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Sustainability, Volume 6, Issue 9 (September 2014), Pages 5512-6487

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Open AccessArticle A Sustainable Approach for the Geopolymerization of Natural Iron-Rich Aluminosilicate Materials
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 5535-5553; doi:10.3390/su6095535
Received: 7 July 2014 / Revised: 14 August 2014 / Accepted: 15 August 2014 / Published: 25 August 2014
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Abstract
Two iron-rich clayey materials (L1 and L2, with the main difference being the level of iron accumulation) have been studied for their suitability as solid precursors for inorganic polymer composites. L1, with the lower iron content, was calcined at 700°C for 4 [...] Read more.
Two iron-rich clayey materials (L1 and L2, with the main difference being the level of iron accumulation) have been studied for their suitability as solid precursors for inorganic polymer composites. L1, with the lower iron content, was calcined at 700°C for 4 h and used as replacement, in the range of 15–35 wt%, for both raw laterites in the formulations of geopolymeric composites. The different mixtures were activated with a highly concentrated alkaline solution containing sodium hydroxide and sodium silicate. River sand with semi-crystalline structure was added to form semi-dry pastes which were pressed to appropriate shape. X-ray diffraction, Infrared spectroscopy, Scanning Electron Microscopy and Mercury Intrusion Porosimetry results demonstrated the effectiveness of the calcined fraction of L1 to act as nucleation sites and extend the geopolymerization to the matrix composites. A highly compact matrix with low porosity and good stability in water, together with a strength comparable to that of standard concretes was obtained allowing for conclusions to be made on the quality of laterites as promising solid precursor for sustainable, environmentally-friendly, and cost-efficient structural materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Resources)
Open AccessArticle Mixing Performance of a Suspended Stirrer for Homogenizing Biodegradable Food Waste from Eatery Centers
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 5554-5565; doi:10.3390/su6095554
Received: 4 April 2014 / Revised: 9 August 2014 / Accepted: 12 August 2014 / Published: 25 August 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1807 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Numerical simulation of a suspended stirrer within a homogenizing system is performed towards determining the mixing performance of a homogenizer. A two-dimensional finite volume formulation is developed for the cylindrical system that is used for the storage and stirring of biodegradable food [...] Read more.
Numerical simulation of a suspended stirrer within a homogenizing system is performed towards determining the mixing performance of a homogenizer. A two-dimensional finite volume formulation is developed for the cylindrical system that is used for the storage and stirring of biodegradable food waste from eatery centers. The numerical solver incorporates an analysis of the property distribution for viscous food waste in a storage tank, while coupling the impact of mixing on the slurry fluid. Partial differential equations, which describe the conservation of mass, momentum and energy, are applied. The simulation covers the mixing and heating cycles of the slurry. Using carrot-orange soup as the operating fluid (and its thermofluid properties) and assuming constant density and temperature-dependent viscosity, the velocity and temperature field distribution under the influence of the mixing source term are analyzed. A parametric assessment of the velocity and temperature fields is performed, and the results are expected to play a significant role in designing a homogenizer for biodegradable food waste. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Social Investment for Sustainability of Groundwater: A Revealed Preference Approach
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 5598-5638; doi:10.3390/su6095598
Received: 4 March 2014 / Revised: 23 July 2014 / Accepted: 31 July 2014 / Published: 27 August 2014
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Abstract
Groundwater is a form of natural capital that is valued for the goods it provides, including ecosystem health, water quality, and water consumption. Degradation of groundwater could be alleviated through social investment such as for water reuse and desalination to reduce the [...] Read more.
Groundwater is a form of natural capital that is valued for the goods it provides, including ecosystem health, water quality, and water consumption. Degradation of groundwater could be alleviated through social investment such as for water reuse and desalination to reduce the need for withdrawals from groundwater. This paper develops a participatory planning process—based on combining revealed preference with economic optimization—to choose a desired future for sustaining groundwater. Generation of potential groundwater futures is based on an optimal control model with investment and withdrawal from groundwater as control variables. In this model, groundwater stock and aquatic health are included as inter-temporal public goods. The social discount rate expressing time preference—an important parameter that drives optimization—is revealed through the participatory planning process. To implement the chosen future, a new method of inter-temporal pricing is presented to finance investment and supply costs. Furthermore, it is shown that the desired social outcome could be achieved by a form of privatization in which the pricing method, the appropriate discount rate, and the planning period are contractually specified. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Institutional Change)
Open AccessArticle Institutionalization of Sustainable Development in Decision-Making and Everyday Life Practices: A Critical View on the Finnish Case
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 5639-5654; doi:10.3390/su6095639
Received: 9 January 2014 / Revised: 12 August 2014 / Accepted: 18 August 2014 / Published: 27 August 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (515 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article discusses how the globally-established political concept of sustainable development has become institutionalized in both decision-making and people’s everyday lives in Finland over the last twenty years by focusing on “the logic of appropriateness” and how the notion of sustainable development [...] Read more.
This article discusses how the globally-established political concept of sustainable development has become institutionalized in both decision-making and people’s everyday lives in Finland over the last twenty years by focusing on “the logic of appropriateness” and how the notion of sustainable development as a utopia opens possibilities for institutional change for the future. The logic of appropriateness provides a conceptual perspective for analyzing institutions and institutional change from a normative standpoint, with a focus on culturally-shared norms and rules. This conceptual perspective is used here to illustrate and argue that notions of sustainable development have not changed cultural understandings of appropriate norms and rules that responsible decision-makers or individual citizens identify in Finnish society. The significance of sustainable development, however, cannot and should not be dismissed. After twenty years, the notion of sustainable development still creates a radical foundation for social and institutional change. As a utopia, it has potential to nurture the vagueness of appropriate rules and identifications in decision-making and people’s everyday lives and to open unknown possibilities for institutional change and sustainable practices for a new future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Institutional Change)
Open AccessArticle Government Support, FDI Clustering and Semiconductor Sustainability in China: Case Studies of Shanghai, Suzhou and Wuxi in the Yangtze Delta
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 5655-5681; doi:10.3390/su6095655
Received: 7 May 2014 / Revised: 8 August 2014 / Accepted: 21 August 2014 / Published: 27 August 2014
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Abstract
With reference to the case studies of Shanghai, Suzhou, and Wuxi, in the Yangtze Delta, China, this paper demonstrates the local possibilities and various development paths for developing an indigenous semiconductor industry, using the government support within foreign direct investment (FDI)-dominated clusters [...] Read more.
With reference to the case studies of Shanghai, Suzhou, and Wuxi, in the Yangtze Delta, China, this paper demonstrates the local possibilities and various development paths for developing an indigenous semiconductor industry, using the government support within foreign direct investment (FDI)-dominated clusters for the New Industrializing Countries (NICs). Two important policy lessons are identified. The first is that the government may attract FDI and develop high-tech clustering by using policy support, but it does not necessarily provide conducive and positive influences on the sustainable development of domestic semiconductors. The second lesson is that the sustainability of the domestic semiconductor industry in the FDI cluster may start from three connected elements: (1) a pragmatic goal of government support; (2) complementarities of the domestic semiconductors with international leading firms in the market, technology and equipment linkages; and (3) a sustainable capacity of technical learning to drive local developments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Competitive and Sustainable Semiconductor Manufacturing)
Open AccessArticle The Geopolitical Energy Security Evaluation Method and a China Case Application Based on Politics of Scale
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 5682-5696; doi:10.3390/su6095682
Received: 30 April 2014 / Revised: 30 July 2014 / Accepted: 11 August 2014 / Published: 27 August 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (895 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Combining the theories of politics of scale from political geography, security theory from international relations, and energy security theory, and putting the scale conversion of energy contention, geographical relationship and geo-structure in geo-setting, and the three properties of safety in consideration, this [...] Read more.
Combining the theories of politics of scale from political geography, security theory from international relations, and energy security theory, and putting the scale conversion of energy contention, geographical relationship and geo-structure in geo-setting, and the three properties of safety in consideration, this paper rebuilds a geo-energy security evaluation model and uses the model to quantitatively evaluate China’s geo-oil energy security in the Russian Pacific oil pipeline construction from 1995 to 2010. Five results could be drawn as follows: (1) from the aspect of time, an up-surging Geo-oil Safety Index of China in the Russian Pacific oil pipeline construction indicated an increasingly disadvantage of China in the geo-oil contention by politics of scale. If the United States and South Korea are involved, the competition would be further intensified; (2) from the aspect of geopolitical relationship, a general decrease occurred in the Sino-Japan Energy Competition Index, but a specific increase appeared in the competition of energy imports from Russia, by China and Japan individually; (3) from the aspect of regional strategy of energy export, an obvious downward tendency in Energy Export Strategy Index showed that Russia has changed its export destination off of Europe; (4) from the aspect of geo-security, a relatively steady proportion of China’s oil consumption, and a friendly comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation between China and Russia, reduced the worries of China’s geo-oil energy security to some extent; (5) from the aspect of geopolitical structure, the increasing comprehensive national power in China, driven by rapid economic growth, will intensify the geo-oil competition in Northeast Asia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Poverty Alleviation through Pro-Poor Tourism: The Role of Botswana Forest Reserves
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 5697-5713; doi:10.3390/su6095697
Received: 11 June 2014 / Revised: 15 August 2014 / Accepted: 18 August 2014 / Published: 28 August 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1210 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Both government and international donor agencies now promote the use of tourism to alleviate poverty. The Botswana government has embraced tourism as a meaningful and sustainable economic activity and diversification opportunity, which now ranks second after mining in its contribution to the [...] Read more.
