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Sustainability, Volume 8, Issue 8 (August 2016)

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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review, Other

Open AccessEditorial Sustainability of Local and Global Food Chains: Introduction to the Special Issue
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 765; doi:10.3390/su8080765
Received: 25 July 2016 / Revised: 25 July 2016 / Accepted: 26 July 2016 / Published: 8 August 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (179 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainability assessment is one of the keys to competition by food supply chains over sustainability. The way it is conceived and embodied into decision-makers’ choices affects the competitiveness of local and global chains. Science-based assessment methodologies have made substantial progress, but uncertainties—as well
[...] Read more.
Sustainability assessment is one of the keys to competition by food supply chains over sustainability. The way it is conceived and embodied into decision-makers’ choices affects the competitiveness of local and global chains. Science-based assessment methodologies have made substantial progress, but uncertainties—as well as interests at stake—are high. There are no science-based methods that are able to give an unchallenged verdict over the sustainability performance of a firm, let alone a supply chain. Assessment methods are more suited for medium-large firm dimensions, as planning, monitoring, and reporting are costly. Moreover, the availability of data affects the choice of parameters to be measured, and many claims of local food are not easily measurable. To give local chains a chance to operate on a level playing field, there is the need to re-think sustainability assessment processes and tailor them to the characteristics of the analysed supply chains. We indicate seven key points on which we think scholars should focus their attention when dealing with food supply chain sustainability assessment. Full article
Open AccessEditorial Towards Equitable and Sustainable Urban Space: Introduction to Special Issue on “Urban Land and Sustainable Development”
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 804; doi:10.3390/su8080804
Received: 5 August 2016 / Accepted: 9 August 2016 / Published: 15 August 2016
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (193 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The unprecedented wave of global urbanization has exerted increased pressure on urban land and made land-use sustainability an urgent concern. This Special Issue examines patterns, structures, and dynamics of urban land use from the economic, social, and, to a lesser extent, environmental standpoints,
[...] Read more.
The unprecedented wave of global urbanization has exerted increased pressure on urban land and made land-use sustainability an urgent concern. This Special Issue examines patterns, structures, and dynamics of urban land use from the economic, social, and, to a lesser extent, environmental standpoints, in light of the goal of equitable and sustainable development. This introduction discusses the background and design of the Special Issue and highlights the contribution of the selected papers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Land and Sustainable Development) Printed Edition available
Open AccessEditorial Toward a Sustainable Low-Carbon China: A Review of the Special Issue of “Energy Economics and Management”
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 823; doi:10.3390/su8080823
Received: 14 August 2016 / Accepted: 17 August 2016 / Published: 22 August 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (176 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Severe environmental quality deterioration, along with predatory exploitation of energy resources, are generally associated with economic growth, especially in China. Against this background, the 6th Annual Conference of Energy Economics and Management provides a platform for examining outperforming governance factors and mechanisms of
[...] Read more.
Severe environmental quality deterioration, along with predatory exploitation of energy resources, are generally associated with economic growth, especially in China. Against this background, the 6th Annual Conference of Energy Economics and Management provides a platform for examining outperforming governance factors and mechanisms of energy economics and policy. Thanks to Sustainability for providing this special issue. This editorial highlights the contents and methodologies of the special issue for this conference, presenting diverse issues in energy economics and management. We also suggest guidelines for future study in energy economics and management. Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review, Other

Open AccessArticle A Social Wellbeing in Fisheries Tool (SWIFT) to Help Improve Fisheries Performance
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 667; doi:10.3390/su8080667
Received: 8 February 2016 / Revised: 27 May 2016 / Accepted: 7 July 2016 / Published: 25 July 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (532 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We report on a rapid and practical method to assess social dimensions of performance in small-scale and industrial fisheries globally (Social Wellbeing in Fisheries Tool (SWIFT)). SWIFT incorporates aspects of security (fairness and stability of earnings, benefits of employment to local fishing communities,
[...] Read more.
We report on a rapid and practical method to assess social dimensions of performance in small-scale and industrial fisheries globally (Social Wellbeing in Fisheries Tool (SWIFT)). SWIFT incorporates aspects of security (fairness and stability of earnings, benefits of employment to local fishing communities, worker protection, and personal safety and health in communities associated with fisheries); flexibility (including opportunity for economic advancement); and the fishery’s social viability (including whether the fishery is recruiting new harvesters and diverse age classes of workers, whether women’s participation and leadership in global production networks are on an upward trajectory.). We build on resilience research by conceptualizing wellbeing in terms of security, flexibility, and viability, and assessing wellbeing at individual, community, and system levels. SWIFT makes social performance measures more broadly accessible to global production networks, incorporates an everyday understanding of wellbeing for people involved in the seafood industry, and helps put social sustainability into measurable terms that are relevant for businesses. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Perceptions of Climate Change and the Potential for Adaptation in a Rural Community in Limpopo Province, South Africa
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 672; doi:10.3390/su8080672
Received: 12 April 2016 / Revised: 5 July 2016 / Accepted: 8 July 2016 / Published: 4 August 2016
PDF Full-text (1167 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Perceptions of climate change by rural communities are centered on observations of variations in temperature and rainfall patterns supported by observations and projections on climate alterations in the form of increased temperatures and scarce rainfall by scientists worldwide. The present study documented perceptions
[...] Read more.
Perceptions of climate change by rural communities are centered on observations of variations in temperature and rainfall patterns supported by observations and projections on climate alterations in the form of increased temperatures and scarce rainfall by scientists worldwide. The present study documented perceptions of climate variation and the community’s ability to adapt to climate change hazards threatening the production of subsistence crops. Data were collected through interactions with 100 participants. In the study, climate change is explained as variations in temperature and rainfall patterns which resulted in excessive heat, erratic rainfall patterns and drought negatively impacting on subsistence crop production. Community members have the potential to limit the impacts of climate hazards on subsistence crop production. The negative impacts of climate hazards are limited by community members’ indigenous knowledge of rainfall prediction, the seasons, crop diversification and mixed cropping. Mulching and the application of kraal manure improve the soil structure and fertility to reduce crop failure. These adaptation measures are resilient to the negative impact of climate hazards and may be helpful in the development of adaptation policies to assist rural communities vulnerable to climate change hazards. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Impacts of Climate Changes: From Sustainability Perspectives)
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Open AccessArticle Drivers for the Adoption of Eco-Innovations in the German Fertilizer Supply Chain
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 682; doi:10.3390/su8080682
Received: 27 May 2016 / Revised: 11 July 2016 / Accepted: 11 July 2016 / Published: 28 July 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (524 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Use of fertilizers has enabled a massive increase in crop production yields. However, this has come with severe negative externalities (e.g., greenhouse gas emission; eutrophication of non-agricultural ecosystems). Eco-innovations are one option to reduce the environmental impact of fertilizers without compromising fertilizer productivity.
[...] Read more.
Use of fertilizers has enabled a massive increase in crop production yields. However, this has come with severe negative externalities (e.g., greenhouse gas emission; eutrophication of non-agricultural ecosystems). Eco-innovations are one option to reduce the environmental impact of fertilizers without compromising fertilizer productivity. Although numerous eco-innovations in the domain of fertilizers are available, they have not yet seen a sufficient adoption rate. In this paper we explore main drivers for adoption of eco-innovations in the German fertilizer supply chain based on empirical investigations at three levels of the fertilizer supply chain: producers, traders, and farmers. We strive to take a “chain perspective” on environmental concerns and knowledge of fertilizer specific eco-innovations. The study was carried out in two steps: initially we conducted exploratory expert interviews with eight actors of the fertilizer supply chain. The statements generated thereby fed into a questionnaire answered by 57 participants stemming from fertilizer production (n = 12), traders (n = 34) and farmers (n = 11) level. Findings suggest that drivers for eco-innovations are perceived differently by the various actors in the fertilizer supply chain. Overall knowledge on eco-innovations decreases downstream the chain. By taking a chain perspective on the adoption of eco-innovation, our paper contributes to the emerging body of literature on drivers for eco-innovation, and also maps out managerial implications of fostering the implementation of eco-innovations in the fertilizer supply chain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eco-innovation and Competitiveness)
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Open AccessArticle Sustainable Cultural Tourism in Urban Destinations: Does Space Matter?
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 699; doi:10.3390/su8080699
Received: 14 May 2016 / Revised: 15 July 2016 / Accepted: 18 July 2016 / Published: 25 July 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2532 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Policy makers and tourism developers must understand visitors’ mobility behavior and how they consume space and tourism resources in order to set up sustainable cultural tourism destinations. With this in mind, it should also be pointed out that the mobility patterns of tourists
[...] Read more.
Policy makers and tourism developers must understand visitors’ mobility behavior and how they consume space and tourism resources in order to set up sustainable cultural tourism destinations. With this in mind, it should also be pointed out that the mobility patterns of tourists in urban destinations are mainly located in the city center (spatial centrality), the analysis of which enables us to define “how central” the resources (museums, monuments, etc.) are and what the interactions between them are. Comprehending which factors influence visitors’ urban mobility behavior is key to understanding tourists’ consumption of space and their connections with the tourism assets of the city. Furthermore, when tourists visit a destination, they make a mental representation of the destination, constructing a mental map of it. Thus, tourists consume not only spaces but also the image of a city/destination. Moreover, the latter influences the former. The quality of surrounding architecture and urbanism plays a crucial role in enhancing the experiential value of a destination and influencing space consumption preferences. Clearly, visitors are more likely to use/consume environments that are easily navigated and mentally legible. In order to explore these patterns, a real experiment was performed based on visitor behavior in the city of Bilbao. In addition, the central places of Bilbao were determined and an analysis of the spatial interaction between cultural sites was performed, making use of a new methodology based on GPS technologies, network analysis, and surveys. This methodology is the main contribution of this work. The results suggest that (1) easy mobility (walkability, accessibility, different transport modes) of the visited space facilitates the tourist experience; (2) simple and eligible mental maps of the city that are easily perceived by visitors facilitate the rapid consumption of the tourist destination; and (3) the centrality of the tourism resources affects the mobility of visitors and the consumption of the destination. Thus, by understanding how tourist mobility works in a destination and analyzing tourism resources’ centrality, policy makers may better tailor sustainable strategies for cultural tourism destinations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Management in Tourism and Hospitality)
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Open AccessArticle Green Energy for a Green City—A Multi-Perspective Model Approach
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 702; doi:10.3390/su8080702
Received: 22 May 2016 / Revised: 13 July 2016 / Accepted: 14 July 2016 / Published: 26 July 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2749 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The basis for implementing demands for a green city is the use of, among other things, innovative “clean” technologies. However, it is mostly and directly connected to the increased use of electric energy. Green transport is an appropriate example of this. By contrast,
[...] Read more.
The basis for implementing demands for a green city is the use of, among other things, innovative “clean” technologies. However, it is mostly and directly connected to the increased use of electric energy. Green transport is an appropriate example of this. By contrast, conventional sources of energy (e.g., based on coal) have a very negative impact on people and the environment. Therefore, this article mentions an attempt to solve a complex problem of employing renewable energy sources (RES) as an element of the “green city” system. The research was carried out on the basis of a feasibility study (decision game) for the location of a wind farm in the vicinity of the city of Szczecin, Poland. When constructing the decision models, multiple-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) methods were applied, especially analytic hierarchy process (AHP) and preference ranking organization method for enrichment evaluation (PROMETHEE). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Conventional, Partially Converted and Environmentally Friendly Farming in South Korea: Profitability and Factors Affecting Farmers’ Choice
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 704; doi:10.3390/su8080704
Received: 30 May 2016 / Revised: 13 July 2016 / Accepted: 15 July 2016 / Published: 25 July 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2194 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
While organic farming is well established in Europe a nd USA, it is still catching up in Asian countries. The government of South Korea has implemented environmentally friendly farming that encompasses organic farming. Despite the promotion of environmentally friendly farming, it still has
[...] Read more.
