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Sustainability, Volume 8, Issue 7 (July 2016)

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Open AccessArticle Sustainable Assessment of Aerosol Pollution Decrease Applying Multiple Attribute Decision-Making Methods
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 586; doi:10.3390/su8070586
Received: 18 March 2016 / Revised: 15 June 2016 / Accepted: 17 June 2016 / Published: 23 June 2016
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1199 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Air pollution with various materials, particularly with aerosols, increases with the advances in technological development. This is a complicated global problem. One of the priorities in achieving sustainable development is the reduction of harmful technological effects on the environment and human health. It
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Air pollution with various materials, particularly with aerosols, increases with the advances in technological development. This is a complicated global problem. One of the priorities in achieving sustainable development is the reduction of harmful technological effects on the environment and human health. It is a responsibility of researchers to search for effective methods of reducing pollution. The reliable results can be obtained by combining the approaches used in various fields of science and technology. This paper aims to demonstrate the effectiveness of the multiple attribute decision-making (MADM) methods in investigating and solving the environmental pollution problems. The paper presents the study of the process of the evaporation of a toxic liquid based on using the MADM methods. A schematic view of the test setup is presented. The density, viscosity, and rate of the released vapor flow are measured and the dependence of the variation of the solution concentration on its temperature is determined in the experimental study. The concentration of hydrochloric acid solution (HAS) varies in the range from 28% to 34%, while the liquid is heated from 50 to 80 °C. The variations in the parameters are analyzed using the well-known VIKOR and COPRAS MADM methods. For determining the criteria weights, a new CILOS (Criterion Impact LOSs) method is used. The experimental results are arranged in the priority order, using the MADM methods. Based on the obtained data, the technological parameters of production, ensuring minimum environmental pollution, can be chosen. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Effects of Roof and Wall Insulation on the Energy Costs of Low Income Housing in Mexico
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 590; doi:10.3390/su8070590
Received: 6 April 2016 / Revised: 9 June 2016 / Accepted: 13 June 2016 / Published: 25 June 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (4486 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Environmental conditions, such as air temperature and solar radiation, have a complex relationship with the energy requirements for heating and cooling of residential buildings. In this work, a comparative analysis of the insulation methods most commonly applied to low income single-family houses in
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Environmental conditions, such as air temperature and solar radiation, have a complex relationship with the energy requirements for heating and cooling of residential buildings. In this work, a comparative analysis of the insulation methods most commonly applied to low income single-family houses in Mexico is presented, in order to find the most energy-efficient combinations of methods for the various climates in this country. A common kind of building, small houses built with hollow cinder block walls and concrete slab roofs, was analyzed considering three insulation scenarios: walls only, roof only and both. We used dynamic simulation to evaluate energy consumption under the climate conditions found in several Mexican cities. From the energy consumption data and the cost of electricity in Mexico, we calculated net annual energy costs, including both annual energy savings and the annualized cost of the initial investment in better insulation. Results of this analysis show that insulating both roof and walls is most effective in cities with cold winters; insulating just the roof is best for temperate climates; and insulating walls (combined with high-albedo roofs) is most effective for cities with year-long warm weather. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Energy Applications and Energy Saving in Buildings)
Open AccessArticle Integrated Multi-Trophic Recirculating Aquaculture System for Nile Tilapia (Oreochlomis niloticus)
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 592; doi:10.3390/su8070592
Received: 17 May 2016 / Revised: 16 June 2016 / Accepted: 20 June 2016 / Published: 29 June 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (4070 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Three densities of the sex-reversed male Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus (20, 25, 50 fish/m3) were cultivated in an integrated multi-trophic recirculating aquaculture system (IMRAS) that involves the ecological relationship between several living organisms, i.e., phytoplankton, zooplankton, and aquatic plants. The results
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Three densities of the sex-reversed male Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus (20, 25, 50 fish/m3) were cultivated in an integrated multi-trophic recirculating aquaculture system (IMRAS) that involves the ecological relationship between several living organisms, i.e., phytoplankton, zooplankton, and aquatic plants. The results indicated that, by providing proper interdependency between various species of living organisms, the concentrations of ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and phosphate in the system were maintained below dangerous levels for Nile tilapia throughout the cultivation period. The highest wet weight productivity of Nile tilapia of 11 ± 1 kg was achieved at a fish density of 50 fish/m3. The aquatic plants in the treatment tank could effectively uptake the unwanted nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) compounds with the highest removal efficiencies of 9.52% and 11.4%, respectively. The uptake rates of nitrogen and phosphorus by aquatic plants could be ranked from high to low as: Egeria densa > Ceratophyllum demersum > Vallisneria spiralis and Vallisneria americana > Hygrophila difformis. The remaining N was further degraded through nitrification process, whereas the remaining P could well precipitate in the soil sediment in the treatment tank. Full article
Open AccessArticle Optimization Model for Mitigating Global Warming at the Farm Scale: An Application to Japanese Rice Farms
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 593; doi:10.3390/su8070593
Received: 23 March 2016 / Revised: 13 June 2016 / Accepted: 15 June 2016 / Published: 23 June 2016
PDF Full-text (563 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In Japan, greenhouse gas emissions from rice production, especially CH4 emissions in rice paddy fields, are the primary contributors to global warming from agriculture. When prolonged midseason drainage for mitigating CH4 emissions from rice paddy fields is practiced with environmentally friendly
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In Japan, greenhouse gas emissions from rice production, especially CH4 emissions in rice paddy fields, are the primary contributors to global warming from agriculture. When prolonged midseason drainage for mitigating CH4 emissions from rice paddy fields is practiced with environmentally friendly rice production based on reduced use of synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers, Japanese rice farmers can receive an agri-environmental direct payment. This paper examines the economic and environmental effects of the agri-environmental direct payment on the adoption of a measure to mitigate global warming in Japanese rice farms using a combined application of linear programming and life cycle assessment at the farm scale. Eco-efficiency, which is defined as net farm income divided by global warming potential, is used as an integrated indicator for assessing the economic and environmental feasibilities. The results show that under the current direct payment level, the prolonged midseason drainage technique does not improve the eco-efficiency of Japanese rice farms because the practice of this technique in environmentally friendly rice production causes large economic disadvantages in exchange for small environmental advantages. The direct payment rates for agri-environmental measures should be determined based on the condition that environmentally friendly agricultural practices improve eco-efficiency compared with conventional agriculture. Full article
Open AccessArticle Understanding Grassland Degradation and Restoration from the Perspective of Ecosystem Services: A Case Study of the Xilin River Basin in Inner Mongolia, China
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 594; doi:10.3390/su8070594
Received: 25 April 2016 / Revised: 6 June 2016 / Accepted: 15 June 2016 / Published: 24 June 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (5521 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ecosystem services (ESs) and their transformations in northern China play a crucial role in regional sustainability. During the past several decades, grassland degradation has become one of the most important ecological and economic issues in this region. Therefore, understanding the impacts of grassland
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Ecosystem services (ESs) and their transformations in northern China play a crucial role in regional sustainability. During the past several decades, grassland degradation has become one of the most important ecological and economic issues in this region. Therefore, understanding the impacts of grassland degradation and restoration on ESs is essential for maintaining ecological resilience and social security of Northern China. Our objective was to explore the relationship between ESs and grassland changes induced by vegetation succession in the Xilin River Basin, Inner Mongolia, China. Using vegetation maps derived from remotely sensed imagery collected in 1983, 1989, 2000, and 2011, we calculated the degree of grassland degradation using the Grassland Degradation Index (GDI). Aboveground biomass (AGB), soil conservation (SC), and water retention (WR) were also estimated to assess ESs for each year. Our results show that: (1) GDI increased during 1983–2000 and decreased during 2000–2011 indicating that after experiencing two decades of severe degradation the grassland has been restored since 2000. (2) AGB and SC were significantly negatively correlated with GDI. Changes in grassland conditions significantly affected WR and SC with both declining during 1983–2000 and increasing afterwards. The increase of SC, however, was slow compared to AGB and WR, which is an indication of time lag in soil restoration. (3) Grasslands in the middle and lower reaches experienced worse degradation than in the upper reaches. (4) AGB and SC exhibited a synergy, while trade-offs existed between AGB and WR and SC and WR. In summary, significant changes in grassland ecosystems in the Xilin River Basin over the past three decades affected the dynamics of ESs among which SC and WR require special attention in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle Strategies to Reduce Food Loss in the Global South
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 595; doi:10.3390/su8070595
Received: 1 April 2016 / Revised: 14 May 2016 / Accepted: 20 June 2016 / Published: 24 June 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (870 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Approximately one third of the world’s food is lost, and reducing this represents an important strategy for promoting more sustainable food systems and addressing global food insecurity. This paper presents a preliminary assessment of the socio-economic factors that are significant in causing food
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Approximately one third of the world’s food is lost, and reducing this represents an important strategy for promoting more sustainable food systems and addressing global food insecurity. This paper presents a preliminary assessment of the socio-economic factors that are significant in causing food loss in developing countries. These countries were chosen because the majority of food waste in poorer nations happens on or around the farm and is due to inefficient storage and processing facilities (by contrast, the majority of food waste in the global north is caused by consumers or retailers and, hence, is a very different problem). To explore this topic, we conducted a multivariate panel data analysis where the volume of food loss in 93 countries over 20 years was used as the dependent variable and a range of socio-economic factors were used as independent variables. Results show that, for the countries in the global south, variables related to wealth, agricultural machinery, transportation, and telecommunications were significant in explaining the amount of lost food. We used these results to model the effectiveness of different hypothetical policies designed to reduce food loss and estimate that up to 49% of food loss could be averted by improving each countries’ performance on these variables. While these results seem to offer huge opportunities to improve the sustainability of global agricultural systems and address global food security, this paper concludes on a note of caution: as countries grow wealthy enough to address the food lost by challenges associated with on-farm issues, these same countries may start to experience more food waste at the consumer/retailer end of the food chain. Therefore, any attempt to reduce on-farm food loss in lower income countries must be met with policies to reduce the emerging problems of food waste amongst consumers and retailers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
Open AccessArticle Closed-Loop Supply Chain Planning Model for a Photovoltaic System Manufacturer with Internal and External Recycling
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 596; doi:10.3390/su8070596
Received: 13 May 2016 / Revised: 11 June 2016 / Accepted: 21 June 2016 / Published: 24 June 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2531 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The photovoltaic (PV) generation system has been widely used since the late 1990s. Considering its lifespan of 20 to 30 years, many end-of-life systems will emerge in the near future. This is why recycling PV systems will be beneficial (and may even be
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The photovoltaic (PV) generation system has been widely used since the late 1990s. Considering its lifespan of 20 to 30 years, many end-of-life systems will emerge in the near future. This is why recycling PV systems will be beneficial (and may even be detrimental) to both the environment and the economy. Through the recycling process, hazardous by-product substances such as cadmium and lead can be treated properly. Moreover, valuable materials including indium, gallium, and tellurium can be extracted and reused for manufacturing purposes. Even though many studies have dealt with issues related to the PV system and its recycling policy, they lack significant factors regarding the recycling policy. This study analyzes and compares three real cases of manufacturer’s recycling policy, including Deutsche Solar, First Solar, and PV Cycle, from the perspective of a closed-loop supply chain. Two mathematical models are developed to help PV system manufacturers establish supply chain planning and choose suitable recycling policies in consideration of different circumstances. Furthermore, an experimental example of these models will be used to validate and conclude the significance of the models. The results from this study will show that recycling CdTe PV systems is much more efficient than recycling c-Si PV systems and that, in the case of c-Si, it is better to outsource recycling end-of-life systems and dispose of all manufacturing scrap. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eco-innovation and Competitiveness)
Open AccessArticle Impact on Water Quality of Nandoni Water Reservoir Downstream of Municipal Sewage Plants in Vhembe District, South Africa
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 597; doi:10.3390/su8070597
Received: 10 May 2016 / Revised: 5 June 2016 / Accepted: 20 June 2016 / Published: 24 June 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2569 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The deterioration of water quality in our freshwater sources is on the increase worldwide and, in South Africa, mostly due to the discharge of municipal sewage effluent. Here we report on the use of principal component analysis, coupled with factor and cluster analysis,
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The deterioration of water quality in our freshwater sources is on the increase worldwide and, in South Africa, mostly due to the discharge of municipal sewage effluent. Here we report on the use of principal component analysis, coupled with factor and cluster analysis, to study the similarities and differences between upstream and downstream sampling sites that are downstream of municipal sewage plants. The contribution of climatic variables, air temperature, humidity, and rainfall were also evaluated with respect to variations in water quality at the sampling sites. The physicochemical and microbial values were higher than the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF) and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. The cluster analysis showed the presence of two clusters for each of the Mvudi, Dzindi, and Luvuvhu Rivers and Nandoni reservoir sampling sites. The principal component analysis (PCA) accounted for 40% of the water quality variation and was associated strongly with pH, electrical conductivity, calcium, magnesium, chloride, bromide, nitrate, and total coliform, and negatively with rainfall, which represented Mvudi downstream and was attributed to the Thohoyandou sewage plant. The PCA accounted for 54% of the variation and was associated strongly with electrical conductivity, sulfate; total dissolved solids, fluoride, turbidity, nitrate, manganese, alkalinity, magnesium, and total coliform represented Dzindi downstream, with inflows from the Vuwani sewage plant and agriculture. The PCA accounted for 30% of the variation and was associated strongly with total dissolved solids, electrical conductivity, magnesium, fluoride, nitrate, sulfate, total coliform average air temperature, and total rainfall, and negatively associated with manganese and bromide represented Luvuvhu upstream and was associated with commercial agriculture. The PCA accounted for 21% of the variation and was associated strongly with turbidity, alkalinity, magnesium, chloride, fluoride, nitrate, and strongly negatively associated with rainfall, which represented Luvuvhu downstream, associated with inflows from Vuwani oxidation ponds, Elim and Waterval sewage plants, and agriculture. The PCA accounted for 14% of the variation and was moderately associated with rainfall and weakly associated with chloride and bromide and negatively associated with nitrate, which represented the natural Nandoni reservoir system. The continued discharge of effluent may render the raw water supply unsuitable for human consumption and lead to eutrophication due to nitrate enrichment and proliferation of harmful algal blooms and schistomiasis infections in the long term. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Socio-Institutional Approach to Brighten Complexity under Agricultural Pest Invasion Conditions
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 598; doi:10.3390/su8070598
Received: 28 February 2016 / Revised: 16 June 2016 / Accepted: 20 June 2016 / Published: 25 June 2016
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Abstract
This study illustrates the inherent complexity and uncertainties surrounding the Guatemalan potato moth pest on Tenerife that has affected potato crops for several decades using a Socio-Institutional methodology and a farmers’ focus group. It focuses on detecting major socioeconomic and environmental impacts caused
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This study illustrates the inherent complexity and uncertainties surrounding the Guatemalan potato moth pest on Tenerife that has affected potato crops for several decades using a Socio-Institutional methodology and a farmers’ focus group. It focuses on detecting major socioeconomic and environmental impacts caused by the pest. It identifies the stakeholders and historical decisions involved as well as systemic uncertainties. This methodology generates socially robust knowledge and introduces new variables into future decision-making processes. The results show that the efforts made so far to control the pest, based on technical and scientific knowledge, have not been commensurate with the enormous complexity of the issue. Novel alternatives to eliminate the plague and new recommendations have emerged after the application of the methodology. These alternatives and recommendations are related to breaking the reproduction cycle of the moth; promoting agro-ecological strategies and participatory processes; and dealing with uncertainties such as climate change or loss of agro-biodiversity on the island. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Agroecology in Archieving Sustainable Agriculture)
Open AccessArticle Sustainable Behavior: Study Engagement and Happiness among University Students in South Korea
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 599; doi:10.3390/su8070599
Received: 18 April 2016 / Revised: 7 June 2016 / Accepted: 21 June 2016 / Published: 27 June 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (527 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The purpose of the present study was to investigate the relationships among sustainable behavior, study engagement, and happiness. The participants were 202 undergraduate students. The present study used structural equation modeling to examine the relationship among variables, and two models were examined. The
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The purpose of the present study was to investigate the relationships among sustainable behavior, study engagement, and happiness. The participants were 202 undergraduate students. The present study used structural equation modeling to examine the relationship among variables, and two models were examined. The analyses revealed that the present data best fit Model 1, in which sustainable behavior was directly associated with happiness and mediated by study engagement (χ2(24) = 46.743, Turker-Lewis Index = 0.933, Comparative Fit Index = 0.955, Root Mean Square Error of Approximation = 0.06). The results indicate that sustainable behavior affect happiness directly. Additionally, sustainable behaviors affect happiness indirectly by mediation of study engagement. In closing, implications for educational practices are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Education and Approaches)
Open AccessArticle Integrated Approach to Construction of Benchmarking Network in DEA-Based Stepwise Benchmark Target Selection
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 600; doi:10.3390/su8070600
Received: 24 April 2016 / Revised: 23 June 2016 / Accepted: 23 June 2016 / Published: 27 June 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (4618 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Stepwise benchmark target selection in data envelopment analysis (DEA) is a realistic and effective method by which inefficient decision-making units (DMUs) can choose benchmarks in a stepwise manner. We propose, for the construction of a benchmarking network (i.e., a network structure consisting of
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Stepwise benchmark target selection in data envelopment analysis (DEA) is a realistic and effective method by which inefficient decision-making units (DMUs) can choose benchmarks in a stepwise manner. We propose, for the construction of a benchmarking network (i.e., a network structure consisting of an alternative sequence of benchmark targets), an approach that integrates the cross-efficiency DEA, K-means clustering and context-dependent DEA methods to minimize resource improvement pattern inconsistency in the selection of the intermediate benchmark targets (IBTs) of an inefficient DMU. The specific advantages and overall effectiveness of the proposed method were demonstrated by application to a case study of 34 actual container terminal ports and the successful determination of the stepwise benchmarking path of an inefficient DMU. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Open Economy, Institutional Quality, and Environmental Performance: A Macroeconomic Approach
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 601; doi:10.3390/su8070601
Received: 23 April 2016 / Revised: 12 June 2016 / Accepted: 21 June 2016 / Published: 28 June 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2417 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As the subject of how economic development affects the quality of the natural environment has gained great momentum, this paper focuses on examining the extent to which the openness of a market economy and the quality of the institution affect environmental performance. The
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As the subject of how economic development affects the quality of the natural environment has gained great momentum, this paper focuses on examining the extent to which the openness of a market economy and the quality of the institution affect environmental performance. The majority of the current studies focus on the Environmental Kuznets Curve and the level of economic growth. This paper addresses this question by relating environmental (“Environmental Performance Index”) to macroeconomic (Gross Domestic Product per capita, “Open Markets Index”) and governance indicators (“Worldwide Governance Indicators”). The sample consists of 75 countries, including all G20 and EU members, comprising “more than 90% of global trade and investment”. Findings show that the Environmental Performance Index is positively correlated to each of the (institutional) indicators, so as to confirm that the selected indices are consistent with previous studies, suggesting that environmental performance increases in line with economic development and that good governance increases a country’s levels of environmental protection. By applying factor analysis, an empirical model of the Environmental Performance Index is estimated, suggesting that there is a significant positive correlation between a country’s economic growth, the openness of an economy, high levels of effective governance, and its environmental performance. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Quest for Rural Sustainability in Russia
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 602; doi:10.3390/su8070602
Received: 5 April 2016 / Revised: 31 May 2016 / Accepted: 18 June 2016 / Published: 28 June 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (234 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Rural depopulation and the disappearance of villages in rural Russia occurred as part of the historical process of urbanization and industrialization. Rural depopulation also occurred for structural reasons having to do with village location, and for behavioral reasons whereby villagers react to primitive
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Rural depopulation and the disappearance of villages in rural Russia occurred as part of the historical process of urbanization and industrialization. Rural depopulation also occurred for structural reasons having to do with village location, and for behavioral reasons whereby villagers react to primitive living conditions and poor economic prospects. Three possible strategies for addressing the problem of sustainable villages are considered. The government is attempting to improve rural living conditions, but rural depopulation is likely to continue. Characteristics of sustainable villages are outlined. Agro-tourism is analyzed for its potential to support sustainable villages. Full article
Open AccessArticle An Insight into the Commercial Viability of Green Roofs in Australia
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 603; doi:10.3390/su8070603
Received: 12 April 2016 / Revised: 18 June 2016 / Accepted: 21 June 2016 / Published: 28 June 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (610 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Construction industries around the world have, in recent history, become increasingly concerned with the sustainability of building practices. Inherently, the development of the built environment results in partial or complete destruction of the natural environment. Advanced European and North American countries have turned
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Construction industries around the world have, in recent history, become increasingly concerned with the sustainability of building practices. Inherently, the development of the built environment results in partial or complete destruction of the natural environment. Advanced European and North American countries have turned to green roofs as a means of sustainable development. Australia, on the other hand, has yet to fully realize the potential of green roof technology. In the first case, an extensive review of green roof literature was undertaken to establish the dominant perspectives and over-riding themes within the established body of international literature. The collection of primary data took the form of qualitative, semi-structured interviews with a range of construction practitioners and green roof experts; landscape architects, consultants and academics. The information gained from the interviews facilitated the primary aim of the paper; to critically analyse the state-of-practice in the Australian green roof industry. Green roofs, despite their proven sustainability benefits and their international success, have experienced a relatively sluggish uptake in the Australian construction industry. With this being said, the Australian green roof industry is considered to have promising potential for the future; should there be legislative changes made in its favour or greater education within the industry. To advance the local industry, it was found that government authorities are required to adapt policy settings to better encourage the use of green roofs, whilst industry bodies are required to host better, more targeted educational programs. Full article