Both government and international donor agencies now promote the use of tourism to alleviate poverty. The Botswana government has embraced tourism as a meaningful and sustainable economic activity and diversification opportunity, which now ranks second after mining in its contribution to the country’s gross domestic product. The study reported in this paper investigates perceptions of stakeholders on the opportunities that would be created for the poor by opening up Botswana’s forest reserves for ecotourism. Data was collected through mixed methods involving in-depth interviews with government departments, traditional leaders, quasi-government organisations and the Hospitality and Tourism Association of Botswana. Focus group discussions were also held with village development committees, Chobe Enclave Conservation Trust (CECT) and Kasane, Lesoma and Pandematenga Trust (KALEPA) members, and a consultative national workshop of stakeholders was also held. The findings indicate that opening up forest reserves for ecotourism has the potential to alleviate poverty among the disadvantaged groups living adjacent to forest reserves through direct (employment, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)), secondary (linkages/partnerships) and dynamic effects (sustainable livelihoods). The study concludes by cautioning that whilst pro-poor tourism may yield short- and medium-term benefits, in keeping with sustainability objectives, participants in the programme need to be mindful of forestry encroachment and come up with strategies to ensure the sustainability of the Botswana forest reserves. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Social Ecology and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Comparison of ORC Turbine and Stirling Engine to Produce Electricity from Gasified Poultry Waste
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 5714-5729; doi:10.3390/su6095714
Received: 25 June 2014 / Revised: 5 August 2014 / Accepted: 12 August 2014 / Published: 28 August 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1419 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Biomass Research Centre, section of CIRIAF, has recently developed a biomass boiler (300 kW thermal powered), fed by the poultry manure collected in a nearby livestock. All the thermal requirements of the livestock will be covered by the heat produced by [...] Read more.
The Biomass Research Centre, section of CIRIAF, has recently developed a biomass boiler (300 kW thermal powered), fed by the poultry manure collected in a nearby livestock. All the thermal requirements of the livestock will be covered by the heat produced by gas combustion in the gasifier boiler. Within the activities carried out by the research project ENERPOLL (Energy Valorization of Poultry Manure in a Thermal Power Plant), funded by the Italian Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, this paper aims at studying an upgrade version of the existing thermal plant, investigating and analyzing the possible applications for electricity production recovering the exceeding thermal energy. A comparison of Organic Rankine Cycle turbines and Stirling engines, to produce electricity from gasified poultry waste, is proposed, evaluating technical and economic parameters, considering actual incentives on renewable produced electricity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Development of a Geographical Information System (GIS) for the Integration of Solar Energy in the Energy Planning of a Wide Area
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 5730-5744; doi:10.3390/su6095730
Received: 11 June 2014 / Revised: 31 July 2014 / Accepted: 19 August 2014 / Published: 28 August 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (3640 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Energy planning has become one of the most powerful tools for urban planning even if several constraints, (i.e., aesthetic, archaeological, landscape) and technological (low diffusion of Renewable Energy Sources, RES) reduce its spreading. An efficient and sustainable urban planning process [...] Read more.
Energy planning has become one of the most powerful tools for urban planning even if several constraints, (i.e., aesthetic, archaeological, landscape) and technological (low diffusion of Renewable Energy Sources, RES) reduce its spreading. An efficient and sustainable urban planning process should be based on detailed energy issues, such as: (i) the effective energetic characteristics and needs of the area like urban density and energy consumption, (ii) the integration of different RES and (iii) the diffusion of high efficiency technologies for energy production like cogeneration and district heating. The above-mentioned energetic issues and constraints must be constantly updated, in order to evaluate the consequences on environment and landscape due to new distributed generation technologies. Moreover, energy strategies and policies must be adapted to the actual evolution of the area. In this paper the authors present a Geographical Information Database System (GIS DB) based on: (i) the availability of land use (Land Capability Classification, LCC) to evaluate the productive potential; (ii) the estimation of residential energy consumptions (e.g., electricity), (iii) the integration of RES. The GIS DB model has been experimented in a wide area of Central Italy, considering exclusively the solar energy source for energy generation. Full article
Open AccessArticle An Audience-Centric Approach for Museums Sustainability
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 5745-5762; doi:10.3390/su6095745
Received: 24 June 2014 / Revised: 8 August 2014 / Accepted: 11 August 2014 / Published: 28 August 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (912 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The main purpose of this study is to propose a visitor centric perspective that can support museums towards sustainability. The main premise of this study is due to a concept of economic and social sustainability of museums, defined as the possession of [...] Read more.
The main purpose of this study is to propose a visitor centric perspective that can support museums towards sustainability. The main premise of this study is due to a concept of economic and social sustainability of museums, defined as the possession of sufficient resources to maintain the existence of an organization, and achieve their goals in the future, ensuring a certain flow of visitors. A great number of museums are characterized by a low number of visits; therefore, in order to become sustainable, museums should pay attention to audience and its internal diversity. In this way, a cultural site can plan tailored strategies to increase the number of visits and re-visits and to achieve community support. For this reason it is necessary to understand the cultural needs of visitors, acquiring appropriate monitoring tools, such as qualitative and quantitative ones. Generally, quantitative analyses are more reliable and complete, even if they require a considerable number of observations for the reliability of the results. Moreover, qualitative analysis provides more in depth information, even if their data do not allow us to make generalizations. The qualitative and quantitative methods for the detection of satisfaction are usually used separately, but their integration may bring significant added value in terms of the wealth of information. This study follows the analysis of the potential of the integration of qualitative and quantitative analysis techniques customized with respect to different types of targets. The results of the experimentation performed on ethnographic museums shows a consistency of the results obtained by the two different tools that increase the capacity information of survey instruments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainability of Culture and Heritage)
Open AccessArticle Dynamics of Multi-Scale Intra-Provincial Regional Inequality in Zhejiang, China
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 5763-5784; doi:10.3390/su6095763
Received: 29 April 2014 / Revised: 28 July 2014 / Accepted: 1 August 2014 / Published: 29 August 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (4158 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper investigates regional inequality in a multi-scale framework, using Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis, based on the per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of counties and municipalities within the Zhejiang province in China between the years of 1990 and 2010. A Spatial [...] Read more.
This paper investigates regional inequality in a multi-scale framework, using Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis, based on the per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of counties and municipalities within the Zhejiang province in China between the years of 1990 and 2010. A Spatial Markov Chain is used to identify the dynamics of regional wealth disparity in Zhejiang. The results show that the regional inequality of Zhejiang is sensitive to the geographic scale of the analysis. In addition, the inter-county inequality shows an inverted-U shape pattern. At the same time, the inter-municipality inequality displays a more consistently upward trend, and the evolution of the interregional inequality is relatively stable over time. The regional inequality is more significant at finer (larger) spatial scales. The decomposition of the Theil Index shows that the contribution of the inequalities between Northeast Zhejiang and Southwest Zhejiang increased. The increasingly larger values of the Global Moran’s I show that there is an intensifying spatial aggregation of economic development. The comparison of the traditional Markov transition matrix and the Spatial Markov transition matrix illustrates how the relative wealth or poverty of neighboring counties make a significance difference in wealth in a given county as measured using domestic GDP per capita in Zhejiang province. This space-time analysis is valuable for policy making towards sustainable economic development in China given the soaring spatial inequality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Rice Ratoon Crop: A Sustainable Rice Production System for Tropical Hill Agriculture
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 5785-5800; doi:10.3390/su6095785
Received: 11 March 2014 / Revised: 15 July 2014 / Accepted: 24 July 2014 / Published: 29 August 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (773 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Increasing and sustainable production of rice in tropical hill area is facing various problems where rice ratooning can overcome the limitations. In this study; 22 rice entries were transplanted into experimental tank placed in the hill slope following Completely Randomized Design with [...] Read more.
Increasing and sustainable production of rice in tropical hill area is facing various problems where rice ratooning can overcome the limitations. In this study; 22 rice entries were transplanted into experimental tank placed in the hill slope following Completely Randomized Design with five replications to asses’ agronomic performance of main crop and ratoon crop where Entry 13 demonstrated highest grain yield per plant (42.06 ± 1.2 gm) as main crop, as well as ratoon crop (3.37 ± 0.28 gm); Entry 19 produced lowest grain yield per plant (5.01 ± 0.31 gm) as main crop and Entry 31 as ratoon crop (0.47 ± 0.03 gm). The grain yield per plant of both the main and ratoon crop demonstrated significant (** at 5% level and *** at 1% level) positive correlation with number of tiller per plant (0.64 ** and 0.52); number of fertile tiller per plant (0.66 ** and 0.63 **); grain per panicle (0.72 ** and 0.53); fertile grain per panicle (0.80 *** and 0.63) and thousand-grain weight (0.66 ** and 0.54). The Duncan Multiple Range test and Analysis of Variance also confirmed the different grouping and significant differences of productivity and agronomic performances of the entries. The information of this investigation will helps the rice breeder as well as marginal rice farmers to consider rice ratooning as an important practice for sustainable rice production in tropical agriculture system for maximum gains. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
Open AccessArticle Preliminary Calculation of the EROI for the Production of Crude Oil and Light Oil Products in Russia
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 5801-5819; doi:10.3390/su6095801
Received: 14 May 2014 / Revised: 25 July 2014 / Accepted: 25 August 2014 / Published: 1 September 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2668 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Russia is one of the world’s largest producers of energy resources. The production of energy resources in Russia is profitable both economically and in terms of energy production. Currently, Russian oil and gas companies have a policy of increasing energy efficiency, which [...] Read more.
