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Sustainability, Volume 7, Issue 8 (August 2015), Pages 9753-11359

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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review, Other

Open AccessEditorial A New Urban Agenda: Introduction to the Special Issue on “Sustainable Urban Development”
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10000-10006; doi:10.3390/su70810000
Received: 20 July 2015 / Revised: 21 July 2015 / Accepted: 21 July 2015 / Published: 24 July 2015
PDF Full-text (632 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Since the start of the 21st century, humanity has been a predominantly urban species. This Special Issue is about the future of cities and how urbanization will develop when based on principles of sustainability. It explores the underlying dimensions of the transformation of
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Since the start of the 21st century, humanity has been a predominantly urban species. This Special Issue is about the future of cities and how urbanization will develop when based on principles of sustainability. It explores the underlying dimensions of the transformation of existing cities and the design of low carbon green precincts and their urban systems. The view of the papers presented in this Special Issue is holistic and takes questions of social sustainability into account. This editorial highlights the contents and methodologies of 13 selected papers, while presenting diverse issues in strategies, concepts and policies for sustainable urban development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Urban Development)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review, Other

Open AccessArticle Water Scarcity Footprints by Considering the Differences in Water Sources
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 9753-9772; doi:10.3390/su7089753
Received: 7 May 2015 / Revised: 2 July 2015 / Accepted: 8 July 2015 / Published: 23 July 2015
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (2668 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Water resources have uneven distributions over time, space, and source; thus, potential impacts related to water use should be evaluated by determining the differences in water resources rather than by simply summing water use. We propose a model for weighting renewable water resources
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Water resources have uneven distributions over time, space, and source; thus, potential impacts related to water use should be evaluated by determining the differences in water resources rather than by simply summing water use. We propose a model for weighting renewable water resources and present a case study assessing water scarcity footprints as indicators of the potential impacts of water use based on a life cycle impact assessment (LCIA). We assumed that the potential impact of a unit amount of water used is proportional to the land area or time required to obtain a unit of water from each water source. The water unavailability factor (fwua) was defined using a global hydrological modeling system with a global resolution of 0.5 × 0.5 degrees. This model can address the differences in water sources using an adjustable reference volume and temporal and spatial resolutions based on the flexible demands of users. The global virtual water flows were characterized using the fwua for each water source. Although nonrenewable and nonlocal blue water constituted only 3.8% of the total flow of the water footprint inventory, this increased to 29.7% of the total flow of the water scarcity footprint. We can estimate the potential impacts of water use that can be instinctively understood using fwua. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle Experimental Investigation on the Effect of Phase Change Materials on Compressed Air Expansion in CAES Plants
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 9773-9786; doi:10.3390/su7089773
Received: 4 June 2015 / Revised: 6 July 2015 / Accepted: 15 July 2015 / Published: 23 July 2015
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (1827 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The integration of renewable energy in the electrical grid is challenging due to the intermittent and non-programmable generated electric power and to the transmission of peak power levels. Several energy storage technologies have been studied to find a solution to these issues. In
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The integration of renewable energy in the electrical grid is challenging due to the intermittent and non-programmable generated electric power and to the transmission of peak power levels. Several energy storage technologies have been studied to find a solution to these issues. In particular, compressed air energy storage (CAES) plants work by pumping and storing air into a vessel or in an underground cavern; then when energy is needed, the pressurized air is expanded in an expansion turbine. Several CAES configurations have been proposed: diabatic, adiabatic and isothermal. The isothermal process seems to be the most promising to improve the overall efficiency. It differs from conventional CAES approaches as it employs near-isothermal compression and expansion. Currently, there are no commercial isothermal CAES implementations worldwide, but several methods are under investigation. In this paper, the use of phase change materials (PCM) for isothermal air expansion is discussed. Air expansion tests in presence of PCM were carried out in a high-pressure vessel in order to analyze the effect of PCM on the process. Results show that in presence of PCM near isothermal expansion conditions occur and therefore they affect positively the value of the obtainable expansion work. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Toledo Drinking Water Advisory: Suggested Application of the Water Safety Planning Approach
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 9787-9808; doi:10.3390/su7089787
Received: 29 April 2015 / Revised: 15 June 2015 / Accepted: 16 July 2015 / Published: 23 July 2015
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (1781 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
On 2 August 2014 the city of Toledo, in Ohio USA issued a “do not drink” water advisory and declared a state of emergency. This was as a result of elevated levels of the toxin microcystin in the final treated water, a dangerous
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On 2 August 2014 the city of Toledo, in Ohio USA issued a “do not drink” water advisory and declared a state of emergency. This was as a result of elevated levels of the toxin microcystin in the final treated water, a dangerous toxin produced by the algae cyanobacteria. The Toledo water crisis is a key focusing event that can advance dialogue on eutrophication governance in the context of public health. This paper examines the Toledo water ban with the aim of determining whether this crisis could have been averted. Further, we explore how this event can be used to stimulate action on eutrophication governance, to motivate action to protect water at its source. We use the World Health Organization’s Water Safety Planning Methodology to show that the crisis could have been averted with some simple risk management actions. We also show that a water safety planning approach could lead to well developed operational and maintenance planning resulting in a higher probability of safe drinking water. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Resources)
Open AccessArticle Case Study on Economic Return on Investments for Safety and Emergency Lighting in Road Tunnels
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 9809-9822; doi:10.3390/su7089809
Received: 28 May 2015 / Revised: 14 July 2015 / Accepted: 17 July 2015 / Published: 23 July 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1011 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
While planning a double-hole road tunnel with a length higher than one km, it is important to pay attention to the safety factor if an accident occurs. If there is a power outage, in order to avoid critical situations that could jeopardize the
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While planning a double-hole road tunnel with a length higher than one km, it is important to pay attention to the safety factor if an accident occurs. If there is a power outage, in order to avoid critical situations that could jeopardize the safety of the people present (facilitating the stream coming out from the tunnel and the arrival of the emergency personnel), it is really important to guarantee uninterrupted lighting of roadways, mandatory emergency lay-bys, and ways of escape. Uninterrupted service of the lighting systems supply must be guaranteed, in accordance with the current regulations, through the exertion of UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) and power units. During tunnel construction, such devices represent a cost that must be amortized. In this case study, which takes into consideration a section of a road tunnel characterized by emergency lay-bys and ways of escape, emergency and security lighting were planned and installation and management costs were evaluated. The goal of this research was the creation of a cash flow thanks to the energy generated by photovoltaic panels, in a way that the service life of the system (25 years) coincided with the amortization of the costs of the backup electrical equipment installation (complying with the regulations). The possibility of over-dimensioning the UPS and providing it with a proper photovoltaic panel surface (235 kWp) to generate and exchange electric energy with the grid was taken into consideration. Full article
Open AccessArticle Planning an Agricultural Water Resources Management System: A Two-Stage Stochastic Fractional Programming Model
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 9846-9863; doi:10.3390/su7089846
Received: 21 May 2015 / Revised: 15 July 2015 / Accepted: 16 July 2015 / Published: 23 July 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1656 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Irrigation water management is crucial for agricultural production and livelihood security in many regions and countries throughout the world. In this study, a two-stage stochastic fractional programming (TSFP) method is developed for planning an agricultural water resources management system under uncertainty. TSFP can
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Irrigation water management is crucial for agricultural production and livelihood security in many regions and countries throughout the world. In this study, a two-stage stochastic fractional programming (TSFP) method is developed for planning an agricultural water resources management system under uncertainty. TSFP can provide an effective linkage between conflicting economic benefits and the associated penalties; it can also balance conflicting objectives and maximize the system marginal benefit with per unit of input under uncertainty. The developed TSFP method is applied to a real case of agricultural water resources management of the Zhangweinan River Basin China, which is one of the main food and cotton producing regions in north China and faces serious water shortage. The results demonstrate that the TSFP model is advantageous in balancing conflicting objectives and reflecting complicated relationships among multiple system factors. Results also indicate that, under the optimized irrigation target, the optimized water allocation rate of Minyou Channel and Zhangnan Channel are 57.3% and 42.7%, respectively, which adapts the changes in the actual agricultural water resources management problem. Compared with the inexact two-stage water management (ITSP) method, TSFP could more effectively address the sustainable water management problem, provide more information regarding tradeoffs between multiple input factors and system benefits, and help the water managers maintain sustainable water resources development of the Zhangweinan River Basin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Irrigation and Drainage)
Open AccessArticle Understanding Global Systems Today—A Calibration of the World3-03 Model between 1995 and 2012
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 9864-9889; doi:10.3390/su7089864
Received: 11 May 2015 / Revised: 7 July 2015 / Accepted: 14 July 2015 / Published: 23 July 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2564 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In 1972 the Limits to Growth report was published. It used the World3 model to better understand the dynamics of global systems and their relationship to finite resource availability, land use, and persistent pollution accumulation. The trends of resource depletion and degradation of
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In 1972 the Limits to Growth report was published. It used the World3 model to better understand the dynamics of global systems and their relationship to finite resource availability, land use, and persistent pollution accumulation. The trends of resource depletion and degradation of physical systems which were identified by Limits to Growth have continued. Although World3 forecast scenarios are based on key measures and assumptions that cannot be easily assessed using available data (i.e., non-renewable resources, persistent pollution), the dynamics of growth components of the model can be compared with publicly available global data trends. Based on Scenario 2 of the Limits to Growth study, we present a calibration of the updated World3-03 model using historical data from 1995 to 2012 to better understand the dynamics of today’s economic and resource system. Given that accurate data on physical limits does not currently exist, the dynamics of overshoot to global limits are not assessed. In this paper we offer a new interpretation of the parametrisation of World3-03 using these data to explore how its assumptions on global dynamics, environmental footprints and responses have changed over the past 40 years. The results show that human society has invested more to abate persistent pollution, to increase food productivity and have a more productive service sector. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Economic Impact and Challenges of Jatropha curcas L. Projects in North-Western Province, Zambia: A Case of Solwezi District
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 9907-9923; doi:10.3390/su7089907
Received: 4 March 2015 / Accepted: 6 April 2015 / Published: 24 July 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1307 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Forest products, wood and non-wood, remain vital among smallholder households in Zambia with charcoal being the most sought after product. This has led to increased exploitation of forest trees to meet the needs for fuel wood, among others. However, Jatropha curcas plant has
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Forest products, wood and non-wood, remain vital among smallholder households in Zambia with charcoal being the most sought after product. This has led to increased exploitation of forest trees to meet the needs for fuel wood, among others. However, Jatropha curcas plant has been identified as a potential fuel source. In the early 2000s, profit-making organizations encouraged smallholder households to grow Jatropha for use as an alternative fuel source. This paper reports on a study conducted in Solwezi between 2011 and 2014 to evaluate the impact of Jatropha cultivation for biofuel production. A sample of 100 small-scale farmers involved in Jatropha cultivation and key informants were interviewed to evaluate the impact of growing Jatropha at the small-scale level. Results show that farmers lost out on time; income from sale of edible non-wood forest products; and experienced reduction in maize (Zea mays) and bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) production, worsening household economic conditions. Farmers attributed this loss to unclear policy alignment on biofuel production by government. We therefore recommend that project implementation should involve interactions of all legislative bodies and any other concerned stakeholders. There is also a need to promote the value chain, from production to marketing, which focuses on minimizing detrimental effects on the livelihood of small-scale farmers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Resources)
Open AccessArticle GIS Based Measurement and Regulatory Zoning of Urban Ecological Vulnerability
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 9924-9942; doi:10.3390/su7089924
Received: 23 March 2015 / Revised: 14 July 2015 / Accepted: 17 July 2015 / Published: 24 July 2015
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (3350 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Urban ecological vulnerability is measured on the basis of ecological sensitivity and resilience based on the concept analysis of vulnerability. GIS-based multicriteria decision analysis (GIS-MCDA) methods are used, supported by the spatial analysis tools of GIS, to define different levels of vulnerability for
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Urban ecological vulnerability is measured on the basis of ecological sensitivity and resilience based on the concept analysis of vulnerability. GIS-based multicriteria decision analysis (GIS-MCDA) methods are used, supported by the spatial analysis tools of GIS, to define different levels of vulnerability for areas of the urban ecology. These areas are further classified into different types of regulatory zones. Taking the city of Hefei in China as the empirical research site, this study uses GIS-MCDA, including the index system, index weights and overlay rules, to measure the degree of its ecological vulnerability on the GIS platform. There are eight indices in the system. Raking and analytical hierarchy process (AHP) methods are used to calculate index weights according to the characteristics of the index system. The integrated overlay rule, including selection of the maximum value, and weighted linear combination (WLC) are applied as the overlay rules. In this way, five types of vulnerability areas have been classified as follows: very low vulnerability, low vulnerability, medium vulnerability, high vulnerability and very high vulnerability. They can be further grouped into three types of regulatory zone of ecological green line, ecological grey line and ecological red line. The study demonstrates that ecological green line areas are the largest (53.61% of the total study area) and can be intensively developed; ecological grey line areas (19.59% of the total area) can serve as the ecological buffer zone, and ecological red line areas (26.80%) cannot be developed and must be protected. The results indicate that ecological green line areas may provide sufficient room for future urban development in Hefei city. Finally, the respective regulatory countermeasures are put forward. This research provides a scientific basis for decision-making around urban ecological protection, construction and sustainable development. It also provides theoretical method references for future research into urban ecological vulnerability, including the introduction of GIS-MCDA methods into the field of urban ecological vulnerability, which expands the application for these techniques. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Resources)
Open AccessArticle Toward Sustainable Economic Growth: A Spatial Panel Data Analysis of Regional Income Convergence in US BEA Economic Areas
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 9943-9959; doi:10.3390/su7089943
