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Sustainability, Volume 5, Issue 8 (August 2013), Pages 3224-3614

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Open AccessArticle On Track to Become a Low Carbon Future City? First Findings of the Integrated Status Quo and Trends Assessment of the Pilot City of Wuxi in China
Sustainability 2013, 5(8), 3224-3243; doi:10.3390/su5083224
Received: 13 May 2013 / Revised: 11 July 2013 / Accepted: 12 July 2013 / Published: 31 July 2013
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (620 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Low Carbon Future Cities (LCFC) project aims at facing a three dimensional challenge by developing an integrated city roadmap balancing: low carbon development, gains in resource efficiency and adaptation to climate change. The paper gives an overview of the first outcomes of
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The Low Carbon Future Cities (LCFC) project aims at facing a three dimensional challenge by developing an integrated city roadmap balancing: low carbon development, gains in resource efficiency and adaptation to climate change. The paper gives an overview of the first outcomes of the analysis of the status quo and assessment of the most likely developments regarding GHG emissions, climate impacts and resource use in Wuxi—the Chinese pilot city for the LCFC project. As a first step, a detailed emission inventory following the IPCC guidelines for Wuxi has been carried out. In a second step, the future development of energy demand and related CO2 emissions in 2050 were simulated in a current policy scenario (CPS). In parallel, selected aspects of material and water flows for the energy and the building sector were analyzed and modeled. In addition, recent and future climate impacts and vulnerability were investigated. Based on these findings, nine key sectors with high relevance to the three dimensions could be identified. Although Wuxi’s government has started a path to implement a low carbon plan, the first results show that, for the shift towards a sustainable low carbon development, more ambitious steps need to be taken in order to overcome the challenges faced. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Simulating the Impact of Future Land Use and Climate Change on Soil Erosion and Deposition in the Mae Nam Nan Sub-Catchment, Thailand
Sustainability 2013, 5(8), 3244-3274; doi:10.3390/su5083244
Received: 10 May 2013 / Revised: 5 July 2013 / Accepted: 16 July 2013 / Published: 31 July 2013
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1444 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper evaluates the possible impacts of climate change and land use change and its combined effects on soil loss and net soil loss (erosion and deposition) in the Mae Nam Nan sub-catchment, Thailand. Future climate from two general circulation models (GCMs) and
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This paper evaluates the possible impacts of climate change and land use change and its combined effects on soil loss and net soil loss (erosion and deposition) in the Mae Nam Nan sub-catchment, Thailand. Future climate from two general circulation models (GCMs) and a regional circulation model (RCM) consisting of HadCM3, NCAR CSSM3 and PRECIS RCM ware downscaled using a delta change approach. Cellular Automata/Markov (CA_Markov) model was used to characterize future land use. Soil loss modeling using Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) and sedimentation modeling in Idrisi software were employed to estimate soil loss and net soil loss under direct impact (climate change), indirect impact (land use change) and full range of impact (climate and land use change) to generate results at a 10 year interval between 2020 and 2040. Results indicate that soil erosion and deposition increase or decrease, depending on which climate and land use scenarios are considered. The potential for climate change to increase soil loss rate, soil erosion and deposition in future periods was established, whereas considerable decreases in erosion are projected when land use is increased from baseline periods. The combined climate and land use change analysis revealed that land use planning could be adopted to mitigate soil erosion and deposition in the future, in conjunction with the projected direct impact of climate change. Full article
Open AccessArticle Social Life Cycle Assessment as a Management Tool: Methodology for Application in Tourism
Sustainability 2013, 5(8), 3275-3287; doi:10.3390/su5083275
Received: 25 March 2013 / Revised: 15 July 2013 / Accepted: 16 July 2013 / Published: 2 August 2013
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (201 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As is widely known, sustainability is an important factor in competition, increasing the added value of a company in terms of image and credibility. However, it is important that sustainability assessments are effectively addressed in a global perspective. Therefore, life cycle tools are
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As is widely known, sustainability is an important factor in competition, increasing the added value of a company in terms of image and credibility. However, it is important that sustainability assessments are effectively addressed in a global perspective. Therefore, life cycle tools are adopted to evaluate environmental and social impacts. Among these, and of particular significance, appears the Social Life Cycle Assessment (SLCA), which, although in its early stage of development, seems to have extremely promising methodological features. For this reason, it seemed interesting to propose a first application to the tourism sector, which could be better than other methods, studied in terms of social sustainability data. The particular characteristics of service delivery lend themselves more to the development of data related to social sustainability than other sectors. In this paper the results of a case study carried out using social accounting and business management tools are shown. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Sustainability: Theory, Practice, Problems and Prospects)
