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Sustainability, Volume 8, Issue 11 (November 2016)

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Open AccessArticle Implementation of Circular Economy Business Models by Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs): Barriers and Enablers
Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1212; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8111212
Received: 25 July 2016 / Revised: 7 November 2016 / Accepted: 9 November 2016 / Published: 23 November 2016
Cited by 22 | PDF Full-text (1634 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are increasingly aware of the benefits of closing loops and improving resource efficiency, such as saving material costs, creating competitive advantages, and accessing new markets. At the same time, however, various barriers pose challenges to small businesses in
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Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are increasingly aware of the benefits of closing loops and improving resource efficiency, such as saving material costs, creating competitive advantages, and accessing new markets. At the same time, however, various barriers pose challenges to small businesses in their transition to a circular economy, namely a lack of financial resources and lack of technical skills. The aim of this paper is to increase knowledge and understanding about the barriers and enablers experienced by SMEs when implementing circular economy business models. Looking first at the barriers that prevent SMEs from realising the benefits of the circular economy, an investigation is carried out in the form of a literature review and an analysis of a sample of SME case studies that are featured on the GreenEcoNet EU-funded web platform. Several enabling factors that help SMEs adopt circular economy practices are then identified. The paper concludes that although various policy instruments are available to help SMEs incorporate circular economy principles into their business models, several barriers remain. The authors recommend that European and national policies strengthen their focus on greening consumer preferences, market value chains and company cultures, and support the recognition of SMEs’ green business models. This can be achieved through the creation of dedicated marketplaces and communities of practice, for example. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Technology-Based New Service Idea Generation for Smart Spaces: Application of 5G Mobile Communication Technology
Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1211; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8111211
Received: 16 August 2016 / Revised: 3 November 2016 / Accepted: 17 November 2016 / Published: 23 November 2016
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Abstract
Innovative technology has made it possible to dramatically change the social and economic environment. In particular, 5G mobile communication technology that radically improves the performance of current technology can renew urban infrastructure, public services, and citizens’ lives for the implementation of smart spaces.
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Innovative technology has made it possible to dramatically change the social and economic environment. In particular, 5G mobile communication technology that radically improves the performance of current technology can renew urban infrastructure, public services, and citizens’ lives for the implementation of smart spaces. Although new services need to be generated by such innovative technology, existing technology-based approaches have mostly relied on the intuition of experts rather than a systematic approach. Thus, this paper aims to present a method and process by which technology-based new ideas using 5G mobile communication technology are generated to realize a connected environment by focusing on technological functions as well as customer value. First, the relationships among technology, value, and service are defined through morphology analysis. Second, service opportunities are identified by developing a transformed buyer-utility map in the smart space environment. After mapping the established services, candidate cells for a new service were identified as vacant cells in the map with the removal of technically unnecessary candidates based upon the pre-defined relationship. Third, a new service idea is generated by modifying/extending candidates concretely through an ERRC (Eliminate, Reduce, Raise, Create) framework. Value factors are determined in advance and shown in the As-Is value curve representing the current status. The current level in the curve is then compared at an industrial level and value factors are chosen to newly modify or create. As a result, the To-Be curve is established and leads to a new service idea. It can be regarded as a useful tool for mobile carriers to plan new business models for smart spaces with adequate technology and market feasibility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle A Spatial Analytic Hierarchy Process for Identification of Water Pollution with GIS Software in an Eco-Economy Environment
Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1208; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8111208
Received: 13 September 2016 / Revised: 22 October 2016 / Accepted: 10 November 2016 / Published: 23 November 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (14327 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Water pollution has become a global problem and its impact on the health of the human population is growing day by day. This study aims to assess the pollution of the Cibin River (Romania) by a physicochemical analysis. Water samples have been collected
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Water pollution has become a global problem and its impact on the health of the human population is growing day by day. This study aims to assess the pollution of the Cibin River (Romania) by a physicochemical analysis. Water samples have been collected from four locations along the Cibin River over a period of 12 months. At this time, there are several commonly used Multiple-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) methods for the assessing the impact of pollutants on the environment. In this research, we used the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) multi-criteria method to evaluate each sampling station’s physicochemical parameters. The significant results place the river in the first (sampling stations 1, 2 and 3) and second (sampling stations 4) water quality classes. Another significant result of this work is that the research using GIS software allowed an integrated automatic data collection system and displays interactive results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resilience to Natural and Man-Made Disasters)
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Open AccessArticle A Cost Analysis of Food Waste Composting in Taiwan
Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1210; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8111210
Received: 21 July 2016 / Revised: 3 November 2016 / Accepted: 14 November 2016 / Published: 22 November 2016
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (606 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Taiwan’s Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) has enacted a food waste recycling policy since 2003 as an alternative of landfill and incineration for the final disposal of municipal solid waste. Recycled food waste is currently seen as a valuable material, especially when appropriate technology
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Taiwan’s Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) has enacted a food waste recycling policy since 2003 as an alternative of landfill and incineration for the final disposal of municipal solid waste. Recycled food waste is currently seen as a valuable material, especially when appropriate technology is developed. This paper conducts a cost/benefit analysis based on six cases of food waste composting plants in Taiwan, finding that (1) the composting of food waste may yield the most net benefit compared to other applications of today; (2) the production cost of compost ranges from NT$ 2897–23,117/tonne; (3) the adoption of more automatic technology may reduce operation costs and, thus, a closed composting system with mechanical aeration may be more cost effective; (4) the output is a determinant of affecting production costs and private firms are more competitive in production costs than government-affiliated composting units; (5) all of the government-affiliated composting units face a negative profit and thus they are required to make use of the market value of the produced compost to achieve economic viability; and (6) a subsidy to the compost producer is needed to expand the market demand as the food waste recycled can save the disposal cost of municipal solid waste (MSW) incineration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Food Waste Management and Utilization)
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Open AccessArticle Spatiotemporal Dynamics and Drivers of Farmland Changes in Panxi Mountainous Region, China
Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1209; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8111209
Received: 26 September 2016 / Revised: 13 November 2016 / Accepted: 15 November 2016 / Published: 22 November 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (8631 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Due to the multiple impacts of landform effects, spatial heterogeneity and land use policies, farmland dynamics in mountainous areas are complicated. This study investigated farmland dynamics based on land use data from a typical mountainous area, Panxi, in China for 1990, 2000 and
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Due to the multiple impacts of landform effects, spatial heterogeneity and land use policies, farmland dynamics in mountainous areas are complicated. This study investigated farmland dynamics based on land use data from a typical mountainous area, Panxi, in China for 1990, 2000 and 2010, discussed the relationship between altitude, slope and farmland changes and presented an analysis of the driving forces of farmland change. Our findings are as follows: (1) from 1990 to 2010, the area of converted farmland was relatively small (313 km2), accounting for only 2.6% of the region’s farmland. Farmland was mainly converted to forest and grassland as a result of the Returning Farmland to Forest Program; (2) The spatial distribution of land use types differed significantly. The presence of water bodies influenced farmland and built-up land, while forest and grassland showed “landform-oriented” characteristics. Built-up land was especially variable in distribution, indicating that it was more vulnerable to human activities; (3) The vertical differentiation of farmland changes was obvious. At altitudes <2500 m, the data displayed a trend of conversion from forest to farmland, while at >2500 m, this trend reversed. Thus, 2500 m serves as an altitudinal boundary between farmland and forest in Panxi. The largest area of forest-farmland transfer occurred on slopes steeper than 15°, not 25°, as defined by China’s policy of Returning Farmland to Forest; (4) The driving forces of farmland changes varied. Decreases in farmland were negatively correlated with proximity to rivers and roads. Increases in farmland were positively related to temperature and negatively related to both population density and altitude. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Capturing Agroecosystem Vulnerability and Resilience
Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1206; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8111206
Received: 25 October 2016 / Revised: 14 November 2016 / Accepted: 16 November 2016 / Published: 22 November 2016
PDF Full-text (777 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Vulnerability and resilience are two crucial attributes of social-ecological systems that are used for analyzing the response to disturbances. We assess these properties in relation to agroecosystem buffer capacity and adaptive capacity, which depend on the ‘window of opportunities’ of possible changes in
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Vulnerability and resilience are two crucial attributes of social-ecological systems that are used for analyzing the response to disturbances. We assess these properties in relation to agroecosystem buffer capacity and adaptive capacity, which depend on the ‘window of opportunities’ of possible changes in terms of selected performance indicators, i.e., the solution space. The vulnerability of the system was quantified as the distance of performance indicators between original and disturbed systems. The buffer capacity was derived from the size of the solution space that could be obtained after reconfiguration of farm components (crops, animals, fertilizers, etc.) that were present on the original farm, whereas the assessment of adaptive capacity was derived in a similar way, but after allowing innovation by introducing new components to the farm. To illustrate the approach, we applied these concepts to two dairy farms in Northwest Michoacán, Mexico. After a disturbance resulting in a fodder maize yield decline, both economic profitability and soil organic matter inputs were reduced. The scope for recovery was different between the farms, but the projected improvements in profitability and organic matter inputs would require considerable changes in the farm configurations, and thus flexibility in farm management. High resilience requires a farmer with the managerial ability to make the required changes to move through the proposed solution space. The approach we present here offers a generic quantitative assessment of vulnerability and resilience concepts, based on a combined assessment of the social and ecological dimensions of agroecosystems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle Introduction of Behavioral Parameterization in the EPC Calculation Method and Assessment of Five Typical Urban Houses in Wallonia, Belgium
Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1205; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8111205
Received: 31 August 2016 / Revised: 3 November 2016 / Accepted: 7 November 2016 / Published: 22 November 2016
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Abstract
The Energy Performance Certification (EPC) of existing residential buildings has been designed to introduce energy efficiency as a comparative criterion for real-estate purchase choices, which should influence real-estate market value and stimulate energy saving investments. EPCs in Belgium are asset ratings, calculated with
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The Energy Performance Certification (EPC) of existing residential buildings has been designed to introduce energy efficiency as a comparative criterion for real-estate purchase choices, which should influence real-estate market value and stimulate energy saving investments. EPCs in Belgium are asset ratings, calculated with a standardized approach, which purposefully (and understandably) takes the human factor out of the equations in order to allow the comparison of buildings. As a result, they often overestimate energy consumption and present discrepancies that do not allow appropriation of the results by potential buyers. This study proposes complementary EPC results, obtained by integrating the behavior of occupants in the calculation method. This paper first analyses the pool of behavioral uncertainties that influence the results of EPCs, describes a questionnaire built to gather additional data on households’ characteristics and energy consumption habits and proposes modifications to the calculation method. The complementary results are then compared to regulatory EPC results and real consumption data. Though acknowledging the necessity of a standardized EPC for dwellings’ comparison, this study completes it with data on the energy consumption-related behaviors to (partially) close the gap between real and theoretical consumptions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Airline Sustainability Modeling: A New Framework with Application of Bayesian Structural Equation Modeling
Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1204; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8111204
Received: 20 July 2016 / Revised: 11 November 2016 / Accepted: 13 November 2016 / Published: 22 November 2016
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Abstract
There are many factors which could influence the sustainability of airlines. The main purpose of this study is to introduce a framework for a financial sustainability index and model it based on structural equation modeling (SEM) with maximum likelihood and Bayesian predictors. The
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There are many factors which could influence the sustainability of airlines. The main purpose of this study is to introduce a framework for a financial sustainability index and model it based on structural equation modeling (SEM) with maximum likelihood and Bayesian predictors. The introduced framework includes economic performance, operational performance, cost performance, and financial performance. Based on both Bayesian SEM (Bayesian-SEM) and Classical SEM (Classical-SEM), it was found that economic performance with both operational performance and cost performance are significantly related to the financial performance index. The four mathematical indices employed are root mean square error, coefficient of determination, mean absolute error, and mean absolute percentage error to compare the efficiency of Bayesian-SEM and Classical-SEM in predicting the airline financial performance. The outputs confirmed that the framework with Bayesian prediction delivered a good fit with the data, although the framework predicted with a Classical-SEM approach did not prepare a well-fitting model. The reasons for this discrepancy between Classical and Bayesian predictions, as well as the potential advantages and caveats with the application of Bayesian approach in airline sustainability studies, are debated. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Sustainability and Convergence: The Future of Corporate Governance Systems?
Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1203; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8111203
Received: 8 September 2016 / Revised: 25 October 2016 / Accepted: 11 November 2016 / Published: 22 November 2016
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (285 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In today’s world, a sustainable approach to corporate governance can be a source of competitive advantage and a long-term success factor for any firm. Sustainable governance requires that the board of directors considers economic, social and environmental expectations in an integrated way, no
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In today’s world, a sustainable approach to corporate governance can be a source of competitive advantage and a long-term success factor for any firm. Sustainable governance requires that the board of directors considers economic, social and environmental expectations in an integrated way, no matter what ownership structure and formal rules of corporate governance apply to the company: this mitigates the traditional differences between insider and outsider systems of corporate governance. Previous studies failed to consider the contribution of sustainability in the process of corporate governance convergence. Therefore, the aim of this article is to fill the gap in the existing literature by means of a qualitative analysis, supporting the international debate about convergence of corporate governance systems. The article describes the evolution of outsider and insider systems in the light of the increasing importance of sustainability in the board’s decision-making and firm’s operation to satisfy the needs of all the company’s stakeholders. According to this, a qualitative content analysis developed with a directed approach completes the theoretical discussion, demonstrating that sustainability can bring de facto convergence between outsider and insider corporate governance systems. The article aims to be a theoretical starting point for future research, the findings of which could also have practical implications: the study encourages the policy makers to translate the sustainable business best practices into laws and recommendations, strengthening the mutual influence between formal and substantial convergence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle The Impact of Different Weather Files on London Detached Residential Building Performance—Deterministic, Uncertainty, and Sensitivity Analysis on CIBSE TM48 and CIBSE TM49 Future Weather Variables Using CIBSE TM52 as Overheating Criteria
Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1194; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8111194
Received: 18 August 2016 / Revised: 30 September 2016 / Accepted: 8 October 2016 / Published: 22 November 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2619 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Though uncertainties of input variables may have significant implications on building simulations, they are quite often not identified, quantified, or included in building simulations results. This paper considers climatic deterministic, uncertainty, and sensitivity analysis through a series of simulations using the CIBSE UKCIP02
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Though uncertainties of input variables may have significant implications on building simulations, they are quite often not identified, quantified, or included in building simulations results. This paper considers climatic deterministic, uncertainty, and sensitivity analysis through a series of simulations using the CIBSE UKCIP02 future weather years, CIBSE TM48 for design summer years (DSYs), and the latest CIBSE TM49 DSY future weather data which incorporates the UKCP09 projections to evaluate the variance and the impact of differing London future weather files on indoor operative temperature of a detached dwelling in the United Kingdom using the CIBSE TM52 overheating criteria. The work analyses the variability of comparable weather data set to identify the most influential weather parameters that contribute to thermal comfort implications for these dwellings. The choice of these weather files is to ascertain their differences, as their development is underpinned by different climatic projections. The overall pattern of the variability of the UKCIP02 and UKCP09 Heathrow weather data sets under Monte Carlo sensitivity consideration do not seem to be very different from each other. The deterministic results show that the operative temperatures of the UKCIP02 are slightly higher than those of UKCP09, with the UKCP09 having a narrow range of operative temperatures. The Monte Carlo sensitivity analysis quantified and affirmed the dry bulb and radiant temperatures as the most influential weather parameters that affect thermal comfort on dwellings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Assessments of Buildings) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle Mapping Dynamic Urban Land Use Patterns with Crowdsourced Geo-Tagged Social Media (Sina-Weibo) and Commercial Points of Interest Collections in Beijing, China
Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1202; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8111202
Received: 29 August 2016 / Revised: 1 November 2016 / Accepted: 15 November 2016 / Published: 21 November 2016
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (5539 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In fast-growing cities, especially large cities in developing countries, land use types are changing rapidly, and different types of land use are mixed together. It is difficult to assess the land use types in these fast-growing cities in a timely and accurate way.