Received: 29 May 2015 / Revised: 6 July 2015 / Accepted: 20 July 2015 / Published: 24 July 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (805 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A question fundamental to sustainable economic growth is whether a poor region tends to grow faster than a rich one, such that the poor region catches up with the rich region in terms of the level of per capita income. In this article,
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A question fundamental to sustainable economic growth is whether a poor region tends to grow faster than a rich one, such that the poor region catches up with the rich region in terms of the level of per capita income. In this article, we apply the spatial panel data approach to the analysis of regional income convergence across 177 economic areas in the contiguous US states over the period from 1969 to 2009. Using data on per capita incomes in the functionally defined economic areas, we find that the absolute value of the estimated coefficient of the initial per capita income decreases in the spatial and time-period fixed effects spatial lag model and increases in the spatial and time-period fixed effects spatial error model. This result implies that the growth rate in a specific economic area will be not only directly affected by an exogenous shock introduced into that economic area but also be impacted more by both the indirect effects of the first-order neighboring economic areas and the induced effects of the higher-order neighboring economic areas. This gives helpful hints on the issue of spatial interaction and regional policy coordination to start a virtuous circle of sustainable economic growth. Full article
Open AccessArticle Expected Risk Assessment—Annual Report versus Social Responsibility
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 9960-9972; doi:10.3390/su7089960
Received: 12 May 2015 / Revised: 24 June 2015 / Accepted: 8 July 2015 / Published: 24 July 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1188 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Global economic, social and environmental changes are inspiring companies to behave responsibly towards the environment, not only in the interest of others, but also in that of the future of their companies. It is crucial that companies are able to recognize any lack
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Global economic, social and environmental changes are inspiring companies to behave responsibly towards the environment, not only in the interest of others, but also in that of the future of their companies. It is crucial that companies are able to recognize any lack in their ability to grow values in a timely manner, because issues at companies require immediate intervention. A key factor in maintaining operations is the time interval required for companies to adjust to challenges. Are Annual Reports capable of indicating problems or possibly to inform decision-makers that a company is entering a period of decline? Such information can be gathered from the notes to the financial statement. Are annually prepared statements capable of indicating problems? Definitely, yes. Do yearly once due statements provide enough information? The answer must be no, as we are not living in a static economic environment. The more dynamic our economic environment is, the greater the role played by the question of time. Thanks to improvements in accounting and technology, we are able to create up-to-date analyses, based on accounting statements. However, in order to be effective, teamwork inside the company is essential and controllers should play a key role. Full article
Open AccessArticle Factor Decomposition Analysis of Energy-Related CO2 Emissions in Tianjin, China
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 9973-9988; doi:10.3390/su7089973
Received: 4 May 2015 / Revised: 8 July 2015 / Accepted: 20 July 2015 / Published: 24 July 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1862 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Tianjin is the largest coastal city in northern China with rapid economic development and urbanization. Energy-related CO2 emissions from Tianjin’s production and household sectors during 1995–2012 were calculated according to the default carbon-emission coefficients provided by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
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Tianjin is the largest coastal city in northern China with rapid economic development and urbanization. Energy-related CO2 emissions from Tianjin’s production and household sectors during 1995–2012 were calculated according to the default carbon-emission coefficients provided by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. We decomposed the changes in CO2 emissions resulting from 12 causal factors based on the method of Logarithmic Mean Divisia Index. The examined factors were divided into four types of effects: energy intensity effect, structure effect, activity intensity effect, scale effect and the various influencing factors imposed differential impacts on CO2 emissions. The decomposition outcomes indicate that per capita GDP and population scale are the dominant positive driving factors behind the growth in CO2 emissions for all sectors, while the energy intensity of the production sector is the main contributor to dampen the CO2 emissions increment, and the contributions from industry structure and energy structure need further enhancement. The analysis results reveal the reasons for CO2 emission changes in Tianjin and provide a solid basis upon which policy makers may propose emission reduction measures and approaches for the implementation of sustainable development strategies. Full article
Open AccessArticle Modeling Fuel Choice among Households in Northern Cameroon
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 9989-9999; doi:10.3390/su7089989
Received: 25 March 2015 / Revised: 19 July 2015 / Accepted: 21 July 2015 / Published: 24 July 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (680 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The present study aims to explore economic and socio-demographic factors that influence a household’s probability to switch from firewood to cleaner fuels (kerosene and LPG) in northern Cameroon. The paper employs an ordered probit model to construct cooking patterns and fuel choices. Three
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The present study aims to explore economic and socio-demographic factors that influence a household’s probability to switch from firewood to cleaner fuels (kerosene and LPG) in northern Cameroon. The paper employs an ordered probit model to construct cooking patterns and fuel choices. Three main cooking sources are considered: firewood, kerosene, and liquefied petroleum gas. Utilized data are derived from a national survey conducted in 2004 by the Cameroonian National Institute of Statistics. The study analyzes the data related to the Sudano-Sahelian agro-ecological zone, which is one of the most affected by land degradation and decertification. While results indicate that there is a potential for a transition from traditional to cleaner fuels in the studied region, this transition is still in its earlier stage. The research demonstrates that firewood and kerosene prices, age of household heads, educational level of household heads and willingness to have a gas cylinder, as well as type of dwelling have a statistically significant impact on fuel-switching decisions. Full article
Open AccessArticle Food Sustainable Model Development: An ANP Approach to Prioritize Sustainable Factors in the Romanian Natural Soft Drinks Industry Context
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10007-10020; doi:10.3390/su70810007
Received: 28 November 2014 / Revised: 26 June 2015 / Accepted: 17 July 2015 / Published: 24 July 2015
PDF Full-text (1355 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The latest developments in natural soft drinks in the Romanian market signal significant changes in consumers’ perceptions of the sustainability concept. While the necessity of preserving natural resources and ensuring a decent level of healthiness seem to be steadily embraced by the Romanian
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The latest developments in natural soft drinks in the Romanian market signal significant changes in consumers’ perceptions of the sustainability concept. While the necessity of preserving natural resources and ensuring a decent level of healthiness seem to be steadily embraced by the Romanian society, the lack of long enough time series to acknowledge this shift render impossible a traditional econometric validation of these recent trends in economic thinking. The large number of European-funded projects for upgrading technology in the Romanian sector of natural soft drinks raises the question whether the learning by doing effect dispersed into the Romanian managers’ investment decision making from the perspective of both economic and food sustainability. This paper presents the construction and the evaluation of an Analytical Network Process (ANP) market share model, which emerged from extended in-depth interviews with 10 managers of the main Romanian natural soft drinks producers. This model differs from traditional market share ANP ones since concepts like either food of economic sustainability were considered as significant driving factors. The coincidence between the estimated market share and the actual one, expressed by Saaty’s compatibility index, validate this model and offer comparative numerical weights’ of importance for food or economic sustainability. Full article
Open AccessArticle Game Participation and Preservation of the Commons: An Experimental Approach
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10021-10035; doi:10.3390/su70810021
Received: 12 June 2015 / Revised: 20 July 2015 / Accepted: 22 July 2015 / Published: 24 July 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (682 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Framed field experiments are widely applied to study behavior in common pool resource dilemmas. Anecdotal evidence suggests that participation in such experiments improves cooperation in actual field settings. Yet, formal tests of such relationships are absent from the literature. We present results from
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Framed field experiments are widely applied to study behavior in common pool resource dilemmas. Anecdotal evidence suggests that participation in such experiments improves cooperation in actual field settings. Yet, formal tests of such relationships are absent from the literature. We present results from a field experiment, investigating how participation in a two person prisoner’s dilemma game affects contributions to a global public good, as measured by donations to an environmental foundation. We find that subjects who participate in the prisoner’s dilemma game donate slightly more than subjects who do not participate in the game. Participants who are paired with a cooperative player in the prisoner’s dilemma also donate more. We further find that donations substantially increase with income and decrease with concern for environmental issues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle Eco-Industrial Parks Development and Integrated Management Challenges: Findings from Italy
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10036-10051; doi:10.3390/su70810036
Received: 30 April 2015 / Revised: 13 July 2015 / Accepted: 21 July 2015 / Published: 24 July 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (674 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The evolution of Eco Industrial Parks (EIPs) in Italy is a development opportunity for many territories and companies. Starting from the initial experiences in the 1980s, the Eco Industrial Parks model has spread throughout many of the central and northern regions of the
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The evolution of Eco Industrial Parks (EIPs) in Italy is a development opportunity for many territories and companies. Starting from the initial experiences in the 1980s, the Eco Industrial Parks model has spread throughout many of the central and northern regions of the country. The key element of Italian Eco Industrial Parks is the management body, an entity provided by national legislation to manage and coordinate companies and to develop more environmentally sustainable production practices. The survey results describe the role and activities of the management bodies concerning the actions implemented, the interaction with the main stakeholders and the resources and investments. The following research introduces an important environmental management experience implemented in Italy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Social Ecology and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Performance Based Evaluation of Concrete Strength under Various Curing Conditions to Investigate Climate Change Effects
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10052-10077; doi:10.3390/su70810052
Received: 29 April 2015 / Revised: 14 July 2015 / Accepted: 21 July 2015 / Published: 24 July 2015
PDF Full-text (6209 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recently, the manifestation of global warming-induced climate change has been observed through super typhoons, heavy snowfalls, torrential rains, and extended heat waves. These climate changes have been occurring all over the world and natural disasters have caused severe damage and deterioration of concrete
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Recently, the manifestation of global warming-induced climate change has been observed through super typhoons, heavy snowfalls, torrential rains, and extended heat waves. These climate changes have been occurring all over the world and natural disasters have caused severe damage and deterioration of concrete structures and infrastructure. In an effort to deal with these problems due to extreme and abnormal climate changes, studies have been conducted to develop construction technologies and design guidelines. Nevertheless, study results applicable to construction sites continue to be ineffective and insufficient. Therefore, this study proposes ways to cope with climate change by considering the effect of concrete curing condition variations on concrete material performance. More specifically, the 3-, 7- and 28-day compressive and split tensile strength properties of concrete mix cured under various climatic factors including temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, and sunlight exposure time were evaluated to determine whether the concrete meets the current design requirements. Thereafter, a performance based evaluation (PBE) was performed using satisfaction probabilities based on the test values to understand the problems associated with the current mix proportion design practice and to identify countermeasures to deal with climate change-induced curing conditions. Full article
Open AccessArticle Landscape Changes and a Salt Production Sustainable Approach in the State of Salt Pan Area Decreasing on the Coast of Tianjin, China
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10078-10097; doi:10.3390/su70810078
Received: 22 March 2015 / Revised: 24 June 2015 / Accepted: 22 July 2015 / Published: 24 July 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1320 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Landsat images from 1979, 1988, 1999, 2008, and 2013 were used to analyze the landscape area change of salt pans lying on the coast of Tianjin. While initially (1979–1988), the area of Tianjin’s salt pan increased, later (1988–2013) it declined dramatically. In the
[...] Read more.
Landsat images from 1979, 1988, 1999, 2008, and 2013 were used to analyze the landscape area change of salt pans lying on the coast of Tianjin. While initially (1979–1988), the area of Tianjin’s salt pan increased, later (1988–2013) it declined dramatically. In the first phase (1979–1988) of the studied period the primary roll-in landscape of the salt pan wasbarren land with an area of 60.0 km2. By 1988, the area of Tianjin’s salt pan rose to 457.8 km2. The main roll-out landscape of the salt pan during 1988–2013 was urban, barren land, village/town, harbor, and road whose area amounted to 69.8, 35.9, 27.3, 25.5 and 18.4 km2 respectively. The roll-out barren land will be transformed to construction land ultimately. By 2013, the total loss reached 167.3 km2, which was 36.5% of the salt pan area of Tianjin in 1988. With the development of coastal economy, the salterns with a lower economic value were transformed to and replaced by land use types with a higher economic value. This trend would influence the production of sea salt and the development of sodium hydroxide and sodium carbonate industries. Seawater desalination provides an opportunity for the restoration and compensation of salt production capacity. Based on the theory of circular economy and industrial symbiosis, in this article an industrial symbiosis model for sea salt production and sea water desalination is explored: “mariculture–power plant cooling–seawater desalination–Artemia culture–bromide extraction–sea salt production–salt chemical industry”. Through the application of this process sustainable development of the sea salt production in Tianjin could be achieved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscape and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Carbon Footprints and Embodied Carbon Flows Analysis for China’s Eight Regions: A New Perspective for Mitigation Solutions
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10098-10114; doi:10.3390/su70810098
Received: 30 April 2015 / Revised: 17 July 2015 / Accepted: 22 July 2015 / Published: 28 July 2015
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (2530 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Carbon footprints have been widely employed as an indicator for total carbon dioxide released by human activities. In this paper, we implemented a multi-regional input-output framework to evaluate the carbon footprints and embodied carbon flows for the eight regions of China from consumption-based
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Carbon footprints have been widely employed as an indicator for total carbon dioxide released by human activities. In this paper, we implemented a multi-regional input-output framework to evaluate the carbon footprints and embodied carbon flows for the eight regions of China from consumption-based perspective. It is found that the construction, electricity/stream supply, and machine manufacturing rank as the top sectors with the largest total carbon emissions. The construction sector alone accounts for 20%–50% of the national emissions. Besides the sectoral carbon footprints, regional footprints and their differences in carbon emissions were also observed. The middle region had the largest total carbon footprints, 1188 million ton, while the capital region ranked the first for its per capita carbon footprint, 7.77 ton/person. In regard to the embodied carbon flows within China, the study detected that the embodied carbon flows take up about 41% of the total carbon footprints of the nation. The northwest region and the eastern coast region are found to be the largest net embodied carbon exporter and importer, respectively. Further investigation revealed significant differences between production-based and consumption-based carbon emissions, both at sectoral and total amounts. Results of this paper can provide specific information to policies on sectoral and regional carbon emission reduction. Full article
Open AccessArticle Evaluating Effects of Poultry Waste Application on Phosphorus Loads to Lake Tenkiller
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10115-10134; doi:10.3390/su70810115
Received: 13 May 2015 / Revised: 13 July 2015 / Accepted: 14 July 2015 / Published: 29 July 2015
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Abstract
