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Sustainability, Volume 5, Issue 9 (September 2013), Pages 3615-4105

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Open AccessArticle An Analysis of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio +20) Discourse Using an Ability Expectation Lens
Sustainability 2013, 5(9), 3615-3639; doi:10.3390/su5093615
Received: 11 July 2013 / Revised: 16 August 2013 / Accepted: 16 August 2013 / Published: 22 August 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (642 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio +20) was hosted in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from June 20–22, 2012, 20 years after the first Earth Summit, with the intention of creating solutions to current global environmental issues. In this paper we present
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The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio +20) was hosted in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from June 20–22, 2012, 20 years after the first Earth Summit, with the intention of creating solutions to current global environmental issues. In this paper we present the results of an analysis of academic and newspaper articles that covered the Rio +20 summit, using an ability expectation lens. Articles were collected from academic databases such as EBSCO, as well as from newspapers such as the Globe and Mail (Canada) and China Daily; the articles collected were coded for ability expectations using an extensive list of codes which has been designed to identify ability expectations. Analysis of the discourse has revealed a number of ability expectations, such as the ability to produce and consume, the ability to work, and the ability to control. These ability expectations reveal what is seen as a necessary part of development. The opportunities and challenges which occur during development may be related to the expectations of the public, academic, private and not-for-profit sectors. The authors submit that in order to move forward towards universal sustainable development, it is critical to consider the ability expectations which are both explicitly and implicitly included in the Rio +20 discourse. Full article
Open AccessArticle Avoiding the Limits to Growth: Gross National Happiness in Bhutan as a Model for Sustainable Development
Sustainability 2013, 5(9), 3640-3664; doi:10.3390/su5093640
Received: 2 July 2013 / Revised: 2 August 2013 / Accepted: 12 August 2013 / Published: 26 August 2013
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (999 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In their 30-year update to Limits to Growth, Meadows et al. call for a vision of sustainable development that includes systemic change brought on by new perspectives on the purpose of development, new ways of measuring progress, and changes in social norms.
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In their 30-year update to Limits to Growth, Meadows et al. call for a vision of sustainable development that includes systemic change brought on by new perspectives on the purpose of development, new ways of measuring progress, and changes in social norms. Here, I discuss Meadows et al.’s work in the context of the literature on sustainable development and well-being as well as the development trajectory of Bhutan. I suggest that Bhutan’s development approach mirrors Meadows et al.’s recommendations and provides one model for sustainable development. The ideal of maximizing Gross National Happiness (GNH) exemplifies Bhutan’s commitment to holistic development and dovetails with arguments about the shortcomings of approaches that emphasize economic growth. I provide examples of how GNH has been put into practice, describe how happiness is being measured, and discuss the emergence of social norms and a shared Bhutanese identity that may contribute to sustainable development. Bhutan’s development success suggests that an alternative to growth-centric development is viable. However, while Bhutan’s standard of living has increased, the country faces challenges, the most important of which may be their ability to manage rising consumption levels. Importantly, other nations have begun measuring well-being and considering similar development approaches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 40th Anniversary of 'The Limits to Growth')
Open AccessArticle “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”: The Role of International Maasai Migrants in Rural Sustainable Community Development
Sustainability 2013, 5(9), 3665-3678; doi:10.3390/su5093665
Received: 13 June 2013 / Revised: 5 August 2013 / Accepted: 15 August 2013 / Published: 27 August 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (528 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
While the Maasai have to be among sub-Saharan Africa’s most mobile population due to their traditional transhumant pastoral livelihood strategy, compared with other neighboring ethnic groups they have been relatively late to migrate in substantial numbers for wage labour opportunities. In the community
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While the Maasai have to be among sub-Saharan Africa’s most mobile population due to their traditional transhumant pastoral livelihood strategy, compared with other neighboring ethnic groups they have been relatively late to migrate in substantial numbers for wage labour opportunities. In the community of Elangata Wuas in Southern Kenya, international migration for employment abroad has been very rare but promises to increase in significant numbers with the dramatic rise in education participation and diversification of livelihoods. Drawing on long-term ethnographic research and the specific experiences of the few international migrant pioneers in Elangata Wuas, this paper explores how community members assess the impacts of international migration on community sustainable development. It appears that international migration facilitates, and even exacerbates, inequality, which is locally celebrated, under an ethic of inter-dependence, as sustainable development. Particular attention is paid to the mechanisms of social control employed by community members to socially maintain their migrants as part of the community so that these migrants feel continued pressure and commitment to invest and develop their communities. Such mechanisms are importantly derived from the adaptability and accommodation of culture and the re-invention of tradition. Full article
