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Sustainability, Volume 5, Issue 10 (October 2013), Pages 4106-4522

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Research

Open AccessArticle Circulating Practices: Migration and Translocal Development in Washington D.C. and Cochabamba, Bolivia
Sustainability 2013, 5(10), 4106-4123; doi:10.3390/su5104106
Received: 5 August 2013 / Revised: 7 September 2013 / Accepted: 10 September 2013 / Published: 25 September 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (801 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Migrant remittances are increasingly seen as a potential form of development in the global South, but the impact of international migration on sending regions is far from straightforward. In this article, I analyze migrant communities of origin in rural Bolivia as dynamic places
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Migrant remittances are increasingly seen as a potential form of development in the global South, but the impact of international migration on sending regions is far from straightforward. In this article, I analyze migrant communities of origin in rural Bolivia as dynamic places that are constantly reproduced through connections with other places. I document the movement of migrant practices between Washington D.C. and Cochabamba and the influence of monetary and non-monetary flows on Bolivian cultural practices, politics, and development. I demonstrate how hometown associations and returning migrants have transferred organizational practices and political ideas about development from the United States to rural Bolivia. In addition, I explore migration’s role in struggles over belonging in Cochabamba, focusing on the efforts by migrants in Washington D.C. to stake their claim through transnational houses and collective remittance projects and on recent internal migration from other regions in Bolivia. Finally, I assess the sustainability of migrant-led development in Cochabamba. Although collaboration with migrants can strengthen the local state by providing more resources, it conditions the type of development that can take place and has yet to provide adequate opportunities for returning migrants or young people in rural Bolivia. Full article
Open AccessArticle Towards an Integrated Framework for SDGs: Ultimate and Enabling Goals for the Case of Energy
Sustainability 2013, 5(10), 4124-4151; doi:10.3390/su5104124
Received: 19 August 2013 / Revised: 9 September 2013 / Accepted: 10 September 2013 / Published: 25 September 2013
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1386 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Discussions on how to define, design, and implement sustainable development goals (SDG) have taken center stage in the United Nations since the Rio+20 summit. Energy is one of the issues that enjoyed consensus, before and after Rio, as an important area for SDGs
[...] Read more.
Discussions on how to define, design, and implement sustainable development goals (SDG) have taken center stage in the United Nations since the Rio+20 summit. Energy is one of the issues that enjoyed consensus, before and after Rio, as an important area for SDGs to address. Many proposals have been put forward on how SDGs should be formulated and what areas they should cover, but there have been few attempts to develop a generic integrated framework within which diverse areas can be accommodated and treated in a coherent way. The purpose of this paper is to develop such a framework for SDGs and to demonstrate its application by elaborating specific target areas for the energy sector. Based on a review and integration of global debates around SDG and energy, the framework puts human wellbeing at the center of the agenda, with the supporting resource base and global public goods forming additional tiers. A complementary set of enabling goals is suggested with four layers: capacity & knowledge, governance & institutions, public policy, and investment & finance. An energy SDG is elaborated to illustrate the application of the framework. The illustrative SDG architecture for energy includes eight target areas: basic energy access, energy for economic development, sufficiency, renewable supply, efficiency, infrastructure, greenhouse gas emissions and security. These target areas are relevant for energy for all countries, but depending on national circumstances such as levels of development, the relative emphasis will be different between countries, and over time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development Goals)
Open AccessArticle Disabled People and the Post-2015 Development Goal Agenda through a Disability Studies Lens
Sustainability 2013, 5(10), 4152-4182; doi:10.3390/su5104152
Received: 8 August 2013 / Revised: 7 September 2013 / Accepted: 11 September 2013 / Published: 25 September 2013
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (129 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to examine the role and visibility of disabled people in the discourses of various global policy processes related to sustainable development and the Post-2015 development agenda. This article makes several recommendations for strengthening the role of disabled
