Next Issue
Previous Issue

E-Mail Alert

Add your e-mail address to receive forthcoming issues of this journal:

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Table of Contents

Sustainability, Volume 7, Issue 4 (April 2015), Pages 3515-4782

  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-66
Export citation of selected articles as:

Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessEditorial Sustainability in China: Bridging Global Knowledge with Local Action
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 3714-3720; doi:10.3390/su7043714
Received: 18 March 2015 / Revised: 26 March 2015 / Accepted: 26 March 2015 / Published: 30 March 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (637 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As the biggest emerging and developing country, and the second largest economy on the planet, China’s road to sustainability has attracted global attention; therefore, we need to have a deeper understanding to address this issue at very different levels. This editorial mainly reviews
[...] Read more.
As the biggest emerging and developing country, and the second largest economy on the planet, China’s road to sustainability has attracted global attention; therefore, we need to have a deeper understanding to address this issue at very different levels. This editorial mainly reviews the contributions of the published papers in the Special Issue of “Sustainability in China: Bridging Global Knowledge with Local Action”, the main findings in this special edition suggest that the concept of sustainability is more comprehensive and complex, and the transformation process from scientific knowledge to local action still has a long way to go, not only in China, but also in many developing countries. More research on the fundamental and innovative processes of sustainable transformations should be conducted. China needs to make more efforts to strengthen its road to sustainability, by merging all relevant types of knowledge, both within and outside science, as well as locally and globally.As the biggest emerging and developing country, and the second largest economy on the planet, China's road to sustainability has attracted global attention; therefore, we need to have a deeper understanding to address this issue at very different levels. This editorial mainly reviews the contributions of the published papers in the Special Issue of "Sustainability in China: Bridging Global Knowledge with Local Action", the main findings in this special edition suggest that the concept of sustainability is more comprehensive and complex, and the transformation process from scientific knowledge to local action still has a long way to go, not only in China, but also in many developing countries. More research on the fundamental and innovative processes of sustainable transformations should be conducted. China needs to make more efforts to strengthen its road to sustainability, by merging all relevant types of knowledge, both within and outside science, as well as locally and globally. Full article
Open AccessEditorial Interdisciplinary Approaches and Methods for Sustainable Transformation and Innovation
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 3977-3983; doi:10.3390/su7043977
Received: 24 March 2015 / Revised: 26 March 2015 / Accepted: 1 April 2015 / Published: 3 April 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (4373 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
To increase the likelihood of success and sustainability, organizations must fundamentally reposition themselves and try to change current processes or create new products and services. One of the most effective approaches to find a solution for transformation and innovation is to learn from
[...] Read more.
To increase the likelihood of success and sustainability, organizations must fundamentally reposition themselves and try to change current processes or create new products and services. One of the most effective approaches to find a solution for transformation and innovation is to learn from other domains where a solution for similar problems is already available. This paper briefly introduces the definition of and approaches to convergence of academic disciplines and industries, and overviews several representative convergence cases focusing on gamification for sustainable education, environments, and business managements. Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Open AccessArticle Spatial Distribution of Fragmentation by Diversion-Typed Hydroelectric Plant Exploitation in East Baoxing Catchment from 1999 to 2013
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 3515-3527; doi:10.3390/su7043515
Received: 1 December 2014 / Revised: 22 February 2015 / Accepted: 18 March 2015 / Published: 24 March 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1043 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the Southwest Mountain areas, successive hydroelectric plant exploitation by humans on Baoxing River can exert a significant impact on regional landscape composition and structure. Taking East Baoxing River Catchment as the study area, the authors developed a method combining Moving Window based
[...] Read more.
In the Southwest Mountain areas, successive hydroelectric plant exploitation by humans on Baoxing River can exert a significant impact on regional landscape composition and structure. Taking East Baoxing River Catchment as the study area, the authors developed a method combining Moving Window based Calculation and Spatial Correlation Analysis to analyze the relationship between fragmentation and related spatial factors at a local scale, aiming to examine the spatial distribution rule of the landscape fragmentation and provide scientific support for the conservation of landscape ecology in the study area. From the perspective of the whole study area, although there is no clear relationship between the selected factors and the Change of DIVISION (CODIV), the comparison of R values in the latter interval (2006–2013) with those in the former interval (1999–2006) proves that the human activities of plant building have led to the increase in the DIVISION value. At the local scale, results show that a high positive relationship exists between slope and CODIV (R = 0.857, p-value = 0.05), while the relationship between river distance and CODIV is highly negative (R = −0.837, p-value = 0.01). A medium strong negative relationship lies between elevation and CODIV, while there is almost no linear relationship between distance from Qiaoqi reservoir and CODIV. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Resources)
Open AccessArticle Conceptual Framework for Assessing the Sustainability of Forest Fuel Reduction Treatments and Their Adaptation to Climate Change
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 3571-3591; doi:10.3390/su7043571
Received: 8 December 2014 / Revised: 10 March 2015 / Accepted: 20 March 2015 / Published: 26 March 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (727 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Applying fuel reduction treatments (FRTs) to forested landscapes can alleviate undesirable changes in wildfire benefits and costs due to climate change. A conceptual framework was developed for determining the preferred FRTs across planning periods, adapting FRTs to future climate change, assessing the
[...] Read more.
Applying fuel reduction treatments (FRTs) to forested landscapes can alleviate undesirable changes in wildfire benefits and costs due to climate change. A conceptual framework was developed for determining the preferred FRTs across planning periods, adapting FRTs to future climate change, assessing the sustainability of adaptive responses to climate change, and evaluating the validity of the two premises motivating this issue of Sustainability. The conceptual framework: (1) accounts for uncertainty about future climate change and its effects on management objectives for FRTs; (2) employs biophysical simulation and mental models to estimate the management objectives for FRTs; (3) uses fuzzy TOPSIS to determine the preferred FRTs for climate futures; (4) employs the minimax regret criterion to identify the preferred FRT for each planning period; (5) determines the best strategy for adapting FRTs to future climate change; and (6) assesses landscape sustainability when using the preferred FRTs. The framework is demonstrated with constructed examples for adapting FRTs to climate change for privately- and publicly-owned forested landscapes. Based on the conceptual framework, current knowledge does not allow determining with certainty whether managers’ adaptations of FRTs to future climate change are sustainable or unsustainable due to type I and II decision errors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Strategies to Adapt to Climate Change)
Open AccessArticle Shea (Vitellaria paradoxa) Butter Production and Resource Use by Urban and Rural Processors in Northern Ghana
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 3592-3614; doi:10.3390/su7043592
Received: 21 December 2014 / Revised: 20 March 2015 / Accepted: 23 March 2015 / Published: 26 March 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (986 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article explores the use of field experimentation in presenting an account of input inventory, material quantities, and the process flow for shea butter production in Ghana. The shea fruit is a non-timber forest product (NTFP) that is indigenous to ecosystems in semi-arid
[...] Read more.
This article explores the use of field experimentation in presenting an account of input inventory, material quantities, and the process flow for shea butter production in Ghana. The shea fruit is a non-timber forest product (NTFP) that is indigenous to ecosystems in semi-arid regions of Africa. Current methods and equipment for processing shea kernel into butter impose a dilemma of excessive harvesting of fuel wood for heating and the use of large quantities of water. Thus, the nature of input requirement and production process presents implications for conflict over natural resource use and for sustainability as more processing takes place. Material flow analysis was applied to the data generated from the processing experiments. The outcome was discussed in focus group discussion sessions and individual interviews as a way of data triangulation to validate study parameters. Results from this experiment showed that the quantity of water used in urban processing sites was higher than that used in rural sites. On the other hand, fuel wood use and labor expended were found to be higher in rural sites per unit processing cycle. The nature of the processing equipment, accessibility to input resources, and target market for shea butter were key determinants of the varying resource quantities used in the production process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle Challenges in Delivering Green Building Projects: Unearthing the Transaction Costs (TCs)
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 3615-3636; doi:10.3390/su7043615
Received: 9 October 2014 / Revised: 20 March 2015 / Accepted: 23 March 2015 / Published: 27 March 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (771 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Delivering green building (GB) projects involve some activities that are atypical in comparison with conventional buildings. Such new activities are characterized by uncertainty, and they incur hidden costs that have not been expected nor are they readily appreciated among the stakeholders. This paper
[...] Read more.
Delivering green building (GB) projects involve some activities that are atypical in comparison with conventional buildings. Such new activities are characterized by uncertainty, and they incur hidden costs that have not been expected nor are they readily appreciated among the stakeholders. This paper develops a typology and chronology to examine the new activities that are associated with transaction costs (TCs) in the real estate development process (REDP) of green building. Through in-depth interviews with representatives from the major developers in Hong Kong who have experiences in GB practice, this study aims to unearth TCs involved at the critical stages of the REDP. Apart from reconfirming the early project planning stage as the most critical in the consideration of TCs, the study results also identified “extra legal liability risk of the GB product” as the major concern for any GB developer in Hong Kong. The key additional activities that bring significant TCs in developing GB are identified and compared to their traditional counterparts. In turn, project managers not only have to pursue overall cost management whilst winning more business, but they also have to pay particular attention to sustainability in order to minimize hidden societal costs. The study also provides a reference for governments and professionals that will aid in forming policy as well as advance the practice of the GB market by optimizing the societal costs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Open AccessArticle Organizational Challenges in the Adoption of Building Applied Photovoltaics in the Swedish Tenant-Owner Housing Sector
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 3637-3664; doi:10.3390/su7043637
Received: 30 November 2014 / Revised: 16 March 2015 / Accepted: 23 March 2015 / Published: 27 March 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1018 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sweden has committed itself to comply with EU-directive 2009/28/EC on energy from renewable sources and 2012/27/EU on improvement in the efficiency of energy. Measures in the existing housing stock, such as installing photovoltaics (PV), provide a means of contributing to the goals above.
[...] Read more.
Sweden has committed itself to comply with EU-directive 2009/28/EC on energy from renewable sources and 2012/27/EU on improvement in the efficiency of energy. Measures in the existing housing stock, such as installing photovoltaics (PV), provide a means of contributing to the goals above. The purpose of this paper is to study how the organization of property management and the decision-making structure in tenant-owner cooperatives (TOCs) in Sweden facilitates or hampers the adoption of large-scale residential building applied photovoltaics (BAPV) in this housing sector. Data collected through seven semi-structured interviews of executive board members in seven housing cooperatives were descriptively analyzed and the results indicate that the decision to adopt BAPV in TOCs does not follow the common frameworks of adoption of innovations. The choice by TOCs to adopt BAPV depends more on the wish to lower operating costs than on efforts to promote a sustainable environment and various principal-agency problems during the decision-making process, as well as during the implementation phase create challenges to the adoption of BAPV. There is a need to strengthen the quality and management of knowledge, as well as procurement proficiency in the TOCs in order to harness the potential for BAPV in the sector. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Opportunity Costs of Carbon Emissions Stemming from Changes in Land Use
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 3665-3682; doi:10.3390/su7043665
Received: 5 December 2014 / Revised: 23 February 2015 / Accepted: 24 March 2015 / Published: 27 March 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (5021 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) mechanism allows carbon sinks to be used as carbon credits in order to offset emissions from other sources. However, this practice has raised a number of issues relating to financial incentives. In this study,
[...] Read more.
The REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) mechanism allows carbon sinks to be used as carbon credits in order to offset emissions from other sources. However, this practice has raised a number of issues relating to financial incentives. In this study, we develop a spatially explicit model for predicting carbon emissions from deforestation that meet baseline levels as well as farmers’ opportunity costs (measured in US dollars per ton of CO2e) under three temporal scenarios with several potential discount rates for agricultural income. Additionally, we use two different accounting methods recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), including the average storage method and the “ton-year approach,” to evaluate emissions reductions. We find that farmers are more likely to prefer REDD in the short-run when discount rates are higher than 10%. However, further analysis indicates that opportunity costs would increase significantly over longer periods of time (middle-term schemes of 35 years or long-term schemes of 55 years), thereby dissuading farmers from choosing REDD. Our findings highlight the drawbacks in using REDD to mitigate global climate change and conserve forests based on farmers’ financial incentives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle Corporate Brand Trust as a Mediator in the Relationship between Consumer Perception of CSR, Corporate Hypocrisy, and Corporate Reputation
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 3683-3694; doi:10.3390/su7043683
Received: 12 January 2015 / Revised: 20 March 2015 / Accepted: 24 March 2015 / Published: 27 March 2015
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (755 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this research is to investigate the relationship between consumer perception of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), corporate brand trust, corporate hypocrisy, and corporate reputation. Based on the one-to-one interview method using a structured questionnaire of 560 consumers in South Korea, the
[...] Read more.
The aim of this research is to investigate the relationship between consumer perception of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), corporate brand trust, corporate hypocrisy, and corporate reputation. Based on the one-to-one interview method using a structured questionnaire of 560 consumers in South Korea, the proposed model was estimated by structural equation modeling analysis. The model suggests that consumer perception of CSR influences consumer attitudes toward a corporation (i.e., perceived corporate hypocrisy and corporate reputation) by developing corporate brand trust. This in turn further enhances corporate reputation while decreasing corporate hypocrisy. The findings of our study demonstrate that consumer perception of CSR is an antecedent to corporate brand trust, which fully mediates the relationship between consumer perception of CSR and corporate reputation. In addition, corporate brand trust has the role of partial mediator in the relationship between consumer perception of CSR and corporate hypocrisy. These results imply that to better understand the relationship between consumer perception of CSR and consumer attitudes toward a corporation, it is necessary to consider corporate brand trust as an important mediating variable. The theoretical and practical implications of this study are discussed, together with its limitations and potential for future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Adaptation Strategies and Resilience to Climate Change of Historic Dwellings
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 3695-3713; doi:10.3390/su7043695
Received: 4 February 2015 / Revised: 24 March 2015 / Accepted: 24 March 2015 / Published: 30 March 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (2661 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Historic city centres have a large amount of dwellings in Europe, which were built to provide a comfortable shelter with the absence of mechanical means. The knowledge of climate responsive design strategies can play a significant role in reducing the energy demand of
[...] Read more.
Historic city centres have a large amount of dwellings in Europe, which were built to provide a comfortable shelter with the absence of mechanical means. The knowledge of climate responsive design strategies can play a significant role in reducing the energy demand of extant buildings, paving the way for its sustainable development in the face of the rising threat to its occupants of climate change. The residential architecture, developed, in most cases, in dense urban centres, was built using both available materials and traditional and academic construction technologies. This paper thoroughly investigates the extant urban conglomerate in Cádiz and analyses, in a qualitative and quantitative manner, which bioclimatic design strategies were applied and the city’s adaptation for future climate scenarios. The results indicate that historic housing in Cádiz is creatively adapted to the local natural conditions by means of a combination of climate responsive strategies, and there is significant scope for improvement in the ongoing response to global warming. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Strategies to Adapt to Climate Change)
Open AccessArticle Long-Term Metal Retention Performance of Media Filter Drains for Stormwater Management
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 3721-3733; doi:10.3390/su7043721
Received: 22 December 2014 / Revised: 17 March 2015 / Accepted: 24 March 2015 / Published: 30 March 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2374 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Stormwater runoff, a substantial source of nonpoint pollution, can be treated using Best Management Practices (BMPs), such as the Media Filter Drain (MFD). An MFD is a trench filled with an engineered media mix, usually with a grass overlay, that receives runoff from
[...] Read more.
Stormwater runoff, a substantial source of nonpoint pollution, can be treated using Best Management Practices (BMPs), such as the Media Filter Drain (MFD). An MFD is a trench filled with an engineered media mix, usually with a grass overlay, that receives runoff from the paved roadway next to it. The MFD was shown to remove dissolved metals (zinc and copper), typical pollutants from vehicles and urban areas, which might negatively impact aquatic species in receiving waters, but its long-term effectiveness was not known. Existing media filter mixes of different ages were collected from two different sites in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Columns made with these media mixes received concentrated copper and zinc loading to simulate accelerated aging for estimated total lifespans from 14 to 22 years of copper and zinc loading, with little or no decrease in sorption. Throughout the aging process, some columns were subjected to performance testing with higher levels of typical runoff concentrations and average concentration decreases from influent to effluent were found to be greater than 90% for both copper and zinc. Based on this study, the MFD’s lifespan for zinc and copper treatment is significantly greater than the initial ten-year estimate. Full article
Open AccessArticle CO2 Employment as Refrigerant Fluid with a Low Environmental Impact. Experimental Tests on Arugula and Design Criteria for a Test Bench
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 3734-3752; doi:10.3390/su7043734
Received: 9 January 2015 / Revised: 14 March 2015 / Accepted: 17 March 2015 / Published: 30 March 2015
PDF Full-text (9150 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In order to define design criteria for CO2 refrigeration systems to be used for agricultural products and foodstuff storage, a variable geometrical system was realized, with the goal of meeting a wide range of environmental and process conditions, such as producing low
[...] Read more.
In order to define design criteria for CO2 refrigeration systems to be used for agricultural products and foodstuff storage, a variable geometrical system was realized, with the goal of meeting a wide range of environmental and process conditions, such as producing low environmental impact and maintaining the highest Coefficient of Performance (COP), at the same time. This test-bench, at semi-industrial scale, was designed as a result of experimental tests carried out on Arugula. The storage tests showed that all samples stored in cold rooms with R.H. control showed a slight increase of weight but also small rot zones in all the boxes due to an excessive accumulation of water condensation; thus, the system may not have achieved conditions that RH requires in a given range, without reaching saturation condition. At the same time, the use of CO2 must be adequately tested along its thermodynamic cycle, during steady state and/or transient conditions, imposing variable working conditions that can simulate plant starting phase or some striking conservation process, like those that characterize sausages. The designed plant will allow studying these specific performances and evaluate COP variation, according to environmental and plant operating conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
Open AccessArticle Optimal Electricity Distribution Framework for Public Space: Assessing Renewable Energy Proposals for Freshkills Park, New York City
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 3753-3773; doi:10.3390/su7043753
Received: 30 January 2015 / Revised: 23 March 2015 / Accepted: 24 March 2015 / Published: 30 March 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1166 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Integrating renewable energy into public space is becoming more common as a climate change solution. However, this approach is often guided by the environmental pillar of sustainability, with less focus on the economic and social pillars. The purpose of this paper is to
[...] Read more.
Integrating renewable energy into public space is becoming more common as a climate change solution. However, this approach is often guided by the environmental pillar of sustainability, with less focus on the economic and social pillars. The purpose of this paper is to examine this issue in the speculative renewable energy propositions for Freshkills Park in New York City submitted for the 2012 Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) competition. This paper first proposes an optimal electricity distribution (OED) framework in and around public spaces based on relevant ecology and energy theory (Odum’s fourth and fifth law of thermodynamics). This framework addresses social engagement related to public interaction, and economic engagement related to the estimated quantity of electricity produced, in conjunction with environmental engagement related to the embodied energy required to construct the renewable energy infrastructure. Next, the study uses the OED framework to analyse the top twenty-five projects submitted for the LAGI 2012 competition. The findings reveal an electricity distribution imbalance and suggest a lack of in-depth understanding about sustainable electricity distribution within public space design. The paper concludes with suggestions for future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscape and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle An Ecology for Cities: A Transformational Nexus of Design and Ecology to Advance Climate Change Resilience and Urban Sustainability
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 3774-3791; doi:10.3390/su7043774
Received: 18 December 2014 / Revised: 12 March 2015 / Accepted: 23 March 2015 / Published: 31 March 2015
Cited by 21 | PDF Full-text (1814 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cities around the world are facing an ever-increasing variety of challenges that seem to make more sustainable urban futures elusive. Many of these challenges are being driven by, and exacerbated by, increases in urban populations and climate change. Novel solutions are needed today
[...] Read more.
Cities around the world are facing an ever-increasing variety of challenges that seem to make more sustainable urban futures elusive. Many of these challenges are being driven by, and exacerbated by, increases in urban populations and climate change. Novel solutions are needed today if our cities are to have any hope of more sustainable and resilient futures. Because most of the environmental impacts of any project are manifest at the point of design, we posit that this is where a real difference in urban development can be made. To this end, we present a transformative model that merges urban design and ecology into an inclusive, creative, knowledge-to-action process. This design-ecology nexus—an ecology for cities—will redefine both the process and its products. In this paper we: (1) summarize the relationships among design, infrastructure, and urban development, emphasizing the importance of joining the three to achieve urban climate resilience and enhance sustainability; (2) discuss how urban ecology can move from an ecology of cities to an ecology for cities based on a knowledge-to-action agenda; (3) detail our model for a transformational urban design-ecology nexus, and; (4) demonstrate the efficacy of our model with several case studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Urban Development)
Open AccessArticle LCI Databases Sensitivity Analysis of the Environmental Impact of the Injection Molding Process
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 3792-3800; doi:10.3390/su7043792
Received: 31 December 2014 / Revised: 20 March 2015 / Accepted: 24 March 2015 / Published: 31 March 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (725 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
During the last decades, society’s concern for the environment has increased. Specific tools like the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), and software and databases to apply this method have been developed to calculate the environmental burden of products or processes. Calculating the environmental impact
[...] Read more.
During the last decades, society’s concern for the environment has increased. Specific tools like the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), and software and databases to apply this method have been developed to calculate the environmental burden of products or processes. Calculating the environmental impact of plastic products is relevant as the global plastics production rose to 288 million tons in 2012. Among the different ways of processing plastics, the injection molding process is one of the most used in the industry worldwide. In this paper, a sensitivity analysis of the environmental impact of the injection molding process has been carried out. In order to perform this study, the EcoInvent database inventory for injection molding, and the data from which this database is created, have been studied. Generally, when an LCA of a product is carried out, databases such as EcoInvent, where materials, processes and transports are characterized providing average values, are used to quantify the environmental impact. This approach can be good enough in some cases but in order to assess a specific production process, like injection molding, a further level of detail is needed. This study shows how the final results of environmental impact differ for injection molding when using the PVC’s, PP’s or PET’s data. This aspect suggests the necessity of studying, in a more precise way, this process, to correctly evaluate its environmental burden. This also allows us to identify priority areas and thereby actions to develop a more sustainable way of manufacturing plastics. Full article
Open AccessArticle Resilience Assessment of Lowland Plantations Using an Ecosystem Modeling Approach
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 3801-3822; doi:10.3390/su7043801
Received: 30 December 2014 / Revised: 20 March 2015 / Accepted: 25 March 2015 / Published: 31 March 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (965 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
As afforestation programs of former farmlands take hold in Taiwan to achieve a variety of ecological and socio-economic values, it is becoming necessary to define best forest management. Hence, we simulated mixed stands of Cinnamomum camphora and Fraxinus griffithii planted through a gradient
[...] Read more.
As afforestation programs of former farmlands take hold in Taiwan to achieve a variety of ecological and socio-economic values, it is becoming necessary to define best forest management. Hence, we simulated mixed stands of Cinnamomum camphora and Fraxinus griffithii planted through a gradient of soil fertility and varying camphor/ash density ratios, but maintaining a fixed total stand density of 1500 trees ha−1. Total stand productivity was slightly lower in mixed stands than the combination of both monocultures in rich and poor sites. Maximum negative yield surpluses for 50-year old stands were 7 Mg ha−1 and 6 Mg ha−1 for rich and poor sites with a 1:1 camphor laurel/ash ratios. Maximum stand woody biomass in rich sites was reached in camphor laurel monocultures (120 Mg ha−1) and in poor sites for Himalayan ash monocultures (58 Mg ha−1). However, for medium-quality sites, a small yield surplus (11 Mg ha−1) was estimated coinciding with a maximum stand woody biomass of 95 Mg ha−1 for a 1:1 camphor laurel/ash density ratio. From an ecological resilience point of view, rotation length was more important than stand composition. Long rotations (100 years) could improve soil conditions in poor sites. In rich sites, short rotations (50 years) should be avoided to reduce risks or fertility loss. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Land Use and Ecosystem Management)
Open AccessArticle Construction of an Early-Warning System for Vegetable Prices Based on Index Contribution Analysis
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 3823-3837; doi:10.3390/su7043823
Received: 21 October 2014 / Revised: 11 March 2015 / Accepted: 13 March 2015 / Published: 31 March 2015
PDF Full-text (733 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
An early-warning indicator screening method is proposed in order to construct an early-warning system for vegetable prices. Through index contribution analysis and the application of a support vector regression algorithm, we compare the results of early warning before and after index optimization. Experimental
[...] Read more.
