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Sustainability, Volume 6, Issue 12 (December 2014), Pages 8348-9563

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Open AccessArticle The Effect of Substrate-Bulk Interaction on Hydrolysis Modeling in Anaerobic Digestion Process
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 8348-8363; doi:10.3390/su6128348
Received: 9 September 2014 / Revised: 5 November 2014 / Accepted: 12 November 2014 / Published: 25 November 2014
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (1769 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In an Anaerobic Digestion (AD) process treating particulate substrates, the size of solids is expected to negatively affect the rate of hydrolysis step and consequently influence the performance of the whole process. To avoid any disadvantage due to size of solids, expensive pre-treatments
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In an Anaerobic Digestion (AD) process treating particulate substrates, the size of solids is expected to negatively affect the rate of hydrolysis step and consequently influence the performance of the whole process. To avoid any disadvantage due to size of solids, expensive pre-treatments aimed at disintegrating and solubilizing substrates are commonly conducted prior to AD. This practice is doubtlessly successful, but not always necessary, since some organic substrates, although particulate, once immersed in water, tend to solubilize immediately. This aspect, if properly considered, could result in saving money and time in the AD process, as well as refining the development and calibration of AD mathematical models. The present study is actually aimed at demonstrating, through experiments and mathematical simulations, different results deriving from the AD process performed, under the same operating conditions, on two different substrates, i.e. homemade pasta and carrot batons, having the same particle size, but different chemical composition and texture. Experimental outcomes highlighted the effect of particles size on bio-methane production only from the bio-methanation potential tests (BMP) conducted on carrot batons. Similar results were obtained by mathematical model calibration, i.e., different kinetic constants for differently-sized carrot batons and same kinetic constant for differently-sized homemade pasta solids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Quantitative Efficiency Evaluation Method for Transportation Networks
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 8364-8378; doi:10.3390/su6128364
Received: 7 August 2014 / Revised: 14 November 2014 / Accepted: 19 November 2014 / Published: 25 November 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1332 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
An effective evaluation of transportation network efficiency/performance is essential to the establishment of sustainable development in any transportation system. Based on a redefinition of transportation network efficiency, a quantitative efficiency evaluation method for transportation network is proposed, which could reflect the effects of
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An effective evaluation of transportation network efficiency/performance is essential to the establishment of sustainable development in any transportation system. Based on a redefinition of transportation network efficiency, a quantitative efficiency evaluation method for transportation network is proposed, which could reflect the effects of network structure, traffic demands, travel choice, and travel costs on network efficiency. Furthermore, the efficiency-oriented importance measure for network components is presented, which can be used to help engineers identify the critical nodes and links in the network. The numerical examples show that, compared with existing efficiency evaluation methods, the network efficiency value calculated by the method proposed in this paper can portray the real operation situation of the transportation network as well as the effects of main factors on network efficiency. We also find that the network efficiency and the importance values of the network components both are functions of demands and network structure in the transportation network. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Open AccessArticle Architectural Professionals’ Needs and Preferences for Sustainable Building Guidelines in Korea
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 8379-8397; doi:10.3390/su6128379
Received: 27 October 2014 / Revised: 13 November 2014 / Accepted: 17 November 2014 / Published: 25 November 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (936 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The issue of sustainability has become one of the major concerns among architectural professionals throughout the world. As a way of providing information, many countries have developed and distributed sustainable building guidelines. This paper aims to investigate architectural professionals’ needs and preferences with
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The issue of sustainability has become one of the major concerns among architectural professionals throughout the world. As a way of providing information, many countries have developed and distributed sustainable building guidelines. This paper aims to investigate architectural professionals’ needs and preferences with regard to sustainable building guidelines in Korea, with a specific focus on various guideline attributes. We conducted a review of existing sustainable building guidelines in many countries and undertook a questionnaire survey among professionals in Korea to gain insight about their opinions. Forty guidelines were examined and characterized by their attributes, including main purpose, target building type, communication format, hierarchy of the information, and information type. As the main purposes of guidelines, professionals identified “to provide education on the significance of sustainable buildings and promote a better understanding of sustainable principles” and “to provide comprehensive and detailed information on sustainable building design strategies and technologies”. Cost, financial information, as well as comprehensive implementation methods were found to be crucial information types for professionals. Full article
Open AccessArticle Trends and Spatial Distribution Characteristics of Sustainability in Eastern Anhui Province, China
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 8398-8414; doi:10.3390/su6128398
Received: 14 May 2014 / Revised: 11 October 2014 / Accepted: 13 November 2014 / Published: 25 November 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1332 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study analyzes and evaluates the status and long-term trend of regional economic sustainability in eastern Anhui Province, China. Based on the triangle model and the definition of economic sustainable development, this study evaluates the interrelationship among regional economic development, resource-energy consumption, environmental
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This study analyzes and evaluates the status and long-term trend of regional economic sustainability in eastern Anhui Province, China. Based on the triangle model and the definition of economic sustainable development, this study evaluates the interrelationship among regional economic development, resource-energy consumption, environmental pollution, and ecological performance. The sustainable and comprehensive utilization situation in the study region from 1975–2012 is examined. The results show that in 2012, the comprehensive development in the study region had a general status in terms of sustainability. The sustainable development trend of the seven administrative subunits inside the region had a weak and general status in terms of sustainability, while the status of sustainability in the southeastern part of the region was better than that in the northwest. During the period from 1975–1998, the study region’s comprehensive development presented a trend of general sustainability. In the period from 1998–2012, the region experienced a trend of very strong sustainability in its development. These statuses and trends have a certain relationship with the study region’s strong economic development and environmental protection over the past 37 years. The triangle method, as an intuitive platform for illustrating sustainability status and trends in economic development, seems to hold promise as an analytical management tool given its simplicity, ease of use, and flexibility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Open AccessArticle Generation of a Tropically Adapted Energy Performance Certificate for Residential Buildings
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 8415-8431; doi:10.3390/su6128415
Received: 23 July 2014 / Revised: 11 October 2014 / Accepted: 7 November 2014 / Published: 25 November 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1911 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Since the 1990s, national green building certification indices have emerged around the globe as promising measurement tools for environmental-friendly housing. Since 2008, tools for countries in the Northern “colder” hemisphere have been adapted to tropical countries. In contrast, the Tropically Adapted Energy Performance
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Since the 1990s, national green building certification indices have emerged around the globe as promising measurement tools for environmental-friendly housing. Since 2008, tools for countries in the Northern “colder” hemisphere have been adapted to tropical countries. In contrast, the Tropically Adapted Energy Performance Certificate (TEPC), established in 2012, translates the United Nations’ triple bottom line principle into green building sustainability (planet), thermal comfort (people) and affordability (profit). The tool has been especially developed and revamped for affordable green building assessment helping to reduce global warming. Hence, by the comparably simple and transparent energy audit it provides, the TEPC examines buildings for their: (1) contribution to reduce CO2; (2) transmission rate in shielding a building’s envelope against the effects of the tropical heat; (3) generation of thermal comfort and (4) referring total cost of ownership to green the building further. All four dimensions are measured in the rainbow colour scale in compliance with national energy regulations. Accordingly, this research examines the tool’s implementation in tropical countries. Exemplified tropical case studies in residential areas seek to demonstrate the practicability of the approach and to derive a holistic certification by an internationally accredited certification board. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Scale-Explicit Framework for Conceptualizing the Environmental Impacts of Agricultural Land Use Changes
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 8432-8451; doi:10.3390/su6128432
Received: 7 August 2014 / Revised: 12 November 2014 / Accepted: 18 November 2014 / Published: 25 November 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (721 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Demand for locally-produced food is growing in areas outside traditionally dominant agricultural regions due to concerns over food safety, quality, and sovereignty; rural livelihoods; and environmental integrity. Strategies for meeting this demand rely upon agricultural land use change, in various forms of either
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Demand for locally-produced food is growing in areas outside traditionally dominant agricultural regions due to concerns over food safety, quality, and sovereignty; rural livelihoods; and environmental integrity. Strategies for meeting this demand rely upon agricultural land use change, in various forms of either intensification or extensification (converting non-agricultural land, including native landforms, to agricultural use). The nature and extent of the impacts of these changes on non-food-provisioning ecosystem services are determined by a complex suite of scale-dependent interactions among farming practices, site-specific characteristics, and the ecosystem services under consideration. Ecosystem modeling strategies which honor such complexity are often impenetrable by non-experts, resulting in a prevalent conceptual gap between ecosystem sciences and the field of sustainable agriculture. Referencing heavily forested New England as an example, we present a conceptual framework designed to synthesize and convey understanding of the scale- and landscape-dependent nature of the relationship between agriculture and various ecosystem services. By accounting for the total impact of multiple disturbances across a landscape while considering the effects of scale, the framework is intended to stimulate and support the collaborative efforts of land managers, scientists, citizen stakeholders, and policy makers as they address the challenges of expanding local agriculture. Full article
Open AccessArticle Farmers’ Perception of Precision Farming Technology among Hungarian Farmers
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 8452-8465; doi:10.3390/su6128452
Received: 3 June 2014 / Revised: 16 November 2014 / Accepted: 18 November 2014 / Published: 25 November 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (705 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Many technologies have appeared in agriculture to reduce the harmful effects of chemical use. One of these technologies is precision farming technology. Precision farming technology should not be considered as only the latest plant production technology or only a new agro-management tool. It
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Many technologies have appeared in agriculture to reduce the harmful effects of chemical use. One of these technologies is precision farming technology. Precision farming technology should not be considered as only the latest plant production technology or only a new agro-management tool. It is achieved only when the results of electronics and IT equipment are realized in the variable rate treatments zone-by-zone. The advantages and disadvantages of this technology highly depend on the heterogeneity of soil, the knowledge and attitude of the manager and the staff. This is the reason why opinions about the technology effects are so wide. This paper shows the results of the investigation based on interviews about the adoption and knowledge of precision farming technology among Hungarian crop producers. This technology is mostly used by farms over 300 hectares with young farmers. The most characteristic elements were precision fertilization and tractor guidance. The survey examined three groups of farmers with respect to whether they apply precision farming elements or not. We refer to them as “users”, “planners” and “non-users”. According to the survey, the opinions of the “user” and the “non-user” groups of farmers are not significantly different regarding the impacts of precision farming technology (the main advantages were the change in yield quantity, chemical usage and income). Furthermore, the opinions of the farmers regarding the changes in variable costs resulting from the adoption of precision farming technology were also examined (measured in percent). Box-plot analysis was used for this examination. According to the opinion of the “user” group of farmers, the highest cost savings occurred in fertilizer and herbicide costs. Full article
Open AccessArticle Towards Marine Spatial Planning in Southern Taiwan
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 8466-8484; doi:10.3390/su6128466
Received: 13 August 2014 / Revised: 5 November 2014 / Accepted: 7 November 2014 / Published: 25 November 2014
PDF Full-text (2795 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Due to population growth, rapid economic development and inadequate marine control, the use of ocean and coastal regions in Taiwan has become more frequent and intense in recent years. However, the lack of comprehensive marine and coastal planning in this island nation has
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Due to population growth, rapid economic development and inadequate marine control, the use of ocean and coastal regions in Taiwan has become more frequent and intense in recent years. However, the lack of comprehensive marine and coastal planning in this island nation has led to many conflicts over space and resources and limited its ability to prepare for and respond to environmental hazards, thus threatening national security as well as the safety and property of its citizens. This study proposes a marine zoning scheme for southern Taiwan. The results show that many important habitats in the southern sea areas have not been properly protected due to the extremely small size of the marine protected area. Furthermore, the majority of the conflicts derive from the exclusive fishing right vs. other uses such as marine conservation. Therefore, it is crucial to establish the marine spatial planning (MSP) for the Southern Taiwan to deal with the conflicts of use seas and uncertainties associated with complex, heterogeneous, and dynamic marine system. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Measurement Method and Empirical Research on the Sustainable Development Capability of a Regional Industrial System Based on Ecological Niche Theory in China
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 8485-8509; doi:10.3390/su6128485
Received: 24 June 2014 / Revised: 17 November 2014 / Accepted: 19 November 2014 / Published: 25 November 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (886 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
From the analytical view of a recycling economy, the regional system achieves the goal of sustainable development through improving resource utilization efficiency, reducing energy consumption and ameliorating the quality of water and air. The regional economic system’s potential for sustainable development is significantly