Open AccessArticle Remotely Accessible Instrumented Monitoring of Global Development Programs: Technology Development and Validation
Sustainability 2013, 5(8), 3288-3301; doi:10.3390/su5083288
Received: 17 February 2013 / Revised: 3 July 2013 / Accepted: 23 July 2013 / Published: 2 August 2013
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (814 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Many global development agencies self-report their project outcomes, often relying on subjective data that is collected sporadically and communicated months later. These reports often highlight successes and downplay challenges. Instrumented monitoring via distributed data collection platforms may provide crucial evidence to help inform
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Many global development agencies self-report their project outcomes, often relying on subjective data that is collected sporadically and communicated months later. These reports often highlight successes and downplay challenges. Instrumented monitoring via distributed data collection platforms may provide crucial evidence to help inform the sector and public on the effectiveness of aid, and the on-going challenges. This paper presents the process of designing and validating an integrated sensor platform with cellular-to-internet reporting purposely targeted at global development programs. The integrated hardware platform has been applied to water, sanitation, energy and infrastructure interventions and validated through laboratory calibration and field observations. Presented here are two examples: a water pump and a household water filter, wherein field observations agreed with the data algorithm with a linear fit slope of between 0.91 and 1, and an r-squared of between 0.36 and 0.39, indicating a wide confidence interval but with low overall error (i.e., less than 0.5% in the case of structured field observations of water volume added to a household water filter) and few false negatives or false positives. Full article
Open AccessArticle Biophilic Cities Are Sustainable, Resilient Cities
Sustainability 2013, 5(8), 3328-3345; doi:10.3390/su5083328
Received: 5 June 2013 / Revised: 12 July 2013 / Accepted: 16 July 2013 / Published: 5 August 2013
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (649 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There is a growing recognition of the need for daily contact with nature, to live happy, productive, meaningful lives. Recent attention to biophilic design among architects and designers acknowledges this power of nature. However, in an increasingly urban planet, more attention needs to
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There is a growing recognition of the need for daily contact with nature, to live happy, productive, meaningful lives. Recent attention to biophilic design among architects and designers acknowledges this power of nature. However, in an increasingly urban planet, more attention needs to be aimed at the urban scales, at planning for and moving towards what the authors call “biophilic cities”. Biophilic cities are cities that provide close and daily contact with nature, nearby nature, but also seek to foster an awareness of and caring for this nature. Biophilic cities, it is argued here, are also sustainable and resilient cities. Achieving the conditions of a biophilic city will go far in helping to foster social and landscape resilience, in the face of climate change, natural disasters and economic uncertainty and various other shocks that cities will face in the future. The paper identifies key pathways by which biophilic urbanism enhances resilience, and while some are well-established relationships, others are more tentative and suggest future research and testing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cities)
Open AccessArticle The Nourishing Sea: Partnered Guardianship of Fishery and Seabed Mineral Resources for the Economic Viability of Small Pacific Island Nations
Sustainability 2013, 5(8), 3346-3367; doi:10.3390/su5083346
Received: 14 May 2013 / Revised: 3 July 2013 / Accepted: 12 July 2013 / Published: 6 August 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (855 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
While island biogeography and modern economics portray Pacific island nations as isolated, ecologically fragile, resource poor and barely viable economies forever dependent on foreign aid, Pacific island history and culture conceives of their islands as intimately inter-linked to the surrounding ocean and of
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While island biogeography and modern economics portray Pacific island nations as isolated, ecologically fragile, resource poor and barely viable economies forever dependent on foreign aid, Pacific island history and culture conceives of their islands as intimately inter-linked to the surrounding ocean and of that ocean as an avenue to expanded resource bases, both terrestrial and aquatic. Pacific Islanders live in the most aquatic human zone on Earth, with the highest territorial ratios of sea to land. Recent studies are revealing the continuity and success of traditional near-shore guardianship of maritime resources in a number of Pacific islands. Sustainable development of seabed minerals and pelagic fisheries may offer enhanced income potential for small island nations with limited terrestrial resources. As offshore ecosystems are poorly policed, sustainable development is best realized through comprehensive planning centred on partnerships between local communities, their governments, marine scientists and commercial enterprises. The success or failure of Pacific Islanders in reasserting their maritime guardianship is now a matter of global significance given the decimation of most fisheries beyond the Pacific and the vast, but uncertain, medicinal, mineral and food resource potential of this huge area of the planet. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Islands—A Pacific Perspective)
