, Chapelle activity, Fratini, and PAI tests. From test results, it was observed that after 120 min of grinding, there was an increase of 48% in Blaine surface area, with a consequence that WSA-replaced cement cubes achieved a compressive strength almost similar to that of the control mix. Conclusively, wheat straw calcined at 600 °C and ground for 120 min was found to be the most effective way to use pozzolanic material in cement-based composites. The addition of WSA in cement-based composites would achieve manifold objectives, i.e., aiding in the production of environmentally friendly concrete, the use of wheat straw as fuel for electricity production, and adding economic value to wheat straw. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Toward the Coordinated Sustainable Development of Urban Water Resource Use and Economic Growth: An Empirical Analysis of Tianjin City, China
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1323; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051323
Received: 26 March 2018 / Revised: 18 April 2018 / Accepted: 19 April 2018 / Published: 25 April 2018
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Abstract
The coordinated sustainable development of urban water resources and economic growth requires a better understanding of the relationship between industrial water use and economic growth. This study analyzed the relationship between urban industrial water use and economic development in Tianjin City in China
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The coordinated sustainable development of urban water resources and economic growth requires a better understanding of the relationship between industrial water use and economic growth. This study analyzed the relationship between urban industrial water use and economic development in Tianjin City in China (one of the four municipalities directly under the Central Government) from 2005 to 2015. The research combined the logarithmic mean Divisia index model with the Tapio model to develop a new decoupled model analyzing the relationship between urban industrial water use and economic development. The results show that: (1) Tianjin’s industrial water use and economic growth show a clear decoupling; (2) the economic scale effect drives Tianjin’s total industrial water use and economic growth towards weaker decoupling, stabilizing in a weakly decoupled state; and (3) the industrial structure effect and industrial water intensity effect drive the decoupling of industrial water use and economic growth in Tianjin. Finally, the paper provides policy recommendations to promote the decoupling of industrial water use and economic growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle Reserving Charging Decision-Making Model and Route Plan for Electric Vehicles Considering Information of Traffic and Charging Station
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1324; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051324
Received: 27 March 2018 / Revised: 21 April 2018 / Accepted: 22 April 2018 / Published: 25 April 2018
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Abstract
With the advance of battery energy technology, electric vehicles (EV) are catching more and more attention. One of the influencing factors of electric vehicles large-scale application is the availability of charging stations and convenience of charging. It is important to investigate how to
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With the advance of battery energy technology, electric vehicles (EV) are catching more and more attention. One of the influencing factors of electric vehicles large-scale application is the availability of charging stations and convenience of charging. It is important to investigate how to make reserving charging strategies and ensure electric vehicles are charged with shorter time and lower charging expense whenever charging request is proposed. This paper proposes a reserving charging decision-making model for electric vehicles that move to certain destinations and need charging services in consideration of traffic conditions and available charging resources at the charging stations. Besides, the interactive mechanism is described to show how the reserving charging system works, as well as the rolling records-based credit mechanism where extra charges from EV is considered to hedge default behavior. With the objectives of minimizing driving time and minimizing charging expenses, an optimization model with two objective functions is formulated. Then the optimizations are solved by a K shortest paths algorithm based on a weighted directed graph, where the time and distance factors are respectively treated as weights of corresponding edges of transportation networks. Case studies show the effectiveness and validity of the proposed route plan and reserving charging decision-making model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Transportation)
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Open AccessArticle Detection and Quantification of Genetically Modified Soybean in Some Food and Feed Products. A Case Study on Products Available on Romanian Market
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1325; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051325
Received: 28 February 2018 / Revised: 19 April 2018 / Accepted: 20 April 2018 / Published: 25 April 2018
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Abstract
The aim of this paper is to trace genetically modified soybean in food and feed products present on the Romanian market by using molecular extraction, identification and quantification methodologies. Nine samples (3 food samples, 5 soybean samples and 1 soybean meal) were analysed
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The aim of this paper is to trace genetically modified soybean in food and feed products present on the Romanian market by using molecular extraction, identification and quantification methodologies. Nine samples (3 food samples, 5 soybean samples and 1 soybean meal) were analysed using the classical and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method. DNA-genetically modified organism (GMO) was not detected in two of the three analysed samples (food products). However, it could be found in four samples ranging below the limit of 0.9%, and in three samples, above the limit of 0.9%. The results obtained through real-time PCR quantification show that DNA-RRS was detectable in different amounts in different samples: ranging between 0.27% and 9.36% in soy beans, and reaching 50.98% in soybean meal. The current research focuses on how products containing GMO above the limit (it is common knowledge that it is necessary to label the products containing more than 0.9% Genetically Modified DNA) are differentiated on the market with a view to labeling food and feed products in terms of the accidental presence of approved genetically modified plants. The benefits brought by genetic engineering in obtaining genetically modified organisms can be balanced with their public acceptance and with certain known or unknown risks that they can bring. Full article
Open AccessArticle Organising Sustainability Competencies through Quality Management: Integration or Specialisation
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1326; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051326
Received: 7 March 2018 / Revised: 20 April 2018 / Accepted: 22 April 2018 / Published: 25 April 2018
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Abstract
A significant step in integrating environmental sustainability into daily operations is through product development. One way to achieve such integration of environmental considerations into product development is by relating sustainability competencies to practices of Quality Management. However, practices seem to vary for how
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A significant step in integrating environmental sustainability into daily operations is through product development. One way to achieve such integration of environmental considerations into product development is by relating sustainability competencies to practices of Quality Management. However, practices seem to vary for how competencies within environmental sustainability are organised in order to make sustainability more actionable. This study explores two ways of organising sustainability competencies in product development: integration and specialisation. The organisation of sustainability competency is illustrated through two cases; one case in which sustainability is integrated with the quality management competency, and the other in which a new competency focusing on sustainability has been added as a separate function in product development. It is suggested that the organisation of sustainability competency influences the extent of environmental impact. Further, trade-offs, such as material source versus weight may not be exploited when sustainability is integrated as one area of responsibility for another specialty competency, suggesting a lack of sufficient competency within environmental sustainability to recognise potential trade-offs between—for example—quality and environmental impact. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle An Exploration of the Impacts of Compulsory Source-Separated Policy in Improving Household Solid Waste-Sorting in Pilot Megacities, China: A Case Study of Nanjing
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1327; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051327
Received: 5 April 2018 / Revised: 18 April 2018 / Accepted: 20 April 2018 / Published: 25 April 2018
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Abstract
Source-separated policy is very important for household solid waste (HSW) management in global megacities. The low proportion of source-separated collection has led to a low comprehensive utilization rate of municipal solid waste (MSW) in China. In March 2017, the Chinese government required major
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Source-separated policy is very important for household solid waste (HSW) management in global megacities. The low proportion of source-separated collection has led to a low comprehensive utilization rate of municipal solid waste (MSW) in China. In March 2017, the Chinese government required major cities to fully implement compulsory source-separated systems by 2020. To determine policy impacts and efficiency in improving HSW sorting, the government launched a mandatory MSW source-separated program in Nanjing in November 2016. A household survey was implemented in three types of 11 communities over a period of 10 weeks. The results showed that approximately 52% of the respondents supported the mandatory policy and that household size was the most important sociodemographic factor influencing the support of the source separation policy. Income, gender, age, and knowledge play significant roles in different groups of respondents. This mandatory policy effectively improved the source-separated rate of HSW by 49.7%. Source-separated facilities investment, publicity investment, and special supervision coverage in these communities had significant positive effects on source-separated HSW. Every 1 million CNY investment in source-separated facilities and publicity will increase the source-separated rate of HSW by 1.1%. A 1.0% increase of special supervision coverage in communities can increase the source-separated rate by 3.6%. The findings from this study may help improve source-separated management of HSW for other cities in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Trends in Municipal Solid Waste Management)
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Open AccessArticle Management Implications for the Most Attractive Scenic Sites along the Andalusia Coast (SW Spain)
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1328; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051328
Received: 28 February 2018 / Revised: 9 April 2018 / Accepted: 20 April 2018 / Published: 25 April 2018
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Abstract
A coastal scenery assessment was carried out at 50 sites along the 910 km long Andalusia coast (SW Spain) using a checklist of 26 natural and human parameters, parameter weighting matrices, and fuzzy logic. A scenic classification was utilised that can rate sites
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A coastal scenery assessment was carried out at 50 sites along the 910 km long Andalusia coast (SW Spain) using a checklist of 26 natural and human parameters, parameter weighting matrices, and fuzzy logic. A scenic classification was utilised that can rate sites as Class I (natural areas of great scenic beauty) to Class V (urbanised areas of poor scenic interest), but, for this study, only natural sites of great scenic value were investigated; 41 sites were included in Class I, 9 in Class II and, apart from four, all of the sites were under some feature of protection—managed by the Andalusia Environmental Agency (RENPA, in Spanish). Sites belong to the Natural Park Cabo de Gata-Nijar (24% of sites), the Natural Park of Gibraltar Strait (18%), the Natural Place Acantilado de Maro-Cerro Gordo (12%), and the Natural and National parks of Doñana (8%). Results obtained by means of scenic evaluation constitute a sound scientific basis for any envisaged management plan for investigated coastal areas preservation/conservation and responsible future developments, especially for natural protected areas, which represent the most attractive coastal tourist destinations. With respect to natural parameters, excellent scenic values appeared to be linked to the geological setting and the presence of mountainous landscapes related to the Betic Chain. Human parameters usually show good scores because null or extremely reduced human impacts are recorded, but, at places, conflicts arose between conservation and recreational activities because visitors are often interested in beach activities more so than ecotourism. Low scores of human parameters were often related to litter presence or the unsuitable emplacement of utilities, such as informative panels, litter bins, etc. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Non-Stationarity on Flood Frequency Analysis: Case Study of the Cheongmicheon Watershed in South Korea
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1329; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051329
Received: 12 March 2018 / Revised: 16 April 2018 / Accepted: 18 April 2018 / Published: 25 April 2018
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Abstract
Due to global climate change, it is possible to experience the new trend of flood in the near future. Therefore, it is necessary to consider the impact of climate change on flood when establishing sustainable water resources management policy. In order to predict
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Due to global climate change, it is possible to experience the new trend of flood in the near future. Therefore, it is necessary to consider the impact of climate change on flood when establishing sustainable water resources management policy. In order to predict the future flood events, the frequency analysis is commonly applied. Traditional methods for flood frequency analysis are based on the assumption of stationarity, which is questionable under the climate change, although many techniques that are based on stationarity have been developed. Therefore, this study aims to investigate and compare all of the corresponding effects of three different data sets (observed, RCP 4.5, and 8.5), two different frequency models (stationary and non-stationary), and two different frequency analysis procedures (rainfall frequency first approach and direct discharge approach). As a result, the design flood from the observed data by the stationary frequency model and rainfall frequency first approach can be concluded the most reasonable. Thus, the design flood from the RCP 8.5 by the non-stationary frequency model and rainfall frequency first approach should be carefully used for the establishment of flood prevention measure while considering climate change and uncertainty. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Climate Change on Hydrology, Water Quality and Ecology)
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Open AccessArticle Optimal Supply Chain Structural Choice under Horizontal Chain-to-Chain Competition
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1330; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051330
Received: 3 April 2018 / Revised: 17 April 2018 / Accepted: 20 April 2018 / Published: 25 April 2018
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Abstract
This paper investigates the horizontal Nash game and structure selection strategy in two competing dominant enterprises. Each firm decides whether to outsource the retail or manufacture to the exclusive third-party enterprise and thus forms a decentralized supply chain structure. On the premise that
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This paper investigates the horizontal Nash game and structure selection strategy in two competing dominant enterprises. Each firm decides whether to outsource the retail or manufacture to the exclusive third-party enterprise and thus forms a decentralized supply chain structure. On the premise that third-party enterprises have no advantage on sales and manufacture cost, the revenue-sharing contract is introduced between the manufacturer and retailer, and the influence of decentralized structure on the game equilibrium structure and supply chain profit is analyzed based on Hotelling model. The results show that, when compared with centralized structure, decentralized supply chain has the structural advantage to improving not only its supply chain profits but also the competing chain. This interesting insight is counterintuitive to the common “double marginalization” effect and explains the outsourcing strategy from the perspective of supply chain competition. In addition, we find the dominant strategy in the evolutionary game is that both two chains are decentralized or integrated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How does Outsourcing Affect the Economy and its Sustainability?)
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Open AccessArticle Adsorption Characteristics of Ammonium Nitrogen and Plant Responses to Biochar Pellet
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1331; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051331
Received: 14 March 2018 / Revised: 10 April 2018 / Accepted: 10 April 2018 / Published: 25 April 2018
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Abstract
For feasibility of carbon sequestration as well as in the mitigation of greenhouse gases for application of biochar pellet, this experiment was conducted, focusing on the adsorption characteristics of NH4-N on biochar pellet mixed with different ratios of pig manure compost.
