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Sustainability, Volume 5, Issue 7 (July 2013), Pages 2840-3223

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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessEditorial Psychological and Behavioral Aspects of Sustainability
Sustainability 2013, 5(7), 3006-3008; doi:10.3390/su5073006
Received: 5 July 2013 / Accepted: 8 July 2013 / Published: 10 July 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (373 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
I am honored to introduce this special issue of Sustainability, which exemplifies how the field of Psychology can contribute to multi- and inter-disciplinary efforts to create a sustainable society. In fact, achieving the goal of environmental, economic, and social sustainability is [...] Read more.
I am honored to introduce this special issue of Sustainability, which exemplifies how the field of Psychology can contribute to multi- and inter-disciplinary efforts to create a sustainable society. In fact, achieving the goal of environmental, economic, and social sustainability is predicated on changing human behavior; the purview of Psychologists (reviewed in [1], see also [2–7]). So-called “environmental problems” are really problems of human behavior, caused by collective human actions and their underlying thoughts, beliefs, feelings, and values [1]. Consequently, research from various sub-fields of psychology can [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychological and Behavioral Aspects of Sustainability)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Open AccessArticle A Critical Assessment and Projection of Urban Vertical Growth in Antofagasta, Chile
Sustainability 2013, 5(7), 2840-2855; doi:10.3390/su5072840
Received: 4 May 2013 / Revised: 7 June 2013 / Accepted: 18 June 2013 / Published: 27 June 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2411 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Vertical cities’ growth is argument of discussion worldwide. Population increases and a better soil use are needed, in terms of efficiency and density, in many cities of the world. However, an excessive vertical growth seems to be harmful, especially near the green [...] Read more.
Vertical cities’ growth is argument of discussion worldwide. Population increases and a better soil use are needed, in terms of efficiency and density, in many cities of the world. However, an excessive vertical growth seems to be harmful, especially near the green areas of midtowns. In this paper, the case of Antofagasta is studied. The paper studies different possible future evolutions searching for a bearable development, respecting the society needs and the environment. Parameters analyzed are: temperature, humidity, solar radiation, wind speed and direction in the studied area. Results show the impact of building growth in terms of overheating and wind reduction on the ground area studied. Additionally, the social impact of living in towers is also discussed in the paper, searching for better design in order to guarantee user’s comfort, satisfaction and stimulation in their residences. Thermal, visual and acoustical effects produced by towers are considered in the critical evaluation of the Antofagasta city evolution. Part of this work relates to architectural workshop “energy and architecture” conducted by the authors at the School of Architecture of the Catholic University of the North (UCN) in 2012. Full article
Open AccessArticle From Transit Migrants to Trading Migrants: Development Opportunities for Nigerians in the Transnational Trade Sector of Istanbul
Sustainability 2013, 5(7), 2856-2873; doi:10.3390/su5072856
Received: 4 May 2013 / Revised: 10 June 2013 / Accepted: 19 June 2013 / Published: 27 June 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (516 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper critically discusses the relation between human mobility and development. It moves away from conventional migration-development policy discussions that mainly focus on diaspora-like actors, who have established a stable and integrated socio-economic position in the destination countries. Instead, it looks at [...] Read more.
This paper critically discusses the relation between human mobility and development. It moves away from conventional migration-development policy discussions that mainly focus on diaspora-like actors, who have established a stable and integrated socio-economic position in the destination countries. Instead, it looks at mobility-development dynamics in the context of less privileged and less integrated migrants; Nigerian migrants who are (or have been) living in transit-like situations in the city of Istanbul (Turkey). Based on in-depth interviews with Nigerian migrants, it analyses migrants’ personal developments in the light of their migration trajectories. The analysis particularly shows how upward social mobility is not so much found in onward migration to Europe, but in getting involved in a different form of mobility; informally arranged transnational trade between Turkey and West Africa. It outlines the diverse roles of migrants in this informal trade sector and elaborates on their relations with fly in/fly out traders originating from Africa. With these empirical insights, I conclude that these migrants do not belong to settled diaspora communities, but nevertheless, act as bridges between “here” and “there” and contribute to the creation of (new) development corridors. Full article
Open AccessArticle Establishment of Alleycropped Hybrid Aspen “Crandon” in Central Iowa, USA: Effects of Topographic Position and Fertilizer Rate on Aboveground Biomass Production and Allocation
Sustainability 2013, 5(7), 2874-2886; doi:10.3390/su5072874
Received: 24 May 2013 / Revised: 21 June 2013 / Accepted: 28 June 2013 / Published: 3 July 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (640 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Hybrid poplars have demonstrated high productivity as short rotation woody crops (SRWC) in the Midwest USA, and the hybrid aspen “Crandon” (Populus alba L. × P. grandidenta Michx.) has exhibited particularly promising yields on marginal lands. However, a key obstacle for [...] Read more.