Open AccessArticle Influence of Strong Diurnal Variations in Sewage Quality on the Performance of Biological Denitrification in Small Community Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTPs)
Sustainability 2013, 5(9), 3679-3689; doi:10.3390/su5093679
Received: 10 July 2013 / Revised: 11 August 2013 / Accepted: 19 August 2013 / Published: 28 August 2013
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (1108 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The great diurnal variation in the quality of wastewater of small communities is an obstacle to the efficient removal of high nitrogen with traditional activated sludge processes provided by pre-denitrification. To verify this problem, the authors developed a pilot plant, in which the
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The great diurnal variation in the quality of wastewater of small communities is an obstacle to the efficient removal of high nitrogen with traditional activated sludge processes provided by pre-denitrification. To verify this problem, the authors developed a pilot plant, in which the domestic wastewater of community of 15,000 inhabitants was treated. The results demonstrate that average and peak nitrogen removal efficiencies of over 60% and 70%, respectively, are difficult to obtain because of the strong variations in the BOD5/NO3-N ratios and the unexpected abnormal accumulation of dissolved oxygen during denitrification when the BOD5 load is low. These phenomena cause inhibitory effects and BOD5 deficiency in the denitrification process. The results demonstrate the need for a more complex approach to designing and managing small wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) provided with denitrification than those usually adopted for medium- and large-size plants. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Preliminary Model for Assessing University Sustainability from the Student Perspective
Sustainability 2013, 5(9), 3690-3701; doi:10.3390/su5093690
Received: 19 July 2013 / Revised: 22 August 2013 / Accepted: 23 August 2013 / Published: 28 August 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (260 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper assesses university sustainability from the perspective of the interested student. A set of questions for a university website analysis is proposed and preliminary results for Swedish universities are presented. The university website analysis intends to emulate a student looking for a
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This paper assesses university sustainability from the perspective of the interested student. A set of questions for a university website analysis is proposed and preliminary results for Swedish universities are presented. The university website analysis intends to emulate a student looking for a university working with sustainable development. University ranking is compared with the results from the sustainability assessment. Results from the study are based on university website analysis of 18 Swedish universities out of a total of 30. Universities are grouped in high ranked, low ranked and benchmark universities. For the majority of the studied universities it was possible to extract the information needed for a sustainability assessment from the website, which indicates that further development of the method is of interest. The average level of performance in the assessment was found to be less than 50% of the maximum of the proposed scale. With Sweden generally being a leading nation in sustainable development the results are below of what could be expected. Ranking, based on the Swedish ranking system does not seem to predict university sustainability performance. The indication is that Gothenburg University, while having further improvement potential, could be considered a benchmark in the Swedish context. Full article
Open AccessArticle Integrated Assessment of the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Situation in Haitian Schools in the Time of Emergency
Sustainability 2013, 5(9), 3702-3721; doi:10.3390/su5093702
Received: 25 June 2013 / Revised: 30 July 2013 / Accepted: 22 August 2013 / Published: 29 August 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (980 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study examines the water, sanitation and hygiene situation in 42 schools in Haiti after the earthquake of January 12, 2010, by using a comprehensive approach, which includes participatory assessment tools and formal surveys. By conducting a detailed assessment of school water and
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This study examines the water, sanitation and hygiene situation in 42 schools in Haiti after the earthquake of January 12, 2010, by using a comprehensive approach, which includes participatory assessment tools and formal surveys. By conducting a detailed assessment of school water and sanitation infrastructure conditions and of the perceptions of students and professors, a series of recommendations are provided to support further project implementation towards more sustainable results. Direct observations showed that schools lack safe drinking water, appropriate sanitation and hand washing facilities. The main constraints to improve the water, sanitation and hygiene services were found to be related to lack of funding and infrastructure losses after the earthquake. Moreover, hygiene education is commonly not part of the school curriculum. Providing schools with adequate access to water and sanitation facilities and supporting the implementation of hygiene promotion programs, including a disaster risk preparedness plan, can play significant roles for a sustainable recovery phase. Full article
Open AccessArticle Strengthening Knowledge Co-Production Capacity: Examining Interest in Community-University Partnerships
Sustainability 2013, 5(9), 3744-3770; doi:10.3390/su5093744