An early-warning indicator screening method is proposed in order to construct an early-warning system for vegetable prices. Through index contribution analysis and the application of a support vector regression algorithm, we compare the results of early warning before and after index optimization. Experimental results show that the proposed early-warning system was significantly improved after indicator optimization by using index contribution analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
Figures

Open AccessArticle The Impact of Integrated Practices of Lean, Green, and Social Management Systems on Firm Sustainability Performance—Evidence from Chinese Fashion Auto-Parts Suppliers
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 3838-3858; doi:10.3390/su7043838
Received: 25 September 2014 / Revised: 26 March 2015 / Accepted: 26 March 2015 / Published: 31 March 2015
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1166 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
To better satisfy various stakeholders, firms are seeking integrated practices that can enhance their sustainability performance, also well known as the Triple Bottom Line (3BL). The fashion industry exhibits potential conflicts with the spirit of sustainability because of the waste created by high
[...] Read more.
To better satisfy various stakeholders, firms are seeking integrated practices that can enhance their sustainability performance, also well known as the Triple Bottom Line (3BL). The fashion industry exhibits potential conflicts with the spirit of sustainability because of the waste created by high levels of demand uncertainty and the extant usage of resources in production. Literature suggests that selected stand-alone practices of lean, green, and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) management systems have a positive impact on firm sustainability performance. However, how the combination of selected practices from these three management systems impacts the 3BL remains unclear. Based on case studies, we build an integrated sustainable practices model incorporating the most popular lean, green, and social practices and develop propositions for future tests. Our framework suggests the implementation of integrated practices would have a stronger influence on 3BL performance than individual practice implementation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Fashion Business Operations)
Open AccessArticle Quantitative Diagnoses and Comprehensive Evaluations of the Rationality of Chinese Urban Development Patterns
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 3859-3884; doi:10.3390/su7043859
Received: 8 December 2014 / Revised: 23 March 2015 / Accepted: 23 March 2015 / Published: 31 March 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (6872 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
China’s new urbanization development strategy needs to be supported by rational urban systems. Here, a comprehensive diagnostic index system that uses GIS technology and a Chinese urban scale structure rationality diagnostic model, functional structure rationality diagnostic model, spatial structure rationality diagnostic model and
[...] Read more.
China’s new urbanization development strategy needs to be supported by rational urban systems. Here, a comprehensive diagnostic index system that uses GIS technology and a Chinese urban scale structure rationality diagnostic model, functional structure rationality diagnostic model, spatial structure rationality diagnostic model and Chinese urban development rationality diagnostic model is used to comprehensively evaluate the rationality of Chinese urban development patterns. The results show that the structure of urban development in China is largely rational, with 70.78% of all cities rational in this respect and with rationality influenced by historical evolution, zoning adjustments and natural conditions; that overall, the scale structure of Chinese cities is rational, with 68.03% of all cities rational in this respect, conforming to Zipf’s law and exhibiting a relatively rational pyramidal pattern with “a slightly larger middle and small bottom end”; that overall, urban spatial structure is rational, with 69.41% of all cities rational in this respect, and irrational cities concentrated in areas with low carrying capacities and regions with few cities with high carrying capacities; and that urban functional structure is largely rational, with 69.11% of all cities rational in this respect, mainly concentrated in urban agglomerations. This study provides a scientific basis for further optimizing the structure of urban development in China and promoting a new type of urbanization. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Novel Real-Time Speech Summarizer System for the Learning of Sustainability
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 3885-3899; doi:10.3390/su7043885
Received: 13 January 2015 / Revised: 20 March 2015 / Accepted: 30 March 2015 / Published: 2 April 2015
PDF Full-text (1173 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As the number of speech and video documents increases on the Internet and portable devices proliferate, speech summarization becomes increasingly essential. Relevant research in this domain has typically focused on broadcasts and news; however, the automatic summarization methods used in the past may
[...] Read more.
As the number of speech and video documents increases on the Internet and portable devices proliferate, speech summarization becomes increasingly essential. Relevant research in this domain has typically focused on broadcasts and news; however, the automatic summarization methods used in the past may not apply to other speech domains (e.g., speech in lectures). Therefore, this study explores the lecture speech domain. The features used in previous research were analyzed and suitable features were selected following experimentation; subsequently, a three-phase real-time speech summarizer for the learning of sustainability (RTSSLS) was proposed. Phase One involved selecting independent features (e.g., centrality, resemblance to the title, sentence length, term frequency, and thematic words) and calculating the independent feature scores; Phase Two involved calculating the dependent features, such as the position compared with the independent feature scores; and Phase Three involved comparing these feature scores to obtain weighted averages of the function-scores, determine the highest-scoring sentence, and provide a summary. In practical results, the accuracies of macro-average and micro-average for the RTSSLS were 70% and 73%, respectively. Therefore, using a RTSSLS can enable users to acquire key speech information for the learning of sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Education and Approaches)
Open AccessArticle Dual-Level Material and Psychological Assessment of Urban Water Security in a Water-Stressed Coastal City
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 3900-3918; doi:10.3390/su7043900
Received: 30 November 2014 / Revised: 18 March 2015 / Accepted: 26 March 2015 / Published: 2 April 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (925 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The acceleration of urbanization and industrialization has been gradually aggravating water security issues, such as water shortages, water pollution, and flooding or drought disasters and so on. Water security issues have become a great challenge to urban sustainable development. In this context, we
[...] Read more.
The acceleration of urbanization and industrialization has been gradually aggravating water security issues, such as water shortages, water pollution, and flooding or drought disasters and so on. Water security issues have become a great challenge to urban sustainable development. In this context, we proposed a dual-level material and psychological assessment method to assess urban water security. Psychological security coefficients were introduced in this method to combine material security and residents’ security feelings. A typical water-stressed coastal city in China (Dalian) was chosen as a case study. The water security status of Dalian from 2010 to 2012 was analysed dynamically. The results indicated that the Dalian water security statuses from 2010 to 2012 were basically secure, but solutions to improve water security status and solve water resource problems are still required. This dual-level material and psychological assessment for urban water security has improved conventional material assessment through the introduction of psychological security coefficients, which can benefit decision-making for urban water planning, management and protection. Full article
Open AccessCommunication Structural Evolution of Household Energy Consumption: A China Study
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 3919-3932; doi:10.3390/su7043919
Received: 28 January 2015 / Revised: 27 March 2015 / Accepted: 30 March 2015 / Published: 2 April 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (763 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainable energy production and consumption is one of the issues for the sustainable development strategy in China. As China’s economic development paradigm shifts, household energy consumption (HEC) has become a focus of achieving national goals of energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction. The
[...] Read more.
Sustainable energy production and consumption is one of the issues for the sustainable development strategy in China. As China’s economic development paradigm shifts, household energy consumption (HEC) has become a focus of achieving national goals of energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction. The information entropy model and LMDI model were employed in this study in order to analyse the structural evolution of HEC, as well as its associated critical factors. The results indicate that the information entropy of HEC increased gradually, and coal will be reduced by clean energies, such as natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas. The information entropy tends to stabilize and converge due to rapid urbanization. Therefore, from the perspective of environmental protection and natural resource conservation, the structure of household energy consumption will be optimized. This study revealed that residents’ income level is one of the most critical factors for the increase of energy consumption, while the energy intensity is the only driving force for the reduction of HEC. The accumulated contribution of these two factors to the HEC is 240.53% and −161.75%, respectively. It is imperative to improve the energy efficiency in the residential sector. Recommendations are provided to improve the energy efficiency-related technologies, as well as the standards for the sustainable energy strategy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle International Direct Investment and Transboundary Pollution: An Empirical Analysis of Complex Networks
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 3933-3957; doi:10.3390/su7043933
Received: 16 November 2014 / Revised: 30 March 2015 / Accepted: 30 March 2015 / Published: 3 April 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1071 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Using complex networks and spatial econometric methods, we empirically test the extent to which a country’s influence and its position in an international investment network affect environmental quality as well as the country’s role in transboundary pollution transfer. The estimated results show that
[...] Read more.
Using complex networks and spatial econometric methods, we empirically test the extent to which a country’s influence and its position in an international investment network affect environmental quality as well as the country’s role in transboundary pollution transfer. The estimated results show that the ties connecting nodes together in an international investment network have significant impacts on global environmental pollution. Additionally, node linkages between developing countries have stronger negative effects on environmental quality than node linkages between developed countries. Moreover, greater node importance and node centrality accelerate the speed and scale of the growth of polluting industries, which allows developed countries to more easily transfer their pollution-intensive industries to developing countries that possess higher node dependency. We also find that the factor endowment effect coexists with the pollution haven effect, the effects of environmental regulation advantage in the international investment network are greater than the impact of factor endowment advantage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Setting Priorities for Urban Forest Planning. A Comprehensive Response to Ecological and Social Needs for the Metropolitan Area of Rome (Italy)
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 3958-3976; doi:10.3390/su7043958
Received: 21 January 2015 / Revised: 19 March 2015 / Accepted: 31 March 2015 / Published: 3 April 2015
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (9130 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Urban forests represent key elements of green infrastructure and provide essential ecosystem services in both the ecological and social spheres. Therefore, forestation planning plays a decisive role in the sustainable development strategies of metropolitan areas and addresses the challenge of maintaining biodiversity while
[...] Read more.
Urban forests represent key elements of green infrastructure and provide essential ecosystem services in both the ecological and social spheres. Therefore, forestation planning plays a decisive role in the sustainable development strategies of metropolitan areas and addresses the challenge of maintaining biodiversity while improving human health and well-being. The aim of this work is to present a methodological approach that can be used to identify priorities in urban forest planning and can provide comprehensive responses to ecological and social needs in any metropolitan context. The approach, which is based on interdisciplinary principles of landscape ecology, ecosystem geography and dynamic plant sociology, has been adopted in the Municipality of Rome (Italy). The first step entails defining an ecological framework for forestation plans by means of the ecological land classification and assessment of landscape conservation status. The second step entails setting forestation priorities according to both ecological and social criteria. The application of the method proved to effectively select limited areas requiring intervention within an extensive metropolitan area. Furthermore, it provided responses to sustainability issues such as long-term maintenance of restored habitats, landscape perspective of planning, greening of urban agriculture, improvement in urban resilience, and cost-effective improvement in ecosystem services provision. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Urban Development)
Open AccessArticle A Novel Method for Simulating Urban Population Potential Based on Urban Patches: A Case Study in Jiangsu Province, China
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 3984-4003; doi:10.3390/su7043984
Received: 2 February 2015 / Revised: 20 March 2015 / Accepted: 30 March 2015 / Published: 3 April 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3057 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Urban population potential is a good measure of urban spatial interactions. However, previous studies often assigned population data to the administrative point of the government or the centroid of the region, such as the county, ward or village. In these cases, two problems
[...] Read more.
