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Sustainability, Volume 2, Issue 5 (May 2010), Pages 1161-1447

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Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle Fly-in/Fly-out: Implications for Community Sustainability
Sustainability 2010, 2(5), 1161-1181; doi:10.3390/su2051161
Received: 22 March 2010 / Revised: 7 April 2010 / Accepted: 27 April 2010 / Published: 29 April 2010
Cited by 32 | PDF Full-text (421 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
“Fly-in/fly-out” is a form of work organization that has become the standard model for new mining, petroleum and other types of resource development in remote areas. In many places this “no town” model has replaced that of the “new town.” The work [...] Read more.
“Fly-in/fly-out” is a form of work organization that has become the standard model for new mining, petroleum and other types of resource development in remote areas. In many places this “no town” model has replaced that of the “new town.” The work system has both beneficial and adverse implications for the sustainability of both existing communities near new resource developments and for the more distant communities from which workers are drawn. This paper explores these outcomes drawing upon examples from North America and Australia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Human Populations in Remote Places)
Open AccessArticle Monitoring Land Use: Capturing Change through an Information Fusion Approach
Sustainability 2010, 2(5), 1182-1203; doi:10.3390/su2051182
Received: 10 March 2010 / Revised: 6 April 2010 / Accepted: 27 April 2010 / Published: 29 April 2010
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (884 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Social and environmental factors affecting land use change are among the most significant drivers transforming the planet. Such change has been and continues to be monitored through the use of satellite imagery, aerial photography, and technical reports. While these monitoring tools are [...] Read more.
Social and environmental factors affecting land use change are among the most significant drivers transforming the planet. Such change has been and continues to be monitored through the use of satellite imagery, aerial photography, and technical reports. While these monitoring tools are useful in observing the empirical results of land use change and issues of sustainability, the data they provide are often not useful in capturing the fundamental policies, social drivers, and unseen factors that shape how landscapes are transformed. In addition, some monitoring approaches can be prohibitively expensive and too slow in providing useful data at a timescale in which data are needed. This paper argues that techniques using information fusion and conducting assessments of continuous data feeds can be beneficial for monitoring primary social and ecological mechanisms affecting how geographic settings are changed over different time scales. We present a computational approach that couples open source tools in order to conduct an analysis of text data, helping to determine relevant events and trends. To demonstrate the approach, we discuss a case study that integrates varied newspapers from two Midwest states in the United States, Iowa and Nebraska, showing how potentially significant issues and events can be captured. Although the approach we present is useful for monitoring current web-based data streams, we argue that such a method should ultimately be integrated closely with less managed systems and modeling techniques to enhance not only land use monitoring but also to better forecast and understand landscape change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Use and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Recycled Concrete as Aggregate for Structural Concrete Production
Sustainability 2010, 2(5), 1204-1225; doi:10.3390/su2051204
Received: 5 March 2010 / Revised: 16 March 2010 / Accepted: 22 April 2010 / Published: 30 April 2010
Cited by 44 | PDF Full-text (733 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A comparative analysis of the experimental results of the properties of fresh and hardened concrete with different replacement ratios of natural with recycled coarse aggregate is presented in the paper. Recycled aggregate was made by crushing the waste concrete of laboratory test [...] Read more.
A comparative analysis of the experimental results of the properties of fresh and hardened concrete with different replacement ratios of natural with recycled coarse aggregate is presented in the paper. Recycled aggregate was made by crushing the waste concrete of laboratory test cubes and precast concrete columns. Three types of concrete mixtures were tested: concrete made entirely with natural aggregate (NAC) as a control concrete and two types of concrete made with natural fine and recycled coarse aggregate (50% and 100% replacement of coarse recycled aggregate). Ninety-nine specimens were made for the testing of the basic properties of hardened concrete. Load testing of reinforced concrete beams made of the investigated concrete types is also presented in the paper. Regardless of the replacement ratio, recycled aggregate concrete (RAC) had a satisfactory performance, which did not differ significantly from the performance of control concrete in this experimental research. However, for this to be fulfilled, it is necessary to use quality recycled concrete coarse aggregate and to follow the specific rules for design and production of this new concrete type. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Devolved Regions, Fragmented Landscapes: The Struggle for Sustainability in Madrid
Sustainability 2010, 2(5), 1252-1281; doi:10.3390/su2051252
Received: 30 March 2010 / Revised: 7 April 2010 / Accepted: 28 April 2010 / Published: 5 May 2010
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1389 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article reflects on the recent unsustainable land use changes in the Autonomous Community of Madrid and asserts the need for progress towards economically, environmentally and socially sustainable development models. Following research undertaken over the last six years there are encouraging signs [...] Read more.
