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Sustainability, Volume 6, Issue 11 (November 2014), Pages 7482-8347

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Open AccessEditorial Strategies for Sustainability: Institutional and Organisational Challenges
Sustainability 2014, 6(11), 8342-8347; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6118342
Received: 12 November 2014 / Accepted: 13 November 2014 / Published: 21 November 2014
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Abstract
Sustainable Development (SD) is a global role model that claims to function as a general orientation for shaping societal processes, i.e., local, regional, national and international development. This is in line with the Brundtland and justice-oriented understanding of the term. It is
[...] Read more.
Sustainable Development (SD) is a global role model that claims to function as a general orientation for shaping societal processes, i.e., local, regional, national and international development. This is in line with the Brundtland and justice-oriented understanding of the term. It is understood as a role model and sometimes also interpreted as a regulative ideal. However, it does not state how exactly “sustainable” societies will or should look. It does not give us a step-by-step pattern to follow, but something like a frame of what ought to be done in order to transform today’s societies, including their economies. [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Proceedings of the 3rd International Sustainability Conference)
Open AccessArticle Is It Feasible for China to Optimize Oil Import Source Diversification?
Sustainability 2014, 6(11), 8329-8341; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6118329
Received: 29 June 2014 / Revised: 27 October 2014 / Accepted: 13 November 2014 / Published: 21 November 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1268 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In 2013, China imported 282 million tons of crude oil with an external dependence of 58.1%, surpassing the USA as the world’s largest net oil importer. An import source diversification strategy has been adopted by China to ensure oil supply security and to
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In 2013, China imported 282 million tons of crude oil with an external dependence of 58.1%, surpassing the USA as the world’s largest net oil importer. An import source diversification strategy has been adopted by China to ensure oil supply security and to prevent oil supply disruption. However, the strategy is restricted by the imbalance of oil reserves. What is the reasonable and clear objective of the diversification strategy under an imbalanced environment? How do we assess the natural imbalance? This paper analyzes the oil import diversification of China and the USA, as well as the oil production of oil export countries by the oil import source diversification index (OISDI). Our results are as follows: the distribution of oil import sources for China tends to coincide with the oil production distribution of oil exporters in the world. Compared with the USA, China has more diversified import sources. The Chinese government paid much attention to import sources in the past. In the future, China will adjust the distributions of regional sources rather than focus on the number of sources to further optimize the structure of imported regions in the course of implementing the import source diversification strategy. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Rethinking Sustainable Development: Considering How Different Worldviews Envision “Development” and “Quality of Life”
Sustainability 2014, 6(11), 8310-8328; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6118310
Received: 12 August 2014 / Revised: 31 October 2014 / Accepted: 4 November 2014 / Published: 20 November 2014
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (697 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The concept of sustainable development does not articulate what needs to be sustained, developed, or how, and is consequently intersubjective and intercultural. I therefore argue that it is essential to consider different worldviews when discussing sustainable development, and I offer broad, provisional suggestions
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The concept of sustainable development does not articulate what needs to be sustained, developed, or how, and is consequently intersubjective and intercultural. I therefore argue that it is essential to consider different worldviews when discussing sustainable development, and I offer broad, provisional suggestions as to how we can begin doing this. I first discuss how the notion of sustainable development at its heart is an attempt to unite conservation with growth. I then consider how different worldviews relate to this unitary ideal, by articulating how they envision “development” and “quality of life”. I do this by drawing on the Integrative Worldview Framework, which distinguishes between multiple, ideal-typical worldviews. However, I argue that more important than any typology of worldviews is the reflexive attitude a worldview-perspective supports. I conclude with implications for more reflexive and inclusive forms of policy-making, also in light of the to-be-formulated Sustainable Development Goals. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Dual Function Energy Store
Sustainability 2014, 6(11), 8297-8309; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6118297
Received: 17 March 2014 / Revised: 11 August 2014 / Accepted: 10 November 2014 / Published: 20 November 2014
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Abstract
Heat can be collected from local energy sources and concentrated into a relatively small volume, and at a useful working temperature, by using a heat pump as the concentrator. That heat can be stored and utilized at a later date for applications like
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Heat can be collected from local energy sources and concentrated into a relatively small volume, and at a useful working temperature, by using a heat pump as the concentrator. That heat can be stored and utilized at a later date for applications like space heating. The process is doing two things at the same time: storing heat and shifting the power demand. The concentration step can be done at night when there is normally a surplus of power and its timing can be directly controlled by the power grid operator to ensure that the power consumption occurs only when adequate power is available. The sources of heat can be the summer air, the heat extracted from buildings by their cooling systems, natural heat from the ground or solar heat, all of which are free, abundant and readily accessible. Such systems can meet the thermal needs of buildings while at the same time stabilizing the grid power demand, thus reducing the need for using fossil-fuelled peaking power generators. The heat pump maintains the temperature of the periphery at the ambient ground temperature so very little energy is lost during storage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