Open AccessArticle Daylighting Design in Classroom Based on Yearly-Graphic Analysis
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 604; doi:10.3390/su8070604
Received: 2 May 2016 / Revised: 21 June 2016 / Accepted: 22 June 2016 / Published: 11 July 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (4438 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In China, existing buildings comprise more than 40 billion square meters, most being of high energy consumption. A substantial reduction in electrical energy costs could be obtained through greater use of daylight. Daylight varies widely due to the movement of sun, changing seasons
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In China, existing buildings comprise more than 40 billion square meters, most being of high energy consumption. A substantial reduction in electrical energy costs could be obtained through greater use of daylight. Daylight varies widely due to the movement of sun, changing seasons and diverse weather conditions. Custom static daylight assessments, simulations represent only one time of the year or one time of the day, are inadequate to evaluate the dynamics of daylight variability. Using the intuitive graphic tool Temporal Map to display the annual daylight data, this study compared different passive architectural design strategies under the climate conditions of five representative Chinese cities and selected the most suitable design scheme for each city. In this study, the dynamic yearly-graphic tool was utilized for architectural design in China, and we integrated the optimal design with the Chinese academic calendar to achieve improvements within the occupancy time. This modified map connects design work with human activity that makes daylight evaluation more accurate and efficient. The results of this study will provide preliminary recommendations for energy-saving design in China, and reference to other similar studies. Full article
Open AccessArticle Is Tourism Development a Sustainable Economic Growth Strategy in the Long Run? Evidence from GCC Countries
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 605; doi:10.3390/su8070605
Received: 8 April 2016 / Revised: 9 June 2016 / Accepted: 20 June 2016 / Published: 28 June 2016
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Abstract
The main objective of this study is to investigate the causal relationship between tourism development and economic growth in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries in a multivariate model, using panel data for the period 1995–2012. The study adopts a panel Granger causality analysis
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The main objective of this study is to investigate the causal relationship between tourism development and economic growth in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries in a multivariate model, using panel data for the period 1995–2012. The study adopts a panel Granger causality analysis approach to assess the contribution of tourism to economic growth in GCC countries as a whole, and in each individual country. In the case of GCC countries as a whole, the results show a one-way Granger causality, from economic growth to tourism growth. Furthermore, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates follow the path of economy-driven tourism growth, as hypothesized. The reverse hypothesis (i.e., tourism-led growth hypothesis) holds true for Bahrain, while there is no causal relationship between tourism and economic growth in the case of Oman. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Management in Tourism and Hospitality)
Open AccessArticle Evaluating the Improvement of Sustainability of Sports Industry Policy Based on MADM
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 606; doi:10.3390/su8070606
Received: 11 April 2016 / Revised: 22 June 2016 / Accepted: 22 June 2016 / Published: 28 June 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (2818 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The influence of globalization on sports has turned out to be a popular issue widely discussed by researchers. Improvement to the sustainability of sports industry policy is an important and challenging issue, and related are inherently multiple attribute decision making (MADM) problems that
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The influence of globalization on sports has turned out to be a popular issue widely discussed by researchers. Improvement to the sustainability of sports industry policy is an important and challenging issue, and related are inherently multiple attribute decision making (MADM) problems that can be strategically important to economic systems. The purpose of this study is to set up a new sustainability sports industry policy evaluation model that addresses the main causal factors and amends the priorities. A MADM model is combined with DEMATEL, DANP, and VIKOR for the evaluation and improvement of the sustainability of sports industry policy. The improvement priorities according to the domain expert interviews are in the following order: promotion and assistance of government policy (A), sports venues and facilities (D), enterprise sponsorship of sports quality (E), expert human resources (B), and finally sports competitions and events (C). Full article
Open AccessArticle The Shortest Path Problems in Battery-Electric Vehicle Dispatching with Battery Renewal
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 607; doi:10.3390/su8070607
Received: 26 April 2016 / Revised: 13 June 2016 / Accepted: 22 June 2016 / Published: 28 June 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2977 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Electric vehicles play a key role for developing an eco-sustainable transport system. One critical component of an electric vehicle is its battery, which can be quickly charged or exchanged before it runs out. The problem of electric vehicle dispatching falls into the category
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Electric vehicles play a key role for developing an eco-sustainable transport system. One critical component of an electric vehicle is its battery, which can be quickly charged or exchanged before it runs out. The problem of electric vehicle dispatching falls into the category of the shortest path problem with resource renewal. In this paper, we study the shortest path problems in (1) electric transit bus scheduling and (2) electric truck routing with time windows. In these applications, a fully-charged battery allows running a limited operational distance, and the battery before depletion needs to be quickly charged or exchanged with a fully-charged one at a battery management facility. The limited distance and battery renewal result in a shortest path problem with resource renewal. We develop a label-correcting algorithm with state space relaxation to find optimal solutions. In the computational experiments, real-world road geometry data are used to generate realistic travel distances, and other types of data are obtained from the real world or randomly generated. The computational results show that the label-correcting algorithm performs very well. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Inequalities in Human Well-Being in the Urban Ganges Brahmaputra Meghna Delta
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 608; doi:10.3390/su8070608
Received: 20 March 2016 / Revised: 15 June 2016 / Accepted: 20 June 2016 / Published: 30 June 2016
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Abstract
The recently endorsed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda unanimously agrees on the need to focus on inclusive development, the importance of eradicating extreme poverty and managing often complex human well-being impacts of rapid urban growth. Sustainable and inclusive urbanisation will accelerate progress towards
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The recently endorsed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda unanimously agrees on the need to focus on inclusive development, the importance of eradicating extreme poverty and managing often complex human well-being impacts of rapid urban growth. Sustainable and inclusive urbanisation will accelerate progress towards the SDGs and contribute to eradicating extreme poverty. In tropical delta regions, such as the Ganges Brahmaputra Meghna delta region, urban growth and resulting intra-urban inequalities are accelerated by the impact of environmental and climate change. In this context, the present study uses the 2010 Household Income and Expenditure Survey to analyse the extent of wealth-based inequalities in human well-being in the urban delta region and the determinants of selected welfare measures. The results suggest that the extent of intra-urban inequalities is greatest in educational attainment and access to postnatal healthcare and relatively low in the occurrence of gastric disease. The paper concludes by providing policy recommendations to reduce increasing wealth inequalities in urban areas, thus contributing to sustainable development of the region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Open AccessArticle Extent of Cropland and Related Soil Erosion Risk in Rwanda
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 609; doi:10.3390/su8070609
Received: 28 April 2016 / Revised: 10 June 2016 / Accepted: 21 June 2016 / Published: 28 June 2016
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Abstract
Land conversion to cropland is one of the major causes of severe soil erosion in Africa. This study assesses the current cropland extent and the related soil erosion risk in Rwanda, a country that experienced the most rapid population growth and cropland expansion
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Land conversion to cropland is one of the major causes of severe soil erosion in Africa. This study assesses the current cropland extent and the related soil erosion risk in Rwanda, a country that experienced the most rapid population growth and cropland expansion in Africa over the last decade. The land cover land use (LCLU) map of Rwanda in 2015 was developed using Landsat-8 imagery. Based on the obtained LCLU map and the spatial datasets of precipitation, soil properties and elevation, the soil erosion rate of Rwanda was assessed at 30-m spatial resolution, using the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) model. According to the results, the mean soil erosion rate was 250 t·ha−1·a−1 over the entire country, with a total soil loss rate of approximately 595 million tons per year. The mean soil erosion rate over cropland, which occupied 56% of the national land area, was estimated at 421 t·ha−1·a−1 and was responsible for about 95% of the national soil loss. About 24% of the croplands in Rwanda had a soil erosion rate larger than 300 t·ha−1·a−1, indicating their unsuitability for cultivation. With a mean soil erosion rate of 1642 t·ha−1·a−1, these unsuitable croplands were responsible for 90% of the national soil loss. Most of the unsuitable croplands are distributed in the Congo Nile Ridge, Volcanic Range mountain areas in the west and the Buberuka highlands in the north, regions characterized by steep slopes (>30%) and strong rainfall. Soil conservation practices, such as the terracing cultivation method, are paramount to preserve the soil. According to our assessment, terracing alone could reduce the mean cropland soil erosion rate and the national soil loss by 79% and 75%, respectively. After terracing, only a small proportion of 7.6% of the current croplands would still be exposed to extreme soil erosion with a rate >300 t·ha−1·a−1. These irremediable cropland areas should be returned to mountain forest to foster environmental sustainability or further sustainable alternative erosion control techniques may be applied, such as applying Vetiver Eco-engineering Technology due to its economical soil erosion control and stabilization of steep slopes and the construction of erosion control dams to absorb and break down excess runoff from unusually intense storms in various parts of the watersheds. Full article
Open AccessArticle Reuse and Upcycling of Municipal Waste for ZEB Envelope Design in European Urban Areas
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 610; doi:10.3390/su8070610
Received: 16 May 2016 / Revised: 22 June 2016 / Accepted: 24 June 2016 / Published: 29 June 2016
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Abstract
Building energy efficiency and urban waste management are two focal issues for improving environmental status and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The main aim of this paper is to compare economic costs of new building envelope structures designed by authors reusing and upcycling municipal
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Building energy efficiency and urban waste management are two focal issues for improving environmental status and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The main aim of this paper is to compare economic costs of new building envelope structures designed by authors reusing and upcycling municipal waste in order to decrease energy demand from the building sector and, at the same time, improve eco-friendly waste management at the local scale. The reuse of waste for building envelope structures is one of the main principles of the Earthship buildings model, based on the use of passive solar principles in autonomous earth-sheltered homes. This Earthship principle has been analyzed in order to optimize buildings’ energy performance and reuse municipal waste for new building envelope structures in urban areas. Indeed, the elaborated structures have been designed for urban contexts, with the aim of reuse waste coming from surrounding landfills. The methods include an analysis of thermal performance of urban waste for designing new building envelope structures realized by assembling waste and isolating materials not foreseen in Earthship buildings. The reused materials are: cardboard tubes, automobile tires, wood pallets, and plastic and glass bottles. Finally, comparing economic costs of these new building envelope structures, the obtained results highlight their economic feasibility compared to a traditional structure with similar thermal transmittance. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Design of Policy Instruments towards Sustainable Livestock Production in China: An Application of the Choice Experiment Method
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 611; doi:10.3390/su8070611
Received: 31 March 2016 / Revised: 12 June 2016 / Accepted: 24 June 2016 / Published: 5 July 2016
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Abstract
In face of gradual ecological deterioration, the Chinese government has been in search of more efficient and effective mitigation policies, aiming to promote the sustainability of livestock production. However, researchers and policy makers seem to neglect a key issue: pinpoint policies are the
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In face of gradual ecological deterioration, the Chinese government has been in search of more efficient and effective mitigation policies, aiming to promote the sustainability of livestock production. However, researchers and policy makers seem to neglect a key issue: pinpoint policies are the most important, which means niche targeting is the premise before any policy design, such that better knowing of the livestock farmers preference is prerequisite. This paper then analyzes this question using a method of choice experiment to elicit the farmers’ preference and valuation of livestock pollution control policy instruments at household-scale, medium-scale and large-scale farms. Five attributes (technology regulation, pollution charge, biogas subsidy, manure price, and information provisioning) were set as livestock pollution control policy instruments. In total, 754 pigs farmers from five representative provinces in China were surveyed, and the collected data were analyzed using random parameter logit models. The marginal substitution rates for attributes are estimated both with preference space approach and willingness to pay space approach. The results show significant heterogeneities in farmers’ preferences and valuations for livestock pollution control policy instruments within the three scales. All policy instruments effectively increased the manure eco-friendly treatment ratio for medium-scale farms, and household-scale farms showed little change in the manure eco-friendly treatment ratio under all policy instruments. Household-scale farms and medium-scale farms suggested the highest preference for the biogas subsidy policy, while large-scale farms suggested the highest preference for the manure price policy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Open AccessArticle An Unexpected Means of Embedding Ethics in Organizations: Preliminary Findings from Values-Based Evaluations
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 612; doi:10.3390/su8070612
Received: 19 April 2016 / Revised: 23 June 2016 / Accepted: 27 June 2016 / Published: 29 June 2016
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Abstract
Ethical principles constitute a crucial area of debate and discussion in the global conversation around transitions to sustainability, and of particular relevance to the contribution of businesses and other organizations. Scholars in business ethics have recently identified several challenges in this area, such
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Ethical principles constitute a crucial area of debate and discussion in the global conversation around transitions to sustainability, and of particular relevance to the contribution of businesses and other organizations. Scholars in business ethics have recently identified several challenges in this area, such as problems of measurement, rigor, and meaningfulness to practitioners; corporate social responsibility; and institutionalization of ethics in businesses. In this paper, the impacts of a pragmatic values-based evaluation approach originally developed in another field—education for sustainable development—are shown to strongly contribute to many of these challenges. Impacts found across eight organizations include (i) deep values conceptualization; (ii) increased esteem (iii) building capacity for assessment of values-based achievements; (iv) values mainstreaming; and (v) effective external values communications. It seems that the in-situ development and use of values-based indicators helped to conceptualize locally shared values that underpin decisions, thus embedding the application of (local) ethics. Although this study is exploratory, it is clear that the values-based approach shows promise for meeting key challenges in business ethics and wider sustainability, and for new directions for future cross-disciplinary research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Resource Usage Strategies and Trade-Offs between Cropland Demand, Fossil Fuel Consumption, and Greenhouse Gas Emissions—Building Insulation as an Example
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 613; doi:10.3390/su8070613
Received: 30 May 2016 / Revised: 24 June 2016 / Accepted: 27 June 2016 / Published: 29 June 2016
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Abstract
Bioresources are used in different production systems as materials as well as energy carriers. The same is true for fossil fuel resources. This study explored whether preferential resource usages exist, using a building insulation system as an example, with regard to the following
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Bioresources are used in different production systems as materials as well as energy carriers. The same is true for fossil fuel resources. This study explored whether preferential resource usages exist, using a building insulation system as an example, with regard to the following sustainability criteria: climate impact, land, and fossil fuel demand. We considered the complete life cycle in a life cycle assessment-based approach. The criteria were compared for two strategies: one used natural fibers as material and generated production energies from fossil fuels; the other generated production energies from bioenergy carriers and transformed fossil resources into the insulation material. Both strategies finally yielded the same insulation effect. Hence, the energy demand for heating the building was ignored. None of the strategies operated best in all three criteria: While cropland demand was lower in the bioenergy than in the biomaterial system, its fossil fuel demand was higher. Net contribution to climate change was in the same range for both strategies if we considered no indirect changes in land use. Provided that effective recycling concepts for fossil-derived insulations are in place, using bioresources for energy generation was identified as a promising way to mitigate climate change along with efficient resource use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle Spatiotemporal Changes in Rural Settlement Land and Rural Population in the Middle Basin of the Heihe River, China
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 614; doi:10.3390/su8070614
Received: 18 March 2016 / Revised: 22 June 2016 / Accepted: 28 June 2016 / Published: 29 June 2016
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Abstract
Understanding the relationship between the spatiotemporal expansion of rural settlement land and the variation of rural population is the foundation of rational and specific planning for sustainable development. Based on the integration of Landsat TM, ETM+, and OLI images and demographic data, using
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Understanding the relationship between the spatiotemporal expansion of rural settlement land and the variation of rural population is the foundation of rational and specific planning for sustainable development. Based on the integration of Landsat TM, ETM+, and OLI images and demographic data, using mathematical models, landscape indexes, and a decoupling model, the spatiotemporal changes of the rural settlement land area and its decoupling relationship with the rural registered population were analyzed for the middle basin of the Heihe River in China. During the period 1986–2014, the following changes occurred: (1) The study area experienced increases of 124.94%, 55.16%, and 1.56% in rural settlement land area, number of patches, and rural registered population, respectively; (2) Edge-expansion, dispersion, and urban encroachment were the dominant patterns of dynamic changes in the studied rural settlement land. Among these, edge-expansion was the most prevalent development pattern; it contributed more than half of the total increase in the number of patches and the total area growth; (3) The annual growth rate of the rural registered population increased from 0.7% in 1986–2002 to −0.5% in 2002–2014. By that time the rural settlement land area had undergone a gentle increase from 3.4% to 3.6%. Generally, the rural registered population and rural settlement land has experienced a shift from weakly decoupled in 1986–2009 to strongly decoupled in 2009–2014; (4) From 1986 to 2014, rural urbanization and modernization were the main causes that led to the decline in the rural registered population; however, economic growth promoted the expansion of rural settlement land during this same period. We believe that with the rapid development of urbanization, the decoupling relationship between the rural settlement land area and the reduction in the rural registered population cannot be completely reversed in the short term. It is recommended that the government should enhance the role of planning rural settlement land during the process of urbanization. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Development and Full-Scale Experimental Validation of an Optimal Water Treatment Solution in Improving Chiller Performances
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 615; doi:10.3390/su8070615
Received: 7 April 2016 / Revised: 16 June 2016 / Accepted: 23 June 2016 / Published: 30 June 2016
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Abstract
An optimal solution, in combining physical and chemical water treatment methods, has been developed. This method uses a high voltage capacitance based (HVCB) electrodes, coupled with biocides to form a sustainable solution in improving chiller plant performances. In this study, the industrial full-scale
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An optimal solution, in combining physical and chemical water treatment methods, has been developed. This method uses a high voltage capacitance based (HVCB) electrodes, coupled with biocides to form a sustainable solution in improving chiller plant performances. In this study, the industrial full-scale tests, instead of laboratory tests, have been conducted on chiller plants at the size of 5000 RT to 10,000 RT cooling capacities under commercial operation for more than two years. The experimental results indicated that the condenser approach temperatures can be maintained at below 1 °C for over two years. It has been validated that the coefficient of performance (COP) of a chiller can be improved by over 5% by implementing this solution. Every 1 °C reduction in condenser approach temperature can yield approximately 3% increase on chiller COP, which warrants its future application potential in the HVAC industry, where Ta can degrade by 1 °C every three to six months. The solution developed in this study could also reduce chemical dosages and conserve makeup water substantially and is more environment friendly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Energy Applications and Energy Saving in Buildings)
Open AccessArticle Competitiveness of Small Farms and Innovative Food Supply Chains: The Role of Food Hubs in Creating Sustainable Regional and Local Food Systems
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 616; doi:10.3390/su8070616
Received: 17 May 2016 / Revised: 23 June 2016 / Accepted: 24 June 2016 / Published: 1 July 2016
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (309 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Over the last decades, the economic, social and environmental sustainability of the conventional agri-food system has and continues to be contested within both academic and public institutions. For small farms, the unsustainability of the food system is even more serious; farms’ declining share
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Over the last decades, the economic, social and environmental sustainability of the conventional agri-food system has and continues to be contested within both academic and public institutions. For small farms, the unsustainability of the food system is even more serious; farms’ declining share of profit and the cost-price squeeze of commodity production has increased barriers to market access with the inevitable effect of agricultural abandonment. One way forward to respond to the existing conventional agri-food systems and to create a competitive or survival strategy for small family farms is the re-construction of regional and local agri-food systems, aligning with Kramer and Porter’s concept of shared value strategy. Through a critical literature review, this paper presents “regional and local food hubs” as innovative organizational arrangements capable of bridging structural holes in the agri-food markets between small producers and the consumers—individuals and families as well as big buyers. Food hubs respond to a supply chain (or supply network) organizational strategy aiming at re-territorialising the agri-food systems through the construction of what in the economic literature are defined as values-based food supply chains. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Competitiveness of Farms)
Open AccessArticle Comparative Advantage of Maize- and Grass-Silage Based Feedstock for Biogas Production with Respect to Greenhouse Gas Mitigation
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 617; doi:10.3390/su8070617
Received: 19 May 2016 / Revised: 23 June 2016 / Accepted: 24 June 2016 / Published: 30 June 2016
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Abstract
This paper analyses the comparative advantage of using silage maize or grass as feedstock for anaerobic digestion to biogas from a greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation point of view, taking into account site-specific yield potentials, management options, and land-use change effects. GHG emissions due
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This paper analyses the comparative advantage of using silage maize or grass as feedstock for anaerobic digestion to biogas from a greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation point of view, taking into account site-specific yield potentials, management options, and land-use change effects. GHG emissions due to the production of biogas were calculated using a life-cycle assessment approach for three different site conditions with specific yield potentials and adjusted management options. While for the use of silage maize, GHG emissions per energy unit were the same for different yield potentials, and the emissions varied substantially for different grassland systems. Without land-use change effects, silage maize-based biogas had lower GHG emissions per energy unit compared to grass-based biogas. Taking land-use change into account, results in a comparative advantage of biogas production from grass-based feedstock produced on arable land compared to silage maize-based feedstock. However, under current frame conditions, it is quite unrealistic that grass production systems would be established on arable land at larger scale. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass Energy Conversion)
Open AccessArticle LED Lighting for Indoor Sports Facilities: Can Its Use Be Considered as Sustainable Solution from a Techno-Economic Standpoint?