While organic farming is well established in Europe a nd USA, it is still catching up in Asian countries. The government of South Korea has implemented environmentally friendly farming that encompasses organic farming. Despite the promotion of environmentally friendly farming, it still has a low share in South Korea and partially converted farming has emerged in some districts of South Korea. However, the partially converted farming has not yet been investigated by the government. Thus, our study implemented a financial analysis to compare the annual costs and net returns of conventional, partially converted and environmentally friendly farming in Gangwon Province. The result showed that environmentally friendly farming was more profitable with respect to farm net returns. To find out the factors affecting the adoption of environmentally friendly farming, multinomial logistic regression was implemented. The findings revealed that education and subsidy positively and significantly influenced the probability of farmers’ choice on partially converted and environmentally friendly farming. Farm size had a negative and significant relationship with only environmentally friendly farming. This study will contribute to future policy establishment for sustainable agriculture as recommended by improving the quality of fertilizers, suggesting the additional investigation associated with partially converted farmers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Proposal for the Evaluation of Eco-Efficient Concrete
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 705; doi:10.3390/su8080705
Received: 5 May 2016 / Revised: 12 July 2016 / Accepted: 14 July 2016 / Published: 26 July 2016
PDF Full-text (3352 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The importance of environmental consequences due to diverse substances that are emitted during the production of concrete is recognized, but environmental performance tends to be evaluated separately from the economic performance and durability performance of concrete. In order to evaluate concrete from the
[...] Read more.
The importance of environmental consequences due to diverse substances that are emitted during the production of concrete is recognized, but environmental performance tends to be evaluated separately from the economic performance and durability performance of concrete. In order to evaluate concrete from the perspective of sustainable development, evaluation technologies are required for comprehensive assessment of environmental performance, economic performance, and durability performance based on a concept of sustainable development called the triple bottom line (TBL). Herein, an assessment method for concrete eco-efficiency is developed as a technique to ensure the manufacture of highly durable and eco-friendly concrete, while minimizing both the load on the ecological environment and manufacturing costs. The assessment method is based on environmental impact, manufacturing costs, and the service life of concrete. According to our findings, eco-efficiency increased as the compressive strength of concrete increased from 21 MPa to 40 MPa. The eco-efficiency of 40 MPa concrete was about 50% higher than the eco-efficiency of 24 MPa concrete. Thus eco-efficiency is found to increase with an increasing compressive strength of concrete because the rate of increase in the service life of concrete is larger than the rate of increase in the costs. In addition, eco-efficiency (KRW/year) was shown to increase for all concrete strengths as mixing rates of admixtures (Ground Granulated Blast furnace Slag) increased to 30% during concrete mix design. However, when the mixing rate of admixtures increased to 40% and 60%, the eco-efficiency dropped due to rapid reduction in the service life values of concrete to 74 (year/m3) and 44 (year/m3), respectively. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Influence of Urbanization Factors on Surface Urban Heat Island Intensity: A Comparison of Countries at Different Developmental Phases
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 706; doi:10.3390/su8080706
Received: 27 May 2016 / Revised: 15 July 2016 / Accepted: 18 July 2016 / Published: 25 July 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2276 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Urbanization is a global problem with demographic trends. The urban heat island plays a dominant role in local climate systems. Despite existing efforts to understand the impacts of multiple urbanization factors on the urban heat island globally, very little is known about the
[...] Read more.
Urbanization is a global problem with demographic trends. The urban heat island plays a dominant role in local climate systems. Despite existing efforts to understand the impacts of multiple urbanization factors on the urban heat island globally, very little is known about the attribution of urban heat island magnitude to urbanization in different locations or developmental phases. In this study, based on global land surface temperature data, urban spatial domain data, gross domestic product (GDP), and population data, we analyzed the influence of multiple urbanization factors on global surface urban heat island intensity (SUHII). We also tentatively compared the abovementioned factors between different regions across the globe, especially between China and the USA, the largest countries that are experiencing or have experienced rapid urbanization in recent decades. The results showed that global SUHII had remarkable spatial heterogeneity due to the geographical and socioeconomic variation between cities. There was a significant correlation between SUHII and population as well as GDP in global cities. Moreover, this study suggested that the impacts of population on SUHII might be stronger in the early stages of urbanization, and the GDP factor would become a critical factor at a certain development level. The urban area also had non-ignorable impacts on SUHII, while the correlation between SUHII and urban shape was relatively weak. All these may imply that the best approach to slow down SUHII is to find other solutions, e.g., optimize the spatial configuration of urban internal landscapes, when the urbanization reaches a high level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle New Product Development and Innovation in the Maquiladora Industry: A Causal Model
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 707; doi:10.3390/su8080707
Received: 25 April 2016 / Revised: 24 June 2016 / Accepted: 19 July 2016 / Published: 25 July 2016
PDF Full-text (801 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Companies seek to stand out from their competitors and react to other competitive threats. Making a difference means doing things differently in order to create a product that other companies cannot provide. This can be achieved through an innovation process. This article analyses,
[...] Read more.
Companies seek to stand out from their competitors and react to other competitive threats. Making a difference means doing things differently in order to create a product that other companies cannot provide. This can be achieved through an innovation process. This article analyses, by means of a structural equation model, the current situation of Mexican maquiladora companies, which face the constant challenge of product innovation. The model associates three success factors for new product development (product, organization, and production process characteristics as independent latent variables) with benefits gained by customers and companies (dependent latent variables). Results show that, in the Mexican maquiladora sector, organizational characteristics and production processes characteristics explain only 31% of the variability (R2 = 0.31), and it seems necessary to integrate other aspects. The relationship between customer benefits and company benefits explains 58% of the variability, the largest proportion in the model (R2 = 0.58). Full article
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Open AccessArticle Assessing Risk in Chinese Shale Gas Investments Abroad: Modelling and Policy Recommendations
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 708; doi:10.3390/su8080708
Received: 9 May 2016 / Revised: 27 June 2016 / Accepted: 13 July 2016 / Published: 26 July 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1178 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As the shale gas revolution expands globally, the future potential and economic profits of overseas shale gas reserves have attracted the interest of Chinese investors. Overseas shale gas development is becoming an investment hotspot for Chinese oil companies. However, this multibillion-dollar venture is
[...] Read more.
As the shale gas revolution expands globally, the future potential and economic profits of overseas shale gas reserves have attracted the interest of Chinese investors. Overseas shale gas development is becoming an investment hotspot for Chinese oil companies. However, this multibillion-dollar venture is surrounded by a complex and uncertain environment. Therefore, this paper carries out an integrated and publicly available model for assessing risk in overseas shale gas investments. The purpose of this model is to address the index weight calculation and risk ranking and provide investor with risk information. In view of this, the comprehensive weights are obtained based on an analytic hierarchy process (AHP) and entropy weight methods; and the Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) method is performed to rank target countries. First, the paper identities five categories of risks with full consideration of the economic risk, political risk, geological risk, technological risk, and internal managements risk. Based on the risk identification, the assessment index system is established and valued. Secondly, China is taken as an example nation to use this model to prove the effectiveness of the proposed model and help the investor make wise decisions. According to the results, low-risk countries, such as Canada, Argentina, United States, and Algeria can be considered to be future key targets of shale gas investment abroad, while investors should be more cautious of high-risk countries such as South Africa and Brazil. Finally, policy recommendations are proposed to optimize the overseas shale gas investments from both the government and investor perspectives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Finding Factors that Influence Carsharing Usage: Case Study in Seoul
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 709; doi:10.3390/su8080709
Received: 29 May 2016 / Revised: 11 July 2016 / Accepted: 18 July 2016 / Published: 26 July 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2160 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The goal of this research is to investigate the factors that affect carsharing demand. As a proxy for carsharing demand, the number of (booking) transactions made by carsharing users is counted based on the data from one of the two major carsharing operators
[...] Read more.
The goal of this research is to investigate the factors that affect carsharing demand. As a proxy for carsharing demand, the number of (booking) transactions made by carsharing users is counted based on the data from one of the two major carsharing operators in Seoul, Korea. In order to identify the factors influencing station-based carsharing usage, multiple linear regression modeling was performed with the number of carsharing transactions as a dependent variable and with the three groups of independent variables: Built environment, demographic, and transportation variables. Instead of using the locations of the pods, this study uses the residential locations of carsharing users who made transactions, and the final result analyzing 420 districts shows that six variables significantly influence carsharing usage. Carsharing demand is high in an area where a higher proportion of building floor area is used for business, and which has a higher proportion of young residents in their 20s and 30s. It can also be predicted that the area with more registered cars and less subway entrances will show higher carsharing demand. The analysis result also suggests that providing additional carsharing pods, especially pods that utilize city owned public parking facilities, will help promote carsharing usage. This research establishes a basis for future research efforts to forecast carsharing demand and to identify areas with high potential, especially in major Asian cities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Straw Incorporation on Soil Nutrients, Enzymes, and Aggregate Stability in Tobacco Fields of China
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 710; doi:10.3390/su8080710
Received: 29 April 2016 / Revised: 15 July 2016 / Accepted: 18 July 2016 / Published: 26 July 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (376 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
To determine the effects of straw incorporation on soil nutrients, enzyme activity, and aggregates in tobacco fields, we conducted experiments with different amounts of wheat and maize straw in Zhucheng area of southeast Shandong province for three years (2010–2012). In the final year
[...] Read more.
To determine the effects of straw incorporation on soil nutrients, enzyme activity, and aggregates in tobacco fields, we conducted experiments with different amounts of wheat and maize straw in Zhucheng area of southeast Shandong province for three years (2010–2012). In the final year of experiment (2012), straw incorporation increased soil organic carbon (SOC) and related parameters, and improved soil enzyme activity proportionally with the amount of straw added, except for catalase when maize straw was used. And maize straw incorporation was more effective than wheat straw in the tobacco field. The percentage of aggregates >2 mm increased with straw incorporation when measured by either dry or wet sieving. The mean weight diameter (MWD) and geometric mean diameter (GMD) in straw incorporation treatments were higher than those in the no-straw control (CK). Maize straw increased soil aggregate stability more than wheat straw with the same incorporation amount. Alkaline phosphatase was significantly and negatively correlated with soil pH. Sucrase and urease were both significantly and positively correlated with soil alkali-hydrolysable N. Catalase was significantly but negatively correlated with soil extractable K (EK). The MWD and GMD by dry sieving had significantly positive correlations with SOC, total N, total K, and EK, but only significantly correlated with EK by wet sieving. Therefore, soil nutrients, metabolic enzyme activity, and aggregate stability might be increased by increasing the SOC content through the maize or wheat straw incorporation. Moreover, incorporation of maize straw at 7500 kg·hm−2 was the best choice to enhance soil fertility in the tobacco area of Eastern China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Rurality and Collective Attitude Effects on Wolf Policy
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 711; doi:10.3390/su8080711
Received: 27 February 2016 / Revised: 19 July 2016 / Accepted: 20 July 2016 / Published: 26 July 2016
PDF Full-text (640 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Debates over wolf policy are driven by an underlying attitudinal divide between people from urban and rural areas. This study explores how the power relationship between urban and rural groups interact with individual attitude formation in relation to wolf policy, in order to
[...] Read more.
Debates over wolf policy are driven by an underlying attitudinal divide between people from urban and rural areas. This study explores how the power relationship between urban and rural groups interact with individual attitude formation in relation to wolf policy, in order to understand why dissatisfaction with wolf policy tends to result in group level conflict patterns. Using Swedish survey data, I analyze attitudes to wolf policy, in relation to collective level effects and rural political alienation. Findings indicate that individual level attitudes towards the Swedish wolf policy are in part determined by collective attitude patterns: effects that could be contingent on political alienation. This highlights the possibility of reducing attitude polarization with respect to the wolf policy, by addressing political alienation among the rural population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Social Ecology and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Too Much Is as Bad as Too Little? Sources of the Intention-Achievement Gap in Sustainable Innovation
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 712; doi:10.3390/su8080712
Received: 10 June 2016 / Revised: 18 July 2016 / Accepted: 21 July 2016 / Published: 25 July 2016
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Abstract
Prior work on innovation has generally emphasized the importance of an organization’s exposure to external knowledge. This study, in contrast, redirects our attention toward conditions under which such exposure serves as constraints on organizational endeavors to achieve environmentally preferable innovation. We develop a
[...] Read more.