Received: 17 May 2013 / Revised: 31 July 2013 / Accepted: 15 August 2013 / Published: 4 September 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (598 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Building successful, enduring research partnerships is essential for improving links between knowledge and action to address sustainability challenges. Communication research can play a critical role in fostering more effective research partnerships, especially those concerned with knowledge co-production processes. This article focuses on community-university
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Building successful, enduring research partnerships is essential for improving links between knowledge and action to address sustainability challenges. Communication research can play a critical role in fostering more effective research partnerships, especially those concerned with knowledge co-production processes. This article focuses on community-university research partnerships and factors that influence participation in the co-production process. We identify specific pathways for improving partnership development through a prospective analytical approach that examines community officials’ interest in partnering with university researchers. Using survey responses from a statewide sample of Maine municipal officials, we conduct a statistical analysis of community-university partnership potential to test a conceptual model of partnership interest grounded in natural resource management theory and environmental communication. Our findings both support and advance prior research on collaborations. Results reveal that belief in the helpfulness of the collaborator to solve problems, institutional proximity, familiarity, perceived problem severity and problem type and trust influence interest in developing community-university partnerships. These findings underscore the benefits of proactively assessing partnership potential prior to forming partnerships and the important roles for communication research within sustainability science, especially with regard to strengthening partnership formation and knowledge co-production processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Communication for and about Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Unfolding Education for Sustainable Development as Didactic Thinking and Practice
Sustainability 2013, 5(9), 3771-3782; doi:10.3390/su5093771
Received: 30 July 2013 / Accepted: 26 August 2013 / Published: 4 September 2013
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (533 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article’s primary objective is to unfold how teachers translate education for sustainable development (ESD) in a school context. The article argues that exploring tensions, ruptures and openings apparent in this meeting is crucial for the development of existing teaching practices in relation
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This article’s primary objective is to unfold how teachers translate education for sustainable development (ESD) in a school context. The article argues that exploring tensions, ruptures and openings apparent in this meeting is crucial for the development of existing teaching practices in relation to ESD. The article draws on doctoral research involving interviews with researchers and teachers who have collaborated in ESD research and development projects at primary and secondary schools in two different countries, Denmark and Ireland. It is the teachers’ perspectives on the projects which form the analytical foundation; thus, it is the practices as seen from the ‘inside’. Furthermore, ESD practices are considered in a broader societal perspective, pointing to the critical power of the practice lens. Full article
Open AccessArticle Transdisciplinary Sustainability Science at Higher Education Institutions: Science Policy Tools for Incremental Institutional Change
Sustainability 2013, 5(9), 3783-3801; doi:10.3390/su5093783
Received: 23 July 2013 / Revised: 28 August 2013 / Accepted: 30 August 2013 / Published: 4 September 2013
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (731 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
At the very moment that humanity is facing a broadening ecological crisis, and that both policy makers and civil society are calling for a transition towards more sustainable societies, modern science seems incapable of providing operational solutions for managing this transition. In this
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At the very moment that humanity is facing a broadening ecological crisis, and that both policy makers and civil society are calling for a transition towards more sustainable societies, modern science seems incapable of providing operational solutions for managing this transition. In this context, both Noble prize laureates and high-level science officials have stressed the need of an in depth transformation of the modes of organization of scientific research for governing the transition to sustainable societies. However, existing analyses of on-going initiatives show that most of the barriers to a major, consolidated effort in sustainability science will not be removed without far-reaching institutional change. To address this challenge, this paper proposes an incremental institutional change approach, based on a gradual institutionalization process of existing initiatives. The analysis in this paper shows that strategic research for sustainability and reform of research funding mechanisms will only be effective if they are supported at the same time by reforms of career and training paths at higher education institutions. To promote this vision, the paper proposes a set of capacity building measures that can be undertaken at the level of research funding, higher education institutions and networking. Full article
Open AccessArticle Harmonization between a Framework of Multilateral Approaches to Nuclear Fuel Cycle Facilities and Bilateral Nuclear Cooperation Agreements
Sustainability 2013, 5(9), 3802-3818; doi:10.3390/su5093802
Received: 12 July 2013 / Revised: 27 August 2013 / Accepted: 28 August 2013 / Published: 5 September 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (852 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
One of primary challenges for ensuring effective and efficient functions of the multilateral nuclear approaches (MNA) to nuclear fuel cycle facilities is harmonization between a MNA framework and existing nuclear cooperation agreements (NCA). A method to achieve such harmonization is to construct a