Russia is one of the world’s largest producers of energy resources. The production of energy resources in Russia is profitable both economically and in terms of energy production. Currently, Russian oil and gas companies have a policy of increasing energy efficiency, which will led to an increase in the energy return on investment (EROI) of both oil and gas production as a whole, and of separate companies in particular. By our calculations, the EROI for oil production in Russia differs for the different companies, and in 2012 was in the range of 22–35:1. The EROI for light oil products in 2012 was in the range of 5–13:1. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle A Study of Heavy Metal Pollution in China: Current Status, Pollution-Control Policies and Countermeasures
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 5820-5838; doi:10.3390/su6095820
Received: 22 June 2014 / Revised: 19 August 2014 / Accepted: 20 August 2014 / Published: 1 September 2014
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (594 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the past 30 years, China’s economy has experienced rapid development, which led to a vast increase in energy consumption and serious environmental pollution. Among the different types of pollution, heavy metal pollution has become one of the major environmental issues in [...] Read more.
In the past 30 years, China’s economy has experienced rapid development, which led to a vast increase in energy consumption and serious environmental pollution. Among the different types of pollution, heavy metal pollution has become one of the major environmental issues in China. A number of studies show that high level of heavy metal exposure is a frequent cause of permanent intellectual and developmental disabilities. In recent years, some traditional pollutants, such as sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide, have been put under control in China. However, heavy metal pollution, which poses even greater risks to public health and sustainable development, has yet to gain policymakers’ attention. The purpose of this paper is to explore effective countermeasures for heavy metal pollution in China. The present study reviews the current status of China’s heavy metal pollution and analyzes related public policies and countermeasures against that pollution. It also presents a few recommendations and measures for prevention of heavy metal pollution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle Development of Innovative Aerogel Based Plasters: Preliminary Thermal and Acoustic Performance Evaluation
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 5839-5852; doi:10.3390/su6095839
Received: 4 June 2014 / Revised: 13 August 2014 / Accepted: 26 August 2014 / Published: 1 September 2014
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (2150 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The thermal and acoustic properties of innovative insulating systems used as building coatings were investigated: Granular silica aerogel was mixed with natural plaster in different percentages. This coating solution is transpiring and insulating, thanks to the use of a natural lime coat [...] Read more.
The thermal and acoustic properties of innovative insulating systems used as building coatings were investigated: Granular silica aerogel was mixed with natural plaster in different percentages. This coating solution is transpiring and insulating, thanks to the use of a natural lime coat and aerogel, a highly porous light material with very low thermal conductivity. The thermal conductivity of the proposed solution was evaluated by means of a Heat Flow meter apparatus (EN ISO 12667), considering different percentages of aerogel. The natural plaster without aerogel has a thermal conductivity of about 0.50 W/m K; considering a percentage of granular aerogel of about 90% in volume, the thermal conductivity of the insulating natural coating falls to 0.050 W/m K. Increasing the percentage of granular aerogel, a value of about 0.018–0.020 W/m K can be reached. The acoustic properties were also evaluated in terms of the acoustic absorption coefficient, measured by means of a Kundt’s Tube (ISO 10534-2). Two samples composed by a plasterboard support, an insulation plaster with aerogel (thicknesses 10 mm and 30 mm respectively) and a final coat were assembled. The results showed that the absorption coefficient strongly depends on the final coat, so the aerogel-based plaster layer moderately influences the final value. The application of this innovative solution can be a useful tool for new buildings, but also for the refurbishment of existing ones. This material is in development: until now, the best value of the thermal conductivity obtained from manufacturers is about 0.015 W/m K. Full article
Open AccessArticle Understanding Density in an Uneven City, Santiago de Chile: Implications for Social and Environmental Sustainability
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 5876-5897; doi:10.3390/su6095876
Received: 29 April 2014 / Revised: 14 August 2014 / Accepted: 15 August 2014 / Published: 2 September 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (10587 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Efforts to promote infill development and to raise densities are growing in many cities around the world as a way to encourage urban sustainability. However, in cities polarized along socio-economic lines, the benefits of densification are not so evident. The aim of [...] Read more.
Efforts to promote infill development and to raise densities are growing in many cities around the world as a way to encourage urban sustainability. However, in cities polarized along socio-economic lines, the benefits of densification are not so evident. The aim of this paper is to discuss some of the contradictions of densification in Santiago de Chile, a city characterized by socio-spatial disparities. To that end, we first use regression analysis to explain differences in density rates within the city. The regression analysis shows that dwelling density depends on the distance from the city center, socioeconomic conditions, and the availability of urban attributes in the area. After understanding the density profile, we discuss the implications for travel and the distribution of social infrastructures and the environmental services provided by green areas. While, at the metropolitan scale, densification may favor a more sustainable travel pattern, it should be achieved by balancing density rates and addressing spatial differences in the provision of social services and environmental amenities. We believe a metropolitan approach is essential to correct these spatial imbalances and to promote a more sustainable and socially cohesive growth pattern. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Density and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle An Assessment Framework for Cities Coping with Climate Change: The Case of New York City and its PlaNYC 2030
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 5898-5919; doi:10.3390/su6095898
Received: 27 May 2014 / Revised: 11 August 2014 / Accepted: 26 August 2014 / Published: 3 September 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (239 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Climate change and its resulting uncertainties challenge the concepts, procedures, and scope of conventional approaches to planning, creating a need to rethink and revise current planning methods. This paper proposes a new conceptual framework for assessing city plans based on the idea [...] Read more.
Climate change and its resulting uncertainties challenge the concepts, procedures, and scope of conventional approaches to planning, creating a need to rethink and revise current planning methods. This paper proposes a new conceptual framework for assessing city plans based on the idea of sustainability and planning countering climate change. It applies this framework to assess the recent master plan for the city of New York City: PlaNYC 2030. The framework consists of eight concepts that were identified through conceptual analyses of the planning and interdisciplinary literature on sustainability and climate change. Using the proposed conceptual framework to evaluate PlaNYC 2030 reveals some of the merits of the Plan. PlaNYC promotes greater compactness and density, enhanced mixed land use, sustainable transportation, greening, and renewal and utilization of underused land. With regard to the concept of uncertainty, it addresses future uncertainties related to climate change with institutional measures only. From the perspective of ecological economics, the Plan creates a number of mechanisms to promote its climate change goals and to create a cleaner environment for economic investment. It offers an ambitious vision of reducing emissions by 30% and creating a “greener, greater New York,” and links this vision with the international agenda for climate change. On the other hand, the assessment reveals that PlaNYC did not make a radical shift toward planning for climate change and adaptation. It inadequately addresses social planning issues that are crucial to New York City. NYC is “socially differentiated” in terms of the capacity of communities to meet climate change uncertainties, and the Plan fails to address the issues facing vulnerable communities due to climate change. The Plan calls for an integrative approach to climate change on the institutional level, but it fails to effectively integrate civil society, communities, and grassroots organizations into the process. The lack of a systematic procedure for public participation throughout the city’s neighborhoods and among different social groupings and other stakeholders is a critical shortcoming, particularly during the current age of climate change uncertainty. Practically, the proposed conceptual framework of evaluate appears to be an effective and constructive means of illuminating the Plan’s strengths and weaknesses, and appears to be an easy-to-grasp evaluation method, and should be easily understood and applied by scholars, practitioners and policy makers. Full article
Open AccessArticle Mapping of Biomass Fluxes: A Method for Optimizing Biogas-Refinery of Livestock Effluents
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 5920-5940; doi:10.3390/su6095920
Received: 24 July 2014 / Revised: 25 August 2014 / Accepted: 26 August 2014 / Published: 4 September 2014
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Abstract
This paper presents the topic of the management of livestock effluents and, therefore, nutrients (particularly N) in the framework of the biogas supply chain. The bio-refinery will be analyzed as a unique system, from the farm to the biomass produced and sent [...] Read more.
This paper presents the topic of the management of livestock effluents and, therefore, nutrients (particularly N) in the framework of the biogas supply chain. The bio-refinery will be analyzed as a unique system, from the farm to the biomass produced and sent to anaerobic digestion, focusing on the fate/change of the flow of material and nutrients content through the system. Within four categories of farms considered in the article, integrated ones frequently have a breeding consistency from 90 to 320 heads, according to more extensive or intensive settings. These farms must manage from 3.62 to 12.81 m3 day−1 of slurry and from 11.40 to 40.34 kg day−1 of nitrogen (N) as the sum of excreta from all herd categories. By selecting a hypo-protein diet, a reduction of 10% and 24% for total effluent amount and for N excreted, respectively, can be achieved. Nitrogen can be reduced up to 45% if the crude protein content is limited and a further 0.23% if animals of similar ages, weights and (or) production or management are grouped and fed according to specific requirements. Integrated farms can implement farming activity with biogas production, possibly adding agricultural residues to the anaerobically-digested biomass. Average biogas yields for cattle effluents range from 200 to 400 m3 ton−1 VS (volatile solids). Values from 320 to 672 m3 day−1 of biogas can be produced, obtaining average values from 26 to 54.5 kWe (kilowatt-electric). This type of farm can well balance farm-production profit, environmental protection, animal husbandry well-being and energy self-sufficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Resources)
Open AccessArticle Analysis and Measurements of Artificial Optical Radiation (AOR) Emitted by Lighting Sources Found in Offices
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 5941-5954; doi:10.3390/su6095941
Received: 1 July 2014 / Revised: 10 August 2014 / Accepted: 15 August 2014 / Published: 4 September 2014
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Abstract
In this paper the authors describe in detail the exposure limit values concerning artificial optical radiation due to the main incoherent light sources found in offices. In particular, for some examples of significant sources chosen as case studies, we discuss the results [...] Read more.