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From the analytical view of a recycling economy, the regional system achieves the goal of sustainable development through improving resource utilization efficiency, reducing energy consumption and ameliorating the quality of water and air. The regional economic system’s potential for sustainable development is significantly influenced by regional industrial operational efficiency, which measures the cost of ecology, environment, energy and resources accompanying the economic growth. It is vital for national and regional governments to accelerate harmonious development between products of industrial department, consumption of energy and pollutants discharged. Under the guidance of ecological niche theory and recycling economy theory, the theoretical analysis on efficient relations between regional industrial growth, energy consumption, resources utilization and environmental carrying capacity has been carried out from horizontal and vertical respects. Industrial operational efficiency and the sensitivity coefficient in response to the change of every input and output index can be calculated and critical factors, which restrict sustainable development capability, can be found out so that quantitative references could be provided for administrative decisions. As for the measurement method, a super efficiency mixed data envelopment analysis model, which wipes off self-limited condition and either contains both meeting cone characteristic indexes or not, has been established and applied. Statistics from 1993 to 2012 in China are collected to carry out empirical research. On the basis of further analysis, an adjustment strategy can be constituted to improve the capability for sustainable development. Full article
Open AccessArticle G-Cloud Monitor: A Cloud Monitoring System for Factory Automation for Sustainable Green Computing
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 8510-8521; doi:10.3390/su6128510
Received: 6 October 2014 / Revised: 16 November 2014 / Accepted: 19 November 2014 / Published: 26 November 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2113 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Green and cloud computing (G-cloud) are new trends in all areas of computing. The G-cloud provides an efficient function, which enables users to access their programs, systems and platforms at anytime and anyplace. Green computing can also yield greener technology by reducing power
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Green and cloud computing (G-cloud) are new trends in all areas of computing. The G-cloud provides an efficient function, which enables users to access their programs, systems and platforms at anytime and anyplace. Green computing can also yield greener technology by reducing power consumption for sustainable environments. Furthermore, in order to apply user needs to the system development, the user characteristics are regarded as some of the most important factors to be considered in product industries. In this paper, we propose a cloud monitoring system to observe and manage the manufacturing system/factory automation for sustainable green computing. For monitoring systems, we utilized the resources in the G-cloud environments, and hence, it can reduce the amount of system resources and devices, such as system power and processes. In addition, we propose adding a user profile to the monitoring system in order to provide a user-friendly function. That is, this function allows system configurations to be automatically matched to the individual’s requirements, thus increasing efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ubiquitous Green IT System for Sustainable Computing)
Open AccessArticle Analysis of the Influencing Factors on Resettled Farmer’s Satisfaction under the Policy of the Balance between Urban Construction Land Increasing and Rural Construction Land Decreasing: A Case Study of China’s Xinjin County in Chengdu City
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 8522-8535; doi:10.3390/su6128522
Received: 13 September 2014 / Revised: 26 October 2014 / Accepted: 17 November 2014 / Published: 26 November 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (482 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to explore what are the influencing factors on resettled farmer’s satisfaction and occupancy under the policy of the balance between urban construction land increasing and rural construction land decreasing in Xinjin County, Chengdu City. Questionnaires, statistical analysis
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The purpose of this study is to explore what are the influencing factors on resettled farmer’s satisfaction and occupancy under the policy of the balance between urban construction land increasing and rural construction land decreasing in Xinjin County, Chengdu City. Questionnaires, statistical analysis and logistic regressions were employed. The results indicate that the higher educated farmers will be more satisfied with the relocation areas. An increase in the number of public facilities and the associated maintenance costs will decrease the resettled farmer’s satisfaction. Farmers who have moved to new communities are more satisfied with infrastructure, supporting facilities and property management, especially the living environment. The main tasks completed by farmers are the tillage land and to do work for their new community. The positive factors that contribute to the famer’s satisfaction, include land-rights guarantees, compensation for land consolidation, sewage treatment and the living environment. In contrast, public facilities, commercial service networks and resettled area’s maintenance are negative factors for farmer’s satisfaction. Meanwhile, the key factors to promoting harmony between urban and rural construction are to establish relevant laws and regulations, reasonable operation and management mechanisms, farmer-rights protection mechanisms, and to protect famer household income, as well as to improve agricultural production and farmer’s non-agricultural employment opportunity. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Framework for Assessment of the Influence of China’s Urban Underground Space Developments on the Urban Microclimate
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 8536-8566; doi:10.3390/su6128536
Received: 17 September 2014 / Revised: 11 November 2014 / Accepted: 18 November 2014 / Published: 27 November 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (12367 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The paper aims to establish the framework for linking underground space projects and the urban microclimate, in order to construct an interdisciplinary research framework. Based on the combination of underground space, urban form and the urban microclimate, the impacts of underground space on
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The paper aims to establish the framework for linking underground space projects and the urban microclimate, in order to construct an interdisciplinary research framework. Based on the combination of underground space, urban form and the urban microclimate, the impacts of underground space on urban microclimate factors above ground and underground are summarized and the internal mechanism is investigated. The above ground factor refers to the impact of a new urban form induced by the underground space planning on the urban microclimate. The underground factor refers to the impact of the control of the internal environment of underground space on the ground environment. This study mainly addresses two aspects. Firstly, to identify the influencing factors of urban underground space microclimate and define the research entry point and classify the indicator of the external space environment; secondly, to address the key issues of the research areas and their influence on the urban underground space project and the urban microclimate in the current phase and establish the direction of future research. The microclimate case of the Nanjing underground planning is provided to preliminarily analyze how underground space development improves the urban microclimate. By the comparative analysis of microclimate parameters, air quality parameters, and outdoor thermal environment parameters (Mean Radiant Temperature, MRT), the influences and benefits of underground space projects on the urban microclimate is quantitatively explored. Full article
Open AccessArticle 3D Virtual Itinerary for Education Using Google Earth as a Tool for the Recovery of the Geological Heritage of Natural Areas: Application in the “Las Batuecas Valley” Nature Park (Salamanca, Spain)
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 8567-8591; doi:10.3390/su6128567
Received: 11 October 2014 / Revised: 18 November 2014 / Accepted: 19 November 2014 / Published: 27 November 2014
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (13730 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The objective of this study is to develop a methodology that enhances the value and position of the geological heritage of any natural area in the world using a 3D virtual itinerary. Field applications of this geological itinerary enable students to participate actively
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The objective of this study is to develop a methodology that enhances the value and position of the geological heritage of any natural area in the world using a 3D virtual itinerary. Field applications of this geological itinerary enable students to participate actively in teaching and learning theoretical concepts in the earth sciences and engineering. The educational resources, which include a virtual itinerary, a flight simulator, a field notebook with questionnaires, videos, and an augmented reality developed with Google Earth, provide a familiar and effective learning environment that can be implemented by students daily using new technologies (smartphones, tablets, and iPods) and can leverage the power of computer games to achieve the objectives of a specific curriculum. The implementation of geological content in an interactive, educational game has been employed in compulsory levels of secondary education, high school, and college in Batuecas Valley. The geomatic applications are free as they can be accessed from existing computer labs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Management of Geomorphological Heritage)
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Open AccessArticle Integrated Life Cycle Energy and Greenhouse Gas Analysis of Exterior Wall Systems for Residential Buildings
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 8592-8603; doi:10.3390/su6128592
Received: 23 May 2014 / Revised: 5 November 2014 / Accepted: 6 November 2014 / Published: 27 November 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (712 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper investigates the breakdown of primary energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of two common types of exterior walls in the U.K.: insulated concrete form (ICF) and cavity walls. A comprehensive assessment was conducted to evaluate the environmental performance of each
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This paper investigates the breakdown of primary energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of two common types of exterior walls in the U.K.: insulated concrete form (ICF) and cavity walls. A comprehensive assessment was conducted to evaluate the environmental performance of each exterior wall system over 50 years of service life in Edinburgh and Bristol. The results indicate that for both wall systems, use phase is the major contributor to the overall environmental impacts, mainly due to associated electricity consumption. For the ICF wall system in Edinburgh, 91% of GHG emissions were attributed to the use phase, with 7.8% in the pre-use and 1.2% in end-of-life phases. For the same system in Bristol, emissions were 89%, 9% and 2%, respectively. A similar trend was observed for cavity wall systems in both locations. It was concluded that in each scenario, the ICF wall system performed better when compared to the cavity wall system. The results of the sensitivity analysis clearly show that the uncertainties relevant to the change of the thickness of the wall are quite tolerable: variable up to 5%, as far as energy and greenhouse emissions are concerned. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle A Vulnerability Evaluation of the Phreatic Water in the Plain Area of the Junggar Basin, Xinjiang Based on the VDEAL Model
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 8604-8617; doi:10.3390/su6128604
Received: 16 October 2014 / Revised: 18 November 2014 / Accepted: 20 November 2014 / Published: 27 November 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1215 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A VDEAL (V is the lithology of the vadose zone, D is the groundwater depth, E is the degree of groundwater exploitation, A is the aquifer characteristics and L is the land use pattern.) model, which is suitable for a vulnerability evaluation of
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A VDEAL (V is the lithology of the vadose zone, D is the groundwater depth, E is the degree of groundwater exploitation, A is the aquifer characteristics and L is the land use pattern.) model, which is suitable for a vulnerability evaluation of the groundwater in arid inland areas, and that is based on the GOD (G is the groundwater status, O is overburden feature and D is groundwater depth) method and DRASTIC (D is the depth of water-table, R is the net recharge, A is the aquifer media, S is the soil media, T is the topography, I is the impact of the vadose and C is the conductivity of the aquifer.) model is proposed in this paper. Five indicators were selected by reference to the DRAV (D is the depth of water-table, R is the net recharge, A is the aquifer media and V is the impact of the vadose.) and VLDA (V is the lithology of the vadose zone , L is the land use pattern, D is the groundwater depth and A is the aquifer characteristics and.) models, namely, the lithology of the vadose zone (V), the groundwater depth (D), the degree of groundwater exploitation (E), the aquifer characteristics (A) and the land use pattern (L). According to monitoring data from 2003 and 2011, the variations of phreatic water quality in the plain area of the Junggar Basin were divided into three types: the water quality may have deteriorated, be unchanged or improved. Four groups of indicator weights were configured to calculate the vulnerability index using the VDEAL model. The changes of phreatic water quality were then compared against the vulnerability index. The normalized weights of V, D, E, A, and L were respectively 0.15, 0.25, 0.10, 0.10, and 0.40; this is according to the principle that the sampling sites of deteriorated water quality are generally distributed in a high-vulnerability region, and the sites of unchanged and improved water quality are distributed in middle vulnerability, low vulnerability and invulnerable regions. The evaluation results of phreatic water vulnerability in the plain area of the Junggar Basin based on the VDEAL model are as follows. The regions with vulnerability indexes of 2.0–4.0, 4.0–6.0, 6.0–8.0, and >8.0, respectively account for 2.2%, 61.0%, 35.9%, and 0.9% of the region. The regions with a higher vulnerability are mainly distributed in the farmlands and the sand and gravel regions with a phreatic water depth of <3 m. Moreover, the regions with a lower vulnerability are generally located in the non-irrigation regions with a sandy loam or silty fine sand and a phreatic water depth of >6 m. The phreatic water in these regions is deficient with regard to the infiltration of irrigation water and the recharge from precipitation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle Emergy-Based Regional Socio-Economic Metabolism Analysis: An Application of Data Envelopment Analysis and Decomposition Analysis
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 8618-8638; doi:10.3390/su6128618
Received: 4 April 2014 / Revised: 20 November 2014 / Accepted: 21 November 2014 / Published: 28 November 2014
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (1103 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Integrated analysis on socio-economic metabolism could provide a basis for understanding and optimizing regional sustainability. The paper conducted socio-economic metabolism analysis by means of the emergy accounting method coupled with data envelopment analysis and decomposition analysis techniques to assess the sustainability of Qingyang
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Integrated analysis on socio-economic metabolism could provide a basis for understanding and optimizing regional sustainability. The paper conducted socio-economic metabolism analysis by means of the emergy accounting method coupled with data envelopment analysis and decomposition analysis techniques to assess the sustainability of Qingyang city and its eight sub-region system, as well as to identify the major driving factors of performance change during 2000–2007, to serve as the basis for future policy scenarios. The results indicate that Qingyang greatly depended on non-renewable emergy flows and feedback (purchased) emergy flows, except the two sub-regions, named Huanxian and Huachi, which highly depended on renewable emergy flow. Zhenyuan, Huanxian and Qingcheng were identified as being relatively emergy efficient, and the other five sub-regions have potential to reduce natural resource inputs and waste output to achieve the goal of efficiency. The results of decomposition analysis show that the economic growth, as well as the increased emergy yield ratio and population not accompanied by a sufficient increase of resource utilization efficiency are the main drivers of the unsustainable economic model in Qingyang and call for polices to promote the efficiency of resource utilization and to optimize natural resource use. Full article
Open AccessArticle Factors Affecting Migration Intentions in Ecological Restoration Areas and Their Implications for the Sustainability of Ecological Migration Policy in Arid Northwest China
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 8639-8660; doi:10.3390/su6128639
Received: 20 August 2014 / Revised: 19 November 2014 / Accepted: 21 November 2014 / Published: 28 November 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1271 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ecological migration policy has been proposed and implemented as a means for depopulating ecological restoration areas in the arid Northwest China. Migration intention is critical to the effectiveness of ecological migration policy. However, studies on migration intention in relation to ecological migration policy
[...] Read more.