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One of primary challenges for ensuring effective and efficient functions of the multilateral nuclear approaches (MNA) to nuclear fuel cycle facilities is harmonization between a MNA framework and existing nuclear cooperation agreements (NCA). A method to achieve such harmonization is to construct a MNA framework with robust non-proliferation characteristics, in order to obtain supplier states’, especially the US’s prior consents for non-supplier states’ certain activities including spent fuel reprocessing, plutonium storages and retransfers of plutonium originated in NCAs. Such robust characteristics can be accomplished by MNA member states’ compliances with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Safeguards, regional safeguards agreements, international conventions, guidelines and recommendations on nuclear non-proliferation, nuclear security, safety, and export control. Those provisions are to be incorporated into an MNA founding agreement, as requirements to be MNA members in relation to NCAs. Furthermore, if an MNA facility is, (1) owned and operated jointly by all MNA member states, (2) able to conclude bilateral NCAs with non-MNA/supplier states as a single legal entity representing its all member states like an international organization, and (3) able to obtain necessary prior consents, stable, smooth, and timely supplies of nuclear fuel and services can be assured among MNA member states. In this paper, the authors will set out a general MNA framework and then apply it to a specific example of Europe Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM) and then consider its applicability to the Asian region, where an establishment of an MNA framework is expected to be explored. Full article
Open AccessArticle A University-Hosted Program in Pursuit of Coastal Sustainability: The Case of Tokyo Bay
Sustainability 2013, 5(9), 3819-3838; doi:10.3390/su5093819
Received: 20 July 2013 / Revised: 2 September 2013 / Accepted: 3 September 2013 / Published: 9 September 2013
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Abstract
This study presents a unique way by which a university program can contribute to capacity development for coastal sustainability. The program is steered by a working group of volunteer faculty members, having different academic backgrounds, in collaboration with students and marine professionals, including
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This study presents a unique way by which a university program can contribute to capacity development for coastal sustainability. The program is steered by a working group of volunteer faculty members, having different academic backgrounds, in collaboration with students and marine professionals, including fisherfolk and environment education interpreters. Although the program began with conventional educational ideas and style, its practical framework evolved to include interactive activities with collaborators in the community, all of which were geared toward social learning. The combination of service learning and participatory action research (PAR) was proven to be an adequate approach to link higher education for sustainable development (HESD) and university-community partnerships and to promote learning for coastal sustainability. Challenges identified include (1) ensuring continuity of learning and (2) reducing the heavy workload of faculty members involved in program preparation and coordination. The authors would like to emphasize the possibilities offered by the engagement of scholarship in the capacity development for coastal sustainability by focusing on community-based efforts. Full article
Open AccessArticle Modeling a Sustainable Salt Tolerant Grass-Livestock Production System under Saline Conditions in the Western San Joaquin Valley of California
Sustainability 2013, 5(9), 3839-3857; doi:10.3390/su5093839
Received: 23 June 2013 / Revised: 3 September 2013 / Accepted: 5 September 2013 / Published: 10 September 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1228 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Salinity and trace mineral accumulation threaten the sustainability of crop production in many semi-arid parts of the world, including California’s western San Joaquin Valley (WSJV). We used data from a multi-year field-scale trial in Kings County and related container trials to simulate a
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Salinity and trace mineral accumulation threaten the sustainability of crop production in many semi-arid parts of the world, including California’s western San Joaquin Valley (WSJV). We used data from a multi-year field-scale trial in Kings County and related container trials to simulate a forage-grazing system under saline conditions. The model uses rainfall and irrigation water amounts, irrigation water quality, soil, plant, and atmospheric variables to predict Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.) growth, quality, and use by cattle. Simulations based on field measurements and a related container study indicate that although soil chemical composition is affected by irrigation water quality, irrigation timing and frequency can be used to mitigate salt and trace mineral accumulation. Bermuda grass yields of up to 12 Mg dry matter (DM)·ha−1 were observed at the field site and predicted by the model. Forage yield and quality supports un-supplemented cattle stocking rates of 1.0 to 1.2 animal units (AU)·ha−1. However, a balance must be achieved between stocking rate, desired average daily gain, accumulation of salts in the soil profile, and potential pollution of ground water from drainage and leaching. Using available weather data, crop-specific parameter values and field scale measurements of soil salinity and nitrogen levels, the model can be used by farmers growing forages on saline soils elsewhere, to sustain forage and livestock production under similarly marginal conditions. Full article
Open AccessArticle Rethinking Study and Management of Agricultural Systems for Policy Design
Sustainability 2013, 5(9), 3858-3875; doi:10.3390/su5093858
Received: 15 June 2013 / Revised: 14 August 2013 / Accepted: 30 August 2013 / Published: 12 September 2013