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For feasibility of carbon sequestration as well as in the mitigation of greenhouse gases for application of biochar pellet, this experiment was conducted, focusing on the adsorption characteristics of NH4-N on biochar pellet mixed with different ratios of pig manure compost. For NH4-N adsorption on biochar pellets, the loading amount of biochar pellet was 211.5 mg in 50 mL of aqueous solution, and the adsorption fitted very well with Langmuir isotherm. The maximum adsorption and removal rates were 2.94 mg g−1 and 92.2%, respectively, in the pellet that contained 90% of biochar. It was also observed, by kinetic models, that NH4-N was adsorbed fast on biochar pellet with a combination ratio of 9:1 of biochar pellet/pig manure. It was further observed that the higher the amount of biochar contained in the biochar pellet, the greater the adsorption of NH4-N. For the plant response observed for lettuce, it was shown that the leaf biomass in plots treated with a 9:1 biochar/pig manure compost increased by approximately 13% compared with the leaf biomass in plots treated with the compost alone. The leaf biomass of the other treatments was higher than that of the control. This implies that the application of biochar pellets, regardless of the biochar contents, might be useful for soil carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas mitigation for agricultural practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organic Waste Management)
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Open AccessArticle Flowchart on Choosing Optimal Method of Observing Transverse Dispersion Coefficient for Solute Transport in Open Channel Flow
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1332; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051332
Received: 21 March 2018 / Revised: 17 April 2018 / Accepted: 23 April 2018 / Published: 25 April 2018
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Abstract
There are a number of methods for observing and estimating the transverse dispersion coefficient in an analysis of the solute transport in open channel flow. It may be difficult to select an optimal method to calculate dispersion coefficients from tracer data among numerous
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There are a number of methods for observing and estimating the transverse dispersion coefficient in an analysis of the solute transport in open channel flow. It may be difficult to select an optimal method to calculate dispersion coefficients from tracer data among numerous methodologies. A flowchart was proposed in this study to select an appropriate method under the transport situation of either time-variant or steady condition. When making the flowchart, the strengths and limitations of the methods were evaluated based on its derivation procedure which was conducted under specific assumptions. Additionally, application examples of these methods on experimental data were illustrated using previous works. Furthermore, the observed dispersion coefficients in a laboratory channel were validated by using transport numerical modeling, and the simulation results were compared with the experimental results from tracer tests. This flowchart may assist in choosing the better methods for determining the transverse dispersion coefficient in various river mixing situations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Diploid Evolutionary Algorithm for Sustainable Truck Scheduling at a Cross-Docking Facility
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1333; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051333
Received: 24 February 2018 / Revised: 18 April 2018 / Accepted: 21 April 2018 / Published: 25 April 2018
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Abstract
Supply chains have become more time-sensitive in recent years. Delays in supply chain operations may cause significant negative externalities, including lost sales and customers. In order to facilitate the product distribution process within supply chains, reduce the associated delays, and improve sustainability of
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Supply chains have become more time-sensitive in recent years. Delays in supply chain operations may cause significant negative externalities, including lost sales and customers. In order to facilitate the product distribution process within supply chains, reduce the associated delays, and improve sustainability of the supply chain operations, many distribution companies started implementing the cross-docking technique. One of the challenging problems in management of the cross-docking facilities is efficient scheduling of the arriving trucks. This study proposes a novel Diploid Evolutionary Algorithm for the truck scheduling problem at a cross-docking facility, which—unlike the Evolutionary Algorithms presented in the cross-docking literature to date—stores the genetic information from the parent chromosomes after performing a crossover operation. The objective of the formulated mathematical model is to minimize the total truck service cost. The conducted numerical experiments demonstrate that the optimality gap of the developed algorithm does not exceed 0.18% over the considered small size problem instances. The analysis of the realistic size problem instances indicates that deployment of the developed solution algorithm reduces the total truck handling time, the total truck waiting time, and the total truck delayed departure time on average by 6.14%, 32.61%, and 34.01%, respectively, as compared to a typical Evolutionary Algorithm. Furthermore, application of the diploidy concept decreases the total truck service cost by 18.17%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Transportation)
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Open AccessArticle Incidence of the Flipped Classroom in the Physical Education Students’ Academic Performance in University Contexts
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1334; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051334
Received: 19 February 2018 / Revised: 15 April 2018 / Accepted: 16 April 2018 / Published: 25 April 2018
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Abstract
This research analyzed Physical Education students’ degree of academic performance with the incorporation of active methodologies, specifically flipped classroom mixed learning, restricted to evaluation periods in the months of June and September. The study focused on whether there are significant differences in this
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This research analyzed Physical Education students’ degree of academic performance with the incorporation of active methodologies, specifically flipped classroom mixed learning, restricted to evaluation periods in the months of June and September. The study focused on whether there are significant differences in this variable through the scores obtained. Through a simple random sampling, 131 students participated in this empiric-analytic research, using an ex-post-facto study with a retrospective design with quasi-control group. A robust test of averages comparison, multiple linear regressions and an evaluation of the relative importance of predictors was conducted. The results show how flipped classroom methodology linearly and positively influences academic performance and correlational motivation and support. As main conclusion, in a hybrid and digitalized learning context, the value of the consideration of active methodologies (flipped classroom) based on emerging pedagogies, allows improving students’ achievement and competence development, providing critical, significant, ubiquitous, transformational and especially motivating experiences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity as a Means of Culture, Leisure and Free Time)
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Open AccessArticle A Communication-Supported Comprehensive Protection Strategy for Converter-Interfaced Islanded Microgrids
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1335; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051335
Received: 3 April 2018 / Revised: 15 April 2018 / Accepted: 19 April 2018 / Published: 25 April 2018
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Abstract
The deployment of distributed generators (DGs) gives rise to several challenges for a microgrid or conventional distribution feeder, regarding control and protection issues. The major ones are: bi-directional flow of power, changes in fault current magnitude, and continuous changes in operational configuration due
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The deployment of distributed generators (DGs) gives rise to several challenges for a microgrid or conventional distribution feeder, regarding control and protection issues. The major ones are: bi-directional flow of power, changes in fault current magnitude, and continuous changes in operational configuration due to both the plug-and-play of DGs and loads, and the intermittency of the renewable DGs. This issue is exacerbated when the microgrid contains several converter-interfaced DGs and operates in the islanded mode of operation. Hence, conventional protection strategies and relaying techniques will no longer be sufficient to protect islanded microgrids against network faults and disturbance conditions. This paper proposes a fast and reliable communication-supported protection strategy for ensuring the safe operation of converter-interfaced islanded microgrids. The strategy is implementable using commercially accessible microprocessor based digital relays, and is applicable for the protection of low voltage islanded microgrids. It provides backup protection to handle communication failures and malfunctions of protective devices. The paper also presents the detailed structural layout of the digital relay, which executes the proposed protection strategy. A number of improvements are proposed to find an alternative method for conventional overcurrent relays to reliably detect small-magnitude fault currents and high impedance faults, commonly encountered in converter-interfaced islanded microgrids. A simple and economical bus protection method is also proposed. Several simulations are conducted on a comprehensive model of a realistic operational industrial microgrid (Goldwind Smart Microgrid System) using PSCAD/EMTDC software environment—for different case studies and fault scenarios—to verify the effectiveness of the present strategy and its digital relay. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Power Grid for Sustainable Energy Transition)
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Open AccessArticle Preservation of Cultural Heritage Embodied in Traditional Crafts in the Developing Countries. A Case Study of Pakistani Handicraft Industry
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1336; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051336
Received: 29 January 2018 / Revised: 19 April 2018 / Accepted: 20 April 2018 / Published: 25 April 2018
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Abstract
Cultural heritage embodied in traditional crafts is an integral part of any nation which reflects the culture and tradition of a particular region. Although the importance of handicraft has been widely recognized, the literature regarding preservation of traditional craft is scarce. The present
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Cultural heritage embodied in traditional crafts is an integral part of any nation which reflects the culture and tradition of a particular region. Although the importance of handicraft has been widely recognized, the literature regarding preservation of traditional craft is scarce. The present paper aimed to explore and identify issues faced by traditional craftsmanship in developing countries and to address those issues in order to contribute to the sustainability of traditional craft heritage and ensure continuous transmission of craft skills and knowledge from generation to generation. Our study identified several key issues which poses substantial challenges to the preservation of traditional craft heritage in developing countries. In order to add empirical evidence, we examined the case of Pakistani handicraft industry that provided further understanding of highlighted issues which traditional craft heritage face. We have suggested some policies to promote, develop and preserve the traditional craft heritage. The significance of these policy suggestions is underlined with the case study of Pakistan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cultural Heritage Conservation and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle A Performance Analysis Model of TCP over Multiple Heterogeneous Paths for 5G Mobile Services
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1337; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051337
Received: 30 March 2018 / Revised: 22 April 2018 / Accepted: 22 April 2018 / Published: 25 April 2018
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Abstract
Driven by the primary requirement of emerging 5G mobile services, the demand for concurrent multipath transfer (CMT) is still prominent. Yet, multipath transport protocols are not widely adopted and CMT schemes based on Transport Control Protocol (TCP) will still be in dominant position
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Driven by the primary requirement of emerging 5G mobile services, the demand for concurrent multipath transfer (CMT) is still prominent. Yet, multipath transport protocols are not widely adopted and CMT schemes based on Transport Control Protocol (TCP) will still be in dominant position in 5G. However, the performance of TCP flow transferred over multiple heterogeneous paths is prone to the link quality asymmetry, the extent of which was revealed to be significant by our field investigation. In this paper, we present a performance analysis model for TCP over multiple heterogeneous paths in 5G scenarios, where both bandwidth and delay asymmetry are taken into consideration. The evaluation using large-scale simulation and field experiment shows that the proposed model can achieve high accuracy in practical environments. Some interesting inferences can be drawn from the proposed model, such as the dominant factors that affect the performance of TCP over heterogeneous networks, and the criteria of determining the appropriate number of links to be used under different circumstances of path heterogeneity. Thus, the proposed model can provide a guidance to the design of TCP-based CMT solutions for 5G mobile services. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 5G Mobile Services and Scenarios: Challenges and Solutions)
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Open AccessArticle Comparative Study on the Optimization Path of Industrial Value Chain in China’s Resource-Based Cities
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1338; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051338
Received: 2 April 2018 / Revised: 23 April 2018 / Accepted: 23 April 2018 / Published: 25 April 2018
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Abstract
China’s resource-based cities have currently entered a period of comprehensive transformation. The differences in the economic and technical environment and significant policy orientation make it unique to some extent. This study applied value chain theory to analyze the industrial value chain of China’s
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China’s resource-based cities have currently entered a period of comprehensive transformation. The differences in the economic and technical environment and significant policy orientation make it unique to some extent. This study applied value chain theory to analyze the industrial value chain of China’s resource-based cities, and three important types of optimization paths that have been applied differently by different cities were proposed. Grey relational analysis was used to compare the comprehensive value creation capacity of the three paths and its relationship with the comparative advantage of local industry. We found that a circular economy system has significant capacity to optimize economic and social value and favorable prospects for environmental value. However, this may have obvious instability in early periods of transition. This disadvantage can be remedied by cultivating related industries that have significantly comprehensive advantages in the early period. In the long term, the other two paths need to be combined with cultivating emerging industries. Finally, we found that the value creation capacity of China’s resource-based cities has roots in optimization of the industrial value chain rather than enhancement of the industrial comparative advantage. The reason for this is that value creation capacity has not yet been transformed into a source of industrial comparative advantage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle Rapid Development, Build-Out Ratio and Subsequent Neighborhood Turnover
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1339; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051339
Received: 23 March 2018 / Revised: 19 April 2018 / Accepted: 23 April 2018 / Published: 25 April 2018
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Abstract
Neighborhood development is primarily comprised of structural elements that include design elements, nearby amenities and ecological attributes. This paper assumes that the process of development itself also influences the character of the neighborhood—specifically, that the rate of development and build-out ratio influences neighborhood
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Neighborhood development is primarily comprised of structural elements that include design elements, nearby amenities and ecological attributes. This paper assumes that the process of development itself also influences the character of the neighborhood—specifically, that the rate of development and build-out ratio influences neighborhood turnover. While the structural components clearly set a framework for development, the process of development expresses the character of the neighborhood in subtle messages conveyed through the market. Neighborhoods in the rapidly growing university town of College Station, Texas are analyzed in terms of neighborhood design, nearby amenities and landscape ecology components. Residential property records are used to characterize each neighborhood in terms of the rate of development and current build-out ratio. The multivariate analysis indicates that the development rate increases subsequent neighborhood turnover rates while the build-out ratio decreases it. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle Decomposition Analysis of Energy-Related CO2 Emissions and Decoupling Status in China’s Logistics Industry
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1340; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051340
Received: 26 March 2018 / Revised: 17 April 2018 / Accepted: 19 April 2018 / Published: 25 April 2018
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Abstract