This article reflects on the recent unsustainable land use changes in the Autonomous Community of Madrid and asserts the need for progress towards economically, environmentally and socially sustainable development models. Following research undertaken over the last six years there are encouraging signs of agreement between stakeholders and the problem has begun to “open up”. Here a new phase of problem solving is initiated, in which particular tendencies toward unsustainability are identified using a variety of basic indicators. These “Sustainability Action Areas” can be targeted for collaborative sustainability initiatives involving groups of municipalities aggregated according to their response to particular indicators. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Use and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Virtual Realities: How Remote Dwelling Populations Become More Remote Over Time despite Technological Improvements
Sustainability 2010, 2(5), 1282-1296; doi:10.3390/su2051282
Received: 8 April 2010 / Revised: 27 April 2010 / Accepted: 3 May 2010 / Published: 10 May 2010
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (291 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
For those who have access to them, technologies of various sorts play a key role in maintaining connections between small and geographically dispersed settlements and to the wider World. For technologies to work in remote areas, there must be a framework of [...] Read more.
For those who have access to them, technologies of various sorts play a key role in maintaining connections between small and geographically dispersed settlements and to the wider World. For technologies to work in remote areas, there must be a framework of adaptability which ensures that users can adapt their practices to suit the new technology, technologies can be customised for local conditions, and an institutional infrastructure (including a regulatory environment) allows these adaptations to occur. In recent times, remote Australia’s “power to persuade” government to consider its needs when designing regulatory environments has diminished as a result of the changing nature of remote economies. This paper uses two case examples—that of air transport technology and that of communications technology—to demonstrate how a poor regulatory environment in effect increases the isolation of remote settlements. In the case of air transport, over regulation has made the cost of adoption and access too high for many remote dwellers. In the case of communications technology, de-regulation has made it difficult for remote dwellers to demand equity of access to infrastructure. We conclude by suggesting that regulatory systems need to be more aware of the unique conditions facing remote populations. Research into the persistently low rates of technology adoption in remote areas needs to be more cognizant of the regulatory adaptability aspect. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Human Populations in Remote Places)
Open AccessArticle Domestic Separation and Collection of Municipal Solid Waste: Opinion and Awareness of Citizens and Workers
Sustainability 2010, 2(5), 1297-1326; doi:10.3390/su2051297
Received: 24 March 2010 / Revised: 13 April 2010 / Accepted: 4 May 2010 / Published: 11 May 2010
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (567 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The state of the art on Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) management is based on the domestic separation of materials produced. After domestic separation, the resident has to transfer the separated materials to the MSW manager through the hands of collection workers. It [...] Read more.
The state of the art on Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) management is based on the domestic separation of materials produced. After domestic separation, the resident has to transfer the separated materials to the MSW manager through the hands of collection workers. It is exactly at this stage that an end-use product changes its status and property becomes waste. This paper analyzes and compares the opinions and awareness of citizens and kerbside collection workers on this subject by means of two structured questionnaires in the city of Mercato San Severino (about 22,000 people), in Southern Italy. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Land Use Scenario Modeling for Flood Risk Mitigation
Sustainability 2010, 2(5), 1327-1344; doi:10.3390/su2051327
Received: 24 March 2010 / Revised: 20 April 2010 / Accepted: 5 May 2010 / Published: 11 May 2010
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (664 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
It is generally accepted that flood risk has been increasing in Europe in the last decades. Accordingly, it becomes a priority to better understand its drivers and mechanisms. Flood risk is evaluated on the basis of three factors: hazard, exposure and vulnerability. [...] Read more.
