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Sustainability, Volume 7, Issue 6 (June 2015), Pages 6336-8050

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Open AccessArticle Managing Sustainability Aspects in Renovation Processes: Interview Study and Outline of a Process Model
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 6336-6352; doi:10.3390/su7066336
Received: 6 March 2015 / Accepted: 15 May 2015 / Published: 25 May 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (678 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In many European countries, there are building stocks in need of extensive renovation. This constitutes an important opportunity to perform energy-saving measures and improve indoor environmental quality aiming at a more sustainable built environment. In this paper, we report results from an interview
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In many European countries, there are building stocks in need of extensive renovation. This constitutes an important opportunity to perform energy-saving measures and improve indoor environmental quality aiming at a more sustainable built environment. In this paper, we report results from an interview study with the aim of obtaining an in-depth understanding of renovation processes and how sustainability aspects are handled by various Swedish property owners. Examples of important barriers revealed in the interviews are insufficient inspection of existing buildings, absence of both overarching and detailed sustainability targets and guidelines, and lack of knowledge about sustainability aspects. Based on the interview study, conclusions are drawn for the further development of a process model which aims at systematize integration and effectively address energy, environmental, and indoor environmental quality aspects throughout a renovation process; we refer to this as sustainable renovation. Some key starting points for the process model are to suggest routines, provide checklists and tools, and offer guidance for formulating sustainability targets. However, the interviews show that in order to reach a more sustainable built environment, there is a need for government subsidies, other incentives or new business models that value environmental aspects higher. Full article
Open AccessArticle Climate Variability and Household Adaptation Strategies in Southern Ethiopia
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 6353-6375; doi:10.3390/su7066353
Received: 31 January 2015 / Accepted: 8 April 2015 / Published: 25 May 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1084 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper examines the determinants and implied economic impacts of climate change adaptation strategies in the context of traditional pastoralism. It is based on econometric analysis of survey data generated from household level interviews in southern Ethiopian rangelands. Pastoralists’ perception of climate change
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This paper examines the determinants and implied economic impacts of climate change adaptation strategies in the context of traditional pastoralism. It is based on econometric analysis of survey data generated from household level interviews in southern Ethiopian rangelands. Pastoralists’ perception of climate change in the region is found to be very consistent with the actually recorded trends of increased temperature and the evident secular declines in precipitation. Not only long-term declines, trends in the region’s rainfall also appear to have taken a shift towards the direction of more unpredictability. Pastoralist adaptation response strategies broadly involve adjustments in pastoral practices and shifts to non-pastoral livelihoods. Results of the estimated models confirm that pastoral mobility is still quite essential in the present context of climate-induced household vulnerabilities. Increased mobility and diversification of pastoral herd portfolios in favor of a drought-tolerant species (camel) are found to be positively associated with pastoral household net income. A policy stance that ignores the detrimental impacts of the currently pervasive private rangeland enclosures or intends to hasten pastoralist sedentarization in the area is simply untenable in the present context of climate-induced risks and pastoral livelihood vulnerability. Full article
Open AccessArticle Benchmarking Environmental Impacts of Peat Use for Electricity Generation in Ireland—A Life Cycle Assessment
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 6376-6393; doi:10.3390/su7066376
Received: 12 March 2015 / Accepted: 15 May 2015 / Published: 26 May 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (909 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The combustion of peat for energy generation accounts for approximately 4.1% of Ireland’s overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, with current levels of combustion resulting in the emission of 2.8 Mt of CO2 per annum. The aim of this research is to evaluate
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The combustion of peat for energy generation accounts for approximately 4.1% of Ireland’s overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, with current levels of combustion resulting in the emission of 2.8 Mt of CO2 per annum. The aim of this research is to evaluate the life cycle environmental impacts of peat use for energy generation in Ireland, from peatland drainage and industrial extraction, to transportation, combustion, and subsequent after-use of the cutaway area, utilising Irish-specific emission factors. The environmental impacts considered are global warming potential, acidification potential, and eutrophication potential. In addition, the cumulative energy demand of the system is evaluated. Previous studies on the environmental impact of peat for energy in Ireland relied on default Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) emission factors (EFs). This research utilises Irish-specific EFs and input data to reduce uncertainty associated with the use of default IPCC EFs, and finds that using default IPCC EFs overestimates the global warming potential when compared to Irish-specific EFs by approximately 2%. The greatest contribution to each of the environmental impacts considered arises from emissions generated during peat combustion, which accounts for approximately 95% of each of the environmental impact categories considered. Other stages of the life-cycle, such as impacts emanating from the peat extraction area, fossil fuel usage in harvesting and transportation machinery, and after-use of the cutaway area have much smaller effects on overall results. The transformation of cutaway peatlands to different after-use alternatives has the potential to mitigate some of the effects of peatland degradation and peat combustion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Resources)
Open AccessArticle Profile of Green Consumers in Romania in Light of Sustainability Challenges and Opportunities
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 6394-6411; doi:10.3390/su7066394
Received: 23 February 2015 / Revised: 14 May 2015 / Accepted: 15 May 2015 / Published: 26 May 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (958 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainability and responsible consumption are now the policies of companies interested in preserving a good reputation. If in the past, sustainability was an issue present only in the corporate social responsibility campaigns developed by companies; nowadays, this aspect has become a key element
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Sustainability and responsible consumption are now the policies of companies interested in preserving a good reputation. If in the past, sustainability was an issue present only in the corporate social responsibility campaigns developed by companies; nowadays, this aspect has become a key element that has been proven to influence the purchasing behavior of consumers. The existence of policies and strategies in the area of sustainability does not necessarily mean their being put into practice as long as people, who make these objectives attainable, are not aware of them. The present paper aims to explore the green consumption of Romanian consumers, which would indicate whether the concern for environmental problems is then translated into an appropriate behavior; in other words, whether “words become facts”. At the same time, this paper analyzes the extent to which the “green trend” has gained popularity in Romania, how involved the Romanian consumers are with environmental issues and the behaviors they adopt in order to mitigate the impact on the ecosystem. However, there are differences between individual opinions on green consumption and the actual behavior adopted in trying to ameliorate this issue. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Perspectives on Cultural and Sustainable Rural Tourism in a Smart Region: The Case Study of Marmilla in Sardinia (Italy)
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 6412-6434; doi:10.3390/su7066412
Received: 10 March 2015 / Revised: 1 May 2015 / Accepted: 7 May 2015 / Published: 26 May 2015
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (1712 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper is being inserted into the current debate on the topic of sustainability, as it applies to rural tourism. In particular, it addresses the need to identify strategic actions that will enhance the dissemination of cultural resources to facilitate cultural planning. Balancing
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This paper is being inserted into the current debate on the topic of sustainability, as it applies to rural tourism. In particular, it addresses the need to identify strategic actions that will enhance the dissemination of cultural resources to facilitate cultural planning. Balancing the dynamic tension that characterizes the relationship between tourism development and protection of the landscape is key to finalizing appropriate planning strategies and actions, especially in the context of marginal rural areas. In support of theoretical and methodological reflections pertinent to this relationship, this paper presents a case study of the region of Marmilla on Italy’s island of Sardinia. The absence of both a “cultural planning” philosophy and a strategic approach to systemic and sustainable rural tourism in this country has been acknowledged. This paper concludes by discussing the results that emerged during the preparation of this case study, with respect to smart, sustainable, rural tourism development, while accepting the need for compromises between the force of globalization, nature, tourism, places, and people. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Cultural and Natural Heritage)
Open AccessArticle The Water Footprint of Food Aid
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 6435-6456; doi:10.3390/su7066435
Received: 26 February 2015 / Revised: 30 April 2015 / Accepted: 15 May 2015 / Published: 26 May 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (531 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Food aid is a critical component of the global food system, particularly when emergency situations arise. For the first time, we evaluate the water footprint of food aid. To do this, we draw on food aid data from theWorld Food Programme and virtual
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Food aid is a critical component of the global food system, particularly when emergency situations arise. For the first time, we evaluate the water footprint of food aid. To do this, we draw on food aid data from theWorld Food Programme and virtual water content estimates from WaterStat. We find that the total water footprint of food aid was 10 km3 in 2005, which represents approximately 0.5% of the water footprint of food trade and 2.0% of the water footprint of land grabbing (i.e., water appropriation associated with large agricultural land deals). The United States is by far the largest food aid donor and contributes 82% of the water footprint of food aid. The countries that receive the most water embodied in aid are Ethiopia, Sudan, North Korea, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. Notably, we find that there is significant overlap between countries that receive food aid and those that have their land grabbed. Multivariate regression results indicate that donor water footprints are driven by political and environmental variables, whereas recipient water footprints are driven by land grabbing and food indicators. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Footprints and Sustainable Water Allocation)
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Open AccessArticle Sustainability Aspects of Real Estate Development: Lithuanian Case Study of Sports and Entertainment Arenas
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 6497-6522; doi:10.3390/su7066497
Received: 25 March 2015 / Revised: 25 April 2015 / Accepted: 15 May 2015 / Published: 26 May 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (955 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The principles of sustainability have become particularly important in the real estate and construction sector over the past decade. Despite extended efforts to evaluate the sustainability aspects of the real estate development, very few attempts have been exposed in the scientific literature pursuing
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The principles of sustainability have become particularly important in the real estate and construction sector over the past decade. Despite extended efforts to evaluate the sustainability aspects of the real estate development, very few attempts have been exposed in the scientific literature pursuing integrating the investors and real estate developers’ responsibility for the local community, regional economy and environmental problems within their financial expectations. The paper presents methodology enabling evaluating the balance of real estate development sustainability and financial viability issues during the feasibility study process. The Model for Real Estate Investment Evaluation Based on Sustainable Development Aspects proposed by the authors was applied to the case study of Lithuanian sports and entertainment arenas. By using multi-criteria decision analysis sustainability assessment of multi-functional arenas was carried out which disclosed that positive sustainability effects lays down on the owner’s and operator’s monetary liabilities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Risks of Coastal Storm Surge and the Effect of Sea Level Rise in the Red River Delta, Vietnam
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 6553-6572; doi:10.3390/su7066553
Received: 13 February 2015 / Revised: 17 May 2015 / Accepted: 19 May 2015 / Published: 26 May 2015
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (5558 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper considers the impact of sea level rise and storm surge on the Red River delta region of Vietnam. Permanently inundated lands and temporary flood zones are analyzed by combining sea level rise scenarios for 2050 with simulated storm surge levels for
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This paper considers the impact of sea level rise and storm surge on the Red River delta region of Vietnam. Permanently inundated lands and temporary flood zones are analyzed by combining sea level rise scenarios for 2050 with simulated storm surge levels for the 100-year event. Our analysis finds that sea level rise through 2050 could increase the effective frequency of the current 100-year storm surge, which is associated with a storm surge of roughly five meters, to once every 49 years. Approximately 10% of the Hanoi region’s GDP is vulnerable to permanent inundation due to sea level rise, and more than 40% is vulnerable to periodic storm surge damage consistent with the current 100-year storm. We conclude that coastal adaptation measures, such as a planned retreat from the sea, and construction of a more substantial seawall and dike system, are needed to respond to these threats. Full article
Open AccessArticle Farmer’s Knowledge and Perception of Diversified Farming Systems in Sub-Humid and Semi-Arid Areas in Benin
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 6573-6592; doi:10.3390/su7066573
Received: 9 January 2015 / Revised: 12 April 2015 / Accepted: 13 April 2015 / Published: 26 May 2015
PDF Full-text (984 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Building on farmer’s agroecological knowledge to design environmental-friendly agricultural systems is crucial given the environmental impact of industrial agriculture. We investigated the drivers of farmers’ knowledge of agrobiodiversity management and analyzed how farmers’ knowledge and their current farming contexts may guide future farming
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Building on farmer’s agroecological knowledge to design environmental-friendly agricultural systems is crucial given the environmental impact of industrial agriculture. We investigated the drivers of farmers’ knowledge of agrobiodiversity management and analyzed how farmers’ knowledge and their current farming contexts may guide future farming systems in sub-humid (Bassila) and semi-arid (Boukoumbé) areas of Benin. We conducted structured interviews with 180 farmers and used generalized linear models and correlation analyses to understand the spatio-temporal dynamics of farmers’ knowledge and perception. Land tenure, ecological conditions and sociolinguistic membership were the main drivers of farmers’ knowledge of agroforestry systems, practices, species diversity and current farming systems. Sociolinguistic membership also significantly predicted farmers’ knowledge of livestock management. Farmers in the semi-arid area were more involved in integrated crop-tree-livestock systems than those in the sub-humid area. However, all farmers indicated a willingness to adopt this integrated farming system regardless of socioeconomic and ecological factors. Farmer’s knowledge of agrobiodiversity (crops, agroforestry species and livestock diversity) management was correlated with the involvement in integrated crop-livestock-tree and agroforestry systems. These findings provide insights into how farmers’ knowledge can serve as basis in optimizing agricultural and livelihoods systems. Investigating the ecological, economic and social performance of the most desired integration/diversification options using a system approach involving a co-innovation process can further our mechanistic understanding of farmers decision making process. Full article
Open AccessArticle Design Charrette as Methodology for Post-Disaster Participatory Reconstruction: Observations from a Case Study in Fukushima, Japan
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 6593-6609; doi:10.3390/su7066593
Received: 1 April 2015 / Revised: 12 May 2015 / Accepted: 14 May 2015 / Published: 26 May 2015
PDF Full-text (6137 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Although there has been a growing body of literature on post-disaster participatory reconstruction, a shared understanding on a participatory approach is insufficient. A design charrette is a participatory planning that is particularly suitable for situations in which multidisciplinary professionals and non-professional stakeholders collaborate
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Although there has been a growing body of literature on post-disaster participatory reconstruction, a shared understanding on a participatory approach is insufficient. A design charrette is a participatory planning that is particularly suitable for situations in which multidisciplinary professionals and non-professional stakeholders collaborate to accomplish target tasks in a short period of time. The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of design charrette as a methodology in the context of post-disaster reconstruction in Japan. This will be achieved through a participatory observation on a design charrette in Minamisoma City, Japan, after the Fukushima accident. The charrette includes the participation of multiple stakeholders in intercultural, intergenerational and interdisciplinary exchanges. The contributions and constraints of the charrette are analyzed on the basis of the authors’ observation, and a strategy to improve post-disaster reconstruction charrette is thereby proposed. This study shows that the charrette is a useful method for communication and collaboration in the post-disaster context. Furthermore, it also demonstrates that assuring the participation of all key stakeholders, improving the training of participants and introducing resource analysis during the charrette’s preparatory stage are the essential conditions for the legitimacy and policy compliance of the final result. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Education and Approaches)