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In fast-growing cities, especially large cities in developing countries, land use types are changing rapidly, and different types of land use are mixed together. It is difficult to assess the land use types in these fast-growing cities in a timely and accurate way. To address this problem, this paper presents a multi-source data mining approach to study dynamic urban land use patterns. Spatiotemporal social media data reveal human activity patterns in different areas, social media text data reflects the topics discussed in different areas, and Points of Interest (POI) reflect the distribution of urban facilities in different regions. Human activity patterns, topics of discussion on social media, and the distribution of urban facilities in different regions were combined and analyzed to infer urban land use patterns. We collected 9.5 million geo-tagged Chinese social media (Sina-Weibo) messages from January 2014 to July 2014 in the urban core areas of Beijing and compared them with 385,792 commercial Points of Interest (POI) from Datatang (a Chinese digital data content provider). To estimate urban land use types and patterns in Beijing, a regular grid of 400 m × 400 m was created to divide the urban core areas into 18,492 cells. By analyzing the temporal frequency trends of social media messages within each cell using K-means clustering algorithm, we identified seven types of land use clusters in Beijing: residential areas, university dormitories, commercial areas, work areas, transportation hubs, and two types of mixed land use areas. Text mining, word clouds, and the distribution analysis of POI were used to verify the estimated land use types successfully. This study can help urban planners create up-to-date land use patterns in an economic way and help us better understand dynamic human activity patterns in a city. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle The Optimization of Distributed Photovoltaic Comprehensive Efficiency Based on the Construction of Regional Integrated Energy Management System in China
Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1201; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8111201
Received: 9 August 2016 / Revised: 8 November 2016 / Accepted: 15 November 2016 / Published: 20 November 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1503 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the context of energy crisis, environmental pollution, and energy abandoning in the large-scale centralized clean energy generation, distributed energy has become an inevitable trend in the development of China’s energy system. Distributed photovoltaic boasts great potential for development in China due to
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In the context of energy crisis, environmental pollution, and energy abandoning in the large-scale centralized clean energy generation, distributed energy has become an inevitable trend in the development of China’s energy system. Distributed photovoltaic boasts great potential for development in China due to resource advantages and policy support. However, we need improve the efficiency of photovoltaic generation, which is restricted by technology and dislocation of supply and demand. With a view to optimizing the efficiency of distributed photovoltaic, based on the concept of comprehensive efficiency, this paper discusses the influencing factors and chooses the optimization direction according to system dynamics (SD). The optimizing content is further clarified on the basis of energy management system. From the perspective of technology, this paper puts forward optimization methods from resource side, energy conversion and demand side, and the simulation results of applying the three methods verify the feasibility of the method. Comprehensive efficiency would be improved as the result of regional integrated energy management system and policy mechanisms. The conclusions of this paper will provide theoretical basis and optimized reference for the improvement of distributed photovoltaic comprehensive utilization in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solar Photovoltaic Electricity)
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Open AccessReview Exploring the Direction on the Environmental and Business Performance Relationship at the Firm Level. Lessons from a Literature Review
Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1200; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8111200
Received: 4 October 2016 / Revised: 10 November 2016 / Accepted: 16 November 2016 / Published: 19 November 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (440 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The interest of scientists and companies in understanding the business implications of environmental investment is timely; however, a dilemma remains at the firm level: is the environment a “strategic competitive factor”, as in the “Porter point of view”, or is it a “luxury
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The interest of scientists and companies in understanding the business implications of environmental investment is timely; however, a dilemma remains at the firm level: is the environment a “strategic competitive factor”, as in the “Porter point of view”, or is it a “luxury good”, as in the “Wagner point of view”? Our research contributes to this debate through a review of the papers published in scientific journals between 2000 and 2015 that discussed the direction of the relationship between the environmental and business performances of enterprises. The objectives of the research are: (a) to verify if there is an agreement in the scientific literature of the last 15 years about the “Porter–Wagner dilemma” when focusing at the firm level; (b) to underline the prevalent cause and effect directions of the relationship between environmental and business performance; and (c) to investigate the reasons for any disagreements in this topic among the scientists. The results show that the main agreement regards the positive bi-directional relationship, as a virtuous cyclic approach with mutual effects between business and environmental performance; nevertheless, more complex hypotheses emerge, such as nonlinear and/or conditional relationship, that need to be further explored. On the other hand, the Porter–Wagner dilemma remains, and the main reason for the non-agreement among scientists can be due to the several non-homogeneous variables considered in the analyses. Thereafter, as lesson for scientists, the priority is to share univocal methods to measure firms’ environmental and business performances. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurial Sustainability: New Innovative Knowledge)
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Open AccessArticle Emerging Development Pathways of Urban Livestock Production in Rapidly Growing West Africa Cities
Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1199; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8111199
Received: 1 September 2016 / Revised: 15 November 2016 / Accepted: 16 November 2016 / Published: 19 November 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1178 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In this study, we try to capture the degree of specialization or integration, and of intensification or extensification, of (peri-) urban livestock production, along with the factors that influence such decisions and their impact on natural resource uses. A total of 181 and
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In this study, we try to capture the degree of specialization or integration, and of intensification or extensification, of (peri-) urban livestock production, along with the factors that influence such decisions and their impact on natural resource uses. A total of 181 and 187 structured questionnaires were completed in livestock-keeping households in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) and Tamale (Ghana). Categorical principal component and two-step cluster analysis were used to identify homogenous groups of livestock-keeping households. Cross tabulation and logistic regression analysis revealed factors that influence livestock husbandry, showing their impacts on resource use by livestock keepers in the two cities. A diversity of livestock species was kept, mostly integrated with crop farming. Yet, some households specialized in either sheep, pig or commercial milk production, and partly intensified their production. The decision to specialize and/or intensify livestock production is site-specific and influenced by the education level of the household head and security of land ownership. Higher inputs in livestock systems do not necessarily lead to higher outputs, and specialization inevitably leads to higher manure wastages. Therefore, links of livestock producers to crop farmers and markets for livestock manure must be strengthened to enable recycling of resources and limit negative externalities of specialized livestock production. Strategies need to be identified to improve livestock productivity by enhancing outputs as input use increases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agriculture and Development)