In this paper the authors describe in detail the exposure limit values concerning artificial optical radiation due to the main incoherent light sources found in offices. In particular, for some examples of significant sources chosen as case studies, we discuss the results of in situ measurements of the exposure values using a broadband photoradiometer. By comparing the measurement results with the exposure limit values specified in the European legislation, the maximum exposure times for workers have been evaluated. From the analysis of the results it can be concluded that the lighting sources typically present in indoor workplaces under usual conditions of use, do not pose a health risks for workers. However, in the case of accidental exposure during work activities or exposure linked to maintenance activities (short exposure distance), values in excess of the limit values have been observed, with decidedly short maximum exposure times. Full article
Open AccessArticle Leadership in Sustainability: Creating an Interface between Creativity and Leadership Theory in Dealing with “Wicked Problems”
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 5955-5967; doi:10.3390/su6095955
Received: 30 July 2014 / Revised: 29 August 2014 / Accepted: 1 September 2014 / Published: 4 September 2014
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Abstract
Fundamental to Leadership in Sustainability, a course in the Masters in Sustainability and Climate Policy (coursework) offered through Curtin University Sustainability Policy (CUSP) Institute, is that the complexity, flexibility and vitality of sustainability are precisely why sustainability practitioners commit themselves to finding [...] Read more.
Fundamental to Leadership in Sustainability, a course in the Masters in Sustainability and Climate Policy (coursework) offered through Curtin University Sustainability Policy (CUSP) Institute, is that the complexity, flexibility and vitality of sustainability are precisely why sustainability practitioners commit themselves to finding new and innovative solutions to complex problems. The course asks the student to “think differently” and to engage in debate that inspires and encourages creative thinking strategies for the planning and development of our cities and communities. This paper details what the course is about, how it is structured and what the connections are between creativity, sustainability and theories of leadership, arguing that strong and resilient leadership requires thinking differently in order to deal with “wicked problems” associated with sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cities)
Open AccessArticle Effects of Compact Urban Development on Air Pollution: Empirical Evidence from Korea
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 5968-5982; doi:10.3390/su6095968
Received: 6 June 2014 / Revised: 29 August 2014 / Accepted: 2 September 2014 / Published: 5 September 2014
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Abstract
This study investigates the effects of compact urban development on air pollution, taking into account both the spatial distribution of pollutants resulting from an increase in inner urban densities and the dispersion of pollutants associated with an increase in outer green open [...] Read more.
This study investigates the effects of compact urban development on air pollution, taking into account both the spatial distribution of pollutants resulting from an increase in inner urban densities and the dispersion of pollutants associated with an increase in outer green open spaces. The empirical analysis is based upon a panel data model covering 17 cities in Korea from 1996–2009; this approach is used because urban air pollution is influenced by spatial and temporal changes. Measuring the air pollution level by distance from city centers demonstrates that the spatial concentration of emission sources does not necessarily increase air pollution levels. The two-way fixed effects model, which is employed to control both individual (regional) and time effects, shows that SO2 decreases as the proportion of green area increases, while a rise in net density leads to an increase of NO2. Both effects are observed in the case of CO dispersion by green area as well as emission source concentration by high densities. Therefore, there is no clear impact of compact urban development on air quality, which is instead related to pollutant-specific characteristics and the emission source. Full article
Open AccessArticle Sources of China’s Economic Growth: An Empirical Analysis Based on the BML Index with Green Growth Accounting
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 5983-6004; doi:10.3390/su6095983
Received: 7 July 2014 / Revised: 18 August 2014 / Accepted: 26 August 2014 / Published: 5 September 2014
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Abstract
This study develops a biennial Malmquist–Luenberger  productivity index that is used to measure the sources of economic growth by utilizing data envelopment analysis and the directional distance function. Taking restrictions on resources and the environment into account based on the green growth [...] Read more.
This study develops a biennial Malmquist–Luenberger  productivity index that is used to measure the sources of economic growth by utilizing data envelopment analysis and the directional distance function. Taking restrictions on resources and the environment into account based on the green growth accounting framework; we split economic growth into seven components: technical efficiency change, technological change, labor effect, capital effect, energy effect, output structure effect and environmental regulation effect. Further, we apply the Silverman test and Li-Fan-Ullah nonparametric test in combination with kernel distribution to test for the counterfactual contributions at the provincial level in China from 1998 to 2012. The empirical results show that: (1) technological progress and TFP make positive contributions to economic growth in China, while technical efficiency drags it down; (2) the effect of output structure and CO2 emissions with environmental regulation restrain economic growth in some provinces; and (3) overall, physical capital accumulation is the most important driving force for economic take-off, irrespective of whether the government adopts environmental regulations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Special issue of Sustainable Asia Conference 2014)
Open AccessArticle Carbon Emissions in China: A Spatial Econometric Analysis at the Regional Level
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 6005-6023; doi:10.3390/su6096005
Received: 23 July 2014 / Revised: 1 September 2014 / Accepted: 2 September 2014 / Published: 5 September 2014
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Abstract
An extended Stochastic Impacts by Regression on Population, Affluence and Technology (STIRPAT) model, incorporating factors that drive carbon emissions, is built from the regional perspective. A spatial Durbin model is applied to investigate the factors, including population, urbanization level, economic development, energy [...] Read more.
An extended Stochastic Impacts by Regression on Population, Affluence and Technology (STIRPAT) model, incorporating factors that drive carbon emissions, is built from the regional perspective. A spatial Durbin model is applied to investigate the factors, including population, urbanization level, economic development, energy intensity, industrial structure, energy consumption structure, energy price, and openness, that impact both the scale and intensity of carbon emissions. After performing the model, we find that the revealed negative and significant impact of spatial-lagged variables suggests that the carbon emissions among regions are highly correlated. Therefore, the empirical results suggest that the provinces are doing an exemplary job of lowering carbon emissions. The driving factors, with the exception of energy prices, significantly impact carbon emissions both directly and indirectly. We, thus, argue that spatial correlation, endogeneity and externality should be taken into account in formulating polices that seek to reduce carbon emissions in China. Carbon emissions will not be met by controlling economic development, but by energy consumption and low-carbon path. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Special issue of Sustainable Asia Conference 2014)
Open AccessArticle Can Environmental Laws Fulfill Their Promise? Stories from Canada
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 6024-6048; doi:10.3390/su6096024
Received: 21 April 2014 / Revised: 12 July 2014 / Accepted: 14 August 2014 / Published: 5 September 2014
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Abstract
Canadian environmental law has changed dramatically over the last 50 years, responding to some of the flaws and weaknesses identified by commentators seeking to explain the continuing trend in environmental degradation. The aim of this article is to tell the story of [...] Read more.
Canadian environmental law has changed dramatically over the last 50 years, responding to some of the flaws and weaknesses identified by commentators seeking to explain the continuing trend in environmental degradation. The aim of this article is to tell the story of three pieces of Canadian environmental legislation, the Alberta Land Stewardship Act, the federal Species at Risk Act, and Alberta’s Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, with a view to exploring whether the environmental ambition underlying these pieces of legislation is being realized. Our overall conclusion is that there is a significant gap between the ambition of these three pieces of environmental legislation and their actual implementation but this gap arises from design choices made by the legislature and the executive, rather than something inherent in the law itself. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Law for Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Sustainable E-Governance: The Relationship among Trust, Digital Divide, and E-Government
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 6049-6069; doi:10.3390/su6096049
Received: 4 June 2014 / Revised: 12 August 2014 / Accepted: 25 August 2014 / Published: 5 September 2014
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Abstract
This study empirically examines the correlation between the quality of e-government and trust in government. It used survey data collected in 2013 from the metropolitan areas of Seoul. An index was developed to measure the quality of e-government services, and the Gov [...] Read more.
This study empirically examines the correlation between the quality of e-government and trust in government. It used survey data collected in 2013 from the metropolitan areas of Seoul. An index was developed to measure the quality of e-government services, and the Gov 3.0 values were reflected in the analysis, including openness, sharing, communication, and collaboration. The results show a partial correlation between the quality of e-government service and trust in government. In addition, the level of trust varied according to the different type of the digital divide groups. It suggests that as ICT (Information Communication Technology) has become more sophisticated, a willingness to share information among organizations and stakeholders may become a major factor to thoseactively seeking information and resources to make value-added products. It also suggests that more integrated data management including network securityand an open attitude toward information sharing will be more important beyond the level of technical issues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Special issue of Sustainable Asia Conference 2014)
Open AccessArticle Estimation of Resource Productivity and Efficiency: An Extended Evaluation of Sustainability Related to Material Flow
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 6070-6087; doi:10.3390/su6096070
Received: 24 April 2014 / Revised: 19 August 2014 / Accepted: 29 August 2014 / Published: 9 September 2014
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Abstract
This study is intended to conduct an extended evaluation of sustainability based on the material flow analysis of resource productivity. We first present updated information on the material flow analysis (MFA) database in Taiwan. Essential indicators are selected to quantify resource productivity [...] Read more.
This study is intended to conduct an extended evaluation of sustainability based on the material flow analysis of resource productivity. We first present updated information on the material flow analysis (MFA) database in Taiwan. Essential indicators are selected to quantify resource productivity associated with the economy-wide MFA of Taiwan. The study also applies the IPAT (impact-population-affluence-technology) master equation to measure trends of material use efficiency in Taiwan and to compare them with those of other Asia-Pacific countries. An extended evaluation of efficiency, in comparison with selected economies by applying data envelopment analysis (DEA), is conducted accordingly. The Malmquist Productivity Index (MPI) is thereby adopted to quantify the patterns and the associated changes of efficiency. Observations and summaries can be described as follows. Based on the MFA of the Taiwanese economy, the average growth rates of domestic material input (DMI; 2.83%) and domestic material consumption (DMC; 2.13%) in the past two decades were both less than that of gross domestic product (GDP; 4.95%). The decoupling of environmental pressures from economic growth can be observed. In terms of the decomposition analysis of the IPAT equation and in comparison with 38 other economies, the material use efficiency of Taiwan did not perform as well as its economic growth. The DEA comparisons of resource productivity show that Denmark, Germany, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, United Kingdom and Japan performed the best in 2008. Since the MPI consists of technological change (frontier-shift or innovation) and efficiency change (catch-up), the change in efficiency (catch-up) of Taiwan has not been accomplished as expected in spite of the increase in its technological efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Examination of Green Building Drivers in the South African Construction Industry: Economics versus Ecology
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 6088-6106; doi:10.3390/su6096088
Received: 10 June 2014 / Revised: 26 August 2014 / Accepted: 27 August 2014 / Published: 9 September 2014
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Abstract
There is a large body of literature on green buildings, but few studies have focused on the motivation behind the construction of green buildings globally, and in South Africa in particular. This paper investigates the key drivers of green building in the [...] Read more.