Open AccessArticle Urban Freight Truck Routing under Stochastic Congestion and Emission Considerations
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 6610-6625; doi:10.3390/su7066610
Received: 10 April 2015 / Revised: 18 May 2015 / Accepted: 20 May 2015 / Published: 26 May 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1169 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Freight trucks are known to be a major source of air pollutants as well as greenhouse gas emissions in U.S. metropolitan areas, and they have significant effects on air quality and global climate change. Emissions from freight trucks during their deliveries should be
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Freight trucks are known to be a major source of air pollutants as well as greenhouse gas emissions in U.S. metropolitan areas, and they have significant effects on air quality and global climate change. Emissions from freight trucks during their deliveries should be considered by the trucking service sector when they make routing decisions. This study proposes a model that incorporates total delivery time, various emissions including CO2, VOC, NOX, and PM from freight truck activities, and a penalty for late or early arrival into the total cost objective of a stochastic shortest path problem. We focus on urban transportation networks in which random congestion states on each link follows an independent probability distribution. Our model finds the best truck routing on a given network so as to minimize the expected total cost. This problem is formulated into a mathematical model, and two solution algorithms including a dynamic programming approach and a deterministic shortest path heuristic are proposed. Numerical examples show that the proposed approach performs very well even for the large-size U.S. urban networks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon reduction strategies and methods in transportation)
Open AccessArticle Albanian and UK Consumers’ Perceptions of Farmers’ Markets and Supermarkets as Outlets for Organic Food: An Exploratory Study
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 6626-6651; doi:10.3390/su7066626
Received: 1 April 2015 / Revised: 11 May 2015 / Accepted: 21 May 2015 / Published: 26 May 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (776 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to elicit UK and Albanian consumers’ perceptions of food outlets in order to understand their views on supermarkets and farmers’ markets as outlets for organic food. A qualitative research methodology was chosen as the best way to
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The purpose of this paper is to elicit UK and Albanian consumers’ perceptions of food outlets in order to understand their views on supermarkets and farmers’ markets as outlets for organic food. A qualitative research methodology was chosen as the best way to get an in-depth understanding of how consumers of these two different countries understand and evaluate buying organic food from two different food outlets. This exploratory research is a first step to find out how and why organic food is being bought in supermarkets and farmers’ markets. The results show that respondents associated organic with vegetables and fruit, that taste good, are healthy, and are free of pesticides and hormones. The importance of motives varies between the outlets they prefer for buying organic food. An interesting finding is the fact that Albanian respondents refer to the farmers’ markets as the villagers’ market. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges for Marketers in Sustainable Production and Consumption)
Open AccessArticle Energy Usage of Residents on Offshore Islands in Taiwan
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 6652-6664; doi:10.3390/su7066652
Received: 1 April 2015 / Revised: 19 May 2015 / Accepted: 20 May 2015 / Published: 26 May 2015
PDF Full-text (754 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A field study was conducted through interviews on offshore islands in Taiwan to investigate the energy usage of local residents. A comparison of household appliance usage in mainland Taiwan with that on the offshore islands revealed that, overall, the most commonly used household
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A field study was conducted through interviews on offshore islands in Taiwan to investigate the energy usage of local residents. A comparison of household appliance usage in mainland Taiwan with that on the offshore islands revealed that, overall, the most commonly used household appliances are steam cookers/rice cookers, water dispensers, and washing machines. For other household appliances, Levels 2 and 3 offshore isles have lower use penetration rates compared with those in mainland Taiwan and on Level 1 offshore isles, particularly for the use of computers. By contrast, the use penetration rate for chest freezers on Levels 2 and 3 offshore isles is high, and each household has one or more freezers on average. This appliance is not a commonly observed household product in mainland Taiwan or on Level 1 offshore isles. Furthermore, because of the government policy, every household on parts of Level 2 offshore isles and on all Level 3 offshore isles has a fixed monthly charge of electricity. The transportation of liquefied petroleum gas is also inconvenient, and the gas price is slightly higher, leading to the tendency of residents to consume excessive amounts of electrical energy, which does not correspond with the aim of the government to conserve energy and reduce carbon emissions; thus, the relevant authorities’ review and improvement on energy consumption on Levels 2 and 3 offshore isles are required. Full article
Open AccessArticle Saving the Planet’s Climate or Water Resources? The Trade-Off between Carbon and Water Footprints of European Biofuels
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 6665-6683; doi:10.3390/su7066665
Received: 2 March 2015 / Revised: 13 May 2015 / Accepted: 19 May 2015 / Published: 26 May 2015
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (2888 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Little information regarding the global water footprint of biofuels consumed in Europe is available. Therefore, the ultimate origin of feedstock underlying European biodiesel and bioethanol consumption was investigated and combined with the irrigation requirements of different crops in different countries. A (blue) water
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Little information regarding the global water footprint of biofuels consumed in Europe is available. Therefore, the ultimate origin of feedstock underlying European biodiesel and bioethanol consumption was investigated and combined with the irrigation requirements of different crops in different countries. A (blue) water consumption of 1.9 m3 in 12 countries per GJ of European biodiesel and 3.3 m3 in 23 countries per GJ of bioethanol was determined. Even though this represents an increase by a factor of 60 and 40 compared to fossil diesel and gasoline, these figures are low compared to global average data. The assessment of local consequences has shown that the irrigation of sunflower seed in Spain causes 50% of the impacts resulting from biodiesel—even though it constitutes only 0.9% of the feedstock. In case of bioethanol production, the irrigation of sugar cane in Egypt, which constitutes only 0.7% of the underlying feedstock, causes 20% of the impacts. In a case study on passenger cars, it was shown that biofuels can reduce the global warming potential by circa 50% along the product life cycle. However, the price of this improvement is an approximate 19 times increased water consumption, and resulting local impacts are even more severe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Footprints and Sustainable Water Allocation)
Open AccessArticle GIS Modelling for Site-Specific Nitrogen Fertilization towards Soil Sustainability
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 6684-6705; doi:10.3390/su7066684
Received: 22 January 2015 / Revised: 19 May 2015 / Accepted: 20 May 2015 / Published: 26 May 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (4342 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Farmers need to make decisions that in most cases incorporate the concept of prediction and can hardly be revoked. One such decision is the application of fertilizing inputs. During past crop management and decision-making on fertilizing practices, many significant errors have been recorded,
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Farmers need to make decisions that in most cases incorporate the concept of prediction and can hardly be revoked. One such decision is the application of fertilizing inputs. During past crop management and decision-making on fertilizing practices, many significant errors have been recorded, which have led and continue to lead to reduced production and environmental burden. The methodology followed in this paper involves the use of GIS, fuzzy logic and expert knowledge, in order to model physical processes associated with nitrogen balance in cultivated ecosystems and to evaluate the capabilities of or limitations on the use of certain fertilizers, based on spatial criteria. An original spatial decision support system was designed, developed and applied in a given study area. The system is composed of two modules (“fertilizing rate” and “fertilizing type”), making use of soil, climate and cultivation practices’ data, as recorded in the area of interest in quantitative or categorical form. The results of the application spatially classify the involved area according to its demand for nitrogen on the basis of the characteristics of each sub-region. The “fertilizing rate” module suggests reduced fertilizing doses of nitrogenous fertilizers compared to those already applied in the area. The system further divides the area into zones where specific types of fertilizers should be applied, giving a certain prescription for the method and time of application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
Open AccessArticle Preventive Indicators for Creating Brownfields
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 6706-6720; doi:10.3390/su7066706
Received: 31 March 2015 / Revised: 30 April 2015 / Accepted: 22 May 2015 / Published: 27 May 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1104 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Although the problem of brownfields in urban territories is successfully limited, it is a negative phenomenon of a sustainable city. Moreover, the number of recently created brownfield territories has become higher than that of the regenerated ones. Such territories reduce the quality of
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Although the problem of brownfields in urban territories is successfully limited, it is a negative phenomenon of a sustainable city. Moreover, the number of recently created brownfield territories has become higher than that of the regenerated ones. Such territories reduce the quality of the social and economic setting of a city as well as visually and physically affect the life quality of city residents. Unfortunately, methods for the revitalization of brownfield land have been applied to deal with the consequences of the problem rather than to limit the problem itself. The authors of the article have investigated the aspects to be avoided to not create brownfields. The indicators that enable predicting the probability of a territory becoming a brownfield have been analyzed in this paper. Countries develop and exist under different social and economic conditions. Therefore, there is no uniform and universally accepted system of indicators for brownfield prevention that can be applied in any country or city. The authors have attempted to implement a recently developed idea of indicators for prevention under Lithuanian conditions and have selected those facilitating the identification of brownfields with an aim of identifying the most significant ones warning about the potential harm from the creation of brownfields in Lithuania. The selected indicators have been grouped, taking into account social, economic, natural, building and infrastructure settings of the city and ranked by a group of experts in urban planning. The established hierarchy of indicators in the groups of urban setting has allowed the authors to select the most significant preventive indicators for brownfields. The created system of indicators could be applied in practice as a basis for monitoring pertinent data and tracking their change. Full article
Open AccessArticle Evaluating the Sustainability in Complex Agri-Food Systems: The SAEMETH Framework
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 6721-6741; doi:10.3390/su7066721
Received: 3 April 2015 / Revised: 18 May 2015 / Accepted: 22 May 2015 / Published: 27 May 2015
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (3591 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
During the last few years, the definition of sustainability and the translation of its general principles into practical and operative tasks have come into the foreground of scientific research and political agendas throughout the world. The understanding and the evaluation of the environmental,
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During the last few years, the definition of sustainability and the translation of its general principles into practical and operative tasks have come into the foreground of scientific research and political agendas throughout the world. The understanding and the evaluation of the environmental, social and economic performances of complex agricultural food systems is probably the real challenge, and the design of more sustainable alternatives has been recognized as necessary for a correct territorial management. This study’s primary goal is the proposition of an interpretive structure “Sustainable Agri-Food Evaluation Methodology” (SAEMETH), able to guide the evaluation of the sustainability of the various organizational forms of the small-scale agri-food supply chain. As a case study, the methodology was applied to 10 small-scale agri-food systems. The application of SAEMETH, as a monitoring tool based on qualitative indicators that are user-friendly and strongly communicative, demonstrates that it is possible to carry out sustainability evaluations of the small-scale agri-food systems through a long-term approach that is participatory, interdisciplinary and multi-institutional and that integrates a solid theoretical base with an operative framework tested in the field. SAEMETH can, in this way, generate a cyclical process that increases the probability of success in the design of sustainable alternatives and the implementation of projects and initiatives at the local/regional scale. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
Open AccessArticle Business Engagement with Sustainable Water Resource Management through Water Footprint Accounting: The Case of the Barilla Company
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 6742-6758; doi:10.3390/su7066742
Received: 28 February 2015 / Revised: 12 May 2015 / Accepted: 14 May 2015 / Published: 27 May 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (4289 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study investigates business engagement in sustainable water management, focusing on water footprint accounting as a tool to account for water use in food supply chains. An explorative analysis is conducted on the Barilla Company. The study explores two corporate strategies aimed at
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This study investigates business engagement in sustainable water management, focusing on water footprint accounting as a tool to account for water use in food supply chains. An explorative analysis is conducted on the Barilla Company. The study explores two corporate strategies aimed at achieving more sustainable water use: the adoption of environmental products declarations (EPDs), a reporting system that accounts for the environmental footprints of Barilla’s pasta and other products; and the implementation of the Aureo Wheat Programme. The study deployed both primary and secondary data. The study shows that the largest share of the water footprint of pasta relates to the cultivation phase (over 90%), which is almost fully rainfed. EPDs show that the water footprint of the other phases of the supply chain is negligible. It is argued that the use of water footprinting in EPDs can raise awareness about water use in agricultural supply chains to reach a broad spectrum of stakeholders, including consumers. The study also shows that the implementation of the Aureo Wheat Programme, consisting of a shift in cultivation site and in the type of wheat, enabled a reduction in the blue water footprint of pasta, with water savings amounting to 35 million m3 of blue water since 2011. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Footprints and Sustainable Water Allocation)
Open AccessArticle The Water Footprint of Agriculture in Duero River Basin
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 6759-6780; doi:10.3390/su7066759
Received: 28 February 2015 / Revised: 15 May 2015 / Accepted: 19 May 2015 / Published: 28 May 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (6292 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The aim of this paper is to evaluate the green, blue and grey water footprint (WF) of crops in the Duero river basin. For this purpose CWUModel was developed. CWUModel is able to estimate the green and blue water consumed by crops and
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The aim of this paper is to evaluate the green, blue and grey water footprint (WF) of crops in the Duero river basin. For this purpose CWUModel was developed. CWUModel is able to estimate the green and blue water consumed by crops and the water needed to assimilate the nitrogen leaching resulting from fertilizer application. The total WF of crops in the Spanish Duero river basin was simulated as 9473 Mm3/year (59% green, 20% blue and 21% grey). Cultivation of crops in rain-fed lands is responsible for 5548 Mm3/year of the WF (86% green and 14% grey), whereas the irrigated WF accounts for 3924 Mm3/year (20% green, 47% blue and 33% grey). Barley is the crop with the highest WF, with almost 37% of the total WF for the crops simulated for the basin, followed by wheat (17%). Although maize makes up 16% of the total WF of the basin, the blue and grey components comprise the 36% of the total blue and grey WF in the basin. The relevance of green water goes beyond the rain-fed production, to the extent that in long-cycle irrigated cereals it accounts for over 40% of the total water consumed. Nonetheless, blue water is a key component in agriculture, both for production and economically. The sustainability assessment shows that the current blue water consumption of crops causes a significant or severe water stress level in 2–5 months of the year. The anticipated expansion of irrigation in the coming years could hamper water management, despite the Duero being a relatively humid basin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Footprints and Sustainable Water Allocation)
Open AccessArticle Phenological Changes of Corn and Soybeans over U.S. by Bayesian Change-Point Model
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 6781-6803; doi:10.3390/su7066781
Received: 27 February 2015 / Revised: 20 May 2015 / Accepted: 22 May 2015 / Published: 28 May 2015
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Abstract
In this paper, a Bayesian change-point model was used to examine the phenological changes in the predominant crop producing states of U.S over a 33-year period (1981–2013). Changes of phenological observation were categorized into a no-change model and two change models. The change
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In this paper, a Bayesian change-point model was used to examine the phenological changes in the predominant crop producing states of U.S over a 33-year period (1981–2013). Changes of phenological observation were categorized into a no-change model and two change models. The change point and intensity of shifts were subsequently estimated under the selected change model. The experiments were conducted in the cropping regions using the state-level crop progress reports issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The results demonstrated that the planted, silking and mature stages of corn were significantly advanced under the change models; the vegetative period was shortened, and the reproductive and growing seasons were lengthened. The soybean phenological metrics followed a similar trend as that of corn, even though more states tended to change under a change model. The underlying drivers of such abrupt changes may be the confounding effects of crop breeding, agronomic management and climate change. Specific events, such as the adoption of genetically engineered crops in 1996–1997, can partly explain the changes in phenology. A comparison with the breakpoints function and Pettitt method demonstrated the feasibility and effectiveness of the Bayesian change-point model on crop phenological change detection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle Boosting Blue Growth in a Mild Sea: Analysis of the Synergies Produced by a Multi-Purpose Offshore Installation in the Northern Adriatic, Italy