Urban population potential is a good measure of urban spatial interactions. However, previous studies often assigned population data to the administrative point of the government or the centroid of the region, such as the county, ward or village. In these cases, two problems exist: (1) the zone centroid problem and (2) the scale problem. To better deal with these problems, we proposed a novel method for simulating the urban population potential based on urban patches using Jiangsu Province as the study area. This study conducted research on a classification scheme based on area for urban patches and developed an urban population potential model on the basis of a potential model. The spatial simulation of the urban population potential at various urban scales and the comprehensive urban population potential of Jiangsu were determined. The spatial pattern is “southern Jiangsu high and north-central Jiangsu low”, which is consistent with the “pole-axis” spatial system. This study also compared the simulations of the new method and a traditional method. Results revealed that the method based on urban patches was superior in simulating real spatial patterns of the urban population potential. Further improvements should focus on actual conditions, such as passable expressway entrances and exits and railway stations, and high-speed railway data should be employed when simulating the urban population potential across provinces and greater China. Full article
Open AccessArticle Metafrontier Environmental Efficiency for China’s Regions: A Slack-Based Efficiency Measure
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4004-4021; doi:10.3390/su7044004
Received: 1 February 2015 / Revised: 12 March 2015 / Accepted: 31 March 2015 / Published: 7 April 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (818 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A metafrontier slack-based efficiency measure is presented to measure environmental efficiency for various regions in China. The objective of the new approach is to investigate the change of environmental efficiency while incorporating group heterogeneities and all variable slack and environmental pollutants into environmental
[...] Read more.
A metafrontier slack-based efficiency measure is presented to measure environmental efficiency for various regions in China. The objective of the new approach is to investigate the change of environmental efficiency while incorporating group heterogeneities and all variable slack and environmental pollutants into environmental efficiency analysis. Global production technology is used to improve the discriminating power of environmental efficiency measurement. An empirical analysis of regional environmental efficiency is carried out incorporating sulfur dioxide emissions and the chemical oxygen demand (COD) of China’s regions from 2000–2011. Results indicate that excessive emissions pollution is the major cause of environmental inefficiency. Most of the regions return environmental efficiency values. Significant regional technology gaps in environmental efficiency are found between the east, central, and west areas. Finally, some policy implications are presented from the empirical results. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Effects of Air Permeability, Background Ventilation and Lifestyle on Energy Performance, Indoor Air Quality and Risk of Condensation in Domestic Buildings
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4022-4034; doi:10.3390/su7044022
Received: 12 February 2015 / Revised: 27 March 2015 / Accepted: 31 March 2015 / Published: 8 April 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1265 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Effective and efficient ventilation is essential when improving energy performance and Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) of buildings. Reducing air permeability can considerably improve the energy performance of buildings; however, making the buildings more airtight may result in lower rates of natural ventilation which
[...] Read more.
Effective and efficient ventilation is essential when improving energy performance and Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) of buildings. Reducing air permeability can considerably improve the energy performance of buildings; however, making the buildings more airtight may result in lower rates of natural ventilation which may in turn increase the risks of condensation and unacceptable IAQ. This study evaluates the effects of different air permeability rates, background ventilation and occupants’ lifestyles on the energy performance as well as the risk of condensation and CO2 concentration in domestic buildings. Dynamic computer simulations were conducted in EnergyPlus. Results indicated direct relations between the ventilation rates, energy performance and IAQ. Higher air permeability along with background ventilation resulted in considerably better IAQ while energy consumption increased by up to four times. Occupants’ lifestyles were identified as a major contributor to the risk of condensation. Full article
Open AccessArticle FEM Analysis of Fluid-Structure Interaction in Thermal Heavy Oil Recovery Operations
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4035-4048; doi:10.3390/su7044035
Received: 28 December 2014 / Revised: 23 March 2015 / Accepted: 24 March 2015 / Published: 8 April 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1698 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the process of heavy oil thermal recovery, the creep of strata can often be accelerated due to injection pressure, the temperature of steam, the structural characteristics of rock itself and other factors. However, the effect of creep in strata may cause various
[...] Read more.
In the process of heavy oil thermal recovery, the creep of strata can often be accelerated due to injection pressure, the temperature of steam, the structural characteristics of rock itself and other factors. However, the effect of creep in strata may cause various types of damage in underground mining, such as fracture or deformation of oil casings, and so on. The mechanism of fluid–structure interaction provides a powerful theoretical guidance for stratum creep, which happens during the process of heavy oil thermal recovery. According to existing research, a practical engineering finite element model of Jin.25 Block in Liaohe Oilfield was built based on the finite element analysis software ADINA, and the numerical simulation of the thermal recovery stratum creep of Jin.25 Block was done using the fluid–structure interaction (FSI) calculation module. The results were compared and analyzed, combining each influencing factor of the stratum creep in practical engineering. It is proposed that steam injection pressure should not exceed 14 MPa while enhancing oil recovery by increasing the injection pressure; the main reason is that temperature impact on casings is closely related to the change in stratum creep stress. However, particular attention should be paid to the thermal sensitivity of casing itself and creep deformation when the hydraulic conductivity magnitude is above 1 × 10−9 m/s, so as to effectively prevent or minimize the economic loss caused by stratum creep. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
Open AccessArticle Mercury in the Urban Topsoil of Athens, Greece
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4049-4062; doi:10.3390/su7044049
Received: 3 March 2015 / Revised: 25 March 2015 / Accepted: 31 March 2015 / Published: 8 April 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (4624 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The present study documents the Hg content in 45 urban topsoil samples from the highly urbanized city of Athens, Greece. The Hg concentrations were quantified by applying aqua regia digestion on the <100 μm soil fraction followed by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS)
[...] Read more.
The present study documents the Hg content in 45 urban topsoil samples from the highly urbanized city of Athens, Greece. The Hg concentrations were quantified by applying aqua regia digestion on the <100 μm soil fraction followed by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) with a detection limit of 5 μg·kg−1. The median concentration of Hg in Athens soil is 96 μg·kg−1; ten out of 45 soil samples were found to contain Hg concentrations higher than 200 μg·kg−1, which is the maximum concentration value expected to be present in normal uncontaminated soils. Results obtained by multivariate principal component and hierarchical cluster analysis incorporating a large suite of chemical elements were notably effective for elucidating the anthropogenic origin of Hg in the studied soil. The elevated concentrations are most likely related to site-specific point source contamination rather than to the widely documented influences from the vehicular traffic emissions in urban settings. Given the proximity of urban population to the contaminated urban soils, we suggest the implementation of different soil extraction tests with the aim to evaluate the fraction of soil Hg available for absorption by the human body. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle Sustainable Civil-Society Engagement: Potentials of a Transnational Civil Society in French-German, Polish-German, and Czech-German Border Regions
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4078-4099; doi:10.3390/su7044078
Received: 16 December 2014 / Revised: 31 March 2015 / Accepted: 2 April 2015 / Published: 8 April 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1189 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Based on representative survey data, the present study examines potentials for the sustainable development of a transnational civil society in French-German, Polish-German, and Czech-German border regions. The theoretical framework is a social capital approach in the tradition of Putnam. Transnational engagement is seen
[...] Read more.
Based on representative survey data, the present study examines potentials for the sustainable development of a transnational civil society in French-German, Polish-German, and Czech-German border regions. The theoretical framework is a social capital approach in the tradition of Putnam. Transnational engagement is seen as a key element for the development of a border-crossing civil society. For the analysis, existing forms of social capital were classified according to their bridging and bonding functions and the potentials of local and transnational activities are described. Furthermore, using multilevel analysis, the predictive power of different variables like individual dispositions and specific contexts of the regions on cross-border activities are examined. Descriptively, the expected lower level of local civil-society engagement, in general, and also with regard to the transnational activities was found for post-socialist border regions. It is shown that, first and foremost, existing experience in civil-society engagement in the local context is a high-impact predictor for both transnational activities and an interest in such activities. Other variables like feelings of a historical burden or the economic situation of the region are less important. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Borderland Studies and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle The Geological Characterization of Landscape in Major TV Series: A Suggested Approach to Involve the Public in the Geological Heritage Promotion
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4100-4119; doi:10.3390/su7044100
Received: 26 February 2015 / Revised: 26 March 2015 / Accepted: 30 March 2015 / Published: 8 April 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (5118 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The characterization of natural and cultural heritage using popular entertainment, such as TV movies and series, can become an effective and original way to involve society in protecting territory and enhancing local development, thanks to the dissemination of knowledge. The aim is to
[...] Read more.
The characterization of natural and cultural heritage using popular entertainment, such as TV movies and series, can become an effective and original way to involve society in protecting territory and enhancing local development, thanks to the dissemination of knowledge. The aim is to make the complex aspects of landscape related to its geological and ecological assessment understandable to the public. The tools here proposed are the episodes of the TV series “Inspector Montalbano” filmed in Sicily. The stories, written by Andrea Camilleri, are located in Sicily (the biggest Italian island in the southern Mediterranean Sea), in particular with some World Heritage Sites. The natural and cultural landscapes, which provide fascinating scenery to the films, represent a meaning in the representation of the plot. At the same time, if recognized and understood, they become part of the cultural heritage of each component of the local community and of society. The cognitive process activates a virtuous circle revitalizing the links between humanity and environment. Moreover, it promotes a creative participation of the public in new policies, oriented towards sustainable development, and tourism—especially geotourism and ecotourism—becomes an important resource, especially in these times of crisis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Management of Geomorphological Heritage)
Open AccessArticle Social Values and Sustainability: A Survey on Drivers, Barriers and Benefits of SA8000 Certification in Italian Firms
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4120-4130; doi:10.3390/su7044120
Received: 31 October 2014 / Revised: 18 March 2015 / Accepted: 31 March 2015 / Published: 8 April 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (782 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Companies are increasingly required to deal with sustainability issues through the adoption of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practices. Among the different CSR aspects, workers securities fulfill a necessary issue. SA8000 is an internationally accepted tool that aims to guarantee decent workplace across all
[...] Read more.
Companies are increasingly required to deal with sustainability issues through the adoption of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practices. Among the different CSR aspects, workers securities fulfill a necessary issue. SA8000 is an internationally accepted tool that aims to guarantee decent workplace across all industrial sectors. Italian companies represent more than 30% of certified organizations on a global level. Company size is a key factor in the definition of managerial strategies. A survey that involved more than 600 SA8000 certified companies has been conducted. Company dimension has been used as a parameter to interpret survey results. The aspects analyzed mainly consisted of drivers, barriers and benefits in SA8000 certification pathway. The study showed a high level of homogeneity among firms. According to SA8000 requirements, one of the main issues is the implementation of control and awareness mechanisms addressed to suppliers. Survey results highlight that all respondents recognize the importance of suppliers’ involvement, considered as one of the most difficult phases in implementing certification. However, there were no significant differences among Micro, Small, Medium and Large companies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle The Economic Costs of Climate Change: A Multi-Sector Impact Assessment for Vietnam
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4131-4145; doi:10.3390/su7044131
Received: 1 February 2015 / Revised: 24 March 2015 / Accepted: 25 March 2015 / Published: 9 April 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (778 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We adopt a multi-sectoral approach and consider the full range of climate projections. Biophysical damages are translated into economic costs using a dynamic economy-wide model. Our results indicate that the negative impacts on agriculture and roads are modest to 2050. Larger costs are
[...] Read more.
We adopt a multi-sectoral approach and consider the full range of climate projections. Biophysical damages are translated into economic costs using a dynamic economy-wide model. Our results indicate that the negative impacts on agriculture and roads are modest to 2050. Larger costs are caused by rising sea levels and cyclone strikes. Overall, climate change is likely to reduce national income by between one and two percent by 2050 (relative to a historical baseline). Damages double under more extreme projections. Our findings suggest that there are net benefits from selected pre-emptive actions though careful consideration of opportunity costs is required. Full article
Open AccessArticle Genuine Savings as an Indicator for “Weak” Sustainability: Critical Survey and Possible Ways forward in Practical Measuring
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4146-4182; doi:10.3390/su7044146
Received: 16 November 2014 / Revised: 18 February 2015 / Accepted: 1 April 2015 / Published: 10 April 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (853 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Published by the World Bank (as “Adjusted Net Savings”) for around 160 countries, Genuine Savings (GS) presents the most respected but also the most debated indicator for “weak” sustainability. It originates from the so-called “Hartwick rule” for the re-investment of rents from the
[...] Read more.