Open AccessArticle Design Methodology for Appropriate Technology: Engineering as if People Mattered
Sustainability 2013, 5(8), 3382-3425; doi:10.3390/su5083382
Received: 7 June 2013 / Revised: 25 July 2013 / Accepted: 25 July 2013 / Published: 12 August 2013
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (1880 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Since the emerging of its idea circa four decades ago, Appropriate Technology (AT) had been proven as a comprehensive solution in a limited condition. However, practitioners & academia have different opinions with engineers on how an AT must be designed. Researchers had noted
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Since the emerging of its idea circa four decades ago, Appropriate Technology (AT) had been proven as a comprehensive solution in a limited condition. However, practitioners & academia have different opinions with engineers on how an AT must be designed. Researchers had noted the crucial factors in the issue as such, and they gave a notion of the urgency for a dedicated design methodology for AT. This study, therefore, aims to provide it. Such methodology is developed by incorporating AT characteristics, fundamental issues in community empowerment, and the principles of existing design methodologies. The methodology emphasizes combination between bottom-up and top-down design approaches. It means that an AT must be started purely from local conditions rather than given technical specifications, and be given back to local people to be seamlessly integrated into their routines. It also underlines the crucial importance of community involvement throughout design stages. By looking at previous design methodologies that were developed based on pure Engineering Problem Solving (EPS), this study delivers a fresh and comprehensive one that covers surrounding issues and concepts to produce an AT based on the real meaning of technological appropriateness. Full article
Open AccessArticle Sustainability Indicators Integrating Consumption Patterns in Strategic Environmental Assessment for Urban Planning
Sustainability 2013, 5(8), 3426-3446; doi:10.3390/su5083426
Received: 7 May 2013 / Revised: 19 July 2013 / Accepted: 22 July 2013 / Published: 12 August 2013
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (858 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) practices in Europe have been traditionally applied to assess potential environmental impacts due to socio-economic drivers implying specific land use (viz. infrastructure, building and industrial development). However, other socioeconomic drivers related to citizen behavior, such as household
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Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) practices in Europe have been traditionally applied to assess potential environmental impacts due to socio-economic drivers implying specific land use (viz. infrastructure, building and industrial development). However, other socioeconomic drivers related to citizen behavior, such as household consumption, may significantly contribute to the overall local impacts, but are usually neglected in SEA. Aiming at enlarging the traditional approaches adopted in SEA, the present study integrates two environmental sustainability indicators capturing different aspects of consumption patterns: ecological footprint and carbon balance. The two indicators are calculated in addition to a more traditional set of environmental indicators in order to: (i) understand if the level of consumption of the local community exceeds the limits of natural resources of the area (in a perspective of self-sustainment at the local scale); and (ii) identify the role of spatial planning choices in determining the environmental sustainability of the entire system. The two indicators are calculated and discussed in the context of the SEA of the urban master plans of four municipalities in northern Italy. The two indicators may represent a good proxy for lifestyle impacts, even if some strengths and weaknesses arose from the application to the case study. Full article
Open AccessArticle Rethinking Education for All
Sustainability 2013, 5(8), 3447-3472; doi:10.3390/su5083447
Received: 8 June 2013 / Revised: 16 July 2013 / Accepted: 1 August 2013 / Published: 13 August 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (761 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The rational for this paper is contextualized within a broader national and international agenda of reaching Education for All (EFA), knowledge transformation and production with an overall focus on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). Whose education and whose development is at issue? The