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 6804-6853; doi:10.3390/su7066804
Received: 28 January 2015 / Revised: 11 May 2015 / Accepted: 11 May 2015 / Published: 28 May 2015
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (4437 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the near future, the oceans will be subjected to a massive development of marine infrastructures, including offshore wind, tidal and wave energy farms and constructions for marine aquaculture. The development of these facilities will unavoidably exert environmental pressures on marine ecosystems. It
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In the near future, the oceans will be subjected to a massive development of marine infrastructures, including offshore wind, tidal and wave energy farms and constructions for marine aquaculture. The development of these facilities will unavoidably exert environmental pressures on marine ecosystems. It is therefore crucial that the economic costs, the use of marine space and the environmental impacts of these activities remain within acceptable limits. Moreover, the installation of arrays of wave energy devices is still far from being economically feasible due to many combined aspects, such as immature technologies for energy conversion, local energy storage and moorings. Therefore, multi-purpose solutions combining renewable energy from the sea (wind, wave, tide), aquaculture and transportation facilities can be considered as a challenging, yet advantageous, way to boost blue growth. This would be due to the sharing of the costs of installation and using the produced energy locally to feed the different functionalities and optimizing marine spatial planning. This paper focuses on the synergies that may be produced by a multi-purpose offshore installation in a relatively calm sea, i.e., the Northern Adriatic Sea, Italy, and specifically offshore Venice. It analyzes the combination of aquaculture, energy production from wind and waves, and energy storage or transfer. Alternative solutions are evaluated based on specific criteria, including the maturity of the technology, the environmental impact, the induced risks and the costs. Based on expert judgment, the alternatives are ranked and a preliminary layout of the selected multi-purpose installation for the case study is proposed, to further allow the exploitation of the synergies among different functionalities. Full article
Open AccessArticle Implementing Sustainability Criteria for Selecting a Roof Assembly Typology in Medium Span Buildings
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 6854-6871; doi:10.3390/su7066854
Received: 27 March 2015 / Revised: 5 May 2015 / Accepted: 21 May 2015 / Published: 28 May 2015
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (2425 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Technological advances have allowed the development of new roof assembly typologies with higher efficiency and less waste. However, in the construction sector the focus is generally on reducing cost and not in sustainable development factors. Short-sighted building planning based only on economic criteria
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Technological advances have allowed the development of new roof assembly typologies with higher efficiency and less waste. However, in the construction sector the focus is generally on reducing cost and not in sustainable development factors. Short-sighted building planning based only on economic criteria should be avoided improving decision support systems. In addition, the selection of an appropriate roof assembly in a building’s design stage is a complex problem due to the existence of different tangible and intangible factors and the multiple alternatives available. The roof typologies under study involve prefabricated concrete, steel and laminated wood structures. This research work applies a multi-criteria hybrid model combining the Analytical Hierarchy Process with the Delphi method and the VIKOR technique for implementing sustainability criteria in the selection of a roof assembly in medium span buildings. The proposed decision support system enables the use of the triple bottom line that considers economic, social and environmental criteria. Under the criteria analyzed, the compromise solution found is the self-supporting curved system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Building)
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Open AccessArticle Teaching Scenario-Based Planning for Sustainable Landscape Development: An Evaluation of Learning Effects in the Cagliari Studio Workshop
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 6872-6892; doi:10.3390/su7066872
Received: 19 January 2015 / Accepted: 19 May 2015 / Published: 28 May 2015
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Abstract
This paper investigates the contributions of an intensive educational workshop to advance students’ understanding and skills for collaborative, scenario-based landscape planning. The research design involves a case study workshop with thirty international students and several regional experts as well as a multi-stage, in-process
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This paper investigates the contributions of an intensive educational workshop to advance students’ understanding and skills for collaborative, scenario-based landscape planning. The research design involves a case study workshop with thirty international students and several regional experts as well as a multi-stage, in-process evaluation. The workshop resulted in six different alternative futures for the region of Cagliari, Italy, and a seventh combined version that was considered best by regional reviewers. The students’ learning evaluation showed substantial advances in their relevant understanding and skills. Key aspects of the workshop pedagogy and the evaluation are discussed, and recommendations for future applications presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Education and Approaches)
Open AccessArticle Unlocking the “Prisoner’s Dilemma” of Corporate Water Stewardship in South Africa—Exploring Corporate Power and Legitimacy of Engagement in Water Management and Governance
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 6893-6918; doi:10.3390/su7066893
Received: 6 March 2015 / Revised: 19 May 2015 / Accepted: 21 May 2015 / Published: 28 May 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (728 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Corporate water stewardship, i.e., proactive water-using corporate engagement in water management and governance, has been hailed as a solution to global water challenges. However, it has also aroused criticism and skepticism, as it has been feared to lead to private securitization of
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Corporate water stewardship, i.e., proactive water-using corporate engagement in water management and governance, has been hailed as a solution to global water challenges. However, it has also aroused criticism and skepticism, as it has been feared to lead to private securitization of resources and institutional capture especially in locations with weak public institutions and regulation. This article tackles this “prisoner’s dilemma” of corporate water stewardship by exploring when and how it is legitimate considering the private nature of corporations and their power to change water management and governance processes and their outcomes. An analytical framework is constructed based on a literature review and applied into a case-study of corporations active in water stewardship initiatives in South Africa. The case-study findings suggest that the stewardship agenda would benefit from (1) a more open acknowledgement of power asymmetries between corporations and other parties; (2) more careful and systematic evaluation and enhancement of legitimacy of corporations to engage in public good and common pool water resources in the first place; and (3) stewardship actions should support stronger public institutions and especially civil society to equally participate. The research community is called in to scrutinize and facilitate the multi-actor water governance processes, which include corporations to assist in the effort. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Footprints and Sustainable Water Allocation)
Open AccessArticle Vulnerability Analysis of Urban Rail Transit Networks: A Case Study of Shanghai, China
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 6919-6936; doi:10.3390/su7066919
Received: 29 March 2015 / Revised: 22 April 2015 / Accepted: 30 April 2015 / Published: 28 May 2015
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (2127 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Rail transit is developing rapidly in major cities of China and has become a key component of urban transport. Nevertheless, the security and reliability in operation are significant issues that cannot be neglected. In this paper, the network and station vulnerabilities of the
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Rail transit is developing rapidly in major cities of China and has become a key component of urban transport. Nevertheless, the security and reliability in operation are significant issues that cannot be neglected. In this paper, the network and station vulnerabilities of the urban rail transit system were analyzed based on complex network and graph theories. A vulnerability evaluation model was proposed by accounting metro interchange and passenger flow and further validated by a case study of Shanghai Metro with full-scale network and real-world traffic data. It is identified that the urban rail transit network is rather robust to random attacks, but is vulnerable to the largest degree node-based attacks and the highest betweenness node-based attacks. Metro stations with a large node degree are more important in maintaining the network size, while stations with a high node betweenness are critical to network efficiency and origin-destination (OD) connectivity. The most crucial stations in maintaining network serviceability do not necessarily have the highest passenger throughput or the largest structural connectivity. A comprehensive evaluation model as proposed is therefore essential to assess station vulnerability, so that attention can be placed on appropriate nodes within the metro system. The findings of this research are of both theoretical and practical significance for urban rail transit network design and performance evaluation. Full article
Open AccessArticle Linking an Integrative Behavior Model to Elements of Environmental Campaigns: An Analysis of Face-to-Face Communication and Posters against Littering
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 6937-6956; doi:10.3390/su7066937
Received: 6 March 2015 / Revised: 20 May 2015 / Accepted: 21 May 2015 / Published: 29 May 2015
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Abstract
Diverse elements of anti-littering campaigns may be effective at addressing different causes of littering. Therefore, a complementary approach combining various elements is needed to ensure the behavioral effectiveness of corresponding campaigns. The present study investigates personal, problem-centered face-to-face conversations compared to three different
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Diverse elements of anti-littering campaigns may be effective at addressing different causes of littering. Therefore, a complementary approach combining various elements is needed to ensure the behavioral effectiveness of corresponding campaigns. The present study investigates personal, problem-centered face-to-face conversations compared to three different types of anti-littering posters (witty, authoritarian, environmentally oriented). In total, N = 147 persons participated in the questionnaire-based survey. Pictures of the three anti-littering posters were presented to all respondents, but only 82 of them additionally took part in problem-centered face-to-face conversations. Participants of the latter condition liked the conversations significantly more and judged them more effective for reducing littering than each of the three posters. Intentions for future behavior also improved more in the condition with face-to-face communications than in the reference condition in which only the anti-littering posters were presented. Regarding the posters, it was found that the witty and the environmentally-oriented poster were liked more and judged to be more effective by the respondents than the authoritarian poster. Findings are discussed in relation to the design of campaigns, which combine elements with reference to an integrative behavior model covering a broad range of factors, including processes of justifications, habit formation and reactance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Education for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle Modeling Impact of Climate Change on Water Resources and Agriculture Demand in the Volta Basin and other Basin Systems in Ghana
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 6957-6975; doi:10.3390/su7066957
Received: 3 March 2015 / Revised: 20 May 2015 / Accepted: 21 May 2015 / Published: 29 May 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2725 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
An assessment of the impacts of projected climate change on water availability and crop production in the Volta Basin and the southwestern and coastal basin systems of Ghana has been undertaken as a component of the impacts and adaptation study for Ghana by
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An assessment of the impacts of projected climate change on water availability and crop production in the Volta Basin and the southwestern and coastal basin systems of Ghana has been undertaken as a component of the impacts and adaptation study for Ghana by UNU-WIDER and the University of Ghana. Four climate change scenarios were considered in addition to a reference (no change) scenario—two dry and two wet scenarios. To conduct the analysis, a portion of a special framework using three water models was used; the framework is called the Strategic Analysis of Climate resilient Development (SACReD). First, the CliRun water balance model was used to simulate catchment runoffs using projected rainfall and temperature under the scenarios. Second, climate impacts on yields of the economically important Ghana crops were modeled using the AquaCrop software. Third, the Water Evaluation and Planning (WEAP) software was used for the water allocation modeling. The results show that all water demands (municipal, hydropower, and agriculture) cannot be simultaneously met currently, or under any of the scenarios used, including the wet scenarios. This calls for an evaluation of groundwater as an additional source of water supply and an integrated water resources management plan in the catchments to balance demand with supply and ensure sustainable socio-economic development. In addition, the AquaCrop model forecasts negative impacts for the crop yields studied, with some crops and regions seeing larger impacts than others. Full article
Open AccessArticle Balance of Comparative Advantages in the Processed Food Sector of the Danube Countries
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 6976-6993; doi:10.3390/su7066976
Received: 10 December 2014 / Accepted: 3 April 2015 / Published: 29 May 2015
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Abstract
In this paper, we investigated the level of competitiveness of the processed food sector of the Danube region countries, in order to show the existence of comparative advantage and the correlation of exports. We used the Balassa (RCA–revealed comparative advantage) index and TPI
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In this paper, we investigated the level of competitiveness of the processed food sector of the Danube region countries, in order to show the existence of comparative advantage and the correlation of exports. We used the Balassa (RCA–revealed comparative advantage) index and TPI (trade performance indexes). At first, using the Pearson and Spearman index, we examined the existence of correlations between the processed food sector of the Danube countries. Then, we applied the Least Significant Difference (LSD) test to further compare the value and answered the question: between which Danube countries are there significant differences? With the study, we found that the distribution of the RCA index in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Moldova and Slovenia deviates from normality. We also found the existence of a strong correlation of the RCA index of the Czech Republic with Romania, Hungary with Moldova and Serbia, Moldova with Serbia and Bulgaria with Ukraine. Finally, we concluded that the development of trade in the countries of the Danube region requires the participation of all relevant interest groups and could play an important role in providing faster economic development, that is in achieving sustainable development of the countries, with the sustainable use of available resources. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Garbage Project Revisited: From a 20th Century Archaeology of Food Waste to a Contemporary Study of Food Packaging Waste
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 6994-7010; doi:10.3390/su7066994
Received: 2 March 2015 / Revised: 15 May 2015 / Accepted: 19 May 2015 / Published: 2 June 2015
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Abstract
In 1973, Dr. Bill Rathje and his students at the University of Arizona began what was to become a two decade long investigation into American consumer waste habits. An archaeologist by profession, Rathje decided to adapt traditional archaeological methods and apply them to
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In 1973, Dr. Bill Rathje and his students at the University of Arizona began what was to become a two decade long investigation into American consumer waste habits. An archaeologist by profession, Rathje decided to adapt traditional archaeological methods and apply them to contemporary archaeological situations. This provided a platform for improving the understanding of what was really happening with, amongst other forms of waste, food at the consumer household level. The Garbage Project was able to study consumer behaviours directly from the material realities they left behind rather than from self-conscious self-reports of surveys and interviews. Using the same rationale, this study developed a profile of the packaged and processed food consumption in three regional Victorian municipalities. The main findings identified that consumers were limited to the food retail opportunities closest to their home and that they took greater care to wash out recyclables if they were placed in the recycling bin compared to the same item placed in a kerbside landfill bin. There was also an apparent lack of understanding about appropriate food storage and buying for purpose, especially with regard to the volume of the item they purchased, which appears to result in partially used recyclable containers being put in the kerbside landfill bin. By understanding the nature of the packaging and food that has been thrown away, it is possible to develop a narrative around what people understand about food purchasing practices, longevity, storage and how they use it at home. This in turn can assist community engagement and education around nutrition, meal planning and purchasing as well as community waste education. Full article
Open AccessArticle Organizational Approaches to the Facilitation of Education for Sustainability: An Interpretive Case Study
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7011-7030; doi:10.3390/su7067011
Received: 2 March 2015 / Revised: 7 May 2015 / Accepted: 20 May 2015 / Published: 2 June 2015
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Abstract
The facilitation of Education for Sustainability (EfS) by Decentralized Global Networks (DGNs) is consistent with the dynamic and increasingly complex nature of sustainability issues, and is often motivated by inter-governmental policy objectives that link sustainability learning with sustainable development. The use of DGNs