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Open AccessArticle Evaluating Impacts of Industrial Transformation on Water Consumption in the Heihe River Basin of Northwest China
Sustainability 2014, 6(11), 8283-8296; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6118283
Received: 6 July 2014 / Revised: 23 October 2014 / Accepted: 24 October 2014 / Published: 19 November 2014
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (2430 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Growing water scarcity is one of the central challenges for sustainability in China, given its burgeoning industry and huge population, especially in the arid and semi-arid inland river basin where precipitation is very limited. Industrial transformation is an important engine of economic growth,
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Growing water scarcity is one of the central challenges for sustainability in China, given its burgeoning industry and huge population, especially in the arid and semi-arid inland river basin where precipitation is very limited. Industrial transformation is an important engine of economic growth, which is required to be implemented by governments at all levels in China. Economic models have generally been applied to evaluate the effects of economic policy change (e.g., industrial transformation or adjustment of price) on the allocation of production factors. The computable general equilibrium (CGE) model is an effective tool to reallocate the primary factors across sectors for different industrial transformation scenarios. In this research, we first briefly introduced the principles and structure of the CGE model, which embeds water resources as a primary factor of production. Then we chose Zhangye as an example to evaluate the impacts of industrial transformation on water consumption under three designed scenarios with the water-embedded CGE model. Simulation results showed that there will be considerable water saving benefit from industrial transformation when the output value of secondary industry and tertiary industry increases and the contribution of the planting sector to the total output value decreases. Finally, we put forward a scheme that can improve water utilization efficiency in policy options. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Preliminary Forecast of the Production Status of China’s Daqing Oil field from the Perspective of EROI
Sustainability 2014, 6(11), 8262-8282; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6118262
Received: 8 October 2014 / Revised: 4 November 2014 / Accepted: 6 November 2014 / Published: 18 November 2014
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (937 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Energy return on investment (EROI) and net energy are useful metrics for analyzing energy production physically rather than monetarily. However, these metrics are not widely applied in China. In this study, we forecast the Daqing oilfield’s EROI from 2013 to 2025 using existing
[...] Read more.
Energy return on investment (EROI) and net energy are useful metrics for analyzing energy production physically rather than monetarily. However, these metrics are not widely applied in China. In this study, we forecast the Daqing oilfield’s EROI from 2013 to 2025 using existing data for crude oil and natural gas production and the basic rules of EROI. Unfortunately, our calculations indicate that the oilfield’s EROI will continuously decline from 7.3 to 4.7, and the associated net energy will continuously decline from 1.53 × 1012 MJ to 1.25 × 1012 MJ. If China’s energy intensity does not decline as planned in the next ten years, then the EROI of Daqing will be even lower than our estimates. Additionally, relating the EROI to the monetary return on investment (MROI) in a low production and high intensity scenario, Daqing’s EROI will decline to 2.9 and its MROI will decline to 1.8 by 2025. If the “law of minimum EROI” and the assumed “minimum MROI” are taken into account, then we estimate that both energy pressure and economic pressure will restrict Daqing’s production by 2025. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessReview Management Practices and Their Potential Influence on Johne’s Disease Transmission on Canadian Organic Dairy Farms—A Conceptual Analysis
Sustainability 2014, 6(11), 8237-8261; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6118237
Received: 2 September 2014 / Revised: 4 November 2014 / Accepted: 5 November 2014 / Published: 18 November 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (793 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Johne’s disease (JD) is a chronic, production-limiting disease of ruminants. Control programs aiming to minimize the effects of the disease on the dairy industry have been launched in many countries, including Canada. Those programs commonly focus on strict hygiene and management improvement, often
[...] Read more.
Johne’s disease (JD) is a chronic, production-limiting disease of ruminants. Control programs aiming to minimize the effects of the disease on the dairy industry have been launched in many countries, including Canada. Those programs commonly focus on strict hygiene and management improvement, often combined with various testing methods. Concurrently, organic dairy farming has been increasing in popularity. Because organic farming promotes traditional management practices, it has been proposed that organic dairy production regulations might interfere with implementation of JD control strategies. However, it is currently unclear how organic farming would change the risk for JD control. This review presents a brief introduction to organic dairy farming in Canada, JD, and the Canadian JD control programs. Subsequently, organic practices are described and hypotheses of their effects on JD transmission are developed. Empirical research is needed, not only to provide scientific evidence for organic producers, but also for smaller conventional farms employing organic-like management practices. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Dynamic Evaluation of Water Quality Improvement Based on Effective Utilization of Stockbreeding Biomass Resource
Sustainability 2014, 6(11), 8218-8236; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6118218
Received: 29 July 2014 / Revised: 30 October 2014 / Accepted: 12 November 2014 / Published: 18 November 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1103 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The stockbreeding industry is growing rapidly in rural regions of China, carrying a high risk to the water environment due to the emission of huge amounts of pollutants in terms of COD, T-N and T-P to rivers. On the other hand, as a
[...] Read more.