Hybrid poplars have demonstrated high productivity as short rotation woody crops (SRWC) in the Midwest USA, and the hybrid aspen “Crandon” (Populus alba L. × P. grandidenta Michx.) has exhibited particularly promising yields on marginal lands. However, a key obstacle for wider deployment is the lack of economic returns early in the rotation. Alleycropping has the potential to address this issue, especially when paired with crops such as winter triticale which complete their growth cycle early in the summer and therefore are expected to exert minimal competition on establishing trees. In addition, well-placed fertilizer in low rates at planting has the potential to improve tree establishment and shorten the rotation, which is also economically desirable. To test the potential productivity of “Crandon” alleycropped with winter triticale, plots were established on five topographic positions with four different rates of fertilizer placed in the planting hole. Trees were then harvested from the plots after each of the first three growing seasons. Fertilization resulted in significant increases in branch, stem, and total aboveground biomass across all years, whereas the effects of topographic position varied by year. Allocation between branches and stems was found to be primarily a function of total aboveground biomass. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agroforestry)
Open AccessArticle Shared Urban Greywater Recycling Systems: Water Resource Savings and Economic Investment
Sustainability 2013, 5(7), 2887-2912; doi:10.3390/su5072887
Received: 28 April 2013 / Revised: 6 June 2013 / Accepted: 21 June 2013 / Published: 3 July 2013
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1394 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The water industry is becoming increasingly aware of the risks associated with urban supplies not meeting demands by 2050. Greywater (GW) recycling for non-potable uses (e.g., urinal and toilet flushing) provides an urban water management strategy to help alleviate this risk by [...] Read more.
The water industry is becoming increasingly aware of the risks associated with urban supplies not meeting demands by 2050. Greywater (GW) recycling for non-potable uses (e.g., urinal and toilet flushing) provides an urban water management strategy to help alleviate this risk by reducing main water demands. This paper proposes an innovative cross connected system that collects GW from residential buildings and recycles it for toilet/urinal flushing in both residential and office buildings. The capital cost (CAPEX), operational cost (OPEX) and water saving potential are calculated for individual and shared residential and office buildings in an urban mixed-use regeneration area in the UK, assuming two different treatment processes; a membrane bioreactor (MBR) and a vertical flow constructed wetland (VFCW). The Net Present Value (NPV) method was used to compare the financial performance of each considered scenario, from where it was found that a shared GW recycling system (MBR) was the most economically viable option. The sensitivity of this financial model was assessed, considering four parameters (i.e., water supply and sewerage charges, discount rate(s), service life and improved technological efficiency, e.g., low flush toilets, low shower heads, etc.), from where it was found that shared GW systems performed best in the long-term. Full article
Open AccessArticle Revealing the Value of “Green” and the Small Group with a Big Heart in Transportation Mode Choice
Sustainability 2013, 5(7), 2913-2927; doi:10.3390/su5072913
Received: 5 February 2013 / Revised: 3 June 2013 / Accepted: 14 June 2013 / Published: 3 July 2013
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (959 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
To address issues of climate change, people are more and more being presented with the greenhouse gas emissions associated with their alternatives. Statements of pounds or kilograms of CO2 are showing up in trip planners, car advertisements, and even restaurant menus [...] Read more.