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The facilitation of Education for Sustainability (EfS) by Decentralized Global Networks (DGNs) is consistent with the dynamic and increasingly complex nature of sustainability issues, and is often motivated by inter-governmental policy objectives that link sustainability learning with sustainable development. The use of DGNs for EfS is now well established and supports the participation of a geographically dispersed and diverse body of participants that consist of teachers, teacher-educators, policy makers, and researchers. However, there is limited understanding of the complex systems operating within DGNs and how these systems generate the conditions necessary to facilitate EfS. In this article, the authors report on an interpretive case study of the Environment and Schools Initiative (ENSI), a DGN operating for over 26 years with a membership that has spanned over 25 countries. Findings highlight six dimensions of the ENSI DGN important to the effective facilitation of EfS including: (1) developing a community of practice; (2) planning for phased organizational development; (3) structured decentralization using a strategy-node-program framework; (4) linking research to practice; (5) ensuring relevance through contextualized approaches; and (6) monitoring and evaluation of processes and outcomes. The findings identify organizational level approaches to EfS facilitation such as addressing the nexus created between policy, practice and research, and developing a structure focused on learning and the development of networks more broadly. In conclusion, the delivery of learning and teaching strategies through a geographically dispersed and diverse group of participants can address the inherent complexity of EfS facilitation across various spatial and cultural scales. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Education and Approaches)
Open AccessArticle Approaching Integrated Urban-Rural Development in China: The Changing Institutional Roles
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7031-7048; doi:10.3390/su7067031
Received: 2 March 2015 / Revised: 26 May 2015 / Accepted: 27 May 2015 / Published: 2 June 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (627 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper examines the impact of institutional change on the implementation of China’s integrated urban-rural development strategy in the period 1981–2010. The findings indicate that governmental investment in rural areas and the development of non-agricultural industries in the countryside in fact contributed positively
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This paper examines the impact of institutional change on the implementation of China’s integrated urban-rural development strategy in the period 1981–2010. The findings indicate that governmental investment in rural areas and the development of non-agricultural industries in the countryside in fact contributed positively to the integration of urban-rural development in the period studied. The household registration system, however, was found to have acted as an obstacle to integration due to its exclusion of rural immigrants from welfare benefits. The reform of the agricultural production price system was not found to have exerted an impact, since low agricultural incomes compelled peasants to undertake non-agricultural work in towns and cities. A robustness check performed as part of the study proved the reliability of these findings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Government Policy and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Assessment and Management of the Geomorphological Heritage of Monte Pindo (NW Spain): A Landscape as a Symbol of Identity
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7049-7085; doi:10.3390/su7067049
Received: 13 March 2015 / Revised: 4 May 2015 / Accepted: 21 May 2015 / Published: 2 June 2015
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Abstract
This study focuses on the granite mountain known as Monte Pindo (627 m above sea level) in the Autonomous Community of Galicia (NW Spain). This territory is included in the area classified as “Costa da Morte” in the “Politica de
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This study focuses on the granite mountain known as Monte Pindo (627 m above sea level) in the Autonomous Community of Galicia (NW Spain). This territory is included in the area classified as “Costa da Morte” in the “Politica de Ordenación Litoral” (POL) (Coastal Planning Policy) for the region of Galicia. This coastal unit, located between “Rías Baixas” and “Cape Fisterra” has great potential for demonstrating geological processes and its geomorphological heritage is characterized by a high degree of geodiversity of granite landforms. The main objective of our work is to assess the geomorphological heritage of the site, thus revealing its wide geodiversity. We shall analyze and highlight: its scientific value, developing an inventory of granite landforms; its educational valuel and its geotouristic potential. It must be ensured that the Administration understands that natural diversity is composed of both geodiversity and biodiversity. Only then will the sustainable management of Monte Pindo become possible by integrating natural and cultural heritage values. The goal is to ensure that Monte Pindo and its immediate surroundings become a geopark with the aim of promoting local development projects based on the conservation and valorization of its geological heritage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Management of Geomorphological Heritage)
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Open AccessArticle The Bumpy Road toward Low-Energy Urban Mobility: Case Studies from Two UK Cities
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7086-7111; doi:10.3390/su7067086
Received: 1 April 2015 / Revised: 13 May 2015 / Accepted: 26 May 2015 / Published: 2 June 2015
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (211 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cities are increasingly seen as the places where innovations that can trigger a sociotechnical transition toward urban mobility are emerging and maturing. Processes such as peak car, rail renaissance and cycling boom manifest themselves particularly in cities, and success stories of cities experimenting
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Cities are increasingly seen as the places where innovations that can trigger a sociotechnical transition toward urban mobility are emerging and maturing. Processes such as peak car, rail renaissance and cycling boom manifest themselves particularly in cities, and success stories of cities experimenting with specific types of low-energy mobility abound in the academic literature. Nonetheless, innovation is known to be a precarious process requiring favorable circumstances. Using document analysis and in-depth interviews, this study examines the nature of low-energy innovation in the everyday mobility of people in two UK cities with favorable conditions for a transition away from fossil fuels—Brighton and Oxford. It shows that clear differences exist between the two cities in the sorts of innovation that emerge and diffuse as a result of path dependencies, local politics, and financial support from supra-local governments and agencies. While low-energy mobility currently has substantial momentum in both cities, the majority of low-carbon innovations in urban mobility are incremental rather than radical in nature, and their future is often imbued with uncertainty. The autonomy of small- and medium-sized cities as agents in bringing about transformational change toward low-energy urban mobility should not be overestimated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Planning, Development and Management of Sustainable Cities)
Open AccessArticle Determinants of Electricity Demand in Nonmetallic Mineral Products Industry: Evidence from a Comparative Study of Japan and China
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7112-7136; doi:10.3390/su7067112
Received: 3 March 2015 / Revised: 21 May 2015 / Accepted: 27 May 2015 / Published: 2 June 2015
PDF Full-text (672 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Electricity intensity is an important indicator for measuring production efficiency. A comparative study could offer a new perspective on investigating determinants of electricity demand. The Japanese non-metallic mineral products industry is chosen as the object for comparison considering its representative position in production
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Electricity intensity is an important indicator for measuring production efficiency. A comparative study could offer a new perspective on investigating determinants of electricity demand. The Japanese non-metallic mineral products industry is chosen as the object for comparison considering its representative position in production efficiency. By adopting the cointegration model, this paper examines influencing factors of electricity demand in Japanese and Chinese non-metallic mineral products industries under the same framework. Results indicate that although economic growth and industrial development stages are different between the two countries, major factors that affect the sectoral energy consumption are the same. Specifically, economic growth and industrial activity contribute to the growth of sectoral electricity consumption, while R&D intensity, per capita productivity and electricity price are contributors to the decline of sectoral electricity consumption. Finally, in order to further investigate the development trend of sectoral electricity demand, future electricity consumption and conservation potential are predicted under different scenarios. Electricity demand of the Chinese non-metallic mineral products industry is predicted to be 680.53 TWh (terawatt-hours) in 2020 and the sectoral electricity conservation potentials are estimated to be 118.26 TWh and 216.25 TWh under the moderate and advanced electricity-saving scenarios, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle The Accelerated Urbanization Process: A Threat to Soil Resources in Eastern China
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7137-7155; doi:10.3390/su7067137
Received: 11 March 2015 / Revised: 13 May 2015 / Accepted: 28 May 2015 / Published: 2 June 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (853 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The eastern coastal region of China has been experiencing rapid urbanization which has imposed great challenges on soil resources, characterized by soil sealing and fragmented soil landscapes. Taking Zhejiang Province—a fairly economically-developed and highly-urbanized region in eastern China—as a case study, a practical
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The eastern coastal region of China has been experiencing rapid urbanization which has imposed great challenges on soil resources, characterized by soil sealing and fragmented soil landscapes. Taking Zhejiang Province—a fairly economically-developed and highly-urbanized region in eastern China—as a case study, a practical framework that integrates remote sensing, GIS, soil quality assessment and landscape analysis was employed to track and analyze the rapid urbanization process and spatiotemporal dynamics of soil sealing and landscape change from 1990 to 2010. Meanwhile, this paper qualitatively explored the regional inequality and characteristics in soil sealing intensity among cities of different geo-zones in Zhejiang Province. Results showed that total area of 6420 km2 had been sealed during the past two decades for the entire study area, which represents 6.2% of the provincial area. Among these sealed soils, 68.6% are fertile soils located in flat plains, such as Paddy soils. Soil landscapes became more fragmented and dispersed in distribution, more irregular and complex in shape, and less dominant and diverse in soil type, as evidenced by the constant change of various spatial landscape metrics. What is more, different geo-zones exhibited significant differences in dynamics of soil sealing intensity, soil composition and soil landscape patterns. The permanent loss of valuable soil resource and increasing fragmented soil landscape patterns concomitant with rapid urbanization processes may inevitably bring about potential threats to regional soil resources and food security. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Open AccessArticle Sustainability Assessment Framework for VET Organizations
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7156-7174; doi:10.3390/su7067156
Received: 13 February 2015 / Revised: 6 May 2015 / Accepted: 27 May 2015 / Published: 2 June 2015
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (321 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents a new and innovative approach to assessing Vocational Education and Training (VET) organizations institutional sustainability in terms of five key pillars: institutional capacity, environmental, economic, social, and training provision. In the five areas of the proposed new and original sustainability
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This paper presents a new and innovative approach to assessing Vocational Education and Training (VET) organizations institutional sustainability in terms of five key pillars: institutional capacity, environmental, economic, social, and training provision. In the five areas of the proposed new and original sustainability assessment framework, a total of 40 performance indicators are used to make the assessment. The assessment process is based on a novel approach for the couple values for performance and importance of the indicators, by using scales from 1 to 5 for both. There are five performance categories (awareness, measures, action, innovation and excellence) and five importance categories for each indicator. The framework is innovative, both by its objective, which consists in impact determining and improvement on environmental, economic, social and quality of the training system and by development of a strategy based on performance indicators that integrates sustainable development. The implementation methodology is based on the newly developed framework and detailed application guidelines are provided. Exact results from a case study carried out and an analysis of the results for the environmental area are presented in order to validate the methodology in action. The results are used to establish a sustainability baseline, to identify possibilities for improvement, and to prioritize implementation. Full article
Open AccessArticle Workplace Waste Recycling Behaviour: A Meta-Analytical Review
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7175-7194; doi:10.3390/su7067175
Received: 25 March 2015 / Revised: 18 May 2015 / Accepted: 27 May 2015 / Published: 2 June 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (497 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In order to increase waste recycling, many studies have been conducted to understand factors that may influence waste recycling behaviour. However, these studies have focused on household contexts rather than other waste generation contexts. As a result, this paper seeks to provide a
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In order to increase waste recycling, many studies have been conducted to understand factors that may influence waste recycling behaviour. However, these studies have focused on household contexts rather than other waste generation contexts. As a result, this paper seeks to provide a detailed analysis of previous studies on workplace waste recycling behaviour. Drawing from different databases, 51 relevant studies on workplace waste recycling attitudes and behaviour were meta-analysed. Findings showed that the highest percentage of the existing studies were conducted in the USA, focused on a single waste stream, were often conducted within academic contexts, adopted (or modified) an existing theoretical framework and were based on questionnaires which elicited self-reported behaviour. Some of the factors identified include demographics, situational variables, past behaviour, incentives, prompts and/or information, attitudes and identity. The findings highlighted the scale of challenges confronting waste management practitioners in understanding the factors that may affect waste recycling behaviour due to the complexity and heterogeneity of human behaviours. However, the results from the reviewed studies in this research suggest that a combination of different factors may be required to influence workplace waste recycling behaviour. This may provide effective incentives to develop a framework that may assist waste management stakeholders when addressing workplace waste management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges for Marketers in Sustainable Production and Consumption)
Open AccessArticle What’s in a Dog’s Breakfast? Considering the Social, Veterinary and Environmental Implications of Feeding Food Scraps to Pets Using Three Australian Surveys
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7195-7213; doi:10.3390/su7067195
Received: 2 May 2015 / Revised: 25 May 2015 / Accepted: 26 May 2015 / Published: 2 June 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (169 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Diverting food waste away from landfills is one way to minimise its serious environmental impact. Given that over a third of Australian households have at least one pet, the feeding of food waste to dogs constitutes one potentially significant waste diversion path. However,
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Diverting food waste away from landfills is one way to minimise its serious environmental impact. Given that over a third of Australian households have at least one pet, the feeding of food waste to dogs constitutes one potentially significant waste diversion path. However, the proportion of dog owners that feed food waste to their pets is unknown. Moreover, there has been no investigation into any relationship between practices of feeding scraps to pets and the animals’ body condition, living arrangements (inside or outside) and exercise regime. To provide some insight, this paper presents findings from three surveys across two Australian studies. The first reports both pet and dog-specific findings from two surveys within a wider food waste research project (n = 1017), establishing that 28% of respondents fed leftovers to pets as a main food waste minimization strategy, yet in only 5% of households did this constitute more than half of the household’s food scraps. This modest diversion of food scraps from landfill to feeding pets was reflected in the finding that there was no significant difference seen in the claimed level of food discards to the waste stream for households feeding food scraps to dogs and those that did not. The second—a dog owner specific study (n = 355)—found that almost half (44%) of respondents reported feeding table scraps to dogs. They were more likely to be females, owners of medium sized dogs, and in larger households. There was no significant difference in self-rated dogs’ body condition scores between respondents who fed table scraps to their dog and those who did not. Further multidisciplinary research is recommended to reconcile the social, veterinary and environmental risks and benefits of feeding food waste to animals. Full article
Open AccessArticle Implications of Climate Change for Ghana’s Economy
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7214-7231; doi:10.3390/su7067214
Received: 9 February 2015 / Revised: 8 May 2015 / Accepted: 19 May 2015 / Published: 4 June 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (397 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Long-run economic development in Ghana is potentially vulnerable to anthropogenic climate change given the country’s dependence on rain-fed agriculture, hydropower and unpaved rural roads. We use a computable general equilibrium model, informed by detailed sector studies, to estimate the economy-wide impacts of climate
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Long-run economic development in Ghana is potentially vulnerable to anthropogenic climate change given the country’s dependence on rain-fed agriculture, hydropower and unpaved rural roads. We use a computable general equilibrium model, informed by detailed sector studies, to estimate the economy-wide impacts of climate change under four climate projections. Climate change is found to always reduce national welfare, with poor and urban households and the northern Savannah zone being the worst affected. However, there is wide variation across scenarios in the size of climate impacts and in the relative importance of sectoral impact channels, thus underscoring the need for multi-sector approaches that account for climate uncertainty. Our analysis of adaptation options indicates that investing in agricultural research and extension, and improved road surfaces, are potentially cost-effective means of mitigating most of the damages from climate change in Ghana. Full article