Prior work on innovation has generally emphasized the importance of an organization’s exposure to external knowledge. This study, in contrast, redirects our attention toward conditions under which such exposure serves as constraints on organizational endeavors to achieve environmentally preferable innovation. We develop a two-stage model for sustainable innovation. A firm in the first stage explores a variety of alternatives and develops strategic intentions to address broader environmental concerns; thus, it may benefit from access to both diverse sources of external knowledge and network ties that enable an extensive search for new information. In the second stage, a firm exploits limited available options to achieve its strategic intentions. We suggest that dependence on external knowledge in the first stage makes the transition toward the second stage challenging, thereby reducing the probability that a firm’s strategic intentions for sustainability result in actual innovation outcomes. We test our theory using the 2014 Korean Innovation Survey. Our results show that diverse sources of external knowledge through rich network ties, albeit the positive main effects on innovation outcomes, negatively moderate the relationship between a firm’s intentions for environmental sustainability and its achievement of sustainable innovation. Several theoretical and practical implications are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eco-innovation and Competitiveness)
Open AccessArticle Wind Power Deployment: The Role of Public Participation in the Decision-Making Process in Ontario, Canada
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 713; doi:10.3390/su8080713
Received: 3 May 2016 / Revised: 28 June 2016 / Accepted: 15 July 2016 / Published: 26 July 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1259 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A wider use of renewable energy is emerging as a viable solution to meet the increasing demand for global energy while contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. However, current literature on renewable energy, particularly on wind power, highlights the social barriers
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A wider use of renewable energy is emerging as a viable solution to meet the increasing demand for global energy while contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. However, current literature on renewable energy, particularly on wind power, highlights the social barriers and public opposition to renewable energy investment. One solution to overcome the public opposition, which is recommended by scholars, is to deploy a collaborative approach. Relatively little research has specifically focused on the role of effective communication and the use of a knowledge-broker in collaborative decision-making. This study attempts to fill this gap through the proposition of a participatory framework that highlights the role of the knowledge-broker in a wind project decision-making process. In this paper, five illustrative wind projects in Ontario are used to highlight the current situation with public participation and to address how the proposed framework could have improved the process. Based on the recommended collaborative framework, perception must shift from the dominant view of the public as “a risk to be managed” towards “a resource that can be tapped”. The developers need to improve sharing what they know and foster co-learning around questions and concerns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How Better Decision-Making Helps to Improve Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Pig Slurry as Basal and Panicle Fertilizer on Trace Element Content and Grain Quality in Direct-Seeding Rice
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 714; doi:10.3390/su8080714
Received: 2 May 2016 / Revised: 11 July 2016 / Accepted: 18 July 2016 / Published: 26 July 2016
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Abstract
Direct-seeding rice has grown in popularity in recent years and is widespread in China. This study focused on the effects of pig slurry (PS) on grain quality and safety in direct-seeding rice. Application of more than 210 m3·hm−2 increased rice
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Direct-seeding rice has grown in popularity in recent years and is widespread in China. This study focused on the effects of pig slurry (PS) on grain quality and safety in direct-seeding rice. Application of more than 210 m3·hm−2 increased rice yield and dry matter accumulation, compared with conventional chemical fertilizer treatment (CK2). At the heading and maturing stage, a high dosage of PS (T6, T8 and T9 treatments) promoted uptake of Pb, Cu, Zn, Fe and Mn by rice plants and grain, but retarded uptake of Cr, Co and Ni, indicating an ability to alleviate toxicity of some heavy metals. Compared with CK2, PS alleviated the transfer of Pb, Cr, Co, Ni and Cu from straw to grain, but enhanced the transport of Zn, Fe and Mn. Although PS application slightly diminished the processing quality, including brown rice, milled rice and head milled rice, it significantly decreased the amylose content, optimized the starch profile, and improved the overall quality. The results confirmed the feasibility and safety of PS application to direct-seeding rice, and determined that PS basal and panicle fertilizer could increase yield and improve the rice quality when applied between 210 and 240 m3·hm−2. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle Distributed Leadership in a Low-Carbon City Agenda
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 715; doi:10.3390/su8080715
Received: 30 March 2016 / Revised: 3 July 2016 / Accepted: 22 July 2016 / Published: 26 July 2016
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Abstract
This paper uses Spillane’s (2001) theory and Gronn’s (2000) concerted efforts approach to examine distributed leadership in a low-carbon city agenda. The main purpose of the paper is to find empirical evidence of a relationship between distributed leadership and the achievement of the
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This paper uses Spillane’s (2001) theory and Gronn’s (2000) concerted efforts approach to examine distributed leadership in a low-carbon city agenda. The main purpose of the paper is to find empirical evidence of a relationship between distributed leadership and the achievement of the agenda. Eight constructs emerged that informed our understanding of distributed leadership dimensions within the low-carbon city framework: vision, organizational framework, organizational culture, consensus, instructional programs, expertise, team leader leadership, and team member leadership. The evidence shows that there is a positive relationship between distributed leadership and the outcome of the low-carbon city agenda, and that a dispersed pattern in distributing leadership is required to enhance community engagement. The findings also suggest that an organizational culture that facilitates multiple sources of leadership may largely contribute to the effectiveness of distributed leadership practices in realizing the low-carbon city agenda. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Supply Chain Cooperation with Price-Sensitive Demand and Environmental Impacts
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 716; doi:10.3390/su8080716
Received: 1 May 2016 / Revised: 5 July 2016 / Accepted: 21 July 2016 / Published: 30 July 2016
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Abstract
In this paper, we consider a two-echelon sustainable supply chain with price-sensitive demand. The government taxes the carbon footprint of each item caused by producing, transporting, and consuming the products. Both the supplier and retailer can exert efforts to reduce the carbon footprint.
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In this paper, we consider a two-echelon sustainable supply chain with price-sensitive demand. The government taxes the carbon footprint of each item caused by producing, transporting, and consuming the products. Both the supplier and retailer can exert efforts to reduce the carbon footprint. In a non-cooperative setting, the government only taxes the supplier, so that the retailer has no incentive to exert any effort to reduce the carbon footprint and the supplier merely decides on the selling price to maximize its own profit. We develop a centralized supply chain and show that there is an optimal solution to maximize the channel profit. Since the centralized policy may not be always not practical, we propose a tax-sharing contract, where both parties profit from the carbon footprint reduction. This problem is modeled as the Stackelberg game and Nash game. The results show that the leader has more power than the follower, which results in more profit. The Stackelberg game provides boundaries for both parties’ profits in the Nash game. Although the tax-sharing contract does not result in full cooperation, its efficiency is still much higher than that of the non-cooperative case. The results are illustrated with some numerical experiments. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Policies for a More Dematerialized EU Economy. Theoretical Underpinnings, Political Context and Expected Feasibility
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 717; doi:10.3390/su8080717
Received: 9 February 2016 / Revised: 1 July 2016 / Accepted: 12 July 2016 / Published: 28 July 2016
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Abstract
Economic systems are connected to the natural environment through a continuous flow of energy and materials. The production of economic wealth implies the use of natural resources and their transformation into goods (bound to become, at least partially, waste in the future), current
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Economic systems are connected to the natural environment through a continuous flow of energy and materials. The production of economic wealth implies the use of natural resources and their transformation into goods (bound to become, at least partially, waste in the future), current waste (pollution) and low-valued energy (entropy). The scarcity of natural resources and the negative externalities arising from their use throughout the entire value chain are quite natural motivations for the current policy push towards a more dematerialized and a more circular economy. In this perspective, the EU seems to be approaching a new frontier in environmental policy. The main contribution of this paper is a qualitative assessment of a coordinated set of dematerialization policies, which aim at fostering the socially efficient use (and re-use) of virgin materials at firm level. The policy mix we propose envisages a green tax reform (GTR) with a material tax, which aims at shifting relative input prices in favour of labour and capital, and a policy of funding research and development activities in the area of resource efficiency. In order to support firms in their transition to higher material efficiency, we foresee targeted skill enhancement programmes. Finally, to prevent firms to shift towards less material-intensive production, potentially leading to lower output quality, we complete the policy mix with specific command-and-control measures, aiming at setting minimum quality standards for selected product categories. The qualitative assessment of this mix of policies relies on the four basic criteria of the economic policy analysis (effectiveness, efficiency, equity and feasibility). Since the EU is deeply integrated in the world economy, and it is a net importer of virgin resources, our policy evaluation necessarily takes an open-economy perspective. In this vein, the paper reviews the state of affairs of the major world countries (USA, Japan and China in particular) on this issue, and contextualizes the EU action in a global perspective. Full article
Open AccessArticle Home Garden Ecosystem Services Valuation through a Gender Lens: A Case Study in the Catalan Pyrenees
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 718; doi:10.3390/su8080718
Received: 23 March 2016 / Revised: 19 July 2016 / Accepted: 21 July 2016 / Published: 27 July 2016
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Abstract
Ecosystem services have become a critical issue in the environmental literature, however knowledge on whether women and men similarly value ecosystem services is still nascent. We aim at advancing the understanding of the relation between gender and environmental perceptions through the analysis of
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Ecosystem services have become a critical issue in the environmental literature, however knowledge on whether women and men similarly value ecosystem services is still nascent. We aim at advancing the understanding of the relation between gender and environmental perceptions through the analysis of values assigned by women and men to ecosystem services supplied by home gardens in Vall Fosca (Catalan Pyrenees, north-eastern Spain). We found that women give a higher value than men to all ecosystem services. Overall, women’s valuation of the full range of ecosystem services provided by home gardens was 7.55% higher than men’s valuation. Gender socialization influences the way people interact with and value the environment, including highly managed environments such as home gardens. We argue that considering gendered differences in ecosystem services valuation may lead to policies more effective in enhancing ecosystem services provision. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Social Ecology and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Life Cycle Assessment of Steel Produced in an Italian Integrated Steel Mill
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 719; doi:10.3390/su8080719
Received: 15 June 2016 / Revised: 20 July 2016 / Accepted: 22 July 2016 / Published: 28 July 2016
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Abstract
The purpose of this work is to carry out an accurate and extensive environmental analysis of the steel production occurring in in the largest integrated EU steel mill, located in the city of Taranto in southern Italy. The end goal is that of
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The purpose of this work is to carry out an accurate and extensive environmental analysis of the steel production occurring in in the largest integrated EU steel mill, located in the city of Taranto in southern Italy. The end goal is that of highlighting the steelworks’ main hot spots and identifying potential options for environmental improvement. The development for such an analysis is based on a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of steel production with a cradle to casting plant gate approach that covers the stages from raw material extraction to solid steel slab production. The inventory results have highlighted the large solid waste production, especially in terms of slag, which could be reused in other industries as secondary raw materials. Other reuses, in accordance with the circular economy paradigm, could encompass the energy waste involved in the steelmaking process. The most burdening lifecycle phases are the ones linked to blast furnace and coke oven operations. Specifically, the impact categories are influenced by the energy consumption and also by the toxicity of the emissions associated with the lifecycle of steel production. A detailed analysis of the toxicity impacts indicates that LCA is still not perfectly suitable for toxicity assessments and should be coupled with other more site specific studies in order to understand such aspects fully. Overall, the results represent a first step to understanding the current levels of sustainability of the steelworks, which should be used as a starting point for the development both of pollution control measures and of symbiotic waste reutilization scenarios needed to maintain the competitiveness of the industrial plant. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Low Carbon Urban Transitioning in Shenzhen: A Multi-Level Environmental Governance Perspective
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 720; doi:10.3390/su8080720
Received: 19 May 2016 / Revised: 15 July 2016 / Accepted: 26 July 2016 / Published: 29 July 2016
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Abstract
As the world’s second largest economy, China ranks among the world’s top nations when it comes to carbon emission. Accordingly, its attitude towards climate change is closely followed by all parties concerned. There have been few studies on the role of environmental governance