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 618; doi:10.3390/su8070618
Received: 24 May 2016 / Revised: 24 June 2016 / Accepted: 27 June 2016 / Published: 30 June 2016
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Abstract
In this paper, the authors propose a techno-economic comparative analysis between different lighting solutions, using, respectively, floodlight with metal halide lamps, luminaires with fluorescent lamps and LED floodlights. The comparison is aimed to identify general criteria for assessing the techno-economic sustainability of the
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In this paper, the authors propose a techno-economic comparative analysis between different lighting solutions, using, respectively, floodlight with metal halide lamps, luminaires with fluorescent lamps and LED floodlights. The comparison is aimed to identify general criteria for assessing the techno-economic sustainability of the use of LED lighting for indoor sports facilities, since this solution is very often proposed to achieve a reduction of the electrical power for lighting. From a technical standpoint, the analysis takes into particular consideration the aspects related to the satisfaction of lighting requirements, safety and energy efficiency. From an economic standpoint the investment, the operating and the maintenance costs are evaluated. To make comparisons on an economic basis, specific indicators are used. From the obtained results it is possible to highlight as the solution that uses the LED floodlights is characterized by highest energy efficiency. This solution requires a smaller number of luminaires and it has limited maintenance costs compared to the other solutions, but it has high investment costs, which involve reasonable payback times only when the sports facility is used intensively and for competitions of high level. Full article
Open AccessArticle Using Modified Remote Sensing Imagery to Interpret Changes in Cultivated Land under Saline-Alkali Conditions
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 619; doi:10.3390/su8070619
Received: 8 March 2016 / Revised: 31 May 2016 / Accepted: 23 June 2016 / Published: 1 July 2016
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Abstract
Managing the rapidly changing saline-alkali land under cultivation in the coastal areas of China is important not only for mitigating the negative impacts of such land on the environment, but also for ensuring long-term sustainability of agriculture. In this light, setting up rapid
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Managing the rapidly changing saline-alkali land under cultivation in the coastal areas of China is important not only for mitigating the negative impacts of such land on the environment, but also for ensuring long-term sustainability of agriculture. In this light, setting up rapid monitoring systems to assist decision-making in developing sustainable management plans is therefore an absolute necessity. In this study, we developed a new interpretation system where symbols are used to grade and classify saline-alkali lands in space and time, based on the characteristics of plant cover and features of remote sensing images. The system was used in combination with the maximum likelihood supervised classification to analyze the changes in cultivated lands under saline-alkali conditions in Huanghua City. The analysis revealed changes in the area and spatial distribution of cultivated under saline-alkali conditions in the region. The total area of saline-alkali land was 139,588.8 ha in 1992 and 134,477.5 ha in 2011. Compared with 1992, severely and moderately saline-alkali land areas decreased in 2011. However, non/slightly saline land areas increased over that in 1992. The results showed that the salinization rate of arable lands in Huanghua City decreased from 1992 to 2011. The moderately saline-alkali land southeast of the city transformed into non/slightly saline-alkaline. Then, severely saline-alkali land far from the coastal zone west of the city became moderately saline-alkaline. Spatial changes in cultivated saline-alkali lands in Huanghua City were such that the centers of gravity (CG) of severely and non/slightly saline-alkali land moved closer the coastline, while that of the moderately saline-alkali land moved from southwest coastal line to northwest. Factors influencing changes in cultivated lands in the saline-alkali ecosystem included climate, hydrology and human activity. Thus, studies are required to further explore these factors in order to build a better understanding into the relative contributions of the changes saline-alkali state on the functions of coastline ecosystems. Full article
Open AccessArticle Water and Carbon Footprint of Wine: Methodology Review and Application to a Case Study
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 621; doi:10.3390/su8070621
Received: 12 May 2016 / Revised: 23 June 2016 / Accepted: 27 June 2016 / Published: 2 July 2016
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Abstract
Life cycle assessments (LCAs) play a strategic role in improving the environmental performance of a company and in supporting a successful marketing communication. The high impact of the food industry on natural resources, in terms of water consumption and greenhouse gases emission, has
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Life cycle assessments (LCAs) play a strategic role in improving the environmental performance of a company and in supporting a successful marketing communication. The high impact of the food industry on natural resources, in terms of water consumption and greenhouse gases emission, has been focusing the attention of consumers and producers towards environmentally sustainable products. This work presents a comprehensive approach for the joint evaluation of carbon (CF) and water (WF) footprint of the wine industry from a cradle to grave perspective. The LCA analysis is carried out following the requirements of international standards (ISO/TS 14067 and ISO 14046). A complete review of the water footprint methodology is presented and guidelines for all the phases of the evaluation procedure are provided, including acquisition and validation of input data, allocation, application of analytic models, and interpretation of the results. The strength of this approach is the implementation of a side-by-side CF vs. WF assessment, based on the same system boundaries, functional unit, and input data, that allows a reliable comparison between the two indicators. In particular, a revised methodology is presented for the evaluation of the grey water component. The methodology was applied to a white and a red wine produced in the same company. A comparison between the two products is presented for each LCA phase along with literature results for similar wines. Full article
Open AccessArticle From Waste Management to Resource Efficiency—The Need for Policy Mixes
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 622; doi:10.3390/su8070622
Received: 2 February 2016 / Revised: 15 June 2016 / Accepted: 27 June 2016 / Published: 1 July 2016
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (2210 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Treating waste as a resource and the design of a circular economy have been identified as key approaches for resource efficiency. Despite ambitious targets, policies and instruments that would enable a transition from a conventional waste management to an integrated and comprehensive resource
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Treating waste as a resource and the design of a circular economy have been identified as key approaches for resource efficiency. Despite ambitious targets, policies and instruments that would enable a transition from a conventional waste management to an integrated and comprehensive resource management are still missing. Moreover, this will require innovative policy mixes which do not only address different end-of-pipe approaches but integrate various resource efficiency aspects from product design to patterns of production and consumption. Based on the results of a project funded by the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development named “POLFREE—Policy Options for a resource efficient economy”, this paper addresses several aspects of the conceptualization of policy mixes with regard to waste as a specific resource efficiency challenge. The guiding research interest of this paper is the combination of policies necessary to create a full circular economy. In a first step, the present waste policy frameworks, institutions and existing incentives at national level are examined in order to disclose regulatory and policy gaps. Based on this, the second part of the paper describes and analyses specific waste-related resource efficiency instruments with regard to their potential impacts under the constraints of various barriers. Based on the assessment of the country analyses and the innovative instruments, the paper draws conclusions on waste policy mixes and political needs. Full article
Open AccessArticle Is It What You Measure That Really Matters? The Struggle to Move beyond GDP in Canada
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 623; doi:10.3390/su8070623
Received: 1 April 2016 / Revised: 30 May 2016 / Accepted: 13 June 2016 / Published: 2 July 2016
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Abstract
In light of Gross Domestic Product’s (GDP) well-known limitations as a wellbeing indicator, many alternative measures have been developed around the world. Some advocates of “beyond GDP” measures argue that they are key to shifting societal priorities away from economic growth toward sustainability,
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In light of Gross Domestic Product’s (GDP) well-known limitations as a wellbeing indicator, many alternative measures have been developed around the world. Some advocates of “beyond GDP” measures argue that they are key to shifting societal priorities away from economic growth toward sustainability, equity, and well-being. Is there any evidence to date that alternative indicators have lived up to their supporters’ expectations, whether the hope is for a radical transformation of social priorities away from GDP growth or a reformist vision of better policymaking without challenging the growth paradigm? What are the obstacles to fulfilling those expectations? This article examines the Canadian experience, drawing on interviews with researchers, non-governmental organization (NGO) leaders, public-sector officials, and politicians, along with analysis of relevant documents. The hopes of Canadian proponents of new wellbeing measures have been largely disappointed to date, as no impact on federal or provincial policy is evident. Obstacles facing both a transformative and more limited reformist vision are examined. The Canadian case also suggests that use of new socio-economic indicators is best seen as one product of political efforts to bring ecological and social values into decision-making, rather than as the transformative force that will cause a change in societal priorities. Full article
Open AccessArticle Impacts on the Social Cohesion of Mainland Spain’s Future Motorway and High-Speed Rail Networks
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 624; doi:10.3390/su8070624
Received: 12 May 2016 / Revised: 27 June 2016 / Accepted: 28 June 2016 / Published: 2 July 2016
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Abstract
A great expansion of the road and rail network is contemplated in the Infrastructure, Transport and Housing Plan (PITVI in Spanish), in order to achieve greater social cohesion in 2024 in Spain. For this reason, the aim of this study is to classify
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A great expansion of the road and rail network is contemplated in the Infrastructure, Transport and Housing Plan (PITVI in Spanish), in order to achieve greater social cohesion in 2024 in Spain. For this reason, the aim of this study is to classify and to identify those municipalities that are going to improve or worsen their social cohesion. To achieve this goal, the municipalities were classified according to the degree of socioeconomic development, and their accessibility levels were determined before and after the construction of these infrastructures. Firstly, the socioeconomic classification demonstrates that there is predominance in the northern half of the peninsula in the most developed municipalities. Secondly, the accessibility levels show that the same center-peripheral models are going to be kept in the future. Finally, poorly-defined territorial patterns are obtained with respect to the positive or negative effects of new infrastructures on social cohesion. Therefore, it is possible to state that the construction plan is going to partially fulfill its aim, since a quarter of the population is going to be affected by a negative impact on socioeconomic development. As a consequence, people who live here are going to have major problems in achieving social cohesion. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Accommodation Consumers and Providers’ Attitudes, Behaviours and Practices for Sustainability: A Systematic Review
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 625; doi:10.3390/su8070625
Received: 1 June 2016 / Revised: 28 June 2016 / Accepted: 29 June 2016 / Published: 2 July 2016
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Abstract
Accommodation and lodging are an integral component of the tourism and hospitality industry. Given the sectors’ growing contribution to resource consumption and waste, there is a growing body of literature on the attitudes, behaviours and practices of consumers, managers, staff and owners of
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Accommodation and lodging are an integral component of the tourism and hospitality industry. Given the sectors’ growing contribution to resource consumption and waste, there is a growing body of literature on the attitudes, behaviours and practices of consumers, managers, staff and owners of lodging with respect to sustainability. This paper presents the results of a systematic analysis of articles on attitudes, behaviours and practices of consumers and the provision of accommodation with respect to sustainability. The results indicate that there is a dearth of longitudinal studies on the sustainability of practices and behaviours. There are limitations in geographical coverage as well as methods, with research dominated by convenience sampling approaches. It is concluded that while there appear to be improvements in the potential sustainability of lodging with respect to technological approaches, the lack of systematic long-term studies on behavioural interventions represents a significant challenge to reducing the absolute emissions of the sector as well as reductions in energy and water use and waste production. Given the lack of longitudinal studies, it is not known whether observed behavioural changes are sustained over time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Management in Tourism and Hospitality)
Open AccessArticle The Ethical Judgment and Moral Reaction to the Product-Harm Crisis: Theoretical Model and Empirical Research
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 626; doi:10.3390/su8070626
Received: 31 March 2016 / Revised: 28 June 2016 / Accepted: 29 June 2016 / Published: 2 July 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (932 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Based on the dual-process theory of ethical judgment, a research model is proposed for examining consumers’ moral reactions to a product-harm crisis. A national-wide survey was conducted with 801 respondents in China. The results of this study indicate that consumers will react to
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Based on the dual-process theory of ethical judgment, a research model is proposed for examining consumers’ moral reactions to a product-harm crisis. A national-wide survey was conducted with 801 respondents in China. The results of this study indicate that consumers will react to a product-harm crisis through controlled cognitive processing and emotional intuition. The results of the study also show that consumers view a product-harm crisis as an ethical issue, and they will make an ethical judgment according to the perceived severity and perceived relevance of the crisis. The ethical judgment in the perceived crisis severity and perceived crisis relevance will affect consumers’ condemning emotions in terms of contempt and anger. Through controlled cognitive processing, a personal consumption-related reaction (purchasing intention) is influenced by the perceived crisis severity. Furthermore, a social and interpersonal reaction (negative word of mouth) is influenced by the perceived crisis relevance through the controlled cognitive processing. This social and interpersonal reaction is also influenced by the perceived crisis severity and perceived crisis relevance through the intuition of other-condemning emotion. Moreover, this study finds that the product knowledge negatively moderates the impact of the perceived crisis severity on the condemning emotions. Therefore, when a consumer has a high level of product knowledge, the effect of perceived crisis severity on the condemning emotions will be attenuated, and vice versa. This study provides scholars and managers with means of understanding and handling of consumers’ reactions to a product-harm crisis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Competitive and Sustainable Manufacturing in the Age of Globalization)
Open AccessArticle Stabilization of Gob-Side Entry with an Artificial Side for Sustaining Mining Work
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 627; doi:10.3390/su8070627
Received: 30 April 2016 / Revised: 27 June 2016 / Accepted: 29 June 2016 / Published: 4 July 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (8445 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A concrete artificial side (AS) is introduced to stabilize a gob-side entry (GSE). To evaluate the stability of the AS, a uniaxial compression failure experiment was conducted with large and small-scale specimens. The distribution characteristics of the shear stress were obtained from a
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A concrete artificial side (AS) is introduced to stabilize a gob-side entry (GSE). To evaluate the stability of the AS, a uniaxial compression failure experiment was conducted with large and small-scale specimens. The distribution characteristics of the shear stress were obtained from a numerical simulation. Based on the failure characteristics and the variation of the shear stress, a failure criterion was determined and implemented in the strengthening method for the artificial side. In an experimental test, the distribution pattern of the maximum shear stress showed an X shape, which contributed to the failure shape of the specimen. The shear stress distribution and failure shape are induced by a combination of two sets of shear stresses, which implies that failure of the AS follows the twin shear strength theory. The use of anchor bolts, bolts, and anchor bars enhances the shear strength of the artificial side. When this side is stable, the components can constrain the lateral deformation as well as improve the internal friction angle and cohesion. When the AS is damaged, the components prevent the sliding of broken blocks along the shear failure plane and improve the residual strength of the artificial side. When reinforced with an anchor bar, the AS is still stable even after mining operations for three years. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
Open AccessArticle Urban Heat Island Simulations in Guangzhou, China, Using the Coupled WRF/UCM Model with a Land Use Map Extracted from Remote Sensing Data
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 628; doi:10.3390/su8070628
Received: 5 May 2016 / Revised: 28 June 2016 / Accepted: 30 June 2016 / Published: 5 July 2016
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Abstract
The Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model coupled with an Urban Canopy Model (UCM) was used for studying urban environmental issues. Because land use data employed in the WRF model do not agree with the current situation around Guangzhou, China, the performance of
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The Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model coupled with an Urban Canopy Model (UCM) was used for studying urban environmental issues. Because land use data employed in the WRF model do not agree with the current situation around Guangzhou, China, the performance of WRF/UCM with new land-use data extracted from Remote Sensing (RS) data was evaluated in early August 2012. Results from simulations reveal that experiments with the extracted data are capable of reasonable reproductions of the majority of the observed temporal characteristics of the 2-m temperature, and can capture the characteristics of Urban Heat Island (UHI). The “UCM_12” simulation, which employed the extracted land-use data with the WRF/UCM model, provided the best reproduction of the 2-m temperature data evolution and the smallest minimum absolute average error when compared with the other two experiments without coupled UCM. The contributions of various factors to the UHI effect were analyzed by comparing the energy equilibrium processes of “UCM_12” in urban and suburban areas. Analysis revealed that energy equilibrium processes with new land use data can explain the diurnal character of the UHI intensity variation. Furthermore, land use data extracted from RS can be used to simulate the UHI. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Heat Island)
Open AccessArticle Electrolyzer Performance Analysis of an Integrated Hydrogen Power System for Greenhouse Heating. A Case Study
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 629; doi:10.3390/su8070629
Received: 23 April 2016 / Revised: 23 June 2016 / Accepted: 28 June 2016 / Published: 5 July 2016
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Abstract
A greenhouse containing an integrated system of photovoltaic panels, a water electrolyzer, fuel cells and a geothermal heat pump was set up to investigate suitable solutions for a power system based on solar energy and hydrogen, feeding a self-sufficient, geothermal-heated greenhouse. The electricity
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A greenhouse containing an integrated system of photovoltaic panels, a water electrolyzer, fuel cells and a geothermal heat pump was set up to investigate suitable solutions for a power system based on solar energy and hydrogen, feeding a self-sufficient, geothermal-heated greenhouse. The electricity produced by the photovoltaic source supplies the electrolyzer; the manufactured hydrogen gas is held in a pressure tank. In these systems, the electrolyzer is a crucial component; the technical challenge is to make it work regularly despite the irregularity of the solar source. The focus of this paper is to study the performance and the real energy efficiency of the electrolyzer, analyzing its operational data collected under different operating conditions affected by the changeable solar radiant energy characterizing the site where the experimental plant was located. The analysis of the measured values allowed evaluation of its suitability for the agricultural requirements such as greenhouse heating. On the strength of the obtained result, a new layout of the battery bank has been designed and exemplified to improve the performance of the electrolyzer. The evaluations resulting from this case study may have a genuine value, therefore assisting in further studies to better understand these devices and their associated technologies. Full article
Open AccessArticle Energy Utilization Evaluation of Carbon Performance in Public Projects by FAHP and Cloud Model
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 630; doi:10.3390/su8070630
Received: 5 March 2016 / Revised: 6 June 2016 / Accepted: 29 June 2016 / Published: 7 July 2016
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Abstract
With the low-carbon economy advocated all over the world, how to use energy reasonably and efficiently in public projects has become a major issue. It has brought many open questions, including which method is more reasonable in evaluating the energy utilization of carbon
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With the low-carbon economy advocated all over the world, how to use energy reasonably and efficiently in public projects has become a major issue. It has brought many open questions, including which method is more reasonable in evaluating the energy utilization of carbon performance in public projects when the evaluation information is fuzzy; whether an indicator system can be constructed; and which indicators have more impact on carbon performance. This article aims to solve these problems. We propose a new carbon performance evaluation system for energy utilization based on project processes (design, construction, and operation). Fuzzy Analytic Hierarchy Process (FAHP) is used to accumulate the indicator weights and cloud model is incorporated when the indicator value is fuzzy. Finally, we apply our indicator system to a case study of the Xiangjiang River project in China, which demonstrates the applicability and efficiency of our method. Full article
Open AccessArticle Employee Engagement for Sustainable Organizations: Keyword Analysis Using Social Network Analysis and Burst Detection Approach
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 631; doi:10.3390/su8070631
Received: 27 May 2016 / Revised: 24 June 2016 / Accepted: 29 June 2016 / Published: 5 July 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1005 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The issue of sustainability is a vital long-term goal for organizations and as such has formed the basis of much academic research over the last two decades. Organizational sustainability is defined as the ability for an organization to accomplish a range of economic,
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The issue of sustainability is a vital long-term goal for organizations and as such has formed the basis of much academic research over the last two decades. Organizational sustainability is defined as the ability for an organization to accomplish a range of economic, environmental, and human performance objectives. As one of the most studied topics in organizational science, employee engagement at work is seen as a critical component to achieving sustainable organizational success. In order to better understand the employee engagement discourse, this study examined the keywords that appear in the titles and abstract of the employee engagement research domain using the burst detection and social network analysis techniques. A total of 1406 employee engagement relevant articles that were published from 1990 to 2015 were included and investigated in the study. The results revealed the fading, emerging, and central themes within the employee engagement domain. Full article
Open AccessArticle Peer Effects and Voluntary Green Building Certification
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 632; doi:10.3390/su8070632
Received: 6 May 2016 / Revised: 29 June 2016 / Accepted: 30 June 2016 / Published: 5 July 2016
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Abstract
Empirical evidence is provided to show that peer effects have statistically significant and positive impacts on the diffusion of green building certificates. Application and approval records of green certificates by commercial buildings in NY and AZ are used. The challenge of self-selection is
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Empirical evidence is provided to show that peer effects have statistically significant and positive impacts on the diffusion of green building certificates. Application and approval records of green certificates by commercial buildings in NY and AZ are used. The challenge of self-selection is addressed by the usage of fixed effects and the challenge of reflection is addressed by the time lag delay between a building’s application and its approval. Empirical results show that an additional approved LEED certificate within a zip code will increase the probability of a commercial building in the same zip code to apply for a LEED certificate by 3–4 percentage points; an additional approved Energy Star certificate within a zip code will increase the probability of a commercial building in the same zip code to apply for an Energy Star certificate by 1–2 percentage points. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Challenges in Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Management: A Profitability Assessment in Three European Countries