The logistics industry is one of the major fossil energy consumers and CO2 emitters in China, which plays an important role in achieving sustainable development as well as China’s emission reduction targets. To identify the key influencing factors regarding the logistics of
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The logistics industry is one of the major fossil energy consumers and CO2 emitters in China, which plays an important role in achieving sustainable development as well as China’s emission reduction targets. To identify the key influencing factors regarding the logistics of CO2 reductions and ensure that the development of China’s logistics industry becomes less dependent on CO2 emissions, this paper built an extended log-mean Divisia index model (LMDI) to decompose the logistics of CO2 changes between 1985 and 2015. Then, we introduced a decoupling model that combined the decomposition results to analyze the decoupling state and identify the main factors that influenced the decoupling relationship. The results show the following. (1) The urbanization effect was the decisive factor in CO2 emissions increases, followed by structural adjustment effects, while technological progress effects played a major role in inhibiting CO2 emissions. Particularly, the energy structure showed great potential for CO2 emissions reduction in China. (2) Highways appeared to have dominant promoting roles in increasing CO2 emissions regarding transportation structure effects; highways and aviation proved to have the largest impact on CO2 emission reduction. (3) There has been an increase in the number of expansive negative decoupling states between 2005 and 2015, which implies that the development of the logistics industry has become more dependent on CO2 emissions. Finally, this paper puts forward some policy implications for CO2 emission reductions in China’s logistics industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Urban Expansion Occurred at the Expense of Agricultural Lands in the Tarai Region of Nepal from 1989 to 2016
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1341; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051341
Received: 8 March 2018 / Revised: 16 April 2018 / Accepted: 22 April 2018 / Published: 26 April 2018
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Abstract
Recent rapid urbanization in developing countries presents challenges for sustainable environmental planning and peri-urban cropland management. An improved understanding of the timing and pattern of urbanization is needed to determine how to better plan urbanization for the near future. Here, we describe the
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Recent rapid urbanization in developing countries presents challenges for sustainable environmental planning and peri-urban cropland management. An improved understanding of the timing and pattern of urbanization is needed to determine how to better plan urbanization for the near future. Here, we describe the spatio-temporal patterns of urbanization and related land-use/land-cover (LULC) changes in the Tarai region of Nepal, as well as discuss the factors underlying its rapid urban expansion. Analyses are based on regional time-series Landsat 5, 7 and 8 image classifications for six years between 1989 and 2016, representing the first long-term observations of their kind for Nepal. During this 27-year period, gains in urban cover and losses of cultivated lands occurred widely. Urban cover occupied 221.1 km2 in 1989 and increased 320% by 2016 to a total 930.22 km2. Cultivated land was the primary source of new urban cover. Of the new urban cover added since 1989, 93% was formerly cultivated. Urban expansion occurred at moderately exponential rates over consecutive observation periods, with nearly half of all urban expansion occurring during 2006–2011 (305 km2). The annual rate of urban growth during 1989–1996 averaged 3.3% but reached as high as 8.09% and 12.61% during 1996–2001 and 2011–2016, respectively. At the district level, the rate of urban growth and, by extension, agricultural loss, were weakly related to total population growth. Variability in this relationship suggests that concerted urban-growth management may reduce losses of agricultural lands relative to historic trends despite further population growth and urbanization. Urbanization and LULC change in the Tarai region are attributable to significant inter-regional migration in a context of poor urban planning and lax policies controlling the conversion and fragmentation of peri-urban cultivated lands. Urban expansion and farmland loss are expected to continue in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle Provincial Carbon Emissions Reduction Allocation Plan in China Based on Consumption Perspective
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1342; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051342
Received: 13 March 2018 / Revised: 18 April 2018 / Accepted: 23 April 2018 / Published: 26 April 2018
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Abstract
China is a country with substantial differences in economic development, energy consumption mix, resources, and technologies, as well as the development path at the provincial level. Therefore, China’s provinces have different potential and degrees of difficulty to carry out carbon emission reduction (CER)
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China is a country with substantial differences in economic development, energy consumption mix, resources, and technologies, as well as the development path at the provincial level. Therefore, China’s provinces have different potential and degrees of difficulty to carry out carbon emission reduction (CER) requirements. In addition, interprovincial trade, with a large amount of embodied carbon emissions, has become the fastest growing driver of China’s total carbon emissions. A reasonable CER allocation plan is, therefore, crucial for realizing the commitment that China announced in the Paris Agreement. How to determine a fair way to allocate provincial CER duties has become a significant challenge for both policy-makers and researchers. In this paper, ecological network analysis (ENA), combined with a multi-regional input-output model (MRIO), is adopted to build an ecological network of embodied emissions across 30 provinces. Then, by using flow analysis and utility analysis based on the ENA model, the specific relationships among different provinces were determined, and the amount of responsibility that a certain province should take quantified, with respect to the embodied carbon emission (ECE) flows from interprovincial trade. As a result, we suggest a new CER allocation plan, based on the detailed data of interprovincial relationships and ECE flows. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Eye of Sustainable Planning: A Conceptual Heritage-Led Urban Regeneration Planning Framework
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1343; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051343
Received: 3 March 2018 / Revised: 15 April 2018 / Accepted: 21 April 2018 / Published: 26 April 2018
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Abstract
Implementation and integration of sustainable development within a management framework is the main problem of urban regeneration projects. Therefore, this paper aims to develop a sustainable heritage-led urban regeneration planning framework, which will act as an urban regeneration project life cycle model and
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Implementation and integration of sustainable development within a management framework is the main problem of urban regeneration projects. Therefore, this paper aims to develop a sustainable heritage-led urban regeneration planning framework, which will act as an urban regeneration project life cycle model and aid sustainable planning and decision-making processes for project managers. First, a literature review is used to conceptualise the first version of the sustainable planning framework. Then, it is validated by conducting interviews with professionals in Northern Cyprus. Sustainable heritage-led urban regeneration planning problems exist in the case study region. Therefore, the data collected for this research is significant to the research problem. Results showed that there is a lack of knowledge towards heritage-led urban regeneration among the local community and it is the main source of sustainable planning problems. Therefore, a questionnaire survey is conducted to validate this problem. The results validated that there is a sustainability perception difference between the local community and professionals, and the knowledge level of the local community was not satisfactory. Finally, a knowledge management system is introduced in the final version of the framework in order to empower stakeholders, and the “eye of sustainable planning” is introduced. Perception differences between the local community and professionals and the lack of knowledge of the local community towards heritage-led urban regeneration is introduced by this research. This study is limited to heritage-led regeneration projects and future studies may extend the scope of this study to different countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle GIS Assessment of Mass Tourism Anthropization in Sensitive Coastal Environments: Application to a Case Study in the Mar Menor Area
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1344; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051344
Received: 23 March 2018 / Revised: 22 April 2018 / Accepted: 24 April 2018 / Published: 26 April 2018
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Abstract
On the Mediterranean coast, the tourism activity which has developed since the 1950s has become a mass tourism industry in recent decades, cohabitating with natural spaces of high environmental value. These sensitive areas are thus subjected to a varied catalog of anthropizing actions
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On the Mediterranean coast, the tourism activity which has developed since the 1950s has become a mass tourism industry in recent decades, cohabitating with natural spaces of high environmental value. These sensitive areas are thus subjected to a varied catalog of anthropizing actions (urbanization of the natural soil, modification of the dune balances by the construction of port infrastructures, alteration of marine ecosystems by recreational activities, etc.). All these inter-related elements are often difficult to analyze in a comprehensive way because of their diffuse nature. This paper proposes a methodology based on GIS analysis for the evaluation of diffuse anthropization associated to tourism in sensitive coastal environments. By using different indicators of territorial transformation, a complete method is proposed to establish the index of diffuse anthropization of a territory. This methodology, which is easily applicable in a generalized manner in different cases for developed countries, will be applied in the Mar Menor, a coastal lagoon area in the Mediterranean that has been suffering from mass tourism during recent decades. The results will show the important impact of several actions linked to tourism and the worrying inertia that the current trend can cause in the lagoon’s ecosystem. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Ecological Wisdom and Inspiration Underlying the Planning and Construction of Ancient Human Settlements: Case Study of Hongcun UNESCO World Heritage Site in China
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1345; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051345
Received: 26 March 2018 / Revised: 16 April 2018 / Accepted: 24 April 2018 / Published: 26 April 2018
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Abstract
Human settlements are social-economic-natural complex ecosystems centered on human activities and the most prominent site for the contradictions between humans and the environment. Taking Hongcun, a UNESCO World Heritage site in China, as an example, this paper analyzes the methods and effect of
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Human settlements are social-economic-natural complex ecosystems centered on human activities and the most prominent site for the contradictions between humans and the environment. Taking Hongcun, a UNESCO World Heritage site in China, as an example, this paper analyzes the methods and effect of coupling man and nature in Hongcun, summarizes the ecological wisdom of dealing with the relationship between human and nature, and uses this wisdom to shed light on the planning, construction, and management of contemporary urban and rural settlements. Firstly, the study introduces the Human-Natural Intergraded Ecological Planning (HNIEP) model’s hypothesis, explaining its foundation and potential principles or approaches. Secondly, using the case study of Hongcun to explain, support, and validate the HNIEP model and its framework, the study found that the unique planning and construction of Hongcun has greatly promoted ecosystem services, such as local microclimate regulation, rainwater runoff regulation, water conservation, landscape aesthetic, and engagement with nature. Thirdly, Hongcun reflects the concept of harmonious coexistence between human and nature, the wisdom of rational use of ecosystem structures, processes and functions, and the wisdom of coupling human activities with the living environment and natural ecosystem. Finally, the paper summarizes the enlightenment brought by both the HNIEP model and Hongcun wisdom to contemporary urban-rural planning and construction management. Full article
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Open AccessArticle An Assessment of the Wind Power Generation Potential of Built Environment Wind Turbine (BEWT) Systems in Fort Beaufort, South Africa
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1346; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051346
Received: 10 April 2018 / Revised: 23 April 2018 / Accepted: 24 April 2018 / Published: 26 April 2018
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Abstract
The physical and economic sustainability of using built environment wind turbine (BEWT) systems depends on the wind resource potential of the candidate site. Therefore, it is crucial to carry out a wind resource assessment prior to the deployment of the BEWT. The assessment
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The physical and economic sustainability of using built environment wind turbine (BEWT) systems depends on the wind resource potential of the candidate site. Therefore, it is crucial to carry out a wind resource assessment prior to the deployment of the BEWT. The assessment results can be used as a referral tool for predicting the performance and lifespan of the BEWT in the given built environment. To date, there is limited research output on BEWTs in South Africa, with available literature showing a bias towards utility-scale or conventional ground-based wind energy systems. This study aimed to assess the wind power generation potential of BEWT systems in Fort Beaufort using the Weibull distribution function. The results show that Fort Beaufort wind patterns can be classified as fairly good and that BEWTs can best be deployed at 15   m for a fairer power output as roof height wind speeds require BEWTs of very low cut-in speeds of at most 1.2   ms 1 . Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Maximum Power Point Tracking for Photovoltaic Systems under Partial Shading Conditions Using Bat Algorithm
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1347; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051347
Received: 18 February 2018 / Revised: 30 March 2018 / Accepted: 18 April 2018 / Published: 26 April 2018
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Abstract
The vibrant, noiseless, and low-maintenance characteristics of photovoltaic (PV) systems make them one of the fast-growing technologies in the modern era. This on-demand source of energy suffers from low-output efficiency compared with other alternatives. Given that PV systems must be installed in outdoor
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The vibrant, noiseless, and low-maintenance characteristics of photovoltaic (PV) systems make them one of the fast-growing technologies in the modern era. This on-demand source of energy suffers from low-output efficiency compared with other alternatives. Given that PV systems must be installed in outdoor spaces, their efficiency is significantly affected by the inevitable complication called partial shading (PS). Partial shading occurs when different sections of the solar array are subjected to different levels of solar irradiance, which then leads to a multiple-peak function in the output characteristics of the system. Conventional tracking techniques, along with some nascent/novel approaches used for the tracking maximum power point (MPP), are unsatisfactory when subjected to PS, eventually leading to the reduced efficiency of the PV system. This study aims at investigating the use of the bat algorithm (BA), a nature-inspired metaheuristic algorithm for MPP tracking (MPPT) subjected to PS conditions. A brief explanation of the behavior of the PV system under the PS condition and the advantages of using BA for estimating the MPPT of the PV system under PS condition is discussed. The deployment of the BA for the MPPT in PV systems is then explained in detail highlighting the simulation results which verifies whether the proposed method is faster, more efficient, sustainable and more reliable than conventional and other soft computing-based methods. Three testing conditions are considered in the simulation, and the results indicate that the proposed technique has high efficiency and reliability even when subjected to an acute shading condition. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Comparative Study of the Role of China and India in Sustainable Textile Competition in the U.S. Market under Green Trade Barriers
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1348; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051348
Received: 24 March 2018 / Revised: 18 April 2018 / Accepted: 24 April 2018 / Published: 26 April 2018
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Abstract
The United States is the most important textile import market in the world, and one of the most important export targets of developing countries. In view of its ecological environment and consumer health, the United States has put forward increasingly harsh environmental protection