There is a large body of literature on green buildings, but few studies have focused on the motivation behind the construction of green buildings globally, and in South Africa in particular. This paper investigates the key drivers of green building in the Western Cape Construction Industry of South Africa and examines whether these drivers have changed over time. A comprehensive literature review was undertaken to provide an overview of green building issues globally and in South Africa, followed by an empirical investigation into the drivers of green building in South Africa using a multi-case study approach. The findings reveal that the key drivers of green building include rising energy costs, the industry’s Green Star rating system, competitive advantages and legislation. The study also indicates that these key drivers have not changed significantly over time. Taken together, these results suggest that the increase in green building has little to do with ecological factors and more to do with economic factors—operational costs and stakeholder demands. The paper concludes that as long as the cost of energy continues to increase and there are recognised industry rating systems in place, the need for green buildings is likely to remain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Building)
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Open AccessArticle Comparative Multi-Criteria Assessment of Climate Policies and Sustainable Development Strategies in Cameroon: Towards a GIS Decision-Support Tool for the Design of an Optimal REDD+ Strategy
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 6125-6140; doi:10.3390/su6096125
Received: 22 April 2014 / Revised: 25 July 2014 / Accepted: 28 August 2014 / Published: 10 September 2014
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Abstract
Cameroon is committed to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation plus conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of carbon stocks (REDD+). To achieve this goal, the government has introduced a series of policy reforms and formulated a number of key [...] Read more.
Cameroon is committed to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation plus conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of carbon stocks (REDD+). To achieve this goal, the government has introduced a series of policy reforms and formulated a number of key strategic planning documents to advance the REDD+ readiness process in Cameroon. This paper assesses the extent to which major cross-sectoral policies support or impede the development and implementation of an optimal REDD+ strategy in Cameroon from a comparative multi-criteria perspective. Study results reveal that a majority of the policy instruments reviewed appeared to be less prescriptive in terms of any tangible REDD+ strategy, as they do not have provisions for tangible measures to reduce deforestation and forest degradation. Given the lack of adequate flexibility, prompt review and responsiveness of these cross-sectoral policies to adapt themselves to new realities and respond to a changing environment, this paper introduces a GIS-REDD+ decision support system (GIS-REDD+DSS) that is necessary to support the adaptive element of an adaptive REDD+ strategy in Cameroon. The GIS-REDD+DSS, an electronic REDD+agri intermediary hub, serves the following purpose: (1) host a database of locally-relevant climate information, improved input technologies, best practices as well as land use and forest cover geo-spatial maps; (2) host a virtual economic tool that performs economic valuations (costs and benefits) and financial analysis of REDD+agri projects to aid investment decision-making; and (3) host an electronic marketplace to mediate any-to-any transactions among REDD+agri project developers, service providers, input suppliers, private and institutional investors and buyers (wholesalers and retailers), thereby creating value in two ways: aggregation and matching. This decision support tool, we argue, is a fundamental prerequisite for “policy and REDD+ safeguard integration” innovation that allows new scientific findings to be integrated into REDD+ strategies in a short period of time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle Water Resource Vulnerability Characteristics by District’s Population Size in a Changing Climate Using Subjective and Objective Weights
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 6141-6157; doi:10.3390/su6096141
Received: 9 May 2014 / Revised: 30 August 2014 / Accepted: 2 September 2014 / Published: 10 September 2014
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Abstract
The goal of this study is to derive water resource vulnerability characteristics for South Korea according to individual district populations in a changing climate. The definition of water resource vulnerability in this study consists of potential flood damage and potential water scarcity. [...] Read more.
The goal of this study is to derive water resource vulnerability characteristics for South Korea according to individual district populations in a changing climate. The definition of water resource vulnerability in this study consists of potential flood damage and potential water scarcity. To quantify these vulnerabilities, key factors, or indicators affecting vulnerability, are integrated with a technique for order of preference by similarity to ideal solution (TOPSIS), which is a multi-criteria decision-making approach to determine the optimal alternative by considering both the best and worst solutions. The weight for each indicator is determined based on both the Delphi technique and Shannon’s entropy, which are employed to reduce the uncertainty in the process of determining the weights. The Delphi technique reflects expert opinions, and Shannon’s entropy reflects the uncertainty of the performance data. Under A1B climate change scenarios, medium-sized districts (200,000–300,000 inhabitants) are the most vulnerable regarding potential flood damage; the largest districts (exceeding 500,000 inhabitants) are found to be the most vulnerable with respect to potential water scarcity. This result indicates that the local governments of cities or districts with more than 200,000 inhabitants should implement better preventative measures for water resources. In addition, the Delphi and entropy methods show the same rankings for flood vulnerability; however, these approaches produce slightly different rankings regarding water scarcity vulnerability. Therefore, it is suggested that rankings from not only subjective but also objective weights should be considered in making a final decision to implement specific adaptive measures to climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Open AccessArticle Life Cycle Inventory Analysis of Recycling: Mathematical and Graphical Frameworks
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 6158-6169; doi:10.3390/su6096158
Received: 4 July 2014 / Accepted: 4 September 2014 / Published: 10 September 2014
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Abstract
A mathematical framework of the life cycle inventory (LCI) analysis in life cycle assessment (LCA) of recycling is systematically reviewed with the aid of graphical interpretation. First, the zero burden approach, which has been applied to LCI analyses of waste management systems, [...] Read more.
A mathematical framework of the life cycle inventory (LCI) analysis in life cycle assessment (LCA) of recycling is systematically reviewed with the aid of graphical interpretation. First, the zero burden approach, which has been applied to LCI analyses of waste management systems, is theoretically justified in terms of relative comparison of waste management options. As recycling is a multi-functional system including the dual functions of waste management and secondary material production, the allocation issue needs to be handled in LCIs of recycling, and two forms of system expansion, i.e., the avoided burden and product basket approaches, have dominated to avoid the allocation problem. Then, it is demonstrated that conclusions derived from both approaches should mathematically be identical as far as system boundaries are correctly defined. A criticism against system expansion is also reviewed from the viewpoint of ambiguity of what-if scenarios. As an approach to this issue, market-based consequential LCA is discussed in the context of LCI analyses of open-loop recycling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environment and Energy: the Industrial Ecology perspective)
Open AccessArticle Taiwan’s Ecological Footprint (1994–2011)
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 6170-6187; doi:10.3390/su6096170
Received: 10 July 2014 / Revised: 11 August 2014 / Accepted: 1 September 2014 / Published: 10 September 2014
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Abstract
According to the 2011 edition of the National Footprint Accounts (NFA) published by the Global Footprint Network (GFN), humankind consumed the resources and services of 1.5 planets in 2008; the corresponding number in 1961 was 0.7 planets. North Americans have an ecological [...] Read more.
According to the 2011 edition of the National Footprint Accounts (NFA) published by the Global Footprint Network (GFN), humankind consumed the resources and services of 1.5 planets in 2008; the corresponding number in 1961 was 0.7 planets. North Americans have an ecological footprint of 8.7 global hectares per person whereas Africans have a footprint of only 1.4 global hectares per person. The global mean biological capacity is only 1.8 global hectares per person so human beings are overshooting ecological resources. The ecological footprint measures the resources that are consumed by humans from the biosphere, and serves as an index of the sustainability of development. The NFA includes the ecological footprints of over 200 countries and regions, but not Taiwan. Hence, Taiwan must establish and update its own ecological footprint databases. Ecological footprint is one indicator of the sustainability of development, and can be compared across nations. This study extends previous studies by analyzing Taiwan’s ecological footprint from 2008–2011. With reference to the ecological footprint accounts of the Global Footprint Network and the Taiwan’s ecological footprint analysis for 1997–2007, this study presents Taiwan’s ecological footprint from 2008–2011. Most of the data that are used herein are taken from the Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Energy Agency, Taiwan’s Council of Agriculture and Taiwan’s National Development Council. The results thus obtained reveal that Taiwan’s ecological footprint from 2008–2011 exceeded that from 1997–2007. To respond to this trend toward un-sustainable development and to help Taiwan move toward sustainability, carbon reduction and energy saving policies should be implemented to effectively manage Taiwan’s ecological resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Land Use and Ecosystem Management)
Open AccessArticle Biofuels for a Greener Economy? Insights from Jatropha Production in Northeastern Ethiopia
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 6188-6202; doi:10.3390/su6096188
Received: 16 July 2014 / Revised: 3 September 2014 / Accepted: 4 September 2014 / Published: 10 September 2014
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Abstract
Many observers view Jatropha as a miracle plant that grows in harsh environments, halts land degradation and provides seeds for fuel production. This makes it particularly attractive for use in Ethiopia, where poverty levels are high and the degradation of agricultural land [...] Read more.