To address issues of climate change, people are more and more being presented with the greenhouse gas emissions associated with their alternatives. Statements of pounds or kilograms of CO2 are showing up in trip planners, car advertisements, and even restaurant menus under the assumption that this information influences behavior. This research contributes to the literature that investigates how travelers respond to such information. Our objective is to better understand the “value of green” or how much travelers are willing to pay in money in order to reduce the CO2 associated with their travel. As with previous work, we designed and conducted a mode choice experiment using methods that have long been used to study value of time. The contributions of this paper are twofold. First, we employ revealed preference data, whereas previous studies have been based on stated preferences. Second, we provide new insight on how the value of green is distributed in the population. Whereas previous work has specified heterogeneity either systematically or with a continuous distribution, we find that a latent class choice model specification better fits the data and also is attractive behaviorally. The best fitting latent class model has two classes: one large class (76% of the sample) who are not willing to spend any time or money to reduce their CO2 and a second class (24% of the sample) who value reducing their CO2 at a very high rate of $2.68 per pound of reduction—our so-called small group with a big heart. We reanalyzed three datasets that we had previously collected and found considerable robustness of this two class result. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychological and Behavioral Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Urban Architecture as Connective-Collective Intelligence. Which Spaces of Interaction?
Sustainability 2013, 5(7), 2928-2943; doi:10.3390/su5072928
Received: 22 April 2013 / Revised: 24 June 2013 / Accepted: 26 June 2013 / Published: 4 July 2013
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Abstract
During the twentieth century, with the advent of industrial society and globalization, the language of planning changed according to the shifts in construction and use of physical space. By borrowing terms and spatial forms from biology and cybernetics, industrial society and globalization [...] Read more.
During the twentieth century, with the advent of industrial society and globalization, the language of planning changed according to the shifts in construction and use of physical space. By borrowing terms and spatial forms from biology and cybernetics, industrial society and globalization increased the original semantic connotations. Moving from cognitive sciences, this paper outlines the definition of architecture as connective-collective intelligence and presents its implication in urban design. Spontaneous and commercial initiatives are redefining the communication form of urban life, affecting the procedures of the transmission of traditional knowledge. This approach to building environment is moving towards a complex multichannel interaction, involving both the individual and the collective experiences of space and technology. In describing some signs of that process, the authors outline new features that are changing the concept of sustainability in urban design. Full article
Open AccessArticle Transferring the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) Approach and Best Available Techniques (BAT) Concepts to Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco
Sustainability 2013, 5(7), 2944-2959; doi:10.3390/su5072944
Received: 18 April 2013 / Revised: 15 June 2013 / Accepted: 1 July 2013 / Published: 4 July 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (613 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The principles introduced by the Directive Concerning Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) (currently known as the Industrial Emissions Directive (2010/75/EU)) are innovative and have raised interests in the framework of the literature debate on environmental regulation. Many articles describe and analyze [...] Read more.
The principles introduced by the Directive Concerning Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) (currently known as the Industrial Emissions Directive (2010/75/EU)) are innovative and have raised interests in the framework of the literature debate on environmental regulation. Many articles describe and analyze the application of the Directive in European countries, but only a few articles focus on how the interest for the Directive’s principles, including the integrated approach, have reached countries outside the European Union. This paper aims to contribute to this topic, describing the experience of the authors in carrying out an EU-funded project on transferring the IPPC approach and Best Available Techniques (BAT) concepts to three Arab countries, i.e., Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia. The paper presents the experience referring to two sectors falling within the scope of the IPPC Directive: the textile and dairy sector. The objectives, methodologies, activities and experiences are described and can be used and valorized to integrate the IPPC approach and BAT concepts in the current environmental legislation of the three countries. Full article
Open AccessArticle Communication Regarding Sustainability: Conceptual Perspectives and Exploration of Societal Subsystems
Sustainability 2013, 5(7), 2976-2990; doi:10.3390/su5072976
Received: 18 May 2013 / Revised: 28 June 2013 / Accepted: 1 July 2013 / Published: 9 July 2013
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Abstract
Sustainability issues are typically characterized by high complexity and uncertainty. In light of this, communication plays a crucial role in coping with these challenges. The previous debate on sustainability communication has largely focused on how to communicate sustainability issues to others. Sustainability [...] Read more.