Lake Tenkiller located in Oklahoma, USA is a large midcontinent reservoir in a eutrophic state due to excess phosphorus (P) loads. Poultry waste application within the Illinois River Watershed in northeast Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas has been identified as a major contributor to
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Lake Tenkiller located in Oklahoma, USA is a large midcontinent reservoir in a eutrophic state due to excess phosphorus (P) loads. Poultry waste application within the Illinois River Watershed in northeast Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas has been identified as a major contributor to overall P loads within Lake Tenkiller. In this study, Groundwater Loading Effects of Agricultural Management Systems (GLEAMS) was applied to evaluate the effect of poultry waste application on P loads to Lake Tenkiller. Historical P loads to Lake Tenkiller during 1951–2000 have increased from approximately 166,000 kg/year to more than 295,000 kg/year with the Illinois River at Tahlequah subwatershed increasing from 68% to 78% of total P loads over that period. Increased poultry waste application based on poultry growth rates could increase P load to Lake Tenkiller from 311,000 kg/year to more than 528,000 kg/year. Cessation of poultry waste application and addition of buffers along streams could reduce P loads to approximately 92,000 kg/year for cessation of poultry waste application alone and about 89,000 kg/year for cessation of poultry waste application with buffers. One possible strategy to reduce P load to Lake Tenkiller is to cease applying poultry waste application, especially in the portion of the Illinois River above the Tahlequah USGS gage station. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Influence of Environmental Friendliness on Green Trust: The Mediation Effects of Green Satisfaction and Green Perceived Quality
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10135-10152; doi:10.3390/su70810135
Received: 5 June 2015 / Revised: 14 July 2015 / Accepted: 24 July 2015 / Published: 29 July 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (854 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As global green trends became more prevalent, green marketing also developed into an important issue. Although prior literature explored the main factors affecting green trust, it was inconclusive as to how environmental friendliness could affect the green trust in green marketing. This study
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As global green trends became more prevalent, green marketing also developed into an important issue. Although prior literature explored the main factors affecting green trust, it was inconclusive as to how environmental friendliness could affect the green trust in green marketing. This study aims to focus on the positive influence of environmental friendliness on green trust, and explore the mediation effects of green satisfaction and green perceived quality. This study undertakes an empirical study by means of questionnaire survey. The respondents are consumers who have experience purchasing green products. This study applies structural equation modeling (SEM) to test the hypotheses. The findings of this study indicate that (1) environmental friendliness has a significant positive impact on green satisfaction, green perceived quality, and green trust; (2) both green satisfaction and green perceived quality positively affect green trust; and (3) green satisfaction and green perceived quality partially mediate the positive relationship between environmental friendliness and green trust. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Using Mobile Devices in Environmental Education and Education for Sustainable Development—Comparing Theory and Practice in a Nation Wide Survey
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10153-10170; doi:10.3390/su70810153
Received: 5 May 2015 / Revised: 28 June 2015 / Accepted: 24 July 2015 / Published: 30 July 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2013 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Mobile electronic devices (MED) with integrated GPS receivers are increasingly popular in environmental education (EE) and education for sustainable development (ESD). This paper aims at identifying the possible applications of these devices, as well as identifying obstacles to such utilities. Therefore, a two-part
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Mobile electronic devices (MED) with integrated GPS receivers are increasingly popular in environmental education (EE) and education for sustainable development (ESD). This paper aims at identifying the possible applications of these devices, as well as identifying obstacles to such utilities. Therefore, a two-part study was conducted: An expert Delphi study and a nationwide online survey in Germany and Austria. In this paper, the results of the online survey are reported and compared to the findings of the Delphi study. The questionnaire of the online survey was based on a theoretical framework comprising different dimensions for the use of MED. Overall, 120 projects were included in the study. The most common target groups were school classes and the devices most frequently used were GPS receivers. The projects addressed the criteria of ESD, such as elaboration of local/global perspectives of sustainability and competencies of EE like pro-environmental behavior or attitudes. All projects were classified according to their educational design in a 2 × 2-scheme. The most common activities were predefined routes within a narrow instructional setting. Divergences between expert views and practical realization are identified and discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Education for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle Exploring the Spatial-Temporal Disparities of Urban Land Use Economic Efficiency in China and Its Influencing Factors under Environmental Constraints Based on a Sequential Slacks-Based Model
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10171-10190; doi:10.3390/su70810171
Received: 15 June 2015 / Revised: 23 July 2015 / Accepted: 23 July 2015 / Published: 31 July 2015
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (1202 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Using a sequential slack-based measure (SSBM) model, this paper analyzes the spatiotemporal disparities of urban land use economic efficiency (ULUEE) under environmental constraints, and its influencing factors in 270 cities across China from 2003–2012. The main results are as follows: (1) The average
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Using a sequential slack-based measure (SSBM) model, this paper analyzes the spatiotemporal disparities of urban land use economic efficiency (ULUEE) under environmental constraints, and its influencing factors in 270 cities across China from 2003–2012. The main results are as follows: (1) The average ULUEE for Chinese cities is only 0.411, and out of the 270 cities, only six cities are always efficient in urban land use in the study period. Most cities have a lot of room to improve the economic output of secondary and tertiary industries, as well as environmental protection work; (2) The eastern region of China enjoys the highest ULUEE, followed by the western and central regions. Super-scale cities show the best performance of all four city scales, followed by large-scale, small-scale and medium-scale cities. Cities with relatively developed economies and less pollutant discharge always have better ULUEE; (3) The results of slack variables analysis show that most cities have problems such as the labor surplus, over-development, excessive pollutant discharge, economic output shortage, and unreasonable use of funds is the most serious one; (4) The regression results of the influencing factors show that improvements of the per capita GDP and land use intensity are helpful to raise ULUEE. The urbanization rate and the proportion of foreign enterprises’ output account for the total output in the secondary and tertiary industries only have the same effect in some regions and city scales. The land management policy and land leasing policy have negative impact on the ULUEE in all the three regions and four city scales; (5) Some targeted policy goals are proposed, including the reduction of surplus labor, and pay more attention to environmental protection. Most importantly, effective implementation of land management policies from the central government, and stopping blind leasing of land to make up the local government’s financial deficit would be very helpful to improve the ULUEE of Chinese cities. Full article
Open AccessArticle Neimark–Sacker Bifurcation Analysis and 0–1 Chaos Test of an Interactions Model between Industrial Production and Environmental Quality in a Closed Area
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10191-10209; doi:10.3390/su70810191
Received: 5 May 2015 / Revised: 10 July 2015 / Accepted: 24 July 2015 / Published: 31 July 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (8350 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A discrete-time model is presented to describe the complex interaction between industrial production and environmental quality in a closed area. Its Neimark–Sacker bifurcation and chaos are discussed based on Wen’s explicit Neimark–Sacker bifurcation criterion, Kuznetsov’s normal form method and center manifold theory and
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A discrete-time model is presented to describe the complex interaction between industrial production and environmental quality in a closed area. Its Neimark–Sacker bifurcation and chaos are discussed based on Wen’s explicit Neimark–Sacker bifurcation criterion, Kuznetsov’s normal form method and center manifold theory and Gottwald and Melbourne’s 0–1 test algorithm. Numerical simulations are employed to validate the main results of this work. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle The Spread of Knowledge Management in SMEs: A Scenario in Evolution
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10210-10232; doi:10.3390/su70810210
Received: 16 May 2015 / Revised: 8 July 2015 / Accepted: 28 July 2015 / Published: 31 July 2015
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (772 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper deals with knowledge management (KM) in small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Through a literature review, three research questions have been identified concerning the barriers hindering the spread of KM practices in SMEs, the main knowledge management systems (KMSs) adopted by SMEs
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This paper deals with knowledge management (KM) in small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Through a literature review, three research questions have been identified concerning the barriers hindering the spread of KM practices in SMEs, the main knowledge management systems (KMSs) adopted by SMEs and the impact of the use of KM practices on SME performance. The research questions were subsequently addressed through a field analysis conducted on a sample of SMEs. The empirical evidence highlights that the scenario has changed in the space of but a few years. Although SMEs are generally characterized by poor financial and human resources, they are able to overcome the barriers preventing the spread of KM practices. The SMEs investigated perceive the strategic value of KM and consequently adopt a variety of KMSs. Nevertheless, such systems are generally outdated in comparison with cheaper, more recent, and user-friendly applications. Finally, the paper emphasizes that the use of KM practices can contribute to the overall growth of SMEs by simultaneously and significantly enhancing their performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Robust Priority for Strategic Environmental Assessment with Incomplete Information Using Multi-Criteria Decision Making Analysis
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10233-10249; doi:10.3390/su70810233
Received: 22 May 2015 / Revised: 9 July 2015 / Accepted: 23 July 2015 / Published: 31 July 2015
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Abstract
This study investigates how the priority rankings for dam construction sites vary with multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) techniques and generation approaches for incomplete information. Strategic environmental assessment (SEA) seeks to recommend sustainable dam construction sites based on their environmental and ecological impacts in
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This study investigates how the priority rankings for dam construction sites vary with multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) techniques and generation approaches for incomplete information. Strategic environmental assessment (SEA) seeks to recommend sustainable dam construction sites based on their environmental and ecological impacts in a long-term plan for dam construction (LPDC) in South Korea. However, if specific information is missing, the SEA is less useful for choosing a dam construction site. In this study, we applied AHP, ELECTRE III, PROMETHEE II and Compromise Programming as MCDM techniques, and used binomial and uniform distributions to generate missing information. We considered five dam site selection situations and compared the results as they depended on both MCDM techniques and information generation methods. The binomial generation method showed the most obvious priorities. All MCDM techniques showed similar priorities in the dam site selection results except for ELECTREE III. The results demonstrate that selecting an appropriate MCDM technique is more important than the data generation method. However, using binomial distribution to generate missing information is more effective in providing a robust priority than uniform distribution, which is a commonly used technique. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle REDD+ and Institutions
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10250-10263; doi:10.3390/su70810250
Received: 6 May 2015 / Revised: 27 July 2015 / Accepted: 28 July 2015 / Published: 31 July 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (798 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
This paper investigates the relationship between payments made under the REDD+ umbrella (Reducing Emissions from Forest Degradation and Deforestation plus conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks) and the quality of institutions in countries that are expected to receive
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This paper investigates the relationship between payments made under the REDD+ umbrella (Reducing Emissions from Forest Degradation and Deforestation plus conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks) and the quality of institutions in countries that are expected to receive these payments. Using scatter plots and simple correlation analysis, we can see that countries receiving the most significant REDD+ payments (at least in relative terms) have the poorest quality of institutions. Although the REDD+ concept has evolved significantly since a similar analysis was carried out by Ebeling and Yasué in 2008, the institutional problems have remained equally important. This is also in line with the recently formulated “ecosystem service curse” and “REDD paradox” hypotheses, whereby payments for ecosystem services (including those offered within REDD+) might lead to socio-economic problems in recipient countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Spatial Techniques to Visualize Acoustic Comfort along Cultural and Heritage Routes for a World Heritage City
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10264-10280; doi:10.3390/su70810264
Received: 4 May 2015 / Revised: 26 July 2015 / Accepted: 29 July 2015 / Published: 31 July 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (5705 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper proposes to visualize acoustic comfort along tourist routes. Route-based tourism is crucial to the sustainability of tourism development in historic areas. Applying the concept of route-based tourism to guide tourists rambling along cultural and heritage routes can relieve overcrowded condition at
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This paper proposes to visualize acoustic comfort along tourist routes. Route-based tourism is crucial to the sustainability of tourism development in historic areas. Applying the concept of route-based tourism to guide tourists rambling along cultural and heritage routes can relieve overcrowded condition at hot scenic spots and increase the overall carrying capacity of the city. However, acoustic comfort along tourist routes is rarely addressed in academic studies and decision-making. Taking Macao as an example, this paper has studied pedestrian exposure to traffic noise along the cultural and heritage routes. The study is based on a GIS-based traffic noise model system with a high spatial resolution down to individual buildings along both sides of the street. Results show that tourists suffer from excessive traffic noise at certain sites, which may have negative impact on the promotion of route-based tourism in the long run. In addition, it is found that urban growth affects urban form and street layout, which in turn affect traffic flow and acoustic comfort in urban area. The present study demonstrates spatial techniques to visualize acoustic comfort along tourist routes, and the techniques are foreseen to be used more frequently to support effective tourism planning in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Cultural and Natural Heritage)
Open AccessArticle Urban Land Expansion and Structural Change in the Yangtze River Delta, China
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10281-10307; doi:10.3390/su70810281
Received: 28 April 2015 / Revised: 12 July 2015 / Accepted: 28 July 2015 / Published: 31 July 2015
Cited by 20 | PDF Full-text (2336 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Urban development in China has attracted considerable scholarly attention. However, more work is still needed to examine and understand the mechanisms of urban land expansion, especially within the context of globalization/marketization, decentralization and urbanization. This paper analyzes urban land expansion and structural changes
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Urban development in China has attracted considerable scholarly attention. However, more work is still needed to examine and understand the mechanisms of urban land expansion, especially within the context of globalization/marketization, decentralization and urbanization. This paper analyzes urban land expansion and structural changes in the Yangtze River Delta (YRD). We find that cities in the YRD are experiencing urban land expansion mainly characterized by the growth of residential and industrial land. The dominant characteristics of urban land expansion in cities have also varied within different development and administrative levels. Based on our conceptual framework, we have used multi-models to investigate the driving forces of urban land expansion and structural changes in the YRD. The results reveal that six influencing factors—foreign direct investment (FDI), labor, government competition, institution, population, and job-housing relations—facilitate land use change in the economic transition process. However, their impacts differ in cities in different geographical locations, as well as with different administrative levels. Finally, this paper discusses policies to promote sustainable urban land use in the YRD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Land and Sustainable Development) Printed Edition available
Open AccessArticle Is the “Ecological and Economic Approach for the Restoration of Collapsed Gullies” in Southern China Really Economic?