The stockbreeding industry is growing rapidly in rural regions of China, carrying a high risk to the water environment due to the emission of huge amounts of pollutants in terms of COD, T-N and T-P to rivers. On the other hand, as a typical biomass resource, stockbreeding waste can be used as a clean energy source by biomass utilization technologies. In this paper, we constructed a dynamic linear optimization model to simulate the synthetic water environment management policies which includes both the water environment system and social-economic situational changes over 10 years. Based on the simulation, the model can precisely estimate trends of water quality, production of stockbreeding biomass energy and economic development under certain restrictions of the water environment. We examined seven towns of Shunyi district of Beijing as the target area to analyse synthetic water environment management policies by computer simulation based on the effective utilization of stockbreeding biomass resources to improve water quality and realize sustainable development. The purpose of our research is to establish an effective utilization method of biomass resources incorporating water environment preservation, resource reutilization and economic development, and finally realize the sustainable development of the society. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Can Consumers Understand Sustainability through Seafood Eco-Labels? A U.S. and UK Case Study
Sustainability 2014, 6(11), 8195-8217; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6118195
Received: 10 August 2014 / Revised: 14 October 2014 / Accepted: 23 October 2014 / Published: 18 November 2014
Cited by 18 | PDF Full-text (867 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the United States and the United Kingdom, over the last decade major retail chains have increasingly publicized their efforts to supply sustainably sourced and eco-labelled seafood. Debate exists over the extent of consumer demand for this product. Seafood eco-labels purportedly resolve the
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In the United States and the United Kingdom, over the last decade major retail chains have increasingly publicized their efforts to supply sustainably sourced and eco-labelled seafood. Debate exists over the extent of consumer demand for this product. Seafood eco-labels purportedly resolve the information asymmetry between producer and consumer, allowing consumers who care about sustainability to easily find and purchase these products. This paper discusses the idealized model of seafood eco-labelling in promoting sustainability and presents results of US and UK case studies based on consumer interviews and surveys, which found that consumers had often seen one or more seafood eco-labels. Two well-established eco-labels, dolphin-safe and organic, drove these rates of sustainable seafood awareness. These rates are interpreted in the context of consumer’s understanding of sustainable. The Sustainable Seafood Movement’s efforts to increase the supply of eco-labelled seafood and elaborate corporate buying policies for sustainable seafood are influencing consumer’s recognition and purchase of certified sustainable seafood products. However, eco-labels are a means to communicate messages about sustainable fisheries to consumers, not an end. Efforts to educate consumers about eco-labels should be a component of ocean literacy efforts, which educate the public about the need for sustainable fisheries. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Spatial Pattern and the Process of Settlement Expansion in Jiangsu Province from 1980 to 2010, Eastern China
Sustainability 2014, 6(11), 8180-8194; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6118180
Received: 25 August 2014 / Revised: 28 October 2014 / Accepted: 6 November 2014 / Published: 18 November 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1198 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Human settlement expansion has very important effects on regional population migration, economic balance and ecosystem services. Understanding the evolution of settlement expansion and regional differences is significant for regional sustainability. The results showed that in the past 30 years, the urbanization rate in
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Human settlement expansion has very important effects on regional population migration, economic balance and ecosystem services. Understanding the evolution of settlement expansion and regional differences is significant for regional sustainability. The results showed that in the past 30 years, the urbanization rate in Jiangsu province was lower. From 1980 to 2010, the expansion area of urban settlement was larger than that of rural settlement. Urban settlement expanded slowly from 1980 to 2005 and strongly from 2005 to 2010. Rural settlement expanded greatly from 1980 to 1995, and 37.14% of settlement was mostly on cropland. The type of urban settlement expansion from 1980 to 1995 and from 2000 to 2005 was compact expansion. Settlement expansion in the south of Jiangsu province was greater than that in the north of Jiangsu province. The spatial pattern of settlement in most cities was a cluster. In the past 30 years, urban and rural settlement expansion had significantly different impacts on the soil and water environment. Urban settlement expansion was great in the south of Jiangsu province and widened the economic and social gap between the south and north of Jiangsu province. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Land Use and Ecosystem Management)
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Open AccessArticle Carbon Emissions Decomposition and Environmental Mitigation Policy Recommendations for Sustainable Development in Shandong Province
Sustainability 2014, 6(11), 8164-8179; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6118164
Received: 23 September 2014 / Revised: 11 November 2014 / Accepted: 12 November 2014 / Published: 17 November 2014
Cited by 22 | PDF Full-text (2963 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Provincial carbon emissions research is necessary for China to realize emissions reduction targets. Two-level decomposition model based on the Kaya identity was applied to uncover the main driving forces for the energy related carbon emissions in Shandong province from 1995 to 2011, an
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Provincial carbon emissions research is necessary for China to realize emissions reduction targets. Two-level decomposition model based on the Kaya identity was applied to uncover the main driving forces for the energy related carbon emissions in Shandong province from 1995 to 2011, an important energy base in China. Coal consumption is still the biggest contributor to the increased carbon emissions in Shandong. Decomposition results show that the affluence effect is the most important contributors to the carbon emissions increments. The energy intensity effect is the dominant factor in curbing carbon emissions. The emission coefficient effect plays an important negative but relatively minor effect on carbon emissions. Based on the local realities, a series of environment-friendly mitigation policies are raised by fully considering all of these influencing factors. Sustainable mitigation policies will pay more attention to the low-carbon economic development along with the significant energy intensity reduction in Shangdong province. Full article
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Open AccessArticle FDI and Economic Growth in Central and Eastern Europe
Sustainability 2014, 6(11), 8149-8163; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6118149
Received: 14 October 2014 / Accepted: 17 October 2014 / Published: 17 November 2014
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (682 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper discusses the major trends in scholarship about the role of FDI and exports on economic growth, the effect of tax policies on FDI, the formation of the economic catch up of the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) region and the determinants
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This paper discusses the major trends in scholarship about the role of FDI and exports on economic growth, the effect of tax policies on FDI, the formation of the economic catch up of the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) region and the determinants of FDI inflows in CEE nations. I am specifically interested in how previous research investigated the influence of FDI on host country economic growth, the inward FDI stock as a percentage of GDP, the features and restrictions of fiscal schemes in CEE economies and the institutional soundness displayed in policies towards FDI. The analysis presented in this paper contributes to research on FDI as a mechanism in the transition to the market, the dissimilarities in the FDI-assisted development methods among the CEE nations, the impact of FDI inflows for productivity convergence in CEE and the current slowing of growth in emerging Europe. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Sustainable Use of Water Resources: A Technical Support for Planning. A Case Study
Sustainability 2014, 6(11), 8128-8148; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6118128
Received: 16 July 2014 / Revised: 7 November 2014 / Accepted: 7 November 2014 / Published: 14 November 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2503 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The paper presents both the structure and application of a Decision Support System (DSS) for an important river in Brazil—along with the sustainable management of its watershed. This DSS assesses both surface-water quality and riverine microhabitats in terms of future scenarios, taking into
[...] Read more.