Sustainability issues are typically characterized by high complexity and uncertainty. In light of this, communication plays a crucial role in coping with these challenges. The previous debate on sustainability communication has largely focused on how to communicate sustainability issues to others. Sustainability communication, however, involves more than sender oriented communication to persuade others (“communication of sustainability”); it also embraces processes of dialogue and discourse (“communication about sustainability”). Based on this distinction, we develop a typology of communication modes, including communication for sustainability. Inspired by the notion of functional communication systems, we explore sustainability communication in six societal subsystems, applying the typology of communication modes. Drawing mostly on examples from Germany, we find a shift from “communication of” towards “communication about” sustainability in most subsystems. While communication subsystems have a tendency towards operational closure, a variety of interlinkages exist. We discuss three key areas of “opening up” communication subsystems, leading to transdisciplinarity, societal deliberation and governance, each meeting one of sustainability’s core challenges. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Communication for and about Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Backcasting for Sustainable Employment: A Hungarian Experience
Sustainability 2013, 5(7), 2991-3005; doi:10.3390/su5072991
Received: 10 May 2013 / Revised: 1 July 2013 / Accepted: 3 July 2013 / Published: 10 July 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (516 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainability and employment are terms seldom used together. Especially when defining sustainability in the stricter sense of the word, delineating a world where strong sustainability is the norm, it is problematic to deduct which elements may compose sustainable employment. In the relevant [...] Read more.
Sustainability and employment are terms seldom used together. Especially when defining sustainability in the stricter sense of the word, delineating a world where strong sustainability is the norm, it is problematic to deduct which elements may compose sustainable employment. In the relevant discourse, two distinct directions can be identified. Ecological modernization promises “quick fixes” to employment problems while reducing environmentally harmful economic activities without initiating major changes either in our ways of thinking or in our way of living. At the same time, the radical change paradigm disposes of the concepts of the free market society and believes that new “great transformations” are unavoidable, whereby values must change just as much as institutions. Yet, how far have these normative theoretical approaches penetrated our everyday thinking? The paper builds upon the experience of a backcasting project on sustainable employment conducted in Hungary in 2012 and early 2013 and suggests that when people are given the chance to leave the path dependencies of today behind and imagine a sustainable future, their normative visions provide us with invaluable insight as to what may constitute sustainable employment. It also contributes towards our understanding of which policy tools lead us towards a more sustainable world of work in particular and a more sustainable society in general. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Government Policy and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Bringing the “Missing Pillar” into Sustainable Development Goals: Towards Intersubjective Values-Based Indicators
Sustainability 2013, 5(7), 3035-3059; doi:10.3390/su5073035
Received: 20 May 2013 / Revised: 20 June 2013 / Accepted: 25 June 2013 / Published: 12 July 2013
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Abstract
This paper argues that the need for a core “fourth pillar” of sustainability/sustainable development, as demanded in multiple arenas, can no longer be ignored on the grounds of intangibility. Different approaches to this vital but missing pillar (cultural-aesthetic, religious-spiritual, and political-institutional) find [...] Read more.
This paper argues that the need for a core “fourth pillar” of sustainability/sustainable development, as demanded in multiple arenas, can no longer be ignored on the grounds of intangibility. Different approaches to this vital but missing pillar (cultural-aesthetic, religious-spiritual, and political-institutional) find common ground in the area of ethical values. While values and aspects based on them are widely assumed to be intangible and immeasurable, we illustrate that it is possible to operationalize them in terms of measurable indicators when they are intersubjectively conceptualized within clearly defined practical contexts. The processes require contextual localization of items, which can nonetheless fit into a generalizable framework. This allows useful measurements to be made, and removes barriers to studying, tracking, comparing, evaluating and correlating values-related dimensions of sustainability. It is advocated that those involved in operationalizing sustainability (especially in the context of creating post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals), should explore the potential for developing indicators to capture some of its less tangible aspects, especially those concerned with ethical values. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development Goals)
Open AccessArticle Assessment of Physical-Chemical Drinking Water Quality in the Logone Valley (Chad-Cameroon)
Sustainability 2013, 5(7), 3060-3076; doi:10.3390/su5073060
Received: 10 May 2013 / Revised: 28 June 2013 / Accepted: 4 July 2013 / Published: 15 July 2013
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Abstract
Unsafe drinking water is one of the main concerns in developing countries. In order to deal with this problem, a cooperation project was set up by the ACRA Foundation in the Logone valley (Chad-Cameroon). Water supplies were sampled throughout the villages of [...] Read more.