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10308-10323; doi:10.3390/su70810308
Received: 6 July 2015 / Revised: 20 July 2015 / Accepted: 24 July 2015 / Published: 31 July 2015
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Abstract
Collapsed gully erosion constantly plagues the sustainability of rural areas in China. To control collapsed gully erosion, an ecological and economic approach, which uses tree plantation to gain economic benefits and control soil erosion, has been widely applied by local governments in Southern
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Collapsed gully erosion constantly plagues the sustainability of rural areas in China. To control collapsed gully erosion, an ecological and economic approach, which uses tree plantation to gain economic benefits and control soil erosion, has been widely applied by local governments in Southern China. However, little is known about the economic feasibility of this new method. The objective of this study was to determine the effectiveness and economic benefits of the new method. Based on a case study in Changting County, Southeast China, two farms were selected to represent a timber tree plantation and a fruit tree plantation, respectively. The Annual Capital Capitalization Method and Return on Investment (ROI) were selected to conduct cost-benefit analysis. In contrast to previous studies, we found that the new approach was far from economic. The value of the newly-built forestland in Sanzhou Village and Tufang Village is 2738 RMB ha−1 and 5477 RMB ha−1, respectively, which are extremely lower than the costs of ecological restoration. Meanwhile, the annual ROI is −3.60% and −8.90%, respectively, which is negative and also far poorer than the average value of forestry in China. The costs of conservation were substantially over the related economic benefits, and the investors would suffer from greater loss if they invested more in the conservation. Low-cost terraces with timber trees had less economic loss compared with the costly terraces with fruit tree plantation. Moreover, the cost efficiency of the new approaches in soil conservation was also greatly poorer than the conventional method. The costs of conserving one ton soil per year for conventional method, new method for planting timber trees, and planting fruit trees were 164 RMB, 696 RMB, and 11,664 RMB, respectively. Therefore, the new collapsed gully erosion control methods are uneconomic and unsuitable to be widely carried out in China in the near future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Resources)
Open AccessArticle A Methodological Comparison between Energy and Environmental Performance Evaluation
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10324-10342; doi:10.3390/su70810324
Received: 9 June 2015 / Revised: 21 July 2015 / Accepted: 29 July 2015 / Published: 31 July 2015
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (1239 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The European Union is working on strategies in order to increase the energy efficiency of buildings. A useful solution is to identify the energy performance of buildings through the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), as it provides information for the comparison of buildings with
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The European Union is working on strategies in order to increase the energy efficiency of buildings. A useful solution is to identify the energy performance of buildings through the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), as it provides information for the comparison of buildings with different architectural typology, shape, design technology and geographic location. However, this tool does not assess the real energy consumption of the building and does not always take into account its impact on the environment. In this work, two different types of analysis were carried out: one based only on the energy efficiency and the other one based on the environmental impact. Those analyses were applied on a standard building, set in three different Italian locations, with the purpose of obtaining cross-related information. After the evaluation of the results, interventions on some parameters (walls insulation, windows frame, filler gas in the insulated glazing) have been identified in order to improve the energy behavior of the building with an acceptable environmental impact. The aim of this paper is to propose a methodology that integrates the EPC with green building rating systems, leading to a more conscious choice of retrofit interventions as a compromise between energy performances and environmental impact. Full article
Open AccessArticle Ethical Analysis for Evaluating Sustainable Business Decisions: The Case of Environmental Impact Evaluation in the Inambari Hydropower Project
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10343-10364; doi:10.3390/su70810343
Received: 13 June 2015 / Revised: 24 July 2015 / Accepted: 27 July 2015 / Published: 4 August 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (717 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We propose an ethical analysis as a method to reflect on how companies’ decisions promote sustainable development. The method proceeds by first identifying the choice according to financial business interests, and by then scrutinizing this choice according to consequentialist and deontological ethics. The
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We propose an ethical analysis as a method to reflect on how companies’ decisions promote sustainable development. The method proceeds by first identifying the choice according to financial business interests, and by then scrutinizing this choice according to consequentialist and deontological ethics. The paper applies the method to the choice of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) that a consortium of Brazilian companies (EGASUR) delivered as part of their project proposal for the realization of the Inambari hydropower dam in the Peruvian Amazon. We show that if an EIA is chosen based on the attempt to maximize the financial bottom line, it raises ethical issues both from a consequentialist perspective by involving negative consequences for various stakeholder groups, and from a deontological perspective by not complying with relevant rules, guidelines, and principles. The two ethical perspectives hence reveal where the consortium faces impediments to a genuine commitment to sustainability. Building on stakeholder interviews, observations of the project developments, and the executive summary of the actual EIA, we provide indications that EGASUR has indeed made a choice that resembles a decision based on financial interests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle The Impact of Land Cover Change on Ecosystem Service Values in Urban Agglomerations along the Coast of the Bohai Rim, China
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10365-10387; doi:10.3390/su70810365
Received: 12 June 2015 / Revised: 27 July 2015 / Accepted: 29 July 2015 / Published: 5 August 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (5646 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Local ecosystem services have been significantly affected by land cover changes associated with rapid urbanization in China. Based on the 2000 and 2010 land cover data products with 30-m resolution, we examined the similarities and differences in the impacts of land cover change
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Local ecosystem services have been significantly affected by land cover changes associated with rapid urbanization in China. Based on the 2000 and 2010 land cover data products with 30-m resolution, we examined the similarities and differences in the impacts of land cover change on ecosystem service values (ESV) at three coastal urban agglomerations in China between 2000 and 2010 (Liaodong Peninsula (LP), Jing-Jin-Ji (JJJ) and Shandong Peninsula (SP)). A rapid evaluation method developed by Xie et al. (2008) was used to derive an ecosystem service value coefficient. The most significant change was an increase in artificial surfaces, due to urban expansion, which mainly occurred on cultivated land. The greatest loss in total ESV (2273 million Chinese Yuan) occurred in SP, due to the large decrease in wetland areas, because this service has the highest estimated coefficient. The second greatest loss in ESV (893 million Yuan) occurred in JJJ, due to the urban expansion of major cities. In contrast, ESV increased (72 million Yuan) in LP. This study demonstrates that urban expansion does not necessarily lead to a net decline in ESV. In conclusion, land use and land cover policymaking should consider the sustainability of ecosystem services in relation to economic growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle In Situ Thermal Transmittance Measurements for Investigating Differences between Wall Models and Actual Building Performance
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10388-10398; doi:10.3390/su70810388
Received: 19 June 2015 / Revised: 23 July 2015 / Accepted: 28 July 2015 / Published: 5 August 2015
Cited by 17 | PDF Full-text (1727 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
An accurate assessment of a building’s wall performance, defined through the thermal transmittance, is essential to compute the annual energy consumption. Analyzing opaque surfaces, the heat transfer across walls can be modeled by an electro-thermal analogy, based on resistors series, crossed by a
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An accurate assessment of a building’s wall performance, defined through the thermal transmittance, is essential to compute the annual energy consumption. Analyzing opaque surfaces, the heat transfer across walls can be modeled by an electro-thermal analogy, based on resistors series, crossed by a one-dimensional heat flow. This analogy is well established and it refers to stratigraphy composed of homogeneous materials. When dealing with inhomogeneous materials, possibly including hollow bricks, the wall’s thermal transmittance is evaluated by means of an effective conductance. However, in order to verify the theoretical models effectiveness, a comparison with in situ measurements is needed. In this paper, three building walls characterized by different stratigraphy have been analyzed; by employing a heat flow meter investigation. Measurements results and estimated thermal transmittance values—calculated applying the standard UNI EN ISO 6946—have been compared. Full article
Open AccessArticle Assessment and Evolution of the Sustainable Development Ability of Human–Ocean Systems in Coastal Regions of China
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10399-10427; doi:10.3390/su70810399
Received: 3 May 2015 / Revised: 25 July 2015 / Accepted: 28 July 2015 / Published: 5 August 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1284 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The oceans are a crucial source of natural resources for human development, as productive terrestrial resources increasingly reach their limits of economic and ecological exploitation. With increasing human impact on oceans, it is vital to maintain a sustainable human–ocean relationship. We present an
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The oceans are a crucial source of natural resources for human development, as productive terrestrial resources increasingly reach their limits of economic and ecological exploitation. With increasing human impact on oceans, it is vital to maintain a sustainable human–ocean relationship. We present an indicator system and information entropy model to assess the evolution of human–ocean systems (HOSs) according to the dissipative structure theory. Sustainable development ability (SDA) scores for HOSs are calculated based on the combination-weighting model. Finally, the Richards model is used to depict the HOSs’ evolution states and periods in different coastal regions of China. The assessment indicates that total entropy is undergoing a process of negentropy; and that order degrees of HOSs are gradually improving. The results also suggest that the sustainable development levels of HOSs are continuously improving. The different coastal regions showed notable disparities of SDA and evolutionary processes, due to a differing resource base, environmental carrying capacity, and socio-economic development. Different limiting factors should determine regional policies for enhancing the SDA process; the key to sustainable development of HOS is achieving a balance between the exploitation of ocean resources for socio-economic development and conserving ecosystem services that are critical to wellbeing and livelihoods. Full article
Open AccessArticle Methodological Approach to the Energy Analysis of Unconstrained Historical Buildings
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10428-10444; doi:10.3390/su70810428
Received: 9 June 2015 / Revised: 24 July 2015 / Accepted: 31 July 2015 / Published: 5 August 2015
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (1226 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The goal set by the EU of quasi-zero energy buildings is not easy to reach for a country like Italy, as it holds a wide number of UNESCO sites and most of them are entire historical old towns. This paper focuses on the
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The goal set by the EU of quasi-zero energy buildings is not easy to reach for a country like Italy, as it holds a wide number of UNESCO sites and most of them are entire historical old towns. This paper focuses on the problem of the improvement of energy performance of historical Italian architecture through simple interventions that respect the building without changing its shape and structure. The work starts from an energy analysis of a building located in the historic center of Tivoli, a town close to Rome. The analysis follows the recommendations of the UNI TS 11300-Part1, which indicates how to evaluate the energy consumptions. The calculations were performed only on the building envelope, based on passive solutions and alternatives. Four passive strategies were examined and applied based on the location of the building and the non-alteration of the structure and the landscape. The obtained results impacted positively on the energy performance of the building: the annual energy saving reached a maximum value of 25%. This work shows how it is possible to improve the energy performance of an existing building achieving a significant energy saving with the respect of the building architecture, shape, function and the surrounding landscape. Full article
Open AccessArticle Energy Retrofit Strategies for Residential Building Envelopes: An Italian Case Study of an Early-50s Building
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10445-10460; doi:10.3390/su70810445
Received: 13 June 2015 / Revised: 28 July 2015 / Accepted: 30 July 2015 / Published: 5 August 2015
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (2669 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
During the last few years, the issues of energy efficiency and energy saving have dominated the buildings research field. New constructions are based on efficient design and, because of this, the real challenge is to retrofit existing buildings. Italian standards impose thermal transmittance
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During the last few years, the issues of energy efficiency and energy saving have dominated the buildings research field. New constructions are based on efficient design and, because of this, the real challenge is to retrofit existing buildings. Italian standards impose thermal transmittance limits for opaque and transparent surfaces, according to the climatic area. In order to understand buildings’ energy behavior, an accurate analysis, carried out by employing advanced calculation codes and instrumental diagnosis—provided by the use of heat flow meter, surface temperature probes and thermal imaging camera—is needed. In this paper, a structure built in the 50 s has been analyzed, by means of a measurement campaign, to investigate the building’s characteristics and its vulnerability. Finally, some retrofit hypotheses have been evaluated by means of a well-known dynamic code. All investments have to be analyzed under a financial point of view, considering materials and installation costs. For this reason, the payback time has been calculated in order to understand how quickly the energy upgrading can be repaid. Full article
Open AccessArticle Towards a Bioeconomy in Europe: National, Regional and Industrial Strategies
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10461-10478; doi:10.3390/su70810461
Received: 4 June 2015 / Revised: 29 June 2015 / Accepted: 2 July 2015 / Published: 5 August 2015
Cited by 31 | PDF Full-text (1107 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Establishing an advanced European bioeconomy is an important step in achieving the transition towards sustainable development and away from fossil fuels. The bioeconomy can be defined as an economy based on the sustainable production and conversion of renewable biomass into a range of
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Establishing an advanced European bioeconomy is an important step in achieving the transition towards sustainable development and away from fossil fuels. The bioeconomy can be defined as an economy based on the sustainable production and conversion of renewable biomass into a range of bio-based products, chemicals, and energy. Several strategies have been produced in Europe from different perspectives that outline visions, intentions, and recommendations for the transition to a bioeconomy. An analysis of twelve of these strategies was conducted using a meta-analytical framework. This paper outlines the results of this study covering national, regional, and industrial perspectives on the bio-based economy in Europe. The analysis shows that a common direction for the bioeconomy, based on research and technological innovation in the various applications of biotechnology, is developing in Europe. It highlights the important role that the regional level will play in facilitating collaborations between industries and research institutions needed to foster innovation and optimize the use of biomass. The analysis also identifies that the development of European bio-based product markets are needed for bioeconomy expansion. However, the transition needs to have a lifecycle perspective in order to ensure that an economy founded on biomass is sustainable and equitable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Application of Environmental Change Efficiency to the Sustainability of Urban Development at the Neighborhood Level
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10479-10498; doi:10.3390/su70810479
Received: 6 June 2015 / Revised: 30 July 2015 / Accepted: 31 July 2015 / Published: 5 August 2015
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Abstract
This study describes a new assessment model framework, termed the driving forces-pressure-state-impact-policy and pattern (DPSIP) model, for environmental change efficiency in urban land development, based on urban sustainable development and the theory of economic efficiency evaluation. A spatial and measurable efficiency value is
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This study describes a new assessment model framework, termed the driving forces-pressure-state-impact-policy and pattern (DPSIP) model, for environmental change efficiency in urban land development, based on urban sustainable development and the theory of economic efficiency evaluation. A spatial and measurable efficiency value is defined for environmental changes in urban land development, which provides a comprehensive evaluation index for the efficiency of urban development and its environmental impact. This type of urban interior sustainability is considered new within the context of global environmental changes. We identify nine important indicators to evaluate the relative efficiency of 233 neighborhoods in Tainan, Taiwan. The results indicate that the average environmental change efficiency is 89.44%, which shows clear spatial differentiation. The key indicators affecting the efficiency score are area, population density, location, mixed land uses, the floor area ratio, and the impervious ratio. In the future, urban design can reduce environmental impacts and enhance efficiency values. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Planning, Development and Management of Sustainable Cities)
Open AccessArticle Computational and Experimental Investigation for an Optimal Design of Industrial Windows to Allow Natural Ventilation during Wind-Driven Rain
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10499-10520; doi:10.3390/su70810499
Received: 6 June 2015 / Revised: 24 July 2015 / Accepted: 28 July 2015 / Published: 5 August 2015
PDF Full-text (2324 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
With an increased awareness of sustainability issues, natural ventilation has become an elegant method for reducing the costs and environmental effects of the energy that is used to maintain comfortable indoor air quality rather than using mechanical ventilation. The windows in many industrial