Ecological migration policy has been proposed and implemented as a means for depopulating ecological restoration areas in the arid Northwest China. Migration intention is critical to the effectiveness of ecological migration policy. However, studies on migration intention in relation to ecological migration policy in China remain scant. Thus this paper aims to investigate the rural residents’ migration intentions and their affecting factors under ecological migration policy in Minqin County, an ecological restoration area, located at the lower terminus of Shiyang River Basin in arid Northwest China. The data for this study come from a randomly sampled household questionnaire survey. Results from logistic regression modelling indicate that most residents do not intend to migrate, despite rigid eco-environmental conditions and governance polices threatening livelihood sustainability. In addition to demographic and socio-economic factors, the eco-environmental factors are also significantly correlated with the possibility of a resident intending to migrate. The implications of the significant independent variables for the sustainability of ecological migration policy are discussed. The paper concludes that ecological migration policies may ultimately be more sustainable when taking into account household interests within complex migration intention contexts, such as household livelihoods dynamics and environmental change. Full article
Open AccessArticle Optimized Environmental Test Sequences to Ensure the Sustainability and Reliability of Marine Weapons
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 8661-8678; doi:10.3390/su6128661
Received: 22 September 2014 / Revised: 19 November 2014 / Accepted: 24 November 2014 / Published: 28 November 2014
PDF Full-text (1031 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In recent years, there has been an increase in the types of marine weapons used in response to diverse hostile threats. However, because marine weapons are only tested under a single set of environmental conditions, failures due to different environmental stresses have been
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In recent years, there has been an increase in the types of marine weapons used in response to diverse hostile threats. However, because marine weapons are only tested under a single set of environmental conditions, failures due to different environmental stresses have been difficult to detect. Hence, this study proposes an environmental test sequence for multi-environment testing. The environmental test sequences for electrical units described in the international standard IEC 60068-1, and for military supply described in the United States national standard MIL-STD-810G were investigated to propose guidelines for the appropriate test sequences. This study demonstrated the need for tests in multiple environments by investigating marine weapon accidents, and evaluated which environmental stresses and test items have the largest impacts on marine weapons using a two-phase quality function deployment (QFD) analysis of operational scenarios, environmental stresses, and environmental test items. Integer programming was used to determine the most influential test items and the shortest environmental test time, allowing us to propose optimal test procedures. Based on our analysis, we developed optimal environmental test sequences that could be selected by a test designer. Full article
Open AccessArticle Energy Efficiency at the Base of the Pyramid: A System-Based Market Model for Improved Cooking Stove Adoption
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 8679-8699; doi:10.3390/su6128679
Received: 21 July 2014 / Revised: 24 October 2014 / Accepted: 20 November 2014 / Published: 28 November 2014
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Abstract
A widespread dissemination of improved cooking stoves in the developing world can lead to considerable improvement of health, to reduced pressure on natural woody resources and to substantial reductions of emissions contributing to global warming. A number of programs have aimed to achieve
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A widespread dissemination of improved cooking stoves in the developing world can lead to considerable improvement of health, to reduced pressure on natural woody resources and to substantial reductions of emissions contributing to global warming. A number of programs have aimed to achieve such dissemination, while few of the programs have had any large-scale success. It has been suggested that a more commercial approach, as opposed to subsidized or freely distributed stoves, would achieve a higher level of success. However, a majority of the households that would benefit from an improved stove are poor and cannot afford the cost of the stove, especially if no monetary savings are possible from a more efficient fuel use, i.e., if the fuel used is collected biomass. The aim of this paper is to propose and evaluate a model that might overcome some of the barriers previous programs have experienced. The proposed model involves commercialization of collected fuels. The methods for evaluation include a qualitative assessment of the proposed model aided by the literature on improved cooking stove programs, fuel wood collection and fuel switching together with a quantitative simplistic model calculation of a hypothetical application of the proposed model principles, in order to assess its financial feasibility. The assessment indicates that the model would increase both households’ incentives and means to purchase and use improved cooking stoves. Furthermore, the model could possibly be partly financed based on carbon credits achieved from the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Open AccessArticle Understanding Relationships among Agro-Ecosystem Services Based on Emergy Analysis in Luancheng County, North China
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 8700-8719; doi:10.3390/su6128700
Received: 29 August 2014 / Revised: 12 November 2014 / Accepted: 24 November 2014 / Published: 28 November 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (2861 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Exploring the relationship between different services has become the focus of ecosystem services research in recent years. The agro-ecosystem, which accounts for one-third of the global land area, provides lots of services but also disservices, depending on resources provided by other systems. In
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Exploring the relationship between different services has become the focus of ecosystem services research in recent years. The agro-ecosystem, which accounts for one-third of the global land area, provides lots of services but also disservices, depending on resources provided by other systems. In this paper, we explored the agro-ecosystem from four aspects: a summary of different indicators in the agro-ecosystem, input and output changes with time, relationships between different ecosystem services and disservices, and resource contribution to major services, using Luancheng County of North China as the study area. We then used emergy analysis to unify all the indicators. The conclusions were that the agro-ecosystem maintained provisioning and regulating services but with increasing volatility under continued growth in production inputs and disservice outputs. There was a positive correlation between most of the different services and disservices. Rainfall and groundwater resources were the most used input resources in the agro-ecosystem and all other major ecosystem services depended directly on them. Full article
Open AccessArticle Biomass Power Generation Industry Efficiency Evaluation in China
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 8720-8735; doi:10.3390/su6128720
Received: 8 July 2014 / Revised: 18 November 2014 / Accepted: 24 November 2014 / Published: 1 December 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (965 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, we compare the properties of the traditional additive-based data envelopment analysis (hereafter, referred to as DEA) models and propose two generalized DEA models, i.e., the big M additive-based DEA (hereafter, referred to as BMA) model and the big M
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In this paper, we compare the properties of the traditional additive-based data envelopment analysis (hereafter, referred to as DEA) models and propose two generalized DEA models, i.e., the big M additive-based DEA (hereafter, referred to as BMA) model and the big M additive-based super-efficiency DEA (hereafter, referred to as BMAS) model, to evaluate the performance of the biomass power plants in China in 2012. The virtues of the new models are two-fold: one is that they inherited the properties of the traditional additive-based DEA models and derived more new additive-based DEA forms; the other is that they can rank the efficient decision making units (hereafter, referred to as DMUs). Therefore, the new models have great potential to be applied in sustainable energy project evaluation. Then, we applied the two new DEA models to evaluate the performance of the biomass power plants in China and find that the efficiency of biomass power plants in the northern part of China is higher than that in the southern part of China. The only three efficient biomass power plants are all in the northern part of China. Furthermore, based on the results of the Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney rank-sum test and the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, there is a great technology gap between the biomass power plants in the northern part of China and those in the southern part of China. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Influence of Green Restaurant Decision Formation Using the VAB Model: The Effect of Environmental Concerns upon Intent to Visit
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 8736-8755; doi:10.3390/su6128736
Received: 22 August 2014 / Revised: 7 November 2014 / Accepted: 24 November 2014 / Published: 1 December 2014
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Abstract
The study investigates consumers’ intent to patron green restaurants by application of the Value-Attitude-Behavior model. The present study examines the interrelationships among consumers’ values, attitudes, and environmental concerns, and explores how they relate to their intentions to visit green restaurants in Taiwan. Data
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The study investigates consumers’ intent to patron green restaurants by application of the Value-Attitude-Behavior model. The present study examines the interrelationships among consumers’ values, attitudes, and environmental concerns, and explores how they relate to their intentions to visit green restaurants in Taiwan. Data were gathered by face-to-face surveys, conducted by trained interviewers in a variety of locations, including at train stations, supermarkets, department stores, shopping malls, and adult education classes to obtain data from a representative demographic profile. The findings of this study suggest that the personal values and general attitudes positively affect consumers’ intentions to visit a green restaurant. Additionally, the results found personal values and environmental concern have significant influence on the attitude toward green restaurants. Managerial implications and future directions of these findings were also discussed. Full article
Open AccessArticle Environmental Justice and Sustainability Impact Assessment: In Search of Solutions to Ethnic Conflicts Caused by Coal Mining in Inner Mongolia, China
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 8756-8774; doi:10.3390/su6128756
Received: 12 July 2014 / Revised: 2 October 2014 / Accepted: 20 October 2014 / Published: 1 December 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1204 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Chinese government adopted more specific and stringent environmental impact assessment (EIA) guidelines in 2011, soon after the widespread ethnic protests against coal mining in Inner Mongolia. However, our research suggests that the root of the ethnic tension is a sustainability problem, in
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The Chinese government adopted more specific and stringent environmental impact assessment (EIA) guidelines in 2011, soon after the widespread ethnic protests against coal mining in Inner Mongolia. However, our research suggests that the root of the ethnic tension is a sustainability problem, in addition to environmental issues. In particular, the Mongolians do not feel they have benefited from the mining of their resources. Existing environmental assessment tools are inadequate to address sustainability, which is concerned with environmental protection, social justice and economic equity. Thus, it is necessary to develop a sustainability impact assessment (SIA) to fill in the gap. SIA would be in theory and practice a better tool than EIA for assessing sustainability impact. However, China’s political system presents a major challenge to promoting social and economic equity. Another practical challenge for SIA is corruption which has been also responsible for the failing of EIA in assessing environmental impacts of coal mining in Inner Mongolia. Under the current political system, China should adopt the SIA while continuing its fight against corruption. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Simplified Method for Evaluating Building Sustainability in the Early Design Phase for Architects
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 8775-8795; doi:10.3390/su6128775
Received: 2 September 2014 / Revised: 20 November 2014 / Accepted: 25 November 2014 / Published: 2 December 2014
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (997 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With society turning increasingly to sustainable development, sharper demands are being made concerning energy efficiency and other properties that mean reductions in the negative effects of the building on the environment and people. This means that architects must have a suitably adapted solution
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With society turning increasingly to sustainable development, sharper demands are being made concerning energy efficiency and other properties that mean reductions in the negative effects of the building on the environment and people. This means that architects must have a suitably adapted solution already in the early design phase, as this has the greatest influence on the final result. Current tools and methods used for this are either focused only on individual topics or are too complex and not adapted for independent use by architects. The paper presents a simplified method for evaluating building sustainability (SMEBS) which addresses these needs. It is intended as a tool to aid architects in the early project planning phases as it allows a quick evaluation of the extent to which the demands of sustainable building are fulfilled. The method was developed on the basis of a study of international building sustainability assessment methods (BSAM) and standards in this field. Experts in sustainable construction were invited to determine weights for assessment parameters using the analytical hierarchy process (AHP). Their judgments reflect the specific characteristics of the local environment. Full article
Open AccessArticle Food Security in Romania—A Modern Approach for Developing Sustainable Agriculture
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 8796-8807; doi:10.3390/su6128796
Received: 26 September 2014 / Revised: 20 October 2014 / Accepted: 25 November 2014 / Published: 2 December 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (666 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper investigates the state of food security in Romania and its place in the world. We analysed the level of food security indicators for 1990–2012, in Romania, and their average levels worldwide. References are also made to developed and developing countries. The
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This paper investigates the state of food security in Romania and its place in the world. We analysed the level of food security indicators for 1990–2012, in Romania, and their average levels worldwide. References are also made to developed and developing countries. The research seeks to answer the questions: Is food security achieved in Romania and, if so, what kind of structural changes can be made towards improving food quality and people’s living standards? As indicators show, the findings indicate that food security is ensured, on average, in Romania. Dietary energy supply is above dietary energy requirements, the ratio of cereals import dependency is below its average level worldwide, and the daily diet is balanced between vegetal and animal origin food. Having solved the quantitative aspect of food security, Romania can look towards improving the qualitative aspects of it. In this regard, organic food may be considered as a direction of developing sustainable agricultural economy. Full article