Unsafe drinking water is one of the main concerns in developing countries. In order to deal with this problem, a cooperation project was set up by the ACRA Foundation in the Logone valley (Chad-Cameroon). Water supplies were sampled throughout the villages of this area mostly from boreholes, open wells, rivers and lakes as well as some piped waters. The samples were analysed for their physical-chemical and microbiological quality in order to identify the contamination problems and suggest appropriate solutions. Results of the assessment confirmed that in the studied area there are several parameters of health and aesthetic concern. Elevated lead levels were detected both in aquifers and in surface waters, confirming that further investigations of the occurrence of lead contamination in the Logone valley are warranted. In addition, many groundwater sources are negatively impacted by parameters of aesthetic concern, such as turbidity, iron and manganese. Even though they do not affect human health, elevated levels of these parameters cause consumers to abandon improved water supplies, often in favour of surface water sources that are microbiologically contaminated. The use of alternative sources, improvement of water supply structures and water treatment are possible solutions to improve the quality of drinking water in the Logone valley. Full article
Open AccessArticle What Do We Need to Know to Enhance the Environmental Sustainability of Agricultural Production? A Prioritisation of Knowledge Needs for the UK Food System
Sustainability 2013, 5(7), 3095-3115; doi:10.3390/su5073095
Received: 3 May 2013 / Revised: 21 June 2013 / Accepted: 3 July 2013 / Published: 17 July 2013
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (195 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Increasing concerns about global environmental change and food security have focused attention on the need for environmentally sustainable agriculture. This is agriculture that makes efficient use of natural resources and does not degrade the environmental systems that underpin it, or deplete natural [...] Read more.
Increasing concerns about global environmental change and food security have focused attention on the need for environmentally sustainable agriculture. This is agriculture that makes efficient use of natural resources and does not degrade the environmental systems that underpin it, or deplete natural capital stocks. We convened a group of 29 ‘practitioners’ and 17 environmental scientists with direct involvement or expertise in the environmental sustainability of agriculture. The practitioners included representatives from UK industry, non-government organizations and government agencies. We collaboratively developed a long list of 264 knowledge needs to help enhance the environmental sustainability of agriculture within the UK or for the UK market. We refined and selected the most important knowledge needs through a three-stage process of voting, discussion and scoring. Scientists and practitioners identified similar priorities. We present the 26 highest priority knowledge needs. Many of them demand integration of knowledge from different disciplines to inform policy and practice. The top five are about sustainability of livestock feed, trade-offs between ecosystem services at farm or landscape scale, phosphorus recycling and metrics to measure sustainability. The outcomes will be used to guide on-going knowledge exchange work, future science policy and funding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Food Chains)
Open AccessArticle Biofuels and Sustainable Transport: A Conceptual Discussion
Sustainability 2013, 5(7), 3129-3149; doi:10.3390/su5073129
Received: 13 May 2013 / Revised: 13 June 2013 / Accepted: 15 July 2013 / Published: 22 July 2013
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Abstract
Strategies for sustainably using biofuels must be thoroughly assessed at several levels. First, the use of biofuels must comply with sustainable development’s main dimensions. Second, the use of biofuels must comply with sustainable transport’s main dimensions. Third, gains from using biofuels strategies [...] Read more.
Strategies for sustainably using biofuels must be thoroughly assessed at several levels. First, the use of biofuels must comply with sustainable development’s main dimensions. Second, the use of biofuels must comply with sustainable transport’s main dimensions. Third, gains from using biofuels strategies must compare favorably to gains from other sustainable transport strategies, such as altering transport patterns and reducing transport volume. Fourth, the gains must compare favorably to gains from improving conventional fossil-fuel-based advanced vehicles. Fifth, the gains must compare favorably to gains from using other alternative fuels. Sixth, the gains from using one generation of biofuels (e.g., first generation) must compare favorably to gains from using others (e.g., second through fourth generations). Performing scientifically sound and fair comparisons demands reliable theoretical perspectives and a well-established methodological basis. Industrial ecology theory and life cycle assessment methodology, respectively, are well-suited for these tasks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agroforestry)
Open AccessArticle Composting Used as a Low Cost Method for Pathogen Elimination in Sewage Sludge in Mérida, Mexico
Sustainability 2013, 5(7), 3150-3158; doi:10.3390/su5073150
Received: 13 March 2013 / Revised: 10 July 2013 / Accepted: 15 July 2013 / Published: 22 July 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (567 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Spreading sewage sludge from municipal wastewater (MWW) treatment on land is still a common practice in developing countries. However, it is well known that sewage sludge without special treatment contains various pollutants, which are (re)introduced into the environment by sludge landspreading and [...] Read more.