[...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to examine the role and visibility of disabled people in the discourses of various global policy processes related to sustainable development and the Post-2015 development agenda. This article makes several recommendations for strengthening the role of disabled people in these discourses. The research addresses the question of how the disability community and sustainable development community relate to each other in these discourses. This study provides quantitative and qualitative data on three aspects of the relationship. One set of data highlights who is seen as a stakeholder in general and the visibility of disabled people in the social sustainability, sustainable consumption, Rio+20 and Post-2015 development agenda proposals discourses and what participants of the online consultation for a disability inclusive development agenda towards 2015 and beyond had to say about the issues of visibility of disabled people in development discourses. A second set of data illuminates the attitudes towards disabled people evident in the SD discourses including through the eyes of the participant of the online consultation for a disability inclusive development agenda towards 2015 and beyond. The final set of data compares the goals and actions seen as desirable for the advancement of SD evident in the SD literature covered and the online consultation for a disability inclusive development agenda towards 2015 and beyond. This study interpreted the data through a disability studies lens. The study found that disabled people were barely visible to invisible in the SD literature covered, that the goals and actions proposed in the SD discourses are of high relevance to disabled people but that these discussions have generally not been explicitly linked to disabled people. It found further that disabled people have clear ideas why they are invisible, what the problems with development policies are and what needs to happen to rectify the problems. It found also that there was a lack of visibility of various SD areas and goals within the disability discourse. This paper provides empirical data that can be used to further the goal of mainstreaming of disabled people into the SD and Post-2015 development discourses as asked for in various high-level UN documents. However, we posit that the utility of our paper goes beyond the disability angle. Our quantitative data also highlights other forms of social group visibility unevenness in the literature and as such, we argue that the data we present in this paper is also of use for other stakeholders such as youth, women and indigenous people and also for NGOs and policy makers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development Goals)
Open AccessArticle Sustainability of Wastewater Treatment and Excess Sludge Handling Practices in the Federated States of Micronesia
Sustainability 2013, 5(10), 4183-4194; doi:10.3390/su5104183
Received: 26 July 2013 / Revised: 9 September 2013 / Accepted: 10 September 2013 / Published: 25 September 2013
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1534 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A survey of wastewater treatment facilities in the Federated States of Micronesia revealed a lack of fully functional treatment systems and conditions that potentially could lead to adverse environmental impacts and public health concerns. Due to inadequate facilities, the amount and composition of
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A survey of wastewater treatment facilities in the Federated States of Micronesia revealed a lack of fully functional treatment systems and conditions that potentially could lead to adverse environmental impacts and public health concerns. Due to inadequate facilities, the amount and composition of wastewater entering the plants as well as the degree of treatment being achieved is largely unknown. In some cases raw sewage is being discharged directly into the ocean and waste sludge is regularly taken by local residents for agricultural purposes without adequate treatment. In addition, the need to establish best management practices for placement and maintenance of septic tanks is urgent. Furthermore, development of eco-friendly solutions is needed to more effectively treat wastewater from industrial and agricultural sources in an effort to abate current pollution problems. Comparisons of treatment methods being used and problems encountered at different locations in the islands would provide valuable information to aid in the development of sustainable treatment practices throughout Micronesia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Islands—A Pacific Perspective)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Addressing the Complexities of Boundary Work in Sustainability Science through Communication
Sustainability 2013, 5(10), 4195-4221; doi:10.3390/su5104195
Received: 29 July 2013 / Revised: 14 August 2013 / Accepted: 11 September 2013 / Published: 25 September 2013
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (584 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainability science seeks to identify and implement workable solutions to complex problems. This transdisciplinary approach advances a commitment to work across boundaries that occur among individuals, disciplines, and institutions to build capacities for informed and innovative decision making in the face of uncertainty
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Sustainability science seeks to identify and implement workable solutions to complex problems. This transdisciplinary approach advances a commitment to work across boundaries that occur among individuals, disciplines, and institutions to build capacities for informed and innovative decision making in the face of uncertainty and change. The concept of boundary work and related discussions of boundary objects and organizations are important, expanding focal areas within sustainability science. While communication is described as central to boundary work, insights from the field of communication have largely yet to inform theorizing about boundaries within sustainability science. In this paper, we highlight three communication perspectives, namely media studies, collaboration and partnerships, and systems theories, which are particularly relevant for understanding how boundaries form, the social context in which boundary work occurs, and informed strategies for enhanced boundary spanning and management. We use three case studies to illustrate how communication theories and methods provide dynamic and strategic lenses within transdisciplinary processes to enable collaborators to build capacity for change, sustain critical and reflective inquiry, and approach difference as generative in collective efforts to produce sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Communication for and about Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle A Road Network for Freight Transport in Flanders: Multi-Actor Multi-Criteria Assessment of Alternative Ring Ways