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Open AccessArticle The Ethical City: A Rationale for an Urgent New Urban Agenda
Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1197; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8111197
Received: 12 September 2016 / Revised: 3 November 2016 / Accepted: 10 November 2016 / Published: 19 November 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (222 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The ethical city, in contrast to many other adjectives used to describe our cities, implies an approach to urban development that is about doing the right thing for and by urban citizens. Acknowledging the rich traditions of urban development studies and human ethics,
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The ethical city, in contrast to many other adjectives used to describe our cities, implies an approach to urban development that is about doing the right thing for and by urban citizens. Acknowledging the rich traditions of urban development studies and human ethics, this article draws on examples of existing practices in cities that reflect a principled and ethical approach to leadership, governance, planning, economic development, sustainability and citizen engagement. An increased focus on ethics and justice is central in shaping how we respond effectively to global pressing issues such as climate change while at the same time tackling diverse social and economic problems in our cities including inequality, marginalization and lack of access to opportunities for the most vulnerable. While an ethical city points towards sustainability, resilience, inclusion and shared prosperity, the opposite direction could lead to corruption, poverty and social disaffection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Open AccessArticle Reputation, Game Theory and Entrepreneurial Sustainability
Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1196; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8111196
Received: 7 October 2016 / Revised: 12 November 2016 / Accepted: 15 November 2016 / Published: 19 November 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (597 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Abstract: This manuscript provides a novel approach to reputational management as a driver of entrepreneurial sustainability, using game theory to integrate three dimensions of reputation. First, if the entrepreneur perceives reputation as a risk source, the analysis is framed as a prisoner’s dilemma
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Abstract: This manuscript provides a novel approach to reputational management as a driver of entrepreneurial sustainability, using game theory to integrate three dimensions of reputation. First, if the entrepreneur perceives reputation as a risk source, the analysis is framed as a prisoner’s dilemma schema that is solved by protecting against reputational threats from entrepreneurial sustainability. Second, if the entrepreneur perceives reputation as a competitive advantage, the analysis is framed as an innovator’s dilemma that is solved by getting reputational opportunities from entrepreneurial sustainability. Third, if reputation is perceived as a strategic asset, the analysis is framed as a coordination game schema that results in the development of a reputational intelligence skill that has the potential to become crucial for success in entrepreneurial sustainability. Consequently, this manuscript provides an original multidisciplinary analysis of reputational management by relating well-known theoretical results from game theory to organizational realities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurial Sustainability: New Innovative Knowledge)
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Open AccessArticle Impacts on CO2 Emission Allowance Prices in China: A Quantile Regression Analysis of the Shanghai Emission Trading Scheme
Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1195; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8111195
Received: 19 July 2016 / Revised: 2 November 2016 / Accepted: 11 November 2016 / Published: 18 November 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1037 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
A pilot regional carbon emission trading scheme (ETS) has been implemented in China for more than two years. An investigation into the impacts of different factors on carbon dioxide (CO2) emission allowance prices provides guidance for price-making in 2017 when the
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A pilot regional carbon emission trading scheme (ETS) has been implemented in China for more than two years. An investigation into the impacts of different factors on carbon dioxide (CO2) emission allowance prices provides guidance for price-making in 2017 when the nation-wide ETS of China will be established. This paper adopts a quantile regression approach to estimate the impacts of different factors in Shanghai emission trading scheme (SH-ETS), namely, economic growth, energy prices and temperature. The empirical analysis shows that: (i) the economic growth in Shanghai leads to a drop in the carbon allowance prices; (ii) the oil price has a slightly positive effect on the allowance prices regardless of the ordinary least squares (OLS) or quantile regression method; (iii) a long-run negative relationship exists between the coal price and the Shanghai emission allowances (SHEA) prices, but a positive interaction under different quantiles, especially the 25%–50% quantiles; (iv) temperature has a significantly positive effect at the 20%–30% quantiles and a conspicuous negative impact at the right tail of the allowances prices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Perception of Time, Creative Attitudes, and Adoption of Innovations: A Cross-Cultural Study from Chinese and US College Students
Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1193; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8111193
Received: 31 August 2016 / Revised: 23 October 2016 / Accepted: 9 November 2016 / Published: 18 November 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (418 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study explores how earlier (vs. later) adopters of innovation differ in time perception and creative attitudes, comparing Chinese and US college students. Research on the perception of time and creative attitudes is useful to understand how sustainability and creative collaboration might work
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This study explores how earlier (vs. later) adopters of innovation differ in time perception and creative attitudes, comparing Chinese and US college students. Research on the perception of time and creative attitudes is useful to understand how sustainability and creative collaboration might work together. Various relationships exist between different levels of innovation adoption groups and creative attitudes or perceptions of time. We found that earlier adopters scored higher on economic time and future time orientation. This may indicate that earlier adopters are sensitive about their planned schedule. Also, earlier adopters with a future time orientation are forward-thinking and anticipate the introduction of new styles, items, or events in the future. We also find that Chinese (vs. US) participants scored higher on creative capacity and creative collaboration but did not differ in general creative attitudes or creative risk-taking. For all participants from these two countries, earlier adopters (vs. later) scored higher on all aspects of creative attitudes. This study suggests academic and practical implications regarding sustainability issues. From an academic perspective, this study adds a new perspective to the literature about the relationships among time of adoption, time perception, creative attitudes, and cultural values, and is especially useful for how these four variables influence sustainability. From a practitioner perspective, this study provides information of how consumer values and attitudes in a developing economy (China) and a developed economy (US) might facilitate open innovation and induce sustainability. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Willingness of Farmers to Transform Vacant Rural Residential Land into Cultivated Land in a Major Grain-Producing Area of Central China
Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1192; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8111192
Received: 19 July 2016 / Revised: 11 November 2016 / Accepted: 14 November 2016 / Published: 18 November 2016
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Abstract
A large amount of cultivated lands in China is occupied by vacant residential areas, thereby wasting land resources and placing local food security at risk. Therefore, transforming vacant rural residential land back to its previous form is urgently required to maintain the amount