Spreading sewage sludge from municipal wastewater (MWW) treatment on land is still a common practice in developing countries. However, it is well known that sewage sludge without special treatment contains various pollutants, which are (re)introduced into the environment by sludge landspreading and which might in turn have harmful effects on the environment and human health. This is more dangerous in places like Merida, Mexico, where soil is calcareous with fractures along the ground and thin layers of humus. Consequently, any liquid and semisolid wastes have the potential of percolating to the subsurface and contaminate the aquifer. The main aim of this work was using composting as a low cost process to eliminate pathogens contained in sewage sludge from MWW treatment in order to use the final product for land spreading in a safe way for both environment and human health. Two piles for composting process at real scale were settled using a mixture of sewage sludge from municipal waste water and green waste. Composting was carried out by windrow process and it was monitored during four weeks. Concentration of helminth eggs, salmonella and faecal coliforms were measured twice a week to observe its behavior and, as a control process, Temperature, Moisture Content (MC), and pH were also measured. After 30 days of composting sludge from municipal waste water system, salmonella was eliminated by 99%, faecal coliforms by 96% and helminth eggs by 81%. After 3 months compost reached GI = 160%, so did not show any phytotoxicity to seeds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Waste Management)
Open AccessArticle World Heritage Protection and the Human Right to Development: Reconciling Competing or Complimentary Narratives Using a Human Rights-Based Approach (HRBA)?
Sustainability 2013, 5(7), 3159-3171; doi:10.3390/su5073159
Received: 30 April 2013 / Revised: 4 July 2013 / Accepted: 15 July 2013 / Published: 22 July 2013
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Abstract
In the pursuit of the protection of places worthy of World Heritage designation, controls are placed on human activities. Regulations are put in place to curb the extent to which these places of heritage significance might be compromised by inappropriate human uses. [...] Read more.
In the pursuit of the protection of places worthy of World Heritage designation, controls are placed on human activities. Regulations are put in place to curb the extent to which these places of heritage significance might be compromised by inappropriate human uses. For the most part, this conservation exercise takes the form of a regulatory regime that, in reality, imposes localized restrictions on how people interact with the protected site. Such restrictions can come at considerable expense to pre-existing users, and arguably, in some instances, these restrictions may also act to simultaneously restrict “rights”. These rights arise by virtue of a raft of international and regional commitments to human rights that, in essence, aim to preserve human dignity for all. This paper explores the nexus between conservation and development through a “rights” paradigm. Arguably, it is untenable to sustain a situation in which heritage trumps user-rights without due regard for some of the rights articulated within the human rights narrative. Heritage protection must be seen as a question of balance wherein conservation, development and rights are reconciled. It is argued that the adoption of a human rights-based approach (HRBA) to conservation may aid in the reconciliation of these goals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Constructing Heritage in the Light of Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle Understanding Resilient Urban Futures: A Systemic Modelling Approach
Sustainability 2013, 5(7), 3202-3223; doi:10.3390/su5073202
Received: 20 May 2013 / Revised: 13 July 2013 / Accepted: 15 July 2013 / Published: 23 July 2013
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1799 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The resilience of cities in response to natural disasters and long-term climate change has emerged as a focus of academic and policy attention. In particular, how to understand the interconnectedness of urban and natural systems is a key issue. This paper introduces [...] Read more.