Open AccessArticle Fitting the Stocking Rate with Pastoral Resources to Manage and Preserve Mediterranean Forestlands: A Case Study
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7232-7244; doi:10.3390/su7067232
Received: 25 March 2015 / Revised: 27 May 2015 / Accepted: 29 May 2015 / Published: 4 June 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (440 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Pasture practices have affected Mediterranean forest ecosystems for millennia, and they are still quite widespread in mountainous areas. Nevertheless, in the last decades, the stability of forest ecosystems has been jeopardized due to the abandonment of traditional agro-pastoral practices, so that the gradual
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Pasture practices have affected Mediterranean forest ecosystems for millennia, and they are still quite widespread in mountainous areas. Nevertheless, in the last decades, the stability of forest ecosystems has been jeopardized due to the abandonment of traditional agro-pastoral practices, so that the gradual reduction of open areas due to progressive succession processes has caused a high increase of grazing pressure by livestock and wild ungulates feeding on forest areas. This paper aims at showing a methodological approach for evaluating the effect of applying measures in order to improve the grazing value of grasslands and ecotonal patches and lower the grazing impact on native woodlands. A protected area in Sicily (Italy) is considered as a representative case study. The analysis of remotely sensed imagery and several field surveys enabled to identify and map six different land use units subject to grazing, i.e., (1) forests; (2) grasslands (pastures dominated by palatable herbs and grasses); (3) overgrazed grasslands (dominated by poisonous and/or thorny herbs and forbs, not palatable); (4) encroached pastures; (5) roadside firebreaks (dominated by palatable herbs) with no shrubs; and (6) wooded/ encroached roadside firebreaks. Several data were collected through sample plots selected within each land use unit, in order to assess their pastoral value. These data have been used to define current and optimal animal stock rates aiming at addressing pasture management planning towards a sustainable use of forestland and shrubland. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
Open AccessArticle Evaluating the CO2 Emission of the Milk Supply Chain in Italy: An Exploratory Study
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7245-7260; doi:10.3390/su7067245
Received: 29 December 2014 / Accepted: 1 June 2015 / Published: 5 June 2015
PDF Full-text (467 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
During the last few years, Italian dairy farms, which gather, process and sell milk at the national level, have strengthened their leading market position at the detriment of dairy cooperatives, operating within regional borders. Moreover, decreasing milk prices and increasing production costs have
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During the last few years, Italian dairy farms, which gather, process and sell milk at the national level, have strengthened their leading market position at the detriment of dairy cooperatives, operating within regional borders. Moreover, decreasing milk prices and increasing production costs have recently induced many farmers to open automatic vending machines, dispensing raw milk for direct sale to local consumers. In order to contribute to the environmental assessment of alternative systems, this study estimated CO2 emissions related to the transport from production farms to point of sale, for three brands of fresh milk currently sold in the Umbria region (Italy), starting from the food miles indicator as a simple concept, easily understood by consumers. These brands differ in the origin of milk (national, regional and local) and distribution channels (large-scale retail channels for national and regional brands and vending machines for the local one). Thus, we estimated the emissions generated by the transport of the fresh milk consumed by regional households. In agreement with previous studies about CO2 emissions of foreign milk supply chains, the analysis showed that the production system of regional-branded milk, sold by retail channels, is the most efficient in terms of the environmental impact of transport. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
Open AccessArticle A MCDM Analysis of the Roşia Montană Gold Mining Project
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7261-7288; doi:10.3390/su7067261
Received: 13 March 2015 / Revised: 18 May 2015 / Accepted: 29 May 2015 / Published: 5 June 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1071 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The need and estimated utility for a structured analysis of the Roşia Montană gold exploitation project have been palpable in the Romanian public sphere during the last 15 years and there is a vast amount of conflicting information and opinions on the benefits
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The need and estimated utility for a structured analysis of the Roşia Montană gold exploitation project have been palpable in the Romanian public sphere during the last 15 years and there is a vast amount of conflicting information and opinions on the benefits and risks involved. This article provides a comprehensive decision analysis of the Roşia Montană project. Over 100 documents from the past years have been gathered regarding the Roşia Montană mining project, which cover the main official, formal and less formal documents covering the case and produced by a wide range of stakeholders. These were then analyzed while designing a multi-criteria tree including the relevant perspectives under which the most commonly discussed four alternatives were analyzed. The result of this can be translated into a valuable recommendation for the mining company and for the political decision-makers. If these stakeholders want the continuation of the project and its acceptance by civil society, the key challenge is to increase the transparency of the process and improve the credibility and legal aspects; if these aspects cannot be met, the decision-makers need to pay attention to the alternatives available for a sustainable development in the area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle Social Sustainability Issues and Older Adults’ Dependence on Automobiles in Low-Density Environments
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7289-7309; doi:10.3390/su7067289
Received: 27 February 2015 / Accepted: 2 June 2015 / Published: 8 June 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (531 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
An implicit assumption underlying government strategies to achieve a more sustainable urban transportation system is that all automobile users will be encouraged or persuaded to use more “green” transportation: public transportation, walking and cycling. Little consideration has been given as to how sustainable
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An implicit assumption underlying government strategies to achieve a more sustainable urban transportation system is that all automobile users will be encouraged or persuaded to use more “green” transportation: public transportation, walking and cycling. Little consideration has been given as to how sustainable transportation policies and programmess might impact on different age groups in society, including those retired or semi-retired, despite the fact that an unprecedented number of older drivers will be on the highways in the next few decades. There is limited literature on the contextual factors behind their continued reliance on automobiles, their actual driving behavior (e.g., route choice and time of day to drive) framed within the context of social sustainability. This paper introduces the elements of transportation and social sustainability then conducts a comprehensive international literature review focusing on older drivers, their travel choices and associated social sustainability issues. It describes a case study, low-density city and presents empirical evidence, from two surveys conducted in Canberra, Australia. The paper concludes with future research directions that address these issues associated with sustainable transportation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transportation and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle External Costs to Parties Involved in Highway Traffic Accidents: The Perspective of Highway Users
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7310-7332; doi:10.3390/su7067310
Received: 14 April 2015 / Revised: 26 May 2015 / Accepted: 1 June 2015 / Published: 9 June 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (637 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study explores highway travellers’ willingness to pay (WTP) for external costs caused by traffic accidents. There are a number of further external costs, the paper focuses on two externalities: air pollution and time delays. Data collection was performed using the face-to-face survey
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This study explores highway travellers’ willingness to pay (WTP) for external costs caused by traffic accidents. There are a number of further external costs, the paper focuses on two externalities: air pollution and time delays. Data collection was performed using the face-to-face survey method, and the surveys were carried out at highway rest areas. Air pollution and time delays were divided into three levels of severity (light, moderate and severe) to obtain the interviewees’ WTP according to each level of severity. The result of this study demonstrates that there are many samples with zero WTP because penalties for pollution caused by traffic accidents are not currently enforced in Taiwan. Thus, the spike model was adopted in this study to overcome any estimation error that might be caused by excessive NT$0 WTP samples. The results show that variables such as age, education, income and willingness to participate in activities of environmental protection have a positive effect on WTP for air pollution, whereas variables such as occupation, travel purpose, traveller identity, travel time and travel distance have a significantly positive effect on WTP for time delays. WTP for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is NT$8862–11,502/metric ton (US$1 = NT$30) and WTP for carbon dioxide (CO2) is NT$1070–2693/metric ton. Moreover, WTP for time delays is NT$960–1320/h. The findings of this study not only demonstrate WTP for air pollution and time delays in the minds of parties to traffic accidents but also help to provide agencies with a basis to formulate applicable penalties in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Ecosystem Service Value Assessment and Contribution Factor Analysis of Land Use Change in Miyun County, China
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7333-7356; doi:10.3390/su7067333
Received: 10 February 2015 / Revised: 21 May 2015 / Accepted: 25 May 2015 / Published: 9 June 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (3528 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Unreasonable land use planning can reduce ecosystem service value and result in unsustainable land use. In this paper, the changes of ecosystem service value were investigated by using the GIS and dynamic simulation model of land use in Miyun of Beijing, China, based
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Unreasonable land use planning can reduce ecosystem service value and result in unsustainable land use. In this paper, the changes of ecosystem service value were investigated by using the GIS and dynamic simulation model of land use in Miyun of Beijing, China, based on the land use at four time points including 1991, 2006, 2021 and one improved scenario, respectively. The results showed the total ecosystem service value of Miyun was about 2968.34 million Yuan in 1991, 3304.72 million Yuan in 2006, 3106.48 million Yuan in 2021, and 3759.77 million Yuan in the improved scenario. In terms of ecosystem service function, the functions of water supply and soil formation and retention accounted for the largest proportion, which were 19.99% and 14.58% respectively; whereas the functions of food supply and recreation and culture were only 1.83% and 5.99%, respectively. Coefficients of sensitivity for forest cover, water bodies and arable land were relatively large, which were 0.73, 0.28 and 0.14, respectively. The contribution factors of total ecosystem service value with the land use change during different periods were mainly the unused land to forest cover and arable land, which respectively accounted for more than 63% and 21% of the contribution rate. These results suggested that sustainable land use planning should be undertaken with emphasis on vegetation restoration and protection of water bodies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle The Biodiversity Offsetting Dilemma: Between Economic Rationales and Ecological Dynamics
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7357-7378; doi:10.3390/su7067357
Received: 27 February 2015 / Revised: 19 May 2015 / Accepted: 28 May 2015 / Published: 9 June 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (761 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Although many countries have included biodiversity offsetting (BO) requirements in their environmental regulations over the past four decades, this mechanism has recently been the object of renewed political interest. Incorporated into the mitigation hierarchy in three steps aimed at avoiding, reducing and offsetting
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Although many countries have included biodiversity offsetting (BO) requirements in their environmental regulations over the past four decades, this mechanism has recently been the object of renewed political interest. Incorporated into the mitigation hierarchy in three steps aimed at avoiding, reducing and offsetting residual impacts on biodiversity arising from development projects, BO is promoted as the way to achieve the political goal of No Net Loss of biodiversity (NNL). The recent success of BO is mainly based on its ability to provide economic incentives for biodiversity conservation. However, the diversity of BO mechanisms (direct offsets, banking mechanism and offsetting funds) and the various institutional frameworks within which they are applied generate substantial confusion about their economic and ecological implications. In this article, we first analyze the rationale for the BO approach from the welfare and ecological economics. We show that both these frameworks support the use of BO to address environmental externalities, but that they differ in how they consider the substitutability issue and levels of sustainability with regard to natural and manufactured capital, and in how they address ecological concerns. We then examine the economic and ecological performance criteria of BO from conceptual and empirical perspectives. We highlight that the three BO mechanisms involve different economic and ecological logics and inherent benefits, but also potential risks in meeting biodiversity conservation targets. We lastly investigate the ecological constraints with respect to the BO practice, and economic and organizational limitations of the BO system that may impede achievement of NNL goals. We then reveal the existence of a tension between the economic and ecological rationales in conducting BO that requires making choices about the NNL policy objectives. Finally, this article questions the place of BO in conservation policies and discusses the trade-off between political will and ecological opportunities involved in the BO approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosystem Services and Institutional Dynamics)
Open AccessArticle Alternative Labeling Programs and Purchasing Behavior toward Organic Foods: The Case of the Participatory Guarantee Systems in Brazil
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7397-7416; doi:10.3390/su7067397
Received: 21 April 2015 / Revised: 29 May 2015 / Accepted: 4 June 2015 / Published: 9 June 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (648 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Regulatory standards and certification models are essential tools guaranteeing the authenticity of organic products. In particular, third-party certification is useful to consumers since it provides guarantees regarding production processes and food quality. In an attempt to cope with the costs and bureaucratic procedures
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Regulatory standards and certification models are essential tools guaranteeing the authenticity of organic products. In particular, third-party certification is useful to consumers since it provides guarantees regarding production processes and food quality. In an attempt to cope with the costs and bureaucratic procedures related to the adoption of such certification, groups of small producers have begun to rely upon alternative quality assurance systems such as Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS). This study contextualizes and analyzes the PGS scheme and describes the Brazilian Rede Ecovida de Agroecologia network. We then investigate the effect of various factors on Brazilian consumers’ purchasing behavior for organic products guaranteed by PGS. The results show that employed and older consumers who live in rural and suburban areas are more likely to buy organic PGS products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
Open AccessArticle Co-Benefits of Household Waste Recycling for Local Community’s Sustainable Waste Management in Thailand
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7417-7437; doi:10.3390/su7067417
Received: 27 February 2015 / Revised: 25 May 2015 / Accepted: 28 May 2015 / Published: 9 June 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (2013 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Correction
Abstract
The study aimed to evaluate co-benefits in term of GHG reduction, and avoided landfill costs by implementing a community-based management (CBM) program for municipal solid waste (MSW). Two towns of peri-urban settlement in Thailand were investigated in case studies to compare eco-performance between
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The study aimed to evaluate co-benefits in term of GHG reduction, and avoided landfill costs by implementing a community-based management (CBM) program for municipal solid waste (MSW). Two towns of peri-urban settlement in Thailand were investigated in case studies to compare eco-performance between the towns with and without implementation of the CBM program. MSW mass flows together with MSW utilization records were analyzed based on data in year 2013. Climate co-benefits from waste utilization activities were examined. Results from the study indicated that waste banks in the CBM program can effectively divert most of recyclables from entering landfills. The performance of “waste bank—recyclable recovery program” recycling rate from the case study with CBM is 172.20 kg per member per year, which is about 926% higher than average CBMs with MSW recycling in Thailand, and the success of CBM can be attributed to its curbside pickup service and fair-pricing of recyclables. The study also found that if the town decided to divert wastes from landfilling, carbon intensity of the MSW system would be 0.47 tons of CO2-eq per ton of collected MSW. The landfilling cost would be approximately 7.41 USD per ton of MSW as landfilling cost. With CBM programs, current MSW reutilization rate has achieved 9.68% of generated waste, and 16.80% of GHG emission has been avoided, along with a reduction in landfill costs of 11.57%. Two scenarios of waste utilization in Thailand were explored and compared, in terms of which scenarios yielded the highest co-benefits. The study demonstrates that by allowing local mechanism and community involvement programs to develop with operational waste banks, the efficiency of collecting recycling wastes increased. A similar system can be applied to other communities in other countries. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Justice Dimension of Sustainability: A Systematic and General Conceptual Framework
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7438-7472; doi:10.3390/su7067438