The paper presents both the structure and application of a Decision Support System (DSS) for an important river in Brazil—along with the sustainable management of its watershed. This DSS assesses both surface-water quality and riverine microhabitats in terms of future scenarios, taking into account regulation limits and appropriate quality indexes. Our future scenarios consider: (a) population and climate change trends; (b) upgrade of sewage systems and wastewater treatment plants; and (c) withdrawal management from rivers and reservoirs. We use some main types of interrelated models, which can simulate different aspects of the responses of a basin, with respect to different modes of use of the water resource. In particular, the surface-water quality models simulate total phosphorus, BOD, dissolved oxygen concentration and thermo-tolerant coliform bacteria pollution. The riverine microhabitat models apply habitat suitability indexes of autochthonous fish species considering water depth, velocity, bottom substrate and dissolved oxygen. Both models are based on hydrologic and hydraulic models results and both were calibrated using discharge and water quality measurements collected over a 1.5-year monitoring period. Our pre- and post-processing are based on common spreadsheets and the output data are spatially analyzed using GIS software. Examples are also shown of how the DSS can contribute to developing a sustainable use of the basin resources, including a reservoir used to supply drinking water to the capital city (Salvador da Bahia). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Linear, Non-Linear and Alternative Algorithms in the Correlation of IEQ Factors with Global Comfort: A Case Study
Sustainability 2014, 6(11), 8113-8127; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6118113
Received: 30 June 2014 / Revised: 3 November 2014 / Accepted: 3 November 2014 / Published: 14 November 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1529 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Indoor environmental quality (IEQ) factors usually considered in engineering studies, i.e., thermal, acoustical, visual comfort and indoor air quality are individually associated with the occupant satisfaction level on the basis of well-established relationships. On the other hand, the full understanding of how
[...] Read more.
Indoor environmental quality (IEQ) factors usually considered in engineering studies, i.e., thermal, acoustical, visual comfort and indoor air quality are individually associated with the occupant satisfaction level on the basis of well-established relationships. On the other hand, the full understanding of how single IEQ factors contribute and interact to determine the overall occupant satisfaction (global comfort) is currently an open field of research. The lack of a shared approach in treating the subject depends on many aspects: absence of established protocols for the collection of subjective and objective measurements, the amount of variables to consider and in general the complexity of the technical issues involved. This case study is aimed to perform a comparison between some of the models available, studying the results of a survey conducted with objective and subjective method on a classroom within University of Roma TRE premises. Different models are fitted on the same measured values, allowing comparison between different weighting schemes between IEQ categories obtained with different methods. The critical issues, like differences in the weighting scheme obtained with different IEQ models and the variability of the weighting scheme with respect to the time of exposure of the users in the building, identified during this small scale comfort assessment study, provide the basis for a survey activity on a larger scale, basis for the development of an improved IEQ assessment method. Full article
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Open AccessArticle McSustainability and McJustice: Certification, Alternative Food and Agriculture, and Social Change
Sustainability 2014, 6(11), 8092-8112; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6118092
Received: 15 September 2014 / Revised: 31 October 2014 / Accepted: 4 November 2014 / Published: 14 November 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (833 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Alternative food and agriculture movements increasingly rely on market-based approaches, particularly voluntary standards and certification, to advance environmental sustainability and social justice. Using a case study of an ecological shrimp project in Indonesia that became certified organic, this paper raises concerns regarding the
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Alternative food and agriculture movements increasingly rely on market-based approaches, particularly voluntary standards and certification, to advance environmental sustainability and social justice. Using a case study of an ecological shrimp project in Indonesia that became certified organic, this paper raises concerns regarding the impacts of certification on alternative food and agriculture movements, and their aims of furthering sustainability and justice. Drawing on George Ritzer’s McDonaldization framework, I argue that the ecological shrimp project became McDonaldized with the introduction of voluntary standards and certification. Specifically, efficiency, calculability, predictability, and control became key characteristics of the shrimp project. While the introduction of such characteristics increased market access, it also entailed significant costs, including an erosion of trust and marginalization and alienation of farmers. Given such tradeoffs, in concluding I propose that certification is producing particular forms of environmental sustainability and social justice, what I term McSustainability and McJustice. While enabling the expansion of alternative food and agriculture, McSustainability and McJustice tend to allow little opportunity for farmer empowerment and food sovereignty, as well as exclude aspects of sustainable farming or ethical production that are not easily measured, standardized, and validated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agricultural Governance)
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Open AccessArticle Efficiency Sustainability Resource Visual Simulator for Clustered Desktop Virtualization Based on Cloud Infrastructure
Sustainability 2014, 6(11), 8079-8091; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6118079
Received: 3 October 2014 / Revised: 3 November 2014 / Accepted: 5 November 2014 / Published: 14 November 2014
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (3113 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Following IT innovations, manual operations have been automated, improving the overall quality of life. This has been possible because an organic topology has been formed among many diverse smart devices grafted onto real life. To provide services to these smart devices, enterprises or
[...] Read more.