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As the world’s second largest economy, China ranks among the world’s top nations when it comes to carbon emission. Accordingly, its attitude towards climate change is closely followed by all parties concerned. There have been few studies on the role of environmental governance in the transformation process to low-carbon, especially Chinese ones. This study analyzes the impact of government environmental regulation on the low-carbon city transformation process by adopting Shenzhen as the research object. One of the world’s youngest super cities, Shenzhen also happens to be the city with the lowest carbon emission intensity in China. The multi-level governance framework is a useful mechanism with which to gauge divisions of responsibility and resources. This paper uses multilevel environmental governance to explain the policy for dealing with the climate in the city of Shenzhen. Striving to explore green low-carbon development path for the whole country, Shenzhen provides practical experience for countries to cope with global climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Resilience and Urban Sustainability: From Research to Practice)
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Open AccessArticle Evolutionary Patterns of Renewable Energy Technology Development in East Asia (1990–2010)
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 721; doi:10.3390/su8080721
Received: 4 May 2016 / Revised: 13 July 2016 / Accepted: 25 July 2016 / Published: 28 July 2016
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Abstract
This study investigates the evolutionary patterns of renewable energy technology in East Asian countries—Japan, Korea, and China—as an emerging technology where the catch-up strategy is actively taking place. To reflect the quality of technology development activities, we assess each country’s research and development
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This study investigates the evolutionary patterns of renewable energy technology in East Asian countries—Japan, Korea, and China—as an emerging technology where the catch-up strategy is actively taking place. To reflect the quality of technology development activities, we assess each country’s research and development (R&D) activities using patent citation analysis. The goal of this study is to overcome the limitations of prior research that uses quantitative information, such as R&D expenditures and number of patents. This study observes the process of technological catch-up and leapfrogging in the East Asian renewable energy sector. Furthermore, we find that each nation’s technology development portfolio differs depending on the composition share of technologies. Policymakers in emerging economies can use the findings to shape R&D strategies to develop the renewable energy sector and provide an alternative method of evaluating the qualitative development of technology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Predicting the Potential Distribution of Olea ferruginea in Pakistan incorporating Climate Change by Using Maxent Model
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 722; doi:10.3390/su8080722
Received: 24 March 2016 / Revised: 3 July 2016 / Accepted: 22 July 2016 / Published: 29 July 2016
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Abstract
The potential distribution of Olea ferruginea was predicted by Maxent model for present and the upcoming hypothetical (2050) climatic scenario. O. ferruginea is an economically beneficial plant species. For predicting the potential distribution of O. ferruginea in Pakistan, Worldclim variables for current and
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The potential distribution of Olea ferruginea was predicted by Maxent model for present and the upcoming hypothetical (2050) climatic scenario. O. ferruginea is an economically beneficial plant species. For predicting the potential distribution of O. ferruginea in Pakistan, Worldclim variables for current and future climatic change scenarios, digital elevation model (DEM) slope, and aspects with the occurrence point were used. Pearson correlation was used to reject highly correlated variables. A total of 219 sighting points were used in the Maxent modeling. The area under curve (AUC) value was higher than 0.98. The approach used in this study is considered useful in predicting the potential distribution of O. ferruginea species, and can be an effective tool in the conservation and restoration planning for human welfare. The results show that there is a significant impact under future bioclimatic scenarios on the potential distribution of O. ferruginea in Pakistan. There is a significant decrease in the overall distribution of O. ferruginea due to loss of habitats under current distribution range, but this will be compensated by gain of habitat at higher altitudes in the future climate change scenario (habitat shift). It is recommended that the areas predicted suitable for the O. ferruginea may be used for plantation of this species while the deforested land should be restored for human welfare. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Measuring Carbon Emissions of Pavement Construction in China
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 723; doi:10.3390/su8080723
Received: 24 May 2016 / Revised: 21 July 2016 / Accepted: 25 July 2016 / Published: 28 July 2016
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Abstract
While various methodologies for quantifying carbon emissions of pavement construction are developed worldwide, adopting and promoting the existing tools to China’s market is found fairly challenging due to institutional constraints. Therefore, the objectives of this study are to propose a methodology for measuring
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While various methodologies for quantifying carbon emissions of pavement construction are developed worldwide, adopting and promoting the existing tools to China’s market is found fairly challenging due to institutional constraints. Therefore, the objectives of this study are to propose a methodology for measuring carbon emissions of pavement construction compatible with the fixed pricing systems prevalent in China; and develop an automatic tool for carbon estimations. The total carbon emissions are measured by aggregating emissions of energy consumption and materials used along with four stages, namely material manufacture, transportation, construction, and disposal. A set of composite carbon emission factors for energy and materials was calculated based on existing emission factors with the consideration of the boundaries concerned. The quantity of energy and materials used in pavement construction are obtained through bills of quantity and the fixed price system. The database of the emission factors for energy and materials was embedded into a C# based tool, and validated in a real case. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Economic Impacts of Climate Change on Cereal Production: Implications for Sustainable Agriculture in Northern Ghana
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 724; doi:10.3390/su8080724
Received: 27 December 2015 / Revised: 19 July 2016 / Accepted: 25 July 2016 / Published: 3 August 2016
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Abstract
This paper investigates the economic impacts of climate change on cereal crop production in Northern Ghana using 240 households comprising maize and sorghum farmers. The Ricardian regression approach was used to examine the economic impacts of climate change based on data generated from
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This paper investigates the economic impacts of climate change on cereal crop production in Northern Ghana using 240 households comprising maize and sorghum farmers. The Ricardian regression approach was used to examine the economic impacts of climate change based on data generated from a survey conducted in the 2013/2014 farming seasons. Forty-year time-series data of rainfall and temperature from 1974 to 2013, together with cross-sectional data, were used for the empirical analysis. The Ricardian regression estimates for both maize and sorghum showed varying degrees of climate change impacts on net revenues. The results indicated that early season precipitation was beneficial for sorghum, but harmful for maize. However, mid-season precipitation tended to promote maize production. Temperature levels for all seasons impacted negatively on net revenue for both crops, except during the mid-season, when temperature exerted a positive effect on net revenue for sorghum. Our findings suggest that appropriate adaptation strategies should be promoted to reduce the negative impacts of prevailing climate change on cereal crop production. Full article
Open AccessArticle Driftwood Biomass in Italy: Estimation and Characterization
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 725; doi:10.3390/su8080725
Received: 20 June 2016 / Revised: 20 July 2016 / Accepted: 22 July 2016 / Published: 29 July 2016
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Abstract
In Italy, the accumulation of driftwood along the shore is a significant issue, especially for the coastal municipalities of the Central and Northern regions. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the distribution and availability of the coastal driftwood in Italy and
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In Italy, the accumulation of driftwood along the shore is a significant issue, especially for the coastal municipalities of the Central and Northern regions. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the distribution and availability of the coastal driftwood in Italy and its impacts, as well as analyzing its chemical–physical properties to evaluate possible employment in combustion applications. On the basis of a data gathering campaign for the period 2010–2014, about 60,000 tons of driftwood are reported to accumulate along the Italian shores every year. The two regions hardest-hit were Liguria and Veneto, with about 15,000 tons and 12,000 tons, respectively. Three sites were selected for driftwood sampling. The main issue deriving from chemical characterization was the high chlorine content (up to 2% on dry basis) and metal oxides in the ashes. Driftwood samples were then subjected to a natural washing cycle for 1 month; results revealed a significant drop in chlorine and metal oxides contents (up to 80%) and a low decrease of the lower heating value (about 20%). Furthermore, the percolated water was analyzed in terms of chemical oxygen demand (COD), showing values (up to 1100 mg O2/L) above the Italian limits for discharges into surface waters. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Impact of Manually Controlled Solar Shades on Indoor Visual Comfort
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 727; doi:10.3390/su8080727
Received: 26 May 2016 / Revised: 4 July 2016 / Accepted: 25 July 2016 / Published: 29 July 2016
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Abstract
Daylight plays a significant role in sustainable building design. The purpose of this paper was to investigate the impact of manual solar shades on indoor visual comfort. A developed stochastic model for manual solar shades was modeled in Building Controls Virtual Test Bed,
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Daylight plays a significant role in sustainable building design. The purpose of this paper was to investigate the impact of manual solar shades on indoor visual comfort. A developed stochastic model for manual solar shades was modeled in Building Controls Virtual Test Bed, which was coupled with EnergyPlus for co-simulation. Movable solar shades were compared with two unshaded windows. Results show that movable solar shades have more than half of the working hours with a comfortable illuminance level, which is about twice higher than low-e windows, with a less significant daylight illuminance fluctuation. For glare protection, movable solar shades increase comfortable visual conditions by about 20% compared to low-e windows. Moreover, the intolerable glare perception could be reduced by more than 20% for movable solar shades. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Milk Supply Chain in Italy’s Umbria Region: Environmental and Economic Sustainability
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 728; doi:10.3390/su8080728
Received: 31 May 2016 / Revised: 25 July 2016 / Accepted: 25 July 2016 / Published: 29 July 2016
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Abstract
This article aims to investigate the environmental and economic sustainability of five dairy farms in the Umbria Region (Italy). The study also provides an assessment of aggregate sustainability, which is less investigated with reference to cattle milk both globally and in Italy, through
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This article aims to investigate the environmental and economic sustainability of five dairy farms in the Umbria Region (Italy). The study also provides an assessment of aggregate sustainability, which is less investigated with reference to cattle milk both globally and in Italy, through the analysis of the relationship between economic and environmental performance. Primary data were collected through a direct survey carried out in 2014. The environmental assessment was conducted with a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) “cradle to farm gate” approach, while the economic dimension was evaluated by determining the direct and indirect costs related to the factors involved in the production process. A correlation analysis and a linear regression were performed in order to study the relationship between the carbon footprint (CF) and operating income. The average operating income amounted to 0.03 Euro/L of milk. The CF values of the five companies are contained within a variation range comprised between 0.90 and 1.76 kg CO2 eq/L of milk. The existence of an inverse relationship between the CF of milk and operating income confirms the hypothesis regarding the possibility of implementing strategies aimed at improving performance in both investigated dimensions at the same time, thus increasing the aggregate sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Competitiveness of Farms)
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Open AccessArticle Network Analysis of Open Innovation
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 729; doi:10.3390/su8080729
Received: 25 May 2016 / Revised: 4 July 2016 / Accepted: 13 July 2016 / Published: 30 July 2016
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Abstract
The way people innovate and create new ideas and bring them to the market is undergoing a fundamental change from closed innovation to open innovation. Why and how do firms perform open innovation? Firms’ open innovation is measured through the levels of firms’
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The way people innovate and create new ideas and bring them to the market is undergoing a fundamental change from closed innovation to open innovation. Why and how do firms perform open innovation? Firms’ open innovation is measured through the levels of firms’ joint patent applications. Next, we analyze network structures and characters of firms’ joint patent applications such as betweenness and degree centrality, structure hole, and closure. From this research, we drew conclusions as follows. First, the structure of collaboration networks has both direct and indirect effects on firms’ innovative performance. Second, in the process of joint patent applications, there is a long tail phenomenon in networks of joint patent applications. Third, the number of patents and International Patent Classification (IPC) subclasses together constitute a meaningful measure of the innovation performance of firms. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Research on the Participant Behavior Selections of the Energy Performance Contracting Project Based on the Robustness of the Shared Savings Contract
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 730; doi:10.3390/su8080730
Received: 7 June 2016 / Revised: 22 July 2016 / Accepted: 25 July 2016 / Published: 30 July 2016
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Abstract
The profits of the ESCO (Energy Services Company) and EU (Energy Using Organization) in the EPCP (energy performance contracting project) rely on the signing of the shared savings contract and the successful operation of the project, and the probability of the project’s success