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With an increased awareness of sustainability issues, natural ventilation has become an elegant method for reducing the costs and environmental effects of the energy that is used to maintain comfortable indoor air quality rather than using mechanical ventilation. The windows in many industrial buildings are continuously open to exhaust pollutants and intake fresh air. Though windows are functional and efficient for natural ventilation, rainwater is able to penetrate through the windows during wind-driven rain. For industries in which the moisture content affects the quality of the product, the intrusion of a large amount of rainwater through windows must be prevented without compromising the effective ventilation. The aim of this research is to determine an innovative design for windows to accomplish the optimum of high ventilation and low rain penetration. For this purpose, windows are variously innovated and tested in full-scale measurements, reduced-scale wind-tunnel measurements and computational fluid dynamics (CFD). An artificial rain and wind velocity to mimic the average of the maximum values in Korea are created. The maximum reduction in rain penetration of over 98% compared to basic 90° open windows is attained with only a 4%–9% decrement of ventilation efficiency in the two recommended designs. Full article
Open AccessArticle Evaluation of Economic Efficiency of Apple Orchard Investments
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10521-10533; doi:10.3390/su70810521
Received: 4 May 2015 / Revised: 28 July 2015 / Accepted: 30 July 2015 / Published: 5 August 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (703 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The tree-growing sector is considered to be an important supplier of food and raw material for industry worldwide. Increasingly competitive decisions regarding international investment in orchards depend on business analysis. This study compares three apple orchards situated in Cluj-Napoca, on the Eastern limits
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The tree-growing sector is considered to be an important supplier of food and raw material for industry worldwide. Increasingly competitive decisions regarding international investment in orchards depend on business analysis. This study compares three apple orchards situated in Cluj-Napoca, on the Eastern limits of the Transylvanian Plain, Romania. While the climatic and soil conditions are relatively consistent among the three orchards, the technical and economic results (expressed in hectares) vary due to the use of three different technological systems of apple production: extensive, intensive, and super-intensive. The study compares the life cycle, starting with age of fructification, production level (quantity and quality), costs (investment and production costs—divided into material costs, mechanical costs, human costs, and overhead costs), income, profit (including rate of profit), and investment efficiency: Net Present Value (NPV), Internal Rate of Return (IRR), and Payback Period (PP). It was observed that the most economically efficient technological system in terms of investments is the super-intensive one, with a higher production level, a higher share of Extra Class apples, and a younger age of initial fructification. However certain inconveniences of this system—such as a more expensive investment, a higher cost of running the business throughout the year, and a reduced life cycle—cannot be ignored. Full article
Open AccessArticle Research on Urban Road Congestion Pricing Strategy Considering Carbon Dioxide Emissions
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10534-10553; doi:10.3390/su70810534
Received: 31 May 2015 / Revised: 20 July 2015 / Accepted: 21 July 2015 / Published: 6 August 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (865 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Congestion pricing strategy has been recognized as an effective countermeasure in the practical field of urban traffic congestion mitigation. In this paper, a bi-level programming model considering carbon dioxide emission is proposed to mitigate traffic congestion and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The objective
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Congestion pricing strategy has been recognized as an effective countermeasure in the practical field of urban traffic congestion mitigation. In this paper, a bi-level programming model considering carbon dioxide emission is proposed to mitigate traffic congestion and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The objective function of the upper level model is to minimize the sum of travel costs and the carbon dioxide emissions costs. The lower level is a multi-modal transportation network equilibrium model. To solve the model, the method of successive averages (MSA) and the shuffled frog leaping algorithm (SFLA) are introduced. The proposed method and algorithm are tested through the numerical example. The results show that the proposed congestion pricing strategy can mitigate traffic congestion and reduce carbon emissions effectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon reduction strategies and methods in transportation)
Open AccessArticle Pedagogies of Preparedness: Use of Reflective Journals in the Operationalisation and Development of Anticipatory Competence
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10554-10575; doi:10.3390/su70810554
Received: 8 May 2015 / Revised: 28 July 2015 / Accepted: 30 July 2015 / Published: 7 August 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (470 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In higher education there is a growing demand for graduates with the competence to transform our society toward a sustainable future. Part of this competence in sustainability is anticipatory competence, the ability to engage with multiple futures, manage uncertainty and hold a worldview
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In higher education there is a growing demand for graduates with the competence to transform our society toward a sustainable future. Part of this competence in sustainability is anticipatory competence, the ability to engage with multiple futures, manage uncertainty and hold a worldview that the future can and should be steered toward a more just sustainable path. In order to further examine and operationalise anticipatory competence, a course “Sustainability and the Future” was developed and run in the University of Vechta, Germany, as part of an action research cycle exploring key competencies for sustainability in higher education. Reflective journaling was used to explore the competence acquisition process along with focus groups with students after the course. The analysis of this programme shows that while certain subject areas such as values, transport and population models provoke more critical reflection on the future, skills such as the ability to work with emotional aspects of the future, for instance hope, were perceived to be necessary for anticipatory competence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Education for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle Wellness Tourism among Seniors in Taiwan: Previous Experience, Service Encounter Expectations, Organizational Characteristics, Employee Characteristics, and Customer Satisfaction
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10576-10601; doi:10.3390/su70810576
Received: 24 May 2015 / Revised: 26 July 2015 / Accepted: 3 August 2015 / Published: 7 August 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (817 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study aimed to investigate the influence of the service encounter expectations of senior customers during wellness tours on customer satisfaction. The organizational attributes of hotels, organizational characteristics and employee characteristics, were adopted as mediating variables. A total of 346 valid questionnaires were
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This study aimed to investigate the influence of the service encounter expectations of senior customers during wellness tours on customer satisfaction. The organizational attributes of hotels, organizational characteristics and employee characteristics, were adopted as mediating variables. A total of 346 valid questionnaires were retrieved from 50 year-old and above seniors in Taiwan. The results showed that the service encounter expectations of seniors had an indirect influence on customer satisfaction and the organizational attributes mediated the service encounter expectations of seniors and customer satisfaction. The moment of truth in the interactions between service staff members and seniors represents the pivotal management implication of this study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Water Table Control for Increasing Yield and Saving Water in Cranberry Production
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10602-10619; doi:10.3390/su70810602
Received: 20 June 2015 / Revised: 22 July 2015 / Accepted: 29 July 2015 / Published: 7 August 2015
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (2801 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Water table control has been successfully tested to improve the sustainability of water management in cranberry production. In the province of Québec (Canada), three sites were investigated to determine the optimum water table depth below soil surface (WTD) using three criteria: (1) increasing
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Water table control has been successfully tested to improve the sustainability of water management in cranberry production. In the province of Québec (Canada), three sites were investigated to determine the optimum water table depth below soil surface (WTD) using three criteria: (1) increasing yield without decreasing fruit quality; (2) minimizing the amount of water needed by the sprinkler system; and (3) avoiding hypoxic stresses in the rhizosphere. Our results show that the final yield, the berry sugar content, the total number of berries, the number of berries per upright, and the fruit set were maximized when the WTD was 60 cm. Sprinkler water savings of 77% were obtained where the WTD was shallower than 66 cm. In order to avoid hypoxic conditions due to poor drainage, the water level in the canals surrounding the beds should be lowered to 80 cm when a rainfall or a frost protection irrigation is anticipated. All sides of a block of beds must be surrounded by canals to ensure a uniform WTD and to avoid lateral hydraulic gradients that could cause peripheral seepage losses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Irrigation and Drainage)
Open AccessArticle Collar Option Model for Managing the Cost Overrun Caused by Change Orders
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10649-10663; doi:10.3390/su70810649
Received: 24 June 2015 / Revised: 29 July 2015 / Accepted: 4 August 2015 / Published: 7 August 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1364 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Effective change order management is very important in maintaining the financial sustainability of various stakeholders related to construction projects by minimizing cost overruns. In this study, we propose a zero-cost risk management approach based on the collar option model in order to control
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Effective change order management is very important in maintaining the financial sustainability of various stakeholders related to construction projects by minimizing cost overruns. In this study, we propose a zero-cost risk management approach based on the collar option model in order to control for the loss caused by change orders, the main cause of cost overruns in construction projects. We apply this model to actual projects for empirical analysis. The analysis, based on 237 projects, indicates that insurance buyers benefit from the collar option model in 46% of the cases, while insurance sellers do so in 53% of the cases. In most cases, the insurance buyer is the owner. According to the model, the owner experiences a loss when the cost overrun caused by change orders is lower than what was expected. In such cases, it is appropriate to conclude that the loss is not caused by the collar option model, but by the absence of additional revenue. However, the insurance seller suffers a loss if the cost overrun is higher than the strike price of the call option. Thus, the insurance seller needs to have expertise in construction management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Business and Development)
Open AccessArticle Predicting the Trend of Taiwan’s Electronic Paper Industry by an Effective Combined Grey Model
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10664-10683; doi:10.3390/su70810664
Received: 18 May 2015 / Revised: 2 August 2015 / Accepted: 3 August 2015 / Published: 7 August 2015
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (1081 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Electronic paper (e-paper) is a major sector of Taiwan’s Optoelectronic industry. It has paid much attention on the development of flexible displays. Even though the market is booming, the future is still unclear for business development. No research has yet forecasted the future
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Electronic paper (e-paper) is a major sector of Taiwan’s Optoelectronic industry. It has paid much attention on the development of flexible displays. Even though the market is booming, the future is still unclear for business development. No research has yet forecasted the future market size of the e-paper industry. In addition, proposing an appropriate forecasting model to understand the trend of this industry plays a crucial role for market players and government’s authorities in formulating correct strategies. Therefore, in this paper, the future market size of Taiwan’s e-paper industry is predicted by an effective combined grey model. Two combinations of DGM(2,1) and Verhulst model with Fourier series and Markov chain, namely FM-Verhulst and FMDGM(2,1), were presented. Based on the annual data of Taiwan’s e-paper industry, the results show that the forecasting performances of two FM-Verhulst and FMDGM(2,1) models are highly accurate compared with other grey models. Precision is 96.36% and 97.77%, respectively. However, for long-term prediction, the FMDGM(2,1) model obtains the best performance in all proposed grey models. With obtained forecasting results in Taiwan’s e-paper industry by the FMDGM(2,1) model, it can be pointed out that the future market size of Taiwan’s e-paper would slowly increase in the next few years. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Competitive and Sustainable Manufacturing in the Age of Globalization)
Open AccessArticle Investment Strategy of Emission-Reduction Technology in a Supply Chain
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10684-10708; doi:10.3390/su70810684
Received: 2 June 2015 / Revised: 27 July 2015 / Accepted: 31 July 2015 / Published: 7 August 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (873 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Greenhouse gas emissions have serious impacts on the natural environment. Therefore, the restrictions imposed on carbon emission force enterprises to take carbon emission into consideration when making production decisions. In this paper, in the context of allowing emission trading and investment of emission
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Greenhouse gas emissions have serious impacts on the natural environment. Therefore, the restrictions imposed on carbon emission force enterprises to take carbon emission into consideration when making production decisions. In this paper, in the context of allowing emission trading and investment of emission reduction technology, models were presented for a two-stage supply chain to analyze the optimal investment and pricing decisions. The results indicate that manufacturer’s endurance capacity of reduction difficulty is higher in the cooperation model than in the Stackelberg game model, and that perfect coordination of supply chains can be realized by a revenue sharing contract. From the perspective of a consumer, low-carbon products mean higher price, so that subsidies or tax exemptions should be provided to keep low prices. Meanwhile, the government can promote investment in emission-reduction technologies and achieve its emission reduction targets by controlling emission trading price, strengthening emission reduction publicity and providing technology investment subsidies. Full article
Open AccessArticle Integrated Bioenergy and Food Production—A German Survey on Structure and Developments of Anaerobic Digestion in Organic Farming Systems
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10709-10732; doi:10.3390/su70810709
Received: 1 June 2015 / Revised: 10 July 2015 / Accepted: 28 July 2015 / Published: 7 August 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (778 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Rising global energy needs and limited fossil fuel reserves have led to increased use of renewable energies. In Germany, this has entailed massive exploitation of agricultural biomass for biogas generation, associated with unsustainable farming practices. Organic agriculture not only reduces negative environmental impacts,
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Rising global energy needs and limited fossil fuel reserves have led to increased use of renewable energies. In Germany, this has entailed massive exploitation of agricultural biomass for biogas generation, associated with unsustainable farming practices. Organic agriculture not only reduces negative environmental impacts, organic farmers were also prime movers in anaerobic digestion (AD) in Germany. This study’s aim was to identify the structure, development, and characteristics of biogas production associated with organic farming systems in order to estimate further development, as well as energetic and associated agronomic potentials. Surveys were conducted among organic farms with AD technology. 144 biogas plants could be included in the analysis. Total installed electrical capacity was 30.8 MWel, accounting for only 0.8% of the total installed electrical capacity in the German biogas sector. Recently, larger plant types (>250 kWel) with increased use of (also purchased) energy crops have emerged. Farmers noticed increases in yields (22% on average) and quality of cash crops in arable farming through integrated biogas production. In conclusion, although the share of AD in organic farming is relatively small it can provide various complementary socio-ecological benefits such as the enhancement of food output through digestate fertilization without additional need for land, while simultaneously reducing greenhouse gas emissions from livestock manures and soils. However, to achieve this eco-functional intensification, AD systems and their management have to be well adapted to farm size and production focus and based primarily on residue biomass. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Use of Biomass Energy)
Open AccessArticle Human-Environment System Boundaries: A Case Study of the Honghe Hani Rice Terraces as a World Heritage Cultural Landscape
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10733-10755; doi:10.3390/su70810733
Received: 31 March 2015 / Revised: 30 July 2015 / Accepted: 31 July 2015 / Published: 7 August 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (981 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Any World Heritage Cultural Landscape requires a clear boundary for administration. One of the administrative goals is sustainability. There is no widely identified way to demarcate the boundary of a World Heritage Cultural Landscape. This paper aims to explore a methodology framework to
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Any World Heritage Cultural Landscape requires a clear boundary for administration. One of the administrative goals is sustainability. There is no widely identified way to demarcate the boundary of a World Heritage Cultural Landscape. This paper aims to explore a methodology framework to provide a holistic perspective for demarcating boundaries for a World Heritage Cultural Landscape. Honghe Hani Rice Terraces (HHRT) in Yunnan Province is a new World Heritage Cultural Landscape in China. We use it as a research area to illustrate the methodology framework. The framework of methodology is constructed based on four scales of a human-environment system identified by Anne Buttimer. It is used to describe the level of the sustainability of local economy, social organization, natural environment and people’s understanding of the human-environment. Four types of boundaries were investigated in this area. They are the boundary of Malizhai River Basin, the boundary of local water-allocation organization, the boundary of the economic network and the perceptual boundary of the human-environment system. With a comprehensive perspective, we integrated the four types of boundaries to judge the boundary of the core area of HHRT by three criteria, they are: Environmental sustainability, social justice, and the ability to create a new human-environment system. We conclude that some parts of the boundary of the core area of HHRT do not fit the criteria of sustainable development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscape and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Empirical Study Utilizing QFD to Develop an International Marketing Strategy
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10756-10769; doi:10.3390/su70810756
Received: 25 June 2015 / Revised: 2 August 2015 / Accepted: 3 August 2015 / Published: 7 August 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (724 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Customer expectations can be extremely nebulous. This research identifies the demographic segmentations and their respective expectations for the spa market. Interviews were conducted and a subsequent questionnaire was employed to gather the voice of the customer and assess the expectations of spa clientele.