Following IT innovations, manual operations have been automated, improving the overall quality of life. This has been possible because an organic topology has been formed among many diverse smart devices grafted onto real life. To provide services to these smart devices, enterprises or users use the cloud. Cloud services are divided into infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and software as a service (SaaS). SaaS is operated on PaaS, and PaaS is operated on IaaS. Since IaaS is the foundation of all services, algorithms for the efficient operation of virtualized resources are required. Among these algorithms, desktop resource virtualization is used for high resource availability when existing desktop PCs are unavailable. For this high resource availability, clustering for hierarchical structures is important. In addition, since many clustering algorithms show different percentages of the main resources depending on the desktop PC distribution rates and environments, selecting appropriate algorithms is very important. If diverse attempts are made to find algorithms suitable for the operating environments’ desktop resource virtualization, huge costs are incurred for the related power, time and labor. Therefore, in the present paper, a desktop resource virtualization clustering simulator (DRV-CS), a clustering simulator for selecting clusters of desktop virtualization clusters to be maintained sustainably, is proposed. The DRV-CS provides simulations, so that clustering algorithms can be selected and elements can be properly applied in different desktop PC environments through the DRV-CS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ubiquitous Green IT System for Sustainable Computing)
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Open AccessArticle Policy Incentives for the Adoption of Electric Vehicles across Countries
Sustainability 2014, 6(11), 8056-8078; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6118056
Received: 5 August 2014 / Revised: 30 October 2014 / Accepted: 4 November 2014 / Published: 14 November 2014
Cited by 24 | PDF Full-text (1219 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Electric vehicles (EVs) have prominent advantages for reducing CO2 emissions and alleviating the dependence on fossil fuel consumption in the transport sector. Therefore, many countries have set targets for EV development in recent years and have employed a number of policies to
[...] Read more.
Electric vehicles (EVs) have prominent advantages for reducing CO2 emissions and alleviating the dependence on fossil fuel consumption in the transport sector. Therefore, many countries have set targets for EV development in recent years and have employed a number of policies to achieve environmental objectives and alleviate the energy pressure. Despite the fact that the adoption of EVs has increased in the past few years, more policies, such as financial incentives, technology support or charging infrastructure, should be made by governments to promote broader range use of EVs. In this paper, we review the relevant policies that different countries may adopt for stimulating the market of EVs. Based on this, we analyze the relationship between the policies and the adoption of EVs by taking America as an example. In conclusion, some effective policies are summarized to spur the market. Therefore, each country should learn from each other and employ effective policies based on the actual situation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Competitiveness vs. Sustainability: An Assessment of Profitability as a Component of an Approach on “Sustainable Competitiveness” in Extensive Farming Systems of Central Spain
Sustainability 2014, 6(11), 8029-8055; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6118029
Received: 30 August 2014 / Revised: 31 October 2014 / Accepted: 3 November 2014 / Published: 14 November 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (891 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The “Europe 2020 Strategy” launched by European Institutions is a commitment to increase growth based on the coexistence of both competitiveness and sustainable development. This paper analyzes the competitiveness of production systems in the cereal steppes of Castile, Spain. An indicator based on
[...] Read more.
The “Europe 2020 Strategy” launched by European Institutions is a commitment to increase growth based on the coexistence of both competitiveness and sustainable development. This paper analyzes the competitiveness of production systems in the cereal steppes of Castile, Spain. An indicator based on each production system’s profitability threshold was built. The diagnostic analysis methodology allowed the identification of 20 production system models related to agrarian, livestock and mixed farming systems. The results show very different levels of competitiveness which are not necessarily related to the farms’ sizes or capitalization levels but mostly to production costs and the farmers’ ages. The response of these models to future input and output price scenarios shows that mixed farms are less dependent on external production factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle Energy Consumption and Carbon Dioxide Emissions of China’s Non-Metallic Mineral Products Industry: Present State, Prospects and Policy Analysis
Sustainability 2014, 6(11), 8012-8028; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6118012
Received: 10 September 2014 / Revised: 18 October 2014 / Accepted: 4 November 2014 / Published: 12 November 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (774 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
China is the largest non-metallic mineral producer in the world and one of the key consumers of four major non-metallic mineral products, including cement, refractories, plate glass and ceramics. The non-metallic mineral products industry’s rapid growth has brought about a large demand for
[...] Read more.