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The rational for this paper is contextualized within a broader national and international agenda of reaching Education for All (EFA), knowledge transformation and production with an overall focus on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). Whose education and whose development is at issue? The purpose of this paper is to reconceptualize EFA in a broader developmental context. Definitions of formal-, non-formal and informal education are applied in order to analyze the epistemological perspectives underlying the educational achievements more than two decades after Jomtien in 1990. Concepts of contextualized expansive education and   object-oriented learning will be used to reveal the systemic causes of the challenges the individual actors experience in their daily learning activities. Two case studies further illustrate how a broad stakeholder involvement through collective design and implementation created innovation and educational transformation that contributed to relevant and sustained learning/knowledge and development at an individual and community level. The paper argues that in the current sociocultural context, responses to EFA need to be based on a comprehensive national education strategy, situated in the local context. By creating space for educational innovation, through interaction and negotiation, the confluence of the epistemological lenses characterizing formal, non-formal, and informal learning could ultimately be a strategy to adequately respond to the diversified learning needs of the population and sustainable developmental of the country. One expected outcome of the paper is a contribution to the future strategies of EFA beyond 2015, built on the urgent requirements for inter-professional partnership and collaboration through a multidimensional approach to education and learning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Endangered Human Diversity: Languages, Cultures, Epistemologies)
Open AccessArticle Social Capital and Walkability as Social Aspects of Sustainability
Sustainability 2013, 5(8), 3473-3483; doi:10.3390/su5083473
Received: 1 July 2013 / Revised: 18 July 2013 / Accepted: 7 August 2013 / Published: 13 August 2013
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (473 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The concepts of sustainability and sustainable development are frequently described as having three main components, sometimes referred to as the three pillars or the triple bottom line: environmental, economic, and social. Because of an historical focus in the sustainability field on correcting environmental
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The concepts of sustainability and sustainable development are frequently described as having three main components, sometimes referred to as the three pillars or the triple bottom line: environmental, economic, and social. Because of an historical focus in the sustainability field on correcting environmental problems, much consideration has been given to environmental issues, especially how they interface with economic ones. Frequently mentioned but rarely examined, the social aspects of sustainability have been considered the weakest and least described pillar. After a brief review of existing concepts and theories, this paper uses a case study approach to examine the third pillar more comprehensively and offers social capital as one measure of social sustainability. Specifically, social capital was used to measure the social-environmental interface of communities. The positive correlation between aspects of the built environment, specifically walkability, and social capital suggests that measuring a social aspect of sustainability may be feasible, especially in the context of community development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Measuring Socio-Economic Well-Being)
Open AccessArticle Public Understanding of Climate Change as a Social Dilemma
Sustainability 2013, 5(8), 3484-3501; doi:10.3390/su5083484
Received: 6 May 2013 / Revised: 3 August 2013 / Accepted: 7 August 2013 / Published: 13 August 2013
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (670 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Climate change is often referred to as one of the most complicated challenges facing humanity, characterised in various literatures as a social dilemma operating at multiple scales (individual, national, international). The present study considers the ways in which members of the public interpret
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Climate change is often referred to as one of the most complicated challenges facing humanity, characterised in various literatures as a social dilemma operating at multiple scales (individual, national, international). The present study considers the ways in which members of the public interpret climate change in these terms, drawing on data from multiple datasets, both qualitative and quantitative, from 1997 to 2011. As well as drawing out the nuances in participants’ perspectives on the social and societal dilemmas inherent to climate change, the present study also highlights the rejoinders and resolutions proposed by people to these dilemmas. It is suggested that recognition of the ways people find to navigate these difficult issues offers some cause for optimism regarding the public’s conceptualisation of, and response to, climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Creative Solutions to Big Challenges)
Open AccessArticle The Influence of Different Cover Types on American Robin Nest Success in Organic Agroecosystems
Sustainability 2013, 5(8), 3502-3512; doi:10.3390/su5083502
Received: 3 June 2013 / Revised: 23 July 2013 / Accepted: 5 August 2013 / Published: 13 August 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (668 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There are many opportunities for biodiversity conservation in organic farm systems. Successful and sustainable conservation efforts in organic systems, however, need to measure appropriate outcomes. In particular, data are needed on the breeding success of associated wildlife species. We measured nesting success of