Received: 25 March 2015 / Accepted: 22 May 2015 / Published: 9 June 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (418 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We discuss how the normative dimension of sustainability can be captured in terms of justice. We (i) identify the core characteristics of the concept of sustainability and discuss underlying ethical, ontological and epistemological assumptions; (ii) introduce a general conceptual structure of justice for
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We discuss how the normative dimension of sustainability can be captured in terms of justice. We (i) identify the core characteristics of the concept of sustainability and discuss underlying ethical, ontological and epistemological assumptions; (ii) introduce a general conceptual structure of justice for the analysis and comparison of different conceptions of justice; and (iii) employ this conceptual structure to determine the specific characteristics and challenges of justice in the context of sustainability. We demonstrate that sustainability raises specific and partly new challenges of justice regarding the community of justice, the judicandum, the informational base, the principles, and the instruments of justice. Full article
Open AccessArticle Analysis of Land-Use Emergy Indicators Based on Urban Metabolism: A Case Study for Beijing
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7473-7491; doi:10.3390/su7067473
Received: 7 April 2015 / Revised: 17 May 2015 / Accepted: 22 May 2015 / Published: 10 June 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (509 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The correlation of urban metabolism and changes in land use is an important issue in urban ecology, but recent research lacks consideration of the mechanisms and interactions between them. In this research, we did an emergy analysis of the flows of materials, energy,
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The correlation of urban metabolism and changes in land use is an important issue in urban ecology, but recent research lacks consideration of the mechanisms and interactions between them. In this research, we did an emergy analysis of the flows of materials, energy, and capital within the socioeconomic system of Beijing. We calculated emergy-based evaluation indices of urban metabolism and land use change, to analyze the relationship between urban metabolism and land use by correlation analysis and regression analysis. Results indicate that the socio-economic activities on built-up land depend on local, non-renewable resource exploitation and external resource inputs. The emergy utilization efficiency of farmland has consistently decreased, but there remains significant utilization potential there. Urban development in Beijing relies on production activities on built-up land, which is subjected to great environmental pressure during extraction of material resources. To keep the economy developing effectively, we suggest that Beijing should commit to development of a circular economy, and change the land-use concept to “Smart Growth”. In this paper, we efficaciously solve the problem of conflicting measurement units, and avoid the disadvantages of subjective assignment. Consequently, this work provides not only a more scientific way to study land problems, but also provides a reliable reference for ecological construction and economic development in Beijing. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Environmental and Social Sustainability of the Proximity Waste Collection System: A Case-Study Evaluation at an Italian Local Scale
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7492-7511; doi:10.3390/su7067492
Received: 7 February 2015 / Revised: 23 May 2015 / Accepted: 1 June 2015 / Published: 11 June 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (951 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In an urban or suburban area, the sustainability of a waste management process is expected to be closely related to the territorial context and the local citizens’ behaviour. From this perspective, the implementation of the peculiar proximity waste collection system in a small
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In an urban or suburban area, the sustainability of a waste management process is expected to be closely related to the territorial context and the local citizens’ behaviour. From this perspective, the implementation of the peculiar proximity waste collection system in a small town in Central Italy (San Costanzo) was considered. As compared to the previous road collection system in the same municipality, its environmental performance in terms of Source Separation Level (SSL), Waste Generation or Collection Rate (WGR or WCR) and Interception Rate (IR) was evaluated. An original analysis of the citizens’ monthly frequency and of their participation rate both in relation to the setting out of the Unsorted Residual Waste (URW) was also carried out. Following the full implementation of the new waste collection scheme, the SSL achieved almost 79%, the WCR of the URW decreased by about 82% and the most IR values resulted above 83%. From a social point of view, the study further highlighted that, with the new waste collection scheme active, more than 50% of users were accustomed to set out the URW at most 5 times per month and the corresponding participation rate to set out the URW was around 62%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Resources)
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Open AccessArticle The Role of Biotechnology in Sustainable Agriculture: Views and Perceptions among Key Actors in the Swedish Food Supply Chain
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7512-7529; doi:10.3390/su7067512
Received: 15 April 2015 / Revised: 3 June 2015 / Accepted: 4 June 2015 / Published: 11 June 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (410 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Researchers have put forward agricultural biotechnology as one possible tool for increasing food production and making agriculture more sustainable. In this paper, it is investigated how key actors in the Swedish food supply chain perceive the concept of agricultural sustainability and the role
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Researchers have put forward agricultural biotechnology as one possible tool for increasing food production and making agriculture more sustainable. In this paper, it is investigated how key actors in the Swedish food supply chain perceive the concept of agricultural sustainability and the role of biotechnology in creating more sustainable agricultural production systems. Based on policy documents and semi-structured interviews with representatives of five organizations active in producing, processing and retailing food in Sweden, an attempt is made to answer the following three questions: How do key actors in the Swedish food supply chain define and operationalize the concept of agricultural sustainability? Who/what influences these organizations’ sustainability policies and their respective positions on agricultural biotechnology? What are the organizations’ views and perceptions of biotechnology and its possible role in creating agricultural sustainability? Based on collected data, it is concluded that, although there is a shared view of the core constituents of agricultural sustainability among the organizations, there is less explicit consensus on how the concept should be put into practice or what role biotechnology can play in furthering agricultural sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
Open AccessArticle Structural Decomposition Analysis of Carbon Emissions and Policy Recommendations for Energy Sustainability in Xinjiang
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7548-7567; doi:10.3390/su7067548
Received: 12 May 2015 / Revised: 1 June 2015 / Accepted: 8 June 2015 / Published: 12 June 2015
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (642 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Regional carbon dioxide emissions study is necessary for China to realize the emissions mitigation. An environmental input–output structural decomposition analysis (IO-SDA) has been conducted in order to uncover the driving forces for the increment in energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in Xinjiang from both
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Regional carbon dioxide emissions study is necessary for China to realize the emissions mitigation. An environmental input–output structural decomposition analysis (IO-SDA) has been conducted in order to uncover the driving forces for the increment in energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in Xinjiang from both production and final demands perspectives from 1997 to 2007. According to our research outcomes, emissions increase can be illustrated as a competition between consumption growth (per capita GDP) and efficiency improvement (carbon emission intensity). Consumption growth have caused an increase of 109.98 Mt carbon dioxide emissions during 1997 to 2007, and efficiency improvement have caused a 97.03 Mt decrease during the same period. Per capita GDP is the most important driver for the rapid emission growth, while carbon emission intensity is the significant contributor to offset these increments. In addition, production structure changes performed as a new major driver for the steep rise in carbon dioxide emissions in recent years (2002–2007), indicating that the rapid emission growth in Xinjiang is the result of structural changes in the economy making it more carbon-intensive. From the viewpoint of final demands, fixed capital formation contributed the highest carbon dioxide emission, followed by inter-provincial export and urban residential consumption; while inter-provincial imports had the biggest contributions to offset emission increments. Based on our analysis results, Xinjiang may face great challenges to curb carbon dioxide emissions in the near future. However, several concrete mitigation measures have been further discussed and then raised by considering the regional realities, aiming to harmonize regional development and carbon dioxide emissions reduction. Full article
Open AccessArticle Efficient Sustainable Operation Mechanism of Distributed Desktop Integration Storage Based on Virtualization with Ubiquitous Computing
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7568-7580; doi:10.3390/su7067568
Received: 1 May 2015 / Revised: 5 June 2015 / Accepted: 8 June 2015 / Published: 12 June 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1160 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Following the rapid growth of ubiquitous computing, many jobs that were previously manual have now been automated. This automation has increased the amount of time available for leisure; diverse services are now being developed for this leisure time. In addition, the development of
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Following the rapid growth of ubiquitous computing, many jobs that were previously manual have now been automated. This automation has increased the amount of time available for leisure; diverse services are now being developed for this leisure time. In addition, the development of small and portable devices like smartphones, diverse Internet services can be used regardless of time and place. Studies regarding diverse virtualization are currently in progress. These studies aim to determine ways to efficiently store and process the big data generated by the multitude of devices and services in use. One topic of such studies is desktop storage virtualization, which integrates distributed desktop resources and provides these resources to users to integrate into distributed legacy desktops via virtualization. In the case of desktop storage virtualization, high availability of virtualization is necessary and important for providing reliability to users. Studies regarding hierarchical structures and resource integration are currently in progress. These studies aim to create efficient data distribution and storage for distributed desktops based on resource integration environments. However, studies regarding efficient responses to server faults occurring in desktop-based resource integration environments have been insufficient. This paper proposes a mechanism for the sustainable operation of desktop storage (SODS) for high operational availability. It allows for the easy addition and removal of desktops in desktop-based integration environments. It also activates alternative servers when a fault occurs within a system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ubiquitous Green IT System for Sustainable Computing)
Open AccessArticle How National Culture and Parental Style Affect the Process of Adolescents’ Ecological Resocialization
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7581-7603; doi:10.3390/su7067581
Received: 22 March 2015 / Revised: 8 June 2015 / Accepted: 9 June 2015 / Published: 12 June 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (359 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The role of adolescents as influencers on their families’ environmental behavior is potentially a catalyst for change towards increasing eco-friendly actions. In this paper, the authors report on a cross-cultural study of ecological resocialization in France and India. Using in-depth dyadic interviews, they
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The role of adolescents as influencers on their families’ environmental behavior is potentially a catalyst for change towards increasing eco-friendly actions. In this paper, the authors report on a cross-cultural study of ecological resocialization in France and India. Using in-depth dyadic interviews, they investigated parental styles, cultural attributes and extent of adolescents’ influence over parental eco-behavior. The study reveals that ecological resocialization across countries differs substantially, according to a combination of national cultural values, parental style and influence strategy. French teens exhibit a greater impact than Indian teens on their parents’ eco-behavior and use bilateral influence strategies. In India, not all mothers engage in ecological resocialization, but those who do are susceptible to unilateral strategies. The role of environmental knowledge, and the context and effectiveness of each kind of strategy is discussed. The findings have implications for how public policy officials and agencies can encourage adolescents as key resocialization agents to influence their parents’ pro-environmental consumption by using the most adapted influence strategy across cultures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges for Marketers in Sustainable Production and Consumption)
Open AccessArticle The Performance of the Smart Cities in China—A Comparative Study by Means of Self-Organizing Maps and Social Networks Analysis
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7604-7621; doi:10.3390/su7067604
Received: 3 November 2014 / Revised: 25 May 2015 / Accepted: 2 June 2015 / Published: 12 June 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (734 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Smart cities link the city services, citizens, resource and infrastructures together and form the heart of the modern society. As a “smart” ecosystem, smart cities focus on sustainable growth, efficiency, productivity and environmentally friendly development. By comparing with the European Union, North America
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Smart cities link the city services, citizens, resource and infrastructures together and form the heart of the modern society. As a “smart” ecosystem, smart cities focus on sustainable growth, efficiency, productivity and environmentally friendly development. By comparing with the European Union, North America and other countries, smart cities in China are still in the preliminary stage. This study offers a comparative analysis of ten smart cities in China on the basis of an extensive database covering two time periods: 2005–2007 and 2008–2010. The unsupervised computational neural network self-organizing map (SOM) analysis is adopted to map out the various cities based on their performance. The demonstration effect and mutual influences between these ten smart cities are also discussed by using social network analysis. Based on the smart city performance and cluster network, current problems for smart city development in China were pointed out. Future research directions for smart city research are discussed at the end this paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Open AccessArticle Sustainable Development in Maramures County
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7622-7643; doi:10.3390/su7067622
Received: 25 February 2015 / Revised: 15 May 2015 / Accepted: 22 May 2015 / Published: 15 June 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (764 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We argue that a new type of adaptive change management is needed in Romania, in which social and territorial cohesion are key elements of governance, in accordance with sustainable development requirements. Based on critical analysis and comparative study, the paper investigates, using several
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We argue that a new type of adaptive change management is needed in Romania, in which social and territorial cohesion are key elements of governance, in accordance with sustainable development requirements. Based on critical analysis and comparative study, the paper investigates, using several approaches, the possibility to select those elements that enable determining a viable managerial sustainable development “model” for communities in Maramures County, Romania. New trends worldwide, and the multidimensional aspects of sustainable development of communities, were the subject of examination, through a regional polycentric approach, which led to a new model proposed by the authors. The result is a conceptual integrated model which promotes a balance of interaction between systems—economic, human, environmental and technological—in a dynamic, flexible and functional process. Full article
Open AccessArticle Local Knowledge of Pond Fish-Farming Ecosystem Services: Management Implications of Stakeholders’ Perceptions in Three Different Contexts (Brazil, France and Indonesia)
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7644-7666; doi:10.3390/su7067644
Received: 23 February 2015 / Accepted: 22 May 2015 / Published: 15 June 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (883 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article addresses ecosystem service perceptions in the case of pond fish-farming systems in Brazil, France and Indonesia. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment vision suggests a more integrated reflection on environmental policies with greater adaptability to local knowledge and the development of social learning
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This article addresses ecosystem service perceptions in the case of pond fish-farming systems in Brazil, France and Indonesia. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment vision suggests a more integrated reflection on environmental policies with greater adaptability to local knowledge and the development of social learning processes, which tend to promote more sustainable changes in behavior and practice than do sanctions. This study considers a part of the identification of ecosystem services. It shows that perceptions differ with the context, and found few differences depending on the type of stakeholders (fish farmers and other stakeholders). From a methodological viewpoint, this paper opens up new prospects for valuing ecosystem services through a perception study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosystem Services and Institutional Dynamics)
Open AccessArticle The Unintended Consequences of Technological Change: Winners and Losers from GM Technologies and the Policy Response in the Organic Food Market
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7667-7683; doi:10.3390/su7067667
Received: 24 February 2015 / Accepted: 11 June 2015 / Published: 16 June 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (663 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
It is often said that innovations create winners and losers. All innovations are somewhat disruptive, but some have more distributed effects. We have a sense of who the winners are and how much they gain. Yet, how much do losers actually lose? Organic