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 633; doi:10.3390/su8070633
Received: 16 April 2016 / Revised: 16 June 2016 / Accepted: 29 June 2016 / Published: 5 July 2016
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Abstract
Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) is known as an important source of secondary raw materials. Since decades, its treatment allowed to recover great amounts of basic resources. However, the management of electronic components embedded in WEEE still presents many challenges. The purpose
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Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) is known as an important source of secondary raw materials. Since decades, its treatment allowed to recover great amounts of basic resources. However, the management of electronic components embedded in WEEE still presents many challenges. The purpose of the paper is to cope with some of these challenges through the definition of an economic model able to identify the presence of profitability within the recovery process of waste printed circuit boards (WPCBs). To this aim, a set of common economic indexes is used within the paper. Furthermore, a sensitivity analysis on a set of critical variables is conducted to evaluate their impact on the results. Finally, the combination of predicted WEEE volumes (collected during the 2015–2030 period) in three European countries (Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom) and related economic indexes quantify the potential advantage coming from the recovery of this kind of waste in the next future. Full article
Open AccessArticle Analysis and Optimization of Power Supply Structure Based on Markov Chain and Error Optimization for Renewable Energy from the Perspective of Sustainability
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 634; doi:10.3390/su8070634
Received: 5 January 2016 / Revised: 15 June 2016 / Accepted: 21 June 2016 / Published: 7 July 2016
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Abstract
With the rapid development of renewable energy, power supply structure is changing. However, thermal power is still dominant. With the background in low carbon economy, reasonable adjustment and optimization of the power supply structure is the trend of future development in the power
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With the rapid development of renewable energy, power supply structure is changing. However, thermal power is still dominant. With the background in low carbon economy, reasonable adjustment and optimization of the power supply structure is the trend of future development in the power industry. It is also a reliable guarantee of a fast, healthy and stable development of national economy. In this paper, the sustainable development of renewable energy sources is analyzed from the perspective of power supply. Through the research on the development of power supply structure, we find that regional power supply structure development mode conforms to dynamic characteristics and there must exist a Markov chain in the final equilibrium state. Combined with the characteristics of no aftereffect and small samples, this paper applies a Markov model to the power supply structure prediction. The optimization model is established to ensure that the model can fit the historical data as much as possible. Taking actual data of a certain area of Ningxia Province as an example, the models proposed in this paper are applied to the practice and results verify the validity and robustness of the model, which can provide decision basis for enterprise managers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How Better Decision-Making Helps to Improve Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Comparative Analysis for the Urban Metabolic Differences of Two Types of Cities in the Resource-Dependent Region Based on Emergy Theory
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 635; doi:10.3390/su8070635
Received: 13 May 2016 / Revised: 30 June 2016 / Accepted: 1 July 2016 / Published: 12 July 2016
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Abstract
Urban metabolism analysis has become a useful and effective tool to explore urban socio-economic processes. In this research, in order to explore the similarities and differences of metabolic characteristics and variation rules of different types of resource-dependent cities, we selected two cities—Taiyuan and
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Urban metabolism analysis has become a useful and effective tool to explore urban socio-economic processes. In this research, in order to explore the similarities and differences of metabolic characteristics and variation rules of different types of resource-dependent cities, we selected two cities—Taiyuan and Jincheng, the capital and a traditional resource-dependent city of Shanxi province, respectively, as research subjects, we also established an urban metabolic evaluation framework by employing a set of eight emergy-based indicators from socio-economic data from 2007 to 2014, and compared the similarities and discrepancies from the perspectives of metabolic structure, intensity, pressure, and efficiency, and put forward some suggestions for pursuing sustainable development for both cities and pointed out that more types of resource-dependent cities should be incorporated in future research work. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle The Effects of Bus Ridership on Airborne Particulate Matter (PM10) Concentrations
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 636; doi:10.3390/su8070636
Received: 3 April 2016 / Revised: 30 June 2016 / Accepted: 1 July 2016 / Published: 5 July 2016
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Abstract
Air pollution caused by rapid urbanization and the increased use of private vehicles seriously affects citizens’ health. In order to alleviate air pollution, many cities have replaced diesel buses with compressed natural gas (CNG) buses that emit less exhaust gas. Urban planning strategies
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Air pollution caused by rapid urbanization and the increased use of private vehicles seriously affects citizens’ health. In order to alleviate air pollution, many cities have replaced diesel buses with compressed natural gas (CNG) buses that emit less exhaust gas. Urban planning strategies such as transit-oriented development (TOD) posit that reducing private vehicle use and increasing public transportation use would reduce air pollution levels. The present study examined the effects of bus ridership on airborne particulate matter (PM10) concentrations in the capital region of Korea. We interpolated the levels of PM10 from 128 air pollution monitoring stations, utilizing the Kriging method. Spatial regression models were used to estimate the impact of bus ridership on PM10 levels, controlling for physical environment attributes and socio-economic factors. The analysis identified that PM10 concentration levels tend to be lower in areas with greater bus ridership. This result implies that urban and transportation policies designed to promote public transportation may be effective strategies for reducing air pollution. Full article
Open AccessArticle Experimental Study of a Small Scale Hydraulic System for Mechanical Wind Energy Conversion into Heat
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 637; doi:10.3390/su8070637
Received: 17 May 2016 / Revised: 29 June 2016 / Accepted: 30 June 2016 / Published: 20 July 2016
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Abstract
Significant potential for reducing thermal energy consumption in buildings of moderate and cold climate countries lies within wind energy utilisation. Unlike solar irradiation, character of wind speeds in Central and Northern Europe correspond to the actual thermal energy demand in buildings. However, mechanical
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Significant potential for reducing thermal energy consumption in buildings of moderate and cold climate countries lies within wind energy utilisation. Unlike solar irradiation, character of wind speeds in Central and Northern Europe correspond to the actual thermal energy demand in buildings. However, mechanical wind energy undergoes transformation into electrical energy before being actually used as thermal energy in most wind energy applications. The study presented in this paper deals with hydraulic systems, designed for small-scale applications to eliminate the intermediate energy transformation as it converts mechanical wind energy into heat directly. The prototype unit containing a pump, flow control valve, oil tank and piping was developed and tested under laboratory conditions. Results of the experiments showed that the prototype system is highly efficient and adjustable to a broad wind velocity range by modifying the definite hydraulic system resistance. Development of such small-scale replicable units has the potential to promote “bottom-up” solutions for the transition to a zero carbon society. Full article
Open AccessArticle Leadership of Information Security Manager on the Effectiveness of Information Systems Security for Secure Sustainable Computing
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 638; doi:10.3390/su8070638
Received: 21 March 2016 / Revised: 9 June 2016 / Accepted: 28 June 2016 / Published: 7 July 2016
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Abstract
Information security has been predicted as a barrier for future sustainable computing. Regarding information security of secure sustainable computing, the role of information security managers has received attention. In particular, transformational leadership by information security managers should be stressed for persuading, directing, and
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Information security has been predicted as a barrier for future sustainable computing. Regarding information security of secure sustainable computing, the role of information security managers has received attention. In particular, transformational leadership by information security managers should be stressed for persuading, directing, and controlling management and employees. This study shows that the transformational leadership (in forms such as idealized influence, individualized consideration, and inspirational motivation) of information security managers can improve the effectiveness of information security. The enforcement and relevance of information security policies could be mediating effects on the effectiveness of information security. This study collects data from governmental and public institutions in Korea. This study suggests the need for leadership education programs, and indicates that job training for information security managers should be conducted regularly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced IT based Future Sustainable Computing)
Open AccessArticle Sustainable Design Operations in the Supply Chain: Non-Profit Manufacturer vs. For-Profit Manufacturer
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 639; doi:10.3390/su8070639
Received: 31 May 2016 / Accepted: 4 July 2016 / Published: 6 July 2016
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (298 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainable design aims to reduce the negative impacts either on people (e.g., create healthy) or on planet (e.g., minimize waste). In other words, sustainable design is the philosophy thattendstoimprovedesignperformancebyincorporatinghealthandsafetyattributes(forpeople), and environmental attributes (for planet) into products. In this paper, we develop an analytical
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Sustainable design aims to reduce the negative impacts either on people (e.g., create healthy) or on planet (e.g., minimize waste). In other words, sustainable design is the philosophy thattendstoimprovedesignperformancebyincorporatinghealthandsafetyattributes(forpeople), and environmental attributes (for planet) into products. In this paper, we develop an analytical model to examine the sustainable design operations in a supply chain which consists of one retailer and one manufacturer. The manufacturer designs the products by investigating sustainable design efforts, such that the products can better coordinate human needs. Motivated by the real industry practice, we consider two business modes for the manufacturer: a nonprofit organization (i.e., a demand quantity seeker) or a commercial firm (i.e., a profit seeker). We obtain the optimal operational decisions in both the decentralized case and the centralized case, and we also compare the results. Managerial insights are derived, and the efficiency of the sustainable design is also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eco-innovation and Competitiveness)
Open AccessArticle Hybrid Corporate Performance Prediction Model Considering Technical Capability
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 640; doi:10.3390/su8070640
Received: 4 April 2016 / Revised: 27 June 2016 / Accepted: 4 July 2016 / Published: 6 July 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2095 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Many studies have tried to predict corporate performance and stock prices to enhance investment profitability using qualitative approaches such as the Delphi method. However, developments in data processing technology and machine-learning algorithms have resulted in efforts to develop quantitative prediction models in various
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Many studies have tried to predict corporate performance and stock prices to enhance investment profitability using qualitative approaches such as the Delphi method. However, developments in data processing technology and machine-learning algorithms have resulted in efforts to develop quantitative prediction models in various managerial subject areas. We propose a quantitative corporate performance prediction model that applies the support vector regression (SVR) algorithm to solve the problem of the overfitting of training data and can be applied to regression problems. The proposed model optimizes the SVR training parameters based on the training data, using the genetic algorithm to achieve sustainable predictability in changeable markets and managerial environments. Technology-intensive companies represent an increasing share of the total economy. The performance and stock prices of these companies are affected by their financial standing and their technological capabilities. Therefore, we apply both financial indicators and technical indicators to establish the proposed prediction model. Here, we use time series data, including financial, patent, and corporate performance information of 44 electronic and IT companies. Then, we predict the performance of these companies as an empirical verification of the prediction performance of the proposed model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle A Behavioral Model of Managerial Perspectives Regarding Technology Acceptance in Building Energy Management Systems
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 641; doi:10.3390/su8070641
Received: 6 June 2016 / Revised: 2 July 2016 / Accepted: 5 July 2016 / Published: 7 July 2016
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Abstract
The Building Energy Management System (BEMS), a well-known system that has been implemented in some energy corporations, has become attractive to many companies seeking to better monitor their energy consumption efficiency. This study investigated the external factors that influence acceptance of the BEMS
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The Building Energy Management System (BEMS), a well-known system that has been implemented in some energy corporations, has become attractive to many companies seeking to better monitor their energy consumption efficiency. This study investigated the external factors that influence acceptance of the BEMS from managerial perspectives. An extended model based on the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) was created to evaluate the implementation of the BEMS in the manufacturing industries. A structural equation modeling (SEM) approach was used to analyze the model by adopting compatibility, features, technology complexity, and perceived risk as the external variables, and integrating the five dimensions of perceived ease of use, perceived usefulness, attitude, user satisfaction, and behavioral intention. The analysis results indicated that the external factors positively influenced users’ behavioral intention to use the BEMS through expected satisfaction, perceived ease of use, and perceived usefulness. Suggestions for BEMS developers are provided as well. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle How Much CO2 Emissions Can Be Reduced in China’s Heating Industry
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 642; doi:10.3390/su8070642
Received: 9 March 2016 / Revised: 14 June 2016 / Accepted: 4 July 2016 / Published: 8 July 2016
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Abstract
China’s heating industry is a coal-fired industry with serious environmental issues. CO2 emissions from the heating industry accounted for an average 6.1% of China’s carbon emissions during 1985–2010. The potential for reducing emissions in China’s heating industry is evaluated by co-integration analysis
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China’s heating industry is a coal-fired industry with serious environmental issues. CO2 emissions from the heating industry accounted for an average 6.1% of China’s carbon emissions during 1985–2010. The potential for reducing emissions in China’s heating industry is evaluated by co-integration analysis and scenario analysis. The results demonstrate that there is a long-run equilibrium relationship among CO2 emissions and the influencing factors, including energy intensity, industrial scale, labor productivity, and energy productivity. Monte Carlo technique is adopted for risk analysis. It is found that the CO2 emissions reduction potential of the heating industry will be 26.7 million tons of coal equivalent (Mtce) in 2020 and 64.8 Mtce in 2025 under the moderate scenario, compared with 50.6 Mtce in 2020 and 122.1 Mtce in 2025 under the advanced scenario. Policy suggestions are provided accordingly. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Impact of Traditional Culture on Farmers’ Moral Hazard Behavior in Crop Production: Evidence from China
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 643; doi:10.3390/su8070643
Received: 19 March 2016 / Revised: 24 June 2016 / Accepted: 29 June 2016 / Published: 8 July 2016
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Abstract
To obtain higher yields, farmers may excessively use pesticides when they grow crops (like rice, vegetables, or fruit), causing moral hazard behavior. This paper examines how Chinese farmers’ moral hazard behavior in crop production is influenced by their traditional culture. A semi-parametric logistic
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To obtain higher yields, farmers may excessively use pesticides when they grow crops (like rice, vegetables, or fruit), causing moral hazard behavior. This paper examines how Chinese farmers’ moral hazard behavior in crop production is influenced by their traditional culture. A semi-parametric logistic model is used to investigate the impact of Chinese traditional culture on farmers’ moral hazard behavior. The results reveal that Chinese traditional culture has a positive effect on ameliorating the farmers’ excessive use of pesticides in crop production, which leads to a moral hazard in agro-product safety. Specifically, when we control for extraneous variables, the probability of moral hazard decreases by 15% if farmers consider their traditional culture in their production decisions. Moreover, the probability of moral hazard decreases by 17% if farmers consider the traditional culture as a powerful restraint regarding the use of pesticides. Our analysis provides some supportive evidence on the effect of Chinese traditional culture on mitigating farmers’ excessive use of pesticides. Full article
Open AccessArticle Tourists’ Environmentally Responsible Behavior in Response to Climate Change and Tourist Experiences in Nature-Based Tourism
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 644; doi:10.3390/su8070644
Received: 30 May 2016 / Revised: 30 June 2016 / Accepted: 4 July 2016 / Published: 8 July 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (234 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Nature-based tourism destinations—locations in which economic viability and environmental responsibility are sought—are sensitive to climate change and its effects on important environmental components of the tourism areas. To meet the dual roles, it is important for destination marketers and resources managers to provide
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Nature-based tourism destinations—locations in which economic viability and environmental responsibility are sought—are sensitive to climate change and its effects on important environmental components of the tourism areas. To meet the dual roles, it is important for destination marketers and resources managers to provide quality experiences for tourists and to induce tourists’ environmentally responsible behavior in such destinations. This study documents the importance of perceptions toward climate change and tourist experiences in determining tourists’ environmentally responsible behavior while enjoying holidays at nature-based tourism destinations in Jeju Island, South Korea. Two hundred and eleven Korean and 204 Chinese tourists marked dominant tourist arrivals to the island, and responded to the survey questionnaire. Results showed that perceptions toward climate change and tourist experiences affect Korean tourists’ environmentally responsible behavior intentions, whereas tourist experiences—not perceptions toward climate change—only significantly affect Chinese tourists’ behavior intention. In a nature-based tourism context under the pressure of climate change and adverse environmental effects as consequences of tourism activities, resources managers and destination marketers need to develop environmental campaigns or informative tourist programs to formulate environmentally responsible behavior as well as to increase tourist quality experiences among domestic and international tourists. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Management in Tourism and Hospitality)
Open AccessArticle The Role of Paradigm Analysis in the Development of Policies for a Resource Efficient Economy
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 645; doi:10.3390/su8070645
Received: 8 February 2016 / Revised: 23 June 2016 / Accepted: 29 June 2016 / Published: 8 July 2016
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Abstract
Policy makers are often called upon to navigate between scientists’ urgent calls for long-term concerted action to reduce the environmental impacts due to resource use, and the public’s concerns over policies that threaten lifestyles or jobs. Against these political challenges, resource efficiency policy
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Policy makers are often called upon to navigate between scientists’ urgent calls for long-term concerted action to reduce the environmental impacts due to resource use, and the public’s concerns over policies that threaten lifestyles or jobs. Against these political challenges, resource efficiency policy making is often a changeable and even chaotic process, which has fallen short of the political ambitions set by democratically elected governments. This article examines the importance of paradigms in understanding how the public collectively responds to new policy proposals, such as those developed within the project DYNAmic policy MiXes for absolute decoupling of environmental impact of EU resource use from economic growth (DYNAMIX). The resulting proposed approach provides a framework to understand how different concerns and worldviews converge within public discourse, potentially resulting in paradigm change. Thus an alternative perspective on how resource efficiency policy can be development is proposed, which envisages early policies to lay the ground for future far-reaching policies, by altering the underlying paradigm context in which the public receive and respond to policy. The article concludes by arguing that paradigm change is more likely if the policy is conceived, framed, designed, analyzed, presented, and evaluated from the worldview or paradigm pathway that it seeks to create (i.e., the destination paradigm). Full article
Open AccessArticle Multicriteria Decision Analysis to Develop Effective Sustainable Development Strategies for Enhancing Competitive Advantages: Case of the TFT-LCD Industry in Taiwan
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 646; doi:10.3390/su8070646
Received: 13 March 2016 / Revised: 20 June 2016 / Accepted: 24 June 2016 / Published: 9 July 2016
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (4981 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the Internet of Things era, panel displays play a major role in human life, because humans frequently use liquid crystal displays to monitor their electrical devices. The display industry creates remarkable economic output, but every manufacturing process inevitably has some undesirable effects
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In the Internet of Things era, panel displays play a major role in human life, because humans frequently use liquid crystal displays to monitor their electrical devices. The display industry creates remarkable economic output, but every manufacturing process inevitably has some undesirable effects on the environment. With the increasing awareness of environmental protection, balanced development is necessary to address the emerging market trends. However, short-sighted manufacturing corporations that focus solely on financial performance can achieve only short-term profits. The purpose of this study was to develop the most effective sustainable improvement strategies that can enhance competitive advantages in real-world situations. The proposed method combines the balanced scorecard and a new hybrid modified multiple attribute decision-making model which together adopt the DEMATEL technique to construct the influential network relation map and develop the DEMATEL-based ANP with the VIKOR method to deliver strategies that integrate environmental sustainability and competitive advantage. Finally, a real-world case study applying the proposed method to the cases of liquid crystal display manufacturers was conducted. Then, this paper discusses the effective use of natural resources, development of enterprises, and sustainable competitive advantage in this context. Various manufacturers, communities, and stakeholders can benefit from the coopetition solutions explained by the proposed method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How Better Decision-Making Helps to Improve Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Towards a Circular Economy: The Role of Dutch Logistics Industries and Governments
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 647; doi:10.3390/su8070647
Received: 2 May 2016 / Revised: 15 June 2016 / Accepted: 29 June 2016 / Published: 8 July 2016
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (891 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
While there is great potential in the chief values and prospects of a circular economy, this alone will not bring the circular economy to market or scale. In order for a circular economy to materialize, an integrated approach that focuses on a long-term
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While there is great potential in the chief values and prospects of a circular economy, this alone will not bring the circular economy to market or scale. In order for a circular economy to materialize, an integrated approach that focuses on a long-term system change or transition is required. To set the change process in motion, many (public and private) players (companies, authorities, citizens, and research institutions) need to be involved. Among the many stakeholders, a genuine enabler to implement a successful and sustainable circular strategy is the logistics industry. Given that The Netherlands is used as a case study, in this paper, we focus on the Dutch logistics industry and how this industry can contribute to the broader Dutch agenda to realize a more circular economy. It implies looking at the specific transition agenda for the logistics industry in relation to a circular economy, what barriers may exist that might hamper such a transition, and how public policy-makers are dealing with and can tackle these barriers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Circular Economy)