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The United States is the most important textile import market in the world, and one of the most important export targets of developing countries. In view of its ecological environment and consumer health, the United States has put forward increasingly harsh environmental protection systems and standards for imported textile products, and its environmental trade barriers have been steadily strengthened. China’s textile exports increased substantially after joining the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2000; at present, the textile imports of the United States from China and India reach in total more than one third of all their imports. China and India both have comparative advantages in the import trade of textile raw materials and clothing in the United States (U.S.). On the basis of the United Nation ComTrade Rev. 3, this paper studies the role of China and India in the United States textile market, including calculating the trade competitiveness index, revealing the competitive advantages of China and India, and investigating the impact of both Chinese and Indian textiles on United States imports from the rest of the world across three main textile sectors in the period 2000–2016, especially in the context of green trade barriers. We find that the relative textile import prices, the ecological standard of China’s textile production re-edited Oeko-Tex Standard 100 in 2008 and export tax policy, and the competitive advantages of China and India had varied impacts on relative U.S. textile imports across related sectors under green environmental trade barriers. These findings recognize China’s competitiveness in international trading, and also provide suggestions regarding China’s competitiveness and sustainable development in the U.S. market. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Policy for Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Risk Perceptions of Airbnb Hosts: Evidence from a Mediterranean Island
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1349; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051349
Received: 10 April 2018 / Revised: 14 April 2018 / Accepted: 22 April 2018 / Published: 26 April 2018
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Abstract
In the context of the sharing economy, Airbnb has become a formidable mode of accommodation in the tourism industry worldwide, with a presence in over 34,000 cities in 191 countries. However, the risks associated with online bookings are significant dimensions of this e-market
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In the context of the sharing economy, Airbnb has become a formidable mode of accommodation in the tourism industry worldwide, with a presence in over 34,000 cities in 191 countries. However, the risks associated with online bookings are significant dimensions of this e-market domain. This study assesses Airbnb hosts’ perceived risks and investigates the effects of service, financial, safety and security, psychological and political risks on the host’s satisfaction and intention to continue and recommend this business to potential hosts. A survey was administered to 221 Airbnb hosts located in Northern Cyprus. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to test the proposed conceptual model. The results revealed that host satisfaction is negatively influenced by financial and safety and security risks; continuance intention is negatively affected by financial, safety and security, and political risks; intention to recommend this business is negatively affected by political risk; and psychological risk increases satisfaction and intention to continue and recommend. By highlighting the theoretical and managerial implications, this study informs Airbnb management of the potential risks associated with this peer-to-peer (P2P) business in order to minimize the associated risks, enhance host satisfaction and the quality of their services, and encourage hosts to recommend Airbnb to their peers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Performance Sustainability and Integrated Reporting: Empirical Evidence from Mandatory and Voluntary Adoption Contexts
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1351; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051351
Received: 20 March 2018 / Revised: 15 April 2018 / Accepted: 20 April 2018 / Published: 26 April 2018
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Abstract
This paper looks at the topic of regulation of integrated reporting for listed companies, with the aim of contributing to the debate on the usefulness of introducing a mandatory regime, both from the perspective of integrated performance sustainability of companies and from that
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This paper looks at the topic of regulation of integrated reporting for listed companies, with the aim of contributing to the debate on the usefulness of introducing a mandatory regime, both from the perspective of integrated performance sustainability of companies and from that of relevance of information for providers of financial capital. The study is based on empirical research carried out on a sample composed of companies operating in territories where the adoption of integrated reporting is voluntary (Europe) and those operating in a country where adoption is mandatory (South Africa). The research shows that (a) in voluntary regimes, levels of integrated performance achieved by companies are higher; (b) mandatory regulation produces positive effects on integrated performance levels in the medium term; (c) integrated performance indicators are value-relevant, though having different levels of relevance under the two regimes examined. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Identifying Farm Pond Habitat Suitability for the Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus): A Conservation-Perspective Approach
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1352; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051352
Received: 21 February 2018 / Revised: 18 April 2018 / Accepted: 25 April 2018 / Published: 26 April 2018
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Abstract
The purpose of this study was to establish a habitat-suitability assessment model for Gallinula chloropus, or the Common Moorhen, to be applied to the selection of the most suitable farm pond for habitat conservation in Chiayi County, Taiwan. First, the fuzzy Delphi
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The purpose of this study was to establish a habitat-suitability assessment model for Gallinula chloropus, or the Common Moorhen, to be applied to the selection of the most suitable farm pond for habitat conservation in Chiayi County, Taiwan. First, the fuzzy Delphi method was employed to evaluate habitat selection factors and calculate the weights of these factors. The results showed that the eight crucial factors, by importance, in descending order, were (1) area ratio of farmlands within 200 m of the farm pond; (2) pond area; (3) pond perimeter; (4) aquatic plant coverage of the pond surface; (5) drought period; (6) coverage of high and low shrubs around the pond bank; (7) bank type; and (8) water-surface-to-bank distance. Subsequently, field evaluations of 75 farm ponds in Chiayi County were performed. The results indicated that 15 farm ponds had highly-suitable habitats and were inhabited by unusually high numbers of Common Moorhens; these habitats were most in need of conservation. A total of two farm ponds were found to require habitat-environment improvements, and Common Moorhens with typical reproductive capacity could be appropriately introduced into 22 farm ponds to restore the ecosystem of the species. Additionally, the habitat suitability and number of Common Moorhens in 36 farm ponds were lower than average; these ponds could be used for agricultural irrigation, detention basins, or for recreational use by community residents. Finally, the total habitat suitability scores and occurrence of Common Moorhens in each farm pond were used to verify the accuracy of the habitat-suitability assessment model for the Common Moorhen. The overall accuracy was 0.8, and the Kappa value was 0.60, which indicates that the model established in this study exhibited high credibility. To sum up, this is an applicable framework not only to assess the habitat suitability of farm ponds for Common Moorhens, but also to determine whether a particular location may require the implementation of conservation practices. Furthermore, the findings in this research can provide useful information to all relevant stakeholders involved in the implementation of wildlife-habitat conservation and restoration at farm ponds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle Sacrificial Pseudoreplication in LEED Cross-Certification Strategy Assessment: Sampling Structures
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1353; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051353
Received: 3 April 2018 / Revised: 20 April 2018 / Accepted: 25 April 2018 / Published: 27 April 2018
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Abstract
The study aims to suggest sampling structures to avoid sacrificial pseudoreplication in the evaluation of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified projects. The sampling includes two structures that exclude sacrificial pseudoreplication and one structure that leads to sacrificial pseudoreplication: (i) The state
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The study aims to suggest sampling structures to avoid sacrificial pseudoreplication in the evaluation of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified projects. The sampling includes two structures that exclude sacrificial pseudoreplication and one structure that leads to sacrificial pseudoreplication: (i) The state is the sampling frame in which LEED projects are treated as primary sampling units; (ii) The US is the sampling frame, the state is the primary sampling unit in which LEED projects are treated as evaluation units; and (iii) The US is the sampling frame in which LEED projects are pooled from different states and treated as primary sampling units. The three sampling structures are applied to the evaluation of the Silver-to-Gold cross-certification performances of LEEDv3 for new construction and LEEDv3 for existing buildings. The same cross-certification strategy was revealed if either structure (i) or structure (ii) was applied, while it was poorly estimated and misinterpreted if structure (iii) was applied, i.e., sacrificial pseudoreplication had occurred. Full article
Open AccessArticle Towards Credible City Branding Practices: How Do Iran’s Largest Cities Face Ecological Modernization?
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1354; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051354
Received: 24 March 2018 / Revised: 20 April 2018 / Accepted: 23 April 2018 / Published: 27 April 2018
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Abstract
City branding is not only increasingly practiced in cities in established economies, but also among municipal governments in countries, until quite recently, rather closed off from the outside world. One country with a strong drive to engage in urban (re)development in the post-oil
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City branding is not only increasingly practiced in cities in established economies, but also among municipal governments in countries, until quite recently, rather closed off from the outside world. One country with a strong drive to engage in urban (re)development in the post-oil era through enhancing its ‘ecological modernization’ is Iran. Megacities in Iran have all begun to venture into making profiles of what they think they are or would like to be. However, some of the adopted city branding strategies lack sophistication. In this article, the authors examine what indicators can be used for evaluating the credibility of city brands and apply these to Iran’s 15 megacities. After offering brief descriptions of the generic features of each of these cities, they map their use of city brand identities and popular city labels related to ecological modernization and analyze the credibility of their city branding practices. Based on their findings, the authors distinguish five types of cities and explain what makes some types more credible in their use of brands than others. Generally speaking, compared to cities in other nations, Iranian cities pay special attention to historical, natural, cultural, and religious aspects. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Fool’s Gold: Understanding Social, Economic and Environmental Impacts from Gold Mining in Quang Nam Province, Vietnam
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1355; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051355
Received: 26 February 2018 / Revised: 19 April 2018 / Accepted: 24 April 2018 / Published: 27 April 2018
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Abstract
Extractive industries are often claimed to contribute to both poverty reduction and economic growth. Yet, there is also a body of research that suggests natural resource dependence can result in limited development, environmental degradation and social upheaval. This paper examines differences in the
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Extractive industries are often claimed to contribute to both poverty reduction and economic growth. Yet, there is also a body of research that suggests natural resource dependence can result in limited development, environmental degradation and social upheaval. This paper examines differences in the socioeconomic and environmental state of mining and non-mining communities in rural Vietnam in order to understand the extent to which mining contributes to livelihood development and socioeconomic well-being. In particular, we examine the role that “corporate social responsibility” (CSR) plays in supporting community development in Phuoc Son and Phu Ninh districts, Quang Nam province. Content analysis of newspapers, government documents and mining company reports provided a contextual overview of mining operations and community relations in each study area. Semi-structured interviews were used to collect information from local and regional stakeholders to further understand perceived impacts of mining operations on local communities. Our study finds that in comparison to non-mining communities, communities with active mines demonstrated increased job development, decreased poverty rates, enhanced infrastructure and social development along with increased incidences of CSR initiatives. However, a number of adverse effects from mining activities were reported including environmental degradation (e.g., deforestation, water pollution, etc.) increased criminal activity and drug addiction. Dependence on mine-related employment in local communities becomes acutely apparent when temporary mine closures result in widespread unemployment. Local governments may be the greatest beneficiaries of mining with increased tax revenues and enhanced management potential of leased land. Non-mining communities without direct benefits from mining activities maintained economic diversity and were therefore more resilient to economic shocks such as nearby mine closures. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Efficacy from Different Extractions for Chemical Profile and Biological Activities of Rice Husk
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1356; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051356
Received: 26 March 2018 / Revised: 21 April 2018 / Accepted: 25 April 2018 / Published: 27 April 2018
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Abstract
Rice husk is a by-product produced abundantly in rice production but it has low commercial value and causes environmental pollution. This study was conducted to examine different extracting solvents and conditions to optimize the efficacy of antioxidant and antimicrobial potentials, and chemical components
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Rice husk is a by-product produced abundantly in rice production but it has low commercial value and causes environmental pollution. This study was conducted to examine different extracting solvents and conditions to optimize the efficacy of antioxidant and antimicrobial potentials, and chemical components in rice husk. By the use of distilled water at 100 °C, the ethyl acetate (EtOAc) extract was potent in both total phenolic content (TPC), total flavonoid content (TFC), and DPPH scavenging activity. The treatment of either ethyl acetate (100 °C, 1 h), combined with MeOH 100%, showed the highest percent of lipid peroxidation inhibition (LPI) (86%), meaning that the strongest antioxidant activity was by the β-carotene bleaching method. The treatment of distilled water at room temperature possessed the strongest antioxidant activity in the assay of the reducing power. The use of dried samples at 100 °C for 2 h, combined with methanol (MeOH) 10%, provided the most potent antimicrobial activities against Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Listeria monocytogenes, Bacillus subtilis, and Proteus mirabilis. The results suggested that the EtOAc extract from rice husk could be a potential source of natural antioxidants. In general, the use of temperature 100 °C for 2 h, combined with either EtOAc or 10% MeOH, can optimize chemical components and antioxidant and antimicrobial capacities in rice husk. Principal constituents putatively identified by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS) revealed the presence of momilactones A and B (MA and MB, respectively), phenols, phenolic acids, and long-chain fatty acids, although yields of these compounds varied among extracts. The bioactive MA and MB were found in most of the extracts, except distilled water and MeOH ≤ 50%, at any temperature. Findings of this study provided optimal conditions for future production at an industrial scale for rice husk to exploit its potent biological properties. It thus helps to increase the economic value and reduce the disposal burden and environmental troubles caused by rice husk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Chemistry for a Circular Economy)
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Open AccessArticle Talking about Climate Change Mitigation: People’s Views on Different Levels of Action
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1357; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051357
Received: 2 February 2018 / Revised: 24 April 2018 / Accepted: 24 April 2018 / Published: 27 April 2018
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Abstract
Previous research has examined public views on climate change and pro-environmental behavior; however, there has been little focus on in-depth qualitative examination of views on mitigation strategies carried out by different social actors. This paper examines how people discuss strategies to mitigate climate
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Previous research has examined public views on climate change and pro-environmental behavior; however, there has been little focus on in-depth qualitative examination of views on mitigation strategies carried out by different social actors. This paper examines how people discuss strategies to mitigate climate change and the relative responsibilities of individuals, the UK government, and corporations. Twenty people were interviewed about what they thought should be done to reduce the degree of climate change. Three main themes in their responses are identified: (1) representations of climate change; (2) responsibility for action; and (3) opposing environmental and economic interests. Overall, there was support for a variety of climate change mitigation strategies. There was some emphasis on individual behavior change combined with suggestions about greater information provision and the importance of personal choice. Although some participants criticized economic and profit-oriented structures, there was a strong sense among participants that change in this regard was unlikely. An expansion of examples of alternative strategies to address climate change could contribute towards transcending individualized approaches and accentuate perceptions of possibilities for significant social change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Social Ecology and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Implementation of Cooperation for Recycling Vehicle Routing Optimization in Two-Echelon Reverse Logistics Networks