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A large amount of cultivated lands in China is occupied by vacant residential areas, thereby wasting land resources and placing local food security at risk. Therefore, transforming vacant rural residential land back to its previous form is urgently required to maintain the amount of cultivated land and guarantee food security. We comprehensively analyzed the willingness of farmers to participate in vacant residential land transformation and determine the factors that influence such willingness, including the awareness of farmers about their rural residential environment, their knowledge of residential land-use policies and their awareness of the consequences of such transformation. A detailed survey was conducted amongst 252 farmers owning vacant residential lands in central China. Amongst these farmers, 75, 87 and 90 were entirely, partly and not living on farming, respectively. Only half of these farmers were willing to transform the vacant residential land, whilst those farmers who were partly living on farming were less willing to participate in the transformation than those who were entirely and were not living on farming. The factors that influence the willingness to transform varied across different types of farmers. Farmers who were not and were partly living on farming were significantly affected by their awareness of their rural residential environment, their knowledge of residential land-use policies, the length of residential land vacant time and their household income. Those farmers who were partly living on farming were also influenced by the number of vacant residential plots they possessed. Farmers who were entirely living on farming were significantly affected by their knowledge of the residential land-use policies, the number of vacant residential plots they possessed, their awareness of the consequences of land transformation and their family size. Results indicate that farmers are anxious about vacant residential land loss and that a communication gap is observed between them. Therefore, along with the communication between farmers and the government, the publicity and transparency of the rural residential land-use policies must be improved to eliminate the communication gap, relieve the anxiety of farmers, and increase the willingness to transform their vacant residential lands. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Wind Energy Potential Assessment and Forecasting Research Based on the Data Pre-Processing Technique and Swarm Intelligent Optimization Algorithms
Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1191; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8111191
Received: 8 August 2016 / Revised: 7 October 2016 / Accepted: 29 October 2016 / Published: 18 November 2016
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Abstract
Accurate quantification and characterization of a wind energy potential assessment and forecasting is significant to optimal wind farm design, evaluation and scheduling. However, wind energy potential assessment and forecasting remain difficult and challenging research topics at present. Traditional wind energy assessment and forecasting
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Accurate quantification and characterization of a wind energy potential assessment and forecasting is significant to optimal wind farm design, evaluation and scheduling. However, wind energy potential assessment and forecasting remain difficult and challenging research topics at present. Traditional wind energy assessment and forecasting models usually ignore the problem of data pre-processing as well as parameter optimization, which leads to low accuracy. Therefore, this paper aims to assess the potential of wind energy and forecast the wind speed in four locations in China based on the data pre-processing technique and swarm intelligent optimization algorithms. In the assessment stage, the cuckoo search (CS) algorithm, ant colony (AC) algorithm, firefly algorithm (FA) and genetic algorithm (GA) are used to estimate the two unknown parameters in the Weibull distribution. Then, the wind energy potential assessment results obtained by three data-preprocessing approaches are compared to recognize the best data-preprocessing approach and process the original wind speed time series. While in the forecasting stage, by considering the pre-processed wind speed time series as the original data, the CS and AC optimization algorithms are adopted to optimize three neural networks, namely, the Elman neural network, back propagation neural network, and wavelet neural network. The comparison results demonstrate that the new proposed wind energy assessment and speed forecasting techniques produce promising assessments and predictions and perform better than the single assessment and forecasting components. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Urbanization on Landscape Patterns in a Mountainous Area: A Case Study in the Mentougou District, Beijing, China
Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1190; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8111190
Received: 18 August 2016 / Revised: 2 November 2016 / Accepted: 10 November 2016 / Published: 18 November 2016
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Abstract
We explored the process of urbanization in a mountainous area to seek a sustainable urbanization strategy. Previous urbanization research has mainly focused on flat terrain and coastal areas, and urbanization in mountainous areas remains poorly understood. This study integrated geographic information systems, remote
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We explored the process of urbanization in a mountainous area to seek a sustainable urbanization strategy. Previous urbanization research has mainly focused on flat terrain and coastal areas, and urbanization in mountainous areas remains poorly understood. This study integrated geographic information systems, remote sensing, and statistical analysis to quantify landscape patterns dynamics in response to urbanization, with a case study of Mentougou District in Beijing, China from 1985 to 2014. We found that the total built-up area increased along with the population and economic indicators. The built-up area increased by one-third over the study period, with 73.38% of the increase from converted cropland and 12.22% from converted orchard. The urban expansion area was concentrated in the plain sub-region (<200 m elevation, comprising 68.85% of the expansion area). The landscape patterns varied over this period. For the whole region, the low mountain sub-region and the high mountain sub-region, landscape patterns gradually became more heterogeneous and fragmented, but they showed the opposite trend in the plain sub-region. None of the urbanization indicators (population, economic and built-up land area) were significantly correlated with landscape metrics for the whole region, but they were significantly correlated in the plain sub-region. The impacts of urbanization on landscape patterns were mainly focused on the plain sub-region, and the effects in the low mountain and high mountain sub-regions were weak. Future urban development in mountainous areas should focus on the protection of cropland and local industries as part of a sustainable development strategy for the whole region. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Production of Food and Fiber: An Adaptation of CoP Features for Sustainable Water Use in Agribusiness
Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1189; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8111189
Received: 16 August 2016 / Revised: 3 November 2016 / Accepted: 14 November 2016 / Published: 18 November 2016
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Abstract
Fresh water and arable land are essential for agricultural production and food processing. However, managing conflicting demands over water and land can be challenging for business leaders, environmentalists and other stakeholders. This paper characterizes these challenges as wicked problems. Wicked problems are ill-formed,
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Fresh water and arable land are essential for agricultural production and food processing. However, managing conflicting demands over water and land can be challenging for business leaders, environmentalists and other stakeholders. This paper characterizes these challenges as wicked problems. Wicked problems are ill-formed, fuzzy, and messy, because they involve many clients and decisions makers with conflicting values. They are also not solvable, but rather must be managed. How can agribusiness leaders effectively manage wicked problems, especially if they have little practice in doing so? This paper argues that a Community of Practice (CoP) and its tripartite elements of domain, community and practice can be effective in helping businesses manage wicked problems by focusing on the positive links between environmental stewardship and economic performance. Empirically, the paper examines three agribusinesses to assess the extent in which CoP is used as a strategy for sustainable water management. Full article