Open AccessArticle A Performance Evaluation of the BIM-Based Object-Oriented Physical Modeling Technique for Building Thermal Simulations: A Comparative Case Study
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 648; doi:10.3390/su8070648
Received: 16 May 2016 / Revised: 22 June 2016 / Accepted: 23 June 2016 / Published: 8 July 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (11932 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The development of separate building performance simulation tools has brought about a significant need for the integration of multi-domain simulations that would enable multiple building performance analyses to be conducted from a single building model. Insufficient data integration between the tools and Building
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The development of separate building performance simulation tools has brought about a significant need for the integration of multi-domain simulations that would enable multiple building performance analyses to be conducted from a single building model. Insufficient data integration between the tools and Building Information Modeling (BIM) currently prevents the efficient production of comprehensive building performance analyses. To overcome this problem, a multi-domain simulation tool, effective and efficient data, and a process integration methodology are all required. Object-Oriented Physical Modeling (OOPM) has emerged as a form of object-oriented modeling capable of supporting multiple domain simulations. Adoption of OOPM into building performance simulations with BIM is particularly interesting as a means of facilitating model translations between BIM and BEM (Building Energy Modeling). Specifically, complex data translation from the building topology in BIM to the space boundary conditions in BEM is both labor intensive and time consuming. This research uses case studies to investigate the feasibility of automatically translating a building topology from BIM to OOPM-based BEM. We included numerous preconditions in order to incorporate various object semantic differences into each model translation. Our research indicates that this adoption approach allows seamless model translations from BIM to OOPM-based BEM, which supports efficient and effective thermal simulations and facilitates the reuse of BIM data in multi-domain simulations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
Open AccessArticle Impact of the Smart City Industry on the Korean National Economy: Input-Output Analysis
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 649; doi:10.3390/su8070649
Received: 10 May 2016 / Revised: 27 June 2016 / Accepted: 4 July 2016 / Published: 8 July 2016
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Abstract
The characteristics of the smart city industry and its effects on the national economy of Korea are investigated using input-output analysis. The definition and industrial classification of a smart city are established using the Delphi technique for experts in various fields, from information
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The characteristics of the smart city industry and its effects on the national economy of Korea are investigated using input-output analysis. The definition and industrial classification of a smart city are established using the Delphi technique for experts in various fields, from information and communication technologies (ICT) to governmental policies for urban matters. The results of the analysis, including the production, value added and employment induction effects, show that the smart city industry has intermediate characteristics between ICT and urban construction industries, indicating that acquisition of the competitive edge of both the ICT and construction industries is the key to the success of the smart city industry. The crucial industries related to the smart city industry are identified based on an analysis of the forward and backward linkage effects, the results of which suggest the importance of the relevant service industries. The economic effects on the national economy induced by the governmental program for smart city demonstration are estimated using input-output analysis results. Overall, the results of this study indicate that facilitation of the smart city industry plays a key role not only in the sustainable city, but also in the growth of the national economy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intelligent Environments and Planning for Urban Renewal)
Open AccessArticle Forecasting the Allocation Ratio of Carbon Emission Allowance Currency for 2020 and 2030 in China
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 650; doi:10.3390/su8070650
Received: 5 June 2016 / Revised: 1 July 2016 / Accepted: 1 July 2016 / Published: 9 July 2016
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Abstract
Many countries and scholars have used various strategies to improve and optimize the allocation ratios for carbon emission allowances. This issue is more urgent for China due to the uneven development across the country. This paper proposes a new method that divides low-carbon
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Many countries and scholars have used various strategies to improve and optimize the allocation ratios for carbon emission allowances. This issue is more urgent for China due to the uneven development across the country. This paper proposes a new method that divides low-carbon economy development processes into two separate periods: from 2020 to 2029 and from 2030 to 2050. These two periods have unique requirements and emissions reduction potential; therefore, they must involve different allocation methods, so that reduction behaviors do not stall the development of regional low-carbon economies. During the first period, a more deterministic economic development approach for the carbon emission allowance allocation ratio should be used. During the second period, more adaptive and optimized policy guidance should be employed. We developed a low-carbon economy index evaluation system using the entropy weight method to measure information filtering levels. We conducted vector autoregressive correlation tests, consulted 60 experts for the fuzzy analytic hierarchy process, and we conducted max-min standardized data processing tests. This article presents first- and second-period carbon emission allowance models in combination with a low-carbon economy index evaluation system. Finally, we forecast reasonable carbon emission allowance allocation ratios for China for the periods starting in 2020 and 2030. A good allocation ratio for the carbon emission allowance can help boost China’s economic development and help the country reach its energy conservation and emissions reduction goals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Spatial and Temporal Evolution of Urban Systems in China during Rapid Urbanization
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 651; doi:10.3390/su8070651
Received: 17 January 2016 / Revised: 17 April 2016 / Accepted: 20 April 2016 / Published: 8 July 2016
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Abstract
The structure of urban hierarchy and the role of cities of different sizes have drawn considerable scholarly interests and societal concerns. This paper analyzes the evolution and underlying mechanisms of urban hierarchy in China during the recent period of rapid urbanization. By comparing
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The structure of urban hierarchy and the role of cities of different sizes have drawn considerable scholarly interests and societal concerns. This paper analyzes the evolution and underlying mechanisms of urban hierarchy in China during the recent period of rapid urbanization. By comparing scale changes of seven types of cities (megacity, large city, Type I big city, Type II big city, medium-sized city, type I small city and type II small city), we find that allometry is the main characteristic of urban hierarchical evolution in China. We also test the validity of Zipf’s law and Gibrat’s law, which broaden the scope of existing studies by including county-level cities. We find that urban hierarchical distribution is lognormal, rather than Pareto. The result also shows that city size growth rates are constant across cities of different types. For better understanding of the mechanisms of urban hierarchical formation, we measure the optimal city size and resource allocation by the Pareto optimality criterion and non-parametric frontier method. The main findings are as follows: (1) scale efficiency is still at a relatively low level among the seven types of cities; (2) the economic efficiency of megacities and large cities is overestimated when compared to economic-environmental efficiency. Hence, this paper has two policy implications: (1) to correct factor market (land, labor and infrastructure investment) distortions among different types of cities for the improvement of efficiency; (2) to strengthen rural property rights to improve social equity, as well as land use intensity. Full article
Open AccessArticle Performance Indicator Framework for Evaluation of Sustainable Tourism in the Taiwan Coastal Zone
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 652; doi:10.3390/su8070652
Received: 25 April 2016 / Revised: 26 June 2016 / Accepted: 5 July 2016 / Published: 9 July 2016
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Abstract
Surrounded by the ocean, Taiwan has been increasingly developing coastal tourism projects. Concerns that negative impacts might be brought about by prosperous tourism have resulted in a recent focus on sustainable tourism. Sustainable tourism involves policies that acknowledge the interdependences among the environment,
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Surrounded by the ocean, Taiwan has been increasingly developing coastal tourism projects. Concerns that negative impacts might be brought about by prosperous tourism have resulted in a recent focus on sustainable tourism. Sustainable tourism involves policies that acknowledge the interdependences among the environment, the community, and the economy. The goal of sustainable tourism is to enhance and protect the environment while satisfying basic human requirements, as well as those of the contemporary and future tourism industries to improve quality of life. On the other hand, unsustainable coastal tourism might undermine the natural environment and society, resulting in air, water, and soil pollution, wildlife habitat disruption, and changes of local community cultural characteristics. Therefore, performance evaluation of coastal tourism, using an indicator framework to facilitate sustainable development and enhance the effectiveness of coastal resources exploitation, is critical. Through a literature review and expert surveys using the methods of the fuzzy Delphi method (FDM) and the fuzzy analytic hierarchy process (FAHP), this study builds a performance indicator framework and identifies the key factors affecting the sustainable development of coastal tourism in Taiwan. The results can serve as a reference for the public sector to be used for the sustainable planning and development of coastal tourism. Full article
Open AccessCommunication Determination of the Optimal Tilt Angle of Solar Collectors for Different Climates of China
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 654; doi:10.3390/su8070654
Received: 18 May 2016 / Revised: 4 July 2016 / Accepted: 5 July 2016 / Published: 11 July 2016
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Abstract
The tilt angle with the horizon (with respect to the ground) of the solar energy system affects the amount of solar radiation received. This paper suggests a simple and universal method to obtain the optimum tilt angles by estimating the monthly mean daily
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The tilt angle with the horizon (with respect to the ground) of the solar energy system affects the amount of solar radiation received. This paper suggests a simple and universal method to obtain the optimum tilt angles by estimating the monthly mean daily global solar radiation on tilted surfaces facing directly towards the equator, which is based on monthly average daily global solar radiation data produced from Typical Meteorological Year (TMY) data. The monthly, seasonal, and yearly optimum tilt angles for photovoltaic panels are calculated at six stations of different climatic types (Tropical Zone (TZ), Subtropical Zone (SZ), Warm Temperate Zone (WTZ), Mid Temperate Zone (MTZ), Cold Temperate Zone (CTZ) and Tibetan Plateau Zone (TPZ)). The results indicate that changing the monthly, seasonal, and yearly optimum tilt angles causes a significant yearly gain in the solar radiation for the region. In addition, general correlations are generated to estimate the optimum tilt angle of solar collectors at six typical climatic stations of China. The performances of the proposed models are compared using statistical error tests such as the mean absolute bias error (MABE), the root mean square error (RMSE) and the correlation coefficients (R). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Energy Applications and Energy Saving in Buildings)
Open AccessArticle Revisiting the “Guns versus Butter” Argument in China (1950–2014): New Evidence from the Continuous Wavelet Analysis
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 655; doi:10.3390/su8070655
Received: 3 June 2016 / Revised: 30 June 2016 / Accepted: 5 July 2016 / Published: 13 July 2016
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Abstract
The long-lasting “guns versus butter” argument reflects the fact that China has been experiencing a difficult choice in terms of improving the defense and social welfare sectors, and thus achieving fiscal sustainability. The result, however, is controversial. The present paper therefore re-examines the
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The long-lasting “guns versus butter” argument reflects the fact that China has been experiencing a difficult choice in terms of improving the defense and social welfare sectors, and thus achieving fiscal sustainability. The result, however, is controversial. The present paper therefore re-examines the relationship between defense and social welfare by employing continuous wavelet analysis during a long period of 1950–2014 in China. We focus in particular on their dynamic correlation and the lead-lag relationship across different frequency bands. Our results clearly show the inexistence of the crowding-out effect between defense expenditure and social welfare; moreover, the increase in defense (social welfare) expenditure could stimulate the expansion of social welfare (defense) spending. In addition, we find a positive relationship between defense and social welfare with defense leading during 1961–1968 in the short term, when China suffered from the economic breakdown and the social turbulence caused by the Great Famine, Sino-Soviet border conflict, etc. Notably, social welfare also led the progress in defense during 1984–1988 and 1995–1998 in the medium and long terms by the further deepening of the opening-up policy and enforcing the economic system reform. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Building Sustainable Smallholder Cooperatives in Emerging Market Economies: Findings from a Five-Year Project in Kenya
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 656; doi:10.3390/su8070656
Received: 16 April 2016 / Revised: 26 June 2016 / Accepted: 7 July 2016 / Published: 11 July 2016
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Abstract
A comparative study of two smallholder dairy cooperatives in Kenya examines the question: what factors are conducive to producing sustainable smallholder cooperatives that can gain entry into the vertical value chain in liberalized post-colonial economies? The relative weight of income advantage; selective individual
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A comparative study of two smallholder dairy cooperatives in Kenya examines the question: what factors are conducive to producing sustainable smallholder cooperatives that can gain entry into the vertical value chain in liberalized post-colonial economies? The relative weight of income advantage; selective individual incentives and, social capital on maintaining member patronage are assessed within variable environmental constraints and opportunities facing different cooperatives. The methodology includes case study observation of the cooperatives during a five-year period, as well as sample surveys of members and non-members that include indicators of dairy income; reasons why farmers elect to join or not join the cooperative; and assessments of the importance of different services provided by the cooperative. The findings show how the relative weight of specific incentives for cooperative membership can vary from one environment to another within the same nation. The most important finding is that maintaining sustainable smallholder cooperatives within an increasingly competitive environment depends on the ability of managers to create business strategies that are compatible with the cooperative’s environmental constraints but, at the same time, incentivize members’ patronage. Full article
Open AccessArticle Evaluating the Sustainability of Community-Based Long-Term Care Programmes: A Hybrid Multi-Criteria Decision Making Approach
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 657; doi:10.3390/su8070657
Received: 2 May 2016 / Revised: 3 July 2016 / Accepted: 4 July 2016 / Published: 12 July 2016
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Abstract
Sustainability is a crucial factor in Long-Term Care (LTC) programmes, which implies whether the programmes have the capability of sustaining a quality service over the long term. To evaluate the sustainability of community-based LTC programmes, a novel hybrid framework has been demonstrated with
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Sustainability is a crucial factor in Long-Term Care (LTC) programmes, which implies whether the programmes have the capability of sustaining a quality service over the long term. To evaluate the sustainability of community-based LTC programmes, a novel hybrid framework has been demonstrated with a mixed Multi-Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) technique. According to extensive literature review and the fuzzy Delphi method, four pillars of initial criteria and twelve sub-criteria have been determined. Then a weighted hierarchy has been constructed with Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) to constitute the evaluation index system. In order to prove our framework, a case study of four community-based LTC programmes in Michigan is presented by applying the fuzzy technique for order preference by similarity to an ideal solution (TOPSIS) method. The results indicate that programme P2 has the best potential of sustainability, and sub-criteria associated with economy outweigh other sub-criteria. The sensitivity analysis verifies that the result of the ranking remains stable regardless of the fluctuation in sub-criteria weights, which proves the evaluation results and proposed model to be accurate and effective. This study develops a comprehensive and effective framework for evaluating community-based LTC programmes from the sustainability perspective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How Better Decision-Making Helps to Improve Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Driving Sustainable Competitive Advantage in the Mobile Industry: Evidence from U.S. Wireless Carriers
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 659; doi:10.3390/su8070659
Received: 19 May 2016 / Revised: 30 June 2016 / Accepted: 4 July 2016 / Published: 12 July 2016
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Abstract
In light of the growing importance of data network quality in the wireless industry, this study analyzes and compares efficiencies in management, service quality, network quality, and market in the 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) wireless industry. For this purpose, a bootstrap data
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In light of the growing importance of data network quality in the wireless industry, this study analyzes and compares efficiencies in management, service quality, network quality, and market in the 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) wireless industry. For this purpose, a bootstrap data envelopment analysis (DEA) model using representative U.S. wireless carriers as decision making units (DMUs) was designed and conducted, with further verification through the Mann-Whitney U and Wilcoxon W test, to examine the differences in efficiency distribution. The results indicate that, in terms of efficiency distribution, network quality efficiency and market efficiency belongs to the same group as that which has high management efficiency. Based on these results, this paper suggests implications and strategic guidelines for wireless carriers for improvement in management efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Supply Chain Management)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Determining Sustainable Tourism in Regions
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 660; doi:10.3390/su8070660
Received: 8 June 2016 / Revised: 5 July 2016 / Accepted: 6 July 2016 / Published: 12 July 2016
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Abstract
The goal of achieving sustainable tourism is now a priority for many tourism planners. It has been suggested that stakeholder analysis is an essential step in determining sustainable tourism in regions, given its highly contextual nature. However, previous research has tended to focus
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The goal of achieving sustainable tourism is now a priority for many tourism planners. It has been suggested that stakeholder analysis is an essential step in determining sustainable tourism in regions, given its highly contextual nature. However, previous research has tended to focus heavily on stakeholders with the assumption that attitudes within groups are homogeneous. This research questions this assumption and in doing so, takes a critical approach by examining attitudes towards sustainable tourism and then assesses whether attitudes align with stakeholder groups. The study was conducted in the island state of Tasmania, Australia, and utilised the Q-methodology to examine attitudes towards sustainable tourism in the Bay of Fires region. The results concur with recent research, which shows that attitudes do not always align with those of stakeholder groups. The critical and reflexive approach suggests that assumptions regarding stakeholder attitudes need to be reviewed and more attention given to people’s contextualised attitudes, rather than the stakeholder group in which they sit. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Management in Tourism and Hospitality)
Open AccessArticle Decomposing the Influencing Factors of Industrial Sector Carbon Dioxide Emissions in Inner Mongolia Based on the LMDI Method
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 661; doi:10.3390/su8070661
Received: 1 May 2016 / Revised: 24 June 2016 / Accepted: 5 July 2016 / Published: 13 July 2016
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Abstract
Understanding of the influencing factors of industrial sector carbon dioxide emissions is essential to reduce natural and anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. In this paper, we applied the Logarithmic Mean Divisia Index (LMDI) decomposition method based on the extended Kaya identity to analyze the
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Understanding of the influencing factors of industrial sector carbon dioxide emissions is essential to reduce natural and anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. In this paper, we applied the Logarithmic Mean Divisia Index (LMDI) decomposition method based on the extended Kaya identity to analyze the changes in industrial carbon dioxide emissions resulting from 39 industrial sectors in Inner Mongolia northeast of China over the period 2003–2012. The factors were divided into five types of effects i.e., industrial growth effect, industrial structure effect, energy effect, energy intensity effect, population effect and comparative analysis of differential influences of various factors on industrial sector. Our results clearly show that (1) Industrial sector carbon dioxide emissions have increased from 134.00 million ton in 2003 to 513.46 million ton in 2012, with an annual average growth rate of 16.097%. The industrial carbon dioxide emissions intensity has decreased from 0.99 million ton/billion yuan to 0.28 million ton/billion yuan. Also, the energy structure has been dominated by coal; (2) Production and supply of electric power, steam and hot water, coal mining and dressing, smelting and pressing of ferrous metals, petroleum processing, coking and nuclear fuel processing, and raw chemical materials and chemical products account for 89.74% of total increased industrial carbon dioxide emissions; (3) The industrial growth effect and population effect are found to be a critical driving force for increasing industrial sector carbon dioxide emissions over the research period. The energy intensity effect is the crucial drivers of the decrease of carbon dioxide emissions. However, the energy structure effect and industrial structure effect have considerably varied over the study years without displaying any clear trend. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle Life Cycle Assessment and Life Cycle Cost Analysis of Magnesia Spinel Brick Production
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 662; doi:10.3390/su8070662
Received: 13 April 2016 / Revised: 2 July 2016 / Accepted: 5 July 2016 / Published: 20 July 2016
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Abstract
Sustainable use of natural resources in the production of construction materials has become a necessity both in Europe and Turkey. Construction products in Europe should have European Conformity (CE) and Environmental Product Declaration (EPD), an independently verified and registered document in line with
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Sustainable use of natural resources in the production of construction materials has become a necessity both in Europe and Turkey. Construction products in Europe should have European Conformity (CE) and Environmental Product Declaration (EPD), an independently verified and registered document in line with the European standard EN 15804. An EPD certificate can be created by performing a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study. In this particular work, an LCA study was carried out for a refractory brick production for environmental assessment. In addition to the LCA, the Life Cycle Cost (LCC) analysis was also applied for economic assessment. Firstly, a cradle-to-gate LCA was performed for one ton of magnesia spinel refractory brick. The CML IA method included in the licensed SimaPro 8.0.1 software was chosen to calculate impact categories (namely, abiotic depletion, global warming potential, acidification potential, eutrophication potential, human toxicity, ecotoxicity, ozone depletion potential, and photochemical oxidation potential). The LCC analysis was performed by developing a cost model for internal and external cost categories within the software. The results were supported by a sensitivity analysis. According to the results, the production of raw materials and the firing process in the magnesia spinel brick production were found to have several negative effects on the environment and were costly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Materials)
Open AccessArticle Evaluation Analysis of the CO2 Emission and Absorption Life Cycle for Precast Concrete in Korea
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 663; doi:10.3390/su8070663
Received: 21 April 2016 / Revised: 20 June 2016 / Accepted: 23 June 2016 / Published: 13 July 2016
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Abstract
To comply with recent international trends and initiatives, and in order to help achieve sustainable development, Korea has established a greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction target of 37% (851 million tons) of the business as usual (BAU) rate by 2030. Regarding environmentally-oriented standards