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1358; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051358
Received: 26 March 2018 / Revised: 21 April 2018 / Accepted: 24 April 2018 / Published: 27 April 2018
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Abstract
The formation of a cooperative alliance is an effective means of approaching the vehicle routing optimization in two-echelon reverse logistics networks. Cooperative mechanisms can contribute to avoiding the inefficient assignment of resources for the recycling logistics operations and reducing long distance transportation. With
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The formation of a cooperative alliance is an effective means of approaching the vehicle routing optimization in two-echelon reverse logistics networks. Cooperative mechanisms can contribute to avoiding the inefficient assignment of resources for the recycling logistics operations and reducing long distance transportation. With regard to the relatively low performance of waste collection, this paper proposes a three-phase methodology to properly address the corresponding vehicle routing problem on two echelons. First, a bi-objective programming model is established to minimize the total cost and the number of vehicles considering semitrailers and vehicles sharing. Furthermore, the Clarke–Wright (CW) savings method and the Non-dominated Sorting Genetic Algorithm-II (NSGA-II) are combined to design a hybrid routing optimization heuristic, which is denoted CW_NSGA-II. Routes on the first and second echelons are obtained on the basis of sub-optimal solutions provided by CW algorithm. Compared to other intelligent algorithms, CW_NSGA-II reduces the complexity of the multi-objective solutions search and mostly converges to optimality. The profit generated by cooperation among retail stores and the recycling hub in the reverse logistics network is fairly and reasonably distributed to the participants by applying the Minimum Costs-Remaining Savings (MCRS) method. Finally, an empirical study in Chengdu City, China, reveals the superiority of CW_NSGA over the multi-objective particle swarm optimization and the multi objective genetic algorithms in terms of solutions quality and convergence. Meanwhile, the comparison of MCRS method with the Shapley value model, equal profit method and cost gap allocation proves that MCRS method is more conducive to the stability of the cooperative alliance. In general, the implementation of cooperation in the optimization of the reverse logistics network effectively leads to the sustainable development of urban and sub-urban areas. Through the reasonable reorganization of the entire network, recycling companies can provide more reliable services, contribute to the reduction of environmental pollution, and guarantee significant profits. Thus, this paper provides manufacturing companies, logistics operators and local governments with tools to protect the environment, while still making profits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Transportation)
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Open AccessArticle Carbon Footprint Estimation Tool for Residential Buildings for Non-Specialized Users: OERCO2 Project
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1359; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051359
Received: 29 March 2018 / Revised: 18 April 2018 / Accepted: 24 April 2018 / Published: 27 April 2018
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Abstract
Existing tools for environmental certification of buildings are failing in their ability to reach the general public and to create social awareness, since they require not only specialized knowledge regarding construction and energy sources, but also environmental knowledge. In this paper, an open-source
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Existing tools for environmental certification of buildings are failing in their ability to reach the general public and to create social awareness, since they require not only specialized knowledge regarding construction and energy sources, but also environmental knowledge. In this paper, an open-source online tool for the estimation of the carbon footprint of residential buildings by non-specialized users is presented as a product from the OERCO2 Erasmus + project. The internal calculations, data management and operation of this tool are extensively explained. The ten most common building typologies built in the last decade in Spain are analysed by using the OERCO2 tool, and the order of magnitude of the results is analysed by comparing them to the ranges determined by other authors. The OERCO2 tool proves itself to be reliable, with its results falling within the defined logical value ranges. Moreover, the major simplification of the interface allows non-specialized users to evaluate the sustainability of buildings. Further research is oriented towards its inclusion in other environmental certification tools and in Building Information Modeling (BIM) environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Footprint: As an Environmental Sustainability Indicator)
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Open AccessArticle Tree-Based Ecosystem Approaches (TBEAs) as Multi-Functional Land Management Strategies—Evidence from Rwanda
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1360; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051360
Received: 19 March 2018 / Revised: 13 April 2018 / Accepted: 23 April 2018 / Published: 27 April 2018
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Abstract
Densely populated rural areas in the East African Highlands have faced significant intensification challenges under extreme population pressure on their land and ecosystems. Sustainable agricultural intensification, in the context of increasing cropping intensities, is a prerequisite for deliberate land management strategies that deliver
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Densely populated rural areas in the East African Highlands have faced significant intensification challenges under extreme population pressure on their land and ecosystems. Sustainable agricultural intensification, in the context of increasing cropping intensities, is a prerequisite for deliberate land management strategies that deliver multiple ecosystem goods (food, energy, income sources, etc.) and services (especially improving soil conditions) on the same land, as well as system resilience, if adopted at scale. Tree based ecosystem approaches (TBEAs) are among such multi-functional land management strategies. Knowledge on the multi-functionality of TBEAs and on their scaling up, however, remains severely limited due to several methodological challenges. This study aims at offering an analytical perspective to view multi-functional TBEAs as an integral part of sustainable agricultural intensification. The study proposes a conceptual framework to guide the analysis of socio-economic data and applies it to cross-site analysis of TBEAs in extremely densely populated Rwanda. Heterogeneous TBEAs were identified across Rwanda’s different agro-ecological zones to meet locally-specific smallholders’ needs for a set of ecosystem goods and services on the same land. The sustained adoption of TBEAs would be guaranteed if farmers subjectively recognize their compatibility and synergy with sustainable intensification of existing farming systems, supported by favorable institutional conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land-Use Competition)
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Open AccessArticle Innovations and Other Processes as Identifiers of Contemporary Trends in the Sustainable Development of SMEs: The Case of Emerging Regional Economies
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1361; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051361
Received: 1 February 2018 / Revised: 24 April 2018 / Accepted: 26 April 2018 / Published: 27 April 2018
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Abstract
Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are the biggest group of enterprises in the European Union (EU); they are also characteristic of emerging economies. Given this situation, there is a need to provide instruments such as processes that allow them to realize a model
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Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are the biggest group of enterprises in the European Union (EU); they are also characteristic of emerging economies. Given this situation, there is a need to provide instruments such as processes that allow them to realize a model of sustainable development. The ability to classify processes and the occurrences within these processes often affects the state of the enterprises. The implementation of innovations, as identified processes, facilities sustainable development for SMEs. The purpose of this article is to find out whether the identification of processes such as innovations has any influence on the competitiveness and sustainable development of SMEs. This study was based on pilot research that examined small and medium enterprises regionally based on the example of an emerging economic region of Poland. The research focused on the identification of the processes and changes happening inside enterprises in terms of understanding the sustainable development concept. The research composition allows the presentation of how SMEs understand the problems analyzed. The study features a new questionnaire, a new definition of sustainable development, and matches those processes identified by the enterprises analyzed with the particular sustainable development dimensions suggested by the authors. In light of the analysis of the literature and the results of this research, the study offers some important contributions in terms of understanding and offering practical meaning to the identification of various processes. The most important finding was that there is a need to raise awareness among entrepreneurs of the fact that innovations are also processes in themselves, which often constitute the sum of other supporting processes occurring within the enterprise. Support in the form of knowledge transfer from experts to SMEs would also be recommended. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in SMEs)
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Open AccessArticle Augmented-Reality Visualization of Aerodynamics Simulation in Sustainable Cloud Computing
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1362; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051362
Received: 30 March 2018 / Revised: 20 April 2018 / Accepted: 25 April 2018 / Published: 27 April 2018
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Abstract
This paper proposes visualization based on augmented reality (AR) for aerodynamics simulation in a sustainable cloud computing environment that allows the Son of Grid Engine different types of computers to perform concurrent job requests. A simulation of an indoor air-purification system is performed
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This paper proposes visualization based on augmented reality (AR) for aerodynamics simulation in a sustainable cloud computing environment that allows the Son of Grid Engine different types of computers to perform concurrent job requests. A simulation of an indoor air-purification system is performed using OpenFOAM computational fluid dynamics solver in the cloud computing environment. Post-processing converts the results to a form that is suitable for AR visualization. Simulation results can be displayed on devices, such as smart phones, tablets, and Microsoft HoloLens. This AR visualization allows for users to monitor purification of indoor air in real time. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Accuracy Assessment of Multi-Source Gridded Population Distribution Datasets in China
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1363; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051363
Received: 1 April 2018 / Revised: 24 April 2018 / Accepted: 25 April 2018 / Published: 27 April 2018
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Abstract
Population is one of the core elements of sustainable development. Quantifying the estimation accuracy of population spatial distribution has been recognized as a critical and challenging task. This study aims to evaluate the data accuracy of four population datasets in China, including three
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Population is one of the core elements of sustainable development. Quantifying the estimation accuracy of population spatial distribution has been recognized as a critical and challenging task. This study aims to evaluate the data accuracy of four population datasets in China, including three global gridded population datasets, the Gridded Population of the World (GPW), Global Rural and Urban Mapping Project (GRUMP), and WorldPop project (WorldPop), and a Chinese regional gridded population dataset, the China 1 km Gridded Population (CnPop) dataset. These datasets are assessed using a specific method based on a GIS-linked 2000 census dataset at the township level in China. The results indicate that WorldPop had the highest estimation accuracy, estimating about 60% of the total population. CnPop accurately estimated about half of the total population, showing a good mapping performance. The GPW had an acceptable estimation accuracy in a few plain and basin areas, accounting for about 30% of the total population. Compared to the GPW, GRUMP accurately estimated about 40% of the total population. The relative estimation error analysis discovered the disadvantages of the generation strategies of these datasets. The conclusions are expected to serve as a quality reference for potential dataset users and producers, and promote accuracy assessment for population datasets in other regions and globally. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Dark Side of Wars for Talent and Layoffs: Evidence from Korean Firms
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1365; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051365
Received: 19 March 2018 / Revised: 10 April 2018 / Accepted: 26 April 2018 / Published: 27 April 2018
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Abstract
In this study, we examined the effects of layoffs and wars for talent on firms’ performance. The simultaneous use of layoffs and “war-for-talent” practices has become part of the management strategy for adjusting workforce competencies. We suggest that war-for-talent practices decrease organizational performance
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In this study, we examined the effects of layoffs and wars for talent on firms’ performance. The simultaneous use of layoffs and “war-for-talent” practices has become part of the management strategy for adjusting workforce competencies. We suggest that war-for-talent practices decrease organizational performance when laying people off at the same time. Moreover, we argue that investment in employees’ skill development during the same period as layoffs and a war for talent can enhance organizational sustainability in increasing employee commitment, trust and organizational flexibility. Using a longitudinal survey conducted at over 653 Korean firms by a government-sponsored research institution, the results show that war-for-talent practices do not have a significant impact on firms’ performance. Moreover, our findings indicate a negative relationship between war-for-talent practices and financial performance when conducting layoffs and, as expected, a positive effect of the interaction between a war for talent and layoffs on turnover. Lastly, the results indicate a negative effect on organizational performance in firms pursuing a war for talent is mitigated when investments in employee development are continued during periods of layoffs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle A Hybrid Genetic Algorithm for Multi-Trip Green Capacitated Arc Routing Problem in the Scope of Urban Services
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1366; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051366
Received: 31 March 2018 / Revised: 21 April 2018 / Accepted: 23 April 2018 / Published: 27 April 2018
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Abstract
Greenhouse gases (GHG) are the main reason for the global warming during the past decades. On the other hand, establishing a well-structured transportation system will yield to create least cost-pollution. This paper addresses a novel model for the multi-trip Green Capacitated Arc Routing
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Greenhouse gases (GHG) are the main reason for the global warming during the past decades. On the other hand, establishing a well-structured transportation system will yield to create least cost-pollution. This paper addresses a novel model for the multi-trip Green Capacitated Arc Routing Problem (G-CARP) with the aim of minimizing total cost including the cost of generation and emission of greenhouse gases, the cost of vehicle usage and routing cost. The cost of generation and emission of greenhouse gases is based on the calculation of the amount of carbon dioxide emitted from vehicles, which depends on such factors as the vehicle speed, weather conditions, load on the vehicle and traveled distance. The main applications of this problem are in municipalities for urban waste collection, road surface marking and so forth. Due to NP-hardness of the problem, a Hybrid Genetic Algorithm (HGA) is developed, wherein a heuristic and simulated annealing algorithm are applied to generate initial solutions and a Genetic Algorithm (GA) is then used to generate the best possible solution. The obtained numerical results indicate that the proposed algorithm could present desirable performance within a suitable computational run time. Finally, a sensitivity analysis is implemented on the maximum available time of the vehicles in order to determine the optimal policy. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Spatial Changes of Urban Heat Island Formation in the Colombo District, Sri Lanka: Implications for Sustainability Planning
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1367; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051367
Received: 16 March 2018 / Revised: 11 April 2018 / Accepted: 20 April 2018 / Published: 27 April 2018
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Abstract
The formation of surface urban heat islands (SUHIs) can cause significant adverse impacts on the quality of living in urban areas. Monitoring the spatial patterns and trajectories of UHI formations could be helpful to urban planners in crafting appropriate mitigation and adaptation measures.