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (603 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There is a concern that agriculture will no longer be able to meet, on a global scale, the growing demand for food. Facing such a challenge requires new patterns of thinking in the context of complexity and sustainability sciences. This paper, focused on
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There is a concern that agriculture will no longer be able to meet, on a global scale, the growing demand for food. Facing such a challenge requires new patterns of thinking in the context of complexity and sustainability sciences. This paper, focused on the social dimension of the study and management of agricultural systems, suggests that rethinking the study of agricultural systems entails analyzing them as complex socio-ecological systems, as well as considering the differing thinking patterns of diverse stakeholders. The intersubjective nature of knowledge, as studied by different philosophical schools, needs to be better integrated into the study and management of agricultural systems than it is done so far, forcing us to accept that there are no simplistic solutions, and to seek a better understanding of the social dimension of agriculture. Different agriculture related problems require different policy and institutional approaches. Finally, the intersubjective nature of knowledge asks for the visualization of different framings and the power relations taking place in the decision-making process. Rethinking management of agricultural systems implies that policy making should be shaped by different principles: learning, flexibility, adaptation, scale-matching, participation, diversity enhancement and precaution hold the promise to significantly improve current standard management procedures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organic Farming and a Systems Approach to Sustainable Agroecosystems)
Open AccessArticle Effects of Reduced Tillage on Crop Yield, Plant Available Nutrients and Soil Organic Matter in a 12-Year Long-Term Trial under Organic Management
Sustainability 2013, 5(9), 3876-3894; doi:10.3390/su5093876
Received: 14 June 2013 / Revised: 4 September 2013 / Accepted: 6 September 2013 / Published: 12 September 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (827 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A field experiment was performed in Southwest Germany to examine the effects of long-term reduced tillage (2000–2012). Tillage treatments were deep moldboard plow: DP, 25 cm; double-layer plow; DLP, 15 + 10 cm, shallow moldboard plow: SP, 15 cm and chisel plow: CP,
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A field experiment was performed in Southwest Germany to examine the effects of long-term reduced tillage (2000–2012). Tillage treatments were deep moldboard plow: DP, 25 cm; double-layer plow; DLP, 15 + 10 cm, shallow moldboard plow: SP, 15 cm and chisel plow: CP, 15 cm, each of them with or without preceding stubble tillage. The mean yields of a typical eight-year crop rotation were 22% lower with CP compared to DP, and 3% lower with SP and DLP. Stubble tillage increased yields by 11% across all treatments. Soil nutrients were high with all tillage strategies and amounted for 34–57 mg kg−1 P and 48–113 mg kg−1 K (0–60 cm soil depth). Humus budgets showed a high carbon input via crops but this was not reflected in the actual Corg content of the soil. Corg decreased as soil depth increased from 13.7 g kg−1 (0–20 cm) to 4.3 g kg−1 (40–60 cm) across all treatments. After 12 years of experiment, SP and CP resulted in significantly higher Corg content in 0–20 cm soil depth, compared to DP and DLP. Stubble tillage had no significant effect on Corg. Stubble tillage combined with reduced primary tillage can sustain yield levels without compromising beneficial effects from reduced tillage on Corg and available nutrient content. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organic Farming and a Systems Approach to Sustainable Agroecosystems)
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Open AccessArticle The Architectural Practice of Regeneration
Sustainability 2013, 5(9), 3895-3905; doi:10.3390/su5093895
Received: 4 September 2013 / Accepted: 9 September 2013 / Published: 12 September 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (666 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In form and in content, cities are the epitome of diversity. This state is the result of the accumulation of layers of history, of construction, of demolition and reconstruction cycles. These tensions are the catalyst for the emergence of new urban forms and
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In form and in content, cities are the epitome of diversity. This state is the result of the accumulation of layers of history, of construction, of demolition and reconstruction cycles. These tensions are the catalyst for the emergence of new urban forms and participate in the construction of heritage. As such they should be encouraged. As important as the existing fabric of the city is, its evolution to accommodate the ever-changing needs and fashions of its inhabitants is paramount. For regeneration to be successful it must inscribe itself in this process and it must be driven by an understanding of the environment where it occurs. This paper explores, through the lens of an architectural practice, some design processes and architectural proposals that have been generated by working on the Valletta harbours. It also discusses the necessary dynamics required to accommodate stakeholder engagement and planning policy while ensuring design quality and the perpetuation of the creative process inherent to the city. Finally, the paper introduces, as a possible future, the experiments and studies of the practice on the wider Valletta, putting into perspective the benefits of theoretical research combined with formal and aesthetic explorations of the harbour region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cities and Waterfront Infrastructure)
Open AccessArticle Assessment of Urban Attractiveness of Port Cities in Southern Italy—A Case Study of Torre Annunziata
Sustainability 2013, 5(9), 3906-3925; doi:10.3390/su5093906