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There are many opportunities for biodiversity conservation in organic farm systems. Successful and sustainable conservation efforts in organic systems, however, need to measure appropriate outcomes. In particular, data are needed on the breeding success of associated wildlife species. We measured nesting success of the American Robin (Turdus migratorius) in woodlands embedded within eight organic farms in eastern Nebraska. We modeled daily nest survival rate to identify land use and land cover patterns that optimize conservation of birds in organic farm systems. The percentage of a crop in the fields adjacent to linear woodlands best predicted daily survival rate. Daily survival rate was lower in fields adjacent to wheat and greater in woodlands adjacent to soybean fields, though the latter may be a weak effect. There was no evidence that reducing the area allocated to organic crop production would improve daily survival rate but rather an evidence of a patch-matrix interaction. These results suggest that, if suitable nesting sites exist, organic farmers can complement local conservation efforts without losing working farmland. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organic Farming and a Systems Approach to Sustainable Agroecosystems)
Open AccessArticle Sustainability after the Thermal Energy Supply in Emergency Situations: The Case Study of Abruzzi Earthquake (Italy)
Sustainability 2013, 5(8), 3513-3525; doi:10.3390/su5083513
Received: 9 July 2013 / Revised: 2 August 2013 / Accepted: 5 August 2013 / Published: 14 August 2013
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (1126 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recent natural and human-induced emergencies have highlighted the vulnerability of the built environment. In order to immediately answer to people’s needs while managing an emergency, any intervention should be more proactive and take into account renewable technologies that can be applied in anemergency
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Recent natural and human-induced emergencies have highlighted the vulnerability of the built environment. In order to immediately answer to people’s needs while managing an emergency, any intervention should be more proactive and take into account renewable technologies that can be applied in anemergency situation. Very few examples of renewable energy systems in emergency situations are presented in the literature and this gap needs to be filled. This paper presents the results of a project on Storage Integrated Solar Thermal Collectors, specifically studied for this kind of situations, carried out during the post-emergency and rehabilitation phases, after the earthquake in Abruzzi (2009). The overall objective of the project was to promote the advance and innovation of sustainable energy systems for the participatory use of renewable sources in post-emergency and rehabilitation phases. To raise the awareness and study the impact on social perception of renewable energy use, a special program was launched by CIRPS (Inter University Research Center on Sustainable Development of “Sapienza” University of Rome) along with L’Aquila municipality within the local population, just a few days after the earthquake. A “learning by doing” methodology was applied to carry out a participatory project, involving the local population and civil society organizations. Conclusions about the analysis of the project outcomes are presented and a set of measures aiming at increasing the renewable energy rates of displaced camps and rehabilitation phase are finally proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Energy-Sustainability Nexus)
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Open AccessArticle “Bring It under the Legacy Umbrella”: Olympic Host Cities and the Changing Fortunes of the Sustainability Agenda
Sustainability 2013, 5(8), 3526-3542; doi:10.3390/su5083526
Received: 28 June 2013 / Revised: 8 August 2013 / Accepted: 12 August 2013 / Published: 16 August 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (601 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A concern for enduring urban outcomes lies at the heart of the Olympic Games in a way that no other sporting or cultural event can match, but each age has recast the ways in which such outcomes have been framed in light of
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A concern for enduring urban outcomes lies at the heart of the Olympic Games in a way that no other sporting or cultural event can match, but each age has recast the ways in which such outcomes have been framed in light of its own values and needs. Seen against that background, this paper examines the evolution of the Olympic movement’s sustainability agenda. It first considers how the environment emerged as an issue within the Winter Games through concerns over environmental protection, discusses measures introduced to embed sustainability into official Olympic practice, and explores the evolution of the dynamic relationship between sustainability and the overlapping but, to some extent, rival concept of “legacy”. The latter part of the paper illustrates these ideas with regard to the London 2012 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games. It analyses the “One Planet Games” concept, how this was developed for the bid, and how it was subsequently put into practice, commenting particularly on the carbon footprint, creation of the Olympic Park (as sustainable legacy) and the promotion of sustainable living. The conclusion comments on the continuing challenges encountered in implementing sustainability plans and addressing long-term legacy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Mega-Events)
Open AccessArticle Performance Analysis of the Capability Assessment Tool for Sustainable Manufacturing
Sustainability 2013, 5(8), 3543-3561; doi:10.3390/su5083543
Received: 4 July 2013 / Revised: 8 August 2013 / Accepted: 9 August 2013 / Published: 19 August 2013