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To comply with recent international trends and initiatives, and in order to help achieve sustainable development, Korea has established a greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction target of 37% (851 million tons) of the business as usual (BAU) rate by 2030. Regarding environmentally-oriented standards such as the IGCC (International Green Construction Code), there are also rising demands for the assessment on CO2 emissions during the life cycle in accordance with ISO (International Standardization Organization’s Standard) 14040. At present, precast concrete (PC) engineering-related studies primarily cover structural and construction aspects, including improvement of structural performance in the joint, introduction of pre-stressed concrete and development of half PC. In the manufacture of PC, steam curing is mostly used for the early-strength development of concrete. In steam curing, a large amount of CO2 is produced, causing an environmental problem. Therefore, this study proposes a method to assess CO2 emissions (including absorption) throughout the PC life cycle by using a life cycle assessment (LCA) method. Using the proposed assessment method, CO2 emissions during the life cycle of a precast concrete girder (PCG) were assessed. In addition, CO2 absorption was assessed against a PCG using conventional carbonation and CO2 absorption-related models. As a result, the CO2 emissions throughout the life cycle of the PCG were 1365.6 (kg-CO2/1 PCG). The CO2 emissions during the production of raw materials among the CO2 emissions throughout the life cycle of the PCG were 1390 (kg-CO2/1 PCG), accounting for a high portion to total CO2 emissions (nearly 90%). In contrast, the transportation and manufacture stages were 1% and 10%, respectively, having little effect on total CO2 emissions. Among the use of the PCG, CO2 absorption was mostly decided by the CO2 diffusion coefficient and the amount of CO2 absorption by cement paste. The CO2 absorption by carbonation throughout the service life of the PC was about 11% of the total CO2 emissions, which is about 16% of CO2 emissions from ordinary Portland cement (OPC) concrete. Full article
Open AccessArticle Between Participation and Collective Action—From Occasional Liaisons towards Long-Term Co-Management for Urban Resilience
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 664; doi:10.3390/su8070664
Received: 24 May 2016 / Revised: 20 June 2016 / Accepted: 6 July 2016 / Published: 13 July 2016
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Abstract
For resilience building, cities need to foster learning and innovation processes among all actors in order to develop transformative capacities of urban governance regimes to manage extraordinary situations as well as continuous change. A close collaboration of urban governmental actors and citizens is,
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For resilience building, cities need to foster learning and innovation processes among all actors in order to develop transformative capacities of urban governance regimes to manage extraordinary situations as well as continuous change. A close collaboration of urban governmental actors and citizens is, therefore, of high importance. This paper explores two different discourses on urban governance: participation and self-organized collective action for the management of the commons. Both address the involvement of citizens into governance, albeit from different perspectives: on the one hand from the viewpoint of the government, selectively handing some of its power over to citizens, on the other hand from the perspective of citizens who self-organize for a collective management of urban commons. Based on experiences in the Austrian city of Korneuburg, it is argued that the collective action literature may help overcome some of the self-criticisms and shortcomings of the participation discourse. More specifically, Elinor Ostrom’s design principles for the management of the commons provide valuable input to overcome restrictions in thinking about citizen participation and to effectively design institutions for long-term urban co-management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Resilience and Urban Sustainability: From Research to Practice)
Open AccessArticle SME’s Appropriability Regime for Sustainable Development-the Role of Absorptive Capacity and Inventive Capacity
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 665; doi:10.3390/su8070665
Received: 26 February 2016 / Revised: 4 July 2016 / Accepted: 7 July 2016 / Published: 14 July 2016
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Abstract
SMEs need to protect their innovation outcomes and increase profits from their innovations in order to make their growth sustainable. The appropriability regime enables SMEs to secure financial returns on their R&D investment so that SMEs can continuously invest in innovation and obtain
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SMEs need to protect their innovation outcomes and increase profits from their innovations in order to make their growth sustainable. The appropriability regime enables SMEs to secure financial returns on their R&D investment so that SMEs can continuously invest in innovation and obtain financial gains. However, the appropriability regime can change the effects of protecting innovation outcomes depending on the capacity of knowledge exploration, especially for SMEs, and previous studies have not discussed these issues. Thus, the main objective of this paper is to explore how the knowledge exploration capacity affects the relationship between different types of appropriability regimes and innovation performance. Multivariate regression is used to analyze the manufacturing SMEs sampled from the Korea Innovation Survey 2007 (KIS 2007). Our results demonstrate that both formal and informal appropriability regimes can improve firm’s innovation performance. Furthermore, although both inventive and absorptive capacity have positive moderating effects on the relationship between the informal appropriability regime and innovation performance, the inventive capacity moderates negatively the relationship between the formal appropriability regime and innovation performance. As a whole, the significance of this paper lies in providing further understanding of the different types of appropriability regimes and knowledge exploration capacity in SMEs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How Better Decision-Making Helps to Improve Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Assessing the Impacts of Chinese Sustainable Ground Transportation on the Dynamics of Urban Growth: A Case Study of the Hangzhou Bay Bridge
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 666; doi:10.3390/su8070666
Received: 10 May 2016 / Revised: 28 June 2016 / Accepted: 11 July 2016 / Published: 13 July 2016
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Abstract
Although China has promoted the construction of Chinese Sustainable Ground Transportation (CSGT) to guide sustainable development, it may create substantial challenges, such as rapid urban growth and land limitations. This research assessed the effects of the Hangzhou Bay Bridge on impervious surface growth
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Although China has promoted the construction of Chinese Sustainable Ground Transportation (CSGT) to guide sustainable development, it may create substantial challenges, such as rapid urban growth and land limitations. This research assessed the effects of the Hangzhou Bay Bridge on impervious surface growth in Cixi County, Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, China. Changes in impervious surfaces were mapped based on Landsat images from 1995, 2002, and 2009 using a combination of multiple endmember spectral mixture analysis (MESMA) and landscape metrics. The results indicated that the area and density of impervious surfaces increased significantly during construction of the Hangzhou Bay Bridge (2002–2009). Additionally, the bridge and connected road networks promoted urban development along major roads, resulting in compact growth patterns of impervious surfaces in urbanized regions. Moreover, the Hangzhou Bay Bridge promoted the expansion and densification of impervious surfaces in Hangzhou Bay District, which surrounds the bridge. The bridge also accelerated socioeconomic growth in the area, promoting rapid urban growth in Cixi County between 2002 and 2009. Overall, the Hangzhou Bay Bridge is an important driver of urban growth in Cixi County, and policy suggestions for sustainable urban growth should be adopted in the future. Full article
Open AccessArticle Economic and Social Sustainable Synergies to Promote Innovations in Rural Tourism and Local Development
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 668; doi:10.3390/su8070668
Received: 6 June 2016 / Revised: 4 July 2016 / Accepted: 6 July 2016 / Published: 13 July 2016
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Abstract
The role of tourism in rural areas is pivotal for the integration and valorization of territorial resources and it is strengthened by the capacity to promote local community participation in processes of development. The paper addresses the issue by presenting and discussing a
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The role of tourism in rural areas is pivotal for the integration and valorization of territorial resources and it is strengthened by the capacity to promote local community participation in processes of development. The paper addresses the issue by presenting and discussing a case study of a rural area of southern Italy where a territorial network for the development of local tourism has been set up. The innovative initiative aimed, firstly, to facilitate a closer connection between production and consumption by reducing transaction costs and, secondly, to connect local production with quality conscious consumers looking for traditional products. The network project also aimed to create conditions conducive to increasing the competitiveness of the local production chain and tourism sector. The case study shows how the challenge for many rural territories lies in increasing levels of trust and rebuilding social capital as a precondition of developing the tourism sector and fostering socio-economic development as a whole. Traditional institutions, as well as hybrid institutions, with the support of research organizations, can play a key role. Full article
Open AccessArticle Geographical Variation of Climate Change Impact on Rice Yield in the Rice-Cropping Areas of Northeast China during 1980–2008
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 670; doi:10.3390/su8070670
Received: 14 March 2016 / Revised: 18 June 2016 / Accepted: 6 July 2016 / Published: 14 July 2016
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Abstract
Northeast China (NEC) is one of China’s major rice production areas and has experienced obvious climate warming over the past three decades, similar to other mid- to high-latitude regions in the Northern Hemisphere. The present study investigates the temporal and spatial impacts of
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Northeast China (NEC) is one of China’s major rice production areas and has experienced obvious climate warming over the past three decades, similar to other mid- to high-latitude regions in the Northern Hemisphere. The present study investigates the temporal and spatial impacts of climate warming on rice yield in mid–high latitude regions. In this study, two time series datasets of rice yield and climate records in the NEC, including 178 county sites and 105 climate stations and covering the period from 1980 to 2008, were compiled. From these data, the responses of rice yield to the rice-growing season temperature (GST), growing degree days (GDD), and precipitation (GSP) were estimated using a regression model. The results indicate that rice yield benefits from climate warming in the NEC. GST positively impacted rice yield in 64.6% of the counties, with an increase of approximately 3.65%; GDD positively impacted yield in 64% of the counties, an increase of approximately 3.2%; and GSP negatively impacted rice yield in 68% of the counties, with a decrease of approximately −2.3%. Spatial variation was observed in the climate-rice yield relationships. The statistical relationships of GST and GDD with rice yield were significantly and positively correlated with latitude, longitude, and altitude, while that of GSP and rice yield was significantly and negatively correlated with latitude and longitude and showed a nonsignificant positive correlation with altitude. In summary, climate warming has significantly increased rice yield over the last three decades in the region north of 42°N, east of 122.4°E, and at an elevation of 134–473 m, which covers the majority of the rice-growing areas in the NEC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Sustainability of Land Use Promoted by Construction-to-Ecological Land Conversion: A Case Study of Shenzhen City, China
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 671; doi:10.3390/su8070671
Received: 6 June 2016 / Revised: 11 July 2016 / Accepted: 11 July 2016 / Published: 14 July 2016
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Abstract
Rapid urbanization and rapid urban growth present great challenges to the sustainable utilization of land resources. This paper discusses the on-going process of construction-to-ecological land conversion (CELC) in terms of three aspects: land use, environmental effects, and system responses. CELC is compared to
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Rapid urbanization and rapid urban growth present great challenges to the sustainable utilization of land resources. This paper discusses the on-going process of construction-to-ecological land conversion (CELC) in terms of three aspects: land use, environmental effects, and system responses. CELC is compared to other current land conversion strategies in China. Taking Shenzhen City as an example, this paper introduces five areas in which CELC has been implemented since 2009, including basic farmland protection zones, mining areas, ecological corridors, inefficient industrial zones, and urban villages. This paper argues that Shenzhen’s CELC model can improve the ecological environment, control urban sprawl, and promote sustainable land use and, thus, serve as an example for other cities in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Open AccessArticle Urban Distribution Mode Selection under Low Carbon Economy—A Case Study of Guangzhou City
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 673; doi:10.3390/su8070673
Received: 18 April 2016 / Revised: 16 June 2016 / Accepted: 8 July 2016 / Published: 15 July 2016
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Abstract
In the transformation of urban distribution industry, the problem of enterprises generally retaining a self-distribution mode is highlighted, and it is not conducive for enterprises to develop core business. Around the hot issue of climate change, but also the target of energy conservation
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In the transformation of urban distribution industry, the problem of enterprises generally retaining a self-distribution mode is highlighted, and it is not conducive for enterprises to develop core business. Around the hot issue of climate change, but also the target of energy conservation and emission reduction, this paper puts forward the method of urban distribution mode to reduce carbon emission intensity, introduces four kinds of typical urban distribution mode, analyzes the core influencing factors of urban distribution mode, studies the carbon accounting method of urban distribution, put forwards the method of low carbon urban distribution mode, analyzes the current situation of the distribution of Guangzhou City, determines the main research types of goods, and applies the method proposed in this paper to the specific enterprises. Urban distribution mode integration and carbon emissions intensity reduction are both considered in this work. The specific application result of 11.28% reduction on carbon emission intensity shows that this method can effectively guide enterprises to develop low carbon urban distribution mode and reduce carbon emission intensity of urban distribution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Open AccessArticle Exploring Spatial-Temporal Patterns of Urban Human Mobility Hotspots
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 674; doi:10.3390/su8070674
Received: 8 May 2016 / Revised: 26 June 2016 / Accepted: 5 July 2016 / Published: 16 July 2016
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Abstract
Understanding human mobility patterns provides us with knowledge about human mobility in an urban context, which plays a critical role in urban planning, traffic management and the spread of disease. Recently, the availability of large-scale human-sensing datasets enables us to analyze human mobility
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Understanding human mobility patterns provides us with knowledge about human mobility in an urban context, which plays a critical role in urban planning, traffic management and the spread of disease. Recently, the availability of large-scale human-sensing datasets enables us to analyze human mobility patterns and the relationships between humans and their living environments on an unprecedented spatial and temporal scale to improve decision-making regarding the quality of life of citizens. This study aims to characterize the urban spatial-temporal dynamic from the perspective of human mobility hotspots by using mobile phone location data. We propose a workflow to identify human convergent and dispersive hotspots that represent the status of human mobility in local areas and group these hotspots into different classes according to clustering their temporal signatures. To illustrate our proposed approach, a case study of Shenzhen, China, has been conducted. Six typical spatial-temporal patterns in the city are identified and discussed by combining the spatial distribution of these identified patterns with urban functional areas. The findings enable us to understand the human dynamics in a different area of the city, which can serve as a reference for urban planning and traffic management. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Quantitative Method for Long-Term Water Erosion Impacts on Productivity with a Lack of Field Experiments: A Case Study in Huaihe Watershed, China
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 675; doi:10.3390/su8070675
Received: 13 June 2016 / Revised: 5 July 2016 / Accepted: 11 July 2016 / Published: 19 July 2016
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Abstract
Water erosion causes reduced farmland productivity, and with a longer period of cultivation, agricultural productivity becomes increasingly vulnerable. The vulnerability of farmland productivity needs assessment due to long-term water erosion. The key to quantitative assessment is to propose a quantitative method with water
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Water erosion causes reduced farmland productivity, and with a longer period of cultivation, agricultural productivity becomes increasingly vulnerable. The vulnerability of farmland productivity needs assessment due to long-term water erosion. The key to quantitative assessment is to propose a quantitative method with water loss scenarios to calculate productivity losses due to long-term water erosion. This study uses the agricultural policy environmental extender (APEX) model and the global hydrological watershed unit and selects the Huaihe River watershed as a case study to describe the methodology. An erosion-variable control method considering soil and water conservation measure scenarios was used to study the relationship between long-term erosion and productivity losses and to fit with 3D surface (to come up with three elements, which are time, the cumulative amount of water erosion and productivity losses) to measure long-term water erosion. Results showed that: (1) the 3D surfaces fit significantly well; fitting by the 3D surface can more accurately reflect the impact of long-term water erosion on productivity than fitting by the 2D curve (to come up with two elements, which are water erosion and productivity losses); (2) the cumulative loss surface can reflect differences in productivity loss caused by long-term water erosion. Full article
Open AccessArticle Contract Coordination Strategy of Supply Chain with Substitution under Supply Disruption and Stochastic Demand
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 676; doi:10.3390/su8070676
Received: 21 April 2016 / Revised: 1 July 2016 / Accepted: 8 July 2016 / Published: 18 July 2016
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Abstract
Based on two substitute products, we study the inventory and contract coordination strategy of a three-echelon supply chain, which consists of two suppliers, a manufacturer and a retailer, under supply disruption and stochastic demand. We investigate the channel gross profit model of the
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Based on two substitute products, we study the inventory and contract coordination strategy of a three-echelon supply chain, which consists of two suppliers, a manufacturer and a retailer, under supply disruption and stochastic demand. We investigate the channel gross profit model of the centralized supply chain and obtain a unique optimal order quantity. Under a decentralized decision, we find that the commonly-used wholesale price contracts cannot coordinate the system. Then, we propose a buy-back contract and prove that this contract can more efficiently coordinate the system than the former. At last, we show that the integrated performance of the decentralized system can be maximized through choosing the buy-back parameter by the manufacturer and reveal that the effects of supply uncertainty and the substitution behavior of customers on the optimal decision by numerical examples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How Better Decision-Making Helps to Improve Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Effect of Land Use and Cover Change on Air Quality in Urban Sprawl
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 677; doi:10.3390/su8070677
Received: 29 April 2016 / Revised: 7 July 2016 / Accepted: 12 July 2016 / Published: 18 July 2016
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Abstract
Due to the frequent urban air pollution episodes worldwide recently, decision-makers and government agencies are struggling for sustainable strategies to optimize urban land use/cover change (LUCC) and improve the air quality. This study, thus, aims to identify the underlying relationships between PM10
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Due to the frequent urban air pollution episodes worldwide recently, decision-makers and government agencies are struggling for sustainable strategies to optimize urban land use/cover change (LUCC) and improve the air quality. This study, thus, aims to identify the underlying relationships between PM10 concentration variations and LUCC based on the simulated PM10 surfaces in 2006 and 2013 in the Changsha-Zhuzhou-Xiangtan agglomeration (CZT), using a regression modeling approach. LUCC variables and associated landscape indexes are developed and correlated with PM10 concentration variations at grid level. Results reveal that the overall mean PM10 concentrations in the CZT declined from 106.74 μg/m3 to 94.37 μg/m3 between 2006 and 2013. Generally, variations of PM10 concentrations are positively correlated with the increasing built-up area, and negatively correlated with the increase in forests. In newly-developed built-up areas, PM10 concentrations declined with the increment of the landscape shape index and the Shannon diversity index and increased with the growing Aggregation index and Contagion index. In other areas, however, the reverse happens. These results suggest that LUCC caused by urban sprawl might be an important factor for the PM10 concentration variation in the CZT. The influence of the landscape pattern on PM10 concentration may vary in different stages of urban development. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Crowding-Out Effects of Garbage Fees and Voluntary Source Separation Programs on Waste Reduction: Evidence from China
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 678; doi:10.3390/su8070678
Received: 13 May 2016 / Revised: 9 July 2016 / Accepted: 12 July 2016 / Published: 15 July 2016
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Abstract
This paper examines how and to what degree government policies of garbage fees and voluntary source separation programs, with free indoor containers and garbage bags, can affect the effectiveness of municipal solid waste (MSW) management, in the sense of achieving a desirable reduction
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This paper examines how and to what degree government policies of garbage fees and voluntary source separation programs, with free indoor containers and garbage bags, can affect the effectiveness of municipal solid waste (MSW) management, in the sense of achieving a desirable reduction of per capita MSW generation. Based on city-level panel data for years 1998–2012 in China, our empirical analysis indicates that per capita MSW generated is increasing with per capita disposable income, average household size, education levels of households, and the lagged per capita MSW. While both garbage fees and source separation programs have separately led to reductions in per capita waste generation, the interaction of the two policies has resulted in an increase in per capita waste generation due to the following crowding-out effects: Firstly, the positive effect of income dominates the negative effect of the garbage fee. Secondly, there are crowding-out effects of mandatory charging system and the subsidized voluntary source separation on per capita MSW generation. Thirdly, small subsidies and tax punishments have reduced the intrinsic motivation for voluntary source separation of MSW. Thus, compatible fee charging system, higher levels of subsidies, and well-designed public information and education campaigns are required to promote household waste source separation and reduction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Open AccessArticle Assessing Urban Forest Structure, Ecosystem Services, and Economic Benefits on Vacant Land
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 679; doi:10.3390/su8070679
Received: 5 March 2016 / Revised: 8 July 2016 / Accepted: 13 July 2016 / Published: 16 July 2016
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Abstract
An urban forest assessment is essential for developing a baseline from which to measure changes and trends. The most precise way to assess urban forests is to measure and record every tree on a site, but although this may work well for relatively
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An urban forest assessment is essential for developing a baseline from which to measure changes and trends. The most precise way to assess urban forests is to measure and record every tree on a site, but although this may work well for relatively small populations (e.g., street trees, small parks), it is prohibitively expensive for large tree populations. Thus, random sampling offers a cost-effective way to assess urban forest structure and the associated ecosystem services for large-scale assessments. The methodology applied to assess ecosystem services in this study can also be used to assess the ecosystem services provided by vacant land in other urban contexts and improve urban forest policies, planning, and the management of vacant land. The study’s findings support the inclusion of trees on vacant land and contribute to a new vision of vacant land as a valuable ecological resource by demonstrating how green infrastructure can be used to enhance ecosystem health and promote a better quality of life for city residents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Decision Support for Forest Ecosystem Management Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Transforming Mature Tourism Resorts into Sustainable Tourism Destinations through Participatory Integrated Approaches: The Case of Puerto de la Cruz
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 680; doi:10.3390/su8070680
Received: 14 March 2016 / Revised: 1 July 2016 / Accepted: 13 July 2016 / Published: 20 July 2016
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Abstract
Transforming mature tourism resorts has evolved toward a greater involvement of public authorities and away from the mere renovation of public spaces. Authorities today are required to lead the reorganization of tourism activities through the development of co-operative networks between all stakeholders involved.