Open AccessArticle Distinguishing Technical Inefficiency from Desirable and Undesirable Congestion with an Application to Regional Industries in China
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 8808-8826; doi:10.3390/su6128808
Received: 11 September 2014 / Revised: 3 November 2014 / Accepted: 19 November 2014 / Published: 2 December 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (736 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Congestion is an important issue that requires the efficiency of decision-making units (DMUs). We first classify conventional congestion into congestion (newly defined) and technical inefficiency, based on prior research and real applications. Modified definitions and mathematical expression of congestion, managerial inefficiency, and technical
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Congestion is an important issue that requires the efficiency of decision-making units (DMUs). We first classify conventional congestion into congestion (newly defined) and technical inefficiency, based on prior research and real applications. Modified definitions and mathematical expression of congestion, managerial inefficiency, and technical inefficiency are proposed to better illustrate the differences between them. Several modified models are provided to identify and recognize those types of inefficiencies and congestion. We then extend the model by considering the desirable and undesirable types of congestion simultaneously. The proposed approach is applied and verified by identifying resource congestion and environmental inefficiencies in China’s economic development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges for Marketers in Sustainable Production and Consumption)
Open AccessArticle The Impact of Green Space Changes on Air Pollution and Microclimates: A Case Study of the Taipei Metropolitan Area
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 8827-8855; doi:10.3390/su6128827
Received: 25 August 2014 / Revised: 23 November 2014 / Accepted: 25 November 2014 / Published: 3 December 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (4470 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In order to achieve a sustainable urban environment, the increase of green space areas is commonly used as a planning tool and adaptation strategy to combat environmental impacts resulting from global climate change and urbanization. Therefore, it is important to understand the change
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In order to achieve a sustainable urban environment, the increase of green space areas is commonly used as a planning tool and adaptation strategy to combat environmental impacts resulting from global climate change and urbanization. Therefore, it is important to understand the change of green space areas and the derived impacts from the change. This research firstly applied space analysis and landscape ecology metrics to analyze the structure change of the pattern of green space area within the Taipei Metropolitan Area. Then, partial least squares were used to identify the consequences on microclimate and air pollution pattern caused by the changing pattern of green space areas within the districts of the Taipei Metropolitan Area. According to the analytical results, the green space area within Taipei Metropolitan Areas has decreased 1.19% from 1995 to 2007, but 93.19% of the green space areas have been kept for their original purposes. Next, from the landscape ecology metrics analysis, in suburban areas the linkages, pattern parameters, and space aggregation are all improving, and the fragmentation measure is also decreasing, but shape is becoming more complex. However, due to intensive land development in the city core, the pattern has becomes severely fragmented and decentralized causing the measures of the linkages and pattern parameters to decrease. The results from structural equation modeling indicate that the changing pattern of green space areas has great influences on air pollution and microclimate patterns. For instance, less air pollution, smaller rainfall patterns and cooler temperatures are associated with improvement in space aggregation, increasing the larger sized green space patch. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Land Use and Ecosystem Management)
Open AccessArticle Urban Land Expansion and Spatial Dynamics in Globalizing Shanghai
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 8856-8875; doi:10.3390/su6128856
Received: 7 October 2014 / Revised: 18 November 2014 / Accepted: 24 November 2014 / Published: 3 December 2014
Cited by 18 | PDF Full-text (7743 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Urban land expansion in China has attracted considerable scholarly attention. However, more work is needed to apply spatial modeling to understanding the mechanisms of urban growth from both institutional and physical perspectives. This paper analyzes urban expansion in Shanghai and its development zones
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Urban land expansion in China has attracted considerable scholarly attention. However, more work is needed to apply spatial modeling to understanding the mechanisms of urban growth from both institutional and physical perspectives. This paper analyzes urban expansion in Shanghai and its development zones (DZs). We find that, as nodes of global-local interface, the DZs are the most significant components of urban growth in Shanghai, and major spatial patterns of urban expansion in Shanghai are infilling and edge expansion. We apply logistic regression, geographically weighted logistic regression (GWLR) and spatial regime regression to investigate the determinants of urban land expansion including physical conditions, state policy and land development. Regressions reveal that, though the market has been an important driving force in urban growth, the state has played a predominant role through the implementation of urban planning and the establishment of DZs to fully capitalize on globalization. We also find that differences in urban growth dynamics exist between the areas inside and outside of the DZs. Finally, this paper discusses policies to promote sustainable development in Shanghai. Full article
Open AccessArticle Is Romanian Rural Tourism Sustainable? Revealing Particularities
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 8876-8888; doi:10.3390/su6128876
Received: 28 October 2014 / Revised: 15 November 2014 / Accepted: 24 November 2014 / Published: 3 December 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (371 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Research on sustainable tourism involves developing an appropriate framework to highlight the interdependences of economic, social and environmental systems. The interdependence is based on the entropy of the system while respecting the principle of holism and diversity of rural tourism sustainability. In this
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Research on sustainable tourism involves developing an appropriate framework to highlight the interdependences of economic, social and environmental systems. The interdependence is based on the entropy of the system while respecting the principle of holism and diversity of rural tourism sustainability. In this context, sustainability in general and rural tourism in particular can be considered a complex system of development, which in some ways can be studied by statistical and econometric methods that allow the analysis of the interdependences between the variables of rural tourism at county level and at the level of rural communities. Conducting such studies involves identifying the rural communities where rural tourism has reached significant levels. Based on this consideration, this paper aims to identify the development regions and counties of Romania where the trends of development of rural tourism are significantly above the average recorded at country level, as a first step towards particular studies of sustainability in rural communities. Full article
Open AccessArticle Improving China’s Environmental Performance through Adaptive Implementation—A Comparative Case Study of Cleaner Production in Hangzhou and Guiyang
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 8889-8908; doi:10.3390/su6128889
Received: 24 August 2014 / Revised: 5 November 2014 / Accepted: 24 November 2014 / Published: 3 December 2014
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Abstract
This paper examines local policy implementation of Cleaner Production (CP) in China. As the major policy implementer, China’s local government plays a crucial role in promoting CP. A better understanding of the factors affecting local government’s incentives regarding CP and different strategies available
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This paper examines local policy implementation of Cleaner Production (CP) in China. As the major policy implementer, China’s local government plays a crucial role in promoting CP. A better understanding of the factors affecting local government’s incentives regarding CP and different strategies available to the local government can help policy makers and implementers improve CP practices and other environmental policy outcomes. This paper uses the cases of Hangzhou and Guiyang to demonstrate that local conditions of policy implementation have a direct impact on the success of CP promotion. Based on 35 in-depth interviews, statistical data and internal government reports, we find that the location-based incentives of local government strongly influence their implementation strategies; and that the choices of different strategies can bring out various policy results. From this study, the identified location-based incentives are affected by energy resource endowment, economic development stage and technological competence. The successful implementation strategies involve using different policy instruments synthetically, regulating CP service organizations by controlling their qualifications, differentiating CP subsidizations, and improving transparency of project progress and outcomes. Full article
Open AccessArticle Integrating a Spatially Explicit Tradeoff Analysis for Sustainable Land Use Optimal Allocation
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 8909-8930; doi:10.3390/su6128909
Received: 12 September 2014 / Revised: 25 November 2014 / Accepted: 27 November 2014 / Published: 3 December 2014
PDF Full-text (3265 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
To achieve agricultural sustainability, basic land planning would allocate more areas for specific land uses with high ecosystem service values. However, this has always failed because of its low economic interest. Paying farmers would be effective for its implementation. To overcome previous studies’
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To achieve agricultural sustainability, basic land planning would allocate more areas for specific land uses with high ecosystem service values. However, this has always failed because of its low economic interest. Paying farmers would be effective for its implementation. To overcome previous studies’ limitation in spatial display, we developed a novel approach with a spatially explicit land use plan under payment policy. It integrates the tradeoff analysis into a traditional land use optimal allocation system. The land allocation system generates an origin land use scenario. Our method analyzes farmers’ tradeoffs in changing crops by adopting payment policy. Finally, the origin land use map is reallocated. The newly reclaimed region of Yili, China is studied as a representative area. Our tool established a tradeoff curve indicating the adoption proportion of farmers changing other land use types to clover, which is a specific crop with high ecosystem service values, at different payment prices. Areas adopting the payment policy were identified, and corresponding spatial distribution maps of land use re-allocation were generated for the tradeoff curve. Sensitivity analysis validated the robustness of our model. Results demonstrated that our method can provide more spatial and economic information for sustainable land use planning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
Open AccessArticle The Improved Cellular Automata and Its Application in Delineation of Urban Spheres of Influence
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 8931-8950; doi:10.3390/su6128931
Received: 16 July 2014 / Revised: 6 October 2014 / Accepted: 28 October 2014 / Published: 4 December 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1379 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The issue of spatial diffusion and pattern division of traditional cellular automata (CA) has drawn widespread attention and generated extensive work by scholars. However, there are many deficiencies in traditional configurations of CA neighborhoods, which reduce simulation accuracy. The effect of improved methods
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The issue of spatial diffusion and pattern division of traditional cellular automata (CA) has drawn widespread attention and generated extensive work by scholars. However, there are many deficiencies in traditional configurations of CA neighborhoods, which reduce simulation accuracy. The effect of improved methods of traditional configurations of CA neighborhoods is not obvious, and its interoperability is not strong. Therefore, this paper firstly puts forward the concept of the circular neighborhood of CA constrained by the space metric method based on map algebra, and compares the spatial division pattern and anisotropy of different types of neighborhoods in detail. Then, the CA’s weighted diffusion model is discussed to delineate urban spheres of influence in Henan Province. Finally, Weibo data is used to justify a reasonable delineation of urban spheres of influence and can correctly reflect the state of regional development, further proving that improved cellular automata in algorithms and applications have great significance. Full article
Open AccessArticle Environmental Legislation in China: Achievements, Challenges and Trends
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 8967-8979; doi:10.3390/su6128967
Received: 28 August 2014 / Revised: 19 November 2014 / Accepted: 24 November 2014 / Published: 5 December 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (667 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Compared to the environmental legislation of many developed countries, China’s environmental legislation was initiated late, beginning in 1979, but nevertheless has obtained considerable achievements. As many as thirty environmental laws have provided rules regarding prevention and control of pollution, resource utilization, and ecological
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Compared to the environmental legislation of many developed countries, China’s environmental legislation was initiated late, beginning in 1979, but nevertheless has obtained considerable achievements. As many as thirty environmental laws have provided rules regarding prevention and control of pollution, resource utilization, and ecological protection in China. However, China’s environmental legislation still faces a series of challenges and problems, including that the sustainable development concept has not yet been fully implemented, as well as presence of gaps and non-coordination phenomena between laws and regulations, unclear responsibility, imperfect system design, imbalance between rights and obligations, higher impacts resulted from the GDP-centralized economy, lack of operability and instruments in the legal content, as well as difficulty of public participation. In contrast, China’s environmental legislation has improved, as a result of learning from experience in developed countries and introducing innovations stimulated by domestic environmental pressure. Looking into the future, increased attention to environmental protection and ecological consciousness paid by China’s new leaders will bring a valuable opportunity to China’s further development concerning environmental legislation. In the future, there are prospects for the gradual improvement of legal approaches, continuous improvements of legislation to mitigate environmental problems, and more opportunities to strengthen public participation can be predicted. Full article
Open AccessArticle An Entropy-Perspective Study on the Sustainable Development Potential of Tourism Destination Ecosystem in Dunhuang, China
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 8980-9006; doi:10.3390/su6128980
Received: 31 August 2014 / Revised: 25 November 2014 / Accepted: 27 November 2014 / Published: 5 December 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (923 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper analyzed the characteristic of the tourism destination ecosystem from perspective of entropy in Dunhuang City. Given these circumstances, an evaluation index system that considers the potential of sustainable development was formed based on dissipative structure and entropy change for the tourism