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1092 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper explores the performance of a novel capability assessment tool, developed to identify capability gaps and associated training and development requirements across the supply chain for environmentally-sustainable manufacturing. The tool was developed to assess 170 capabilities that have been clustered with respect
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This paper explores the performance of a novel capability assessment tool, developed to identify capability gaps and associated training and development requirements across the supply chain for environmentally-sustainable manufacturing. The tool was developed to assess 170 capabilities that have been clustered with respect to key areas of concern such as managing energy, water, material resources, carbon emissions and waste as well as environmental management practices for sustainability. Two independent expert teams used the tool to assess a sample group of five first and second tier sports apparel and footwear suppliers within the supply chain of a global sporting goods manufacturer in Asia. The paper addresses the reliability and robustness of the developed assessment method by formulating the expected links between the assessment results. The management practices of the participating suppliers were shown to be closely connected to their performance in managing their resources and emissions. The companies’ initiatives in implementing energy efficiency measures were found to be generally related to their performance in carbon emissions management. The suppliers were also asked to undertake a self-assessment by using a short questionnaire. The large gap between the comprehensive assessment and these in-house self-assessments revealed the suppliers’ misconceptions about their capabilities. Full article
Open AccessArticle Alternative Communications about Sustainability Education
Sustainability 2013, 5(8), 3562-3580; doi:10.3390/su5083562
Received: 5 July 2013 / Revised: 2 August 2013 / Accepted: 12 August 2013 / Published: 19 August 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (530 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In preparation for the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, UNESCO communicated its conceptualization of education for sustainable development (ESD). This paper does not assume that UNESCO was ineffective in communicating its approach to ESD; rather, the premise is that UNESCO’s actual
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In preparation for the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, UNESCO communicated its conceptualization of education for sustainable development (ESD). This paper does not assume that UNESCO was ineffective in communicating its approach to ESD; rather, the premise is that UNESCO’s actual message was not well received by everyone, with some pushing back with alternative communications of their own. This paper identifies and profiles seven vanguard theoretical and pedagogical approaches to the problem of unsustainability, including, but not limited to: sustainable contraction, unlearning unsustainability, a 3D-heuristic, an integrative, place-based approach, and a Gaia-informed, ecological approach. It concludes with a discussion of seven overarching alternative messages for communicating about sustainability including: refocused education; complexity, chaos and living systems; Gaia and ecology; paradigm shifts for uncertainty; knowledge integration; existentialism; and fear and hope. Intellectual and pedagogical discourse can be kindled and stimulated by drawing on alternative communications about the normative concept of sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Communication for and about Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle The Contribution of the FIFA World Cup and the Olympic Games to Green Economy
Sustainability 2013, 5(8), 3581-3600; doi:10.3390/su5083581
Received: 10 June 2013 / Revised: 23 July 2013 / Accepted: 5 August 2013 / Published: 20 August 2013
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (659 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper focuses on the contribution of mega events onto the development of a green economy at the event host location and discusses how to measure it. The promises of organizers usually are very ambitious but the question remains as to how realistic
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This paper focuses on the contribution of mega events onto the development of a green economy at the event host location and discusses how to measure it. The promises of organizers usually are very ambitious but the question remains as to how realistic these claims are. This question will be addressed in three sections by using methods that are primarily analytical and critical rather than an empirical collection of data. The environmental sustainability of mega sport events is discussed and then a framework is developed to capture the green legacy and the basis for building up a green economy in all its dimensions. The main contribution mega events can make to developing a green economy at the host city will be explained. Furthermore, the paper seeks to explain why promises made during the bidding process on the environmental sustainability are often not met when it comes to the preparation for the event. The current obstacles to producing “Green Games” and building up a green economy are presented enlightened, ranging from financial shortcomings to a lack of serious environmental interest on the part of the organizers. In conclusion, it will be shown that mega events encourage the development of a green economy by their signaling power and educational opportunities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Mega-Events)