China is the largest non-metallic mineral producer in the world and one of the key consumers of four major non-metallic mineral products, including cement, refractories, plate glass and ceramics. The non-metallic mineral products industry’s rapid growth has brought about a large demand for energy. The present study provides an overview of China’s non-metallic mineral products industry in terms of production, energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. In this industry, the energy efficiency is relatively low and the level of carbon dioxide emission is much higher than developed countries’ average. This study interprets the effects of some newly issued policies and analyses the influential factors in achieving energy conservation and emission reduction goals. It also discusses the prospects for saving energy and emission reduction in the industry. Retrofitting facilities and using new production technologies is imperative. Additionally, implementing market-based policies, promoting industrial transformation and effective international cooperation would help decrease carbon dioxide emissions and energy consumption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessEditorial Special Edition: Environment in Sustainable Development
Sustainability 2014, 6(11), 8007-8011; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6118007
Received: 3 November 2014 / Accepted: 6 November 2014 / Published: 12 November 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (638 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
When we were invited by the editors of Sustainability to put together a special edition on “Environment in Sustainable Development” our first reaction was to question whether this was really needed. After all, the environment has long been regarded as a central plank
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When we were invited by the editors of Sustainability to put together a special edition on “Environment in Sustainable Development” our first reaction was to question whether this was really needed. After all, the environment has long been regarded as a central plank in sustainability and there are countless articles and books published on an annual basis that explore the impact of our economic and social activities on our environment. Just what is it that a special edition can achieve? What new angles could we hope to provide? Our initial thinking was to link the special edition to a particular, almost unique, location in time rather than space. We are in the process of recovering, albeit stuttering, from the deepest economic crash experienced by the European and North American economies. The crash has brought some national economies to their knees and, if economic commentators are to be believed, almost destroyed the Euro. Recovery from that crash has been slow and it is arguable whether at the time of writing this has developed much momentum. There is still the skewed perception that prosperity equals economic growth and that economic growth can take place without real (sustainable) development or by simply implementing austerity measures and surely without people’s participation. An analogy from National Parks worldwide is when conservation agencies try to enforce protection without local people’s support. All such attempts have either failed or resurrected only once people’s involvement was secured and guaranteed. The unidirectional austerity measures imposed mainly in the countries of southern Europe have destroyed social cohesion leaving deeply wounded societies, while at the same time have also put up for grabs important assets (including natural capital) in each of these countries and therefore in jeopardy even their long term recovery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environment in Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle Incorporating Bio-Physical Sciences into a Decision Support Tool for Sustainable Urban Planning
Sustainability 2014, 6(11), 7982-8006; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6117982
Received: 28 August 2014 / Revised: 18 October 2014 / Accepted: 6 November 2014 / Published: 12 November 2014
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Abstract
Deciding upon optimum planning actions in terms of sustainable urban planning involves the consideration of multiple environmental and socio-economic criteria. The transformation of natural landscapes to urban areas affects energy and material fluxes. An important aspect of the urban environment is the urban
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Deciding upon optimum planning actions in terms of sustainable urban planning involves the consideration of multiple environmental and socio-economic criteria. The transformation of natural landscapes to urban areas affects energy and material fluxes. An important aspect of the urban environment is the urban metabolism, and changes in such metabolism need to be considered for sustainable planning decisions. A spatial Decision Support System (DSS) prototyped within the European FP7-funded project BRIDGE (sustainaBle uRban plannIng Decision support accountinG for urban mEtabolism), enables accounting for the urban metabolism of planning actions, by exploiting the current knowledge and technology of biophysical sciences. The main aim of the BRIDGE project was to bridge the knowledge and communication gap between urban planners and environmental scientists and to illustrate the advantages of considering detailed environmental information in urban planning processes. The developed DSS prototype integrates biophysical observations and simulation techniques with socio-economic aspects in five European cities, selected as case studies for the pilot application of the tool. This paper describes the design and implementation of the BRIDGE DSS prototype, illustrates some examples of use, and highlights the need for further research and development in the field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Planning, Development and Management of Sustainable Cities)
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Open AccessArticle Economic Sustainability of Italian Greenhouse Cherry Tomato
Sustainability 2014, 6(11), 7967-7981; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6117967
Received: 27 August 2014 / Revised: 2 November 2014 / Accepted: 5 November 2014 / Published: 12 November 2014
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Abstract
Greenhouse tomato cultivation plays an important role in Sicily, being the primary production area in Italy, due to its favorable pedo-climatic conditions that permit extra-seasonal productions. In Sicily, more than half of greenhouse tomato production is derived from the Province of Ragusa on
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Greenhouse tomato cultivation plays an important role in Sicily, being the primary production area in Italy, due to its favorable pedo-climatic conditions that permit extra-seasonal productions. In Sicily, more than half of greenhouse tomato production is derived from the Province of Ragusa on the southeastern coast, where especially cherry tomato typologies are cultivated. Over the last decade, the Ragusa Province has registered a decrease both in terms of greenhouse tomato area and harvested production due to several structural problems that would require restructuring of the tomato supply chain. Thus, since recognition of real costs and profitability of tomato growing is a vital issue, both from the perspective of the farm, as well as from that of the entrepreneur, the aim of this paper was to analyze the economic sustainability of Sicilian greenhouse cherry tomato cultivated in the Ragusa Province. In particular, an economic analysis on 30 representative farms was conducted in order to estimate production costs and profits of greenhouse cherry tomato. According to our results, the lack of commercial organization, which characterizes the small farms we surveyed, determines low contractual power for farmers and, consequently, low profitability. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Proposed Methodology for Prioritizing Project Effects to Include in Cost-Benefit Analysis Using Resilience, Vulnerability and Risk Perception