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This paper analyzed the characteristic of the tourism destination ecosystem from perspective of entropy in Dunhuang City. Given these circumstances, an evaluation index system that considers the potential of sustainable development was formed based on dissipative structure and entropy change for the tourism destination ecosystem. The sustainable development potential evaluation model for tourism destination ecosystem was built up based on information entropy. Then, we analyzed each indicator impact for the sustainable development potential and proposed some measures for the tourism destination ecosystem. The conclusions include: (a) the requirements of Dunhuang tourism destination ecosystem on the natural ecosystem continuously grew between 2000 and 2012; (b) The sustainable development potential of the Dunhuang tourism destination ecosystem was on an oscillation upward trend during the study period, which is dependent on government attention, and pollution problems were improved. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Monetary Measure of Inclusive Goods: The Concept of Deliberative Appraisal in the Context of Urban Agriculture
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9007-9026; doi:10.3390/su6129007
Received: 30 June 2014 / Revised: 23 October 2014 / Accepted: 1 December 2014 / Published: 5 December 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (952 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the major U.S. and European cities (e.g., Detroit, Seattle, San Francisco, London, Paris, etc.) that since 2007 have been feeling the effects of the international economic crisis, regeneration processes have been set up thanks, among other things, to the synergic impact
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In the major U.S. and European cities (e.g., Detroit, Seattle, San Francisco, London, Paris, etc.) that since 2007 have been feeling the effects of the international economic crisis, regeneration processes have been set up thanks, among other things, to the synergic impact generated by urban agriculture (UA). There are numerous and greatly varied effects, linked to localization, that are consistent with the paradigm of sustainable development, although the sporadic, spontaneous, and discontinued nature of UA conditions its capacity to strongly influence an entire community. With a view to enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of urban agriculture, and to facilitating its planning, this study puts forward the implementation of an organized and multifunctional agro-urban system. The consent of the population involved is vital for the creation and implementation of the system, therefore ascertaining not only the existence but also the level of social appreciation of this resource is of paramount importance. With the aim of providing a suitable methodology for ascertaining the social appreciation of the stakeholders in the agro-urban system, the paper puts forward a deliberative monetary appraisal that combines an economic valuation based on hypothetic scenarios with direct, inclusive, and dialogic approaches. In this paper we present: (1) a general overview of the main characteristics of urban agriculture and related problems; (2) the principal methodological elements for defining and planning an agro-urban system; and (3) guidelines for a deliberative appraisal procedure related to an agro-urban system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cities)
Open AccessArticle Profit Analysis and Supply Chain Planning Model for Closed-Loop Supply Chain in Fashion Industry
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9027-9056; doi:10.3390/su6129027
Received: 23 September 2014 / Revised: 12 November 2014 / Accepted: 26 November 2014 / Published: 9 December 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (966 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In recent decades, due to market growth and use of synthetic fiber, the fashion industry faces a rapid increase of CO2 emission throughout the production cycle and raises environmental issues in recovery processing. This study proposes a closed-loop supply chain (CLSC) structure
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In recent decades, due to market growth and use of synthetic fiber, the fashion industry faces a rapid increase of CO2 emission throughout the production cycle and raises environmental issues in recovery processing. This study proposes a closed-loop supply chain (CLSC) structure in fashion industry and develops its planning model as multi-objective mixed integer linear programming to find an optimal trade-off between CLSC profit and CO2 emission. The planning model is associated with the profit analysis of each member in CLSC to find the optimal price of products on CLSC network. The model determines optimal production, transportation, and inventory quantities on CLSC network. The proposed models are validated using numerical experiments and sensitivity analyses, and from the results some managerial insights are addressed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Fashion Business Operations)
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Open AccessArticle On Financing of Urban Transition Viewed from the Oresund Area: When the Political Agenda of Urban Transition Meets the Market
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9057-9079; doi:10.3390/su6129057
Received: 9 June 2014 / Revised: 3 November 2014 / Accepted: 21 November 2014 / Published: 9 December 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1382 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The “urban transition” agenda is as a conglomerate of ambitions derived from international policy documents and as applied in the Oresund area. Encompassing locally set goals for (i) climate change mitigation; (ii) energy efficiency; and (iii) human wellbeing in the built environment. Its
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The “urban transition” agenda is as a conglomerate of ambitions derived from international policy documents and as applied in the Oresund area. Encompassing locally set goals for (i) climate change mitigation; (ii) energy efficiency; and (iii) human wellbeing in the built environment. Its implementation is largely dependent on private sector joining in, since transitioning the building stock is to be financed by the market. This paper explores strategies to meet this agenda in the Oresund area. A particular focus is on the refurbishment of multi-family housing relative to these set goals. The paper finds meaningful differences between Denmark and Sweden. In general, exceptionally high energy standards come at an additional cost that is likely to be incompatible with rational economic behavior. Furthermore, actions appropriate for one goal are likely to have modest effects on ancillary goals. The paper concludes by suggesting to revisit current strategies in the Oresund area to reflect market constraints and to promote more coherent ways to achieve the set goals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Management of Municipal Solid Waste in One of the Galapagos Islands
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9080-9095; doi:10.3390/su6129080
Received: 6 October 2014 / Revised: 24 November 2014 / Accepted: 26 November 2014 / Published: 9 December 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (813 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper analyses some aspects of the management of municipal solid waste in one of the islands of the Galapagos archipelago. The aim is to point out a few aspects of an interesting experience that could help decision managers faced with the organization
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This paper analyses some aspects of the management of municipal solid waste in one of the islands of the Galapagos archipelago. The aim is to point out a few aspects of an interesting experience that could help decision managers faced with the organization of the waste sector in similar realities. The relevance of this case study consists in the presence of a very famous National Park surrounding the inhabited area. The role of tourism in the generation of waste is analyzed too. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Resources)
Open AccessArticle Speciation of Metals and Assessment of Contamination in Surface Sediments from Daya Bay, South China Sea
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9096-9113; doi:10.3390/su6129096
Received: 23 October 2014 / Revised: 28 November 2014 / Accepted: 28 November 2014 / Published: 9 December 2014
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (2069 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The contents, speciation, source factors and potential ecological risks of the selected metals (Cr, Ni, Cu, Pb, Zn, Cd and As) were analyzed in surface sediments from Daya Bay (DYB). The results show that, with the exception of Pb, metal concentrations have decreased
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The contents, speciation, source factors and potential ecological risks of the selected metals (Cr, Ni, Cu, Pb, Zn, Cd and As) were analyzed in surface sediments from Daya Bay (DYB). The results show that, with the exception of Pb, metal concentrations have decreased at all sites over the past decade. The distribution features of these concentrations represent a ring shape that descends from shore to bay by varying degrees. Speciation analysis showed that Cr, Ni, Cu, Zn and As exist mainly in the residual fraction and, thus, are of low bioavailability, while Cd and Pb were found to be abundant in the non-residual fraction and, thus, have high potential mobility. The ratio of heavy metals in non-residual form in descending order is Pb (78.83%), Cd (78.65%), Cu (48.54%), Zn (48.10%), Ni (38.31%), Cr (28.43%) and As (27.76%). The ratio of Pb content is the highest, meaning the highest mobility of Pb. The metals’ potential ecological risks to the environment were also assessed using the methods of the mean effect range-median quotient and the criteria of risk assessment code. The results showed that Cd presents the highest risk, and Pb and Cu are generally considered to be medium risks in the sub-basins of Daya Bay. The principal component analysis (PCA) revealed that natural coastal weathering and erosion of rock caused the highest input, followed by mariculture and industrial wastewater and, finally, domestic sewage discharge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle Concentrations of Available Heavy Metals in Mediterranean Agricultural Soils and their Relation with Some Soil Selected Properties: A Case Study in Typical Mediterranean Soils
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9124-9138; doi:10.3390/su6129124
Received: 16 October 2014 / Revised: 25 November 2014 / Accepted: 27 November 2014 / Published: 9 December 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1339 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The characterization of the content of trace metals in soils is an instrument in many programs of environmental protection, including the establishment of regional-level standards to detect sites affected by contamination. The objectives of the present study were to study the available levels
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The characterization of the content of trace metals in soils is an instrument in many programs of environmental protection, including the establishment of regional-level standards to detect sites affected by contamination. The objectives of the present study were to study the available levels of Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn in surface horizons of agricultural soils in a typical European Mediterranean region, to establish the geochemical baseline concentration (GBC), background level (BL), and reference value (RV) of each of these available metals, and to investigate their possible correlations with soil properties. To establish the GBC and RV values, we used the “standard threshold method”. Topsoil samples (0–20 cm) were collected from 630 sites, and extracted with Diethylene Triamine Pentaacetic Acid (DTPA) to determine their available heavy metal concentrations. The GBC values established were: 0.04 to 0.90 mg kg−1, 0.70 to 2.50 mg kg−1, 0.10 to 6.30 mg kg−1, 0.30 to 7.90 mg kg−1, 0.29 to 4.50 mg kg−1, and 0.18 to 2.50 mg kg−1 for Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn, respectively. Soil properties were found to be correlated with the available heavy metal content, suggesting that the enhanced mobility of heavy metals are related to anthropic activities. Full article
Open AccessArticle Developing a Cell-Based Spatial Optimization Model for Land-Use Patterns Planning
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9139-9158; doi:10.3390/su6129139
Received: 8 October 2014 / Revised: 2 December 2014 / Accepted: 3 December 2014 / Published: 9 December 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (4020 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
This study developed a cell-based spatial optimization model compatible with the ArcGIS platform, termed Dynamically Dimensioned Search Landscape Optimization Planning model (DDSLOP), for landscape planning. The development of the proposed model was based on the Dynamically Dimensioned Search Algorithm, which can efficiently find
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This study developed a cell-based spatial optimization model compatible with the ArcGIS platform, termed Dynamically Dimensioned Search Landscape Optimization Planning model (DDSLOP), for landscape planning. The development of the proposed model was based on the Dynamically Dimensioned Search Algorithm, which can efficiently find an optimal global solution within the massive solution space inherent to multi-dimensional analysis. Therefore, the DDSLOP model can reveal landscape pattern scenarios suited to specific managerial purposes at a cellular level. To evaluate the DDSLOP model, we applied it to a landscape planning initiative that focused on the conservation of three bird species in the National Taiwan University Highland Experimental Farm (NTU-HEF). We compared the proposed model with the Land-Use Pattern Optimization-library (LUPOlib), which was used in the optimization of landscapes at a patch level. The results of the comparison revealed that our fine scale optimization method has better flexibility, and can therefore form landscape structures, which, overall, provides not only better individual habitats for the target species, but also landscape patterns that foster high habitat connectivity, both important aspects of conservation efforts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Land Use and Ecosystem Management)
Open AccessArticle Commercialization Development of Crop Straw Gasification Technologies in China
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9159-9178; doi:10.3390/su6129159
Received: 28 September 2014 / Accepted: 3 December 2014 / Published: 10 December 2014
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Abstract
Crop straw gasification technologies are the most promising biomass gasification technologies and have great potential to be further developed in China. However, the commercialization development of gasification technology in China is slow. In this paper, the technical reliability and practicability of crop straw
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Crop straw gasification technologies are the most promising biomass gasification technologies and have great potential to be further developed in China. However, the commercialization development of gasification technology in China is slow. In this paper, the technical reliability and practicability of crop straw gasification technologies, the economic feasibility of gas supply stations, the economic feasibility of crop straw gasification equipment manufacture enterprises and the social acceptability of crop straw gasification technologies are analyzed. The results show that presently both the atmospheric oxidation gasification technology and the carbonization pyrolysis gasification technology in China are mature and practical, and can provide fuel gas for households. However, there are still a series of problems associated with these technologies that need to be solved for the commercialization development, such as the high tar and CO content of the fuel gas. The economic feasibility of the gas supply stations is different in China. Parts of gas supply stations are unprofitable due to high initial investment, the low fuel gas price and the small numbers of consumers. In addition, the commercialization development of crop straw gasification equipment manufacture enterprises is hindered for the low market demand for gasification equipment which is related to the fund support from the government. The acceptance of the crop straw gasification technologies from both the government and the farmers in China may be a driving force of further commercialization development of the gasification technologies. Then, the crop straw gasification technologies in China have reached at the stage of pre-commercialization. At this stage, the gasification technologies are basically mature and have met many requirements of commercialization, however, some incentives are needed to encourage their further development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Increasing Production and Eliminating Waste through Lean Tools and Techniques for Halal Food Companies