Sustainability 2013, 5(10), 4222-4246; doi:10.3390/su5104222
Received: 3 July 2013 / Revised: 5 September 2013 / Accepted: 13 September 2013 / Published: 26 September 2013
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (777 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Even though road transport is an essential part of freight distribution, there is a lack of customized routing networks to convey freight over the road. The present paper addresses this deficit by proposing general principles to elaborate a regional freight route network in
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Even though road transport is an essential part of freight distribution, there is a lack of customized routing networks to convey freight over the road. The present paper addresses this deficit by proposing general principles to elaborate a regional freight route network in Flanders. However, assigning regional freight traffic to a particular road network involves complex trade-offs between multiple interests, such as corporate accessibility, communal livability, additional network links and available space. The paper recommends the multi-actor multi-criteria assessment tool (MAMCA) to incorporate stakeholder objectives in the evaluation of possible freight network scenarios. The tool is applied for the specific case of Anzegem, a road village amid regional freight attraction poles that suffers particularly from heavy freight flows. The impact of four alternative ring ways is assessed according to the interests of the involved parties and compared to the reference scenario. Results show that transport companies advocate supra-local accessibility, while governmental and citizen stakeholders value traffic safety and livability. Since the reference scenario does not comply with these critical stakeholder objectives, an alternate scenario is proposed. As such, MAMCA applications assist policy-makers in building consensus among multiple actors in the realization of transportation projects. Full article
Open AccessArticle Land Change in the Mission-Aransas Coastal Region, Texas: Implications for Coastal Vulnerability and Protected Areas
Sustainability 2013, 5(10), 4247-4267; doi:10.3390/su5104247
Received: 13 August 2013 / Revised: 17 September 2013 / Accepted: 18 September 2013 / Published: 26 September 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1695 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Mission-Aransas coastal region (MACR) in Texas is home to settlements vulnerable to coastal hazards. The region also contains significant biodiversity including several endangered species. The habitats in the bays and estuaries of MACR are especially sensitive to changes in land use/land cover
[...] Read more.
The Mission-Aransas coastal region (MACR) in Texas is home to settlements vulnerable to coastal hazards. The region also contains significant biodiversity including several endangered species. The habitats in the bays and estuaries of MACR are especially sensitive to changes in land use/land cover (LULC) within the drainage basins upstream. We examine LULC change in the MACR from 1990 to 2010 and its implications for coastal vulnerability of the built environment and for the biodiversity in the region. Our findings show that, from 1990 to 2010, about a quarter of the MACR experienced LULC change. Developed land increased 71% (from 118 km2 in 1990 to 203 km2 in 2010), by far the greatest proportional change among all land cover classes. The rate of increase of developed land was slightly higher along the coast, 75% (from 65 km2 in 1990 to 114 km2 in 2010). Almost 90% of all developed land was within 50 km of the protected areas in both years. Overall, our findings point to increased exposure of the people and infrastructure to coastal hazards. Given the high social vulnerability in the study area, our study can inform formulation of sustainable management options that minimize both the coastal vulnerability of people and infrastructure and the pressure on the protected areas that are critical for conservation of biodiversity in the region. Full article
Open AccessArticle Historic Urban Landscape Approach and Port Cities Regeneration: Naples between Identity and Outlook
Sustainability 2013, 5(10), 4268-4287; doi:10.3390/su5104268
Received: 2 September 2013 / Revised: 2 September 2013 / Accepted: 23 September 2013 / Published: 30 September 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2124 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this paper is to highlight some perspectives for the sustainable development of Naples, to direct future policies for the city. The proposed approach is based on the Historic Urban Landscape, which, being structurally integrated/systemic, allows the relationship between the historic