Published by the World Bank (as “Adjusted Net Savings”) for around 160 countries, Genuine Savings (GS) presents the most respected but also the most debated indicator for “weak” sustainability. It originates from the so-called “Hartwick rule” for the re-investment of rents from the depletion of natural in reproducible forms of capital. Coming from the theoretical reasoning behind GS, this paper discusses possible extensions either not yet discussed or underrepresented in current research. Mainly, I suggest a discussion of additional items that could be included in GS and show that both the global average and individual country levels of GS would change immensely by including these recommendations. Full article
Open AccessArticle Leadership in Romanian Small to Medium Enterprises
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4183-4198; doi:10.3390/su7044183
Received: 28 November 2014 / Revised: 11 March 2015 / Accepted: 20 March 2015 / Published: 10 April 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (729 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We have conducted a broad statistical research on Romanian small to medium enterprises (SMEs), with the goal of better understanding: (1) the incipient organizational culture of a recently-opened East European market; and (2) the role of leadership in increasing the competitiveness of SMEs.
[...] Read more.
We have conducted a broad statistical research on Romanian small to medium enterprises (SMEs), with the goal of better understanding: (1) the incipient organizational culture of a recently-opened East European market; and (2) the role of leadership in increasing the competitiveness of SMEs. The paper studies the perceived characteristics of a leader and their influence on the organization’s results (as seen by employees), and it tries to reveal the subliminal inter-correlations among these characteristics. The method is factor analysis (implemented in SPSS), for a questionnaire with 23 items, answered by 930 subjects on a five-point Likert scale. The six factors identified by our analysis were: adaptability; cooperation; authority; charisma; confidence; motivation. By highlighting these basic components, our study aims both at increasing competitiveness in Romanian enterprises and at designing better training programs for managers and entrepreneurs acting on East European markets, adapted to the real characteristics of these young economic environments. Full article
Open AccessArticle Estimating Energy Consumption of Transport Modes in China Using DEA
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4225-4239; doi:10.3390/su7044225
Received: 26 February 2015 / Revised: 2 April 2015 / Accepted: 3 April 2015 / Published: 10 April 2015
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (740 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The rapid growth of transport requirements in China will incur increasing transport energy demands and associated environmental pressures. In this paper, we employ a generalized data envelopment analysis (DEA) to evaluate the relative energy efficiency of rail, road, aviation and water transport from
[...] Read more.
The rapid growth of transport requirements in China will incur increasing transport energy demands and associated environmental pressures. In this paper, we employ a generalized data envelopment analysis (DEA) to evaluate the relative energy efficiency of rail, road, aviation and water transport from 1971 to 2011 by considering the energy input and passenger-kilometers (PKM) and freight ton-kilometers (TKM) outputs. The results show that the optimal energy efficiencies observed in 2011 are for rail and water transport, with the opposite observed for the energy efficiencies of aviation and road transport. In addition, we extend the DEA model to estimate future transport energy consumption in China. If each transport mode in 2020 is optimized throughout the observed period, the national transport energy consumption in 2020 will reach 497,701 kilotons coal equivalent (ktce), whereas the annual growth rate from 2011 to 2020 will be 5.7%. Assuming that efficiency improvements occur in this period, the estimated national transport energy consumption in 2020 will be 443,126 ktce, whereas the annual growth rate from 2011 to 2020 will be 4.4%, which is still higher than that of the national total energy consumption (3.8%). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transportation and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Sustainable Water Distribution Strategy with Smart Water Grid
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4240-4259; doi:10.3390/su7044240
Received: 15 January 2015 / Revised: 31 March 2015 / Accepted: 7 April 2015 / Published: 10 April 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (4520 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Many problems that are encountered in regards to water balance and resources management are related to challenges of economic development under limited resources and tough competition among various water uses. The development of major infrastructure like airports in remote areas that have limited
[...] Read more.
Many problems that are encountered in regards to water balance and resources management are related to challenges of economic development under limited resources and tough competition among various water uses. The development of major infrastructure like airports in remote areas that have limited water resources is becoming a common problem. In order to overcome these difficulties, water management has to articulate and combine several resources in order to respond to various demands while preserving the ecological quality of the environment. The paper discusses the interest in implementing the Smart Water Grid concept on Yeongjongdo Island, which is the location of Korea’s main airport. This new concept is based on the connection of various water resources and their optimized management with new information technology solutions. The proposed system integrates water generated through rainfall, external water resources (i.e., metropolitan water distribution system), gray water and other types of alternative water resources. The paper analyses the feasibility of this approach and explores interest in the Smart Water Grid concept. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle Scenario Simulation and the Prediction of Land Use and Land Cover Change in Beijing, China
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4260-4279; doi:10.3390/su7044260
Received: 9 January 2015 / Revised: 3 April 2015 / Accepted: 7 April 2015 / Published: 13 April 2015
Cited by 18 | PDF Full-text (3916 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Land use and land cover (LULC) models are essential for analyzing LULC change and predicting land use requirements and are valuable for guiding reasonable land use planning and management. However, each LULC model has its own advantages and constraints. In this paper, we
[...] Read more.
Land use and land cover (LULC) models are essential for analyzing LULC change and predicting land use requirements and are valuable for guiding reasonable land use planning and management. However, each LULC model has its own advantages and constraints. In this paper, we explore the characteristics of LULC change and simulate future land use demand by combining a CLUE-S model with a Markov model to deal with some shortcomings of existing LULC models. Using Beijing as a case study, we describe the related driving factors from land-adaptive variables, regional spatial variables and socio-economic variables and then simulate future land use scenarios from 2010 to 2020, which include a development scenario (natural development and rapid development) and protection scenarios (ecological and cultivated land protection). The results indicate good consistency between predicted results and actual land use situations according to a Kappa statistic. The conversion of cultivated land to urban built-up land will form the primary features of LULC change in the future. The prediction for land use demand shows the differences under different scenarios. At higher elevations, the geographical environment limits the expansion of urban built-up land, but the conversion of cultivated land to built-up land in mountainous areas will be more prevalent by 2020; Beijing, however, still faces the most pressure in terms of ecological and cultivated land protection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Land and Sustainable Development) Printed Edition available
Open AccessArticle Game Theoretic Analysis of Carbon Emission Abatement in Fashion Supply Chains Considering Vertical Incentives and Channel Structures
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4280-4309; doi:10.3390/su7044280
Received: 30 October 2014 / Revised: 3 March 2015 / Accepted: 4 March 2015 / Published: 14 April 2015
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (988 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We study an emission-dependent dyadic fashion supply chain made up of a supplier and a manufacturer, both of which can reduce their own component/product emissions to serve the carbon-footprint sensitive consumers. With Carbon Tax regulation, we consider four scenarios resulting from two ways
[...] Read more.
We study an emission-dependent dyadic fashion supply chain made up of a supplier and a manufacturer, both of which can reduce their own component/product emissions to serve the carbon-footprint sensitive consumers. With Carbon Tax regulation, we consider four scenarios resulting from two ways in form of adopting transfer price contract and/or introducing third-party emission-reduction service (TPERS) to enhance the efficiency of systematic emission reductions. We refine four models from these corresponding scenarios, which in turn constitute a decision-making framework composed of determining vertical incentives and choosing supply chain structures. By exploiting Stackelberg games in all models, we compare their emission reduction efficiencies and profitability for each pair of settings. Theoretic analysis and numerical studies show that adopting vertical transfer payment schemes can definitely benefit channel carbon footprint reduction and Pareto improvement of supply chain profitability, regardless of whether the emission-reduction service exists or not. However, whether introducing TPERS or not is heavily depending on systematic parameters when the transfer payment incentive is adopted there. We also provide insights on the sensitivity of carbon tax parameters with respect to the supply chain performance, overall carbon emission reduction, vertical incentive and TPERS adopting decision-makings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Fashion Business Operations)
Open AccessArticle The Evolution of the Coastal Economy: The Role of Working Waterfronts in the Alabama Gulf Coast
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4310-4322; doi:10.3390/su7044310
Received: 16 November 2014 / Revised: 2 April 2015 / Accepted: 2 April 2015 / Published: 14 April 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (747 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article describes the evolution of the coastal economy in Alabama and examines the driving forces of the sustainable economy in a historical context. The input-output model was applied to assess the direct and secondary effects of output and employment in the coastal
[...] Read more.
This article describes the evolution of the coastal economy in Alabama and examines the driving forces of the sustainable economy in a historical context. The input-output model was applied to assess the direct and secondary effects of output and employment in the coastal region. Results suggest that state industries are heavily dependent on waterfront-related activities in this area, which have fueled much of their rapid development in the past few decades. Tourism, ship building and repairing and transportation are the three dominating sources contributing to the coastal economy. There are a few general problems of working waterfronts in the coastal Alabama area, but there are also some unique problems (e.g., Hurricane Katrina, Deepwater Horizon oil spill). Policies for future sustainable development are proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Exploration of the Intersectoral Relations Based on Input-Output Tables in the Inland River Basin of China
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4323-4340; doi:10.3390/su7044323
Received: 27 October 2014 / Revised: 27 March 2015 / Accepted: 9 April 2015 / Published: 14 April 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (845 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The conflict among natural resources, environment and economic development is one of the major problems to be solved in the current world. Sustainable development is a powerful tool on the way toward seeking for harmonious development. Due to a lack of resources and
[...] Read more.
The conflict among natural resources, environment and economic development is one of the major problems to be solved in the current world. Sustainable development is a powerful tool on the way toward seeking for harmonious development. Due to a lack of resources and fragility in ecosystems, the Inland River Basin of China is facing a serious problem that needs to be solved. In this paper, northwest China is chosen as the study area. Based on the interregional input-output table of China for the years 2002 and 2007 and the provincial input-output table of 2007, the I-O table analysis method was adopted to calculate the influence coefficient and response coefficient of the five provinces in northwest China. Through the analysis of the results, the intersectoral relation has been investigated, which could lend some credence for seeking effective ways for sustainable development in western China. The research findings indicate that the tertiary industry and construction sector are capable of greatly driving the national economic development in northwest China and, thus, should be developed preferentially. Full article
Open AccessArticle Ranking Water Transparency of Dutch Stock-Listed Companies
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4341-4359; doi:10.3390/su7044341
Received: 22 January 2015 / Revised: 30 March 2015 / Accepted: 9 April 2015 / Published: 14 April 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1368 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A growing world population, changing consumption patterns and climate change are affecting water demands, water scarcity and water quality worldwide, while at present, few companies are incorporating good water stewardship. In order to create awareness on this issue and provide an incentive for
[...] Read more.
A growing world population, changing consumption patterns and climate change are affecting water demands, water scarcity and water quality worldwide, while at present, few companies are incorporating good water stewardship. In order to create awareness on this issue and provide an incentive for companies to improve the water performance in their operations and supply chain, a method for ranking companies based on their water transparency has been developed. The method consists of a checklist that can be completed on the basis of information from annual reports, sustainability reports and websites of companies. This is the first time a ranking of companies regarding water transparency has been carried out. Results show that there are large differences in transparency between and within sectors and that companies are reporting more about their operations than their supply chain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Footprints and Sustainable Water Allocation)
Open AccessArticle Quantitative Assessment of Political Fragility Indices and Food Prices as Indicators of Food Riots in Countries
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4360-4385; doi:10.3390/su7044360
Received: 15 October 2014 / Revised: 9 March 2015 / Accepted: 1 April 2015 / Published: 14 April 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (957 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The impact of resources on social unrest is of increasing interest to political leaders, business and civil society. Recent events have highlighted that (lack of) access to critical resources, including food, energy and water, can, in certain circumstances, lead to violent demonstrations. In
[...] Read more.