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The profits of the ESCO (Energy Services Company) and EU (Energy Using Organization) in the EPCP (energy performance contracting project) rely on the signing of the shared savings contract and the successful operation of the project, and the probability of the project’s success is decided by the complementary efforts of the ESCO and EU. However, the effort selection of the two sides face the bidirectional moral hazard caused by asymmetric information. Based on the robustness of shared savings contract, this paper establishes a bidirectional moral hazard model under asymmetric information to analyze the complementary efforts selection of the ESCO and EU with the given revenue sharing rules, and analyzes the differences of the complementary efforts under symmetric and asymmetric information conditions and the impacts of those efforts on the shared savings contract’s robustness by using a numerial simulation. The results show that compared with information symmetry, the bidirectional moral hazard will erode the project’s value under information asymmetry, the project’s success probability and the level of the parties’ efforts will decrease, which reveals the negative impact of asymmetric information on the robustness of the shared savings contract, and the significance of eliminating information asymmetry effectively as well as incentivizing the parties to increase the degree of complementary efforts to enhance the probability of the project’s success. Finally, policy recommendations regarding the introduction of incomplete contracts, promoting guaranteed savings contracts, and improving energy savings audits for the enhancement of the robustness of the shared savings contract are provided. This research will be helpful to improve the theoretical research on the contract’s robustness, perfect the design of the energy service contract, and formulate the related support policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Investigations on the Energy Efficiency of Stratified Air Distribution Systems with Different Diffuser Layouts
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 732; doi:10.3390/su8080732
Received: 27 May 2016 / Revised: 25 July 2016 / Accepted: 27 July 2016 / Published: 30 July 2016
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Abstract
This paper investigated the influence of diffuser layouts on the energy performance of stratified air distribution systems (STRAD). The energy saving potentials of STRAD systems are theoretically analyzed. The cooling coil load of a STRAD system is proportion to the return air temperature,
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This paper investigated the influence of diffuser layouts on the energy performance of stratified air distribution systems (STRAD). The energy saving potentials of STRAD systems are theoretically analyzed. The cooling coil load of a STRAD system is proportion to the return air temperature, while inversely proportional to the exhaust air temperature. Based on that, numerical studies are conducted for the applications of STRAD systems in three typical building space types. Two evaluation indices are developed to assess the energy performance of STRAD systems. The simulation results demonstrated that further energy saving could be achieved by keeping the exhaust grille at ceiling level and decreasing the height of return grille. Therefore, in order to optimize the energy saving capacity of STRAD systems, the return grille is recommended to be located as low as possible, whilst paying special attention on the “short-circuit” of cold supply air. Furthermore, when the STRAD system is applied in large space buildings with a big horizontal span, supply diffusers should be distributed surrounding the occupied zone as uniformly as possible, while avoiding installing return diffusers at exterior walls. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Energy Applications and Energy Saving in Buildings)
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Open AccessArticle Assessment of the Coordination Ability of Sustainable Social-Ecological Systems Development Based on a Set Pair Analysis: A Case Study in Yanchi County, China
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 733; doi:10.3390/su8080733
Received: 10 April 2016 / Revised: 26 July 2016 / Accepted: 26 July 2016 / Published: 9 August 2016
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Abstract
Sandy desertification is one of the most severe ecological problems in the world. Essentially, it is land degradation caused by discordance in the Social-Ecological Systems (SES). The ability to coordinate SES is a principal characteristic of regional sustainable development and a key factor
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Sandy desertification is one of the most severe ecological problems in the world. Essentially, it is land degradation caused by discordance in the Social-Ecological Systems (SES). The ability to coordinate SES is a principal characteristic of regional sustainable development and a key factor in desertification control. This paper directly and comprehensively evaluates the ability to coordinate SES in the desertification reversal process. Assessment indicators and standards for SES have been established using statistical data and materials from government agencies. We applied a coordinated development model based on Identical-Discrepancy-Contrary (IDC) situational ranking of a Set Pair Analysis (SPA) to analyze the change in Yanchi County’s coordination ability since it implemented the grazing prohibition policy. The results indicated that Yanchi County was basically in the secondary grade of the national sustainable development level, and the subsystems’ development trend was relatively stable. Coordinate ability increased from 0.686 in 2003 to 0.957 in 2014 and experienced “weak coordination to basic coordination to high coordination” development processes. We concluded that drought, the grazing prohibition dilemma and the ecological footprint were key factors impeding the coordination of SES development in this area. These findings should provide information about desertification control and ecological policy implementation to guarantee sustainable rehabilitation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Social Ecology and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Wind Power Development in China: An Assessment of Provincial Policies
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 734; doi:10.3390/su8080734
Received: 29 May 2016 / Revised: 26 July 2016 / Accepted: 27 July 2016 / Published: 29 July 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (858 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Wind energy has become a fast growing industry in China in the last decade. The development of the wind energy industry presents interesting policy questions. In the context of China, in additional to national energy policies, provincial policies were designed and implemented to
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Wind energy has become a fast growing industry in China in the last decade. The development of the wind energy industry presents interesting policy questions. In the context of China, in additional to national energy policies, provincial policies were designed and implemented to stimulate the growth of wind power. This paper examines factors, especially provincial wind energy policies, in driving the growth of wind power capacity in the Chinese provinces. Statistical analysis with a longitudinal data set for wind power capacity in Chinese provinces from 2001 to 2012 reveals that the adoption of wind energy policies and a general energy plan at the provincial level are having positive effects on the growth of wind capacity in Chinese provinces. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Accuracy Analysis Mechanism for Agriculture Data Using the Ensemble Neural Network Method
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 735; doi:10.3390/su8080735
Received: 13 June 2016 / Revised: 18 July 2016 / Accepted: 28 July 2016 / Published: 1 August 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2813 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With the rise and development of information technology (IT) services, the amount of data generated is rapidly increasing. Data from many different places are inconsistent. Data capture, storage and analysis have major challenges. Most data analysis methods are unable to handle such large
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With the rise and development of information technology (IT) services, the amount of data generated is rapidly increasing. Data from many different places are inconsistent. Data capture, storage and analysis have major challenges. Most data analysis methods are unable to handle such large amounts of data. Many studies employ neural networks, mostly specifying the number of hidden layers and neurons according to experience or formula. Different sets of network topologies have different results, and the best network model is selected. This investigation proposes a system based on the ensemble neural network (ENN). It creates multiple network models, each with different numbers of hidden layers and neurons. A model that does not achieve the accuracy rate is discarded. The proposed system derives the weighted average of all remaining network models to improve the accuracy of the prediction. This study applies the proposed method to generate agricultural yield predictions. The agricultural production process in Taiwan is more complex than those of manufacturing or other industries. The Council of Agriculture provides agricultural forecasting primarily based on the planted area and experience to predict the yield, but without consideration of the overall planting environment. This work applies the proposed data analysis method to agriculture. The method based on ENN has a much lower error rate than traditional back-propagation neural networks, while multiple regression analysis has an error rate of 12.4%. Experimental results reveal that the ENN method is better than traditional back-propagation neural networks and multiple regression analysis. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Effects of Urban Sprawl on the Spatial Evolution of Rural Settlements: A Case Study in Changchun, China
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 736; doi:10.3390/su8080736
Received: 25 April 2016 / Revised: 20 July 2016 / Accepted: 22 July 2016 / Published: 30 July 2016
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Abstract
Detailed analysis of continuous time-series data from regions undergoing rapid urbanization can accurately reveal spatial variations on short time scales. This study used the city of Changchun in Jilin Province, China, as a case study to analyze total and annual changes in area—especially
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Detailed analysis of continuous time-series data from regions undergoing rapid urbanization can accurately reveal spatial variations on short time scales. This study used the city of Changchun in Jilin Province, China, as a case study to analyze total and annual changes in area—especially decreases in rural settlement area—as well as regional differences in these changes and driving forces of rural settlement evolution. Quantitative analytical techniques include a dynamic percentage of rural settlements, the distribution index of rural settlements, the regression correlation analysis, and other spatial analysis methods. Data were derived from a variety of sources, including land-use databases and social and economic statistics. The results show that the area of rural settlements decreased between 2009 and 2014, with the urban construction land expansion and decreases in cultivated lands. Rural settlements also became increasingly fragmented after 2009. Most of the rural settlements were located close to the urban construction land, and changes in rural settlement area were more pronounced with decreasing distance to the closest urban construction land, illustrating the effect of urban sprawl on rural settlement changes. The analysis also shows that the decreasing area of rural settlements between 2009 and 2014 is directly caused by urban sprawl. Regional development strategies and urban planning indirectly contribute to changes in the scale and spatial distribution of rural settlements by guiding urban development. The geographical environment and strict cultivated-land-protection policies also indirectly restrict changes in rural settlements by determining the restrictive area of urban expansion. No significant changes were found in the influence of population change on changing areas of rural settlements. In conclusion, the interaction of strategy for social-economic development, natural geography environments, and human demand jointly caused changes in rural settlements. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Way to Sustainability: Perspective of Resilience and Adaptation to Disaster
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 737; doi:10.3390/su8080737
Received: 17 May 2016 / Revised: 26 July 2016 / Accepted: 27 July 2016 / Published: 2 August 2016
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Abstract
Based on the previous research findings about resilience, this study focused on the differences between resilience and adaptation from an agricultural drought case study in southern China. A conceptual variation between resilience and adaptation was explored to understand the distinction between resilience and
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Based on the previous research findings about resilience, this study focused on the differences between resilience and adaptation from an agricultural drought case study in southern China. A conceptual variation between resilience and adaptation was explored to understand the distinction between resilience and adaptation. In fact, both are attributes of hazard-affected bodies and have connections and differences. Resilience pays more attention to the short-term response to loss (potential) during and post disaster, while adaptation places stress on system’s response to disaster risk before disaster, loss or impacts in- and after disaster in the long term in order to reduce vulnerability and enhance resilience. Land use and crop structure change, land policy change and labors turnover present the detailed differences between resilience and adaptation in the case study. Deficiencies of human resources, technology and policy in adapting to disaster risks were founded and discussed. This perspective would offer a way with greater potential in application of adaptation concept, especially in the process of integrated risk governance and regional sustainable development. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Innovative Application of the Public–Private Partnership Model to the Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure in China
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 738; doi:10.3390/su8080738
Received: 31 May 2016 / Revised: 4 July 2016 / Accepted: 25 July 2016 / Published: 3 August 2016
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Abstract
The electric vehicle charging infrastructure is in the initial development period in China, where there is an imbalanced supply and demand structure, an increasingly mature institutional environment, and an imperfect support system. The infrastructure is important for supplying energy to electric vehicles, and
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The electric vehicle charging infrastructure is in the initial development period in China, where there is an imbalanced supply and demand structure, an increasingly mature institutional environment, and an imperfect support system. The infrastructure is important for supplying energy to electric vehicles, and it needs to be provided in a reasonable manner with a moderately advanced layout. Due to large-scale investment, unclear financing rights and responsibilities, a single participant, interlinked risks, and other factors, “absence” and “dislocation” of the charging infrastructure coexist. The public–private partnership (PPP) model is an effective supply path for the infrastructure. Thus, introducing the PPP model into the charging infrastructure can leverage social capital, eases the burden on local finance, enhances the level of project management and profitability, and reduces construction and operation risks. For the participant level of PPP projects in the charging infrastructure, the present study elucidates the support mechanisms required by the government, social capital, and intermediaries in order to construct an effective charging infrastructure in China. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Expert Concepts of Sustainable Service Innovation in Restaurants in Taiwan
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 739; doi:10.3390/su8080739
Received: 4 May 2016 / Revised: 1 July 2016 / Accepted: 7 July 2016 / Published: 3 August 2016
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Abstract
Sustainable service innovation is a critical attribute in restaurant management that is widely recognized by experts and restaurant owners. In this paper, we investigated ideas on sustainable service innovation in restaurants gathered from interviews with restaurant managers, government experts and scholars in Taiwan.