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The aim of this paper is to highlight some perspectives for the sustainable development of Naples, to direct future policies for the city. The proposed approach is based on the Historic Urban Landscape, which, being structurally integrated/systemic, allows the relationship between the historic center and the waterfront, as well as many contradictions, to be overcome, which in the city of Naples, have become particularly acute. The notion of Historic Urban Landscape (HUL) is the latest contribution to the international debate concerning the identification, preservation and valorization of cultural heritage. This new category, in fact, refers to the notion of context to emphasize the systemic interrelation between economic, social, environmental and cultural factors and the complexity of the framework within which conservation policies are inserted. It is in this perspective that the experiences of planning taking place in Naples are read, as a starting point for an innovative approach to the issue of an integrated conservation of the Historic Urban Landscape and, more generally, of the regeneration of the city. The starting point is the study of the experiences of urban transformation in some European port cities in order to “learn from comparison” to develop a theoretic approach based on the understanding of reality. The comparative analysis of case studies, through the synthesis of the most significant aspects of each port city, allows the relationship that exists between a phenomenon and its context to be understood and the critical success factors to be identified, in order to transfer the knowledge gained from good practices in the processes of regeneration of the city of Naples. Naples, for its stratified urban fabric, rich in tangible and intangible cultural values, and for its particular nodal position within the Mediterranean basin, lends itself effectively to a different approach to urban regeneration, which focuses on the relationship between the historic city and the sea. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cities and Waterfront Infrastructure)
Open AccessArticle The Sustainability of Mediterranean Port Areas: Environmental Management for Local Regeneration in Valencia
Sustainability 2013, 5(10), 4288-4311; doi:10.3390/su5104288
Received: 5 September 2013 / Accepted: 10 September 2013 / Published: 30 September 2013
PDF Full-text (1484 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Urban renovation projects, which have led to the conversion of port areas through a new vision of waterfronts as elements of the potential development of the urban system in its entirety, have spread since the early 1950s and now some port cities are
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Urban renovation projects, which have led to the conversion of port areas through a new vision of waterfronts as elements of the potential development of the urban system in its entirety, have spread since the early 1950s and now some port cities are able to trigger some mechanisms which, even if they are the result of some processes that have been activated for decades and which are still evolving, are able to amplify and to extend over time their generated positive impacts. These impacts also produce a system of relations in the context of the hinterland, attracted also by policies of economic, social, and cultural development. In the case of the city of Valencia, we have seen, in the last 50 years, a progressive spread of the urbanized area to the coasts, simultaneously with a process of renovation of the port area, which has been populated by important architectures, and which has been equipped by efficient infrastructures and subjected to numerous recovery and restoration operations of its historic buildings. However, the environmental conditions near the port area are not well suited to a good quality of life because ports are pollution producers, sites of urban decay, and of social degradation. A good plan can include some instruments to decrease those negative factors, leading to a close merging between the port area and the city hinterland, and generating new economies. The proposal of this research consists in a method of integrating the port planning with an environmental accounting system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cities and Waterfront Infrastructure)
Open AccessArticle Sustainability in the Brazilian Heavy Construction Industry: An Analysis of Organizational Practices
Sustainability 2013, 5(10), 4312-4328; doi:10.3390/su5104312
Received: 7 August 2013 / Revised: 24 September 2013 / Accepted: 26 September 2013 / Published: 30 September 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (554 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study performs a comparison between the theoretical frameworks of sustainable development and its incorporation in the decision-making practices and models used by heavy construction companies. This study was conducted by using documentary analysis of corporate sustainability reports. Specifically, the content analysis method
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This study performs a comparison between the theoretical frameworks of sustainable development and its incorporation in the decision-making practices and models used by heavy construction companies. This study was conducted by using documentary analysis of corporate sustainability reports. Specifically, the content analysis method was used to examine the sustainability reports disclosed by the companies studied. The results indicate four main conclusions: first, the social, political and economic context directed the companies towards implementing sustainable management practices; second, human resource development follows the traditional model of training and development; third, there is an evident effort to balance economic goals and profit-making with social responsibility practices as a way to characterize the corporate commitment with sustainability; fourth, effective and indispensable measures to transform decision-making models were not adopted in the business practices analyzed, and thus the economic factor continues to be prioritized at the expense of social and environmental aspects in those models. This paper, in looking at three Brazilian multinational heavy construction companies, examines the synergy between the theoretical and the identified corporate sustainability practices. Lastly, this paper may be characterized as a descriptive study based on a literature review and an analysis of sustainability reports from the companies studied. Full article