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Transforming mature tourism resorts has evolved toward a greater involvement of public authorities and away from the mere renovation of public spaces. Authorities today are required to lead the reorganization of tourism activities through the development of co-operative networks between all stakeholders involved. In this paper, a participatory integrated approach has been designed and implemented in collaboration with Spanish authorities and the tourism sector to propose a strategy to achieve the renovation of tourism resorts. This methodology was applied to Puerto de la Cruz, the oldest tourism destination in the Canary Islands and a clear paradigm of a consolidated resort. The objective is to define and implement policies to transform Puerto de la Cruz into a more sustainable tourism destination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Management in Tourism and Hospitality)
Open AccessArticle Assessing the Efficiency of Small-Scale and Bottom Trawler Vessels in Greece
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 681; doi:10.3390/su8070681
Received: 8 April 2016 / Revised: 24 June 2016 / Accepted: 9 July 2016 / Published: 16 July 2016
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Abstract
This study explores the technical and scale efficiency of two types of Greek fishing vessels, small-scale vessels and bottom trawlers, using a bias-corrected input-oriented Data Envelopment Analysis model. Moreover, the associations between efficiency scores and vessel’s and skipper’s characteristics are also explored. The
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This study explores the technical and scale efficiency of two types of Greek fishing vessels, small-scale vessels and bottom trawlers, using a bias-corrected input-oriented Data Envelopment Analysis model. Moreover, the associations between efficiency scores and vessel’s and skipper’s characteristics are also explored. The results indicate that small-scale vessels achieve a very low average technical efficiency score (0.42) but a much higher scale efficiency score (0.81). Conversely, bottom trawlers achieve lower scale but higher technical efficiency scores (0.68 and 0.73, respectively). One important finding of this study is that the technical efficiency of small-scale vessels, in contrast to trawlers, is positively associated with the experience of the skipper. In a looser context, it can be said that small-scale fisheries mainly rely on skill, whereas bottom trawlers rely more on technology. This study concludes that there is space for improvement in efficiency, mainly for small-scale vessels, which could allow the achievement of the same level of output by using reduced inputs. Full article
Open AccessArticle Study on Industrial Integration Development of the Energy Chemical Industry in Urumqi-Changji-Shihezi Urban Agglomeration, Xinjiang, NW China
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 683; doi:10.3390/su8070683
Received: 12 April 2016 / Revised: 2 July 2016 / Accepted: 13 July 2016 / Published: 18 July 2016
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Abstract
With industrial integration accelerating in domestic and foreign enterprise, industrial integration is becoming the only way for regional development to break through its bottleneck. Compared with advanced foreign enterprises, there exists a significant gap in regional industrial integration, especially in the urban agglomeration
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With industrial integration accelerating in domestic and foreign enterprise, industrial integration is becoming the only way for regional development to break through its bottleneck. Compared with advanced foreign enterprises, there exists a significant gap in regional industrial integration, especially in the urban agglomeration of the energy chemical industries of Urumqi-Changji-Shihezi in Xinjiang. Findings from field visits and quantitative analysis show that the energy chemical industry in urban agglomeration is in a state of dispersed distribution, serious convergence in industrial structure, low level of specialization, and weak collaborative relationships. These issues seriously hamper the sustainable development of urban agglomeration. Specific actions aimed at these problems and the development bottleneck mainly include the integration of industrial parks in the central city and integration orientation on the level of urban agglomeration. Only by speeding up the pace of industry integration can Urumqi-Changji-Shihezi’s urban agglomeration maintain and improve its market competitiveness. Accordingly, it can promote innovation and sustainability in the energy chemical industry and improve the overall level of development. Full article
Open AccessArticle Conjoint Analysis of Farmers’ Response to Conservation Incentives
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 684; doi:10.3390/su8070684
Received: 19 May 2016 / Revised: 6 July 2016 / Accepted: 11 July 2016 / Published: 16 July 2016
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Abstract
Environmental degradation threatens the long term resiliency of the US food and farming system. While USDA has provided conservation incentives for the adoption of best management practices (BMPs), only a small percentage of farms have participated in such conservation programs. This study uses
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Environmental degradation threatens the long term resiliency of the US food and farming system. While USDA has provided conservation incentives for the adoption of best management practices (BMPs), only a small percentage of farms have participated in such conservation programs. This study uses conjoint analysis to examine Vermont farmers’ underlying preferences and willingness-to-accept (WTA) incentives for three common BMPs. Based on the results of this survey, we hypothesize that federal cost share programs’ payments are below preferred incentive levels and that less familiar and more complex BMPs require a higher payment. Our implications focus on strategies to test these hypotheses and align incentive payments and other non-monetary options to increase BMP adoption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
Open AccessArticle Changes in Erosion and Runoff due to Replacement of Pasture Land with Sugarcane Crops
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 685; doi:10.3390/su8070685
Received: 10 May 2016 / Revised: 12 July 2016 / Accepted: 14 July 2016 / Published: 16 July 2016
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Abstract
The planting of sugarcane crops has expanded in the last decade in the southeast of Brazil, mainly due to its use for biofuel production, such as ethanol. This expansion in the State of São Paulo has occupied land that was previously used for
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The planting of sugarcane crops has expanded in the last decade in the southeast of Brazil, mainly due to its use for biofuel production, such as ethanol. This expansion in the State of São Paulo has occupied land that was previously used for cattle production. The change in land use affects soil and water through changes in ground cover and disturbance associated with farming practices. The objective of the following study was to determine the impact on runoff and erosion resulting from the conversion of pastureland to sugarcane for biofuel production. Erosion plots measuring 100 m2 were built on a farm in Itirapina-SP, Brazil, on land with a slope gradient of 9% and soil composed of Quartz-sand Neosols (Typic quartzipsaments). The treatments were an 18-year old pasture and a new sugarcane plantation, with three replicates for each. After each rainfall episode, erosion and runoff were monitored during the first and second years after sugarcane was planted. The results show increased runoff and soil loss during the first year, though levels decreased in the second year when the sugarcane residue mulch ground cover increased. In addition, the necessary rainfall characteristics (e.g., intensity, duration) required to produce runoff and soil erosion were identified. Full article
Open AccessArticle Modeling Urban Expansion in Bangkok Metropolitan Region Using Demographic–Economic Data through Cellular Automata-Markov Chain and Multi-Layer Perceptron-Markov Chain Models
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 686; doi:10.3390/su8070686
Received: 14 April 2016 / Revised: 4 July 2016 / Accepted: 14 July 2016 / Published: 19 July 2016
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Abstract
Urban expansion is considered as one of the most important problems in several developing countries. Bangkok Metropolitan Region (BMR) is the urbanized and agglomerated area of Bangkok Metropolis (BM) and its vicinity, which confronts the expansion problem from the center of the city.
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Urban expansion is considered as one of the most important problems in several developing countries. Bangkok Metropolitan Region (BMR) is the urbanized and agglomerated area of Bangkok Metropolis (BM) and its vicinity, which confronts the expansion problem from the center of the city. Landsat images of 1988, 1993, 1998, 2003, 2008, and 2011 were used to detect the land use and land cover (LULC) changes. The demographic and economic data together with corresponding maps were used to determine the driving factors for land conversions. This study applied Cellular Automata-Markov Chain (CA-MC) and Multi-Layer Perceptron-Markov Chain (MLP-MC) to model LULC and urban expansions. The performance of the CA-MC and MLP-MC yielded more than 90% overall accuracy to predict the LULC, especially the MLP-MC method. Further, the annual population and economic growth rates were considered to produce the land demand for the LULC in 2014 and 2035 using the statistical extrapolation and system dynamics (SD). It was evident that the simulated map in 2014 resulting from the SD yielded the highest accuracy. Therefore, this study applied the SD method to generate the land demand for simulating LULC in 2035. The outcome showed that urban occupied the land around a half of the BMR. Full article
Open AccessArticle Economic Impacts of Power Shortage
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 687; doi:10.3390/su8070687
Received: 13 March 2016 / Revised: 11 July 2016 / Accepted: 13 July 2016 / Published: 21 July 2016
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Abstract
The electricity industry is a basic industry of the national economy. It has experienced several large-scale power shortages, hard power shortage and soft power shortage, which have brought a great threat to China’s sustainable economic development. To solve this problem better, it is
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The electricity industry is a basic industry of the national economy. It has experienced several large-scale power shortages, hard power shortage and soft power shortage, which have brought a great threat to China’s sustainable economic development. To solve this problem better, it is necessary to make a quantitative assessment of the economic impacts of power shortage. The CGE model is commonly used for simulating economic shocks and policy effects. It describes supply, demand and equilibrium in different markets by simulating the economic mechanism through a set of equations. Once changed, the exogenous variables will affect a certain part of the system and then the whole system, leading to changes in quantities and prices. The equilibrium state will also change from one to another. A static CGE model is built in this paper, and the Social Accounting Matrix (SAM) of eight sectors of China in 2007 is compiled, in order to simulate the economic impacts of hard power shortage and soft power shortage. Simulation results show that the negative effects of power shortage on economic development are very significant, and the effects vary in different sectors. Especially, under the background of hard power shortage, the industrial sector suffers most. The economic cost of power shortage is considerable, and the main reason for it is the specific administrative pricing system in China. The low electricity price in the long term will lead to insufficient construction and hard power shortage; moreover, that in the short run would result in soft power shortage. In order to solve the problem of power shortage completely, power system reform is inevitable. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Patent Analysis for Sustainable Technology Management
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 688; doi:10.3390/su8070688
Received: 4 June 2016 / Revised: 10 July 2016 / Accepted: 14 July 2016 / Published: 18 July 2016
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Abstract
Technology analysis (TA) is an important issue in the management of technology. Most R&D (Research & Development) policies have depended on diverse TA results. Traditional TA results have been obtained through qualitative approaches such as the Delphi expert survey, scenario analysis, or technology
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Technology analysis (TA) is an important issue in the management of technology. Most R&D (Research & Development) policies have depended on diverse TA results. Traditional TA results have been obtained through qualitative approaches such as the Delphi expert survey, scenario analysis, or technology road mapping. Although they are representative methods for TA, they are not stable because their results are dependent on the experts’ knowledge and subjective experience. To solve this problem, recently many studies on TA have been focused on quantitative approaches, such as patent analysis. A patent document has diverse information of developed technologies, and thus, patent is one form of objective data for TA. In addition, sustainable technology has been a big issue in the TA fields, because most companies have their technological competitiveness through the sustainable technology. Sustainable technology is a technology keeping the technological superiority of a company. So a country as well as a company should consider sustainable technology for technological competition and continuous economic growth. Also it is important to manage sustainable technology in a given technology domain. In this paper, we propose a new patent analysis approach based on statistical analysis for the management of sustainable technology (MOST). Our proposed methodology for the MOST is to extract a technological structure and relationship for knowing the sustainable technology. To do this, we develop a hierarchical diagram of technology for finding the causal relationships among technological keywords of a given domain. The aim of the paper is to select the sustainable technology and to create the hierarchical technology paths to sustainable technology for the MOST. This contributes to planning R&D strategy for the sustainability of a company. To show how the methodology can be applied to real problem, we perform a case study using retrieved patent documents related to telematics technology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
Open AccessArticle Regional Port Productivity in APEC
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 689; doi:10.3390/su8070689
Received: 8 May 2016 / Revised: 13 July 2016 / Accepted: 13 July 2016 / Published: 19 July 2016
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Abstract
The regional growth of the goods and services trade has placed greater pressure on the ports of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) members, especially in the developing countries. The purpose of this study is to apply the generalized metafrontier Malmquist productivity index (gMMPI)
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The regional growth of the goods and services trade has placed greater pressure on the ports of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) members, especially in the developing countries. The purpose of this study is to apply the generalized metafrontier Malmquist productivity index (gMMPI) to compare the port productivity of developed countries (DCs) and developing countries (LDCs) in APEC. The results indicate that, first, the average rate of utilized capacity among the ports of APEC members was only 65.7% during 2002–2011, which means that another 34.3% of additional through put can be handled with the same level of resources. Second, the average productivity of the container ports in the DCs appeared to be higher than those located in the LDCs. The main sources of productive growth in the DCs were based on scale efficiency change (SEC), technical efficiency change (TEC), and potential technological relative change (PTRC), while the main source of productive growth in LDCs was based on SEC. Third, SEC appeared to be the dominant factor that affects the utilization of all ports. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Supply Chain Management)
Open AccessArticle Measuring Localisation Regionally to Form a Bhutanese Index
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 690; doi:10.3390/su8070690
Received: 15 March 2016 / Revised: 19 June 2016 / Accepted: 21 June 2016 / Published: 19 July 2016
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Abstract
Localisation may be used as a strategy to remedy the harmful socio-ecological impacts of economic globalisation, and lead to improved sustainability achievements. This article describes the formation of a regional-level localisation index for the 20 districts of Bhutan, demonstrating a way to identify
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Localisation may be used as a strategy to remedy the harmful socio-ecological impacts of economic globalisation, and lead to improved sustainability achievements. This article describes the formation of a regional-level localisation index for the 20 districts of Bhutan, demonstrating a way to identify localised places using regionally specific data. Secondary source data were gathered in Bhutan according to localisation expert-identified metrics, which were then weighted, standardised, scored and ranked. This enabled the formation of a Bhutanese regional-level localisation index. The index may assist those seeking regional-level localisation case studies by enabling the identification of localised places in Bhutan. The article also summarises sustainability-planning interviews carried out across Bhutan to determine causal factors relating to localisation scores, in particular focusing on the top localisation-scoring district, Dagana. The interviews revealed that Bhutan is a highly localised country that has long and intentionally planned many aspects of localisation. Full article
Open AccessArticle Towards a More Sustainable Food Supply Chain: Opening up Invisible Waste in Food Service
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 693; doi:10.3390/su8070693
Received: 2 May 2016 / Revised: 23 June 2016 / Accepted: 29 June 2016 / Published: 20 July 2016
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Abstract
Future challenges to the global food supply chain are complex. In order to embrace sustainability, companies should change their management practices towards more efficient resource use. Food waste being a misuse of resources, we identify its causes and possible ways of minimising it.