It is generally accepted that flood risk has been increasing in Europe in the last decades. Accordingly, it becomes a priority to better understand its drivers and mechanisms. Flood risk is evaluated on the basis of three factors: hazard, exposure and vulnerability. If one of these factors increases, then so does the risk. Land use change models used for ex-ante assessment of spatial trends provide planners with powerful tools for territorial decision making. However, until recently this type of model has been largely neglected in strategic planning for flood risk mitigation. Thus, ex-ante assessment of flood risk is an innovative application of land use change models. The aim of this paper is to propose a flood risk mitigation approach using exposure scenarios. The methodology is applied in the Pordenone province in northern Italy. In the past 50 years Pordenone has suffered several heavy floods, the disastrous consequences of which demonstrated the vulnerability of the area. Results of this study confirm that the main driving force of increased flood risk is found in new urban developments in flood-prone areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Use and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle “Triple Bottom Line” as “Sustainable Corporate Performance”: A Proposition for the Future
Sustainability 2010, 2(5), 1345-1360; doi:10.3390/su2051345
Received: 5 March 2010 / Revised: 21 April 2010 / Accepted: 27 April 2010 / Published: 11 May 2010
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (203 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Based upon a review of corporate performance, corporate financial performance and corporate social performance, we propose that the concept of “triple bottom line” (TBL) as “sustainable corporate performance” (SCP) should consist of three measurement elements, namely: (i) financial, (ii) social and (iii) [...] Read more.
Based upon a review of corporate performance, corporate financial performance and corporate social performance, we propose that the concept of “triple bottom line” (TBL) as “sustainable corporate performance” (SCP) should consist of three measurement elements, namely: (i) financial, (ii) social and (iii) environmental. TBL as SCP is proposed to be derived from the interface between them. We also propose that the content of each of these measurement elements may vary across contexts and over time. Furthermore, TBL as SCR should be interpreted to be a relative concept that is dynamic and iterative. Continuous monitoring needs to be performed, adapting the content of the measurement elements to changes that evolve across contexts and over time in the marketplace and society. TBL as SCP may be seen as a function of time and context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability: An Impossible Future?)
Open AccessArticle Governing for Sustainable Coasts: Complexity, Climate Change, and Coastal Ecosystem Protection
Sustainability 2010, 2(5), 1361-1388; doi:10.3390/su2051361
Received: 19 March 2010 / Revised: 23 April 2010 / Accepted: 14 May 2010 / Published: 17 May 2010
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (310 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The world’s coastal ecosystems are among the most complex on Earth, and they are currently being governed unsustainably, by any definition. Climate change will only add to this complexity, underscoring the necessity of finding new ways to govern for these ecosystems’ sustainable [...] Read more.
The world’s coastal ecosystems are among the most complex on Earth, and they are currently being governed unsustainably, by any definition. Climate change will only add to this complexity, underscoring the necessity of finding new ways to govern for these ecosystems’ sustainable use. After reviewing the problems facing coastal ecosystems and innovations in their governance, this article argues that governance of coastal ecosystems must move to place-based adaptive management regimes that incorporate innovative and flexible regulatory mechanisms, such as market-based incentives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Laws and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Some Sustainability Aspects of Energy Conversion in Urban Electric Trains
Sustainability 2010, 2(5), 1389-1407; doi:10.3390/su2051389
Received: 1 April 2010 / Revised: 30 April 2010 / Accepted: 6 May 2010 / Published: 17 May 2010
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (439 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The paper illustrates some aspects of energy conversion processes during underground electric train operation. Energy conversion processes are explained using exergy, in order to support transport system sustainability. Loss of exergy reflects a loss of potential of energy to do work. Following [...] Read more.
The paper illustrates some aspects of energy conversion processes during underground electric train operation. Energy conversion processes are explained using exergy, in order to support transport system sustainability. Loss of exergy reflects a loss of potential of energy to do work. Following the notion that life in Nature demonstrates sustainable energy conversion, we approach the sustainability of urban transportation systems according to the model of an ecosystem. The presentation steps based on an industrial ecosystem metabolism include describing the urban electric railway system as an industrial ecosystem with its limits and components, defining system operation regimes, and assessing the equilibrium points of the system for two reference frames. For an electric train, exergy losses can be related to the energy flows during dynamic processes, and exergy conversion in these processes provides a meaningful measure of the industrial (i.e., transportation) ecosystem efficiency. As a validation of the theoretical results, a case study is analyzed for three underground urban electric train types REU-U, REU-M, REU-G operating in the Bucharest Underground Railway System (METROREX). The main experimental results are presented and processed, and relevant diagrams are constructed. It is determined that there is great potential for improving the performance of rail systems and increasing their sustainability. For instance, power converters and efficient anti-skid systems can ensure optimum traction and minimum electricity use, and the recovered energy in electric braking can be used by other underground trains, increasing exergy efficiency, although caution must be exercised when doing so to avoid reducing the efficiency of the overall system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle Beyond Abundance: Self-Interest Motives for Sustainable Consumption in Relation to Product Perception and Preferences
Sustainability 2010, 2(5), 1431-1447; doi:10.3390/su2051431
Received: 1 April 2010 / Revised: 15 May 2010 / Accepted: 21 May 2010 / Published: 25 May 2010
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (220 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents results of a study that examined the perceptions and preferences of identified “responsible, sustainable consumers” with respect to functional products. The study is part of a larger research program that looks at material cultures and product design in relation [...] Read more.