Open AccessArticle Toward a Smart Sustainable Development of Port Cities/Areas: The Role of the “Historic Urban Landscape” Approach
Sustainability 2013, 5(10), 4329-4348; doi:10.3390/su5104329
Received: 30 August 2013 / Accepted: 24 September 2013 / Published: 2 October 2013
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1192 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
After the 2008 crisis, smart sustainable development of port areas/cities should be developed on the basis of specific principles: the synergy principle (between different actors/systems, in particular the socio-cultural and economic system), the creativity principle and the circularization principle. The Historic Urban landscape
[...] Read more.
After the 2008 crisis, smart sustainable development of port areas/cities should be developed on the basis of specific principles: the synergy principle (between different actors/systems, in particular the socio-cultural and economic system), the creativity principle and the circularization principle. The Historic Urban landscape (HUL) approach becomes the guarantee that the transition toward the smart city development model is based on specific local cultural resources, and not only on technological innovations. In other words, the eco-town/eco-city strategy becomes culture-led. It stimulates places as spatial “loci” for implementing synergies and circularization processes. Without new evaluation tools and a widespread “evaluation culture” the risks in implementing HUL are very high. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cities and Waterfront Infrastructure)
Open AccessArticle Assessing Incorrect Household Waste Sorting in a Medium-Sized Swedish City
Sustainability 2013, 5(10), 4349-4361; doi:10.3390/su5104349
Received: 24 June 2013 / Revised: 25 September 2013 / Accepted: 26 September 2013 / Published: 2 October 2013
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (606 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Source separation is a common method for dealing with the increasing problem of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) in society. The citizens are then responsible for separating waste fractions produced in their home. If the consumers fail to sort the waste according to the
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Source separation is a common method for dealing with the increasing problem of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) in society. The citizens are then responsible for separating waste fractions produced in their home. If the consumers fail to sort the waste according to the source separation scheme, it will lead to an ineffective system. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the environmental, economic and social aspects of incorrect waste sorting in a medium sized Swedish city that has established a source separation system. In order to determine the extent to which citizens correctly sort their waste, food waste (black bags) and combustible fraction (white bags), were collected randomly from a residential area and categorized in different waste fractions. The results show that approximately 68 wt% of the waste in the white and 29 wt% in the black bags were not sorted correctly. This incorrect sorting accrues over 13 million SEK per year cost for this community. In order to improve the inhabitants’ participation in the waste management system, it is necessary to change different factors such as convenience and easy access to the recycling stations in the local MSW management systems as well as to review current regulation and policy. Full article
Open AccessArticle Economic Analysis of Climate Variability Impact on Malaria Prevalence: The Case of Ghana
Sustainability 2013, 5(10), 4362-4378; doi:10.3390/su5104362
Received: 26 July 2013 / Revised: 10 September 2013 / Accepted: 8 October 2013 / Published: 17 October 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (936 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A number of studies exist on the relationship between climatic factors and malaria prevalence. However, due to scarcity of data, most of the studies are based on biophysical experiments and do not control for socioeconomic covariates. This research, which uses data on Ghana,
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A number of studies exist on the relationship between climatic factors and malaria prevalence. However, due to scarcity of data, most of the studies are based on biophysical experiments and do not control for socioeconomic covariates. This research, which uses data on Ghana, contributes to the thin literature that addresses this limitation. We found that humidity and rainfall predict malaria prevalence. Furthermore, our results suggest that malaria prevalence increases with rainfall, the proportion of middle income households, and the proportion of households with no formal education. The corresponding elasticity coefficients are 0.67, 0.12 and 0.66, respectively. Significant differences in the prevalence rate have also been observed across regions. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Use of Visual Decision Support Tools in an Interactive Stakeholder Analysis—Old Ports as New Magnets for Creative Urban Development