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Customer expectations can be extremely nebulous. This research identifies the demographic segmentations and their respective expectations for the spa market. Interviews were conducted and a subsequent questionnaire was employed to gather the voice of the customer and assess the expectations of spa clientele. All of the data was collected from luxury spas in Hawaii, and consisted of respondents from all over the world. Results of the survey suggest that while men want more tangible benefits of a spa, women prefer the experiential qualities of peace and rejuvenation. Additionally, those of lower to middle income focus on the atmosphere more than wealthier clients, who are looking for more long term spa benefits, such as a more youthful appearance. Full article
Open AccessArticle Maintenance and Energy Optimization of Lighting Systems for the Improvement of Historic Buildings: A Case Study
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10770-10788; doi:10.3390/su70810770
Received: 28 May 2015 / Revised: 10 July 2015 / Accepted: 4 August 2015 / Published: 7 August 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (5802 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Proper lighting is vital to improve, from an artistic point of view, the surface expanse and decorative detailing of architectural heritage buildings considered valuable. When properly lit, monumental buildings can become to onlookers an essential part of the city. Nowadays, for design planners
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Proper lighting is vital to improve, from an artistic point of view, the surface expanse and decorative detailing of architectural heritage buildings considered valuable. When properly lit, monumental buildings can become to onlookers an essential part of the city. Nowadays, for design planners dealing with the improvement of buildings, whose architectural design should be valorized, the real challenge is to combine the lighting artistic requirements with scrupulous economic management in order to limit the energy demand and to respect the environment. For these reasons, this case study examines the lighting of the monumental façade and the cloister of St. Peter in Chains situated in the Faculty of Engineering of Sapienza University of Rome. The present lighting installation, characterized by metal halides, compact fluorescent and halogen lamps, is compared with an alternative scenario presenting LED lamps and scenographic lighting of the monumental façade. Such comparison is based on the evaluation of the lighting levels for different visual tasks and on energy and maintenance issues; the first analysis was performed through the software DIALux Evo 4.0, whereas the second was performed using ecoCALC. This study leads to the conclusion that the lighting levels of the solution presenting LED lamps are better than those of the present solution, and they comply with current standards. Finally, the higher costs of LED lamp installations and the scenographic lighting of the monumental façade are balanced by lower maintenance costs, with a payback period of seven years. Full article
Open AccessArticle SDI and Markov Chains for Regional Drought Characteristics
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10789-10808; doi:10.3390/su70810789
Received: 22 May 2015 / Revised: 21 July 2015 / Accepted: 5 August 2015 / Published: 7 August 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1961 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In recent years, global climate change has altered precipitation patterns, causing uneven spatial and temporal distribution of precipitation that gradually induces precipitation polarization phenomena. Taiwan is located in the subtropical climate zone, with distinct wet and dry seasons, which makes the polarization phenomenon
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In recent years, global climate change has altered precipitation patterns, causing uneven spatial and temporal distribution of precipitation that gradually induces precipitation polarization phenomena. Taiwan is located in the subtropical climate zone, with distinct wet and dry seasons, which makes the polarization phenomenon more obvious; this has also led to a large difference between river flows during the wet and dry seasons, which is significantly influenced by precipitation, resulting in hydrological drought. Therefore, to effectively address the growing issue of water shortages, it is necessary to explore and assess the drought characteristics of river systems. In this study, the drought characteristics of northern Taiwan were studied using the streamflow drought index (SDI) and Markov chains. Analysis results showed that the year 2002 was a turning point for drought severity in both the Lanyang River and Yilan River basins; the severity of rain events in the Lanyang River basin increased after 2002, and the severity of drought events in the Yilan River basin exhibited a gradual upward trend. In the study of drought severity, analysis results from periods of three months (November to January) and six months (November to April) have shown significant drought characteristics. In addition, analysis of drought occurrence probabilities using the method of Markov chains has shown that the occurrence probabilities of drought events are higher in the Lanyang River basin than in the Yilan River basin; particularly for extreme events, the occurrence probability of an extreme drought event is 20.6% during the dry season (November to April) in the Lanyang River basin, and 3.4% in the Yilan River basin. This study shows that for analysis of drought/wet occurrence probabilities, the results obtained for the drought frequency and occurrence probability using short-term data with the method of Markov chains can be used to predict the long-term occurrence probability of drought/wet events. Full article
Open AccessArticle Design of the Building Envelope: A Novel Multi-Objective Approach for the Optimization of Energy Performance and Thermal Comfort
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10809-10836; doi:10.3390/su70810809
Received: 11 June 2015 / Revised: 26 July 2015 / Accepted: 4 August 2015 / Published: 7 August 2015
Cited by 21 | PDF Full-text (4584 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
According to the increasing worldwide attention to energy and the environmental performance of the building sector, building energy demand should be minimized by considering all energy uses. In this regard, the development of building components characterized by proper values of thermal transmittance, thermal
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According to the increasing worldwide attention to energy and the environmental performance of the building sector, building energy demand should be minimized by considering all energy uses. In this regard, the development of building components characterized by proper values of thermal transmittance, thermal capacity, and radiative properties is a key strategy to reduce the annual energy need for the microclimatic control. However, the design of the thermal characteristics of the building envelope is an arduous task, especially in temperate climates where the energy demands for space heating and cooling are balanced. This study presents a novel methodology for optimizing the thermo-physical properties of the building envelope and its coatings, in terms of thermal resistance, capacity, and radiative characteristics of exposed surfaces. A multi-objective approach is adopted in order to optimize energy performance and thermal comfort. The optimization problem is solved by means of a Genetic Algorithm implemented in MATLAB®, which is coupled with EnergyPlus for performing dynamic energy simulations. For demonstration, the methodology is applied to a residential building for two different Mediterranean climates: Naples and Istanbul. The results show that for Naples, because of the higher incidence of cooling demand, cool external coatings imply significant energy savings, whereas the insulation of walls should be high but not excessive (no more than 13–14 cm). The importance of high-reflective coating is clear also in colder Mediterranean climates, like Istanbul, although the optimal thicknesses of thermal insulation are higher (around 16–18 cm). In both climates, the thermal envelope should have a significant mass, obtainable by adopting dense and/or thick masonry layers. Globally, a careful design of the thermal envelope is always necessary in order to achieve high-efficiency buildings. Full article
Open AccessArticle Diversity and Abundance of Soil Animals as Influenced by Long-Term Fertilization in Grey Desert Soil, China
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10837-10853; doi:10.3390/su70810837
Received: 3 June 2015 / Revised: 29 July 2015 / Accepted: 29 July 2015 / Published: 7 August 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (814 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The relationship between soil fauna and different fertilizer management practices is of growing concern. The aim of this research was to investigate the response of soil fauna to fertilization regimes, to explore the relationships among the community of soil animals, soil moisture and
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The relationship between soil fauna and different fertilizer management practices is of growing concern. The aim of this research was to investigate the response of soil fauna to fertilization regimes, to explore the relationships among the community of soil animals, soil moisture and crop yields. The application of organic fertilizers (i.e., sheep manure or crop residues) increased crop yields and promoted the number of individuals and species of soil fauna owing to the exogenous organic matter that fertilizers provided for the survival and development of soil fauna. Furthermore, the treatments that applied sheep manure (i.e., sheep manure only or nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and sheep manure plus) were significantly beneficial for increasing crop yields and diversity of soil fauna compared to treatments with crop residues returned (i.e., crop residues returned only or nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and crop residues returned to the field) (p < 0.05) due to the response of soil fauna to diverse exogenous nutrients and the effect of soil fertility. Therefore, the finding that soil fauna abundance is significantly positively correlated with soil moisture and crop yield may mean the effects of fertilizer applications on soil animals were partly masked by the soil moisture and crop yield. Full article
Open AccessArticle Reforming China’s Pension Scheme for Urban Workers: Liquidity Gap and Policies’ Effects Forecasting
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10876-10894; doi:10.3390/su70810876
Received: 4 May 2015 / Revised: 30 July 2015 / Accepted: 3 August 2015 / Published: 11 August 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1005 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study forecasts the liquidity gap in China’s pension scheme for urban workers in the context of an ageing population and the possible effects of recent governmental policies by constructing a basic pension model, including “old people”, “middle people” and “new people” and
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This study forecasts the liquidity gap in China’s pension scheme for urban workers in the context of an ageing population and the possible effects of recent governmental policies by constructing a basic pension model, including “old people”, “middle people” and “new people” and a simulation method. We find, firstly, that China’s liquidity gap of pension will reach its peak of approximately 13.11 trillion yuan in 2038. Subsequently, this gap will gradually decrease with growth in the mortality rate. Secondly, reasonable intervals for the replacement and contribution rates should be set at [0.417, 0.604] and [0.189, 0.262], respectively, to sustain China’s pension system. Thirdly, compared to increasing fiscal subsidies, an income doubling plan, raising the contribution rate, lowering the replacement rate and delaying the retirement age can significantly reduce the liquidity gap, although the policy costs are relatively high. A policy permitting families to have two children will increase the rate of reduction of the liquidity gap, but it cannot effectively narrow the gap at the peak moment. Full article
Open AccessArticle Preferences Matter: A Constructive Approach to Incorporating Local Stakeholders’ Preferences in the Sustainability Evaluation of Energy Technologies
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10922-10960; doi:10.3390/su70810922
Received: 25 May 2015 / Revised: 24 July 2015 / Accepted: 30 July 2015 / Published: 11 August 2015
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (1095 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This research paper aims at developing and applying a constructive weighting methodology for the elicitation of local stakeholders’ preferences regarding a set of sustainability evaluation criteria during the assessment of low-carbon energy technologies. The overall methodology has been applied and tested for the
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This research paper aims at developing and applying a constructive weighting methodology for the elicitation of local stakeholders’ preferences regarding a set of sustainability evaluation criteria during the assessment of low-carbon energy technologies. The overall methodology has been applied and tested for the sustainability evaluation of selected low-carbon energy technologies in Europe from a local stakeholders’ perspective. The researchers applied a constructive weighting methodology based on different Multiple Criteria Analysis (MCA) techniques to test the consistency of stakeholders’ preferences. The methodology was piloted based on a small-scale European local stakeholders’ survey within the framework of Covenant CapaCITY, an Intelligent Energy Europe project that supports the development of Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAPs). It became evident that the local stakeholders who participated placed high priorities on aspects such as CO2eq emissions reduction, ecosystem damages reduction, and resilience to climate change during the evaluation of low-carbon energy technologies. Considering the overall energy technologies assessment, wind off-shore, solar PV, hydropower, and wind on-shore achieved the highest scores and better reflected the priorities of local stakeholders considering a large set of multiple sustainability criteria. The high number of criteria led to some inconsistencies of stakeholders’ preferences, confirming the need for consistency checks and/or combining different methods of preference elicitation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Network Theory Integrated Life Cycle Assessment for an Electric Power System
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10961-10975; doi:10.3390/su70810961
Received: 9 March 2015 / Revised: 28 July 2015 / Accepted: 3 August 2015 / Published: 11 August 2015
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Abstract
In this study, we allocate Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of electricity transmission to the consumers. As an allocation basis, we introduce energy distance. Energy distance takes the transmission load on the electricity energy system into account in addition to the amount of electricity
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In this study, we allocate Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of electricity transmission to the consumers. As an allocation basis, we introduce energy distance. Energy distance takes the transmission load on the electricity energy system into account in addition to the amount of electricity consumption. As a case study, we estimate regional GHG emissions of electricity transmission loss in Chile. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is used to estimate the total GHG emissions of the Chilean electric power system. The regional GHG emission of transmission loss is calculated from the total GHG emissions. We construct the network model of Chilean electric power grid as an undirected network with 466 nodes and 543 edges holding the topology of the power grid based on the statistical record. We analyze the total annual GHG emissions of the Chilean electricity energy system as 23.07 Mt CO2-eq. and 1.61 Mt CO2-eq. for the transmission loss, respectively. The total energy distance for the electricity transmission accounts for 12,842.10 TWh km based on network analysis. We argue that when the GHG emission of electricity transmission loss is estimated, the electricity transmission load should be separately considered. We propose network theory as a useful complement to LCA analysis for the complex allocation. Energy distance is especially useful on a very large-scale electric power grid such as an intercontinental transmission network. Full article
Open AccessArticle Optimization of the Waterbus Operation Plan Considering Carbon Emissions: The Case of Zhoushan City
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10976-10993; doi:10.3390/su70810976
Received: 31 May 2015 / Revised: 24 July 2015 / Accepted: 27 July 2015 / Published: 11 August 2015
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Abstract
Recently, as more people are concerned with the issues around environment protection, research about how to reduce carbon emissions has drawn increasing attention. Encouraging public transportation is an effective measure to reduce carbon emissions. However, overland public transportation does less to lower carbon
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Recently, as more people are concerned with the issues around environment protection, research about how to reduce carbon emissions has drawn increasing attention. Encouraging public transportation is an effective measure to reduce carbon emissions. However, overland public transportation does less to lower carbon because of the gradually increasing pressure of the urban road traffic. Therefore, the waterbus along the coast becomes a new direction of the urban public transport development. In order to optimize the operation plan of the waterbus, a bi-level model considering carbon emissions is proposed in this paper. In the upper-level model, a multiple objective model is established, which considers both the interests of the passengers and the operator while considering the carbon emissions. The lower-level model is a traffic model split by using a Nested Logit model. A NSGA-II (Non-dominated Sorting Genetic Algorithm-II) algorithm is proposed to solve the model. Finally, the city of Zhoushan is chosen as an example to prove the feasibility of the model and the algorithm. The result shows that the proposed model for waterbus operation optimization can efficiently reduce transportation carbon emissions and satisfy passenger demand at the same time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon reduction strategies and methods in transportation)
Open AccessArticle Does Environmental Sustainability Play a Role in the Adoption of Smart Card Technology at Universities in Taiwan: An Integration of TAM and TRA
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10994-11009; doi:10.3390/su70810994
Received: 4 March 2015 / Revised: 17 July 2015 / Accepted: 6 August 2015 / Published: 12 August 2015
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Abstract
Smart cards are able to store and protect relatively large amounts of data. When applied in universities, they can act as multi-purpose, multi-function and smart ID cards. This would avoid the waste of resources and maintain environmental sustainability. This study proposes a model
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Smart cards are able to store and protect relatively large amounts of data. When applied in universities, they can act as multi-purpose, multi-function and smart ID cards. This would avoid the waste of resources and maintain environmental sustainability. This study proposes a model that integrates Technology Acceptance Model and Theory of Reasoned Action into a framework incorporating the notion of environmental concern in order to explore the factors that affect students’ behavioral intention to use University Smart Cards. This study employs a quantitative method for primary data collection via a structured questionnaire for university students. The findings indicated that the perceived usefulness and subjective norm of university smart card systems have the most significant predictive power on potential users’ attitudes and intentions of adopting the card. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ubiquitous Green IT System for Sustainable Computing)
Open AccessArticle Assessing the Communication Quality of CSR Reports. A Case Study on Four Spanish Food Companies
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 11010-11031; doi:10.3390/su70811010
Received: 6 July 2015 / Revised: 5 August 2015 / Accepted: 7 August 2015 / Published: 12 August 2015
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Abstract
Sustainability reports are tools for disseminating information to stakeholders and the public, serving the organizations in the dual purpose of communicating CSR and being accountable. The production of these reports has recently become more prevalent in the food industry, despite the fact this
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Sustainability reports are tools for disseminating information to stakeholders and the public, serving the organizations in the dual purpose of communicating CSR and being accountable. The production of these reports has recently become more prevalent in the food industry, despite the fact this practice has received heavy criticism on two fronts: The quality of the tool for communication, and the extent of accountability. In addition to these criticisms, organizations must overcome the additional challenge of publishing sustainability reports that successfully meet the demands of a multi-stakeholder audience. In light of the importance of this practice, this paper presents a method to assess the communication and accountability characteristics of Spanish food companies’ sustainability reports. This method is based on the method Analytic Network Process (ANP) and adopts a multi-stakeholder approach. This research, therefore, provides a reference model for improving sustainability reports, with the aim of successfully meeting their communication objectives and the demands of all stakeholders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Tourism-Based Leisure Farms in Taiwan
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 11032-11049; doi:10.3390/su70811032
Received: 10 June 2015 / Revised: 3 August 2015 / Accepted: 10 August 2015 / Published: 12 August 2015
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Abstract
This research is the first attempt of a carbon emission investigation of tourism-based farms. A total of 36 cases were investigated. The result reveals that each tourist returns an average revenue of 28.6 USD and generates an average 10.9 kg-CO2eq per
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This research is the first attempt of a carbon emission investigation of tourism-based farms. A total of 36 cases were investigated. The result reveals that each tourist returns an average revenue of 28.6 USD and generates an average 10.9 kg-CO2eq per visit of carbon emissions. The average carbon emission density for each land area is 8.2 t/ha·year and is 245 kg/m²·year for each floor area. It is estimated that the overall carbon emissions reach 321,751 tons annually. The tourism-based farms were clustered into five categories, based on their business characteristics. It was found that high-end vacation leisure farms produce 2.46 times the carbon emissions than natural eco-conservation farms. Carbon emissions were 42% higher than the annual average in July and August. A secondary high season is in February, but it is merely higher than the annual average by 8% because of the mild climate. Two significant models for predicting carbon emissions were constructed by stepwise regression. As agriculture administrative authorities in Taiwan gradually have begun admitting the cultivated lands for multi-purpose usage, tourism-based farms have been increasing drastically. This study provides references for both public authorities and farm managers in exploring the issues with regard to carbon emissions and farm sustainability. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Framework for Sustainable Urban Water Management through Demand and Supply Forecasting: The Case of Istanbul
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 11050-11067; doi:10.3390/su70811050
Received: 30 March 2015 / Revised: 17 July 2015 / Accepted: 3 August 2015 / Published: 13 August 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (833 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The metropolitan city of Istanbul is becoming overcrowded and the demand for clean water is steeply rising in the city. The use of analytical approaches has become more and more critical for forecasting the water supply and demand balance in the long run.