This paper presents results of a study that examined the perceptions and preferences of identified “responsible, sustainable consumers” with respect to functional products. The study is part of a larger research program that looks at material cultures and product design in relation to sustainable production and consumption. Based on empirical data gathered from among citizens attempting to follow sustainable lifestyles, the authors reflect on how the adoption of sustainable consumption patterns can not only be motivated by altruistic and environmental considerations, but also, significantly, by perceived personal benefits, including an expected increase in personal well-being. These motivations, together with how they unfold into preferences for particular product characteristics, are discussed. The paper concludes that the understanding of such motives, along with their implications for the ways in which products and services are conceived and positioned, may warrant further research as it can represent a key incentive for change towards a more sustainable future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Consumption)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Measuring Soil Water Potential for Water Management in Agriculture: A Review
Sustainability 2010, 2(5), 1226-1251; doi:10.3390/su2051226
Received: 20 January 2010 / Revised: 4 March 2010 / Accepted: 12 April 2010 / Published: 5 May 2010
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (29048 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Soil water potential is a soil property affecting a large variety of bio-physical processes, such as seed germination, plant growth and plant nutrition. Gradients in soil water potential are the driving forces of water movement, affecting water infiltration, redistribution, percolation, evaporation and [...] Read more.
Soil water potential is a soil property affecting a large variety of bio-physical processes, such as seed germination, plant growth and plant nutrition. Gradients in soil water potential are the driving forces of water movement, affecting water infiltration, redistribution, percolation, evaporation and plants’ transpiration. The total soil water potential is given by the sum of gravity, matric, osmotic and hydrostatic potential. The quantification of the soil water potential is necessary for a variety of applications both in agricultural and horticultural systems such as optimization of irrigation volumes and fertilization. In recent decades, a large number of experimental methods have been developed to measure the soil water potential, and a large body of knowledge is now available on theory and applications. In this review, the main techniques used to measure the soil water potential are discussed. Subsequently, some examples are provided where the measurement of soil water potential is utilized for a sustainable use of water resources in agriculture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Water Management)
Open AccessReview Consumption and Use of Non-Renewable Mineral and Energy Raw Materials from an Economic Geology Point of View
Sustainability 2010, 2(5), 1408-1430; doi:10.3390/su2051408
Received: 30 March 2010 / Revised: 5 May 2010 / Accepted: 12 May 2010 / Published: 20 May 2010
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (407 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We outline a path to sustainable development that would give future generations the chance to be as well-off as their predecessors without running out of natural resources, especially metals. To this end, we have to consider three key resources: (1) the geosphere [...] Read more.
We outline a path to sustainable development that would give future generations the chance to be as well-off as their predecessors without running out of natural resources, especially metals. To this end, we have to consider three key resources: (1) the geosphere or primary resources, (2) the technosphere or secondary resources, which can be recycled and (3) human ingenuity and creativity. We have two resource extremes: natural resources which are completely consumed (fossil fuels) versus natural resources (metals) which are wholly recyclable and can be used again. Metals survive use and are merely transferred from the geosphere to the technosphere. There will, however, always be a need for contributions from the geosphere to offset inevitable metal losses in the technosphere. But we do have a choice. We do not need raw materials as such, only the intrinsic property of a material that enables it to fulfil a function. At the time when consumption starts to level off, chances improve of obtaining most of the material for our industrial requirements from the technosphere. Then a favorable supply equilibrium can emerge. Essential conditions for taking advantage of this opportunity: affordable energy and ingenuity to find new solutions for functions, to optimize processes and to minimize losses in the technosphere. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Consumption)

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