Sustainability 2013, 5(10), 4379-4405; doi:10.3390/su5104379
Received: 5 September 2013 / Accepted: 30 September 2013 / Published: 17 October 2013
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1582 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Port cities are historically important breeding places of civilization and wealth, and act as attractive high-quality and sustainable places to live and work. They are core places for sustainable development for the entire spatial system as a result of their dynamism, which has
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Port cities are historically important breeding places of civilization and wealth, and act as attractive high-quality and sustainable places to live and work. They are core places for sustainable development for the entire spatial system as a result of their dynamism, which has in recent years reinforced their position as magnets in a spatial-economic force field. To understand and exploit this potential, the present study presents an analytical framework that links the opportunities provided by traditional port areas/cities to creative, resilient and sustainable urban development. Using evidence-based research, findings are presented from a case study by employing a stakeholder-based model—with interactive visual support tools as novel analysis methods—in a backcasting and forecasting exercise for sustainable development. The empirical study is carried out in and around the NDSM-area, a former dockyard in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Various future images were used—in an interactive assessment incorporating classes of important stakeholders—as strategic vehicles to identify important policy challenges, and to evaluate options for converting historical-cultural urban port landscapes into sustainable and creative hotspots, starting by reusing, recovering, and regenerating such areas. This approach helps to identify successful policy strategies, and to bring together different forms of expertise in order to resolve conflicts between the interests (or values) of a multiplicity of stakeholders, with a view to stimulating economic vitality in combination with meeting social needs and ensuring the conservation of eco-systems in redesigning old port areas. The results indicate that the interactive policy support tools developed for the case study are fit for purpose, and are instrumental in designing sustainable urban port areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cities and Waterfront Infrastructure)
Open AccessArticle Sustaining Sanak Island, Alaska: A Cultural Land Trust
Sustainability 2013, 5(10), 4406-4427; doi:10.3390/su5104406
Received: 25 July 2013 / Revised: 9 October 2013 / Accepted: 10 October 2013 / Published: 17 October 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (552 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sanak Island is the easternmost of the Aleutian Islands and was inhabited by the Aleut (Unangan) peoples for nearly 7000 years. The past few centuries of Sanak Island life for its Aleut residents can be summarized from ethnohistoric documents and extensive interviews with
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Sanak Island is the easternmost of the Aleutian Islands and was inhabited by the Aleut (Unangan) peoples for nearly 7000 years. The past few centuries of Sanak Island life for its Aleut residents can be summarized from ethnohistoric documents and extensive interviews with former residents as shifting local-global economic patterns beginning with the sea otter fur trade, followed by cod and salmon fishing, fox farming, and cattle ranching through waves of Russian, American, and Scandinavian authority and/or influence. As the industries changed and the island absorbed new peoples with new goals, Aleut identity and practices also changed as part of these shifting economic and social environments. Sanak Island was abandoned in the 1970s and although uninhabited today, Sanak Island is managed as an important land trust for the island’s descendants that serves local peoples as a marine-scape rich in resources for Aleut subsistence harvesting and as a local heritage site where people draw on the diverse historical influences and legacies. Further, this move from an industrial heritage to contemporary local subsistence economies facilitated by a commercial fishing industry is a unique reversal of development in the region with broad implications for community sustainability among indigenous communities. We find that by being place-focused, rather than place-based, community sustainability can be maintained even in the context of relocation and the loss of traditional villages. This will likely become more common as indigenous peoples adapt to globalization and the forces of global change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Islands—A Pacific Perspective)
Open AccessArticle Communication and the Narrative Basis of Sustainability: Observations from the Municipal Water Sector
Sustainability 2013, 5(10), 4428-4443; doi:10.3390/su5104428
Received: 8 August 2013 / Revised: 28 August 2013 / Accepted: 30 September 2013 / Published: 17 October 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (620 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Numerous studies attempt to operationalize sustainability and seek to characterize objective, or at least standardized, metrics of sustainable conditions and/or operations. In this paper, we suggest that sustainability is better viewed as an emergent quality, defined in terms of specific institutions and situations.