Many observers view Jatropha as a miracle plant that grows in harsh environments, halts land degradation and provides seeds for fuel production. This makes it particularly attractive for use in Ethiopia, where poverty levels are high and the degradation of agricultural land is widespread. In this article, we investigate the potentials and limitations of a government-initiated Jatropha project for smallholders in northeastern Ethiopia from a green economy perspective. Data are based on a 2009 household survey and interviews with key informants, as well as on a 2012 follow-up round of interviews with key informants. We conclude that the project has not contributed to a greener economy so far, but has the potential to do so in the future. To maximize Jatropha’s potential, interventions must focus mainly on smallholders and pay more attention to the entire biofuel value chain. Full article
Open AccessArticle Economic and Social Sustainability Performance of Jatropha Projects: Results from Field Surveys in Mozambique, Tanzania and Mali
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 6203-6235; doi:10.3390/su6096203
Received: 3 March 2014 / Revised: 8 August 2014 / Accepted: 29 August 2014 / Published: 11 September 2014
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Abstract
This paper presents results from comprehensive field surveys of jatropha projects in Mozambique, Tanzania and Mali in 2012. The article singles out the salient economic and social impact results and derives lessons. The results clearly demonstrate the weak business case for jatropha [...] Read more.
This paper presents results from comprehensive field surveys of jatropha projects in Mozambique, Tanzania and Mali in 2012. The article singles out the salient economic and social impact results and derives lessons. The results clearly demonstrate the weak business case for jatropha biofuel production at this time. Plantations were found to be unviable because of insurmountable up-front capital requirements in combination with slow and unreliable crop maturation, inefficient oil pressing owing to a lack of scale and experience, inadequate utilization of by-products, and competitively-priced fossil diesel and palm oil. For smallholders, jatropha only has limited value as a hedge crop in environmentally and economically disadvantaged areas. Better prospects have to wait for the advent of improved jatropha varieties. Social impacts from the perspective of project managers were rather mixed: overall, food security perceptions were positive and no massive forced human displacements were noted so far, though some disputes over land access and compensation were reported. Labor legislation was apparently respected on plantations, and positive gender effects, regional income/employment effects and better public facilities were also reported. The projects generated considerable employment, albeit mostly of a temporary nature, as lack of economic viability had caused many projects to close down again. When introducing next-generation biofuel projects, better monitoring by various actor groups is recommended, as well as long-term investment plans that include integral exit strategies. Full article
Open AccessArticle Sustainable Fashion Supply Chain: Lessons from H&M
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 6236-6249; doi:10.3390/su6096236
Received: 15 July 2014 / Revised: 15 August 2014 / Accepted: 19 August 2014 / Published: 11 September 2014
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Abstract
Sustainability is significantly important for fashion business due to consumers’ increasing awareness of environment. When a fashion company aims to promote sustainability, the main linkage is to develop a sustainable supply chain. This paper contributes to current knowledge of sustainable supply chain [...] Read more.
Sustainability is significantly important for fashion business due to consumers’ increasing awareness of environment. When a fashion company aims to promote sustainability, the main linkage is to develop a sustainable supply chain. This paper contributes to current knowledge of sustainable supply chain in the textile and clothing industry. We first depict the structure of sustainable fashion supply chain including eco-material preparation, sustainable manufacturing, green distribution, green retailing, and ethical consumers based on the extant literature. We study the case of the Swedish fast fashion company, H&M, which has constructed its sustainable supply chain in developing eco-materials, providing safety training, monitoring sustainable manufacturing, reducing carbon emission in distribution, and promoting eco-fashion. Moreover, based on the secondary data and analysis, we learn the lessons of H&M’s sustainable fashion supply chain from the country perspective: (1) the H&M’s sourcing managers may be more likely to select suppliers in the countries with lower degrees of human wellbeing; (2) the H&M’s supply chain manager may set a higher level of inventory in a country with a higher human wellbeing; and (3) the H&M CEO may consider the degrees of human wellbeing and economic wellbeing, instead of environmental wellbeing when launching the online shopping channel in a specific country. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Fashion Business Operations)
Open AccessArticle Model Estimation of Water Use Efficiency for Soil Conservation in the Lower Heihe River Basin, Northwest China during 2000–2008
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 6250-6266; doi:10.3390/su6096250
Received: 29 April 2014 / Revised: 3 August 2014 / Accepted: 4 September 2014 / Published: 12 September 2014
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Abstract
There has been very limited research on water use efficiency for soil conservation (WUE-SC) in typical water scarce regions such as the lower Heihe River Basin, where there is serious wind erosion and the soil conservation service plays a key role in [...] Read more.
There has been very limited research on water use efficiency for soil conservation (WUE-SC) in typical water scarce regions such as the lower Heihe River Basin, where there is serious wind erosion and the soil conservation service plays a key role in guaranteeing the ecological safety of Northern China. The soil conservation service, which was represented by the soil conservation amount (SC), was first estimated with an experiment-based model in this study. Then, the WUE-SC (i.e., SC/ET) was calculated on the basis of evapotranspiration (ET) data, and management implications were finally discussed. The results indicated the WUE-SC ranged between 0–98.69 t mm−1, and it first decreased and then increased on the whole during 2000–2008. Besides, the inter-annual variation of WUE-SC was mainly due to change in the potential soil loss. In addition, the WUE-SC showed significant spatial heterogeneity, and the average WUE-SC of the whole study area was very low due to spatiotemporal inconsistency between the potential soil loss and the vegetation coverage rate. Although there are some uncertainties, these results still can provide local managers with valuable information for water resource utilization and ecosystem management to improve water use efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environment and Energy: the Industrial Ecology perspective)
Open AccessArticle Environment in Industrial Ecology, Grasping a Complex Notion for Enhancing Industrial Synergies at Territorial Scales
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 6267-6277; doi:10.3390/su6096267
Received: 6 August 2014 / Accepted: 5 September 2014 / Published: 12 September 2014
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Abstract
Identifying the most relevant environment related indicators and how to make them available to decision-makers are current issues. Some seek to enhance their efficiency by means of methods such as aggregations or weighting. More fundamentally, in this chapter we question how industrial [...] Read more.
Identifying the most relevant environment related indicators and how to make them available to decision-makers are current issues. Some seek to enhance their efficiency by means of methods such as aggregations or weighting. More fundamentally, in this chapter we question how industrial ecologists appropriate the notion of environment. On the basis of multidisciplinary research, we argue that, in contexts of geographically bounded networks of social actors forging industrial synergies, environmental questions should be posed from the viewpoint of the actors. Our work might aid to operationalize the complex notion of environment in such contexts, and constitutes a call to develop anthropocentric approaches to defining environmental indications followed by appropriated indicators. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environment and Energy: the Industrial Ecology perspective)
Open AccessArticle Climatic Design and Changing Social Needs in the Tropics: A Case Study in Kuching, Sarawak
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 6278-6292; doi:10.3390/su6096278
Received: 22 May 2014 / Revised: 21 August 2014 / Accepted: 26 August 2014 / Published: 12 September 2014
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Abstract
On the periphery of most urban centres in the tropics, many new houses are being constructed in previously rural areas. However, the design of these houses shows little respect for local climate or local lifestyle, as they are now developer-constructed brick-and-concrete houses [...] Read more.
On the periphery of most urban centres in the tropics, many new houses are being constructed in previously rural areas. However, the design of these houses shows little respect for local climate or local lifestyle, as they are now developer-constructed brick-and-concrete houses on smaller lots rather than community-built housing on large lots. This paper proposes a set of design strategies that acknowledges the particular needs related to climate and changing lifestyle in these tropical zones. Using case study methodology, the design strategies are tested on a prototype for an actual site in Tapah Village on the periphery of Kuching, Sarawak. In order to gauge the thermal performance of the prototype it was thermally simulated. The thermal simulation of the prototype showed that temperatures generally remained within an acceptable range without air-conditioning. An informal workshop was held in Tapah to gauge social acceptance of the design strategies. The prototype demonstrated that specific design strategies, some based on traditional designs, are essential in the tropics in order to minimise the need for air conditioning. These design strategies were acknowledged as important by the local community, although there was concern about the potential increase in the capital cost of such housing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Open AccessArticle An Examination of the Relationship between Rural Tourists’ Satisfaction, Revisitation and Information Preferences: A Korean Case Study
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 6293-6311; doi:10.3390/su6096293
Received: 24 June 2014 / Revised: 18 August 2014 / Accepted: 29 August 2014 / Published: 12 September 2014
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Abstract
To encourage the sustainability of rural tourism and to achieve success in the tourist industry, an understanding of the factors by which tourists are motivated to visit rural areas is required. This study aims to measure factors affecting rural tourists’ satisfaction in [...] Read more.
To encourage the sustainability of rural tourism and to achieve success in the tourist industry, an understanding of the factors by which tourists are motivated to visit rural areas is required. This study aims to measure factors affecting rural tourists’ satisfaction in relation to different aspects of a destination and to increase the likelihood of revisitation and recommendation. This study also attempts to examine differences in relation to satisfaction depending on the information source preference. Overall satisfaction was influenced by physical infrastructure, service quality and satisfaction level with tour programs. However, the quality of services was more related to tourists’ intentions to revisit and recommend, suggesting that its qualitative improvement can contribute to vitalizing stagnant domestic tourism. The findings revealed that tourists’ satisfaction was high when people mainly gained tourist information through formal government sources, word-of-mouth and Internet advertising, suggesting that the positive correlation between tourists’ satisfaction and information sources reflects the reliability and credibility of those sources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Open AccessArticle Evolutionary Game Analysis of Remanufacturing Closed-Loop Supply Chain with Asymmetric Information
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 6312-6324; doi:10.3390/su6096312
Received: 13 May 2014 / Revised: 26 July 2014 / Accepted: 4 August 2014 / Published: 12 September 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (767 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Remanufacturing is an effective means to realize energy saving and emission reduction. This paper develops an evolutionary game model with a two-echelon closed-loop supply chain to study evolutionary stable strategies (ESS) of manufacturers and retailers. Through analyzing evolutionary path of the game, [...] Read more.