The impact of resources on social unrest is of increasing interest to political leaders, business and civil society. Recent events have highlighted that (lack of) access to critical resources, including food, energy and water, can, in certain circumstances, lead to violent demonstrations. In this paper, we assess a number of political fragility indices to see whether they are good indicators of propensity to food riots. We found that the most accurate is the Political Instability and Absence of Violence Indicator of the Worldwide Governance Indicators by the World Bank. We compute a likelihood of experiencing a food riot for each quartile of this index. We found that the self-sufficiency of food does not seem to affect the likelihood of the occurrence of food riots, but that the level of political stability of a country does have a role. In addition, we identify a monthly and annual threshold for the Food and Agriculture Organisation Food Price Index, above which food riots in fragile states are more likely to occur. Full article
Figures

Open AccessArticle Influence of Agricultural Practices on Biotic Production Potential and Climate Regulation Potential. A Case Study for Life Cycle Assessment of Soybean (Glycine max) in Argentina
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4386-4410; doi:10.3390/su7044386
Received: 24 December 2014 / Revised: 6 April 2015 / Accepted: 8 April 2015 / Published: 14 April 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1187 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this study is to determine the impact potential of land use on biotic production and climate regulation in the agricultural phase of a product, taking into account the varied soil and crop management. Land occupation and transformation impacts of soybean
[...] Read more.
The aim of this study is to determine the impact potential of land use on biotic production and climate regulation in the agricultural phase of a product, taking into account the varied soil and crop management. Land occupation and transformation impacts of soybean production in Argentina for different agricultural systems are evaluated. The results indicate that the magnitude of occupation and transformation impacts is considerably reduced by implementing no-tillage instead of conventional tillage. Nevertheless, the methodologies adopted are unable to show any of the expected differences between rainfed or irrigation systems, crop sequences and delays in seed-planting, due to failures in the specific characterization factors. On the other hand, an uncertainty is demonstrated by the results associated with the choice of regeneration time corresponding to the different ecoregions over which soybean cultivation extends across the country. One of the recommendations that comes to the fore is to consider in the characterization factors increments in the soil organic carbon stock and in the mineralization rates, associated with the presence of the preceding crop and the greater availability of water in the soil of irrigated systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Resources)
Open AccessArticle Exergy, Economic and Environmental Analysis for Simple and Combined Heat and Power IC Engines
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4411-4424; doi:10.3390/su7044411
Received: 21 December 2014 / Revised: 8 March 2015 / Accepted: 11 March 2015 / Published: 14 April 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1468 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study reports the results of exergy, economic and environmental analyses of simple and combined heat and power internal combustion engines. Values of entropy production, second law efficiency are calculated, and an objective function, including initial, operation, maintenance and fuel costs, as well
[...] Read more.
This study reports the results of exergy, economic and environmental analyses of simple and combined heat and power internal combustion engines. Values of entropy production, second law efficiency are calculated, and an objective function, including initial, operation, maintenance and fuel costs, as well as the external costs of environmental pollutants, such as CO2, CO and NOx, are presented for the flue gas of the internal combustion engine. The results show that entropy generation in the combined heat and power mode is 30% lower than that in the simple internal combustion engine. Also, by excessively increasing the air ratio, the system entropy generation decreases in both cases of simple and combined heat and power IC engines. The greatest portion of entropy generation is related to the combined heat and power internal combustion engine. The gas heat exchanger generates more entropy than the jacket heat exchanger. Lower values of electricity cost and external costs of air pollution are provided by higher values of molar air to fuel ratio. The environmental aspects depend on location of the system and time of engine operation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Comparison Analysis and Evaluation of Urban Competitiveness in Chinese Urban Clusters
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4425-4447; doi:10.3390/su7044425
Received: 13 January 2015 / Revised: 6 April 2015 / Accepted: 8 April 2015 / Published: 15 April 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1031 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With accelerating urbanization, urban competitiveness has become a worldwide academic focus. Previous studies always focused on economic factors but ignored social elements when measuring urban competitiveness. In this paper, a city was considered as a whole containing different units such as departments, individuals
[...] Read more.
With accelerating urbanization, urban competitiveness has become a worldwide academic focus. Previous studies always focused on economic factors but ignored social elements when measuring urban competitiveness. In this paper, a city was considered as a whole containing different units such as departments, individuals and economic activities, which interact with each other and affect its economic operation. Moreover, a city’s development was compared to an object’s movement, and the components were compared to different forces acting upon the object. With the analysis of the principle of object movement, this study has established a more scientific evaluation index system that involves 4 subsystems, 12 elements and 58 indexes. By using the TOPSIS method, the study has worked out the urban competitiveness of 141 cities from 28 Chinese urban clusters in 2009. According to the calculation results, these cities were divided into four levels: A, B, C, D. Furthermore, in order to analyze the competitiveness of cities and urban clusters, cities and urban clusters have been divided into four groups according to their distributive characteristics: the southeast, the northeast and Bohai Rim, the central region and the west. Suggestions and recommendations for each group are provided based on careful analysis. Full article
Open AccessArticle Gaetano Vinaccia’s (1881–1971) Theoretical Work on the Relationship between Microclimate and Urban Design
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4448-4473; doi:10.3390/su7044448
Received: 14 January 2015 / Revised: 7 April 2015 / Accepted: 8 April 2015 / Published: 15 April 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (7482 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Because of his classification as a minor architect, Gaetano Vinaccia’s (1881–1971) role in the history of architecture has not been studied in depth. Despite the fact that his impact on the debate about rational architecture was limited, the depth and scientific accuracy of
[...] Read more.
Because of his classification as a minor architect, Gaetano Vinaccia’s (1881–1971) role in the history of architecture has not been studied in depth. Despite the fact that his impact on the debate about rational architecture was limited, the depth and scientific accuracy of his theoretical contribution to the field of microclimatology in relation to urban design issues deserve to be highlighted, especially today when environmental and bioclimatic questions arise strongly in architecture and planning. Thus, this work aims to reconsider this figure by describing the—unfavorable—context in which his work evolved, by bringing to light his most brilliant statements, by reading his scientific productions, and by starting to consider the validity of some of Vinaccia’s intuitions and their actual correspondence with contemporary research. The question of whether Vinaccia can be considered as an innovator (or not) largely derives from the point of view of architectural criticism and the fact that he did not have a well-defined discipline in which to be classified. Despite the fact that his The City of Tomorrow (1943–1952), which is the first complete treatise on the subject, reveals that he was an absolute pioneer, he has had no chance to influence architecture and urbanism until today. Full article
Open AccessArticle Research-Based Transformative Science/STEM/STES/STESEP Education for “Sustainability Thinking”: From Teaching to “Know” to Learning to “Think”
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4474-4491; doi:10.3390/su7044474
Received: 1 December 2014 / Revised: 7 April 2015 / Accepted: 8 April 2015 / Published: 16 April 2015
PDF Full-text (881 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainability is conceptualized, approached and acted upon differently by people, sectors, societies, nations and educational systems. Consequently, the “sustainability thinking”-related scientific, technological, environmental, societal, economic and policy/political components are expected to transform differently. The related necessary transformative paradigm shifts in science, technology, environment,
[...] Read more.
Sustainability is conceptualized, approached and acted upon differently by people, sectors, societies, nations and educational systems. Consequently, the “sustainability thinking”-related scientific, technological, environmental, societal, economic and policy/political components are expected to transform differently. The related necessary transformative paradigm shifts in science, technology, environment, society, economy and policy (STESEP)—education from the contemporary disciplinary science, technology and environmental teaching to “know”—to transdisciplinary learning to “think” are to be expected. The overriding purpose: ensuring “sustainability thinking” by responsible, capable “STESEP literate” citizens. Consequently, “sustainability thinking” in the STESEP interfaces contexts, requires (1) the development of students’ higher-order cognitive skills (HOCS) via a transformative/transdisciplinary “STESEP Education”; (2) a research-based shift from the conventional algorithmic lower-order cognitive skills (LOCS)-based teaching to “know”, to “HOCS learning” to “think”; and (3) a special focus on HOCS-promoting teaching, assessment and learning strategies in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, environment, society and education. A pre-post research design of system thinking, evaluative thinking, and decision making capabilities of 10 grade high school, undergraduate and graduate students, in Israel, are presented and discussed in the learning for “sustainability thinking” context. In conclusion: contemporary science education in secondary and tertiary levels is mainly, disciplinary (biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics) in science, technology and engineering courses. The LOCS-to-HOCS paradigm shift still constitutes a major issue of concern, with respect to ensuring a transformative science/STESEP education, targeting “sustainability thinking” in secondary and tertiary education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Approaches in Education)
Open AccessArticle Assessing Green Development Efficiency of Municipalities and Provinces in China Integrating Models of Super-Efficiency DEA and Malmquist Index
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4492-4510; doi:10.3390/su7044492
Received: 31 October 2014 / Revised: 9 March 2015 / Accepted: 11 March 2015 / Published: 16 April 2015
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (1555 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In order to realize economic and social green development, to pave a pathway towards China’s green regional development and develop effective scientific policy to assist in building green cities and countries, it is necessary to put forward a relatively accurate, scientific and concise
[...] Read more.
In order to realize economic and social green development, to pave a pathway towards China’s green regional development and develop effective scientific policy to assist in building green cities and countries, it is necessary to put forward a relatively accurate, scientific and concise green assessment method. The research uses the CCR (A. Charnes & W. W. Cooper & E. Rhodes) Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) model to obtain the green development frontier surface based on 31 regions’ annual cross-section data from 2008–2012. Furthermore, in order to classify the regions whereby assessment values equal to 1 in the CCR model, we chose the Super-Efficiency DEA model for further sorting. Meanwhile, according to the five-year panel data, the green development efficiency changes of 31 regions can be manifested by the Malmquist index. Finally, the study assesses the reasons for regional differences; while analyzing and discussing the results may allude to a superior green development pathway for China. Full article
Open AccessCommunication Zero-Acreage Farming in the City of Berlin: An Aggregated Stakeholder Perspective on Potential Benefits and Challenges
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4511-4523; doi:10.3390/su7044511
Received: 10 February 2015 / Revised: 8 April 2015 / Accepted: 10 April 2015 / Published: 16 April 2015
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1012 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
How can buildings be combined with agricultural production and what are the major potential benefits and challenges for the introduction of zero-acreage farming (ZFarming) in Berlin from the relevant stakeholders’ perspectives? These questions were explored through a series of interviews and stakeholder workshops
[...] Read more.
How can buildings be combined with agricultural production and what are the major potential benefits and challenges for the introduction of zero-acreage farming (ZFarming) in Berlin from the relevant stakeholders’ perspectives? These questions were explored through a series of interviews and stakeholder workshops held between 2011 and 2013. The aim was to identify the most suitable building-integrated farming model for the Berlin metropolitan area and to develop guidelines for the model’s successful and sustainable implementation through a stakeholder-driven approach. This paper provides an aggregated synthesis of the outcomes derived from the qualitative interviews and stakeholder workshops. As the results reveal, the stakeholders perceive potential benefits and challenges related to the issue of ZFarming in all dimensions (economic, social, environmental and political). They largely agreed on the importance of focusing on local resources, using energy-efficient production—including social and educational aspects—and developing new market structures when introducing ZFarming to the city of Berlin. The stakeholders identified urban rooftop greenhouses (RTG) as the most promising farming model for Berlin. In a joint collaboration of all stakeholders, a manual for RTG was developed within the participatory innovation process that addresses the identified problems and challenges associated with future implementation and governance of RTG in Berlin and beyond. Full article
Open AccessArticle Determinants and Sustainability of House Prices: The Case of Shanghai, China
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4524-4548; doi:10.3390/su7044524
Received: 11 February 2015 / Revised: 29 March 2015 / Accepted: 9 April 2015 / Published: 16 April 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (867 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recent housing policies include measures for home purchase control and shanty town redevelopment. This study proposes sustainable pricing, in that the long-run equilibrium price is determined by the fundamentals of house prices. We argue that changes in CPI might have led to rapidly
[...] Read more.