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The formation of surface urban heat islands (SUHIs) can cause significant adverse impacts on the quality of living in urban areas. Monitoring the spatial patterns and trajectories of UHI formations could be helpful to urban planners in crafting appropriate mitigation and adaptation measures. This study examined the spatial pattern of SUHI formation in the Colombo District (Sri Lanka), based on land surface temperature (LST), a normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), a normalized difference built-up index (NDBI), and population density (PD) using a geospatial-based hot and cold spot analysis tool. Here, ‘hot spots’ refers to areas with significant spatial clustering of high variable values, while ‘cold spots’ refers to areas with significant spatial clustering of low variable values. The results indicated that between 1997 and 2017, 32.7% of the 557 divisions in the Colombo District persisted as hot spots. These hot spots were characterized by a significant clustering of high composite index values resulting from the four variables (LST, NDVI (inverted), NDBI, and PD). This study also identified newly emerging hot spots, which accounted for 49 divisions (8.8%). Large clusters of hot spots between both time points were found on the western side of the district, while cold spots were found on the eastern side of the district. The areas identified as hot spots are the more urbanized parts of the district. The emerging hot spots were in areas that had undergone landscape changes due to urbanization. Such areas are found between the persistent hot spots (western parts of the district) and persistent cold spots (eastern parts of the district). Generally, the spatial pattern of the emerging hot spots followed the pattern of urbanization in the district, which had been expanding from west to east. Overall, the findings of this study could be used as a reference in the context of sustainable landscape and urban planning for the Colombo District. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Green Infrastructure and Climate Adaptation)
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Open AccessArticle Dependency of Businesses on Flows of Ecosystem Services: A Case Study from the County of Dorset, UK
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1368; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051368
Received: 23 March 2018 / Revised: 23 April 2018 / Accepted: 24 April 2018 / Published: 27 April 2018
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Abstract
Although it is widely assumed that business activity is dependent on flows of ecosystem services (ES), little evidence is available with which to evaluate this contention. To address this knowledge gap, we conducted a questionnaire survey of business dependencies on twenty-six different ES
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Although it is widely assumed that business activity is dependent on flows of ecosystem services (ES), little evidence is available with which to evaluate this contention. To address this knowledge gap, we conducted a questionnaire survey of business dependencies on twenty-six different ES in the English county of Dorset, where the environment supports a significant component of the local economy. Responses were received from 212 businesses across twenty-eight sectors. While virtually all businesses (98%) were familiar with the concept of ES, dependency on ES was highly divided with 50% of businesses surveyed claiming no dependence on any ES flows. The highest businesses dependencies reported in this study were for regulating services with the ES of water quality and waste water treatment being of particular importance to businesses. The results however, advised that greater efforts are needed in highlighting the indirect benefits provided by Dorset’s ecosystems, with eight business sectors (58% of respondents) claiming no or little dependence on supporting and habitat services including the ES of biodiversity, habitats for species and maintenance of genetic diversity. Many businesses also indicated little or no dependence on the globally important ES of pollination and soil condition, which may reflect a lack of awareness of dependencies occurring upstream of their value chains. At the sector level, businesses directly involved in protecting, extracting, or manufacturing raw materials were found to be more dependent on provisioning, regulatory and supporting ES than those operating in the service sector who favored cultural ES. These results highlight the value of assessing business dependencies on ES flows, which could usefully inform environmental management and accounting systems and improve monitoring of business performance, and thereby contribute to achievement of sustainability goals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle Towards Spatial Composite Indicators: A Case Study on Sardinian Landscape
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1369; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051369
Received: 27 March 2018 / Revised: 22 April 2018 / Accepted: 23 April 2018 / Published: 27 April 2018
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Abstract
Composite Indicators (CIs) recently earned popularity as decision-support tool in policy-making for their ability to give concise measures of complex phenomena. Despite growing diffusion of the use of CI in policy-making, current research has barely addressed the issue of the spatial dimension of
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Composite Indicators (CIs) recently earned popularity as decision-support tool in policy-making for their ability to give concise measures of complex phenomena. Despite growing diffusion of the use of CI in policy-making, current research has barely addressed the issue of the spatial dimension of input data and of final indicator scores. Nowadays the spatial dimension of data plays a crucial role in analysis, thanks to recent developments in spatial data infrastructures which has enabled seamless access to a large amount of geographic information. In addition, recent developments in spatial statistical techniques are facilitating the understanding of the presence of spatial effects among data, spatial dependence and spatial heterogeneity. These advances are improving our ability to understand the spatial dimension of information, which is crucial to obtain a more robust representation of the territorial reality and insights of territorial dynamics in order to inform decisions in spatial planning and policy-making. This paper proposes an original method for the integration of spatial multivariate analysis and the use of spatial data to extend existing state of the art methods for CIs, as a step towards the construction of Spatial Composite Indicators. The method was successfully tested on a landscape planning case study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Land Uses and Rural Governance)
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Open AccessArticle Cultural Heritage Conservation and Sustainability Based on Surveying and Modeling: The Case of the 14th Century Building Corral del Carbón (Granada, Spain)
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1370; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051370
Received: 9 April 2018 / Revised: 20 April 2018 / Accepted: 24 April 2018 / Published: 27 April 2018
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Abstract
Cultural Heritage buildings face major challenges trying to combine a usability function with conservation and restoration obligations. Suitable conservation involves a complex set of activities, some concerned with historical documentation (functionality, construction materials, physical developments, etc.). Other activities require a geometrical description in
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Cultural Heritage buildings face major challenges trying to combine a usability function with conservation and restoration obligations. Suitable conservation involves a complex set of activities, some concerned with historical documentation (functionality, construction materials, physical developments, etc.). Other activities require a geometrical description in order to detect pathologies related to walls tilting, displacements or roofs and beams deformation. Here, we propose a methodology that takes into account all those requirements when modeling a key 14th century Cultural Heritage building in Granada (Spain): Corral del Carbón. Known in the Moorish period as “Alhóndiga”, the building was used as an inn and a warehouse for merchandise. We survey the building with the most accurate techniques currently available (scanner laser and photogrammetry). After surveying it, we model the building at different levels of detail taking into account the various phases known to comprise the building. Finally, we propose an HBIM (Heritage Building Information Modeling) for building maintenance and facilitate its sustainability and usability over time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cultural Heritage Conservation and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Biochar Amendment on Methane Emissions from Paddy Field under Water-Saving Irrigation
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1371; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051371
Received: 28 February 2018 / Revised: 24 April 2018 / Accepted: 25 April 2018 / Published: 27 April 2018
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Abstract
Biochar has been proposed as a new countermeasure to mitigate climate change because of its potential in inhibiting greenhouse gas emissions from farmlands. A field experiment was conducted in Taihu Lake region in China to assess the effects of rice-straw biochar amendment on
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Biochar has been proposed as a new countermeasure to mitigate climate change because of its potential in inhibiting greenhouse gas emissions from farmlands. A field experiment was conducted in Taihu Lake region in China to assess the effects of rice-straw biochar amendment on methane (CH4) emissions from paddy fields under water-saving irrigation using three treatments, namely, control with no amendment (C0), 20 t ha−1 (C20), and 40 t ha−1 rice-straw biochar amendments (C40). Results showed that biochar application significantly decreased CH4 emissions by 29.7% and 15.6% at C20 and C40 biochar addition level, respectively. C20 significantly increased soil dissolved organic carbon, total nitrogen, and NH4+-N by 79.5, 24.5, and 47.7%, respectively, and decreased NO3-N by 30.4% compared with C0. On the other hand, no significant difference was observed in soil pH and soil organic carbon in all treatments. C20 and C40 significantly increased and decreased soil oxidation-reduction potential, respectively. Compared with C0, rice yield and irrigation water productivity significantly increased by 24.0% and 33.4% and 36.3% and 42.5% for C20 and C40, respectively. Thus, rice-straw biochar amendment and water-saving irrigation technology can inhibit CH4 emissions while increasing rice yield and irrigation water productivity. The effects of increasing rice yield and irrigation water productivity were more remarkable for C40, but C20 was more effective in mitigating CH4 emission. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle Measuring the Direct and Indirect Effects of Neighborhood-Built Environments on Travel-related CO2 Emissions: A Structural Equation Modeling Approach
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1372; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051372
Received: 17 February 2018 / Revised: 23 April 2018 / Accepted: 24 April 2018 / Published: 28 April 2018
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Abstract
Intervening in the built environment is a key way for land-use and transport planning and related policies to promote low-carbon development and low-carbon travel. It is of significance to explore and recognize the actual impact of the neighborhood built environment on travel-related CO
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Intervening in the built environment is a key way for land-use and transport planning and related policies to promote low-carbon development and low-carbon travel. It is of significance to explore and recognize the actual impact of the neighborhood built environment on travel-related CO2 emissions. This study calculated the CO2 emissions from four purposes of trips, which were within the urban region, using Travel O-D Point Intelligent Query System (TIQS) and 1239 residents’ travel survey questionnaires from 15 neighborhoods in Guangzhou. It measured the direct and indirect effects of built environments on CO2 emissions from different purposes of trips by developing structural equation models (SEMs). The results showed that for different purposes of trips, the effects of the neighborhood built environments on CO2 emissions were inconsistent. Almost all built environment elements had significant total effects on CO2 emissions, which were mainly indirect effects through mediators such as car ownership and trip distance, then affecting CO2 emissions indirectly. Most of the direct effects of neighborhood built environments on CO2 emissions were not significant, especially those from non-commuting trips. These findings suggest that in the process of formulating low-carbon oriented land-use and transport planning and policies, the indirect effects of the built environments should not be ignored, and the differences of the effects of the neighborhood built environments among different purposes of the trip should be fully considered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Footprint: As an Environmental Sustainability Indicator)
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Open AccessArticle Diagnosis and Treatment of the SWAT Hydrological Response Using the Budyko Framework
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1373; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051373
Received: 31 March 2018 / Revised: 21 April 2018 / Accepted: 25 April 2018 / Published: 28 April 2018
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Abstract
The hydrologic response of a river basin pertains to how precipitation is partitioned into streamflow, evapotranspiration, and infiltration. The reliability of all these components is essential for the sustainable use of water resources. This paper seeks to understand if the prediction of the
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The hydrologic response of a river basin pertains to how precipitation is partitioned into streamflow, evapotranspiration, and infiltration. The reliability of all these components is essential for the sustainable use of water resources. This paper seeks to understand if the prediction of the main components of the water balance from the SWAT model can be controlled and interpreted by a simple Darwinian approach: the Budyko framework. The Danube Basin was selected to assess the SWAT model green (evapotranspiration) and blue water fluxes (water yield or water that runs off the landscape into rivers) in a diagnostic approach based on two mono-parametric Budyko curve-type equations. This analysis was conducted comparing the evaporative index (EI) and the base flow index (BFI) predicted by Budyko’s equations based on observed data from 418 gauging stations with those simulated by SWAT. The study demonstrated that SWAT evapotranspiration estimations were in good agreement with those of the Budyko curves, whereas SWAT baseflow underestimated the Inn and Austrian Danube regions. The analysis of the Budyko equations in each water management region of the Danube provided a pioneering understanding of the relationship between EI and BFI in the study area, leading to an improvement of the hydrological simulations and providing a more reliable water balance in each water management region. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Characterization of Southern Illinois Water Treatment Residues for Sustainable Applications
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1374; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051374
Received: 16 February 2018 / Revised: 15 April 2018 / Accepted: 19 April 2018 / Published: 28 April 2018
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Abstract
Although they are abundantly available, the specific applicability of water treatment residues (WTRs) is dictated largely by the favorability of physicochemical characteristic properties and mineralogical composition. We have suggested that WTRs have a high potential for remediation application. In addition, the relevant properties
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Although they are abundantly available, the specific applicability of water treatment residues (WTRs) is dictated largely by the favorability of physicochemical characteristic properties and mineralogical composition. We have suggested that WTRs have a high potential for remediation application. In addition, the relevant properties that define the beneficial reuse of WTRs may be widely variable due to the influence of the dose, type of coagulant/softening agent, and quality of source water. This study investigated the physical, chemical, agronomic, and mineralogical characteristics of three different types of WTRs that were collected from treatment plants in the Midwestern U.S, in order to compare and assess their suitability for remediating impacted ecosystems, such as abandoned mine lands (AML). An analysis of the results showed that the differences in the properties of the WTR samples were significant. The total metal concentrations by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) revealed the abundance of Fe, Al, Mn, Cu, and other co-occurring metals. The leachability of metal(loid)s, regulated under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA 8 metals), were below their respective US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) allowable limits of 5.0, 100, 1.0, 5.0, 5.0, 0.2, 1.0, and 5.0 mg/kg, indicating that the WTRs were non-hazardous to the environment. Comparatively, the Al-WTR showed a significant release of arsenic (As), possibly from livestock waste and pesticide application from farms in the catchment area of the raw water source. The WTRs were alkaline (potential of hydrogen [pH] 7.00–9.10), which suggested a high acidity-neutralizing potential. The Ca:Mg ratio was between 1:7 and 1:1.5 (meq basis), which contributed to a cation exchange capacity (CEC) range of 4.6–16.2 meg/100g. The WTRs also showed adequate capability to supply relevant plant nutrients, such as Zn, Ca, Mg, S, Cu, and Fe, although readily available concentrations of NO3-N, P, and K were generally low. Thus, the alkalinity, significant CEC, low metal concentration and the presence of X-ray diffraction amorphous phases and calcites suggested that WTRs could be safely applied as low-cost sustainable alternatives for soil improvement and remediating contaminants such as metal(loid)s in AML. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Measuring Public Concerns? Developing a Moral Concerns Scale Regarding Non-Product Related Process and Production Methods