Received: 31 August 2013 / Accepted: 9 September 2013 / Published: 16 September 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (908 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this paper is to assess the strength and weakness factors of post-industrial cities located in the Gulf of Naples in order to propose the most effective regeneration strategies towards a sustainable development of the urban coastline. This paper focuses on
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The aim of this paper is to assess the strength and weakness factors of post-industrial cities located in the Gulf of Naples in order to propose the most effective regeneration strategies towards a sustainable development of the urban coastline. This paper focuses on the city of Torre Annunziata and in particular on its industrial port area and waterfront. The analysis suggests that a sustainable development would be possible through the redesign and new functionalization of the waterfront and port area, improving resilience and creativity in order to integrate economic growth, ecological preservation and social opportunities. Thus, this paper is a proposal for a participative approach to the regeneration of the urban waterfront, enhancing the creative potential of the city and developing a new image for the waterfront that could become the strategic vision for a future economic, environmental and cultural development. A comparison between the waterfronts of Torre Annunziata and La Spezia has been carried out in order to assess what are the most effective choices for the future of Torre Annunziata, followed by an applicative process based on interviews. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cities and Waterfront Infrastructure)
Open AccessArticle Between Discourse and Reality: The Un-Sustainability of Mega-Event Planning
Sustainability 2013, 5(9), 3926-3940; doi:10.3390/su5093926
Received: 22 July 2013 / Revised: 28 August 2013 / Accepted: 5 September 2013 / Published: 16 September 2013
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (529 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The zero-sum nature of mega-event hosting encourages cities to escalate investment with an eye towards convincing event rights holders that a positive outcome will result. The discursive frameworks of “legacy” and “sustainability”, the global competition to attract events and the compressed event horizon
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The zero-sum nature of mega-event hosting encourages cities to escalate investment with an eye towards convincing event rights holders that a positive outcome will result. The discursive frameworks of “legacy” and “sustainability”, the global competition to attract events and the compressed event horizon make for mega-event preparation regimes that may seriously compromise long-term urban planning agendas in mega-event hosts. By examining the sustainable urban planning literature, the discursive frameworks of sustainability in the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the discursive framing of the Rio 2016 bid, this paper will examine the Olympic Golf project being implemented in Rio de Janeiro. Through this case study the paper argues that unless mega-event rights holders change their candidacy and selection processes, these events will inevitably be detrimental to their hosts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Mega-Events)
Open AccessArticle Strategic Vision of a Euro-Mediterranean Port City: A Case Study of Palermo
Sustainability 2013, 5(9), 3941-3959; doi:10.3390/su5093941
Received: 1 September 2013 / Accepted: 5 September 2013 / Published: 16 September 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1060 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Italian harbours assume a decisive role in order to develop a Euro-Mediterranean web for maritime transportation. The geostrategic position of the Italian peninsula can be seen as a logistic platform at the centre of the maritime trades in the Mediterranean area, giving to
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Italian harbours assume a decisive role in order to develop a Euro-Mediterranean web for maritime transportation. The geostrategic position of the Italian peninsula can be seen as a logistic platform at the centre of the maritime trades in the Mediterranean area, giving to its port cities the role of gateway of economic flows. The port poles, meant as hubs, are able to attract investments and create economic growth and territorial development through new operative models of urban usage and management. The management policies have to consider the environmental characteristics and distinctive features, respecting the identity of the places as concrete evidence of history, a source of intellectual development and therefore, cultural richness. In this sense, the current strategic plan “Palermo capital of the Euro-Mediterranean area” imagines the whole city, and not just its harbour, as a “gate city”, a sustainable and cosmopolitan city in the view of a recentralization of the Mediterranean area. The research tests an evaluation method in support of urban planning, which increases the active role of stakeholders in terms of participation and access to the decision-making process of urban renewal strategies for Palermo to the Euro-Mediterranean. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cities and Waterfront Infrastructure)
Open AccessArticle Analysis of Electro-Oxidation Suitability for Landfill Leachate Treatment through an Experimental Study
Sustainability 2013, 5(9), 3960-3975; doi:10.3390/su5093960
Received: 22 July 2013 / Revised: 9 September 2013 / Accepted: 10 September 2013 / Published: 16 September 2013
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (755 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper examines the efficiency of electro-oxidation used as the single pretreatment of landfill leachate. The experiments were performed on three different types of leachate. The results obtained using this electrochemical method results were analyzed after seven days of treatment. The main characteristics