Remanufacturing is an effective means to realize energy saving and emission reduction. This paper develops an evolutionary game model with a two-echelon closed-loop supply chain to study evolutionary stable strategies (ESS) of manufacturers and retailers. Through analyzing evolutionary path of the game, we find that there are two possible evolutionary results affected by the profits of manufacturers. Price of remanufacturing products may be a critical factor that determines the ESS. Government subsidy is critical to promote the development of remanufacturing industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Fashion Business Operations)
Open AccessArticle Eco-Industrial Parks from Strategic Niches to Development Mainstream: The Cases of China
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 6325-6331; doi:10.3390/su6096325
Received: 30 July 2014 / Revised: 5 September 2014 / Accepted: 9 September 2014 / Published: 12 September 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (700 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
China has implemented eco-industrial park (EIP) initiatives as a mainstream strategy of a circular economy since the turn of the new century. This paper presents the sustainable transition processes and outcomes of three EIP cases, Tianjin Economic and Technological Development Area (TEDA), [...] Read more.
China has implemented eco-industrial park (EIP) initiatives as a mainstream strategy of a circular economy since the turn of the new century. This paper presents the sustainable transition processes and outcomes of three EIP cases, Tianjin Economic and Technological Development Area (TEDA), Fuzhou Economic and Technological Development Area (FEDA) and the Xi’an High-Tech Zone (XHTZ). The cases uncovered four factors key to the transition of EIPs: technological trajectory dependency, spaces for experimentation, government as an enabler and regional embeddedness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environment and Energy: the Industrial Ecology perspective)
Open AccessArticle The Chieftaincy Institution in Ghana: Causers and Arbitrators of Conflicts in Industrial Jatropha Investments
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 6332-6350; doi:10.3390/su6096332
Received: 20 December 2013 / Revised: 29 August 2014 / Accepted: 2 September 2014 / Published: 12 September 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (232 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Large-scale land acquisition in Africa has been the concern and the focus of growing global literature on land grabbing. The upswing in biofuel investments in Ghana led to large-scale land acquisitions by the private sector presided over by chiefs. This research investigates [...] Read more.
Large-scale land acquisition in Africa has been the concern and the focus of growing global literature on land grabbing. The upswing in biofuel investments in Ghana led to large-scale land acquisitions by the private sector presided over by chiefs. This research investigates how chiefs, in playing their traditional roles in the acquisition of land and as arbitrators, were, in most instances, the cause and the solution to the ensuing conflicts in the various communities. Data was collected through interviews, use of questionnaires and focus group discussions. Some of the conflict issues include loss of farmlands or other communal lands, disagreements on the land acquisition processes, the quantum and mode of execution of compensation payments and the existence or contents of social responsibility agreements. Furthermore, the use of negotiation, mediation and courts by people in these communities relative to arbitration by chiefs is increasing. The Government of Ghana needs to strengthen the public sector land institutions and put in place stronger and binding mechanisms for resolving disputes arising from large-scale acquisitions of land to cushion the effect of the weakening confidence in the chieftaincy institution. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Light-Weight Metering File System for Sustainable Real-Time Meter Data Management
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 6351-6361; doi:10.3390/su6096351
Received: 24 June 2014 / Revised: 15 August 2014 / Accepted: 5 September 2014 / Published: 15 September 2014
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Abstract
A real-time smart metering system has strict requirements, since every piece of data gathered from various meters every hour is of importance, and each component consisting of metering infrastructure should be sustainable. Therefore, it is necessary to efficiently manage the meter data [...] Read more.
A real-time smart metering system has strict requirements, since every piece of data gathered from various meters every hour is of importance, and each component consisting of metering infrastructure should be sustainable. Therefore, it is necessary to efficiently manage the meter data set in smart metering networks as well as in a server. Therefore, we propose a dedicated file system, a LIght-weight Metering File System (LIMFS), which is capable of not only efficiently storing and searching meter data but also performing distributed fault-tolerant meter data management for real-time smart meter devices. The proposed LIMFS exploits accumulated data sliding storage (ADSS) for lost data recovery and latest-first error-ignorant data management (LEDM) to reduce memory wastage, coping with dynamic report interval. Experimental results demonstrate that LIMFS has as a small enough overhead to be considered negligible, and provides flexible memory capacity according to dynamic report interval, in spite of lost data recovery functionality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ubiquitous Green IT System for Sustainable Computing)
Open AccessArticle Industrial Ecology and Environmental Lean Management: Lights and Shadows
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 6362-6376; doi:10.3390/su6096362
Received: 8 August 2014 / Accepted: 5 September 2014 / Published: 15 September 2014
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (817 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Current industrial production is driven by increasing globalization, which has led to a steady increase in production volumes and complexity of products aimed at the pursuit of meeting the needs of customers. In this context, one of the main tools in the [...] Read more.
Current industrial production is driven by increasing globalization, which has led to a steady increase in production volumes and complexity of products aimed at the pursuit of meeting the needs of customers. In this context, one of the main tools in the management of customer value is Lean Manufacturing or Production, though it is considered primarily as a set of tools to reduce the total cost of the resources needed to achieve such needs. This philosophy has recently been enriched in the literature with case studies that link Lean Management (LM) with the improvement of environmental sustainability. The consequence is an expansion of the Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM); indeed, CIM, currently, combining and integrating the key business functions (e.g., business, engineering, manufacturing, and information management) with a view of the life cycle, does not highlight the strategic role of the environmental aspects. In order to deal with the increasingly rapid environmental degradation that is reflected in society, in terms of both economy and quality of life, Industrial Ecology (IE) introduced a new paradigm of principles and instruments of analysis and decision support (e.g., Life Cycle Assessment—LCA, Social Life Cycle Assessment -SLCA, Material Flow Account—MFA, etc.) that can be considered as the main basis for integrating the environmental aspects in each strategy, design, production, final product, and end of life management, through the re-engineering of processes and activities towards the development of an eco-industrial system. This paper presents the preliminary observations based on a analysis of both theories (LM-IE) and provides a possible assessment of the key factors relevant to their integration in a “lean environmental management”, highlighting both positives (lights) and possible barriers (shadows). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environment and Energy: the Industrial Ecology perspective)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Commitment to Emissions Restrictions of Major Consumers of Electricity in Brazil
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 6377-6399; doi:10.3390/su6096377
Received: 24 June 2014 / Revised: 26 August 2014 / Accepted: 28 August 2014 / Published: 15 September 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1605 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the context of global concerns about climate change that stem from the alarming and unprecedented growth of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, this study discusses the use of energy by large consumers of electricity in Brazil in the perspective of sustainable development, [...] Read more.
In the context of global concerns about climate change that stem from the alarming and unprecedented growth of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, this study discusses the use of energy by large consumers of electricity in Brazil in the perspective of sustainable development, energy resources, and regulatory policies. It evaluates the commitment to emissions restrictions among the major customers of an electricity utility company that serves 4.1 million consumers (68% of the population and 66% of the gross internal product for the second-highest economically developed Brazilian state). The evaluation is based on proposed metrics and indicators. By considering the Brazilian commitment to a policy of sustainable development, this study reviews the primary international agreements and recommendations that have been developed to mitigate and adapt to climate change and sustainability. A survey was developed for participating organizations classified by economic sector to assess their awareness to 18 issues that reflect international guidelines on emission constraints. Based on total energy consumption, the survey discusses the worrying level of GHG emissions (tCO2eq) that is associated with the generation of electricity by customers of the largest utility company. In spite of 90% of the organizations having considered sustainability as a business opportunity and a competitive differential that enables niche markets, the results of this study demonstrated low commitment to the desired emissions restrictions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Spatial Variation of Regional Sustainable Development and its Relationship to the Allocation of Science and Technology Resources
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 6400-6417; doi:10.3390/su6096400
Received: 27 May 2014 / Revised: 14 August 2014 / Accepted: 26 August 2014 / Published: 15 September 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1155 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With the increasing of labor salaries, the RMB exchange rate, resource product prices and requirements of environmental protection, inexpensive labor and land are no longer the decisive factor of regional competitiveness. From this perspective, China needs to shift from the extensive development [...] Read more.
With the increasing of labor salaries, the RMB exchange rate, resource product prices and requirements of environmental protection, inexpensive labor and land are no longer the decisive factor of regional competitiveness. From this perspective, China needs to shift from the extensive development mode to the sustainable development mode. Science and technology resources rational allocation is one of the key issues in sustainable development. Based on the counties (districts) data of Zhejiang Province in China, this paper portrays the spatial variation of regional sustainable development level of this area. This paper finds that counties tend to cluster in groups with the same sustainable development level, and this agglomeration trend has been enforced during the past several years. It then testifies to the relationship between the allocation of science and technology resources and local sustainable development, identifies science and technology human resources, financial resources and environmental resource are positively related to local sustainable development, except government financial support. The economic level has a negative relationship with regional sustainable development. This is because the development of the Zhejiang economy grown at the expense of the environment and ecosystem. Some advice is given according to the empirical analysis result. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Estimation of Real-Time Flood Risk on Roads Based on Rainfall Calculated by the Revised Method of Missing Rainfall
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 6418-6431; doi:10.3390/su6096418
Received: 11 July 2014 / Revised: 22 August 2014 / Accepted: 9 September 2014 / Published: 18 September 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1820 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recently, flood damage by frequent localized downpours in cities is on the increase on account of abnormal climate phenomena and the growth of impermeable areas due to urbanization. This study suggests a method to estimate real-time flood risk on roads for drivers [...] Read more.