Sustainability 2014, 6(11), 7945-7966; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6117945
Received: 26 September 2014 / Revised: 31 October 2014 / Accepted: 4 November 2014 / Published: 11 November 2014
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Abstract
Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) has emerged as one of the most widely used methodologies in environmental policy analysis, with many governments applying it in their decision-making procedures and laws. However, undertaking a full CBA is expensive, and conclusions must be drawn on which project
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Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) has emerged as one of the most widely used methodologies in environmental policy analysis, with many governments applying it in their decision-making procedures and laws. However, undertaking a full CBA is expensive, and conclusions must be drawn on which project or policy impacts to include in the analysis. Based on the ideas of resilience, vulnerability and risk, we suggest a method for prioritizing project impacts for inclusion in a CBA, which includes both expert assessment and citizen preferences. We then illustrate how the method can be applied in the context of land use change decisions, using a real application. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Impact of Large-Scale Wind Power Integration on Small Signal Stability Based on Stability Region Boundary
Sustainability 2014, 6(11), 7921-7944; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6117921
Received: 15 September 2014 / Revised: 21 October 2014 / Accepted: 3 November 2014 / Published: 10 November 2014
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Abstract
Up until now, study results on the impact of large-scale wind power integration on small signal stability have often been in conflict. Sometimes, the conclusions are even completely opposite, making people unable to agree on which is right. The reason behind this phenomenon
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Up until now, study results on the impact of large-scale wind power integration on small signal stability have often been in conflict. Sometimes, the conclusions are even completely opposite, making people unable to agree on which is right. The reason behind this phenomenon is that most of these studies are based on a certain grid and typical working conditions, so conclusions are reached by comparing changes in oscillation mode, one by one. This study method lacks a broader perspective, and often reflects only a part of the grid conditions. However, the small signal stability region boundary describes the critical operating range of power system small signal stability as a whole, making possible an overall evaluation of the system from a more macro perspective. Thus it is more suitable for analysis of the impact of large-scale wind power integration on small signal stability. Based on the above, using the model of wind farm integration to the single-machine infinite bus power system, this paper studies the impact of wind power integration scale and the coupling strength with synchronous generator on small signal stability through the comparison of the stability region boundaries, thus providing a new method and support for analyzing the impact of wind power integration on small signal stability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Social Evaluation Approaches in Landscape Projects
Sustainability 2014, 6(11), 7906-7920; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6117906
Received: 1 August 2014 / Revised: 31 October 2014 / Accepted: 4 November 2014 / Published: 10 November 2014
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Abstract
Landscape is a crucial component of world heritage and, in the last few years, landscape projects have played a vital role in the development of sustainable scenarios. As reported in the European Landscape Convention, landscape means an area, as perceived by people, of
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Landscape is a crucial component of world heritage and, in the last few years, landscape projects have played a vital role in the development of sustainable scenarios. As reported in the European Landscape Convention, landscape means an area, as perceived by people, of which the character is the result of the action and interaction of natural and/or human factors. Therefore, in landscape planning and assessment, the community is necessarily involved. In order to improve the effectiveness of a project for landscape enhancement, this study suggests strategies for an integrated project, taking into account the numerous, heterogeneous variables involved. A landscape project, therefore, is a complex project that requires structured valuation stages, open to the community dimension. The qualitative, intergenerational, and inclusive characteristics of landscapes suggest that the limits of traditional economic analysis should be exceeded by adopting new assessment methods. With this aim in mind, this paper proposes social evaluation approaches, which operate by combining deliberative processes with total economic and multidimensional approaches. In this paper, we present: (1) a brief overview of the main features and issues concerning landscape projects; (2) strategies for integrated projects in landscape enhancement; and (3) social approaches in landscape assessment that account for complexity and social inclusion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainability of Culture and Heritage)
Open AccessArticle Numerical Study of Urban Canyon Microclimate Related to Geometrical Parameters
Sustainability 2014, 6(11), 7894-7905; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6117894
Received: 12 June 2014 / Revised: 30 July 2014 / Accepted: 31 October 2014 / Published: 7 November 2014
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Abstract
In this study a microclimate analysis on a particular urban configuration: the—street canyon—has been carried out. The analysis, conducted by performing numerical simulations using the finite volumes commercial code ANSYS-Fluent, shows the flow field in an urban environment, taking into account three different
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In this study a microclimate analysis on a particular urban configuration: the—street canyon—has been carried out. The analysis, conducted by performing numerical simulations using the finite volumes commercial code ANSYS-Fluent, shows the flow field in an urban environment, taking into account three different aspect ratios (H/W). This analysis can be helpful in the study on urban microclimate and on the heat exchanges with the buildings. Fluid-dynamic fields on vertical planes within the canyon, have been evaluated. The results show the importance of the geometrical configuration, in relation to the ratio between the height (H) of the buildings and the width (W) of the road. This is a very important subject from the point of view of “Smart Cities”, considering the urban canyon as a subsystem of a larger one (the city), which is affected by climate changes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Optimized Renewable and Sustainable Electricity Generation Systems for Ulleungdo Island in South Korea