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The metropolitan city of Istanbul is becoming overcrowded and the demand for clean water is steeply rising in the city. The use of analytical approaches has become more and more critical for forecasting the water supply and demand balance in the long run. In this research, Istanbul’s water supply and demand data is collected for the period during 2006 and 2014. Then, using an autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) model, the time series water supply and demand forecasting model is constructed for the period between 2015 and 2018. Three important sustainability metrics such as water loss to supply ratio, water loss to demand ratio, and water loss to residential demand ratio are also presented. The findings show that residential water demand is responsible for nearly 80% of total water use and the consumption categories including commercial, industrial, agriculture, outdoor, and others have a lower share in total water demand. The results also show that there is a considerable water loss in the water distribution system which requires significant investments on the water supply networks. Furthermore, the forecasting results indicated that pipeline projects will be critical in the near future due to expected increases in the total water demand of Istanbul. The authors suggest that sustainable management of water can be achieved by reducing the residential water use through the use of water efficient technologies in households and reduction in water supply loss through investments on distribution infrastructure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Planning, Development and Management of Sustainable Cities)
Open AccessArticle Urban Floods in Lowlands—Levee Systems, Unplanned Urban Growth and River Restoration Alternative: A Case Study in Brazil
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 11068-11097; doi:10.3390/su70811068
Received: 21 February 2015 / Accepted: 28 July 2015 / Published: 14 August 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (6705 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The development of cities has always had a very close relation with water. However, cities directly impact land use patterns and greatly change natural landscapes, aggravating floods. Considering this situation, this paper intends to discuss lowland occupation and city sustainability in what regards
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The development of cities has always had a very close relation with water. However, cities directly impact land use patterns and greatly change natural landscapes, aggravating floods. Considering this situation, this paper intends to discuss lowland occupation and city sustainability in what regards urban stormwater management, fluvial space, and river restoration, aiming at minimizing flood risks and improving natural and built environment conditions. River plains tend to be attractive places for a city to grow. From ancient times, levees have been used to protect lowland areas along major watercourses to allow their occupation. However, urban rivers demand space for temporary flood storage. From a systemic point of view, levees along extensive river reaches act as canalization works, limiting river connectivity with flood plains, rising water levels, increasing overtopping risks and transferring floods downstream. Departing from this discussion, four case studies in the Iguaçu-Sarapuí River Basin, a lowland area of Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil, are used to compose a perspective in which the central point refers to the need of respecting watershed limits and giving space to rivers. Different aspects of low-lying city planning are discussed and analyzed concerning the integration of the built and natural environments. Full article
Open AccessArticle Seasonal and Diurnal Thermal Performance of a Subtropical Extensive Green Roof: The Impacts of Background Weather Parameters
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 11098-11113; doi:10.3390/su70811098
Received: 15 July 2015 / Accepted: 7 August 2015 / Published: 14 August 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1776 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Most studies explored green-roof thermal effects on a few hot summer days based on short-term monitoring data. Few studies investigated the seasonal and diurnal patterns of thermal performance and associated weather effects. This research aims to address the following two questions: (1) how
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Most studies explored green-roof thermal effects on a few hot summer days based on short-term monitoring data. Few studies investigated the seasonal and diurnal patterns of thermal performance and associated weather effects. This research aims to address the following two questions: (1) how green-roof thermal performance varies with different season and time; and (2) to what extent can thermal performance be predicted by background weather parameters? A retrofitted extensive green roof was established on the top of a railway station in subtropical Hong Kong. Monitoring data covering a two-year period, one year before roof greening and one year after, were collected and analyzed. Results indicated notable seasonal and diurnal patterns of green-roof thermal performance. It exhibited cooling effects in spring, summer and fall, but warming effects in winter. The cooling effects were more pronounced in summer than spring and fall, on sunny days than rainy and cloudy days, and in nighttime than daytime. Air temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, solar radiation, and soil moisture could explain 83.6%–86% of the thermal effects’ variation. The multiple-regression models based on the five weather variables established in this study provide an uncomplicated and direct approach to predict the thermal performance of similar extensive green roofs in subtropical areas. Full article
Open AccessArticle Adaptive Cycle as a Tool to Select Resilient Patterns of Rural Development
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 11114-11138; doi:10.3390/su70811114
Received: 18 June 2015 / Accepted: 10 August 2015 / Published: 14 August 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1269 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Changes in agriculture, including simultaneous intensification and abandonment, have significantly shaped the evolution of rural areas. The assessment of resilience in agricultural systems could provide insights into the ability of many rural areas to survive and regain competitiveness following disturbances. The aim of
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Changes in agriculture, including simultaneous intensification and abandonment, have significantly shaped the evolution of rural areas. The assessment of resilience in agricultural systems could provide insights into the ability of many rural areas to survive and regain competitiveness following disturbances. The aim of this study is to use the adaptive cycle heuristic as a diagnostic tool to study dynamics of change in two agricultural sectors (durum wheat/sheep and goat farming) in the Basilicata region of Southern Italy over the last seventy years. The heuristic was applied through a participatory approach in a community of stakeholders who have conceived, in collaboration with researchers, the Manifesto “Let’s Think Basilicata” as a regional instrument of analysis and a laboratory of ideas and development of proposals. Despite some methodological difficulties, the adaptive cycle heuristic proved useful to describe processes of change in the socio-ecological system and could have enormous potential in shaping policy instruments for rural areas. However, much greater research is needed, both in terms of theory and methodology, before policy impacts on resilience in socio-ecological systems can be fully understood. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Open AccessArticle Sustainability of Water Safety Plans Developed in Sub-Saharan Africa
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 11139-11159; doi:10.3390/su70811139
Received: 15 May 2015 / Accepted: 5 August 2015 / Published: 14 August 2015
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Abstract
In developing countries, the drinking water supply is still an open issue. In sub-Saharan Africa, only 68% of the population has access to improved sources of drinking water. Moreover, some regions are affected by geogenic contaminants (e.g., fluoride and arsenic) and the lack
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In developing countries, the drinking water supply is still an open issue. In sub-Saharan Africa, only 68% of the population has access to improved sources of drinking water. Moreover, some regions are affected by geogenic contaminants (e.g., fluoride and arsenic) and the lack of access to sanitation facilities and hygiene practices causes high microbiological contamination of drinking water in the supply chain. The Water Safety Plan (WSP) approach introduced by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2004 is now under development in several developing countries in order to face up to these issues. The WSP approach was elaborated within two cooperation projects implemented in rural areas of Burkina Faso and Senegal by two Italian NGOs (Non-Governmental Organisations). In order to evaluate its sustainability, a questionnaire based on five different sustainability elements and a cost and time consumption evaluation were carried out and applied in both the case studies. Results demonstrated that the questionnaire can provide a useful and interesting overview regarding the sustainability of the WSP; however, further surveys in the field are recommended for gathering more information. Time and costs related to the WSP elaboration, implementation, and management were demonstrated not to be negligible and above all strongly dependent on water quality and the water supply system complexity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Resources)
Open AccessArticle Exploring Gamification Techniques and Applications for Sustainable Tourism
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 11160-11189; doi:10.3390/su70811160
Received: 28 June 2015 / Accepted: 10 August 2015 / Published: 14 August 2015
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (785 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Tourism is perceived as an appropriate solution for pursuing sustainable economic growth due to its main characteristics. In the context of sustainable tourism, gamification can act as an interface between tourists (clients), organisations (companies, NGOs, public institutions) and community, an interface built in
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Tourism is perceived as an appropriate solution for pursuing sustainable economic growth due to its main characteristics. In the context of sustainable tourism, gamification can act as an interface between tourists (clients), organisations (companies, NGOs, public institutions) and community, an interface built in a responsible and ethical way. The main objective of this study is to identify gamification techniques and applications used by organisations in the hospitality and tourism industry to improve their sustainable activities. The first part of the paper examines the relationship between gamification and sustainability, highlighting the links between these two concepts. The second part identifies success stories of gamification applied in hospitality and tourism and reviews gamification benefits by analysing the relationship between tourism organisations and three main tourism stakeholders: tourists, tourism employees and local community. The analysis is made in connection with the main pillars of sustainability: economic, social and environmental. This study is positioning the role of gamification in the tourism and hospitality industry and further, into the larger context of sustainable development. Full article
Open AccessArticle Scaled Experimental Study on Maximum Smoke Temperature along Corridors Subject to Room Fires
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 11190-11212; doi:10.3390/su70811190
Received: 21 May 2015 / Accepted: 4 August 2015 / Published: 14 August 2015
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Abstract
In room–corridor building geometry, the corridor smoke temperature is of great importance to fire protection engineering as indoor fires occur. Theoretical analysis and a set of reduced-scale model experiments were performed, and a virtual fire model was proposed, to investigate the correlations between
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In room–corridor building geometry, the corridor smoke temperature is of great importance to fire protection engineering as indoor fires occur. Theoretical analysis and a set of reduced-scale model experiments were performed, and a virtual fire model was proposed, to investigate the correlations between the maximum smoke temperature in corridors and the smoke temperature in rooms. The results show that the dimensionless virtual fire heat release rate (HRR) is characterized by quadratic-polynomial of the dimensionless smoke temperature in fire rooms. The dimensionless distance from a virtual fire source to the corridor ceiling varies linearly with the dimensionless smoke temperature in a room. Results of multiple regression indicate that, at the impingement area of virtual fire, the dimensionless maximum smoke temperature in corridors is only related to the dimensionless virtual fire HRR; in the non-impingement area of a virtual fire, the dimensionless maximum smoke temperature in corridors is a function of the dimensionless virtual fire HRR and dimensionless longitude distance. The viscosity and conduction exhibit an insignificant impact on the maximum temperature in the corridor. Through replacing the parameters of virtual fire with the dimensionless smoke temperature in fire rooms, the correlations between dimensionless maximum temperature in corridors and the dimensionless smoke temperature in fire rooms were proposed. Full article
Open AccessArticle Sustaining a Korean Traditional Rural Landscape in the Context of Cultural Landscape
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 11213-11239; doi:10.3390/su70811213
Received: 15 May 2015 / Accepted: 12 August 2015 / Published: 14 August 2015
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Abstract
Traditional rural landscapes emerged from the long term interaction of the natural and anthropogenic environment. These landscapes are now threatened by drastic social-ecological changes. Recent international trends on sustaining cultural landscapes place great emphasis on understanding of multiple values, presented in the landscape,
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Traditional rural landscapes emerged from the long term interaction of the natural and anthropogenic environment. These landscapes are now threatened by drastic social-ecological changes. Recent international trends on sustaining cultural landscapes place great emphasis on understanding of multiple values, presented in the landscape, by considering various stakeholder perspectives. It is now recognized that strong community engagement with the landscape should be translated into conservation and management practices. This paper aims to examine the recent conservation activities around endangered traditional rural landscapes in Korea through a case study of Gacheon village. In this village, since 2000, a series of central administrative measures have been implemented to revive the local community, and to conserve its distinctive landscape. By analyzing challenges to the site, by discussing conservation experience and lessons, and by recommending future strategies for sustaining its cultural landscapes, this paper is expected to provide a basis for future policy-making for safeguarding traditional rural landscapes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscape and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Quantitative Decision Making Model for Carbon Reduction in Road Construction Projects Using Green Technologies
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 11240-11259; doi:10.3390/su70811240
Received: 30 May 2015 / Revised: 29 July 2015 / Accepted: 6 August 2015 / Published: 17 August 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (820 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Numerous countries have established policies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and have suggested goals pertaining to these reductions. To reach the target reduction amounts, studies on the reduction of carbon emissions have been conducted with regard to all stages and processes in construction
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Numerous countries have established policies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and have suggested goals pertaining to these reductions. To reach the target reduction amounts, studies on the reduction of carbon emissions have been conducted with regard to all stages and processes in construction projects. According to a study on carbon emissions, the carbon emissions generated during the construction stage of road projects account for approximately 76 to 86% of the total carbon emissions, far exceeding the other stages, such as maintenance or demolition. Therefore, this study aims to develop a quantitative decision making model that supports the application of green technologies (GTs) to reduce carbon emissions during the construction stage of road construction projects. First, the authors selected environmental soundness, economic feasibility and constructability as the key assessment indices for evaluating 20 GTs. Second, a fuzzy set/qualitative comparative analysis (FS/QCA) was used to establish an objective decision-making model for the assessment of both the quantitative and qualitative characteristics of the key indices. To support the developed model, an expert survey was performed to assess the applicability of each GT from a practical perspective, which was verified with a case study using two additional GTs. The proposed model is expected to support practitioners in the application of suitable GTs to road projects and reduce carbon emissions, resulting in better decision making during road construction projects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon reduction strategies and methods in transportation)
Open AccessArticle The Water Footprint of Data Centers
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 11260-11284; doi:10.3390/su70811260
Received: 16 June 2015 / Revised: 5 August 2015 / Accepted: 12 August 2015 / Published: 18 August 2015
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Abstract
The internet and associated Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) are diffusing at an astounding pace. As data centers (DCs) proliferate to accommodate this rising demand, their environmental impacts grow too. While the energy efficiency of DCs has been researched extensively, their water footprint
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The internet and associated Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) are diffusing at an astounding pace. As data centers (DCs) proliferate to accommodate this rising demand, their environmental impacts grow too. While the energy efficiency of DCs has been researched extensively, their water footprint (WF) has so far received little to no attention. This article conducts a preliminary WF accounting for cooling and energy consumption in DCs. The WF of DCs is estimated to be between 1047 and 151,061 m3/TJ. Outbound DC data traffic generates a WF of 1–205 liters per gigabyte (roughly equal to the WF of 1 kg of tomatos at the higher end). It is found that, typically, energy consumption constitues by far the greatest share of DC WF, but the level of uncertainty associated with the WF of different energy sources used by DCs makes a comprehensive assessment of DCs’ water use efficiency very challenging. Much better understanding of DC WF is urgently needed if a meaningful evaluation of this rapidly spreading service technology is to be gleaned and response measures are to be put into effect. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Footprints and Sustainable Water Allocation)