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9179-9204; doi:10.3390/su6129179
Received: 27 September 2014 / Revised: 28 November 2014 / Accepted: 2 December 2014 / Published: 11 December 2014
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Abstract
Major businesses around the world have been trying to reduce the total cost and wastes across their supply chain to remain competitive in the expanding global market. Hence, a collection of reliable tools and techniques are vital for decreasing costs and wastes and
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Major businesses around the world have been trying to reduce the total cost and wastes across their supply chain to remain competitive in the expanding global market. Hence, a collection of reliable tools and techniques are vital for decreasing costs and wastes and for providing effective services for customer demands. Given that lean concept attempts to decrease costs and wastes, this study aims to identify the effective lean tools required for eliminating wastes in the supply chain. Because of the large number of consumers and the global market of Halal products, this study focuses on Halal food supply chains. Out of the questionnaires distributed to 300 Halal food firms in Malaysia, only 61 usable replies were obtained. The results showed that demand collaboration, continuous improvement, and inventory management practices are the most important tools in Lean Supply Chain (LSC) implementation. In addition, the results indicated that only a small percentage of Halal food companies are implementing LSC. Malaysia is an important Halal food producer in the word, but has low level of LSC implementation among its Halal food producers. LSC is a new concept that needs more effort to be understood and implemented. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Influences of Humorous Advertising on Brand Popularity and Advertising Effects in the Tourism Industry
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9205-9217; doi:10.3390/su6129205
Received: 15 September 2014 / Revised: 28 November 2014 / Accepted: 28 November 2014 / Published: 11 December 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (707 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With a diversity of promotional channels and ever-increasing numbers of participants, the tourism industry in Taiwan faces keen competition. Along with the direct cross-strait flights policy, groups like Eastern Multimedia Group, Tsann Kuen Enterprise Company Limited and Want Want China Times Group have
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With a diversity of promotional channels and ever-increasing numbers of participants, the tourism industry in Taiwan faces keen competition. Along with the direct cross-strait flights policy, groups like Eastern Multimedia Group, Tsann Kuen Enterprise Company Limited and Want Want China Times Group have founded travel agencies for the purpose of increasing their market share in the tourism industry. Therefore, the formulation of marketing strategies has become a critical issue for all travel agencies that wish to ensure their prominence in the market. The frequent use of humorous materials and appeals has been the main tendency in advertising. However, no consistent conclusions regarding the actual effects of humorous advertising have been determined. The subjects of the current study were users of the Lion Travel website. Online questionnaires were sent to and collected from random respondents. One hundred questionnaires were delivered, and 512 valid questionnaires were collected. Each collected questionnaire represented a valid sample. The study generated the following five results: (1) humorous advertisements may partially influence brand awareness; (2) humorous elements may partially influence advertising effects; (3) brand awareness has significant positive effects on the advertising attitude of advertising effects; (4) brand awareness has significant positive effects on the brand attitude of advertising effects; (5) brand awareness has significant positive effects on the purchasing intention of advertising effects. Eventually, it is anticipated that the results of this study can serve as a reference and provide suggestions for humorous advertising strategies in the tourism industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Fishprint of Coastal Fisheries in Jalisco, Mexico
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9218-9230; doi:10.3390/su6129218
Received: 28 September 2014 / Revised: 3 December 2014 / Accepted: 5 December 2014 / Published: 12 December 2014
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Abstract
Coastal fisheries contribute to global food security, since fish are an important source of protein for many coastal communities in the world. However, they are constrained by problems, such as weak management of fisheries and overfishing. Local communities perceive that they are fishing
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Coastal fisheries contribute to global food security, since fish are an important source of protein for many coastal communities in the world. However, they are constrained by problems, such as weak management of fisheries and overfishing. Local communities perceive that they are fishing less, as in other fisheries in the world. The aim of this study was to evaluate the fisheries sustainability in the Jalisco coast through the fishing footprint, or fishprint (FP), based on the primary productivity required (PPR) and the appropriated surface by the activity (biocapacity). The total catch was 20,448.2 metric tons from 2002–2012, and the average footprint was calculated to be 65,458 gha/year, a figure that quadrupled in a period of 10 years; the biocapacity decreased, and the average trophic level of catches was 3.1, which implies that it has remained at average levels, resulting in a positive balance between biocapacity and ecological footprint. Therefore, under this approach, the fishing activity is sustainable along the coast of Jalisco. Full article
Open AccessArticle Empirical Evaluation of the Effect of Heat Gain from Fiber Optic Daylighting System on Tropical Building Interiors
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9231-9243; doi:10.3390/su6129231
Received: 20 October 2014 / Revised: 28 November 2014 / Accepted: 5 December 2014 / Published: 12 December 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1351 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A fiber optic daylighting system is an evolving technology for transporting illumination from sunlight into building interiors. This system is a solution developed by daylighting designers to reduce operational costs and enhance comfort. As an innovative technology, fiber optic daylighting systems can illuminate
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A fiber optic daylighting system is an evolving technology for transporting illumination from sunlight into building interiors. This system is a solution developed by daylighting designers to reduce operational costs and enhance comfort. As an innovative technology, fiber optic daylighting systems can illuminate building interiors efficiently compared with other daylighting strategies. However, as a transmission medium in daylighting systems, optical fibers require uniform light distribution in sunlight concentration, which could generate heat. Therefore, this study aims to investigate the effect of heat buildup produced by end-emitting fiber optic daylighting systems in tropical buildings. The applied method adopts a new fiber optic daylighting system technology from Sweden called Parans SP3, with a 10 m cable to be tested in an actual room size under the Malaysian climatic environment, particularly within the vicinity of the main campus of the Universiti Sains Malaysia. Results show that the system generated a temperature of 1.3 °C under average conditions through fiber optic diffusers and increases indoor temperature by 0.8 °C in a 60 m3 room. According to the results, applying fiber optic daylighting systems, as renewable energy sources, generates extra heat gain in building interiors in the tropics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle A Method for Proposing Valued-Adding Attributes in Customized Housing
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9244-9267; doi:10.3390/su6129244
Received: 25 September 2014 / Revised: 2 December 2014 / Accepted: 4 December 2014 / Published: 12 December 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2187 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In most emerging economies, there has been many incentives and high availability of funding for low-cost housing projects. This has encouraged product standardization and the application of mass production ideas, based on the assumption that this is the most effective strategy for reducing
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In most emerging economies, there has been many incentives and high availability of funding for low-cost housing projects. This has encouraged product standardization and the application of mass production ideas, based on the assumption that this is the most effective strategy for reducing costs. However, the delivery of highly standardized housing units to customers with different needs, without considering their lifestyle and perception of value, often results in inadequate products. Mass customization has been pointed out as an effective strategy to improve value generation in low-cost housing projects, and to avoid waste caused by renovations done in dwellings soon after occupancy. However, one of the main challenges for the implementation of mass customization is the definition of a set of relevant options based on users’ perceived value. The aim of this paper is to propose a method for defining value adding attributes in customized housing projects, which can support decision-making in product development. The means-end chain theory was used as theoretical framework to connect product attributes and costumers’ values, through the application of the laddering technique. The method was tested in two house-building projects delivered by a company from Brazil. The main contribution of this method is to indicate the customization units that are most important for users along with the explanation of why those units are the most relevant ones. Full article
Open AccessArticle Sustainability Assessment of Solid Waste Management in China: A Decoupling and Decomposition Analysis
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9268-9281; doi:10.3390/su6129268
Received: 30 August 2014 / Revised: 1 December 2014 / Accepted: 5 December 2014 / Published: 15 December 2014
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (771 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As the largest solid waste (SW) generator in the world, China is facing serious pollution issues induced by increasing quantities of SW. The sustainability assessment of SW management is very important for designing relevant policy for further improving the overall efficiency of solid
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As the largest solid waste (SW) generator in the world, China is facing serious pollution issues induced by increasing quantities of SW. The sustainability assessment of SW management is very important for designing relevant policy for further improving the overall efficiency of solid waste management (SWM). By focusing on industrial solid waste (ISW) and municipal solid waste (MSW), the paper investigated the sustainability performance of SWM by applying decoupling analysis, and further identified the main drivers of SW change in China by adopting Logarithmic Mean Divisia Index (LMDI) model. The results indicate that China has made a great achievement in SWM which was specifically expressed as the increase of ISW utilized amount and harmless disposal ratio of MSW, decrease of industrial solid waste discharged (ISWD), and absolute decoupling of ISWD from economic growth as well. However, China has a long way to go to achieve the goal of sustainable management of SW. The weak decoupling, even expansive negative decoupling of ISW generation and MSW disposal suggests that China needs timely technology innovation and rational institutional arrangement to reduce SW intensity from the source and promote classification and recycling. The factors of investment efficiency and technology are the main determinants of the decrease in SW, inversely, economic growth has increased SW discharge. The effects of investment intensity showed a volatile trend over time but eventually decreased SW discharged. Moreover, the factors of population and industrial structure slightly increased SW. Full article
Open AccessArticle Assessing Regional Sustainability Using a Model of Coordinated Development Index: A Case Study of Mainland China
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9282-9304; doi:10.3390/su6129282
Received: 14 October 2014 / Revised: 9 December 2014 / Accepted: 9 December 2014 / Published: 15 December 2014
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Abstract
From a holistic view, this paper addresses a perspective of coordinated development of economy, society, and environment for regional sustainability assessment. Firstly, a comprehensive indicator system for co-evaluating the level of economic, social, and environmental subsystems is presented based on a holistic understanding
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From a holistic view, this paper addresses a perspective of coordinated development of economy, society, and environment for regional sustainability assessment. Firstly, a comprehensive indicator system for co-evaluating the level of economic, social, and environmental subsystems is presented based on a holistic understanding of regional sustainability. Then, a coordinated development index model focusing on the level of coordination among the subsystems as well as their comprehensive development level is established. Furthermore, an empirical study of all the provinces and municipalities is conducted by collecting the panel data from 2004 to 2010. The result shows that: (1) the coordinated developments of the most developed and the most underdeveloped regions stay stable while the regions with medium development level possess more fluctuant trends during the study years; (2) regional disparities are indicated according to the grading of CDI (the coordinated development index), which are further analyzed to be related to the local economic development patterns; (3) the conditions and causes of economic, social, and environmental development in real situations under different grades of CDI are discussed through detailed case studies of typical regions, which indicate specific suggestions of sustainable development for regions in the same pattern. Full article
Open AccessArticle Towards Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment of Alternative Passenger Vehicles
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9305-9342; doi:10.3390/su6129305
Received: 23 October 2014 / Revised: 2 December 2014 / Accepted: 5 December 2014 / Published: 16 December 2014
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Abstract
Sustainable transportation and mobility are key components and central to sustainable development. This research aims to reveal the macro-level social, economic, and environmental impacts of alternative vehicle technologies in the U.S. The studied vehicle technologies are conventional gasoline, hybrid, plug-in hybrid with four
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Sustainable transportation and mobility are key components and central to sustainable development. This research aims to reveal the macro-level social, economic, and environmental impacts of alternative vehicle technologies in the U.S. The studied vehicle technologies are conventional gasoline, hybrid, plug-in hybrid with four different all-electric ranges, and full battery electric vehicles (BEV). In total, 19 macro level sustainability indicators are quantified for a scenario in which electric vehicles are charged through the existing U.S. power grid with no additional infrastructure, and an extreme scenario in which electric vehicles are fully charged with solar charging stations. The analysis covers all life cycle phases from the material extraction, processing, manufacturing, and operation phases to the end-of-life phases of vehicles and batteries. Results of this analysis revealed that the manufacturing phase is the most influential phase in terms of socio-economic impacts compared to other life cycle phases, whereas operation phase is the most dominant phase in the terms of environmental impacts and some of the socio-economic impacts such as human health and economic cost of emissions. Electric vehicles have less air pollution cost and human health impacts compared to conventional gasoline vehicles. The economic cost of emissions and human health impact reduction potential can be up to 45% and 35%, respectively, if electric vehicles are charged through solar charging stations. Electric vehicles have potential to generate income for low and medium skilled workers in the U.S. In addition to quantified sustainability indicators, some sustainability metrics were developed to compare relative sustainability performance alternative passenger vehicles. BEV has the lowest greenhouse gas emissions and ecological land footprint per $ of its contribution to the U.S. GDP, and has the lowest ecological footprint per unit of its energy consumption. The only sustainability metrics that does not favor the BEV is the water-energy ratio, where the conventional gasoline vehicle performed best. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transportation and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Analysis and Projection of the Relationship between Industrial Structure and Land Use Structure in China