Open AccessArticle Exploring Differences in Commuting Behaviour among Various Income Groups during Polycentric Urban Development in China: New Evidence and Its Implications
Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1188; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8111188
Received: 24 August 2016 / Revised: 23 October 2016 / Accepted: 10 November 2016 / Published: 18 November 2016
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Abstract
Income status is an important variable that is strongly associated with certain commuting behaviours of workers. This paper presents new evidence on how polycentric development impacts on workers’ commuting behaviour among various income groups in Beijing, China. This study suggests that three key
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Income status is an important variable that is strongly associated with certain commuting behaviours of workers. This paper presents new evidence on how polycentric development impacts on workers’ commuting behaviour among various income groups in Beijing, China. This study suggests that three key influencing factors—the public transport network, the location of affordable housing projects and the process of employment decentralisation—have played significant roles in affecting workers’ commuting behaviour. The results of regression analysis indicate that subway and bus transport significantly and negatively influenced the commuting times of low- and middle-income workers, but the two transport modes did not have a significant influence on the commuting times of high-income workers. The findings from this research suggest that policies for promoting employment decentralisation during polycentric development have the potential to reduce workers’ commuting times through promoting jobs-housing balance in the sub-centres. The results of this study indicate that a balanced jobs-housing relationship can be achieved through adjustment of affordable housing locations, and this can be effective in shortening low-income workers’ commuting times in the sub-centres of Beijing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle The Impact of High-Speed Rail on Residents’ Travel Behavior and Household Mobility: A Case Study of the Beijing-Shanghai Line, China
Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1187; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8111187
Received: 21 September 2016 / Revised: 31 October 2016 / Accepted: 14 November 2016 / Published: 18 November 2016
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Abstract
With the improvement of China’s high-speed rail network, there have been many economic and social benefits for local residents. Based on a questionnaire conducted in stations on the Beijing-Shanghai line, and through an analysis of high-speed rail passenger travel behavior and family relocation,
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With the improvement of China’s high-speed rail network, there have been many economic and social benefits for local residents. Based on a questionnaire conducted in stations on the Beijing-Shanghai line, and through an analysis of high-speed rail passenger travel behavior and family relocation, we explored the social effects of high-speed rail. The study found that high-speed rail passengers are mainly young, highly educated, and have a middle to high income. However, with the popularization of high-speed rail, such differences in the social stratum of high-speed rail passengers are expected to disappear. Through an analysis of passenger travel status, we found that the areas surrounding high-speed rail stations are very accessible to the main cities, and are well connected by other public transport. With the emergence of the “high mobility era” based on the high-speed rail network, the separation of workplace and residence and the number of “double city” households are increasing, primarily in the Beijing-Tianjin and Shanghai-Nanjing (especially in Suzhou-Kunshan-Shanghai) regions. In addition, high-speed rail introduces the possibility of household mobility, with 22.7% of the respondents in this study having relocated since the Beijing-Shanghai line opened. Household mobility is apparent primarily among big cities, with movement toward nearby cities. We also found that occupation, income, residence time, and schooling of children have a significant impact on households. With the improvement of high-speed rail networks, household mobility will become a common phenomenon and research on domestic mobility will continue to increase. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Valuing Interest Rate Swap Contracts in Uncertain Financial Market
Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1186; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8111186
Received: 12 September 2016 / Revised: 25 October 2016 / Accepted: 3 November 2016 / Published: 18 November 2016
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Abstract
Swap is a financial contract between two counterparties who agree to exchange one cash flow stream for another, according to some predetermined rules. When the cash flows are fixed rate interest and floating rate interest, the swap is called an interest rate swap.
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Swap is a financial contract between two counterparties who agree to exchange one cash flow stream for another, according to some predetermined rules. When the cash flows are fixed rate interest and floating rate interest, the swap is called an interest rate swap. This paper investigates two valuation models of the interest rate swap contracts in the uncertain financial market. The new models are based on belief degrees, and require relatively less historical data compared to the traditional probability models. The first valuation model is designed for a mean-reversion term structure, while the second is designed for a term structure with hump effect. Explicit solutions are developed by using the Yao–Chen formula. Moreover, a numerical method is designed to calculate the value of the interest rate swap alternatively. Finally, two examples are given to show their applications and comparisons. Full article
Open AccessArticle Grassland and Wheat Loss Affected by Corn and Soybean Expansion in the Midwest Corn Belt Region, 2006–2013
Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1177; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8111177
Received: 31 August 2016 / Revised: 7 November 2016 / Accepted: 9 November 2016 / Published: 18 November 2016
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Abstract
Increases in agricultural commodity price triggered by ethanol production and other socioeconomic conditions have dramatically affected land uses and agronomic practices in the U.S. This study used crop-specific land cover data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to analyze agricultural expansion and
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Increases in agricultural commodity price triggered by ethanol production and other socioeconomic conditions have dramatically affected land uses and agronomic practices in the U.S. This study used crop-specific land cover data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to analyze agricultural expansion and crop rotation pattern from 2006 to 2013 in the Midwest Corn Belt (MWCB): nine states including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, and South Dakota. We identified a total of 3.9 million acres’ grassland loss between 2007 and 2012. The net loss of grassland occurred mainly along the western MWCB, an area with competing demand for limited water supply. Net conversion of grassland to corn or soybean is likely the result of a resumption of cropping on lands previously enrolled under the USDA Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), as well as expansion beyond CRP lands. Wheat, small grains, and other crops were also impacted by corn and soybean expansion. The amount of corn planted on corn increased by 23% between 2006 and 2013, whereas the amount of continuous soybean cropping fluctuated over time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land and Food Policy)
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Open AccessArticle Sustainability Assessment in Automotive and Electronics Supply Chains—A Set of Indicators Defined in a Multi-Stakeholder Approach
Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1185; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8111185
Received: 26 July 2016 / Revised: 4 November 2016 / Accepted: 8 November 2016 / Published: 17 November 2016
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Abstract
In automotive and electronics supply chains, sustainability assessment is gaining increasing importance. More stringent regulations and growing customer pressure are driving the change towards more environmentally, socially and economically responsible supply chains. Since this implies a rising use of resources for data collection,