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Sustainable service innovation is a critical attribute in restaurant management that is widely recognized by experts and restaurant owners. In this paper, we investigated ideas on sustainable service innovation in restaurants gathered from interviews with restaurant managers, government experts and scholars in Taiwan. The analytical results show that five dimensions are major indicators of sustainable service innovation in the restaurant management field. These include the following dimensions: sustainable service innovation, food service technology, organizational learning, adoption of innovation and organizational environment. We also found that these five dimensions are important and that they deeply impact restaurant performance. We discuss the characteristics of these five attributes, and talk about the theoretical and empirical implications of research findings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Management in Tourism and Hospitality)
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Open AccessArticle Long-Term Socio-Ecological Research in Practice: Lessons from Inter- and Transdisciplinary Research in the Austrian Eisenwurzen
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 743; doi:10.3390/su8080743
Received: 22 March 2016 / Revised: 1 July 2016 / Accepted: 26 July 2016 / Published: 3 August 2016
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Abstract
Long-Term Socio-Ecological Research (LTSER) is an inter- and transdisciplinary research field addressing socio-ecological change over time at various spatial and temporal scales. In the Austrian Eisenwurzen region, an LTSER platform was founded in 2004. It has fostered and documented research projects aiming at
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Long-Term Socio-Ecological Research (LTSER) is an inter- and transdisciplinary research field addressing socio-ecological change over time at various spatial and temporal scales. In the Austrian Eisenwurzen region, an LTSER platform was founded in 2004. It has fostered and documented research projects aiming at advancing LTSER scientifically and at providing regional stakeholders with relevant information for sustainable regional development. Since its establishment, a broad range of research activities has been pursued in the region, integrating information from long-term ecological monitoring sites with approaches from social sciences and the humanities, and in cooperation with regional stakeholders. Based on the experiences gained in the Eisenwurzen LTSER platform, this article presents current activities in the heterogeneous field of LTSER, identifying specific (inter-)disciplinary contributions of three research strands of LTSER: long-term ecological research, socio-ecological basic research, and transdisciplinary research. Given the broad array of diverse contributions to LTSER, we argue that the platform has become a relevant “boundary organization,” linking research to its regional non-academic context, and ensuring interdisciplinary exchange among the variety of disciplines. We consider the diversity of LTSER approaches an important resource for future research. Major success criteria of LTSER face specific challenges: (1) existing loose, yet stable networks need to be maintained and extended; (2) continuous generation of and access to relevant data needs to be secured and more data need to be included; and (3) consecutive research projects that have allowed for capacity building in the past may be threatened in the future if national Austrian research funders cease to provide resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Social Ecology and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Towards a Climate-Responsive Vertical Pedestrian System: An Empirical Study on an Elevated Walkway in Shanghai China
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 744; doi:10.3390/su8080744
Received: 12 June 2016 / Revised: 26 July 2016 / Accepted: 28 July 2016 / Published: 4 August 2016
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Abstract
Elevated walkways can bring pedestrian-friendly urban space back to high-density urban centers that are planned largely for vehicle traffic—for instance, the Lujiazui CBD in Shanghai. Most studies on elevated walkways have focused on transportation planning, structural safety as well as urban form and
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Elevated walkways can bring pedestrian-friendly urban space back to high-density urban centers that are planned largely for vehicle traffic—for instance, the Lujiazui CBD in Shanghai. Most studies on elevated walkways have focused on transportation planning, structural safety as well as urban form and design. Few have paid attention to thermal conditions and pedestrian comfort issues on elevated levels. Considering all of the environmental factors that influence human thermal comfort, one could claim that there will be more breezes on elevated levels compared to sidewalks at the ground levels, but they can be exposed to increased solar radiation and thus higher radiant temperatures, if not properly shaded. The overall effect of the change in elevation on human thermal comfort is thus unknown. This study attempts to investigate the microclimate and human thermal comfort of a recently completed Lujiazui Elevated Walkway (LEW) system in the Lujiazui CBD, Shanghai, under a hot-humid sub-tropical climate. Micrometeorological measurements and a guided questionnaire survey were carried out on peak summer days. The data analysis indicates that the LEW is thermally more uncomfortable than its ground level counterpart. Air temperature was higher, whereas wind velocity is lower on the skywalk level than on the ground level, which is counter-intuitive. The resultant physiological equivalent temperature (PET) indicates warm conditions on the ground level (with good shading) while there are hot conditions on the skywalk. Based on the empirical findings, design strategies are proposed to improve the thermal comfort conditions on the LEW, and to better support pedestrian activities in this typical high-rise high-density urban area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Heat Island)
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Open AccessArticle Rural–Urban Linkages and Sustainable Regional Development: The Role of Entrepreneurs in Linking Peripheries and Centers
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 745; doi:10.3390/su8080745
Received: 2 June 2016 / Revised: 25 July 2016 / Accepted: 26 July 2016 / Published: 3 August 2016
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Abstract
Urban and rural areas differ in economic, social and environmental terms. Due to the diverging dynamics in urban and rural areas, the social and economic distance between them might increase in the future even more. Rural entrepreneurs with linkages to urban areas are
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Urban and rural areas differ in economic, social and environmental terms. Due to the diverging dynamics in urban and rural areas, the social and economic distance between them might increase in the future even more. Rural entrepreneurs with linkages to urban areas are able to bridge the rural–urban divide by accessing some of the urban features, such as knowledge and markets, while at the same time profiting from the advantages of their peripheral location. This paper highlights exploratory results from qualitative interviews with rural entrepreneurs, and we illustrate entrepreneurial linkages to urban centers. The interview data show that rural entrepreneurs with rural–urban linkages develop sensibility for core market demands and trends, they valuate rural assets, and they combine rural and urban sources of knowledge for innovation. Through their entrepreneurial activity, rural entrepreneurs with linkages to urban areas might constitute an opposite force to polarizing concentration of economic activities in cities. Hence, rural entrepreneurs with urban linkages might contribute to sustainable economic relationships between urban and rural areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A Contextual and Dynamic Understanding of Sustainable Urbanisation)
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Open AccessArticle A Comprehensive Evaluation of Urban Sustainable Development in China Based on the TOPSIS-Entropy Method
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 746; doi:10.3390/su8080746
Received: 9 June 2016 / Revised: 27 July 2016 / Accepted: 27 July 2016 / Published: 4 August 2016
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Abstract
The Chinese government started an important project “Geographical conditions monitoring (GCM)” in 2012, which aims at fully revealing the spatial pattern of natural resources, and economic and social development. Urban development assessment and analysis are an important topic of the comprehensive statistics in
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The Chinese government started an important project “Geographical conditions monitoring (GCM)” in 2012, which aims at fully revealing the spatial pattern of natural resources, and economic and social development. Urban development assessment and analysis are an important topic of the comprehensive statistics in GCM project. This study quantitatively evaluates the sustainable development level of 287 cities at prefecture level and above in China and analyzes their spatial distribution. Both an index system of urban sustainable development (USI) constructed by three aspects, namely society, economy and environment, and the TOPSIS-Entropy method are adopted. The results show that the overall level of urban sustainable development in China is not high, and obvious differences in urban sustainable development among cities exist. The coordination of social, economic and environmental sustainable development in China is at a low level. In terms of spatial distribution, cities from eastern coastal areas of China are at relatively higher levels of sustainable development with central and northeastern cities ranking second and western ones lowest. Several spatial clusters of urban sustainable development can be found. The “High–High” clusters, in which cities have high levels of sustainable development, are distributed in urban agglomerations. Finally, some suggestions have been provided to achieve all-round sustainable development in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle Analysis of the Changing Landscape of a World Heritage Site: Case of Luang Prabang, Lao PDR
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 747; doi:10.3390/su8080747
Received: 28 June 2016 / Revised: 24 July 2016 / Accepted: 29 July 2016 / Published: 4 August 2016
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Abstract
The Luang Prabang World Heritage Site experienced tremendous change caused by rapid development and tourism growth. It is recognized that change is inevitable in evolving historic urban cities. Adequate information is essential in formulating strategies to manage change without compromising heritage values. Existing
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The Luang Prabang World Heritage Site experienced tremendous change caused by rapid development and tourism growth. It is recognized that change is inevitable in evolving historic urban cities. Adequate information is essential in formulating strategies to manage change without compromising heritage values. Existing studies are critical of the impact of tourism negatively transforming Luang Prabang but lack in-depth analysis and a significant sample size to clearly discern the changes. This paper addresses the need to visualize the significant changes affecting the built environment of the core inscribed area of Luang Prabang World Heritage. Geographic information systems (GIS) were applied to compare the landscape between 1999 and 2009 based on indicators adopted from the Safeguarding and Preservation Plan (PSMV). Four significant changes were identified as follows: (1) there was an evident shift from residential to touristic use, particularly to guesthouses; (2) Lao traditional architecture has replaced modern architecture; (3) modern building materials have replaced traditional building materials; and (4) traditional roof materials have replaced modern roof materials. Changes in landscape were interpreted and factors that caused the changes were identified from the local stakeholders’ perspective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainability of Culture and Heritage)
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Open AccessArticle Intelligent Control of a Distributed Energy Generation System Based on Renewable Sources
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 748; doi:10.3390/su8080748
Received: 8 June 2016 / Revised: 25 July 2016 / Accepted: 29 July 2016 / Published: 4 August 2016
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Abstract
The control of low power systems, which include renewable energy sources, a local network, an electrochemical storage subsystem and a grid connection, is inherently hierarchical. The lower level consists of the wind energy sources (power limitation at rated value in full load regime
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The control of low power systems, which include renewable energy sources, a local network, an electrochemical storage subsystem and a grid connection, is inherently hierarchical. The lower level consists of the wind energy sources (power limitation at rated value in full load regime and energy optimization in partial load regime) and photovoltaic (energy conversion optimization) control systems. The present paper deals with control problem at the higher level and aims at generating the control solution for the energetic transfer between the system components, given that the powers of the renewable energy sources and the power in the local network have random characteristics. For the higher level, the paper proposes a mixed performance criterion, which includes an energy sub-criterion concerning the costs of electricity supplied to local consumers, and a sub-criterion related to the lifetime of the battery. Three variants were defined for the control algorithm implemented by using fuzzy logic techniques, in order to control the energy transfer in the system. Particular attention was given to developing the models used for the simulation of the distributed energy system components and to the whole control system, given that the objective is not the real-time optimization of the criterion, but to establish by numerical simulation in the design stage the “proper” parameters of the control system. This is done by taking into account the multi-criteria performance objective when the power of renewable energy sources and the load have random characteristics. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Water Management Strategies on Water Balance in a Water Scarce Region: A Case Study in Beijing by a Holistic Model
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 749; doi:10.3390/su8080749
Received: 19 June 2016 / Revised: 30 July 2016 / Accepted: 1 August 2016 / Published: 4 August 2016
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Abstract
Irrigation is facing increasing pressure from other competitive water users to reduce water consumption in a water scarce region. Based on the Basin-wide Holistic Integrated Water Assessment (BHIWA) model, the effects of water management strategies on water balance in the dry regions of
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Irrigation is facing increasing pressure from other competitive water users to reduce water consumption in a water scarce region. Based on the Basin-wide Holistic Integrated Water Assessment (BHIWA) model, the effects of water management strategies on water balance in the dry regions of North China were analyzed. The results show that, with the decrease of irrigation water supply reliability (IWSR) and the increase of irrigation water use efficiency (WUE), irrigation water use decreased significantly, leading to reduced agriculture water consumption, and sustained ground water levels. Compared with the increase of WUE, the decrease of IWSR contributes more to reducing irrigation water consumption and protecting groundwater. Sensitivity tests show that among various water cycle components, irrigation water use is most sensitive to changes, followed by agriculture water consumption, and then groundwater level. Reducing IWSR is an effective strategy to reduce irrigation water consumption and promote sustainable water resources management, which could be the support of basic data and theory for regional water resources planning. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Sustainability Assessment of Higher Education Institutions in Saudi Arabia
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 750; doi:10.3390/su8080750
Received: 28 June 2016 / Revised: 28 July 2016 / Accepted: 29 July 2016 / Published: 4 August 2016
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Abstract
Universities are paramount change drivers in bringing about a culture of sustainability in society by setting themselves up as models and nurseries for sustainable development. Thus, assessment of sustainability integration within universities is key to their impact on sustainable development. This study conducted
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Universities are paramount change drivers in bringing about a culture of sustainability in society by setting themselves up as models and nurseries for sustainable development. Thus, assessment of sustainability integration within universities is key to their impact on sustainable development. This study conducted an assessment of different public sector universities of Saudi Arabia based on five components: (i) Teaching and Curriculum; (ii) Research and Scholarship; (iii) Campus Operations; (iv) Management and Community; and (v) Financial Management. The sustainability assessment questionnaire (SAQ) was utilized as a tool to discern the component-wise sustainability assessment for Saudi universities. The outcomes of the survey reveal that, in stark contrast with the universities of the developed world, offerings of sustainability relevant academic courses in Saudi Arabia are still lacking. Most Saudi universities still need to integrate research and scholarship in the area of sustainability; sustainable-campus operations in the current scenario are not sufficient. The results also reveal that sustainability-related projects are not prioritized within universities and sustainable financial management practices are not significant. This article concludes by proposing some recommendations emphasizing the importance of adopting sustainability practices in Saudi universities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Education and Approaches)
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Open AccessArticle Laboratory Assessment of the Infiltration Capacity Reduction in Clogged Porous Mixture Surfaces