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9343-9370; doi:10.3390/su6129343
Received: 3 September 2014 / Revised: 14 November 2014 / Accepted: 17 November 2014 / Published: 16 December 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (3276 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Based on the computable general equilibrium (CGE) modelling method, this research analyzes the relationship between industrial structure and land use structure in China. The results show that our model is feasible, and the simulation results are of a certain stability. Under the scenario
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Based on the computable general equilibrium (CGE) modelling method, this research analyzes the relationship between industrial structure and land use structure in China. The results show that our model is feasible, and the simulation results are of a certain stability. Under the scenario analysis and projection of the relationship between the industrial structure and land use structure of the thirty-one provinces in China from 2010 to 2020, the proportions of secondary and tertiary industry in each province have been increasing; correspondingly, the proportion of agriculture has been decreasing. This means that the industrial structure of China is changing. As for land use, in general, the trend is similar to the industrial structure changes. The transformation of the structure of industrial development and land use has driven economic structure changes in China. The economic structure has an inclination to transform from agriculture to both secondary and tertiary industry. Along with industrial transformation, the cultivated land in China shows a trend of continuous decline. Empirical analysis results indicate that a decrease of cultivated land is acceptable under the scenario of economic growth in the next ten years. This shows a possibility that the economic efficiency of land use for cultivation and business services will decline, and more attention ought to be paid to increasing the economic efficiency of land use. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Outward Extension of an Ecological Footprint in City Expansion: The Case of Beijing
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9371-9386; doi:10.3390/su6129371
Received: 14 August 2014 / Revised: 5 December 2014 / Accepted: 8 December 2014 / Published: 16 December 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1934 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A biologically productive area was used in the ecological footprint method to measure the demand and impact of human activities on the natural capital, and further, to judge whether the impact is within the scope of the regional bio-capacity. In this presentation, an
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A biologically productive area was used in the ecological footprint method to measure the demand and impact of human activities on the natural capital, and further, to judge whether the impact is within the scope of the regional bio-capacity. In this presentation, an indicator “ecological footprint distance (Def)” is proposed. The results indicated that the proposed indicator Def could identify the outward extension of a city’s ecological footprint with the city’s rapid expansion. From 2008 to 2012, the proportion of imported bio-capacity increased approximately from 48% to 64%, which implied that the ecological impact of Beijing had expanded year by year. The Def of Beijing increased from 567 km in 2008 to 677 km in 2012, with an average annual increase of about 25 km. From the perspective of seasonal change, Beijing’s ecological footprint distance in winter and spring was much higher than in summer and fall. The main features of provincial-spatial distribution of Beijing’s Def were as follows: grain and oil and meat and eggs were mainly supplied by Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Hebei and Inner Mongolia; yet vegetable and fruit were mainly supplied by Hainan, Guangdong, Hebei and Shandong. Measures should be taken to decentralize the sources of imported bio-capacity, so as to ensure a sustainable development in Metropolitan cities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Open AccessArticle Effects of Story Marketing and Travel Involvement on Tourist Behavioral Intention in the Tourism Industry
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9387-9397; doi:10.3390/su6129387
Received: 15 September 2014 / Revised: 2 December 2014 / Accepted: 2 December 2014 / Published: 16 December 2014
PDF Full-text (665 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Story marketing has been widely applied to modern societies. As a matter of fact, attraction is a critical part of tourism for any visitor attractions throughout the world. A visitor attraction requires sufficient attraction to appeal to customers’ interests. Story marketing is currently
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Story marketing has been widely applied to modern societies. As a matter of fact, attraction is a critical part of tourism for any visitor attractions throughout the world. A visitor attraction requires sufficient attraction to appeal to customers’ interests. Story marketing is currently the most popular marketing strategy. The success of using stories in visitor attractions as a marketing tactic for tourism attraction lies in the fact that story-telling is able to best attract people. Both adults and children love listening to stories, which can lead a way to people’s hearts and stories are also the best strategy for communication with others. Aimed at visitors to the Wushe Township as the research participants, a total of 500 copies of questionnaires were distributed, and 287 valid ones retrieved, with a retrieval rate of 57%. The research results show: (1) a significantly positive effect of story marketing on travel involvement; (2) a notably positive effect of travel involvement on behavioral intention; (3) remarkably positive effect of story marketing on behavioral intention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Feasibility Analysis of Establishing Multilateral Nuclear Approaches (MNAs) in the Asian Region and the Middle East
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9398-9417; doi:10.3390/su6129398
Received: 24 August 2014 / Revised: 6 November 2014 / Accepted: 11 December 2014 / Published: 16 December 2014
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Abstract
To establish frameworks for multilateral nuclear approaches (MNAs), we identified challenges and their possible solutions through case studies proposing to establish three different MNAs, comprising existing states in the Asian region and the Middle East, in accordance with twelve features deemed necessary for
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To establish frameworks for multilateral nuclear approaches (MNAs), we identified challenges and their possible solutions through case studies proposing to establish three different MNAs, comprising existing states in the Asian region and the Middle East, in accordance with twelve features deemed necessary for establishing MNAs. In all case studies, political instability of MNA member states and the region, as well as political conflicts between MNA member states and other states were seen as challenges hindering the establishment of MNAs. There are no simple measures to overcome such challenges, but additional case-by-case measures, including the direct involvement of international organizations, supplier states and nuclear weapon states, in MNAs, as well as the application of regional safeguards and regional systems of accounting for and control of nuclear material (RSAC) within MNAs, may contribute toward mitigating the political challenges. Full article
Open AccessArticle Teaching Interdisciplinary Sustainability Science Teamwork Skills to Graduate Students Using In-Person and Web-Based Interactions
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9428-9440; doi:10.3390/su6129428
Received: 27 August 2014 / Revised: 8 December 2014 / Accepted: 10 December 2014 / Published: 17 December 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (687 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Interdisciplinary sustainability science teamwork skills are essential for addressing the world’s most pressing and complex sustainability problems, which inherently have social, natural, and engineering science dimensions. Further, because sustainability science problems exist at global scales, interdisciplinary science teams will need to consist of
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Interdisciplinary sustainability science teamwork skills are essential for addressing the world’s most pressing and complex sustainability problems, which inherently have social, natural, and engineering science dimensions. Further, because sustainability science problems exist at global scales, interdisciplinary science teams will need to consist of international members who communicate and work together effectively. Students trained in international interdisciplinary science skills will be able to hit the ground running when they obtain jobs requiring them to tackle sustainability problems. While many universities now have sustainability science programs, few offer courses that are interdisciplinary and international in scope. In the fall semester of 2013, we piloted a course for graduate students entitled “Principles of Interdisciplinary Sustainability Research” at Michigan Technological University. This course was part of our United States National Science Foundation Partnerships in International Research and Education project on bioenergy development impacts across the Americas. In this case study, we describe the course development and implementation, share critical insights from our experience teaching the course and student learning outcomes, and give recommendations for future similar courses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Approaches in Education)
Open AccessArticle Enhancing the Sustainability of a Location-Aware Service through Optimization
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9441-9455; doi:10.3390/su6129441
Received: 26 August 2014 / Revised: 9 December 2014 / Accepted: 15 December 2014 / Published: 18 December 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (723 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A location-aware service (LAS) is an imperative topic in ambient intelligence; an LAS recommends suitable utilities to a user based on the user’s location and context. However, current LASs have several problems, and most of these services do not last. This study proposes
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A location-aware service (LAS) is an imperative topic in ambient intelligence; an LAS recommends suitable utilities to a user based on the user’s location and context. However, current LASs have several problems, and most of these services do not last. This study proposes an optimization-based approach for enhancing the sustainability of an LAS. In this paper, problems related to optimizing a LAS system are presented. The distinct nature of a LAS optimization problem in comparison with traditional optimization problems is subsequently described. Existing methods applicable to solving a LAS optimization problem are also reviewed. The advantages and disadvantages of each method are then discussed as a motive for combining multiple optimization methods in this study, as illustrated by an example. Finally, opportunities and challenges faced by researchers in this field are presented. Full article
Open AccessArticle Governing GMOs: The (Counter) Movement for Mandatory and Voluntary Non-GMO Labels
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9456-9476; doi:10.3390/su6129456
Received: 10 September 2014 / Revised: 20 November 2014 / Accepted: 2 December 2014 / Published: 18 December 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1271 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Since 2012 the anti-GMO (genetically modified organism) movement has gained significant grassroots momentum in its efforts to require mandatory GMO food labels through state-level ballot and legislative efforts. Major food and agriculture corporations are opposed to mandatory GMO labels and have successfully defeated
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Since 2012 the anti-GMO (genetically modified organism) movement has gained significant grassroots momentum in its efforts to require mandatory GMO food labels through state-level ballot and legislative efforts. Major food and agriculture corporations are opposed to mandatory GMO labels and have successfully defeated most of these initiatives. Nevertheless, these battles have garnered significant media attention and re-energized the debate over GMO crops and foods. In this paper, we argue that one of the most significant outcomes of this fight is efforts by food retailers and value-based food companies to implement voluntary non-GMO labels and brands. We draw on the governance and political consumerism literature to explore (counter) movement efforts for mandatory labels and how these efforts are being institutionalized through private voluntary governance institutions. Our assessment is based on in-depth, semi-structured interviews with key informants from consumer and environmental organizations, agriculture and biotech companies, and government regulatory agencies, as well as a content analysis of food industry websites. A growing number of food retailers recognize the reputational and economic value that new niche markets for non-GMO foods can offer, while the anti-GMO movement views these efforts as a step in the direction of mandatory GMO labels. We conclude that voluntary labels may act to settle the labeling debate by mollifying agri-food industry concerns about mandatory labeling and meeting the desire of political consumers for greater choice and transparency but without addressing the broader social and environmental sustainability concerns that drives the anti-GMO movement in the first place. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agricultural Governance)
Open AccessArticle Environmental Sustainability of the Alumina Industry in Western Europe
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9477-9493; doi:10.3390/su6129477
Received: 16 September 2014 / Revised: 12 November 2014 / Accepted: 11 December 2014 / Published: 18 December 2014
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Abstract
The implementation of European policies on environmental protection is enforcing some substantial modifications in the processing methods and technologies traditionally adopted in the alumina industry and, in particular, in the management of the alumina residue produced. The article analyses the evolution of the
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The implementation of European policies on environmental protection is enforcing some substantial modifications in the processing methods and technologies traditionally adopted in the alumina industry and, in particular, in the management of the alumina residue produced. The article analyses the evolution of the alumina production and the residue disposal practices in Western Europe. Some critical aspects regarding the legal implementation of the EU Directive on the landfill of waste are highlighted and discussed. With reference to the requirements established for the landfill of non-hazardous waste, a key point is represented by the possibility of reducing the deposit protection measures if the collection and treatment of leachate is not necessary. The flexibility introduced by the Directive is not incorporated into the Italian law; this fact may represent a major issue in the prospect of disposal conversion from wet to dry methods for companies operating in Italy, as it may endanger the economic sustainability of the plants’ upgrade, as well as the opportunity to attract outside investments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
Open AccessArticle Can Health and Environmental Concerns Meet in Food Choices?