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1375; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051375
Received: 23 March 2018 / Revised: 25 April 2018 / Accepted: 26 April 2018 / Published: 28 April 2018
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Abstract
In recent years, citizens have been more frequently scrutinizing non-product related process and production methods (npr-PPM) of various products, such as food, out of moral considerations. In 2014, the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Dispute Settlement Body reached a landmark decision and accepted an
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In recent years, citizens have been more frequently scrutinizing non-product related process and production methods (npr-PPM) of various products, such as food, out of moral considerations. In 2014, the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Dispute Settlement Body reached a landmark decision and accepted an European Union (EU)-wide import ban of seal products under the justification of Art. XX (a) General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) due to “public moral concerns”. However, up to now there has been no valid and reliable scale to quantify moral concerns. Therefore, we developed a tool—the Moral Concerns Scale (MCS)—to measure moral concerns of a society about, for example, animal welfare or child labor in a valid and reliable manner for npr-PPM. This scale was developed and tested in two independent studies with German citizens (in 2016 and 2017) using three case studies: hens laying eggs in battery cages, the inhumane killing of seals, and the use of child labor. According to the results of both studies, the reliability and validity of the developed scale can be confirmed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Impact of Rural Land Transfer on Land Use Functions in Western China’s Guyuan Based on a Multi-Level Stakeholder Assessment Framework
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1376; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051376
Received: 10 April 2018 / Revised: 25 April 2018 / Accepted: 26 April 2018 / Published: 28 April 2018
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Abstract
To achieve sustainable rural development, it is necessary to simultaneously protect ecologically important land and efficiently use existing agricultural land. Land use functions (LUFs) are widely used to assess regional sustainable development. Guyuan is located in a typical hilly and gully region of
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To achieve sustainable rural development, it is necessary to simultaneously protect ecologically important land and efficiently use existing agricultural land. Land use functions (LUFs) are widely used to assess regional sustainable development. Guyuan is located in a typical hilly and gully region of western China, with ecologically fragile land. Rural land transfer (RLT) has been advocated to prevent abandonment of agricultural land and promote rational, effective utilization of the land. In this study, we used LUFs in a multi-level stakeholder assessment framework to integrate the opinions of all stakeholders in an evaluation of the impact of RLT on regional sustainable development. We employed the framework for participatory impact assessment, key informant interviews, and questionnaires to obtain data to support the development of scenarios to compare the impacts on LUFs. We found that RLT had positive impacts on each LUF in Guyuan, especially for the land-based production and food security LUFs. Importantly, the measures required to support RLT must vary among landforms and location conditions to successfully develop the LUFs and ensure sustainable development. We found that the integrated multi-level stakeholder assessment framework can comprehensively assess the impacts of land use measures on sustainable development and support regional land-use decision-making. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle Consumer Purchase Intentions for Sustainable Wild Salmon in the Chinese Market and Implications for Agribusiness Decisions
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1377; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051377
Received: 28 February 2018 / Revised: 24 April 2018 / Accepted: 25 April 2018 / Published: 28 April 2018
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Abstract
Sustainable food consumption and production play an increasingly important role in improving food security and quality in the food system worldwide. Consumers’ food consumption patterns in China, a rapidly emerging economy with the largest population and one of the largest consumer markets in
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Sustainable food consumption and production play an increasingly important role in improving food security and quality in the food system worldwide. Consumers’ food consumption patterns in China, a rapidly emerging economy with the largest population and one of the largest consumer markets in the world, significantly influence the structure of global trade flows and the sustainable ecosystem and environment. In this paper, we assess the emerging demand for imported wild and sustainable Alaskan salmon fillet and varietal parts in China’s market through consumers’ stated purchase intentions for the products. We use an ordered logit model to link consumers’ purchase intentions with potential influencing factors and identify important factors, including consumers’ consumption habits, perceptions, and social demographic characteristics. Due to differences between western and Chinese consumers on how different parts of fish are consumed, seemingly low-value salmon heads and bones may carry significant value if being imported and sold to Chinese consumers. We believe that our study is an important step in helping to build a sustainable business model, thereby creating a win-win situation for both the importing and exporting countries in order to allocate resources efficiently, feed people with healthy food, avoid food waste, and fulfill the economic value of products. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Attitudes of Undergraduate Students from University–Industry Partnership for Sustainable Development: A Case Study in Macau
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1378; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051378
Received: 19 March 2018 / Revised: 22 April 2018 / Accepted: 25 April 2018 / Published: 28 April 2018
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Abstract
Previous studies described in detail many university–industry programs. The purpose of this paper was to develop a multidimensional and multi-item attitude scale to measure undergraduate tourism students’ attitudes towards working in the tourism industry. This study was a quantitative and exploratory research. This
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Previous studies described in detail many university–industry programs. The purpose of this paper was to develop a multidimensional and multi-item attitude scale to measure undergraduate tourism students’ attitudes towards working in the tourism industry. This study was a quantitative and exploratory research. This paper describes a scale development process and presents the result of the scale using data collected from a university–industry collaboration program in Macau. This study identified five dimensions, i.e., Interpersonal Relationships, Industry–Person Congeniality, Organizational Climate, Working Condition, and Nature of Work, to measure the students’ attitudes. The proposed measurement scale will help evaluate and identify the sustainability of university–industry cooperation partnerships. Furthermore, the scale will help design marketing strategies to promote such programs. This study identified areas to be improved and provides suggestions to HR managers or educators. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Education and Approaches)
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Open AccessArticle Improving NFC Technology Promotion for Creating the Sustainable Education Environment by Using a Hybrid Modified MADM Model
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1379; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051379
Received: 3 March 2018 / Revised: 24 March 2018 / Accepted: 25 April 2018 / Published: 28 April 2018
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Abstract
With the growing prevalence of mobile devices, the use of near-field communication (NFC) technology has increased constantly in recent years. Scholars expect NFC technology to be used to develop new campuses with sustainable education environments for safely transferring information or services. In campuses,
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With the growing prevalence of mobile devices, the use of near-field communication (NFC) technology has increased constantly in recent years. Scholars expect NFC technology to be used to develop new campuses with sustainable education environments for safely transferring information or services. In campuses, the decisions to adopt NFC technology considers multiple attribute decision making (MADM) problems, which require multicriteria decision analysis that in turn involves the feedback and interdependence effects among criteria/dimensions. This paper proposes an improvement model that could facilitate NFC technology promotion for creating the sustainable education environment in a campus (Kainan University of Taiwan). Furthermore, in this model, the interdependence and feedback effects among criteria/dimensions, optimal alternative selections, and systematic improvements for NFC technology promotion can be addressed by using a hybrid modified MADM model, which integrating the decision making trial and evaluation laboratory (DEMATEL) method, the DEMATEL-based analytic network process (DANP) method and the modified VlseKriterijumska Optimizacija I Kompromisno Resenje (VIKOR) method. Finally, an empirical case for improving NFC technology promotion in the context of creating the sustainable education environment is presented to prove the proposed model. The results revealed that government policy was the largest driver in NFC technology promotion and the most influential criterion for creating the sustainable education environment, and that alternative C (educational institution) should be the first improvement priority. Furthermore, the comparative results revealed that the proposed method is better than the traditional method because using hybrid modified MADM model can obtain the most realistic performance-gap to innovation and determine the most effective improvement plan towards achieving the aspiration value. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
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Open AccessCommunication Institutionalizing Agroecology in France: Social Circulation Changes the Meaning of an Idea
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1380; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051380
Received: 14 March 2018 / Revised: 17 April 2018 / Accepted: 25 April 2018 / Published: 30 April 2018
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Abstract
Agroecology has come a long way. In the past ten years, it has reappeared in France throughout the agricultural sector and is now included in public and private strategies and in supportive policies, with collateral interest effects. Is a new “agro-revolution” taking place?
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Agroecology has come a long way. In the past ten years, it has reappeared in France throughout the agricultural sector and is now included in public and private strategies and in supportive policies, with collateral interest effects. Is a new “agro-revolution” taking place? To address this issue, using a methodology mixing hyperlink mapping and textual corpora analysis, we focus here on the trajectory of agroecology in various worlds: that of academia, social movements, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that promote international solidarity, research and training institutions and public policies. This trajectory intertwines actors and time lines, with periods in which certain actors play a specific role, and others in which interactions between actors are dominant in terms of coalition advocacy. Some actors play a major role in circulating agroecology as they belong to several different social worlds (e.g., academia and NGO), present high occupational mobility (from politician to scientist and vice versa), are charismatic or have an irradiating aura in the media, and can articulate and circulate ideas between different social arenas (including between countries). The stabilization of networks of actors is interpreted as the institutionalization of agroecology, both within social movements as well as because of its integration into a policy aimed at an ecological modernization of agriculture. The international positioning of many actors anchors national and regional initiatives more strongly. It is also a prerequisite for the amplification and development of agroecology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mapping Agroecology in Europe. New Developments and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Optimizing the Construction Job Site Vehicle Scheduling Problem
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1381; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051381
Received: 10 March 2018 / Revised: 23 April 2018 / Accepted: 24 April 2018 / Published: 30 April 2018
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Abstract
Concrete is one of the most important, versatile, and widely used building materials worldwide. Thus, an optimized delivery schedule of ready-mixed concrete (RMC) is a critical issue that can reduce CO2 emission from RMC delivery vehicles. RMC is the most popular form
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Concrete is one of the most important, versatile, and widely used building materials worldwide. Thus, an optimized delivery schedule of ready-mixed concrete (RMC) is a critical issue that can reduce CO2 emission from RMC delivery vehicles. RMC is the most popular form of concrete material supplied to construction projects. When delivering RMC to construction sites, optimizing the transportation can be complex since there are many alternatives in terms of route choice. The objective of this research was to optimize the travel operation of RMC delivery vehicles to ensure that they travel via the most economical routes. The researchers developed a dynamic simulation model to solve this vehicle scheduling problem (VSP), applied an ant colony optimization (ACO) algorithm as a mathematical model, and analyzed the results achieved by the basic and improved ACO methods; the goals were to reduce travel distance and improve the simulation’s performance. Ultimately, the researchers found that the improved ACO method provided a more optimized transportation solution with a higher level of efficiency. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Biofuels are (Not) the Future! Legitimation Strategies of Sustainable Ventures in Complex Institutional Environments
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1382; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051382
Received: 3 April 2018 / Revised: 25 April 2018 / Accepted: 27 April 2018 / Published: 30 April 2018
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Abstract
Sustainable ventures often lack legitimacy (perceived to be desirable and appropriate) because various stakeholder groups use contradictory institutions (rules and norms) to make their judgements, which leads to there being fewer resources available and higher failure rates. Using an institutional theory framework and
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Sustainable ventures often lack legitimacy (perceived to be desirable and appropriate) because various stakeholder groups use contradictory institutions (rules and norms) to make their judgements, which leads to there being fewer resources available and higher failure rates. Using an institutional theory framework and a multi-case research design with 15 biofuel ventures operating in the Netherlands, this study asks how sustainable entrepreneurs attempt to gain legitimacy in these circumstances. Analysis reveals that the entrepreneurs use a combination of rhetorical, reconciliatory and institutional change strategies to obtain legitimacy from different stakeholder groups. These findings further our understanding of sustainable entrepreneurial behavior by revealing how and why different legitimation strategies are used in complex institutional environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Nonlinear Effect of Financial Efficiency and Financial Competition on Heterogeneous Firm R&D: A Study on the Combined Perspective of Financial Quantity Expansion and Quality Development
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1383; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051383
Received: 19 March 2018 / Revised: 23 April 2018 / Accepted: 23 April 2018 / Published: 1 May 2018
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Abstract
Manufacturing firm data and district financial quantity and quality indicators for 2005–2007 combined with heterogeneous firm characteristics were used with a threshold panel to study the effect of financial inefficiency on firm R&D and the financial boundaries of efficiency improvement. The results show