Sustainability 2014, 6(11), 7883-7893; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6117883
Received: 17 September 2014 / Revised: 23 October 2014 / Accepted: 3 November 2014 / Published: 6 November 2014
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Abstract
The South Korean government has long been attempting to reduce the nation’s heavy reliance on fossil fuels and increase environmental safety by developing and installing renewable power generation infrastructures and implementing policies for promoting the green growth of Korea’s energy industry. This study
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The South Korean government has long been attempting to reduce the nation’s heavy reliance on fossil fuels and increase environmental safety by developing and installing renewable power generation infrastructures and implementing policies for promoting the green growth of Korea’s energy industry. This study focuses on the use of independent renewable power generation systems in the more than 3000 officially affirmed islands off Korea’s coast and proposes a simulated solution to the electricity load demand on Ulleungdo Island that incorporates several energy sources (including solar, batteries, and wind) as well as one hydro-electric and two diesel generators. Recommendations based on the simulation results and the limitations of the study are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Sustainable Production of Bio-Combustibles from Pyrolysis of Agro-Industrial Wastes
Sustainability 2014, 6(11), 7866-7882; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6117866
Received: 26 September 2014 / Revised: 27 October 2014 / Accepted: 3 November 2014 / Published: 6 November 2014
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Abstract
Evaluation of the sustainability of biomass pyrolysis requires a thorough assessment of the product yields and energy densities. With this purpose, a laboratory scale fixed bed reactor (FBR) was adapted from the standard Gray-King (GK) assay test on coal to conduct fixed bed
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Evaluation of the sustainability of biomass pyrolysis requires a thorough assessment of the product yields and energy densities. With this purpose, a laboratory scale fixed bed reactor (FBR) was adapted from the standard Gray-King (GK) assay test on coal to conduct fixed bed pyrolysis experiments on agricultural and agro-industrial by-products. The present study provides results on the pyrolysis of two types of biomass: chipped olive tree trimmings (OT) and olive pomace (OP). Solid (char) and liquid (tar) product yields are reported. Mass yields are determined and compared with values obtained in similar works. Results indicate that char yield decreases from 49% (OT-db) and 50% (OP-db) at 325 °C to 26% (OT db) and 30% (OP-db) at 650 °C. Tar yield is almost constant (42%) at different reaction temperatures for OT, while it decreases slightly from 42% to 35% for OP. Energy density of the products at different peak temperatures is almost constant for OT (1.2), but slightly increases for OP (from a value of 1.3 to a value of 1.4). Full article
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Open AccessArticle Economic Growth and Expansion of China’s Urban Land Area: Evidence from Administrative Data and Night Lights, 1993–2012
Sustainability 2014, 6(11), 7850-7865; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6117850
Received: 22 August 2014 / Revised: 23 October 2014 / Accepted: 31 October 2014 / Published: 6 November 2014
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Abstract
The relationship between economic growth, expansion of urban land area and the broader issue of cultivated land conversion in China has been closely examined for the late 1980s and 1990s. Much less is known about recent urban expansion and if the effects of
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The relationship between economic growth, expansion of urban land area and the broader issue of cultivated land conversion in China has been closely examined for the late 1980s and 1990s. Much less is known about recent urban expansion and if the effects of economic growth on this expansion have changed over time. This paper updates estimates of urban expansion for China and examines the relationship with city economic growth for 1993–2012. To see if patterns are robust to different types of evidence, administrative data on the area of 225 urban cores are compared to estimates of brightly lit areas from remotely sensed night lights. The trend annual expansion rate in lit area is 8% and was significantly faster in the decade to 2002 than in the most recent decade. Expansion is slower according to administrative data, at just 5% per annum, with no change in unconditional expansion rates between decades, while conditional expansion rates have declined. The elasticity of area with respect to city economic output is about 0.3. Over time, expansion of urban land area is becoming less responsive to the growth of the local non-agricultural population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Land Use and Ecosystem Management)
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Open AccessArticle Citizen Assessment as Policy Tool of Urban Public Services: Empirical Evidence from Assessments of Urban Green Spaces in China
Sustainability 2014, 6(11), 7833-7849; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6117833
Received: 18 August 2014 / Revised: 22 October 2014 / Accepted: 22 October 2014 / Published: 6 November 2014
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Abstract
Efficient delivery and precision provision of urban public services concern quality of urban life and urban sustainability. Amid much debate regarding citizen assessments as a policy tool of public services, this study examines the validity of citizen assessments through user assessments of urban
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Efficient delivery and precision provision of urban public services concern quality of urban life and urban sustainability. Amid much debate regarding citizen assessments as a policy tool of public services, this study examines the validity of citizen assessments through user assessments of urban green spaces (UGSs) in Guangzhou, China. Users can distinguish the qualities of UGS across the dimensions and types, the assessment of individual UGSs matches the overall assessment of all UGSs in the city as a whole, and the overall assessment is only slightly influenced by personal backgrounds. Findings consistently support user assessments as a policy tool of UGSs and offer empirical evidence on the validity of citizen assessments. This positive evidence will encourage city managers to seriously consider citizen assessments and even institutionalize them as a standard management practice of (specific) urban public services, including UGSs, in China and abroad. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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