Recent housing policies include measures for home purchase control and shanty town redevelopment. This study proposes sustainable pricing, in that the long-run equilibrium price is determined by the fundamentals of house prices. We argue that changes in CPI might have led to rapidly growing house prices and rather high price levels. We investigate the long-run or short-run impacts of new commodity housing completions, transacted square meters of commodity housing, and CPI for house prices in Shanghai. We adopt monthly data for the period of 2005–2010. We test for unit roots using both the ADF and PP techniques and structural breaks using both the Zivot-Andrews (Model B) and Perron (Model C) methods. Considering Cheung-Lai and Reinsel–Ahn finite-sample corrections, the results suggest a long-run equilibrium. Housing completions negatively impact house prices in the short run. A positive volume-price relationship is suggested. Housing sales affect house prices in the short run but not vice versa. Hence, the empirical evidence supports the search model. In addition, CPI is strongly exogenous with respect to the long-run relationship and thus is a long-term determinant of house prices. CPI also positively and drastically influences house prices in the short run. Therefore, a reduction in inflation rate could stabilize house prices, increasing the chances of sustainable prices in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Sustainable Development Strategy for the Global City: A Case Study of Sydney
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4549-4563; doi:10.3390/su7044549
Received: 5 January 2015 / Revised: 3 April 2015 / Accepted: 13 April 2015 / Published: 16 April 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2932 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Global cities, the command and control centres of the integrated world economy, are facing a sustainability paradox of greater global competition and greater environmental pressure. This study explores the policy approaches to the sustainability paradox by integrating environmental sustainability and economic competitiveness into
[...] Read more.
Global cities, the command and control centres of the integrated world economy, are facing a sustainability paradox of greater global competition and greater environmental pressure. This study explores the policy approaches to the sustainability paradox by integrating environmental sustainability and economic competitiveness into the development strategy for “the global city”, based on a case study of Sydney. Dissecting Sustainable Sydney 2030, the strategy to guide the City’s development in the early 21st century, reveals the approaches used to achieve the integration. The approaches include green economy, sustainable redevelopment, integrated transport and connectivity, development of attractive public space, urban design for sustainable and good-looking urban form, marketisation of sustainability for a competitive edge, and a relational planning approach. Altogether they target mutually supportive benefits of environmental sustainability and economic competitiveness. The findings point out new directions for the City’s strategic development, and suggest a useful reference for counterpart global cities to address the common sustainability paradox. Full article
Open AccessArticle Territorial Analysis of the Agricultural Terraced Landscapes of Tuscany (Italy): Preliminary Results
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4564-4581; doi:10.3390/su7044564
Received: 30 January 2015 / Revised: 2 April 2015 / Accepted: 10 April 2015 / Published: 16 April 2015
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (5972 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Terraced areas have existed in Italy since ancient times, and they continue to be characteristic elements of the cultural identity of the country. The progressive abandonment of rural areas and farmland that began in the 1960s has led to the disintegration and disappearance
[...] Read more.
Terraced areas have existed in Italy since ancient times, and they continue to be characteristic elements of the cultural identity of the country. The progressive abandonment of rural areas and farmland that began in the 1960s has led to the disintegration and disappearance of many terraces, representing one of the problems connected with the deterioration of the historic Tuscan agricultural landscape. This research aims to provide a contribution to the territorial analysis of the agricultural terraced landscapes at a regional scale. The preliminary phase of the study involved setting up a working method in Geographic Information System (GIS) for the quantitative definition of the population. Afterwards, for the territorial analysis at a more detailed scale, a method was devised to identify the areas of greater significance in terms of a terracing intensity index. The final results concerned considerations on the distribution of the terraced landscapes and analyses related to land use and the main environmental parameters of the most representative terraced systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscape and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Research on the Multi-Period Small-Signal Stability Probability of a Power System with Wind Farms Based on the Markov Chain
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4582-4599; doi:10.3390/su7044582
Received: 13 January 2015 / Revised: 7 April 2015 / Accepted: 9 April 2015 / Published: 17 April 2015
PDF Full-text (2001 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the traditional studies on small-signal stability probability of a power system with wind farms, the frequency of wind speed was often assumed to obey to some extent a particular probability distribution. The stability probability that is thus obtained, however, actually only reflects
[...] Read more.
In the traditional studies on small-signal stability probability of a power system with wind farms, the frequency of wind speed was often assumed to obey to some extent a particular probability distribution. The stability probability that is thus obtained, however, actually only reflects the power system stability characteristics on long time scales. In fact, there is a direct correlation between the change of wind speed and the current state of wind speed, resulting in the system stability characteristics in different time periods having a great difference compared with that of long time scales. However, the dispatchers are more concerned about the probability that the power system remains stable in the next period or after several periods, namely the stability characteristics of the power system in a short period or multi-period. Therefore, research on multi-period small-signal stability probability of a power system with wind farms has important theoretical value and practical significance. Based on the Markov chain, this paper conducted in-depth research on this subject. Firstly, the basic principle of the Markov chain was introduced, based on which we studied the uncertainty of wind power by adopting the transition matrix and the wind speed−power output transformation model and established the probability distribution model of multi-period wind power. Then the boundary-based small-signal stability probability evaluation method was used to establish an evaluation model of multi-period small-signal stability probability of power system with wind farms. Finally, taking the power system with two wind farms as an example, we analyzed its small-signal stability probability and studied the influence of the initial states of wind speed and different periods on the probability of stability. This study provides a new method and support for analyzing the small-signal stability probability of a power system with wind farms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Electrical Engineering)
Open AccessArticle Delivering a Multi-Functional and Resilient Urban Forest
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4600-4624; doi:10.3390/su7044600
Received: 9 March 2015 / Revised: 4 April 2015 / Accepted: 8 April 2015 / Published: 17 April 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1955 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Tree planting is widely advocated and applied in urban areas, with large-scale projects underway in cities globally. Numerous potential benefits are used to justify these planting campaigns. However, reports of poor tree survival raise questions about the ability of such projects to deliver
[...] Read more.
Tree planting is widely advocated and applied in urban areas, with large-scale projects underway in cities globally. Numerous potential benefits are used to justify these planting campaigns. However, reports of poor tree survival raise questions about the ability of such projects to deliver on their promises over the long-term. Each potential benefit requires different supporting conditions—relating not only to the type and placement of the tree, but also to the broader urban system within which it is embedded. This set of supporting conditions may not always be mutually compatible and may not persist for the lifetime of the tree. Here, we demonstrate a systems-based approach that makes these dependencies, synergies, and tensions more explicit, allowing them to be used to test the decadal-scale resilience of urban street trees. Our analysis highlights social, environmental, and economic assumptions that are implicit within planting projects; notably that high levels of maintenance and public support for urban street trees will persist throughout their natural lifespan, and that the surrounding built form will remain largely unchanged. Whilst the vulnerability of each benefit may be highly context specific, we identify approaches that address some typical weaknesses, making a functional, resilient, urban forest more attainable. Full article
Figures

Open AccessArticle Consumer Acceptance of Eco-Labeled Fish: A Mexican Case Study
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4625-4642; doi:10.3390/su7044625
Received: 25 February 2015 / Revised: 21 March 2015 / Accepted: 13 April 2015 / Published: 17 April 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (752 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Fish eco-labeling is a market-based incentive program for sustainable fisheries. This paper examines consumers’ acceptance of eco-labeled fish by using data from a pilot study conducted in a coastal area of northwestern Mexico. An ordered probit model was applied, using 364 observations. The
[...] Read more.
Fish eco-labeling is a market-based incentive program for sustainable fisheries. This paper examines consumers’ acceptance of eco-labeled fish by using data from a pilot study conducted in a coastal area of northwestern Mexico. An ordered probit model was applied, using 364 observations. The results show that most respondents favor the idea of eco-labeled fish as a sustainable option and know that this is a costlier option. Income level, consumers’ occupation and frequency of fish consumption are factors taken into account in the buying decision. Price was not a statistically significant factor affecting purchase decision. The study suggests that employed consumers with knowledge of labels may prioritize their demand for eco-labeled fish. Thus, providing a clear definition of sustainability that increases consumer awareness might be a promising strategy in developing the market for eco-labeled fish. The results and their implications could be employed as an element for future development of consumer policies related to fish sustainability. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Hybrid Inexact Optimization Method for Land-Use Allocation in Association with Environmental/Ecological Requirements at a Watershed Level
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4643-4667; doi:10.3390/su7044643
Received: 27 November 2014 / Revised: 8 April 2015 / Accepted: 9 April 2015 / Published: 20 April 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1193 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this study, an inexact stochastic fuzzy programming (ISFP) model is proposed for land-use allocation (LUA) and environmental/ecological planning at a watershed level, where uncertainties associated with land-use parameters, benefit functions, and environmental/ecological requirements are described as discrete intervals, probabilities and fuzzy sets.
[...] Read more.
In this study, an inexact stochastic fuzzy programming (ISFP) model is proposed for land-use allocation (LUA) and environmental/ecological planning at a watershed level, where uncertainties associated with land-use parameters, benefit functions, and environmental/ecological requirements are described as discrete intervals, probabilities and fuzzy sets. In this model, an interval stochastic fuzzy programming model is used to support quantitative optimization under uncertainty. Complexities in land-use planning systems can be systematically reflected, thus applicability of the modeling process can be highly enhanced. The proposed method is applied to planning land use/ecological balance in Poyang Lake watershed, China. The objective of the ISFP is maximizing net benefit from the LUA system and the constraints including economic constraints, social constraints, land suitability constraints, environmental constraints, ecological constraints and technical constraints. Modeling results indicate that the desired system benefit will be between [15.17, 18.29] × 1012 yuan under the minimum violating probabilities; the optimized areas of commercial land, industrial land, agricultural land, transportation land, residential land, water land, green land, landfill land and unused land will be optimized cultivated land, forest land, grass land, water land, urban land, unused land and landfill will be [228234, 237844] ha, [47228, 58451] ha, [20982, 23718] ha, [33897, 35280] ha, [15215, 15907] ha, [528, 879] ha and [1023, 1260] ha. These data can be used for generating decision alternatives under different scenarios and thus help decision makers identify desired policies under various system-reliability constraints of ecological requirement and environmental capacity. Tradeoffs between system benefits and constraint-violation risks can be tackled. They are helpful for supporting (a) decision of land-use allocation and government investment; (b) formulation of local policies regarding ecological protection, environment protection and economic development; (c) analysis of interactions among economic benefits, system reliability and ecological requirements. Full article
Open AccessArticle Habitat Mapping of the Leopard Cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) in South Korea Using GIS
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4668-4688; doi:10.3390/su7044668
Received: 22 January 2015 / Revised: 9 April 2015 / Accepted: 9 April 2015 / Published: 21 April 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2491 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to create maps of potentially sustainable leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) habitats for all of South Korea. The leopard cat, which is on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, is the only
[...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to create maps of potentially sustainable leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) habitats for all of South Korea. The leopard cat, which is on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, is the only member of the Felidae family in Korea. To create habitat potential maps, we selected various environmental factors potentially affecting the species’ distribution from a spatial database derived from geographic information system (GIS) data: elevation, slope, distance from a forest stand, road, or drainage, timber type, age, and land cover. We analyzed the spatial relationships between the distribution of the leopard cat and the environmental factors using a frequency ratio model and a logistic regression model. We then overlaid these relationships to produce a habitat potential map with a species potential index (SPI) value. Of the total number of known leopard cat locations, we used 50% for mapping and the remaining 50% for model validation. Our models were relatively successful and showed a high level of accuracy during model validation with existing locations (frequency ratio model 82.15%; logistic regression model 81.48%). The maps can be used to manage and monitor the habitat of mammal species and top predators. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle The Role of Vegetation in Mitigating Urban Land Surface Temperatures: A Case Study of Munich, Germany during the Warm Season
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4689-4706; doi:10.3390/su7044689
Received: 18 December 2014 / Revised: 14 April 2015 / Accepted: 14 April 2015 / Published: 21 April 2015
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (2808 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The Urban Heat Island (UHI) is the phenomenon of altered increased temperatures in urban areas compared to their rural surroundings. UHIs grow and intensify under extreme hot periods, such as during heat waves, which can affect human health and also increase the demand
[...] Read more.