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It is often said that innovations create winners and losers. All innovations are somewhat disruptive, but some have more distributed effects. We have a sense of who the winners are and how much they gain. Yet, how much do losers actually lose? Organic farmers frequently like to publicly announce that they are the losers following the commercialization of genetically modified (GM) crops, yet consumers in search of non-GM products have helped increase demand for organic products, something that would not have occurred in the absence of GM crops. Are organic farmers really losers? This article lays out the argument that were it not for the commercialization of GM crop varieties in the mid-1990s, organic production and food sectors would not be at the level they enjoy today. That is, the commercialization of GM crops has made the organic industry better off than had GM crops not been commercialized. Theoretical modelling of the organic benefits is complemented by supportive market data. The article concludes that in spite of numerous vocal offerings about the adverse impacts suffered by the organic industry due to GM crop production, the organic industry has gained significantly from that which they vociferously criticize. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
Open AccessArticle Development of the Social Inventory Database in Thailand Using Input–Output Analysis
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7684-7713; doi:10.3390/su7067684
Received: 9 April 2015 / Revised: 24 May 2015 / Accepted: 1 June 2015 / Published: 16 June 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (2078 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The social life cycle assessment (S-LCA) is a technique for assessing social impact and potential impact that aims to evaluate the social and socio-economic aspects of products and their potential for both positive and negative impacts along their life cycle. The lack of
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The social life cycle assessment (S-LCA) is a technique for assessing social impact and potential impact that aims to evaluate the social and socio-economic aspects of products and their potential for both positive and negative impacts along their life cycle. The lack of a quantitative inventory data for social issues is a weakness of the S-LCA methodology to calculate social impacts. This study aims to establish a social inventory database in Thailand using input–output (IO) modeling. The 2005 economic IO table of Thailand is used in this study. The six different social issues are calculated for both direct and indirect social intensity. The social issues include employment, number of female employees, working hours, wages and salaries, and non-fatal and fatal occupational cases. The results indicate that the primary sector has the highest social intensity in terms of employment, female employment, and working hour intensity. Meanwhile, the secondary sector was higher in non-fatal occupational cases intensity than other sectors. For wages intensity, the results show that the government sector was higher than other sectors, it being labor intensive and of low economic value. In addition, the fatal occupational cases shows the highest intensity in the non-metallic mining, fertilizer and pesticides, and construction sectors. In terms of total social impacts or social footprints, the wholesale and retail trade sector had the highest impact for almost all social issues due to the higher final demand in this sector. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Social Ecology and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Harnessing the Sun and Wind for Economic Development? An Economy-Wide Assessment for Egypt
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7714-7740; doi:10.3390/su7067714
Received: 9 April 2015 / Revised: 2 June 2015 / Accepted: 11 June 2015 / Published: 17 June 2015
PDF Full-text (795 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
While the recent political transition in Egypt has delayed much-needed policy reforms, our paper suggests that under certain conditions, fostering the national renewable energy strategy may be a promising way of giving an ailing economy an urgently needed impetus. Based on the literature
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While the recent political transition in Egypt has delayed much-needed policy reforms, our paper suggests that under certain conditions, fostering the national renewable energy strategy may be a promising way of giving an ailing economy an urgently needed impetus. Based on the literature and results of a renewable-energy focused computable general equilibrium model, we recommend that Egypt supports the generation of wind power. While some energy may be exported to generate foreign exchange, a substantial part of the newly produced energy should be sold domestically to ease existing supply constraints and to avoid Dutch disease effects. In addition, and in order to maximize the benefits of renewable energy sources, the renewable energy strategy should be accompanied by a (further) reduction of energy subsidies. Finally, lessons from other countries suggest that sound institutions; appropriate, clear and lasting regulations; careful technology transfer; and cross-ministerial coordination are important for success. Full article
Open AccessArticle Residents’ Experiences of Privacy and Comfort in Multi-Storey Apartment Dwellings in Subtropical Brisbane
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7741-7761; doi:10.3390/su7067741
Received: 2 March 2015 / Revised: 3 June 2015 / Accepted: 11 June 2015 / Published: 17 June 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1219 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Dwellings in multi-storey apartment buildings (MSAB) are predicted to increase dramatically as a proportion of housing stock in subtropical cities over coming decades. The problem of designing comfortable and healthy high-density residential environments and minimising energy consumption must be addressed urgently in subtropical
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Dwellings in multi-storey apartment buildings (MSAB) are predicted to increase dramatically as a proportion of housing stock in subtropical cities over coming decades. The problem of designing comfortable and healthy high-density residential environments and minimising energy consumption must be addressed urgently in subtropical cities globally. This paper explores private residents’ experiences of privacy and comfort and their perceptions of how well their apartment dwelling modulated the external environment in subtropical conditions through analysis of 636 survey responses and 24 interviews with residents of MSAB in inner urban neighbourhoods of Brisbane, Australia. The findings show that the availability of natural ventilation and outdoor private living spaces play important roles in resident perceptions of liveability in the subtropics where the climate is conducive to year round “outdoor living”. Residents valued choice with regard to climate control methods in their apartments. They overwhelmingly preferred natural ventilation to manage thermal comfort, and turned to the air-conditioner for limited periods, particularly when external conditions were too noisy. These findings provide a unique evidence base for reducing the environmental impact of MSAB and increasing the acceptability of apartment living, through incorporating residential attributes positioned around climate-responsive architecture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Open AccessArticle Identifying Strategic Factors of the Implantation CSR in the Airline Industry: The Case of Asia-Pacific Airlines
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7762-7783; doi:10.3390/su7067762
Received: 1 March 2015 / Revised: 26 May 2015 / Accepted: 11 June 2015 / Published: 17 June 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (846 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainable development has always been the objective of many fields, including the tourism and transportation sector. However, a major part of this sector, the airline industry, deals with many negative impacts, such as air pollution, noise, CO2 emission, and labor practice. Corporate
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Sustainable development has always been the objective of many fields, including the tourism and transportation sector. However, a major part of this sector, the airline industry, deals with many negative impacts, such as air pollution, noise, CO2 emission, and labor practice. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a strategic business activity that can enhance the sustainability of the airline industry. The results of the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) reveal that airlines of Western countries exhibit a more remarkable CSR performance than Asia-Pacific airlines, suggesting that the CSR programs of Asia-Pacific airlines need improvement. By constructing an evaluation hierarchy and applying the decision-making trial and evaluation laboratory (DEMATEL) method, this study found that the key strategic factors in the airline industry’s implementation of CSR include corporate governance, risk and crisis management, brand management, and product responsibility (safety). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Sustainable Urban Transport in the Developing World: Beyond Megacities
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7784-7805; doi:10.3390/su7067784
Received: 3 March 2015 / Revised: 11 June 2015 / Accepted: 12 June 2015 / Published: 17 June 2015
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (250 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Megacities have frequently received a disproportionate amount of attention over other sizes of cities in recent discourse on urban sustainability. In this article, the authors argue that a focus on smaller and medium-sized cities is crucial to achieving substantial progress towards more sustainable
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Megacities have frequently received a disproportionate amount of attention over other sizes of cities in recent discourse on urban sustainability. In this article, the authors argue that a focus on smaller and medium-sized cities is crucial to achieving substantial progress towards more sustainable urban development, not only because they are home to at least a quarter of the world’s population but because they also offer great potential for sustainable transformations. In principle, their size allows for flexibility in terms of urban expansion, adoption of “green” travel modes, and environmental protection. At the same time, smaller and medium-sized cities often have fewer resources to implement new transport measures and can be more vulnerable to fluctuations in the world economy. This article critically reviews the potential role and impact of nine commonly considered options for sustainable urban transport in cities in developing countries: (1) road infrastructure; (2) rail-based public transport; (3) road-based public transport; (4) support for non-motorized travel modes; (5) technological solutions; (6) awareness-raising campaigns; (7) pricing mechanisms; (8) vehicle access restrictions; and (9) control of land-uses. Drawing on international research and examples of policies to reduce the environmental impacts of transport in urban areas, this article identifies some key lessons for sustainable urban transport in smaller and medium-sized cities in developing countries. These lessons are certainly not always identical to those for megacities in the global south. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Planning, Development and Management of Sustainable Cities)
Open AccessArticle Drugs and Protected Areas: Coca Cultivation and Social Acceptance of Bahuaja-Sonene National Park in Peru
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7806-7832; doi:10.3390/su7067806
Received: 25 January 2015 / Revised: 10 June 2015 / Accepted: 15 June 2015 / Published: 18 June 2015
PDF Full-text (640 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cocaine is extracted from coca: a native bush from the Amazon rainforest. Coca is mostly grown in remote areas to avoid government intervention, and it has been increasingly cultivated inside protected areas (PAs). The effects of coca cultivation on the preservation of PAs
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Cocaine is extracted from coca: a native bush from the Amazon rainforest. Coca is mostly grown in remote areas to avoid government intervention, and it has been increasingly cultivated inside protected areas (PAs). The effects of coca cultivation on the preservation of PAs are largely unknown. This research uses panel data (2006–2008) from a total of 684 farmers to evaluate the influence of coca growing on the acceptance of PAs, using as case study a farmer community located within the buffer zone of Bahuaja-Sonene National Park (Peru). All farmers are coffee growers and some complement their income with coca production. The area has not been subject of forced coca eradication activities. The data were analyzed using probit models with covariance matrix correction for cluster errors by year, with and without interaction effects. The results suggest that coca growers are more likely to state a positive opinion about the PA than non-coca growers. This may reflect the fact that non-coca growers need extensive areas of land for coffee cultivation in order to approach the economic benefits obtained by farmers who also grow coca. However the likelihood of stating a positive opinion by coca growers decreases the higher the perception that coca cultivation has increased in the region. Coca growers may be afraid that large coca areas would lead to the implementation of forced eradication activities. In such a case, the BSNP would restrict the access to remote land resources, which in turn decreases the support for this PA. Full article
Open AccessArticle Environmental Impacts and Embodied Energy of Construction Methods and Materials in Low-Income Tropical Housing
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7866-7883; doi:10.3390/su7067866
Received: 7 May 2015 / Revised: 11 June 2015 / Accepted: 15 June 2015 / Published: 18 June 2015
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (1189 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper evaluates the current conditions of Ugandan low-income tropical housing with a focus on construction methods and materials in order to identify the key areas for improvement. Literature review, site visits and photographic surveys are carried out to collect relevant information on
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This paper evaluates the current conditions of Ugandan low-income tropical housing with a focus on construction methods and materials in order to identify the key areas for improvement. Literature review, site visits and photographic surveys are carried out to collect relevant information on prevailing construction methods/materials and on their environmental impacts in rural areas. Low quality, high waste, and energy intensive production methods, as well as excessive soil extraction and deforestation, are identified as the main environmental damage of the current construction methods and materials. The embodied energy is highlighted as the key area which should be addressed to reduce the CO2 emissions of low-income tropical housing. The results indicate that the embodied energy of fired bricks in Uganda is up to 5.7 times more than general clay bricks. Concrete walling is identified as a much more environmentally friendly construction method compared to brick walling in East African countries. Improving fuel efficiency and moulding systems, increasing access to renewable energy sources, raising public awareness, educating local manufacturers and artisans, and gradual long-term introduction of innovative construction methods and materials which are adapted to local needs and conditions are some of the recommended actions to improve the current conditions. Full article
Open AccessArticle An Inquiry into the Life Cycle of Systems of Inner Walls: Comparison of Masonry and Drywall
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7904-7925; doi:10.3390/su7067904
Received: 7 January 2015 / Revised: 11 May 2015 / Accepted: 4 June 2015 / Published: 19 June 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (593 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Life Cycle Assessment is a methodology that investigates impacts linked to a product or service during its entire life cycle. Life Cycle Assessment studies investigate processes and sub-processes in a fragmented way to ascertain their inputs, outputs and emissions and get an overview
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Life Cycle Assessment is a methodology that investigates impacts linked to a product or service during its entire life cycle. Life Cycle Assessment studies investigate processes and sub-processes in a fragmented way to ascertain their inputs, outputs and emissions and get an overview of the generating sources of their environmental loads. The lifecycle concept involves all direct and indirect processes of the studied object. This article aims to model the material flows in the masonry and drywall systems and internal walls in a Brazilian scenario, and calculate the climate change impacts generated by the transport of the component materials of the systems. Internal walls of a residential dwelling in Rio de Janeiro are analyzed from a qualitative inventory of all life cycles with an analysis of material flows, based on technical and academic literature. All Life Cycle Impact Assessment of the systems is carried out with international data from the database, and using the IPCC2013 method for climate change impacts. This study disregards the refurbishment and possible extensions within the use phase. Thus, the inventory identifies weaknesses of the systems while the impact assessment validates the results. This study allows us a complete understanding about the inner walls systems in the Brazilian scenario, evidencing its main weaknesses and subsidizes decision-making for the industry and for planning of the new buildings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
Open AccessArticle Tenure Insecurity, Climate Variability and Renting out Decisions among Female Small-Holder Farmers in Ethiopia
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7926-7941; doi:10.3390/su7067926
Received: 5 February 2015 / Revised: 12 June 2015 / Accepted: 15 June 2015 / Published: 19 June 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (400 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Land tenure arrangements in Africa are generally skewed in favour of males. Compared to males, female plot owners face complex sets of constraints and systemic high tenure insecurity which culminate in low yields. In order to obtain better returns, some females rent their
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Land tenure arrangements in Africa are generally skewed in favour of males. Compared to males, female plot owners face complex sets of constraints and systemic high tenure insecurity which culminate in low yields. In order to obtain better returns, some females rent their plots to males, but risk losing the plots to their tenants. A model has been constructed to explain renting-out decisions of female small landholders, an issue largely ignored in the agricultural economics literature. The results, based on a survey of female landholders in Ethiopia, highlight the factors that explain renting-out decisions. Full article
Open AccessArticle Optimum Fisheries Management under Climate Variability: Evidence from Artisanal Marine Fishing in Ghana
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7942-7958; doi:10.3390/su7067942
Received: 5 February 2015 / Revised: 12 June 2015 / Accepted: 15 June 2015 / Published: 19 June 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (186 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In most developing coastal countries, the artisanal fisheries sector is managed as a common pool resource. As a result, such fisheries are overcapitalized and overfished. In Ghana, in addition to anthropogenic factors, there is evidence of rising coastal temperature and its variance, which
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In most developing coastal countries, the artisanal fisheries sector is managed as a common pool resource. As a result, such fisheries are overcapitalized and overfished. In Ghana, in addition to anthropogenic factors, there is evidence of rising coastal temperature and its variance, which could impact the environmental carrying capacity of the fish stock. This study investigates the effect of climate variation on biophysical parameters and yields. Our results indicate that the rising temperature is decreasing the carrying capacity. As a result, an optimum tax on harvest must reflect climate variability, as well as the congestion externality. Full article
Open AccessArticle Neutralisation and Mental Accounting in Ethical Consumption: The Case of Sustainable Holidays