The resilience of cities in response to natural disasters and long-term climate change has emerged as a focus of academic and policy attention. In particular, how to understand the interconnectedness of urban and natural systems is a key issue. This paper introduces an urban model that can be used to evaluate city resilience outcomes under different policy scenarios. The model is the Wellington Integrated Land Use-Transport-Environment Model (WILUTE). It considers the city (i.e., Wellington) as a complex system characterized by interactions between a variety of internal urban processes (social, economic and physical) and the natural environment. It is focused on exploring the dynamic relations between human activities (the geographic distribution of housing and employment, infrastructure layout, traffic flows and energy consumption), environmental effects (carbon emissions, influences on local natural and ecological systems) and potential natural disasters (e.g., inundation due to sea level rise and storm events) faced under different policy scenarios. The model gives insights that are potentially useful for policy to enhance the city’s resilience, by modelling outcomes, such as the potential for reduction in transportation energy use, and changes in the vulnerability of the city’s housing stock and transport system to sea level rise. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cities)

Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research

Open AccessReview Understanding the Reasons for Behavioral Failure: A Process View of Psychosocial Barriers and Constraints to Pro-Ecological Behavior
Sustainability 2013, 5(7), 2960-2975; doi:10.3390/su5072960
Received: 1 April 2013 / Revised: 30 May 2013 / Accepted: 25 June 2013 / Published: 5 July 2013
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (556 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
For many years now, behavior change projects and research on pro-ecological behavior seem to have encountered difficulties in answering the question: why do people fail to act? That is, what are the barriers and constraints that prevent people from acting in a [...] Read more.
For many years now, behavior change projects and research on pro-ecological behavior seem to have encountered difficulties in answering the question: why do people fail to act? That is, what are the barriers and constraints that prevent people from acting in a pro-ecological way? In order to fill the gap, this paper aims to operationalize the concepts of barriers and constraints, based on an approach that considers the role of behavioral goals (“to achieve X”). In addition, it aims to present a preliminary approach focused on understanding the processes involved in the barriers and constraints emergence and their consequent effect on the implementation of behavioral goals into behaviors. This is done in order to allow for a better understanding of: (1) how the interaction between individual/dispositional characteristics and the characteristics of the situation in which individuals are in, may result in the inhibition/constraining of pro-ecological goals implementation into behaviors; and (2) the role of conscious and unconscious processes in this. Examples of barriers and constraints will be given, in order to make salient the need for future research to address these and for behavioral change projects to take them into consideration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychological and Behavioral Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessReview Sustainability of US Organic Beef and Dairy Production Systems: Soil, Plant and Cattle Interactions
Sustainability 2013, 5(7), 3009-3034; doi:10.3390/su5073009
Received: 3 June 2013 / Revised: 28 June 2013 / Accepted: 4 July 2013 / Published: 11 July 2013
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Abstract
In 2010, the National Organic Program implemented a rule for the US stating that pasture must be a significant source of feed in organic ruminant systems. This article will focus on how the pasture rule has impacted the management, economics and nutritional [...] Read more.
In 2010, the National Organic Program implemented a rule for the US stating that pasture must be a significant source of feed in organic ruminant systems. This article will focus on how the pasture rule has impacted the management, economics and nutritional value of products derived from organic ruminant systems and the interactions of grazing cattle with pasture forages and soils. The use of synthetic fertilizers is prohibited in organic systems; therefore, producers must rely on animal manures, compost and cover crops to increase and maintain soil nitrogen content. Rotational and strip grazing are two of the most common grazing management practices utilized in grazing ruminant production systems; however, these practices are not exclusive to organic livestock producers. For dairy cattle, grazing reduces foot and leg problems common in confinement systems, but lowers milk production and exposes cows to parasites that can be difficult to treat without pharmaceuticals. Organic beef cattle may still be finished in feedlots for no more than 120 days in the US, but without growth hormones and antibiotics, gains may be reduced and illnesses increased. Grazing reduces the use of environmentally and economically costly concentrate feeds and recycles nutrients back to the soil efficiently, but lowers the rate of beef liveweight gain. Increased use of pasture can be economically, environmentally and socially sustainable if forage use efficiency is high and US consumers continue to pay a premium for organic beef and dairy products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organic Farming and a Systems Approach to Sustainable Agroecosystems)
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Open AccessReview Critical Overview on Organic Legislation for Animal Production: Towards Conventionalization of the System?
Sustainability 2013, 5(7), 3077-3094; doi:10.3390/su5073077
Received: 28 May 2013 / Revised: 25 June 2013 / Accepted: 11 July 2013 / Published: 17 July 2013
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Abstract
Adoption of organic animal production legislation, particularly at the Community level, is done with a spirit of compromise and an attempt to reach consensus. In this sense, legal tools are used to solve technical problems so that an appreciable number of derogations [...] Read more.