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Open AccessArticle The Environmental Sustainability of Nations: Benchmarking the Carbon, Water and Land Footprints against Allocated Planetary Boundaries
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 11285-11305; doi:10.3390/su70811285
Received: 18 May 2015 / Revised: 10 August 2015 / Accepted: 12 August 2015 / Published: 19 August 2015
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (1699 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Growing scientific evidence for the indispensable role of environmental sustainability in sustainable development calls for appropriate frameworks and indicators for environmental sustainability assessment (ESA). In this paper, we operationalize and update the footprint-boundary ESA framework, with a particular focus on its methodological and
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Growing scientific evidence for the indispensable role of environmental sustainability in sustainable development calls for appropriate frameworks and indicators for environmental sustainability assessment (ESA). In this paper, we operationalize and update the footprint-boundary ESA framework, with a particular focus on its methodological and application extensions to the national level. By using the latest datasets available, the planetary boundaries for carbon emissions, water use and land use are allocated to 28 selected countries in comparison to the corresponding environmental footprints. The environmental sustainability ratio (ESR)—an internationally comparable indicator representing the sustainability gap between contemporary anthropogenic interference and critical capacity thresholds—allows one to map the reserve or transgression of the nation-specific environmental boundaries. While the geographical distribution of the three ESRs varies across nations, in general, the worldwide unsustainability of carbon emissions is largely driven by economic development, while resource endowments play a more central role in explaining national performance on water and land use. The main value added of this paper is to provide concrete evidence of the usefulness of the proposed framework in allocating overall responsibility for environmental sustainability to sub-global scales and in informing policy makers about the need to prevent the planet’s environment from tipping into an undesirable state. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Footprints and Sustainable Water Allocation)
Open AccessArticle Planning the Green Walkable City: Conceptualizing Values and Conflicts for Urban Green Space Strategies in Stockholm
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 11306-11320; doi:10.3390/su70811306
Received: 24 June 2015 / Revised: 6 August 2015 / Accepted: 7 August 2015 / Published: 19 August 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (683 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Urban green spaces are essential elements of cities, contributing to the quality of life in numerous ways. However, densification strategies create a complex relationship between urban development and the quality, as well as the quantity, of urban green space. This paper examines the
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Urban green spaces are essential elements of cities, contributing to the quality of life in numerous ways. However, densification strategies create a complex relationship between urban development and the quality, as well as the quantity, of urban green space. This paper examines the Green Walkable City Programme in Stockholm, a document developed to supplement the comprehensive plan as a strategic backbone for green urban planning. Based on interviews and content analysis, this paper identifies and discusses concerns raised in the development of the planning programme, and addresses the importance of urban green space for citizens’ well-being. The new comprehensive plan has introduced a shift in the attitude towards the urban green space in Stockholm. The need for urban growth is used to justify development of green fields, and a focus on the quality, rather than the quantity, of urban green space is promoted. Despite this progress, the public requests definitions for this quality approach and fears that nature within the city will be “parkified”. Therefore, this paper offers a critical reflection on the role of the Green Walkable City Programme, its situation within the context of Swedish green urban planning, and various areas of concern that have been highlighted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Open AccessArticle Seeing GMOs from a Systems Perspective: The Need for Comparative Cartographies of Agri/Cultures for Sustainability Assessment
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 11321-11344; doi:10.3390/su70811321
Received: 24 July 2015 / Revised: 7 August 2015 / Accepted: 10 August 2015 / Published: 20 August 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2283 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Over the past twenty years, agricultural biotechnologies have generated chronically unresolved political controversies. The standard tool of risk assessment has proven to be highly limited in its ability to address the panoply of concerns that exist about these hybrid techno/organisms. It has also
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Over the past twenty years, agricultural biotechnologies have generated chronically unresolved political controversies. The standard tool of risk assessment has proven to be highly limited in its ability to address the panoply of concerns that exist about these hybrid techno/organisms. It has also failed to account for both the conceptual and material networks of relations agricultural biotechnologies require, create and/or perform. This paper takes as a starting point that agricultural biotechnologies cannot be usefully assessed as isolated technological entities but need to be evaluated within the context of the broader socio-ecological system that they embody and engender. The paper then explores, compares and contrasts some of the methodological tools available for advancing this systems-based perspective. The article concludes by outlining a new synthesis approach of comparative cartographies of agri/cultures generated through multi-sited ethnographic case-studies, which is proposed as a way to generate system maps and enable the comparison of genetically modified (GM) food with both conventional and alternative agri-food networks for sustainability assessment. The paper aims to make a unique theoretical and methodological contribution by advancing a systems-based approach to conceptualising and assessing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and proposing a synthesised methodology for mapping networks of relations across different agri/cultures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
Open AccessArticle Antecedents of Behavioral Intention to Use Mobile Telecommunication Services: Effects of Corporate Social Responsibility and Technology Acceptance
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 11345-11359; doi:10.3390/su70811345
Received: 20 July 2015 / Revised: 10 August 2015 / Accepted: 14 August 2015 / Published: 20 August 2015
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (963 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The concepts of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and user experience have been identified as core determinants of the success of service providers. Accordingly, practitioners and researchers have investigated the effects of service providers’ CSR and user experience on behavioral intention to use a
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The concepts of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and user experience have been identified as core determinants of the success of service providers. Accordingly, practitioners and researchers have investigated the effects of service providers’ CSR and user experience on behavioral intention to use a particular service. Based on the importance of these concepts, the current study integrates subjective dimensions of CSR with the technology acceptance model (TAM) to explore whether the CSR efforts of mobile telecommunication services providers and the service acceptance of their customers have significant effects on behavioral intention to use a service. We apply structural equation modeling and find that two factors from the TAM (i.e., usefulness and ease of use) as well as economic, social, and environmental responsibility are significantly related to customer attitude and satisfaction. Moreover, our results show that there are significantly positive relationships between customer attitude and behavioral intention to use a service, as well as between customer satisfaction and intention. Practical and theoretical implications along with notable limitations of the current study are presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)

Review

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Open AccessReview Participatory Environmental Valuation: A Comparative Analysis of Four Case Studies
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 9823-9845; doi:10.3390/su7089823
Received: 28 February 2015 / Revised: 16 July 2015 / Accepted: 20 July 2015 / Published: 23 July 2015
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Abstract
The valuation of multiple ecosystem services requires the design of valuation processes able to integrate different dimensions of value and to cope with complexity. Following the “value-articulating institution” framework, we note that three core problems arise: the cognitive, normative and composition problems. Combining
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The valuation of multiple ecosystem services requires the design of valuation processes able to integrate different dimensions of value and to cope with complexity. Following the “value-articulating institution” framework, we note that three core problems arise: the cognitive, normative and composition problems. Combining valuation methods, such as contingent valuation and multicriteria analysis, with participatory and deliberative techniques is increasingly promoted as a means to address those fundamental problems. However, the quality and legitimacy of the valuation process then becomes dependent on how participation is framed. We note that numerous issues need to be taken into account, such as the roles assumed by participants, the differences in contribution among participants, the level of participatory impact and the level of democratization of the decision-making process. This paper proposes a detailed qualitative analysis of four case studies, each of them having implemented a specific valuation method in a participatory process. We analyze how those cases were handled in each of the dimensions considered and offer our conclusions about the added values and remaining challenges related to participatory environmental valuation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosystem Services and Institutional Dynamics)
Open AccessReview Using Web 2.0 and Social Media Technologies to Foster Proenvironmental Action
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10620-10648; doi:10.3390/su70810620
Received: 12 June 2015 / Revised: 31 July 2015 / Accepted: 3 August 2015 / Published: 7 August 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (954 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Research from a variety of disciplines suggests that online technologies (i.e., Web 2.0 and social media) have considerable potential for spurring proenvironmental action; however, relatively little work examines how to effectively capitalize on these communication and organization tools. This review paper
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Research from a variety of disciplines suggests that online technologies (i.e., Web 2.0 and social media) have considerable potential for spurring proenvironmental action; however, relatively little work examines how to effectively capitalize on these communication and organization tools. This review paper describes the Technologies for Proenvironmental Action Model (TPAM), a conceptual framework that explicates how different functions of Web 2.0 and social media (i.e., informational, relational, and experiential) can generate and/or facilitate personal, social, and contextual pathways to environmentally responsible behaviors. As derived from the TPAM, the likelihood of achieving practical goals of increasing proenvironmental behaviors is enhanced when technological functions are matched to the different pathways to proenvironmental action. For example, the relational function of technologies, as exemplified by Social Networking Sites (SNSs), should be particularly effective in communicating social norms supportive of environmentally responsible behaviors. The TPAM is intended as a guide to develop novel approaches, research questions, and methodologies in leveraging Web 2.0 and social media technologies to promote proenvironmental action. Results will contribute to basic theory development and work in applied settings (e.g., local environmental organizations) in order to effectively communicate and organize with different segments of the population to increase sustainable behaviors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Education and Approaches)
Open AccessReview Review of Display Technologies Focusing on Power Consumption
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10854-10875; doi:10.3390/su70810854
Received: 16 June 2015 / Revised: 31 July 2015 / Accepted: 4 August 2015 / Published: 11 August 2015
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (1542 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper provides an overview of the main manufacturing technologies of displays, focusing on those with low and ultra-low levels of power consumption, which make them suitable for current societal needs. Considering the typified value obtained from the manufacturer’s specifications, four technologies—Liquid Crystal
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This paper provides an overview of the main manufacturing technologies of displays, focusing on those with low and ultra-low levels of power consumption, which make them suitable for current societal needs. Considering the typified value obtained from the manufacturer’s specifications, four technologies—Liquid Crystal Displays, electronic paper, Organic Light-Emitting Display and Electroluminescent Displays—were selected in a first iteration. For each of them, several features, including size and brightness, were assessed in order to ascertain possible proportional relationships with the rate of consumption. To normalize the comparison between different display types, relative units such as the surface power density and the display frontal intensity efficiency were proposed. Organic light-emitting display had the best results in terms of power density for small display sizes. For larger sizes, it performs less satisfactorily than Liquid Crystal Displays in terms of energy efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
Figures

Open AccessReview Making Nature Valuable, Not Profitable: Are Payments for Ecosystem Services Suitable for Degrowth?
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10895-10921; doi:10.3390/su70810895
Received: 20 June 2015 / Accepted: 4 August 2015 / Published: 11 August 2015
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Abstract
The growth economy imposes multiple crises on humanity and the natural world. To challenge this economic growth imperative, the degrowth movement emerges as a dissident response. Although within an economic growth perspective, payments for ecosystem services (PES) have also been proposed to attenuate
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The growth economy imposes multiple crises on humanity and the natural world. To challenge this economic growth imperative, the degrowth movement emerges as a dissident response. Although within an economic growth perspective, payments for ecosystem services (PES) have also been proposed to attenuate the negative impacts of capitalism, as a redistributive mechanism that is claimed to deliver equitable conservation and sustainability. Degrowth has notably similar concerns, although it is inclined to argue against PES traditional ideologies and practices, which lead conservation to perceive nature within economic growth and market ideologies, diminishing the relationship between humans and nature. In spite of that, PES are becoming a strong trend in environmental governance. This paper attempts to examine whether PES are, and how they could be suitable for degrowth, through the lens of its main sources. In order to integrate PES and degrowth, it could require a PES reconceptualization. Although we assert that PES are not the most appropriate instrument for conservation, we argue that maybe PES could contribute to degrowth as a transition instrument toward fostering better practices. However, it is important to elucidate how they can be used and under which circumstances they could be appropriate. Full article

Other

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Open AccessDiscussion Sustainability of Rural Nonprofit Organizations: Czech Republic and Beyond
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 9890-9906; doi:10.3390/su7089890
Received: 21 April 2015 / Revised: 16 July 2015 / Accepted: 17 July 2015 / Published: 23 July 2015
Cited by 18 | PDF Full-text (701 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainability of nonprofit organizations is a key concern for today’s nonprofit scholars and practitioners. Building upon the nonprofit economics literature, the present paper introduces the distinction between the demand-side and supply-side determinants of nonprofit sustainability and makes the case for the discrepancy between
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Sustainability of nonprofit organizations is a key concern for today’s nonprofit scholars and practitioners. Building upon the nonprofit economics literature, the present paper introduces the distinction between the demand-side and supply-side determinants of nonprofit sustainability and makes the case for the discrepancy between them. This discrepancy presents not only a generic conceptual explanation of the nonprofit sustainability problems but is also applicable to the context of the European rural nonprofit sector. Three arguments are advanced. First, the notorious implementation problems of LEADER partnerships can be explained as a manifestation of the above discrepancy. Second, and related, the rural context implies the tendency of the supply-side determinants of nonprofit sustainability to undermine the demand-side ones. Third, recent empirical findings from the Czech Republic show that this tendency does not necessarily imply the possibility of a clear classification of the demand-side and supply-side sustainability determinants. Rather, those features of rural areas and communities that significantly affect the size of the local nonprofit sector exhibit a controversial entanglement of demand-side and supply-side identities. Full article
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