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Future challenges to the global food supply chain are complex. In order to embrace sustainability, companies should change their management practices towards more efficient resource use. Food waste being a misuse of resources, we identify its causes and possible ways of minimising it. To achieve this goal, we conducted explorative research with qualitative and quantitative data through in-depth semi-structured interviews and an open questionnaire with top Spanish food service companies. Results show that most businesses mainly tend to minimise food waste according to economic criteria, without taking into account the social, ethical or environmental factors. As a consequence, just “visible” food waste that has an economic impact on the results is minimised. Nevertheless, visibility of real waste is often low. At the same time, awareness of (and therefore initiatives to reduce) food waste that does not directly affect a firm’s profit can be increased through multi-stakeholder collaboration. Opportunities for reducing food waste therefore arise from increasing the visibility of food that is discarded as well as addressing plate waste. We identify best practices that could lead to a reduction of the amount of food waste generated in the out of home channel in Spain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Does Adoption of Management Standards Deliver Efficiency Gain in Firms’ Pursuit of Sustainability Performance? An Empirical Investigation of Chinese Manufacturing Firms
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 694; doi:10.3390/su8070694
Received: 29 February 2016 / Revised: 13 July 2016 / Accepted: 13 July 2016 / Published: 20 July 2016
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Abstract
Building on longitudinal data from 73 Chinese manufacturing firms during 2009–2012, we assess whether and how firms gain higher efficiency in achieving their sustainability goals by adopting management practice standards (ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and/or OHSAS 18001). We propose four pathways for firms
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Building on longitudinal data from 73 Chinese manufacturing firms during 2009–2012, we assess whether and how firms gain higher efficiency in achieving their sustainability goals by adopting management practice standards (ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and/or OHSAS 18001). We propose four pathways for firms to gain sustainability efficiency in their certification journey: participation, qualitative integration, quantitative expansion, and temporal accumulation. Our results confirm that firms certifying management standards gain higher efficiency in pursuing their sustainability goals than firms without these standards. We also find some support for increased efficiency effect in firms with diverse management systems over firms with only a single certificate in 2011. Finally, our results highlight the experiential and temporal accumulation effect of such efficiency gains, that is, firms with prior certification experience or having a longer certification history demonstrate higher efficiency gains in pursuing their sustainability goals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle The Adoption of Environmental Practices in Small Hotels. Voluntary or Mandatory? An Empirical Approach
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 695; doi:10.3390/su8070695
Received: 5 May 2016 / Revised: 11 July 2016 / Accepted: 18 July 2016 / Published: 21 July 2016
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Abstract
This paper examines small hotels that have some type of environmental certification. A survey of 210 small (less than 50 employees) Catalonian hotels was conducted to investigate whether there are significant differences in the results of the implementation practices between hotels that adopt
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This paper examines small hotels that have some type of environmental certification. A survey of 210 small (less than 50 employees) Catalonian hotels was conducted to investigate whether there are significant differences in the results of the implementation practices between hotels that adopt these certifications due to environmental pressure (from the government, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders) and hotels that voluntarily commit to green policies. Significant differences were identified in the results on the hotels when structural equation modelling (SEM) was undertaken. This investigation suggests that hotels that voluntarily commit to green policies obtain better results than other hotels. The conclusion is that governments must not only regulate, but also promote awareness actions in small and medium-sized (SME) tourism companies to improve the environment. SME tourism companies must understand that both the environment and they themselves will benefit. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Management in Tourism and Hospitality)
Open AccessArticle Analysis of CO2 Emission Performance and Abatement Potential for Municipal Industrial Sectors in Jiangsu, China
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 697; doi:10.3390/su8070697
Received: 19 May 2016 / Revised: 6 July 2016 / Accepted: 18 July 2016 / Published: 20 July 2016
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Abstract
As the main source of CO2 emissions in China, the industrial sector has faced pressure for reducing emissions. To achieve the target of 50% reduction of industrial carbon intensity by 2020 based on the 2005 level, it is urgent to formulate specific
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As the main source of CO2 emissions in China, the industrial sector has faced pressure for reducing emissions. To achieve the target of 50% reduction of industrial carbon intensity by 2020 based on the 2005 level, it is urgent to formulate specific CO2 emission mitigation strategies in the provincial industrial sector. In order to provide decision-making support for the development and implementation of mitigation policy, our undesirable slack based measure (SBM) model is firstly applied to evaluate the industrial CO2 emission efficiency under total-factor frame (TFICEE) in 13 prefecture-level cities of Jiangsu Province, the largest CO2 emitter in China. Then, we analyze space-time distribution and distributional evolution tendency of TFICEE by using the GIS visualization method and kernel density estimation, respectively. Finally, we utilize the industrial abatement model to estimate the CO2 abatement potential of Jiangsu’s industrial sector. The empirical results show that there exists a significant spatial inequality of TFICEE across various regions in Jiangsu, but the regional disparity has been narrowing during our study period. Additionally, average annual industrial CO2 emission reductions in Jiangsu Province can attain 15,654.00 (ten thousand tons), accounting for 28.2% of its average annual actual emissions, which can be achieved by improving production technology, adjusting industrial structure and raising the level of industry concentration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
Open AccessArticle The Sustainable Strategy for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises: The Relationship between Mission Statements and Performance
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 698; doi:10.3390/su8070698
Received: 7 March 2016 / Revised: 2 July 2016 / Accepted: 4 July 2016 / Published: 21 July 2016
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Abstract
The study aims to contribute to the literature by empirically examining the relationship between small and medium sized enterprises’ (SMEs) mission statements and their performance in sustainable strategy formulation. Although it seems that there is a relatively vast amount of research with regard
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The study aims to contribute to the literature by empirically examining the relationship between small and medium sized enterprises’ (SMEs) mission statements and their performance in sustainable strategy formulation. Although it seems that there is a relatively vast amount of research with regard to mission statements of companies, very few studies have focused on the relationship between mission statements and performance. When these few studies are taken into consideration, it is difficult to reach any overall conclusion since their findings are mixed and inconclusive. To achieve this aim, 3034 SMEs operating in organized industrial zones in Turkey were examined via a survey approach. In order to investigate the relationships among the variables, nine categories of mission statements as independent variables and four performance indicators (financial, market, production, and overall) as dependent variables were analyzed through logistic regression. This study identified three mission components, (1) survival, growth, and profit; (2) philosophy and values; and (3) public image, as the common independent variables in explaining the performance of SMEs. Survival, growth, and profit is the most frequently observed mission component regardless of the subsector differentiation in the entire sample, which reflects the significance of business sustainability for SMEs in the Turkish manufacturing context. Besides, among all performance indicators, SMEs’ market performance was found to be the lowest when compared to other performance indicators (financial, production, overall). Although the firms were placed in different manufacturing subsectors, similar mission statements were highlighted so that the discourse similarity might be considered as evidence of isomorphism characteristics for SMEs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Applying Limestone or Basalt in Combination with Bio-Fertilizer to Sustain Rice Production on an Acid Sulfate Soil in Malaysia
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 700; doi:10.3390/su8070700
Received: 26 April 2016 / Revised: 23 June 2016 / Accepted: 27 June 2016 / Published: 22 July 2016
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Abstract
A study was conducted to determine the efficacy of applying ground magnesium limestone (GML) or ground basalt in combination with bio-fertilizer to sustain rice production on an acid sulfate soil in Malaysia. Soils from Kelantan Plains, Malaysia, were treated with GML, ground basalt,
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A study was conducted to determine the efficacy of applying ground magnesium limestone (GML) or ground basalt in combination with bio-fertilizer to sustain rice production on an acid sulfate soil in Malaysia. Soils from Kelantan Plains, Malaysia, were treated with GML, ground basalt, bio-fertilizer, GML + bio-fertilizer, and ground basalt + bio-fertilizer (4 t·ha−1 each). Results showed that soil fertility was improved by applying the soil amendments. GML and basalt contain some Zn and Cu; thus, application of these amendments would increase their contents in the soil needed for the healthy growth of rice. Basalt applied in combination with bio-fertilizer appeared to be the best agronomic option to improve the fertility of acid sulfate soils for sustainable rice production in the long run. In addition to increasing Ca, Mg, Zn, and Cu reserves in the soil, water pH increased and precipitated Al3+ and/or Fe2+. Ground basalt is cheaper than GML, but basalt dissolution in the acidic soil was slow. As such, its ameliorative effects could only be seen significantly from the second season onwards. The specially-formulated bio-fertilizer for alleviating the infertility of acid sulfate soil could also enhance rice growth. The use of the bio-fertilizer fortified with N2-fixing bacteria is a green technology that would help reduce NO3 and/or NO2 pollution and reduce the cost of rice production. The phosphate-solubilizing bacteria (PSB) present in the bio-fertilizer not only increased the available P, but also helped release organic acids that would inactivate Al3+ and/or Fe2+ via the process of chelation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Comparing Conceptualizations of Urban Climate Resilience in Theory and Practice
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 701; doi:10.3390/su8070701
Received: 27 May 2016 / Revised: 6 July 2016 / Accepted: 18 July 2016 / Published: 21 July 2016
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Abstract
In the face of climate change, scholars and policymakers are increasingly concerned with fostering “urban resilience”. This paper seeks to contribute towards a better understanding of synergies and differences in how academics and local decision-makers think about resilience in the context of climate
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In the face of climate change, scholars and policymakers are increasingly concerned with fostering “urban resilience”. This paper seeks to contribute towards a better understanding of synergies and differences in how academics and local decision-makers think about resilience in the context of climate change. We compare definitions and characteristics of urban climate resilience in the academic literature with a survey of 134 local government representatives from across the U.S. Our analysis shows discrepancies in how academics and practitioners define and characterize urban climate resilience, most notably in their focus on either “bouncing back” or “bouncing forward” after a disturbance. Practitioners have diverse understandings of the concept, but tend to favor potentially problematic “bouncing back” or engineering-based definitions of resilience. While local government respondents confirm the importance of all 16 resilience characteristics we identified in the academic literature, coding practitioners’ free response definitions reveals that they rarely mention qualities commonly associated with resilience in the scholarly literature such as diversity, flexibility, and redundancy. These inconsistencies need to be resolved to ensure both the usability of climate resilience research and the effectiveness of resilience policy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Resilience and Urban Sustainability: From Research to Practice)
Open AccessArticle GIS-Based Approach for Municipal Renewable Energy Planning to Support Post-Earthquake Revitalization: A Japanese Case Study
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 703; doi:10.3390/su8070703
Received: 14 May 2016 / Revised: 6 July 2016 / Accepted: 18 July 2016 / Published: 22 July 2016
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Abstract
Following a regional-level study conducted in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan (Wang et al., 2014 [1]), this paper presents an approach for municipal renewable energy planning and its experimental application in a Japanese municipality using a Geographic Information System (GIS). The proposed approach
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Following a regional-level study conducted in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan (Wang et al., 2014 [1]), this paper presents an approach for municipal renewable energy planning and its experimental application in a Japanese municipality using a Geographic Information System (GIS). The proposed approach is comprised of local issue identification, renewable energy potential evaluation and visualization, site comparison and scenario analysis. GIS was used to analyze and visualize solar, wind and biomass (forest and agriculture residue) potential within Kawamata Town, Fukushima, Japan. According to local conditions, all potential sites were coded and then compared based on different criteria, such as solar radiation, wind speed, slope and land uses, among others. In the scenario analysis section, two scenarios, “renewable energy prioritized” and ”evacuation area prioritized”, were adopted and compared. The scenarios are altered in terms of placement and the number of renewable energy facilities inside and outside evacuation areas within the town. The results generated through the proposed approach can provide information on local potentials of renewable energy resources, as well as renewable energy development alternatives at the municipal level. They can be used in the interactive dialogue for the municipal renewable energy planning process, to help to fulfill the municipality’s post-earthquake energy developmental vision. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)

Review

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Open AccessReview Ten Years of REDD+: A Critical Review of the Impact of REDD+ on Forest-Dependent Communities
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 620; doi:10.3390/su8070620
Received: 26 April 2016 / Revised: 16 June 2016 / Accepted: 24 June 2016 / Published: 2 July 2016
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Abstract
The Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation program, or REDD+, has been the international community’s first real attempt to create a global forest governance system which would impact countries on national, regional and even local scales. This paper provides an in-depth analysis
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The Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation program, or REDD+, has been the international community’s first real attempt to create a global forest governance system which would impact countries on national, regional and even local scales. This paper provides an in-depth analysis on the impact of REDD+ on forest-dependent communities. The dimensions which are included in this review are institutions and governance, livelihoods, socio-cultural aspects, and the environment. Many studies confirm that forest-dependent communities are not sufficiently involved in current REDD+ projects. Furthermore, current and potential impacts of REDD+ on communities often disrupt local peoples’ livelihoods and strategies, institutions and socio-cultural systems in various ways, such as unequal benefit sharing, food insecurity, introduction of new powerful stakeholders, illegal land acquisition, unfair free prior and informed consent, and the introduction of monoculture plantations. REDD+ is also perceived as a neoliberal mechanism which renegotiates peoples’ relationship with the natural environment by monetizing nature. The paper concludes with a framework which addresses the potential drivers and threats of REDD+ concerning forest-dependent communities based on the literature review. This framework suggests a holistic approach to REDD+ implementation, which incorporates forest-dependent communities’ often complex relationship with the natural environment, such as incorporation of traditional forest management systems and provision of viable alternatives to loss of agricultural land. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessReview Large-Scale Agricultural Management and Soil Meso- and Macrofauna Conservation in the Argentine Pampas
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 653; doi:10.3390/su8070653
Received: 26 April 2016 / Revised: 1 July 2016 / Accepted: 4 July 2016 / Published: 9 July 2016
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Abstract
Soil is the most basic resource for sustainable agricultural production; it promotes water quality, is a key component of the biogeochemical cycles and hosts a huge diversity of organisms. However, we are not paying enough attention to soil degradation produced by land use.
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Soil is the most basic resource for sustainable agricultural production; it promotes water quality, is a key component of the biogeochemical cycles and hosts a huge diversity of organisms. However, we are not paying enough attention to soil degradation produced by land use. Modern agriculture has been successful in increasing yields but has also caused extensive environmental damage, particularly soil degradation. In the Argentine Pampas, agriculturization reached a peak with the generalized use of the no-till technological package: genetically modified soybeans tolerant to glyphosate, no-till, glyphosate, and inorganic fertilizers. This phenomenon has been widely spread in the country; the no-till package has been applied in large areas and has been used by tenants in a 60%–70% of cultivated lands. Thus, those who were involved in developing management practices may not be the same as those who will face degradation issues related to those practices. Indeed, most evidence reviewed in this paper suggests that the most widely distributed practices in the Pampas region are actually producing severe soil degradation. Biological degradation is particularly important because soil biota is involved in numerous soil processes on which soil functioning relies, affecting soil fertility and productivity. For example, soil meso- and macrofauna are especially important in nutrient cycling and in soil structure formation and maintenance, and they are key components of the network that links microbial process to the scale of fields and landscapes where ecosystem services are produced. However, the knowledge of the impact of different agricultural managements on soil meso- and macrofauna in Pampas agroecosystems is far from conclusive at this stage. The reason for this lack of definite conclusions is that this area has been given less attention than in other parts of the world; the response of soil fauna to agricultural practices is complex and taxa-dependent; and there is a wide variety of practices in the main types of agricultural systems, making generalizations difficult. A review of the existing studies on soil meso- and macrofauna in agroecosystems, revealed that (a) agricultural soils, regardless of farming system, are strongly modified in biological aspects compared to the same soils without human interventions; (b) there are no conclusive results about no-till benefits compared to reduced tillage or conventional tillage; (c) agricultural managements that are alternative to the traditional conventional systems are very poorly represented in research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Critical Issues on Soil Management and Conservation)
Open AccessReview Eliciting Drivers of Community Perceptions of Mining Projects through Effective Community Engagement
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 658; doi:10.3390/su8070658
Received: 24 March 2016 / Revised: 20 June 2016 / Accepted: 20 June 2016 / Published: 13 July 2016
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Abstract
Sustainable mining has received much attention in recent years as a consequence of the negative impacts of mining and public awareness. The aim of this paper is to provide mining companies guidance on improving the sustainability of their sites through effective community engagement
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Sustainable mining has received much attention in recent years as a consequence of the negative impacts of mining and public awareness. The aim of this paper is to provide mining companies guidance on improving the sustainability of their sites through effective community engagement based on recent advances in the literature. It begins with a review of the literature on sustainable development and its relationship to stakeholder engagement. It then uses the literature to determine the dominant factors that affect community perceptions of mining projects. These factors are classified into five categories: environmental, economic, social, governance and demographic factors. Then, we propose a new two-stage method based on discrete choice theory and the classification that can improve stakeholder engagement and be cost-effective. Further work is required to validate the proposed method, although it shows potential to overcome some of the challenges plaguing current approaches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How Better Decision-Making Helps to Improve Sustainability)
Open AccessReview What Is the Bioeconomy? A Review of the Literature
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 691; doi:10.3390/su8070691
Received: 30 June 2016 / Revised: 14 July 2016 / Accepted: 15 July 2016 / Published: 19 July 2016
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Abstract
The notion of the bioeconomy has gained importance in both research and policy debates over the last decade, and is frequently argued to be a key part of the solution to multiple grand challenges. Despite this, there seems to be little consensus concerning
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The notion of the bioeconomy has gained importance in both research and policy debates over the last decade, and is frequently argued to be a key part of the solution to multiple grand challenges. Despite this, there seems to be little consensus concerning what bioeconomy actually implies. Consequently, this paper seeks to enhance our understanding of what the notion of bioeconomy means by exploring the origins, uptake, and contents of the term “bioeconomy” in the academic literature. Firstly, we perform a bibliometric analysis that highlights that the bioeconomy research community is still rather fragmented and distributed across many different fields of science, even if natural and engineering sciences take up the most central role. Secondly, we carry out a literature review that identifies three visions of the bioeconomy. The bio-technology vision emphasises the importance of bio-technology research and application and commercialisation of bio-technology in different sectors of the economy. The bio-resource vision focuses on processing and upgrading of biological raw materials, as well as on the establishment of new value chains. Finally, the bio-ecology vision highlights sustainability and ecological processes that optimise the use of energy and nutrients, promote biodiversity, and avoid monocultures and soil degradation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovation and Sustainable Development for the Bioeconomy)
Open AccessReview State-of-the-Art Review on Sustainable Design and Construction of Quieter Pavements—Part 2: Factors Affecting Tire-Pavement Noise and Prediction Models
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 692; doi:10.3390/su8070692
Received: 16 June 2016 / Revised: 5 July 2016 / Accepted: 9 July 2016 / Published: 20 July 2016
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Abstract
Traffic noise is a combination of noises produced from a number of sources. Of all the traffic noise sources, tire-pavement noise, which is emitted as a result of the interaction of rolling, slipping, or dragging tires and the pavement surface, is the dominant
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Traffic noise is a combination of noises produced from a number of sources. Of all the traffic noise sources, tire-pavement noise, which is emitted as a result of the interaction of rolling, slipping, or dragging tires and the pavement surface, is the dominant contributor of overall noise, particularly when vehicles are moving at higher speeds. Therefore, a number of research studies have been conducted to identify and analyze the factors affecting the generation of tire-pavement interaction noise. This helps in identifying and selecting appropriate noise mitigation techniques. In this paper, an extensive literature survey on the factors affecting tire-pavement noise is presented, and different views on the impact of each individual factor are discussed. From the literature survey, it is also evident that there is a potential correlation between pavement’s material characteristics and tire-pavement noise. A comprehensive discussion about this correlation is presented in the paper. In addition, this paper discusses various mathematical models for predicting pavement noise, and their advantages and shortcomings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
Open AccessReview Measures of Transport-Related Social Exclusion: A Critical Review of the Literature
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 696; doi:10.3390/su8070696
Received: 22 March 2016 / Revised: 7 July 2016 / Accepted: 12 July 2016 / Published: 20 July 2016
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Abstract
Quantitative measures of transport disadvantage are reviewed in this paper from the perspective of their effectiveness to investigate social exclusion. The effectiveness is assessed using criteria derived through a review of the concepts of transport disadvantage and social exclusion and their operationalisation. The
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Quantitative measures of transport disadvantage are reviewed in this paper from the perspective of their effectiveness to investigate social exclusion. The effectiveness is assessed using criteria derived through a review of the concepts of transport disadvantage and social exclusion and their operationalisation. The specified criteria are related to issues of spatial (e.g., urban accessibility, and public transport accessibility), temporal (e.g., public transport availability, and facility opening hours), and social attributes of travel and activity participation (e.g., personal mobility, and disability). Four groups of transport disadvantage measures are identified and evaluated. These include deprivation-based measures, mobility-based measures, accessibility-based measures, and activity-based measures. The review suggests that although the first three categories of measures have traditionally been used to identify transport disadvantage, they do not satisfy issues surrounding activity participation—the key outcome of social exclusion. The activity space concept is a way in which these issues can be incorporated, as it is a measure of the outcomes of activity participation and their associated travel to that activity. Participation in an activity means that an individual has overcome the spatial, temporal and social barriers of travel for that activity. The research using the activity space concept has, however, inadequately identified individual travel and activity participation. This has been due to a separate application of a range of different indicators to assess activity space size. These indicators are by their nature multidimensional—e.g., area visited, distance travelled, and number of activity sites visited. Although each indicator represents a specific qualitative/quantitative aspect of travel and activity participation, researchers have treated these indicators in an isolated manner to identify transport disadvantage and consequently transport-related social exclusion. This paper identifies the weaknesses and strengths associated with these measures; and methods are directed to overcome the limitations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)

Other

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Open AccessTechnical Note Field Evaluation of the Nutrient Removal Performance of a Gross Pollutant Trap (GPT) in Australia
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 669; doi:10.3390/su8070669
Received: 29 March 2016 / Revised: 5 July 2016 / Accepted: 8 July 2016 / Published: 14 July 2016
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Abstract
Field testing of a proprietary stormwater treatment device (GPT) was undertaken over a one year period at a commercial site located in Sippy Downs, Queensland. The focus of the study was primarily on evaluating the effectiveness of the GPT device in removing pollution
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Field testing of a proprietary stormwater treatment device (GPT) was undertaken over a one year period at a commercial site located in Sippy Downs, Queensland. The focus of the study was primarily on evaluating the effectiveness of the GPT device in removing pollution in the form of nutrients (Total Suspended Solids, Total Nitrogen, Total Phosphorus) from stormwater runoff. Water quality analysis was performed on water samples taken from the inflow and outflow of the GPT during 15 natural rainfall events. A new testing protocol was developed to ensure a comprehensive investigation of the stormwater treatment performance of the GPT. Pollution treatment Efficiency Ratios (ER) calculated for the GPT were found to be 49.2% for TSS, 26.6% for TN and 40.6% for TP. Although the nutrient removal rates of the GPT observed in the study were below those specified by Queensland regulations, the results are considered notable for a stormwater treatment device that was not specifically designed to remove nutrients from stormwater. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
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