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9494-9509; doi:10.3390/su6129494
Received: 23 September 2014 / Revised: 6 December 2014 / Accepted: 9 December 2014 / Published: 19 December 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (704 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The objective of the study is to analyze if there is a relationship between health and environmental sustainability concerns in food choices. We used data of 300 Italian consumers collected through a vis-à-vis survey. We performed cross-tabulations and chi-square tests for a selected
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The objective of the study is to analyze if there is a relationship between health and environmental sustainability concerns in food choices. We used data of 300 Italian consumers collected through a vis-à-vis survey. We performed cross-tabulations and chi-square tests for a selected set of variables measuring both types of concerns, segmenting the sample by age, gender and education. Our results suggest that the association between health and environmental concerns is often statistically significant, though we observe a high variable specificity of the associations. Socio-demographic conditions seem to play a role in determining the association between the two concerns, with middle-aged and/or highly-educated respondents showing a stronger association between health and environmental concerns. Full article
Open AccessArticle Can Rebound Effects Explain Why Sustainable Mobility Has Not Been Achieved?
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9510-9537; doi:10.3390/su6129510
Received: 20 November 2014 / Revised: 11 December 2014 / Accepted: 15 December 2014 / Published: 19 December 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1034 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Since the report “Our Common Future” launched sustainable development as a primary goal for society in 1987, both scientific and political discussions about the term’s definition and how to achieve sustainable development have ensued. The manifold negative environmental impacts of transportation are an
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Since the report “Our Common Future” launched sustainable development as a primary goal for society in 1987, both scientific and political discussions about the term’s definition and how to achieve sustainable development have ensued. The manifold negative environmental impacts of transportation are an important contributor to the so-far non-sustainable development in financially rich areas of the world. Thus, achieving sustainable mobility is crucial to achieving the wider challenge of sustainable development. In this article, we limit our sustainability focus to that of energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. We discuss whether rebound effects can reveal why sustainable mobility has not been reached. Rebound effects refer to behavioral or other systemic responses after the implementation of new technologies or other measures to reduce energy consumption. Three main strategies exist for achieving sustainable mobility: efficiency, substitution, and volume reduction. (1) The efficiency strategy is based on the idea that environmental problems caused by transport can be improved by developing new and more efficient technologies to replace old, inefficient, and polluting materials and methods; (2) The second strategy—substitution—argues for a change to less polluting means of transport; (3) The volume reduction strategy argue that efficiency and substitution are not sufficient, we must fundamentally change behavior and consumption patterns; people must travel less, and freight volumes must decrease. We found rebound effects associated with all three of the main strategies that will lead to offsetting expected savings in energy use and GHG emissions in the transport sector. Full article
Open AccessArticle Do Current European Policies Prevent Soil Threats and Support Soil Functions?
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9538-9563; doi:10.3390/su6129538
Received: 30 October 2014 / Revised: 8 December 2014 / Accepted: 12 December 2014 / Published: 22 December 2014
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (799 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There is currently no legislation at the European level that focuses exclusively on soil conservation. A cross-policy analysis was carried out to identify gaps and overlaps in existing EU legislation that is related to soil threats and functions. We found that three soil
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There is currently no legislation at the European level that focuses exclusively on soil conservation. A cross-policy analysis was carried out to identify gaps and overlaps in existing EU legislation that is related to soil threats and functions. We found that three soil threats, namely compaction, salinization and soil sealing, were not addressed in any of the 19 legislative policies that were analyzed. Other soil threats, such as erosion, decline in organic matter, loss of biodiversity and contamination, were covered in existing legislation, but only a few directives provided targets for reducing the soil threats. Existing legislation addresses the reduction of the seven soil functions that were analyzed, but there are very few directives for improving soil functions. Because soil degradation is ongoing in Europe, it raises the question whether existing legislation is sufficient for maintaining soil resources. Addressing soil functions individually in various directives fails to account for the multifunctionality of soil. This paper suggests that a European Soil Framework Directive would increase the effectiveness of conserving soil functions in the EU. Full article
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Open AccessReview Wind Erosion Induced Soil Degradation in Northern China: Status, Measures and Perspective
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 8951-8966; doi:10.3390/su6128951
Received: 31 October 2014 / Revised: 20 November 2014 / Accepted: 26 November 2014 / Published: 4 December 2014
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (2874 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Soil degradation is one of the most serious ecological problems in the world. In arid and semi-arid northern China, soil degradation predominantly arises from wind erosion. Trends in soil degradation caused by wind erosion in northern China frequently change with human activities and
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Soil degradation is one of the most serious ecological problems in the world. In arid and semi-arid northern China, soil degradation predominantly arises from wind erosion. Trends in soil degradation caused by wind erosion in northern China frequently change with human activities and climatic change. To decrease soil loss by wind erosion and enhance local ecosystems, the Chinese government has been encouraging residents to reduce wind-induced soil degradation through a series of national policies and several ecological projects, such as the Natural Forest Protection Program, the National Action Program to Combat Desertification, the “Three Norths” Shelter Forest System, the Beijing-Tianjin Sand Source Control Engineering Project, and the Grain for Green Project. All these were implemented a number of decades ago, and have thus created many land management practices and control techniques across different landscapes. These measures include conservation tillage, windbreak networks, checkerboard barriers, the Non-Watering and Tube-Protecting Planting Technique, afforestation, grassland enclosures, etc. As a result, the aeolian degradation of land has been controlled in many regions of arid and semiarid northern China. However, the challenge of mitigating and further reversing soil degradation caused by wind erosion still remains. Full article
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Open AccessReview The Legal Structure of Taiwan’s Wetland Conservation Act
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9418-9427; doi:10.3390/su6129418
Received: 8 September 2014 / Revised: 5 December 2014 / Accepted: 8 December 2014 / Published: 16 December 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (646 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In July of 2013, Taiwan passed its Wetland Conservation Act and will begin the implementation of the Act on 2 February 2015. With this Act, Taiwan has become the second Asian country to have specific legislation on wetland conservation and protection. This new
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In July of 2013, Taiwan passed its Wetland Conservation Act and will begin the implementation of the Act on 2 February 2015. With this Act, Taiwan has become the second Asian country to have specific legislation on wetland conservation and protection. This new law enables the society to achieve sustainable utilization on wetland ecological services. The core concepts of the Wetland Conversation Act include biological diversity conservation and wise use of wetland resources. Special political circumstances prevent Taiwan from registering its wetlands as a conservation priority under the Ramsar Convention. This new law allows the government to evaluate and assign a specific area as a “Wetland of Importance.” Under this status, any development activities within the designated area shall be prohibited unless the developer prepares a usage plan for review. The usage plan and the original usage of the natural resources within the wetland area shall also follow the “wise use” principle to protect the wetland and biological service system. However, this new law does not provide clear separation between the two different “wise use” standards. If the development is deemed necessary, new law provides compensation mitigation measures to extend the surface of the wetland and provides additional habitats for various species. Wetland conservation and management rely heavily on systematic research and fundamental data regarding Taiwan’s wetlands. Determining how to adopt these scientific methodologies and transfer them into enforceable mechanisms is a sizeable challenge for both biologists and lawyers as the Wetland Conservation Act creates many legal norms without clarifying definitions. This article will review the current wetland regulations from the legal perspective and provide suggestions for enforcement in the future. Full article

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Open AccessCase Report Marketization of Collective-owned Rural Land: A Breakthrough in Shenzhen, China
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9114-9123; doi:10.3390/su6129114
Received: 6 October 2014 / Revised: 20 November 2014 / Accepted: 28 November 2014 / Published: 9 December 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (895 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study focuses on analyzing the ongoing land policy reform that allows collective-owned rural land transactions in the open market in Shenzhen, China. Employing a case study method, we investigate this land policy evolution through description and contextual analysis. We argue that the
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This study focuses on analyzing the ongoing land policy reform that allows collective-owned rural land transactions in the open market in Shenzhen, China. Employing a case study method, we investigate this land policy evolution through description and contextual analysis. We argue that the existing dual-track land administration system, within which the state administers market transactions, has contributed to numerous social problems, such as urban land scarcity, inefficiency of land resource allocation, and exacerbated social injustice. Following the recent actions of the central government, a collective-owned rural land parcel in Shenzhen was officially transferred in November 2013, an action viewed as a landmark step in reforming the current dual-track land system. Though the generalization of Shenzhen’s experiment nationwide faces significant barriers, Shenzhen’s breakthrough in liberalization of the rural land market indicates that China is moving toward a potential new round of land policy revolution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)

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