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This paper examines the efficiency of electro-oxidation used as the single pretreatment of landfill leachate. The experiments were performed on three different types of leachate. The results obtained using this electrochemical method results were analyzed after seven days of treatment. The main characteristics of leachate and a diagram of the experimental apparatus are presented. The overall objectives were to contribute to the knowledge of electrochemical treatments for the reduction of COD, BOD5, ammonium, and total suspended solids, and also to examine whether there was any resulting hexavalent chromium in the liquid sample. The yields obtained were considered satisfactory, particularly given the simplicity of this technology. Like all processes used to treat refluent water, the applicability of this technique to a specific industrial refluent needs to be supported by feasibility studies to estimate its effectiveness and optimize the project parameters. This could be a future development of the work. Full article
Open AccessArticle Global Aquaculture Performance Index (GAPI): The First Global Environmental Assessment of Marine Fish Farming
Sustainability 2013, 5(9), 3976-3991; doi:10.3390/su5093976
Received: 16 July 2013 / Revised: 23 August 2013 / Accepted: 23 August 2013 / Published: 17 September 2013
PDF Full-text (917 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
“Sustainable” is among the most sought after of all seafood product adjectives. Ironically it is also one of the most poorly defined and understood. The Global Aquaculture Performance Index (GAPI) is the first tool to assess environmental performance of global marine aquaculture production,
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“Sustainable” is among the most sought after of all seafood product adjectives. Ironically it is also one of the most poorly defined and understood. The Global Aquaculture Performance Index (GAPI) is the first tool to assess environmental performance of global marine aquaculture production, permitting direct comparison of disparate species, production methods and jurisdictions. Clear patterns emerge from this analysis; significant variation of environmental performance is driven by the species being farmed, significant room for improvement exists across the entire sector, the worst performing players are also the fastest growing, particularly within Asia, and perhaps most importantly, this work highlights the potential trap awaiting policy makers who focus too narrowly on farm production efficiency alone as a solution to diminishing seafood availability. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Methodological Framework Based on the Dynamic-Evolutionary View of Heritage
Sustainability 2013, 5(9), 3992-4023; doi:10.3390/su5093992
Received: 6 September 2013 / Accepted: 10 September 2013 / Published: 23 September 2013
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Abstract
The paper describes the shifting perspective from the contemplative view to the dynamic-evolutionary view of heritage and the main characteristics of the resulting multi-criterial decision-aid tool for the evaluation of heritage. With the integration of conservation in planning processes and with opening of
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The paper describes the shifting perspective from the contemplative view to the dynamic-evolutionary view of heritage and the main characteristics of the resulting multi-criterial decision-aid tool for the evaluation of heritage. With the integration of conservation in planning processes and with opening of the procedures to public participation, there is a need for decision-aid tools that can help increase rationality and transparency in decision-making processes related to planning. By understanding the contemporary view of heritage and the landscape, it is possible to create tools capable of accounting for spatial complexity and the extant cultural, social, historic and economic relations. With this in mind, a specific tool was created that can be used for the analysis, diagnosis, evaluation and monitoring of spatial heritage (registered and under consideration for protection), identifying opportunities, defining strategies for heritage management processes, and in the creation and evaluation of development and management scenarios. The paper illustrates a shift in the consideration of heritage in spatial planning and presents an application of the developed model in a case study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cities and Waterfront Infrastructure)
Open AccessArticle Locally Based Development—Tools for Identifying Opportunities and Evaluating Port Area Strategies of Rijeka
Sustainability 2013, 5(9), 4024-4056; doi:10.3390/su5094024
Received: 6 September 2013 / Accepted: 10 September 2013 / Published: 23 September 2013
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Abstract
Cities are traditionally considered as centers of prosperity, but after a long process of deindustrialization, the classical opportunities presented by cities as administrative, production, financial and cultural hot spots can no longer be taken for granted without questioning the present organizational and spatial
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Cities are traditionally considered as centers of prosperity, but after a long process of deindustrialization, the classical opportunities presented by cities as administrative, production, financial and cultural hot spots can no longer be taken for granted without questioning the present organizational and spatial models. After an introduction to the decision-aid tools and processes needed to orient development in a sustainable way, the paper describes the characteristics and an application of the decision-aid tool created for analysis, diagnosis and evaluation of opportunities. The proposal briefly considers the reconnection of the city with its region, urban renewal, creative and productive activities, necessary support institutions, contemporary sustainable economic approaches and infrastructure. This approach is illustrated on the case of the incubator proposal for the City of Rijeka, Croatia, once an important port and industrial city with a long history. The technological modifications in the functioning of the port and abandoning of industrial production in the proximity, but also geological formation and prevalent building typologies, make the case exemplary of the problems faced in contemporary cities. The paper proposes a process and tools for analysis and evaluation and indicators for the sustainability of the proposal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cities and Waterfront Infrastructure)