The Urban Heat Island (UHI) is the phenomenon of altered increased temperatures in urban areas compared to their rural surroundings. UHIs grow and intensify under extreme hot periods, such as during heat waves, which can affect human health and also increase the demand for energy for cooling. This study applies remote sensing and land use/land cover (LULC) data to assess the cooling effect of varying urban vegetation cover, especially during extreme warm periods, in the city of Munich, Germany. To compute the relationship between Land Surface Temperature (LST) and Land Use Land Cover (LULC), MODIS eight-day interval LST data for the months of June, July and August from 2002 to 2012 and the Corine Land Cover (CLC) database were used. Due to similarities in the behavior of surface temperature of different CLCs, some classes were reclassified and combined to form two major, rather simplified, homogenized classes: one of built-up area and one of urban vegetation. The homogenized map was merged with the MODIS eight-day interval LST data to compute the relationship between them. The results revealed that (i) the cooling effect accrued from urban vegetation tended to be non-linear; and (ii) a remarkable and stronger cooling effect in terms of LST was identified in regions where the proportion of vegetation cover was between seventy and almost eighty percent per square kilometer. The results also demonstrated that LST within urban vegetation was affected by the temperature of the surrounding built-up and that during the well-known European 2003 heat wave, suburb areas were cooler from the core of the urbanized region. This study concluded that the optimum green space for obtaining the lowest temperature is a non-linear trend. This could support urban planning strategies to facilitate appropriate applications to mitigate heat-stress in urban area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Rescuing Food from the Organics Waste Stream to Feed the Food Insecure: An Economic and Environmental Assessment of Australian Food Rescue Operations Using Environmentally Extended Waste Input-Output Analysis
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4707-4726; doi:10.3390/su7044707
Received: 17 February 2015 / Revised: 8 April 2015 / Accepted: 14 April 2015 / Published: 21 April 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1504 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper we investigate the economic and environmental efficiency of charities and NGO’s “rescuing” food waste, using a 2008 case study of food rescue organisations in Australia. We quantify the tonnages, costs, and environmental impact of food rescued, and then compare food
[...] Read more.
In this paper we investigate the economic and environmental efficiency of charities and NGO’s “rescuing” food waste, using a 2008 case study of food rescue organisations in Australia. We quantify the tonnages, costs, and environmental impact of food rescued, and then compare food rescue to other food waste disposal methods composting and landfill. To our knowledge this is the first manuscript to comprehend the psychical flows of charity within an Input-Output framework—treating the charity donations as a waste product. We found that 18,105 tonnes of food waste was rescued, and calculate that food rescue operations generate approximately six kilograms of food waste per tonne of food rescued, at a cost of US$222 per tonne of food rescued. This a lower cost than purchasing a tonne of comparable edible food at market value. We also found that per US dollar spent on food rescue, edible food to the value of US$5.71 (1863 calories) was rescued. Likewise, every US dollar spent on food rescue redirected food that represented 6.6 m3 of embodied water, 40.13 MJ of embodied energy, and 7.5 kilograms of embodied greenhouse gasses (CO2 equivalents) from being sent to landfill or composting, and into mouths of the food insecure. We find that food rescue—though more economically costly than landfill or composting—is a lower cost method of obtaining food for the food insecure than direct purchasing. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Establishment and Application of Environment Sustainability Evaluation Indicators for Ecotourism Environments
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4727-4746; doi:10.3390/su7044727
Received: 10 February 2015 / Revised: 2 April 2015 / Accepted: 15 April 2015 / Published: 21 April 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (772 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Kinmen National Park is the only battle memorial-themed natural resource conservation park in Taiwan. With the rapid growth in tourism, Kinmen National Park faces the challenge of managing with the resulting environmental impact. For this study, we adopted the tourism ecological footprint (TEF)
[...] Read more.
Kinmen National Park is the only battle memorial-themed natural resource conservation park in Taiwan. With the rapid growth in tourism, Kinmen National Park faces the challenge of managing with the resulting environmental impact. For this study, we adopted the tourism ecological footprint (TEF) and tourism ecological capacity (TEC) to evaluate the ecological conditions of Kinmen National Park from 2002 to 2011. The empirical results indicated the following findings: (a) TEF increased by 8.03% over 10 years; (b) Regarding the environmental sustainability index (ESI), per capita tourism ecological deficit (PTED) yielded a deficit growth rate of 45.37%. In 2011, the ecological footprint index (EFI) was at Level 4 with 1.16, and the ESI was at Level 3 with 0.495. According to the aforementioned results, with the increased scale of tourism to Kinmen National Park, the pressure that ecological occupancy exerted on the national ecosystem exceeded its ecological capacity. Full article
Open AccessArticle Ecological Footprints and Lifestyle Archetypes: Exploring Dimensions of Consumption and the Transformation Needed to Achieve Urban Sustainability
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4747-4763; doi:10.3390/su7044747
Received: 20 December 2014 / Revised: 15 March 2015 / Accepted: 8 April 2015 / Published: 21 April 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (695 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The global urban transition increasingly positions cities as important influencers in determining sustainability outcomes. Urban sustainability literature tends to focus on the built environment as a solution space for reducing energy and materials demand; however, equally important is the consumption characteristics of the
[...] Read more.
The global urban transition increasingly positions cities as important influencers in determining sustainability outcomes. Urban sustainability literature tends to focus on the built environment as a solution space for reducing energy and materials demand; however, equally important is the consumption characteristics of the people who occupy the city. While size of dwelling and motor vehicle ownership are partially influenced by urban form, they are also influenced by cultural and socio-economic characteristics. Dietary choices and purchases of consumable goods are almost entirely driven by the latter. Using international field data that document urban ways of living, I develop lifestyle archetypes coupled with ecological footprint analysis to develop consumption benchmarks in the domains of: food, buildings, consumables, transportation, and water that correspond to various levels of demand on nature’s services. I also explore the dimensions of transformation that would be needed in each of these domains for the per capita consumption patterns of urban dwellers to achieve ecological sustainability. The dimensions of transformation needed commensurate with ecological carrying capacity include: a 73% reduction in household energy use, a 96% reduction in motor vehicle ownership, a 78% reduction in per capita vehicle kilometres travelled, and a 79% reduction in air kilometres travelled. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Urban Development)
Open AccessArticle Estimating the Total Economic Value of Cultivated Flower Land in Taiwan
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4764-4782; doi:10.3390/su7044764
Received: 10 November 2014 / Revised: 13 April 2015 / Accepted: 15 April 2015 / Published: 21 April 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (797 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Many arable land areas have been converted to residential or business uses by Taiwan government authorities, because the low farmland value is associated with the low value of agricultural products. However, agriculture is multifunctional. This study investigates farmland value through Total Economic Value
[...] Read more.
Many arable land areas have been converted to residential or business uses by Taiwan government authorities, because the low farmland value is associated with the low value of agricultural products. However, agriculture is multifunctional. This study investigates farmland value through Total Economic Value (TEV) for Tianwei Township, which is Taiwan’s largest floral farmland region. Direct use value measures the floral products’ output value and recreational benefit. Recreational benefit from visitors’ flower sightseeing was measured by the travel cost method (TCM). Option value and non-use value, including bequest value and existence value, measure the residents’ willingness to pay through the double-bounded dichotomous contingent valuation method (CVM). The results show that the total floral products’ output is NT$1.441 billion in 2007, recreational benefit is roughly NT$17.757 billion. The intangible value of option value and non-use values are approximately between NT$5 million to 15 million. Therefore, ignoring various values of farmland might lead to an underestimation of farmland value. Full article

Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research

Open AccessReview Soil Degradation in India: Challenges and Potential Solutions
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 3528-3570; doi:10.3390/su7043528
Received: 16 November 2014 / Revised: 9 February 2015 / Accepted: 27 February 2015 / Published: 25 March 2015
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (1577 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Soil degradation in India is estimated to be occurring on 147 million hectares (Mha) of land, including 94 Mha from water erosion, 16 Mha from acidification, 14 Mha from flooding, 9 Mha from wind erosion, 6 Mha from salinity, and 7 Mha from
[...] Read more.
Soil degradation in India is estimated to be occurring on 147 million hectares (Mha) of land, including 94 Mha from water erosion, 16 Mha from acidification, 14 Mha from flooding, 9 Mha from wind erosion, 6 Mha from salinity, and 7 Mha from a combination of factors. This is extremely serious because India supports 18% of the world’s human population and 15% of the world’s livestock population, but has only 2.4% of the world’s land area. Despite its low proportional land area, India ranks second worldwide in farm output. Agriculture, forestry, and fisheries account for 17% of the gross domestic product and employs about 50% of the total workforce of the country. Causes of soil degradation are both natural and human-induced. Natural causes include earthquakes, tsunamis, droughts, avalanches, landslides, volcanic eruptions, floods, tornadoes, and wildfires. Human-induced soil degradation results from land clearing and deforestation, inappropriate agricultural practices, improper management of industrial effluents and wastes, over-grazing, careless management of forests, surface mining, urban sprawl, and commercial/industrial development. Inappropriate agricultural practices include excessive tillage and use of heavy machinery, excessive and unbalanced use of inorganic fertilizers, poor irrigation and water management techniques, pesticide overuse, inadequate crop residue and/or organic carbon inputs, and poor crop cycle planning. Some underlying social causes of soil degradation in India are land shortage, decline in per capita land availability, economic pressure on land, land tenancy, poverty, and population increase. In this review of land degradation in India, we summarize (1) the main causes of soil degradation in different agro-climatic regions; (2) research results documenting both soil degradation and soil health improvement in various agricultural systems; and (3) potential solutions to improve soil health in different regions using a variety of conservation agricultural approaches. Full article
Open AccessReview Depleted Uranium and Its Effects on Humans
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4063-4077; doi:10.3390/su7044063
Received: 27 January 2015 / Revised: 31 March 2015 / Accepted: 1 April 2015 / Published: 8 April 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (729 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The article summarizes contemporary scientific knowledge of depleted uranium effects on human health due to its use in military conflicts. The discussion covers cases of minimal risk due to external irradiation resulting from the storage and handling of depleted uranium ammunition and, in
[...] Read more.
The article summarizes contemporary scientific knowledge of depleted uranium effects on human health due to its use in military conflicts. The discussion covers cases of minimal risk due to external irradiation resulting from the storage and handling of depleted uranium ammunition and, in contrast, important toxicological and radio-toxicological risks of late effects resulting from the inhalation and ingestion of dust particles produced by the burning of the core of the anti-tank ammunition. Full article
Open AccessReview Challenges of Sustainable and Commercial Aquaponics
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4199-4224; doi:10.3390/su7044199
Received: 9 February 2015 / Revised: 23 March 2015 / Accepted: 25 March 2015 / Published: 10 April 2015
Cited by 18 | PDF Full-text (940 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The world is facing a number of serious problems of which population rise, climate change, soil degradation, water scarcity and food security are among the most important. Aquaponics, as a closed loop system consisting of hydroponics and aquaculture elements, could contribute to addressing
[...] Read more.
The world is facing a number of serious problems of which population rise, climate change, soil degradation, water scarcity and food security are among the most important. Aquaponics, as a closed loop system consisting of hydroponics and aquaculture elements, could contribute to addressing these problems. However, there is a lack of quantitative research to support the development of economically feasible aquaponics systems. Although many studies have addressed some scientific aspects, there has been limited focus on commercial implementation. In this review paper, opportunities that have the potential to fill the gap between research and implementation of commercial aquaponic systems have been identified. The analysis shows that aquaponics is capable of being an important driver for the development of integrated food production systems. Arid regions suffering from water stress will particularly benefit from this technology being operated in a commercial environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)

Journal Contact

MDPI AG
Sustainability Editorial Office
St. Alban-Anlage 66, 4052 Basel, Switzerland
E-Mail: 
Tel. +41 61 683 77 34
Fax: +41 61 302 89 18
Editorial Board
Contact Details Submit to Sustainability Edit a special issue Review for Sustainability
logo
loading...
Back to Top