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 751; doi:10.3390/su8080751
Received: 4 July 2016 / Revised: 26 July 2016 / Accepted: 1 August 2016 / Published: 4 August 2016
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Abstract
Permeable pavements have been used widely across the world to manage urban stormwater. The hydrological behaviour of permeable surfaces is a complex process affected by many factors, such as rainfall intensity, rainfall duration, pavement geometrical conditions, and clogging level of the permeable surface,
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Permeable pavements have been used widely across the world to manage urban stormwater. The hydrological behaviour of permeable surfaces is a complex process affected by many factors, such as rainfall intensity, rainfall duration, pavement geometrical conditions, and clogging level of the permeable surface, amongst others. This laboratory study was carried out to assess the influence of clogging level and rainfall intensity on the infiltration capacity of porous mixture surfaces used in Permeable Pavement Systems (PPS). Porous Concrete (PC) and Porous Asphalt (PA) mixtures with different air void contents (15%, 20%, and 25%) were subject to different clogging scenarios by using varying sediment loads (0, 500, and 1000 g/m2). Permeability experiments were carried out for each clogging scenario through a new rainfall simulator specially developed, tailored, and calibrated for the laboratory simulation of a wide range of rainfall events. Permeability measurements were taken under all different scenarios as a result of the combination of the different rainfall events (50, 100, and 150 mm/h) simulated over the specimens of porous mixtures and the sediment loads applied to them. The results showed that the PC mixtures tested perform better than the PA ones in terms of infiltration capacity, showing less potential for clogging and being more easily cleaned by the wash-off produced by the simulated rainfall events. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agroecology and Water Management)
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Open AccessArticle Life Cycle CO2 Assessment by Block Type Changes of Apartment Housing
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 752; doi:10.3390/su8080752
Received: 25 March 2016 / Revised: 25 July 2016 / Accepted: 29 July 2016 / Published: 4 August 2016
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Abstract
The block type and structural systems in buildings affect the amount of building materials required as well as the CO2 emissions that occur throughout the building life cycle (LCCO2). The purpose of this study was to assess the life cycle
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The block type and structural systems in buildings affect the amount of building materials required as well as the CO2 emissions that occur throughout the building life cycle (LCCO2). The purpose of this study was to assess the life cycle CO2 emissions when an apartment housing with ‘flat-type’ blocks (the reference case) was replaced with more sustainable ‘T-type’ blocks with fewer CO2 emissions (the alternative case) maintaining the same total floor area. The quantity of building materials used and building energy simulations were analyzed for each block type using building information modeling techniques, and improvements in LCCO2 emission were calculated by considering high-strength concrete alternatives. By changing the bearing wall system of the ‘flat-type’ block to the ‘column and beam’ system of the ‘T-type’ block, LCCO2 emissions of the alternative case were 4299 kg-CO2/m2, of which 26% was at the construction stage, 73% was as the operational stage and 1% was at the dismantling and disposal stage. These total LCCO2 emissions were 30% less than the reference case. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Cool Marble Building Envelopes: The Effect of Aging on Energy Performance and Aesthetics
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 753; doi:10.3390/su8080753
Received: 27 June 2016 / Revised: 28 July 2016 / Accepted: 29 July 2016 / Published: 5 August 2016
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Abstract
Marble envelopes represent a relatively common architectural solution used in variety of historic, modern and contemporary building facades. White marble envelopes have been shown to reduce solar heat gains, while improving indoor thermal comfort and energy efficiency in summer time. While marble is
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Marble envelopes represent a relatively common architectural solution used in variety of historic, modern and contemporary building facades. White marble envelopes have been shown to reduce solar heat gains, while improving indoor thermal comfort and energy efficiency in summer time. While marble is useful in this context, the urban atmosphere accelerates the degradation of marble elements. This leads to changes in optical characteristics, hence the aesthetics, and affects the energy efficiency benefits offered by white marble facades. These issues are investigated in order to predict the impact of degradation on energy performance and to the aesthetic value, such as change of color and luminosity. In this study, surface degradation of white marble is analyzed by means of accelerated weathering in the laboratory while examining changes to the optical characteristics of the materials. A dynamic simulation is carried out to assess the energy performance of a building as a case study. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Hybrid Multi-Step Rolling Forecasting Model Based on SSA and Simulated Annealing—Adaptive Particle Swarm Optimization for Wind Speed
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 754; doi:10.3390/su8080754
Received: 22 May 2016 / Revised: 15 July 2016 / Accepted: 27 July 2016 / Published: 6 August 2016
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Abstract
With the limitations of conventional energy becoming increasing distinct, wind energy is emerging as a promising renewable energy source that plays a critical role in the modern electric and economic fields. However, how to select optimization algorithms to forecast wind speed series and
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With the limitations of conventional energy becoming increasing distinct, wind energy is emerging as a promising renewable energy source that plays a critical role in the modern electric and economic fields. However, how to select optimization algorithms to forecast wind speed series and improve prediction performance is still a highly challenging problem. Traditional single algorithms are widely utilized to select and optimize parameters of neural network algorithms, but these algorithms usually ignore the significance of parameter optimization, precise searching, and the application of accurate data, which results in poor forecasting performance. With the aim of overcoming the weaknesses of individual algorithms, a novel hybrid algorithm was created, which can not only easily obtain the real and effective wind speed series by using singular spectrum analysis, but also possesses stronger adaptive search and optimization capabilities than the other algorithms: it is faster, has fewer parameters, and is less expensive. For the purpose of estimating the forecasting ability of the proposed combined model, 10-min wind speed series from three wind farms in Shandong Province, eastern China, are employed as a case study. The experimental results were considerably more accurately predicted by the presented algorithm than the comparison algorithms. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Sustainability Commitment, New Competitors’ Presence, and Hotel Performance: The Hotel Industry in Barcelona
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 755; doi:10.3390/su8080755
Received: 9 May 2016 / Revised: 26 July 2016 / Accepted: 26 July 2016 / Published: 4 August 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (351 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The hospitality industry is facing major challenges, among them the new competition from novel forms of supply in the sharing economy. Airbnb, Homeaway, and Niumba, among other websites offering accommodations, are having an important impact in the sector, changing existing conditions and the
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The hospitality industry is facing major challenges, among them the new competition from novel forms of supply in the sharing economy. Airbnb, Homeaway, and Niumba, among other websites offering accommodations, are having an important impact in the sector, changing existing conditions and the market for the traditional hospitality industry. In this context, a strategy based in differentiation can help to prevent drops in revenues and profitability. The main objective of this paper is analyse if commitment towards sustainability has a positive impact on financial performance and can be considered a positive strategy in this new environment. The empirical data refer to a sample of hotels in Barcelona, one of the most important tourist cities in Europe. Our results suggest that there is no clear relationship between sustainability and better financial performance; however, sustainability commitment is associated with a minimum size, which can also have positive effects in terms of economies of scale and finally affect profitability. Hotels more committed to environmental issues are located in areas with a lower density of Airbnb apartments, and this geographical distribution can be more positive than a situation of massive tourist concentration in specific areas with negative externalities for neighbours. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Management in Tourism and Hospitality)
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Open AccessArticle Conceptual Framework for the Development of an Indicator System for the Assessment of Regional Land Subsidence Disaster Vulnerability
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 757; doi:10.3390/su8080757
Received: 21 November 2015 / Revised: 3 July 2016 / Accepted: 22 July 2016 / Published: 4 August 2016
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Abstract
This paper aims to develop a set of valid and reliable indicators to evaluate the regional land subsidence disaster vulnerability. The proposed indicator system can provide effective theoretical support for further land subsidence risk evaluation and risk management. This study transfers the qualitative
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This paper aims to develop a set of valid and reliable indicators to evaluate the regional land subsidence disaster vulnerability. The proposed indicator system can provide effective theoretical support for further land subsidence risk evaluation and risk management. This study transfers the qualitative analysis of land subsidence vulnerability to quantitative evaluation by developing a universal land subsidence vulnerability indicator system and outlining a corresponding vulnerability analysis framework. The land subsidence vulnerability analysis in Xixi-Chengnan area, Jiangsu Province, China used as the case study to prove the applicability and the simplified use of the proposed system. Based on the flexibility of the proposed universal indicator system, indicators can be added into and deleted from the system, according to the actual situation in a certain study area. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Study on Retrieval of Chlorophyll-a Concentration Based on Landsat OLI Imagery in the Haihe River, China
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 758; doi:10.3390/su8080758
Received: 27 April 2016 / Revised: 13 July 2016 / Accepted: 29 July 2016 / Published: 6 August 2016
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Abstract
The optical complexity of urban waters makes the remote retrieval of chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) concentration a challenging task. In this study, Chl-a concentration was retrieved using reflectance data of Landsat OLI images. Chl-a concentration in the Haihe River of China was obtained using mathematical
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The optical complexity of urban waters makes the remote retrieval of chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) concentration a challenging task. In this study, Chl-a concentration was retrieved using reflectance data of Landsat OLI images. Chl-a concentration in the Haihe River of China was obtained using mathematical regression analysis (MRA) and an artificial neural network (ANN). A regression model was built based on an analysis of the spectral reflectance and water quality sampling data. Remote sensing inversion results of Chl-a concentration were obtained and analyzed based on a verification of the algorithm and application of the models to the images. The analysis results revealed that the two models satisfactorily reproduced the temporal variation based on the input variables. In particular, the ANN model showed better performance than the MRA model, which was reflected in its higher accuracy in the validation. This study demonstrated that Landsat Operational Land Imager (OLI) images are suitable for remote sensing monitoring of water quality and that they can produce high-accuracy inversion results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Analyzing the Effects of Spatial Interaction among City Clusters on Urban Growth—Case of Wuhan Urban Agglomeration
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 759; doi:10.3390/su8080759
Received: 13 July 2016 / Revised: 2 August 2016 / Accepted: 3 August 2016 / Published: 5 August 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1529 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
For the past two decades, China’s urbanization has attracted increasing attention from scholars around the world. Numerous insightful studies have attempted to determine the socioeconomic causes of the rapid urban growth in Chinese cities. However, most of these studies regarded each city as
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For the past two decades, China’s urbanization has attracted increasing attention from scholars around the world. Numerous insightful studies have attempted to determine the socioeconomic causes of the rapid urban growth in Chinese cities. However, most of these studies regarded each city as a single entity, with few considering inter-city relationships. The present study uses a gravity-based model to measure the spatial interaction among city clusters in the Wuhan urban agglomeration (WUA), which is one of China’s most rapidly urbanizing regions. The effects of spatial interaction on urban growth area were also analyzed. Empirical results indicate that, similar to urban population or employment in secondary and tertiary industries in the WUA from 2000 to 2005, the spatial interaction among city clusters is one of the main drivers of urban growth. In fact, this study finds the effects of spatial interaction as the only socioeconomic factor that affected the spatial expansion from 2005 to 2010. This finding suggests that population migration and information and commodity flows showed greater influence than the socioeconomic drivers of each city did on promoting urbanization in the WUA during this period. We thus argue that spatial interaction among city clusters should be a consideration in future regional planning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle Balance or Synergies between Environment and Economy—A Note on Model Structures
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 761; doi:10.3390/su8080761
Received: 31 May 2016 / Revised: 22 July 2016 / Accepted: 28 July 2016 / Published: 13 August 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (255 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The UN sustainable development goals contain environmental, economic, and social objectives. They may only be reached, or at least it would be easier to reach them, if instead of a trade-off between these objectives that implies a need for balancing them, there are
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The UN sustainable development goals contain environmental, economic, and social objectives. They may only be reached, or at least it would be easier to reach them, if instead of a trade-off between these objectives that implies a need for balancing them, there are synergies to be reaped. This paper discusses how the structures of economic models typically used in policy analysis influence whether win–win strategies for the environment and the economy can be conceptualised and analysed. With a focus on climate policy modelling, the paper points out how, by construction, commonly used model structures find mitigation costs rather than benefits. This paper describes mechanisms that, when added to these model structures, can bring win–win options into a model’s solution horizon, and which provide a spectrum of alternative modelling approaches that allow for the identification of such options. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Balancing Environmental Resources and Economic Welfare)
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Open AccessArticle Estimation of Distribution Algorithm for Energy-Efficient Scheduling in Turning Processes
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 762; doi:10.3390/su8080762
Received: 29 May 2016 / Revised: 25 July 2016 / Accepted: 27 July 2016 / Published: 15 August 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (3814 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With the increasing concern for the environment, energy-efficient scheduling of the manufacturing industry is becoming urgent and popular. In turning processes, both spindle speed and processing time affect the final energy consumption and thus the spindle speed and scheduling scheme need to be
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With the increasing concern for the environment, energy-efficient scheduling of the manufacturing industry is becoming urgent and popular. In turning processes, both spindle speed and processing time affect the final energy consumption and thus the spindle speed and scheduling scheme need to be optimized simultaneously. Since the turning workshop can be regarded as the flexible flow shop, this paper formulates a mixed integer nonlinear programming model for the energy-efficient scheduling of the flexible flow shop. Accordingly, a new decoding method is developed for the optimization of both spindle speed and scheduling scheme simultaneously, and an estimation of the distribution algorithm adopting the new decoding method is proposed to solve large-size problems. The parameters of this algorithm are determined by statistics from a simplified practical case. Validation results of the proposed method show that the makespan is shortened to a large extent, and the consumed energy is significantly saved. These results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed mathematical model and algorithm. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Asymmetric Effects of Oil Price Shocks on the Chinese Stock Market: Evidence from a Quantile Impulse Response Perspective