Open AccessArticle The Potential Use of Agroforestry Community Gardens as a Sustainable Import-Substitution Strategy for Enhancing Food Security in Subarctic Ontario, Canada
Sustainability 2013, 5(9), 4057-4075; doi:10.3390/su5094057
Received: 10 August 2013 / Revised: 7 September 2013 / Accepted: 10 September 2013 / Published: 23 September 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (773 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The high prevalence of food insecurity experienced by northern First Nations partially results from dependence on an expensive import-based food system that typically lacks nutritional quality and further displaces traditional food systems. In the present study, the feasibility of import substitution by Agroforestry
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The high prevalence of food insecurity experienced by northern First Nations partially results from dependence on an expensive import-based food system that typically lacks nutritional quality and further displaces traditional food systems. In the present study, the feasibility of import substitution by Agroforestry Community Gardens (AFCGs) as socio-ecologically and culturally sustainable means of enhancing food security was explored through a case study of Fort Albany First Nation in subarctic Ontario, Canada. Agroforestry is a diverse tree-crop agricultural system that has enhanced food security in the tropics and subtropics. Study sites were selected for long-term agroforestry research to compare Salix spp. (willow)-dominated AFCG plots to a “no tree” control plot in Fort Albany. Initial soil and vegetative analysis revealed a high capacity for all sites to support mixed produce with noted modifications, as well as potential competitive and beneficial willow-crop interactions. It is anticipated that inclusion of willow trees will enhance the long-term productive capacity of the AFCG test plots. As an adaptable and dynamic system, AFCGs have potential to act as a more reliable local agrarian system and a refuge for culturally significant plants in high-latitude First Nation socio-ecological systems, which are particularly vulnerable to rapid cultural, climatic, and ecological change. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Differentiation Framework for Maritime Clusters: Comparisons across Europe
Sustainability 2013, 5(9), 4076-4105; doi:10.3390/su5094076
Received: 30 August 2013 / Accepted: 5 September 2013 / Published: 24 September 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1444 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to point out some of the main characteristics and critical factors for success that can substantiate the proposal of a differentiation framework for maritime clusters. We conduct a benchmarking analysis intended to distinguish the most relevant aspects
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The purpose of this paper is to point out some of the main characteristics and critical factors for success that can substantiate the proposal of a differentiation framework for maritime clusters. We conduct a benchmarking analysis intended to distinguish the most relevant aspects which can or should be observed in these types of clusters, applied to the following countries: Spain (Basque Country), Germany (Lander of Schleswig-Holstein), the Netherlands and Norway. The differentiation factors involve agglomeration economies and endogenous conditions derived from geographic proximity, essential for lowering transaction costs, strengthening the leverage of public/private cooperation through centres of maritime excellence, at the same time providing an adequate local environment that favours positive interactions between the different maritime industries and actors. The main results arising from this article are presented through a reconceptualisation of Porter’s Diamond framework for diagnosing the competitiveness of maritime clusters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cities and Waterfront Infrastructure)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview How Eco-Efficient Are Low-Input Cropping Systems in Western Europe, and What Can Be Done to Improve Their Eco-Efficiency?
Sustainability 2013, 5(9), 3722-3743; doi:10.3390/su5093722
Received: 15 July 2013 / Revised: 23 August 2013 / Accepted: 25 August 2013 / Published: 4 September 2013
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (624 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Low-input cropping systems were introduced in Western Europe to reduce the environmental impacts of intensive farming, but some of their benefits are offset by lower yields. In this paper, we review studies that used Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to investigate the effects of
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Low-input cropping systems were introduced in Western Europe to reduce the environmental impacts of intensive farming, but some of their benefits are offset by lower yields. In this paper, we review studies that used Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to investigate the effects of reducing external inputs on the eco-efficiency of cropping systems, measured as the ratio of production to environmental impacts. We also review various cropping system interventions that can improve this ratio. Depending on the initial situation and the impacts considered, reducing inputs will in itself either reduce or increase environmental impacts per product unit—highly eco-efficient cropping systems require application of optimum instead of minimum quantities of external inputs. These optimum rates can be lowered by utilizing positive synergies between crops to minimise waste of nutrients and water and by utilizing locally produced organic waste; both from within the farm as well as well as from the surrounding sociotechnical environment. Eco-efficiency can also be improved by increasing yields in a sustainable matter. Strategies such as breeding, increasing diversity, no-tillage or intercropping will not be effective under all conditions. LCA provides a useful framework to identify environmentally optimum levels of inputs and trade-offs between various intensification scenarios. Full article

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