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Numerous studies attempt to operationalize sustainability and seek to characterize objective, or at least standardized, metrics of sustainable conditions and/or operations. In this paper, we suggest that sustainability is better viewed as an emergent quality, defined in terms of specific institutions and situations. Observations from the water sector suggest that sustainability is not merely a matter of “bolting on technologies”, but a complex synthesis of institutional factors, social value perspectives, technologies and engineered artifacts, and natural or environmental conditions. The pursuit of sustainability appears to involve a process of broad-scale organizational transformation, a transformation that can vary significantly from utility to utility. Owing to this contingent quality, we suggest that sustainability is productively understood as a narrative construct. We illustrate how two types of discourse are particularly critical to the establishment and perpetuation of meaningful sustainability programs in water utilities and municipalities: (1) constitutive discourse, which frames and enables new ways of conceiving a particular state of affairs; and (2) transactional discourse, which provides a medium for participatory deliberation and enables the sharing of instructions and information necessary to carry out a transformation from the status quo to an envisioned future state. Although physio-chemical properties, ecological processes and thresholds, and technological factors must inform deliberations, we suggest that the realization of sustainability is at base a narrative enterprise. Observations articulated in this essay were derived through an ensemble research approach including a targeted literature review, a three-phase survey of 18 U.S. water utilities, and a workshop with water sector professionals, regulators, and experts in sustainability and organizational change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Communication for and about Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Tailoring Global Data to Guide Corporate Investments in Biodiversity, Environmental Assessments and Sustainability
Sustainability 2013, 5(10), 4444-4460; doi:10.3390/su5104444
Received: 8 July 2013 / Revised: 10 September 2013 / Accepted: 8 October 2013 / Published: 18 October 2013
PDF Full-text (1436 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Companies make significant investments in environmental impacts assessments, biodiversity action plans, life-cycle assessments, and environmental management systems, but guidance on where and when these tools can be best used, and how they may scale-up to inform corporation-wide planning, is sorely lacking. A major
[...] Read more.
Companies make significant investments in environmental impacts assessments, biodiversity action plans, life-cycle assessments, and environmental management systems, but guidance on where and when these tools can be best used, and how they may scale-up to inform corporation-wide planning, is sorely lacking. A major barrier to informed environmental decision-making within companies, especially in data poor regions of the world, is the difficulty accessing, analyzing, and interpreting biodiversity information. To address this shortcoming, we analyzed nine publicly available environmental datasets, and created five globally-relevant metrics associated with biodiversity: habitat intactness, habitat protection, species richness (globally and biome normalized), and threatened species. We demonstrate how packaging these metrics within an open-source, web-based mapping tool can facilitate corporations in biodiversity prioritization of their sites (or their supply chains), ultimately guiding potential investments in the environment. Full article
Open AccessArticle Greenhouse Gas Implications of Urban Sprawl in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area
Sustainability 2013, 5(10), 4461-4478; doi:10.3390/su5104461
Received: 31 July 2013 / Revised: 25 September 2013 / Accepted: 11 October 2013 / Published: 21 October 2013
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (723 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Suburban households living in spacious detached houses and owing multiple cars are often seen as main culprits for negative greenhouse consequences of urban sprawl. Consequently, the effects of sprawl have been mostly studied from the viewpoints of emissions from home energy consumption and
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Suburban households living in spacious detached houses and owing multiple cars are often seen as main culprits for negative greenhouse consequences of urban sprawl. Consequently, the effects of sprawl have been mostly studied from the viewpoints of emissions from home energy consumption and private driving. Little attention has been paid to the changes in other consumption. In this paper, urban sprawl is linked to the proliferation of semi-detached and detached housing, described as a low-rise lifestyle, at the expense of apartment house living i.e., high-rise lifestyle. We analyze differences between the low-rise and the high-rise lifestyles and their environmental effects in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, taking into account