Open AccessArticle Heat Transmission Coefficient Measurements in Buildings Utilizing a Heat Loss Measuring Device
Sustainability 2013, 5(8), 3601-3614; doi:10.3390/su5083601
Received: 25 May 2013 / Revised: 9 August 2013 / Accepted: 9 August 2013 / Published: 21 August 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1048 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Global energy efficiency can be obtained in two ordinary ways. One way is to improve the energy production and supply side, and the other way is, in general, to reduce the consumption of energy in society. This paper has focus on the latter
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Global energy efficiency can be obtained in two ordinary ways. One way is to improve the energy production and supply side, and the other way is, in general, to reduce the consumption of energy in society. This paper has focus on the latter and especially the consumption of energy for heating and cooling our houses. There is a huge energy-saving potential in this area for reducing both the global climate problems as well as economy challenges. Heating of buildings in Denmark accounts for approximately 40% of the entire national energy consumption. For this reason, a reduction of heat losses from building envelopes are of great importance in order to reach the Bologna CO2 emission reduction targets. Upgrading of the energy performance of buildings is a topic of huge global interest these years. Not only heating in the temperate and arctic regions are important, but also air conditioning and mechanical ventilation in the “warm countries” contribute to an enormous energy consumption and corresponding CO2 emission. In order to establish the best basis for upgrading the energy performance, it is important to make measurements of the heat losses at different places on a building facade, in order to optimize the energy performance. This paper presents a method for measuring the heat loss by utilizing a U-value meter. The U-value meter measures the heat transfer in the unit W/Km2 and has been used in several projects to upgrade the energy performance in temperate regions. The U-value meter was also utilized in an EUDP (Energy Technological Development and Demonstration Program) focusing on renovation of houses from the 1960s and 1970s. Full article

Review

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Open AccessReview The Environmental Impacts of Sprawl: Emergent Themes from the Past Decade of Planning Research
Sustainability 2013, 5(8), 3302-3327; doi:10.3390/su5083302
Received: 6 February 2013 / Revised: 11 July 2013 / Accepted: 15 July 2013 / Published: 5 August 2013
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (772 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article reviews studies published in English language planning journals since 2001 that focus on the environmental impacts of sprawl. We organise our analysis of the reviewed literature around: (1) the conceptualisation or measurement of sprawl; (2) a comparison of research methods employed
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This article reviews studies published in English language planning journals since 2001 that focus on the environmental impacts of sprawl. We organise our analysis of the reviewed literature around: (1) the conceptualisation or measurement of sprawl; (2) a comparison of research methods employed and findings with respect to four categories of environmental impacts—air, energy, land, and water; and (3) an exploration of emergent and cross-cutting themes. We hypothesise that the trend towards breaking down silos observable in other areas of planning scholarship is also reflected in the recent sprawl literature and structure our review to test this proposition. International in scope, our work demonstrates how focusing on outcomes can facilitate balanced comparisons across geographic contexts with varying rates of urbanisation and affluence. We find that the sprawl research published in planning journals over the past decade frequently engages with broader themes of resilience and justice, increasingly considers multiple environmental outcomes, and suggests a convergence in the way sprawl is studied that transcends national boundaries as well as the developing-developed country dichotomy. Full article

Other

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Open AccessOpinion Some Challenges to Sustainability
Sustainability 2013, 5(8), 3368-3381; doi:10.3390/su5083368
Received: 12 February 2013 / Revised: 12 July 2013 / Accepted: 15 July 2013 / Published: 9 August 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (552 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The word “sustainability” is often used in business in the belief that the current ways of doing things will be able to be continued with only minor changes to balance economic development with related environmental and social issues. There are, however, immense challenges
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The word “sustainability” is often used in business in the belief that the current ways of doing things will be able to be continued with only minor changes to balance economic development with related environmental and social issues. There are, however, immense challenges that threaten the very sustainability of our global society, let alone individual businesses or developments. A few of the most important of these challenges—population growth, clean energy supply, fresh water availability, and global climate change—are discussed. As humanity forms its collective response to these threats, it is concluded that all intelligent people, but especially scientists, have important roles to play, not only in technical innovation, but also in catalyzing political action. Full article

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