Adoption of organic animal production legislation, particularly at the Community level, is done with a spirit of compromise and an attempt to reach consensus. In this sense, legal tools are used to solve technical problems so that an appreciable number of derogations (exceptions) are introduced. These may allow the use of certain feed additives, tethered animals or even application of castration. However, derogations should be avoided in legislation where harmonization is pursued, since they bring about distortion in the marketing of organic products. The validity of these derogations has expiry dates. However, at least the EU was hesitant to proceed with the necessary amendments to lift these derogations so that eliminate ambiguities and block loopholes. In turn, mention is made to geographical issues raised from the exceptions question posed again with the new EU Regulations. Furthermore some thoughts are expressed concerning the relationship between setting standards and the crucial role of values in agriculture, organic in particular, social aspects and pursued policy. Finally, the essential feature of this work is that derogations in legislation inevitably lead to conventionalization of organic animal production, which necessitates the clear definition of “organic”. To substantiate this, relevant arguments are put forward. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organic Farming and a Systems Approach to Sustainable Agroecosystems)
Open AccessReview Sustainability Challenges from Climate Change and Air Conditioning Use in Urban Areas
Sustainability 2013, 5(7), 3116-3128; doi:10.3390/su5073116
Received: 17 May 2013 / Revised: 5 July 2013 / Accepted: 10 July 2013 / Published: 19 July 2013
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (636 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Global climate change increases heat loads in urban areas causing health and productivity risks for millions of people. Inhabitants in tropical and subtropical urban areas are at especial risk due to high population density, already high temperatures, and temperature increases due to [...] Read more.
Global climate change increases heat loads in urban areas causing health and productivity risks for millions of people. Inhabitants in tropical and subtropical urban areas are at especial risk due to high population density, already high temperatures, and temperature increases due to climate change. Air conditioning is growing rapidly, especially in South and South-East Asia due to income growth and the need to protect from high heat exposures. Studies have linked increased total hourly electricity use to outdoor temperatures and humidity; modeled future predictions when facing additional heat due to climate change, related air conditioning with increased street level heat and estimated future air conditioning use in major urban areas. However, global and localized studies linking climate variables with air conditioning alone are lacking. More research and detailed data is needed looking at the effects of increasing air conditioning use, electricity consumption, climate change and interactions with the urban heat island effect. Climate change mitigation, for example using renewable energy sources, particularly photovoltaic electricity generation, to power air conditioning, and other sustainable methods to reduce heat exposure are needed to make future urban areas more climate resilient. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cities)
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Open AccessReview Impacts of Organic Zero Tillage Systems on Crops, Weeds, and Soil Quality
Sustainability 2013, 5(7), 3172-3201; doi:10.3390/su5073172
Received: 24 May 2013 / Revised: 5 July 2013 / Accepted: 15 July 2013 / Published: 22 July 2013
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (714 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Organic farming has been identified as promoting soil quality even though tillage is used for weed suppression. Adopting zero tillage and other conservation tillage practices can enhance soil quality in cropping systems where synthetic agri-chemicals are relied on for crop nutrition and [...] Read more.
Organic farming has been identified as promoting soil quality even though tillage is used for weed suppression. Adopting zero tillage and other conservation tillage practices can enhance soil quality in cropping systems where synthetic agri-chemicals are relied on for crop nutrition and weed control. Attempts have been made to eliminate tillage completely when growing several field crops organically. Vegetative mulch produced by killed cover crops in organic zero tillage systems can suppress annual weeds, but large amounts are needed for adequate early season weed control. Established perennial weeds are not controlled by cover crop mulch. Integrated weed management strategies that include other cultural as well as biological and mechanical controls have potential and need to be incorporated into organic zero tillage research efforts. Market crop performance in organic zero tillage systems has been mixed because of weed, nutrient cycling, and other problems that still must be solved. Soil quality benefits have been demonstrated in comparisons between organic conservation tillage and inversion tillage systems, but studies that include zero tillage treatments are lacking. Research is needed which identifies agronomic strategies for optimum market crop performance, acceptable levels of weed suppression, and soil quality benefits following adoption of organic zero tillage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organic Farming and a Systems Approach to Sustainable Agroecosystems)

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