all consumption activities. Environmental effects are assessed by combining greenhouse gas intensities from a consumption-based environmentally-extended input-output (EE I-O) model with expenditure data. Then these carbon footprints are further elucidated with regression analysis. We find that low-rise lifestyles causes approximately 14% more emissions than high-rise lifestyles. However, the relative contributions of emissions from different sources, whether direct or indirect, are almost equal for both. Furthermore, when controlling the level of expenditure, the differences between the two lifestyles unexpectedly disappear and in certain cases are even reversed. We believe that our consumption-based approach facilitates the understanding of sprawling lifestyles and offers important insights for sustainable policy-design and urban planning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Density and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Pedagogies to Achieve Sustainability Learning Outcomes in Civil and Environmental Engineering Students
Sustainability 2013, 5(10), 4479-4501; doi:10.3390/su5104479
Received: 1 September 2013 / Revised: 1 October 2013 / Accepted: 9 October 2013 / Published: 21 October 2013
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (829 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The civil and environmental engineering disciplines have identified the levels of knowledge about sustainability that are desirable for students to achieve as they graduate with a bachelor’s degree, as well as sustainability-related competencies to be obtained during a master’s degree, and on-the-job, prior
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The civil and environmental engineering disciplines have identified the levels of knowledge about sustainability that are desirable for students to achieve as they graduate with a bachelor’s degree, as well as sustainability-related competencies to be obtained during a master’s degree, and on-the-job, prior to professional licensure. Different pedagogies are better suited to help students attain these levels of cognitive ability, while also developing affective outcomes. This paper provides examples of different methods that have been used at one institution to educate engineering students about sustainability, supported with data that indicates whether the method successfully achieved the targeted learning outcomes. Lectures, in-class active learning, readings, and appropriately targeted homework assignments can achieve basic sustainability knowledge and comprehension by requiring students to define, identify, and explain aspects of sustainability. Case studies and the application of software tools are good methods to achieve application and analysis competencies. Project-based learning (PBL) and project-based service-learning (PBSL) design projects can reach the synthesis level and may also develop affective outcomes related to sustainability. The results provide examples that may apply to a wider range of disciplines and suggest sustainability outcomes that are particularly difficult to teach and/or assess. Full article
Open AccessArticle Density and Decision-Making: Findings from an Online Survey
Sustainability 2013, 5(10), 4502-4522; doi:10.3390/su5104502
Received: 16 August 2013 / Revised: 3 September 2013 / Accepted: 4 October 2013 / Published: 23 October 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (661 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In many countries, policymakers have used urban densification strategies in an effort to create more sustainable cities. However, spatial density as a concept remains unclear and complex. Little information exists about how density is considered by decision makers, including the different kinds of
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In many countries, policymakers have used urban densification strategies in an effort to create more sustainable cities. However, spatial density as a concept remains unclear and complex. Little information exists about how density is considered by decision makers, including the different kinds of density and the wider political and economic context in which decisions are made: who makes density decisions, when they make those decisions and what they use to make decisions. To that end, the authors created an online survey to investigate the above issues. One hundred and twenty-nine respondents from the fields of architecture, planning, urban design and engineering answered a 26-item survey over a 3-month period. Findings suggest that decision makers consider more than just population and dwelling density and that city design, planning and policy need to address these other kinds of density. Moreover, the professions making many of the density decisions are not, necessarily, the ones that should be making the decisions; nor are they making decisions early enough. Policymakers also need to be more cognisant of the multi-scalar dimensions of density when creating policy. Finally, more needs to be done in universities to ensure that built environment students receive a broader skillset, particularly in terms of engaging with communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Density and Sustainability)

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