Recently, flood damage by frequent localized downpours in cities is on the increase on account of abnormal climate phenomena and the growth of impermeable areas due to urbanization. This study suggests a method to estimate real-time flood risk on roads for drivers based on the accumulated rainfall. The amount of rainfall of a road link, which is an intensive type, is calculated by using the revised method of missing rainfall in meteorology, because the rainfall is not measured on roads directly. To process in real time with a computer, we use the inverse distance weighting (IDW) method, which is a suitable method in the computing system and is commonly used in relation to precipitation due to its simplicity. With real-time accumulated rainfall, the flooding history, rainfall range causing flooding from previous rainfall information and frequency probability of precipitation are used to determine the flood risk on roads. The result of simulation using the suggested algorithms shows the high concordance rate between actual flooded areas in the past and flooded areas derived from the simulation for the research region in Busan, Korea. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ubiquitous Green IT System for Sustainable Computing)
Open AccessArticle Rethinking the Social and Solidarity Society in Light of Community Practice
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 6432-6445; doi:10.3390/su6096432
Received: 7 July 2014 / Revised: 10 August 2014 / Accepted: 11 August 2014 / Published: 23 September 2014
PDF Full-text (668 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Building social alternatives is necessary to resist the destructive impacts of the capitalist organization on well-being, social organization, and the planet. This paper offers an analysis of the ways in which peoples are mobilizing to build organizations and to define social movements [...] Read more.
Building social alternatives is necessary to resist the destructive impacts of the capitalist organization on well-being, social organization, and the planet. This paper offers an analysis of the ways in which peoples are mobilizing to build organizations and to define social movements to move beyond current crises. The lines for constructing an ecologically sound and social-solidarity society require mechanisms for mutual cooperation based on alternative systems of decision making, as well as for doing work and assuring well-being to every member of the community. These depend on forging a process of solidarity among the members of a society as well as building alliances among communities; to assure the satisfaction of basic needs while also attending the most pressing requirements for physical, social and environmental infrastructure and to assure the conservation and rehabilitation of their ecosystems. Full article
Open AccessArticle Residents’ Household Solid Waste (HSW) Source Separation Activity: A Case Study of Suzhou, China
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 6446-6466; doi:10.3390/su6096446
Received: 29 June 2014 / Revised: 4 September 2014 / Accepted: 9 September 2014 / Published: 25 September 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (824 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Though the Suzhou government has provided household solid waste (HSW) source separation since 2000, the program remains largely ineffective. Between January and March 2014, the authors conducted an intercept survey in five different community groups in Suzhou, and 505 valid surveys were [...] Read more.
Though the Suzhou government has provided household solid waste (HSW) source separation since 2000, the program remains largely ineffective. Between January and March 2014, the authors conducted an intercept survey in five different community groups in Suzhou, and 505 valid surveys were completed. Based on the survey, the authors used an ordered probit regression to study residents’ HSW source separation activities for both Suzhou and for the five community groups. Results showed that 43% of the respondents in Suzhou thought they knew how to source separate HSW, and 29% of them have source separated HSW accurately. The results also found that the current HSW source separation pilot program in Suzhou is valid, as HSW source separation facilities and residents’ separation behavior both became better and better along with the program implementation. The main determinants of residents’ HSW source separation behavior are residents’ age, HSW source separation facilities and government preferential policies. The accessibility to waste management service is particularly important. Attitudes and willingness do not have significant impacts on residents’ HSW source separation behavior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cities)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Sustainability Assessment and Indicators: Tools in a Decision-Making Strategy for Sustainable Development
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 5512-5534; doi:10.3390/su6095512
Received: 10 April 2014 / Revised: 28 May 2014 / Accepted: 11 August 2014 / Published: 25 August 2014
Cited by 20 | PDF Full-text (1407 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recognizing the urgent need for sustainability, we argue that to move beyond the rhetoric and to actually realize sustainable development, it must be considered as a decision-making strategy. We demonstrate that sustainability assessment and sustainability indicators can be powerful decision-supporting tools that [...] Read more.
Recognizing the urgent need for sustainability, we argue that to move beyond the rhetoric and to actually realize sustainable development, it must be considered as a decision-making strategy. We demonstrate that sustainability assessment and sustainability indicators can be powerful decision-supporting tools that foster sustainable development by addressing three sustainability decision-making challenges: interpretation, information-structuring, and influence. Particularly, since the 1990s many substantial and often promising sustainability assessment and sustainability indicators efforts are made. However, better practices and a broader shared understanding are still required. We aim to contribute to that objective by adopting a theoretical perspective that frames SA and SI in the context of sustainable development as a decision-making strategy and that introduces both fields along several essential aspects in a structured and comparable manner. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessReview Ecosystem-Based Adaptation for Food Security in the AIMS SIDS: Integrating External and Local Knowledge
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 5566-5597; doi:10.3390/su6095566
Received: 14 July 2014 / Revised: 6 August 2014 / Accepted: 11 August 2014 / Published: 26 August 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (787 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper critically reviews ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) approaches for food security under climate change, specifically for the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) comprising the Africa, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean and South China Sea (AIMS) region. The focus is on integrating different knowledge forms. [...] Read more.
This paper critically reviews ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) approaches for food security under climate change, specifically for the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) comprising the Africa, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean and South China Sea (AIMS) region. The focus is on integrating different knowledge forms. An analysis of current EbA approaches for food security is undertaken, alongside a review of methodologies for integrating local and external knowledge. Key gaps and actions for EbA for food security in the AIMS region, and potentially further afield, are identified. The gaps indicate the lack of coherence in AIMS SIDS approaching food security, in terms of policies and actions not reflecting the ecosystem-food-climate nexus, the lack of a regional framework despite similarities amongst the SIDS, and the infrequency with which knowledge integration occurs. To fill these gaps, suggested actions highlight knowledge identification and combination, learning from others and from history, using local champions, and regularly monitoring and evaluating progress. These actions will push forward the EbA agenda through improved development and use of knowledge, better connections amongst the AIMS SIDS and farther afield, and more local-national-regional collaboration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessReview Agriculture and Eutrophication: Where Do We Go from Here?
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 5853-5875; doi:10.3390/su6095853
Received: 25 June 2014 / Revised: 19 August 2014 / Accepted: 21 August 2014 / Published: 2 September 2014
Cited by 17 | PDF Full-text (1129 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The eutrophication of surface waters has become an endemic global problem. Nutrient loadings from agriculture are a major driver, but it remains very unclear what level of on-farm controls are necessary or can be justified to achieve water quality improvements. In this [...] Read more.
The eutrophication of surface waters has become an endemic global problem. Nutrient loadings from agriculture are a major driver, but it remains very unclear what level of on-farm controls are necessary or can be justified to achieve water quality improvements. In this review article, we use the UK as an example of societies’ multiple stressors on water quality to explore the uncertainties and challenges in achieving a sustainable balance between useable water resources, diverse aquatic ecosystems and a viable agriculture. Our analysis shows that nutrient loss from agriculture is a challenging issue if farm productivity and profitability is to be maintained and increased. Legacy stores of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) in catchments may be sufficient to sustain algal blooms and murky waters for decades to come and more innovation is needed to drawdown and recover these nutrients. Agriculture’s impact on eutrophication risk may also be overestimated in many catchments, and more accurate accounting of sources, their bioavailabilities and lag times is needed to direct proportioned mitigation efforts more effectively. Best practice farms may still be leaky and incompatible with good water quality in high-risk areas requiring some prioritization of society goals. All sectors of society must clearly use N and P more efficiently to develop long-term sustainable solutions to this complex issue and nutrient reduction strategies should take account of the whole catchment-to-coast continuum. However, the right balance of local interventions (including additional biophysical controls) will need to be highly site specific and better informed by research that unravels the linkages between sustainable farming practices, patterns of nutrient delivery, biological response and recovery trajectories in different types of waterbodies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessReview Biodiversity Conservation in Rice Paddies in China: Toward Ecological Sustainability
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 6107-6124; doi:10.3390/su6096107
Received: 16 May 2014 / Revised: 29 August 2014 / Accepted: 30 August 2014 / Published: 9 September 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (849 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Rice paddies are artificial wetlands that supply people with food and provide wildlife with habitats, breeding areas, shelters, feeding grounds and other services, and rice paddies play an important part in agricultural ecological systems. However, modern agricultural practices with large-scale intensive farming [...] Read more.
Rice paddies are artificial wetlands that supply people with food and provide wildlife with habitats, breeding areas, shelters, feeding grounds and other services, and rice paddies play an important part in agricultural ecological systems. However, modern agricultural practices with large-scale intensive farming have significantly accelerated the homogenization of the paddy field ecosystem. Modern agriculture mostly relies on chemically-driven modern varieties and irrigation to ensure high production, resulting in the deterioration and imbalance of the ecosystem. Consequently, outbreaks of diseases, insects and weeds have become more frequent in paddy fields. This paper describes the current situation of rice paddy biodiversity in China and analyzes the community characteristics of arthropods and weedy plants. Meanwhile, we discuss how biodiversity was affected by modern agriculture changes, which have brought about a mounting crisis threatening to animals and plants once common in rice paddies. Measures should be focused to firstly preventing further deterioration and, then, also, promoting restoration processes. Ecological sustainability can be achieved by restoring paddy field biodiversity through protecting the ecological environment surrounding the paddy fields, improving paddy cropping patterns, growing rice with less agricultural chemicals and chemical fertilizers, constructing paddy systems with animals and plants and promoting ecological education and public awareness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
Open AccessReview Density, the Sustainability Multiplier: Some Myths and Truths with Application to Perth, Australia
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 6467-6487; doi:10.3390/su6096467
Received: 9 May 2014 / Revised: 11 September 2014 / Accepted: 11 September 2014 / Published: 25 September 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (3767 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The paper suggests that the divisive urban issue of density has critical importance for sustainability. It is particularly important to resolve for the low density car dependent cities of the world as they are highly resource consumptive. Ten myths about density and [...] Read more.
The paper suggests that the divisive urban issue of density has critical importance for sustainability. It is particularly important to resolve for the low density car dependent cities of the world as they are highly resource consumptive. Ten myths about density and 10 truths about density are proposed to help resolve the planning issues so commonly found to divide urban communities. They are applied with data to Perth to illustrate the issues and how they can be resolved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Density and Sustainability)

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