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7959-7972; doi:10.3390/su7067959
Received: 15 March 2015 / Revised: 3 June 2015 / Accepted: 15 June 2015 / Published: 19 June 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (330 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The present research aimed to investigate the decision-making process for sustainable holidays, as a type of ethical consumption related to environmental welfare. Using semi-structured in-depth interviews with 20 German holidaymakers of different ages, it was found that individuals use cognitive processes such as
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The present research aimed to investigate the decision-making process for sustainable holidays, as a type of ethical consumption related to environmental welfare. Using semi-structured in-depth interviews with 20 German holidaymakers of different ages, it was found that individuals use cognitive processes such as neutralisation and mental accounting to justify their unethical/unsustainable choices and to manage negative emotions. The findings also indicated a lack of spillovers between sustainable behaviours at home and holiday-related behaviours. This could be explained by the identification of “ethical” and “unethical” mental accounts, which the interviewees have disclosed. When the compensation between the two types of mental accounts takes place, neutralisation is not used. It was also found that positive and negative emotions could motivate the choice of sustainable holidays. These findings have implications in relation to marketing communications aimed at creating awareness and encouraging the purchase of sustainable holidays. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges for Marketers in Sustainable Production and Consumption)
Open AccessArticle Profiling Space Heating Behavior in Chilean Social Housing: Towards Personalization of Energy Efficiency Measures
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7973-7996; doi:10.3390/su7067973
Received: 28 February 2015 / Revised: 10 June 2015 / Accepted: 15 June 2015 / Published: 19 June 2015
PDF Full-text (984 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Global increases in the demand for energy are imposing strong pressures over the environment while compromising the capacity of emerging economies to achieve sustainable development. In this context, implementation of effective strategies to reduce consumption in residential buildings has become a priority concern
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Global increases in the demand for energy are imposing strong pressures over the environment while compromising the capacity of emerging economies to achieve sustainable development. In this context, implementation of effective strategies to reduce consumption in residential buildings has become a priority concern for policy makers as minor changes at the household scale can result in major energy savings. This study aims to contribute to ongoing research on energy consumer profiling by exploring the forecasting capabilities of discrete socio-economic factors that are accessible through social housing allocation systems. Accordingly, survey data gathered by the Chilean Ministry of Social Development was used identify key characteristics that may predict firewood usage for space heating purposes among potential beneficiaries of the Chilean social housing program. The analyzed data evidences strong correlations between general household characteristics and space heating behavior in certain climatic zones, suggesting that personalized delivery of energy efficiency measures can potentially increase the effectiveness of initiatives aimed towards the reduction of current patterns of consumption. Full article
Open AccessArticle Charity Starts … at Work? Conceptual Foundations for Research with Businesses that Donate to Food Redistribution Organisations
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7997-8021; doi:10.3390/su7067997
Received: 13 April 2015 / Revised: 16 June 2015 / Accepted: 17 June 2015 / Published: 19 June 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (111 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As global concern about sustainability, food waste, and poverty increases, there is an urgent need to understand what motivates businesses to adopt pro-social and pro-environmental behaviours. This paper suggests that food redistribution organisations hold both pro-social and pro-environmental aims, due to their concern
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As global concern about sustainability, food waste, and poverty increases, there is an urgent need to understand what motivates businesses to adopt pro-social and pro-environmental behaviours. This paper suggests that food redistribution organisations hold both pro-social and pro-environmental aims, due to their concern with reducing food surplus and food insecurity. To achieve this, they must motivate food businesses to donate their surplus food. However, little is known about the values, attitudes, and motives of food industry donors. The purpose of this paper is to provide a theoretical and conceptual overview to set out principles from which empirical data on food redistribution will be analysed or critiqued. Specifically, it explores pro-social and pro-environmental literature, as these fields have examined the motivations behind donations and reducing environmental impact. This review highlights that charitable giving of food is different to other inorganic material, such as money. Thus, future research is needed to capture the unique temporal, emotional, social, and environmental factors that motivate food donations. This information may contribute to the development of strategies that target and motivate people from the food industry to become food donors. Alternatively, it may reveal concerns about food donations, and highlight the need for other approaches to food waste and food insecurity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Time-Use Patterns and Sustainable Urban Form: A Case Study to Explore Potential Links
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 8022-8050; doi:10.3390/su7068022
Received: 7 February 2015 / Revised: 21 May 2015 / Accepted: 10 June 2015 / Published: 23 June 2015
PDF Full-text (1025 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Linking time use of the inhabitants of a city with their energy consumption and urban form is an approach which allows integration of the social dimension into research on sustainable urban development. While much has been written about the planning of cities and
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Linking time use of the inhabitants of a city with their energy consumption and urban form is an approach which allows integration of the social dimension into research on sustainable urban development. While much has been written about the planning of cities and its implications for human social life, the question of the relationship between time-use patterns and urban form remains underexplored. This is all the more astonishing as time-use statistics offer a unique tool for analysing socio-economic changes regarding family and household structures, gender relations, working hours, recreational behaviour and consumption patterns. Furthermore, spatial planning plays a significant role in establishing time structures. With this paper we aim to explore the possibility of using the time-use data of an urban population to find links between individual time-use patterns and urban form. We describe a case study in Vienna where we addressed time use and mobility of citizens in a participatory approach to jointly develop an integrated socio-ecological model of urban time-use patterns and energy consumption. Full article

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Consumer-Related Food Waste: Causes and Potential for Action
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 6457-6477; doi:10.3390/su7066457
Received: 27 February 2015 / Revised: 24 April 2015 / Accepted: 11 May 2015 / Published: 26 May 2015
Cited by 30 | PDF Full-text (713 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the past decade, food waste has received increased attention on both academic and societal levels. As a cause of negative economic, environmental and social effects, food waste is considered to be one of the sustainability issues that needs to be addressed. In
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In the past decade, food waste has received increased attention on both academic and societal levels. As a cause of negative economic, environmental and social effects, food waste is considered to be one of the sustainability issues that needs to be addressed. In developed countries, consumers are one of the biggest sources of food waste. To successfully reduce consumer-related food waste, it is necessary to have a clear understanding of the factors influencing food waste-related consumer perceptions and behaviors. The present paper presents the results of a literature review and expert interviews on factors causing consumer-related food waste in households and supply chains. Results show that consumers’ motivation to avoid food waste, their management skills of food provisioning and food handling and their trade-offs between priorities have an extensive influence on their food waste behaviors. We identify actions that governments, societal stakeholders and retailers can undertake to reduce consumer-related food waste, highlighting that synergistic actions between all parties are most promising. Further research should focus on exploring specific food waste contexts and interactions more in-depth. Experiments and interventions in particular can contribute to a shift from analysis to solutions. Full article
Open AccessReview Social Business, Business as if People Mattered: Variations on a Theme by Schumacher (1973)
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 6478-6496; doi:10.3390/su7066478
Received: 9 March 2015 / Revised: 1 May 2015 / Accepted: 14 May 2015 / Published: 26 May 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (687 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Economic growth is promoted as the solution to enhance the standard of living of the third of the world’s population living below the poverty line. Such growth, as measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP), is unsustainable and predicated on increased production/consumption without sufficient
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Economic growth is promoted as the solution to enhance the standard of living of the third of the world’s population living below the poverty line. Such growth, as measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP), is unsustainable and predicated on increased production/consumption without sufficient consideration of what is consumed by whom. In essence this is because GDP is a mechanistic measure of quantity that ignores individual human welfare or quality-of-life. To rectify this, affluent consumers need to learn that materialism and selfish self-interest are unsustainable, whereas enlightened self-interest, as assumed by Adam Smith when promoting capitalism and free markets, will benefit everyone. “Social Business” and marketing are proposed as practices that will facilitate this transformation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges for Marketers in Sustainable Production and Consumption)
Open AccessReview The State of Soil Degradation in Sub-Saharan Africa: Baselines, Trajectories, and Solutions
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 6523-6552; doi:10.3390/su7066523
Received: 4 February 2015 / Revised: 2 May 2015 / Accepted: 5 May 2015 / Published: 26 May 2015
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (1146 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The primary cause of soil degradation in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is expansion and intensification of agriculture in efforts to feed its growing population. Effective solutions will support resilient systems, and must cut across agricultural, environmental, and socioeconomic objectives. While many studies compare and
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The primary cause of soil degradation in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is expansion and intensification of agriculture in efforts to feed its growing population. Effective solutions will support resilient systems, and must cut across agricultural, environmental, and socioeconomic objectives. While many studies compare and contrast the effects of different management practices on soil properties, soil degradation can only be evaluated within a specific temporal and spatial context using multiple indicators. The extent and rate of soil degradation in SSA is still under debate as there are no reliable data, just gross estimates. Nevertheless, certain soils are losing their ability to provide food and essential ecosystem services, and we know that soil fertility depletion is the primary cause. We synthesize data from studies that examined degradation in SSA at broad spatial and temporal scales and quantified multiple soil degradation indicators, and we found clear indications of degradation across multiple indicators. However, different indicators have different trajectories—pH and cation exchange capacity tend to decline linearly, and soil organic carbon and yields non-linearly. Future research should focus on how soil degradation in SSA leads to changes in ecosystem services, and how to manage these soils now and in the future. Full article
Open AccessReview Trees in Canadian Cities: Indispensable Life Form for Urban Sustainability
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7379-7396; doi:10.3390/su7067379
Received: 25 March 2015 / Revised: 1 June 2015 / Accepted: 3 June 2015 / Published: 9 June 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (401 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We argue that a healthy urban forest contributes immensely to the sustainability of cities. The argument is based on a comprehensive array of values elicited from Canadians in several cities. To begin, we define the urban forest as inclusive of all the trees
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We argue that a healthy urban forest contributes immensely to the sustainability of cities. The argument is based on a comprehensive array of values elicited from Canadians in several cities. To begin, we define the urban forest as inclusive of all the trees in the city and thus representing the predominant contributor to a city’s green infrastructure. Then we enumerate and explain the broad diversity of ways in which urban people value trees in the city. We, thus, show the myriad pathways by which trees contribute positively to any city’s social, economic, and ecological sustainability. Following a short summary of the ways in which trees may detract from people’s quality of life, we present promising management directions for urban-forest improvement, as we understand the situation in Canada. We conclude that all cities can enhance their sustainability by improving the urban forest. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Planning, Development and Management of Sustainable Cities)
Open AccessReview The Vie Cave Geomorphological Site in Southern Tuscany (Italy): Problems of Decay and Conservation
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7530-7547; doi:10.3390/su7067530
Received: 20 March 2015 / Revised: 28 April 2015 / Accepted: 1 June 2015 / Published: 11 June 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (744 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Vie Cave are a suggestive network of roads deeply entrenched in the rock, dating back to the Etruscan civilization; these ancient roads connect various settlements and necropolises existing mainly in the area of Sovana, Sorano and Pitigliano towns (Southern Tuscany, Italy). The
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The Vie Cave are a suggestive network of roads deeply entrenched in the rock, dating back to the Etruscan civilization; these ancient roads connect various settlements and necropolises existing mainly in the area of Sovana, Sorano and Pitigliano towns (Southern Tuscany, Italy). The Vie Cave are located in a peculiar geomorphological site, characterized by the presence of extensive pyroclastic deposits, which have been incised by a parallel network of deep gorges. In this paper, the geomorphological, geological and lithological setting of the Vie Cave area, where several Etruscan archaeological sites are found, are described. The precarious stability of the Vie Cave walls and the several archaeological structures carved into them, the high grade of decay shown by the constituent materials, together with the dense vegetation that has developed over the rocky scarps, are taken into account with the aim to provide a complete assessment of the conditions in which the site lies. Finally, we propose some targeted actions related to the preservation of this territory, showing so distinctive morphology, in order to protect the area from further decay to which it would be subjected if it remained abandoned. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Management of Geomorphological Heritage)
Open AccessReview What Is Sustainable Agriculture? A Systematic Review
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7833-7865; doi:10.3390/su7067833
Received: 5 March 2015 / Revised: 15 May 2015 / Accepted: 10 June 2015 / Published: 18 June 2015
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (876 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The idea of a sustainable agriculture has gained prominence since the publication of the Brundtland Report in 1987. Yet, the concept of sustainable agriculture is very vague and ambiguous in its meaning, which renders its use and implementation extremely difficult. In this systematic
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The idea of a sustainable agriculture has gained prominence since the publication of the Brundtland Report in 1987. Yet, the concept of sustainable agriculture is very vague and ambiguous in its meaning, which renders its use and implementation extremely difficult. In this systematic review paper, we aim to advance understandings of sustainable agriculture from a social science and governance perspective by identifying areas of complementarity and concern between emerging definitions of sustainable agriculture. For this purpose, we conducted a structured literature review in combination with a cluster analysis in order to (1) identify the overall ideas and aspects associated with sustainable agriculture; (2) detect patterns and differences in how these ideas and aspects are adopted or applied; (3) evaluate how the different ideas and aspects of sustainable agriculture are combined in the scientific debate, and assess whether these different conceptions match with those that have been claimed to exist in the debate. There are two valuable outcomes from this research. The first is a framework for understanding the components of sustainable agriculture. The second outcome is in highlighting ways for actors involved with sustainable agriculture to deal with the complexity and multiplicity of this concept in a constructive manner. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
Open AccessReview Moving towards a Competitive Fully Enzymatic Biodiesel Process
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 7884-7903; doi:10.3390/su7067884
Received: 5 May 2015 / Revised: 8 June 2015 / Accepted: 12 June 2015 / Published: 18 June 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (679 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Enzymatic biodiesel synthesis can solve several problems posed by the alkaline-catalyzed transesterification but it has the drawback of being too expensive to be considered competitive. Costs can be reduced by lipase improvement, use of unrefined oils, evaluation of soluble/immobilized lipase preparations, and by
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Enzymatic biodiesel synthesis can solve several problems posed by the alkaline-catalyzed transesterification but it has the drawback of being too expensive to be considered competitive. Costs can be reduced by lipase improvement, use of unrefined oils, evaluation of soluble/immobilized lipase preparations, and by combination of phospholipases with a soluble lipase for biodiesel production in a single step. As shown here, convenient natural tools have been developed that allow synthesis of high quality FAMEs (EN14214) from unrefined oils in a completely enzymatic single-step process, making it fully competitive. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Use of Biomass Energy)

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