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Manufacturing firm data and district financial quantity and quality indicators for 2005–2007 combined with heterogeneous firm characteristics were used with a threshold panel to study the effect of financial inefficiency on firm R&D and the financial boundaries of efficiency improvement. The results show that: (1) extensive financial quantity expansion cannot support high innovation efficiency R&D (Research and Development) activities in private enterprises, low- and medium-technology enterprises, and underdeveloped area enterprises, as it causes financial inefficiency problems and a shortage of R&D inputs; and (2) financial efficiency and financial competition have nonlinear effects on firm R&D. Financial inefficiency and either low or excessive financial competition result in a lack of highly efficient firm R&D. Only improvements in financial efficiency and moderate competition can significantly promote firm R&D. The results of this study reveal an important way to improve the influence of financial inefficiency on firm R&D by moving away from simply expanding financial quantity to promoting quality instead. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Internet Finance, Green Finance and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Factors Influencing Public-Sphere Pro-Environmental Behavior among Mongolian College Students: A Test of Value–Belief–Norm Theory
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1384; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051384
Received: 30 March 2018 / Revised: 27 April 2018 / Accepted: 28 April 2018 / Published: 1 May 2018
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Abstract
Value–belief–norm (VBN) theory provides a valuable framework for identifying the social-psychological determinants of various types of pro-environmental behavior. However, limited empirical study has tested the applicability of VBN theory in the western minority areas of China. Given Mongolian college students’ crucial role in
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Value–belief–norm (VBN) theory provides a valuable framework for identifying the social-psychological determinants of various types of pro-environmental behavior. However, limited empirical study has tested the applicability of VBN theory in the western minority areas of China. Given Mongolian college students’ crucial role in promoting the sustainable development of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region (IMAR) of China, this study investigates how VBN clusters of variables, namely, values, the new environmental paradigm (NEP) and pro-environmental personal norms (PPN), influence Mongolian college students’ self-reported public-sphere pro-environmental behavior (PSPB). The subjects were 1034 Mongolian college students from three large public universities in Hohhot. A structural equation model (SEM) and bootstrapping analyses revealed that: (1) altruistic values have a significant positive influence on PSPB, egoistic values negatively influence PSPB, and biospheric values have no significant influence on PSPB; (2) egoistic values negatively predict NEP and biospheric values positively predict NEP, whereas altruistic values have no direct impact on NEP; (3) NEP has a positive influence on PPN; (4) PPN has a significant positive impact on PSPB; and (5) biospheric and egoistic values have an indirect effect on PSPB through NEP and PPN. The findings provided evidence for the cross-cultural applicability of VBN theory in a Mongolian college student sample. Theoretical and practical implications were discussed, and recommended directions for future research were suggested. Full article
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Open AccessArticle An Exploratory Study of the Learning of Transferable Skills in a Research-Oriented Intensive Course in Atmospheric Sciences
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1385; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051385
Received: 9 January 2018 / Revised: 16 April 2018 / Accepted: 27 April 2018 / Published: 1 May 2018
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Abstract
Transferable skills, such as learning skills as well as oral and written communication skills, are needed by today’s experts. The learning of transferable skills was studied during a multidisciplinary two-week, research-oriented intensive course in atmospheric sciences. Students were assessed on their experience of
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Transferable skills, such as learning skills as well as oral and written communication skills, are needed by today’s experts. The learning of transferable skills was studied during a multidisciplinary two-week, research-oriented intensive course in atmospheric sciences. Students were assessed on their experience of learning data analysis, writing reports and articles, oral presentation, learning and teaching, as well as project and time management skills and the importance of learning these transferable skills in the beginning and at the end of the course. The learning outcomes were constructively aligned with the course and it supported the learning of transferable skills needed by researchers working with multidisciplinary research questions. The methods of teaching were group work, data analysis of real scientific questions and real scientific data, a few expert lectures, discussions with experts and peer-support, and the course evaluation that was based on the groups’ oral presentations and a written report. The groups consisted of seven to eight students and four to six assistants who were working side-by-side for the period of the course. Students considered data analysis, including the formulation of research questions, as the most important transferable skill of the course and stated that it was also what they learned the most. We conclude that the students felt that working with real scientific questions and data in multidisciplinary groups supports the learning of transferable skills. The findings suggest that the students may have learned transferable skills from peers, assistants, and teachers while working in small groups of students in different stages of their studies. The study was conducted from student feedback from one course only, but we have observed while organizing over 50 similar courses that working on real scientific questions and data in a multidisciplinary and multicultural course has been motivating for both the teachers and the students. We recommend this method to be used by research groups who are training the future generation of researchers and experts in atmospheric sciences and other fields. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teaching and Learning for Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle The Carbon Impact of International Tourists to an Island Country
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1386; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051386
Received: 30 March 2018 / Revised: 22 April 2018 / Accepted: 28 April 2018 / Published: 1 May 2018
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Abstract
Taiwan, located in the East Asia, is an island country with limited natural resources. To increase economic growth and reduce CO2 emission levels, the Taiwanese government is promoting a sustainable low-carbon tourism industry. This study investigated the CO2 emission coefficient of
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Taiwan, located in the East Asia, is an island country with limited natural resources. To increase economic growth and reduce CO2 emission levels, the Taiwanese government is promoting a sustainable low-carbon tourism industry. This study investigated the CO2 emission coefficient of tourist activities and identified the CO2 emissions (CE) patterns of international visitors to Taiwan. The total CO2 emission per visitor without considering international transportation was estimated using a questionnaire. The total CO2 emission comprises the CO2 emission of transportation, the CO2 emission of accommodation, and the CO2 emission of tourist activities. The results suggest that more convenient public transportation might help to reduce the total CO2 emission. Without considering CO2 emission from international air travel, in contrast to many non-island countries where CO2 emission of transportation is the main contributor to total CO2 emission, the CO2 emission of accommodation was the main contributor to total CO2 emission in Taiwan. To reduce the CO2 emission of accommodation, the Taiwanese government should improve the energy-use efficiency of devices in tourist hotels and promote bed-and-breakfast accommodations with low CO2 emission coefficients. Visitors enjoyed culinary journeys and shopping, both of which are activities that contribute highly to the CO2 emission of tourist activities because of their high CO2 emission coefficients. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Sustainability Assessment of the New Residential Projects in the Baltic States: A Multiple Criteria Approach
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1387; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051387
Received: 23 March 2018 / Revised: 21 April 2018 / Accepted: 25 April 2018 / Published: 1 May 2018
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Abstract
Housing is one of the most important public priorities affecting urban development and therefore has a significant impact on sustainable development. A housing project can be regarded as sustainable only when all the dimensions of sustainability (environmental, economic, and social) are dealt with.
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Housing is one of the most important public priorities affecting urban development and therefore has a significant impact on sustainable development. A housing project can be regarded as sustainable only when all the dimensions of sustainability (environmental, economic, and social) are dealt with. The aim of the present article is to propose an integrated, hierarchy-based, multiple-criteria approach for the sustainability assessment of new residential development projects, which is achieved through the accomplishment of three objectives. First, this paper proposes an original framework for a multiple-criteria assessment of new residential projects. Second, the proposed methodology is demonstrated in the assessment of nine residential development projects in Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia according to a hierarchical system of 53 sustainability indicators developed specifically for the Baltic context. Finally, based on the research results, the paper proposes recommendations to stakeholders for enhancing the performance of new residential projects according to the principles of sustainability. The proposed sustainability assessment approach is not limited to the Baltic States and can also be used in other countries, applying the adapted sustainability assessment indicators. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Role of Internet of Things (IoT) in Smart Cities: Technology Roadmap-oriented Approaches
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1388; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051388
Received: 30 March 2018 / Revised: 20 April 2018 / Accepted: 22 April 2018 / Published: 1 May 2018
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Abstract
Since the concept of a smart city was introduced, IoT (Internet of Things) has beenconsidered the key infrastructure in a smart city. However, there are currently no detailed explanations of the technical contributions of IoT in terms of the management, development, and improvements
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Since the concept of a smart city was introduced, IoT (Internet of Things) has beenconsidered the key infrastructure in a smart city. However, there are currently no detailed explanations of the technical contributions of IoT in terms of the management, development, and improvements of smart cities. Therefore, the current study describes the importance of IoT technologies on the technology roadmap (TRM) of a smart city. Moreover, the survey with about 200 experts was conducted to investigate both the importance and essentiality of detail components of IoT technologies for a smart city. Based on the survey results, the focal points and essential elements for the successful developments of a smart city are presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Deployment of IoT in Smart Buildings)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Factors Affecting Green Residential Building Development: Social Network Analysis
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1389; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051389
Received: 17 April 2018 / Revised: 26 April 2018 / Accepted: 27 April 2018 / Published: 1 May 2018
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Abstract
Green residential buildings (GRBs) are one of the effective practices of energy saving and emission reduction in the construction industry. However, many real estate developers in China are less willing to develop GRBs, because of the factors affecting green residential building development (GRBD).
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Green residential buildings (GRBs) are one of the effective practices of energy saving and emission reduction in the construction industry. However, many real estate developers in China are less willing to develop GRBs, because of the factors affecting green residential building development (GRBD). In order to promote the sustainable development of GRBs in China, this paper, based on the perspective of real estate developers, identifies the influential and critical factors affecting GRBD, using the method of social network analysis (SNA). Firstly, 14 factors affecting GRBD are determined from 64 preliminary factors of three main elements, and the framework is established. Secondly, the relationships between the 14 factors are analyzed by SNA. Finally, four critical factors for GRBD, which are on the local economy development level, development strategy and innovation orientation, developer’s acknowledgement and positioning for GRBD, and experience and ability for GRBD, are identified by the social network centrality test. The findings illustrate the key issues that affect the development of GRBs, and provide references for policy making by the government and strategy formulation by real estate developers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Leveraging Post-Disaster Windows of Opportunities for Change towards Sustainability: A Framework
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1390; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051390
Received: 31 March 2018 / Revised: 24 April 2018 / Accepted: 30 April 2018 / Published: 1 May 2018
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Abstract
Disasters are catalysts for change: they are increasingly recognized as offering opportunities to direct and navigate change towards aspired outcomes, such as sustainable development goals. However, we know little about how to leverage the opportunities created by disasters to achieve sustainability objectives. Learning
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Disasters are catalysts for change: they are increasingly recognized as offering opportunities to direct and navigate change towards aspired outcomes, such as sustainable development goals. However, we know little about how to leverage the opportunities created by disasters to achieve sustainability objectives. Learning from existing case studies is challenging, partly because there is no framework that integrates concepts of change from both sustainability science and disaster recovery literatures. This study develops a unified analytical framework to facilitate the documentation and analysis of case studies of sustainability transitions following disasters. Our aim is to enhance the potential for theory-building, and to draw lessons that can be used to help leverage opportunities presented by disasters in the future. We apply the framework to available empirical cases and identify specific conditions, resources, social relations and constraints that affect disaster-to-sustainability transitions. Our expectation is that this framework will serve professionals and researchers in the fields of sustainable development and disaster mitigation to enhance the effectiveness of their research and applied activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transforming Development and Disaster Risk)
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Open AccessArticle Dynamics of a Soil Fungal Community in a Three-Year Green Garlic/Cucumber Crop Rotation System in Northwest China
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1391; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051391
Received: 27 March 2018 / Revised: 24 April 2018 / Accepted: 26 April 2018 / Published: 2 May 2018
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Abstract
A decreased soil biological environment in terms of an unstable microbial population and diversity index is primarily caused by intensive continuous cropping systems. In this study, a crop rotation system was established to evaluate the soil fungal diversity using a pyrosequencing-based analysis during
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A decreased soil biological environment in terms of an unstable microbial population and diversity index is primarily caused by intensive continuous cropping systems. In this study, a crop rotation system was established to evaluate the soil fungal diversity using a pyrosequencing-based analysis during three successive growing seasons (2013, 2014, and 2015) under a field pot investigation. We found that overall green garlic/cucumber rotational effects increased cucumber productivity under these growing practices. Analysis of fungal communities in rhizosphere soils by high-throughput pyrosequencing showed that the estimated treatment effects were more obvious during the three-year trials, and OTU richness was much higher than the control in cucumber-planted soils. The relative frequencies of fungal diversity showed variable responses before and after rotation practices, and mainly α-diversity of fungi increased in garlic planted soil and again decreased after cucumber planted soil in each year. The phylogenetic classification illustrated that the fungal communities were dominated by the taxa Ascomycota, Basidiomycota, Chytridiomycota, Glomeromycota, and Zygomycota across all samples. Particularly, the relative abundance of the taxon Ascomycota was largely and predominantly enriched with the increasing number of garlic bulbs during the three years. Moreover, the majority of abundant taxa positively correlated with available P and K contents, while being highly negatively correlated with soil pH, EC, and SOC. These results indicate that garlic-cucumber-based crop rotations induce fungal richness and diversity and promote the sustainability of agricultural ecosystems, thus enhancing crop growth and production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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