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In automotive and electronics supply chains, sustainability assessment is gaining increasing importance. More stringent regulations and growing customer pressure are driving the change towards more environmentally, socially and economically responsible supply chains. Since this implies a rising use of resources for data collection, monitoring, exchange and assessment, the objective of this paper is to facilitate supply chain sustainability assessment. The present paper first provides a tailored set of 69 supply chain sustainability indicators for the European automotive and electronics industries. These were derived on the basis of a systematic literature review, together with 13 semi-structured interviews and five focus group workshops, all of which involved sustainability and industry experts. Second, the paper provides a case example of software-based supply chain sustainability data exchange. The extent to which sustainability information is currently exchanged in the two industries is also analyzed. The set of indicators is scientifically relevant since it considers all three dimensions of sustainability and is intended to allow for supply chain-wide sustainability assessment in two specific industries. It is also of high practical relevance since it was developed with and validated by industry experts, and also since it considers industrial and technical requirements for supply chain sustainability assessment in order to increase the efficiency of the work processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Supply Chain Management)
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Open AccessArticle Spatial-Temporal Analysis on Spring Festival Travel Rush in China Based on Multisource Big Data
Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1184; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8111184
Received: 21 September 2016 / Revised: 30 October 2016 / Accepted: 13 November 2016 / Published: 17 November 2016
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Abstract
Spring Festival travel rush is a phenomenon in China that population travel intensively surges in a short time around Chinese Spring Festival. This phenomenon, which is a special one in the urbanization process of China, brings a large traffic burden and various kinds
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Spring Festival travel rush is a phenomenon in China that population travel intensively surges in a short time around Chinese Spring Festival. This phenomenon, which is a special one in the urbanization process of China, brings a large traffic burden and various kinds of social problems, thereby causing widespread public concern. This study investigates the spatial-temporal characteristics of Spring Festival travel rush in 2015 through time series analysis and complex network analysis based on multisource big travel data derived from Baidu, Tencent, and Qihoo. The main results are as follows: First, big travel data of Baidu and Tencent obtained from location-based services might be more accurate and scientific than that of Qihoo. Second, two travel peaks appeared at five days before and six days after the Spring Festival, respectively, and the travel valley appeared on the Spring Festival. The Spring Festival travel network at the provincial scale did not have small-world and scale-free characteristics. Instead, the travel network showed a multicenter characteristic and a significant geographic clustering characteristic. Moreover, some travel path chains played a leading role in the network. Third, economic and social factors had more influence on the travel network than geographical location factors. The problem of Spring Festival travel rush will not be effectively improved in a short time because of the unbalanced urban-rural development and the unbalanced regional development. However, the development of the modern high-speed transport system and the modern information and communication technology can alleviate problems brought by Spring Festival travel rush. We suggest that a unified real-time traffic platform for Spring Festival travel rush should be established through the government's integration of mobile big data and the official authority data of the transportation department. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle Assessment of Reclamation Treatments of Abandoned Farmland in an Arid Region of China
Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1183; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8111183
Received: 24 July 2016 / Revised: 10 November 2016 / Accepted: 10 November 2016 / Published: 16 November 2016
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Abstract
Reclamation of abandoned farmland is crucial to a sustainable agriculture in arid regions. This study aims to evaluate the impact of different reclamation treatments on abandoned salinized farmland. We investigated four artificial reclamation treatments, continuous cotton (CC), continuous alfalfa (CA), tree-wheat intercropping (TW)
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Reclamation of abandoned farmland is crucial to a sustainable agriculture in arid regions. This study aims to evaluate the impact of different reclamation treatments on abandoned salinized farmland. We investigated four artificial reclamation treatments, continuous cotton (CC), continuous alfalfa (CA), tree-wheat intercropping (TW) and trees (TS), which were conducted in 2011–2012 in the Manasi River Basin of Xinjiang Province, China. Soil nutrient, microorganism and enzyme activity were examined in comparison with natural succession (CK) in an integrated analysis on soil fertility improvement and soil salinization control with these reclamations. Results indicate that the four artificial reclamation treatments are more effective approaches than natural restoration to reclaim abandoned farmland. TW and CA significantly increased soil nutrient content compared to CK. CC reduced soil salinity to the lowest level among all treatments. TW significantly enhanced soil enzyme activity. All four artificial reclamations increased soil microbial populations and soil microbial biomass carbon. TW and CA had the greatest overall optimal effects among the four treatments in terms of the ecological outcomes. If both economic benefits and ecological effects are considered, TW would be the best reclamation mode. The findings from this study will assist in selecting a feasible method for reclamation of abandoned farmland for sustainable agriculture in arid regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle The Delimitation of Urban Growth Boundaries Using the CLUE-S Land-Use Change Model: Study on Xinzhuang Town, Changshu City, China
Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1182; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8111182
Received: 16 July 2016 / Revised: 20 October 2016 / Accepted: 12 November 2016 / Published: 16 November 2016
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Abstract
Over the past decades, urban growth boundaries (UGBs) have been regarded as effective tools applied by planners and local governments to curb urban sprawl and guide urban smart growth. The UGBs help limit urban development to suitable areas and protect surrounding agricultural and
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Over the past decades, urban growth boundaries (UGBs) have been regarded as effective tools applied by planners and local governments to curb urban sprawl and guide urban smart growth. The UGBs help limit urban development to suitable areas and protect surrounding agricultural and ecological landscapes. At present, China’s Town and Country Planning Act officially requires the delimitation of UGBs in a city master planning outline and in central urban area planning. However, China’s practices in UGBs are usually determined by urban planners and local authorities, and lack a sound analytical basis. Consequently, Chinese UGBs are often proven to be inefficient for controlling urban expansion. In this paper, take the fast-growing Xinzhuang town of Changshu city, eastern China as an example, a new method towards establishing UGBs is proposed based on land-use change model (the Conversion of Land Use and its Effects at Small regional extent, CLUE-S). The results of our study show that the land-use change and urban growth simulation accuracy of CLUE-S model is high. The expansion of construction land and the decrease of paddy field would be the main changing trends of local land use, and a good deal of cultivated land and ecological land would be transformed into construction land in 2009–2027. There is remarkable discordance in the spatial distribution between the simulated UGBs based on the CLUE-S model and the planned UGBs based on the conventional method, where the simulated results may more closely reflect the reality of urban growth laws. Therefore, we believe that our method could be a useful planning tool for the delimitation of UGBs in Chinese cities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Ecosystems and Society in the Context of Big and New Data)
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