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 766; doi:10.3390/su8080766
Received: 12 June 2016 / Revised: 29 July 2016 / Accepted: 4 August 2016 / Published: 8 August 2016
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Abstract
This paper uses a quantile impulse response approach to investigate the impact of oil price shocks on Chinese stock returns. This process allows us to uncover asymmetric effects of oil price shocks on stock market returns by taking into account the different quantiles
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This paper uses a quantile impulse response approach to investigate the impact of oil price shocks on Chinese stock returns. This process allows us to uncover asymmetric effects of oil price shocks on stock market returns by taking into account the different quantiles of oil price shocks. Our results show that the responses of Chinese stock market returns to oil price shocks differ greatly, depending on whether the oil and stock market is in a bust or boom state and whether the shock is driven by demand or supply. The impacts of oil price shocks on Chinese stock returns present asymmetric features. In particular during a bust phase, oil supply and demand shocks significantly depress stock market returns, while during a boom period, the aggregate demand shock enhances stock market returns. These results suggest some important implications for investors and decision makers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Research of Sustainable Use of Tire Shreds in Landfill
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 767; doi:10.3390/su8080767
Received: 10 March 2016 / Revised: 29 July 2016 / Accepted: 4 August 2016 / Published: 8 August 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (970 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Studies are on-going to establish the suitability of tire shreds in the landfill bottom drainage layer, to minimize clogging. Four experimental columns were constructed in which were 500 mm long and 200 mm in diameter. They were filled with different fillers and with
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Studies are on-going to establish the suitability of tire shreds in the landfill bottom drainage layer, to minimize clogging. Four experimental columns were constructed in which were 500 mm long and 200 mm in diameter. They were filled with different fillers and with a different amount of tire shreds. The most important problem with drainage filler in landfills is clogging. Over long periods of time in landfill operation, the drainage layer clogs (the pores of the layer become smaller and the porosity of the layer becomes smaller). The experiment was carried out for 365 days. Although the landfill for this period represents only one-fiftieth or less of the operation time, the laboratory tests found that the drainage layer bandwidth of reduction in one year can have a negative impact in the long run over time. The main elements that influence the decrease of conductivity are the total suspended solids and calcium and iron compounds. The change of these compounds was observed during the column study, where the concentration of each month in all the columns was decreasing. The results showed that the waste of rubber (tire shreds) used for creating fillers in columns provided greater porosity of the layer. It is a beneficial reason to use a rubble and tire shreds waste mix for forming the drainage layer in landfills. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Assessing Land Use Change and Its Impact on Ecosystem Services in Northern Thailand
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 768; doi:10.3390/su8080768
Received: 10 May 2016 / Revised: 19 July 2016 / Accepted: 20 July 2016 / Published: 10 August 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (5156 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ecosystem services are highly vulnerable to a number of impacts due to the complex effects of human use of natural resources and subsequent land use change. Assessment of the impact of change in land use with respect to ecosystem services is necessary in
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Ecosystem services are highly vulnerable to a number of impacts due to the complex effects of human use of natural resources and subsequent land use change. Assessment of the impact of change in land use with respect to ecosystem services is necessary in order to implement appropriate land uses that enhance ecosystem services. This study analysed the impact of change in land use on ecosystem services using the Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Trade-offs (InVEST) model to map and quantify a set of ecosystem services, namely sediment retention, water yield, carbon stock, and habitat quality, in northern Thailand, which has experienced substantial policy induced land use change. The study also assessed the changes in land use from 1989 to 2013 and their impact on overall ecosystem services using GIS. Increased rubber plantation cultivation and built-up areas resulting in reduced forest cover were the major changes found in land use in the area. The results of the study show a general decrease in ecosystem services for the study period in the watershed, in particular, a negative impact on ecosystem services was observed in agricultural areas. The study findings on spatial and temporal distribution of ecosystem services can help guide the development of appropriate land use options to enhance ecosystem services. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Study of Incentive Policies for Building-Integrated Photovoltaic Technology in Hong Kong
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 769; doi:10.3390/su8080769
Received: 24 May 2016 / Revised: 29 July 2016 / Accepted: 2 August 2016 / Published: 8 August 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1976 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Installing sustainable and renewable energy systems is a promising way of relieving Hong Kong’s dependence on imported fossil fuels. Solar photovoltaic (PV) technology is a perfect solution for Hong Kong as it fits the economic and geographic situation. Through a review of the
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Installing sustainable and renewable energy systems is a promising way of relieving Hong Kong’s dependence on imported fossil fuels. Solar photovoltaic (PV) technology is a perfect solution for Hong Kong as it fits the economic and geographic situation. Through a review of the PV development history of five leading PV countries, Germany, Japan, Italy, Mainland China, and the USA, this paper serves as a useful policy toolbox to aid PV development. Based on the forerunners’ successful PV industry experiences and Hong Kong’s unique local situations, a series of incentive strategies were proposed for Hong Kong to help promote the utilization of solar PV systems by reducing the initial investment and providing reasonable subsidies at the initial stages and during the operation period of the PV systems. These results could be a practical reference for promoting renewable energy applications for local policy-makers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Energy Applications and Energy Saving in Buildings)
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Open AccessArticle Does Institutional Failure Undermine the Physical Design Performance of Solar Water Pumping Systems in Rural Nepal?
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 770; doi:10.3390/su8080770
Received: 15 April 2016 / Revised: 8 July 2016 / Accepted: 3 August 2016 / Published: 9 August 2016
PDF Full-text (399 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The mountainous hinterland in rural Nepal lacks a fundamental social infrastructure. For example, the lack of electricity causes water provision difficulties, especially in mountainous areas where villagers, especially women and children, often spend a considerable amount of time just conveying water to their
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The mountainous hinterland in rural Nepal lacks a fundamental social infrastructure. For example, the lack of electricity causes water provision difficulties, especially in mountainous areas where villagers, especially women and children, often spend a considerable amount of time just conveying water to their homes. To overcome this challenge, a subsidy policy for the installation of a solar-photovoltaic water pumping system (SWPS) has recently been implemented nationwide in Nepal. The Nepali government’s tight financial constraints require that the installation process is both economically and technologically sound. However, the institutional design of the current subsidization policy is price-distortionary and potentially induces the installation of inefficient systems. By collecting original field data from 38 wards in all seven regions of Nepal, this paper measures the SWPS’s technical efficiencies and then identifies relevant economic policies that will enhance the performance of the SWPS. Our results show, inter alia, that a higher dependency on financial support from the government is associated with excessive investment in the SWPS. Full article
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Open AccessArticle An Analysis of the Determinants of Entrepreneurial Intentions among Students: A Romanian Case Study
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 771; doi:10.3390/su8080771
Received: 9 May 2016 / Revised: 29 July 2016 / Accepted: 30 July 2016 / Published: 9 August 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (271 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Developing people’s interest towards starting a business plays a vital role in the former socialist countries in which, for a very long time, private property and free initiative were almost completely annihilated. Therefore, countries like Romania cannot design a sustainable growth model without
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Developing people’s interest towards starting a business plays a vital role in the former socialist countries in which, for a very long time, private property and free initiative were almost completely annihilated. Therefore, countries like Romania cannot design a sustainable growth model without taking into account the necessary improvements in the human capital factor, through the entrepreneurial education specific to the market economy, and in the social capital, which leads to stability and enhances the economic activity. The main objectives of this paper are to analyze how much the entrepreneurial intentions are influenced by certain psycho-behavioral traits of the individual (creativity, locus of control, need for achievement and risk taking propensity) and to evaluate the influence of different types of education on these intentions, in order to see if the entrepreneurial education significantly influences the entrepreneurial intentions of Romanian young people. By analyzing the specialized literature, we have developed six research hypothesis that were tested on a sample of 600 students from the undergraduate (bachelor) and master programs within the large state universities of Romania who have entrepreneurship courses in the content of their curricula, with the help of a questionnaire-based survey. Depending on the research hypothesis, several data analysis approaches were used, including Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and General Linear Models (GLM). The main results of this study clearly illustrate that the need for achievement and the propensity towards taking risks play an important role in determining the entrepreneurial intention. Furthermore, graduates of the high schools with an entrepreneurial field are less inclined to engage in businesses compared to the graduates of the high schools that offer general education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Education and Approaches)
Open AccessArticle Forested Land Use Efficiency in China: Spatiotemporal Patterns and Influencing Factors from 1999 to 2010
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 772; doi:10.3390/su8080772
Received: 13 May 2016 / Revised: 28 July 2016 / Accepted: 28 July 2016 / Published: 9 August 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (4964 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
More attention needs to be paid to efficiency in the use of forested land. This article is devoted to the study of forested land use efficiency (FLUE) and its spatiotemporal differences in China during the period from 1999 to 2010. The global generalized
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More attention needs to be paid to efficiency in the use of forested land. This article is devoted to the study of forested land use efficiency (FLUE) and its spatiotemporal differences in China during the period from 1999 to 2010. The global generalized directional distance function (GGDDF) and global Malmquist–Luenberger (GML) index models are used to measure and analyze forested land use efficiency. The empirical results showed that forested land use efficiency continued to increase during the study period. The FLUE of Shanghai was always highest, whereas Tibet, Inner Mongolia, and Qinghai suffered the most inefficiency in forested land use. There were obvious spatial differences in forested land use efficiency among the 31 provinces. Urbanization, economic development context, and population density were the main factors influencing spatial differences in forested land use efficiency. The growth in the non-radial Malmquist forested land performance index (NMPFI) in the east was driven mainly by technological change, whereas the growth in the central region was mostly derived from progress in efficiency change. For the western region, the change in the productivity of forested land was the result of the interactive effect between technological change and effect change, and only in the western region did an absolute β-convergence exist. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Analyzing Three-Decadal Patterns of Land Use/Land Cover Change and Regional Ecosystem Services at the Landscape Level: Case Study of Two Coastal Metropolitan Regions, Eastern China
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 773; doi:10.3390/su8080773
Received: 25 April 2016 / Revised: 27 July 2016 / Accepted: 3 August 2016 / Published: 10 August 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (11658 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Rapid urbanization, land scarcity, and accompanying ecological deterioration in China have received growing attention. In this paper, two fast-growing metropolitan regions, Greater Shanghai and Greater Hangzhou, were selected as case studies to quantify the impact of land use/land cover (LULC) change on regional
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Rapid urbanization, land scarcity, and accompanying ecological deterioration in China have received growing attention. In this paper, two fast-growing metropolitan regions, Greater Shanghai and Greater Hangzhou, were selected as case studies to quantify the impact of land use/land cover (LULC) change on regional ecosystem services value (ESV) at the landscape scale since the late 1970s. The results show that in both regions, dramatic LULC change, especially recent land development at the urban fringes, led to a steady decline in the available area of productive agricultural land, natural land and semi-natural land. This consequently caused remarkable landscape fragmentation along the urban-rural gradient as measured by five class-level landscape metrics. It was estimated that in Greater Shanghai, regulating, supporting, provisioning, and cultural ESVs decreased by 32.05%, 17.89%, 53.72%, and 17.06%, respectively. In Greater Hangzhou, these values decreased by 27.82%, 23.86%, 28.62%, and 22.85%, respectively. In addition, the relationship is quantified between zonal buffer-based ESV and class-level landscape metrics. Further analysis shows that spatiotemporal patterns of zonal ESVs along the urban-rural gradient in these two regions exhibited unbalanced patterns of ecological services delivery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maintaining Ecosystem Services to Support Urban Needs)
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Open AccessArticle Towards an Urban Resilience Index: A Case Study in 50 Spanish Cities
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 774; doi:10.3390/su8080774
Received: 24 May 2016 / Revised: 30 July 2016 / Accepted: 4 August 2016 / Published: 9 August 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1725 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Urbanization is a major driver of land use change and global environmental decline. With accelerated urbanization worldwide, it is essential to put in place new policies to conserve urban ecosystems, species and the services these provide in order to secure more sustainable, resilient
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Urbanization is a major driver of land use change and global environmental decline. With accelerated urbanization worldwide, it is essential to put in place new policies to conserve urban ecosystems, species and the services these provide in order to secure more sustainable, resilient and livable cities for the 21st century. In urban planning, the concept of resilience has broadly replaced the word sustainability. In recent years, resilience indicators have been gradually developed, but few address urban resilience from a social-ecological systems perspective. We develop a methodological framework to measure urban resilience, define an urban resilience index and apply it to Spanish province capitals as a case study. Results show that most Spanish province capitals are far from being resilient. We conclude that increased efforts to measure urban resilience should be in place, and we offer the urban resilience index as a theoretical framework for measuring resilience in urban social-ecological systems that can be gradually improved as more data become available. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Resilience and Urban Sustainability: From Research to Practice)
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Open AccessArticle Recognizing Stewardship Practices as Indicators of Social Resilience: In Living Memorials and in a Community Garden
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 775; doi:10.3390/su8080775
Received: 1 June 2016 / Revised: 28 July 2016 / Accepted: 2 August 2016 / Published: 9 August 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (4498 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Resilience theory has received increased attention from researchers across a range of disciplines who have developed frameworks and articulated categories of indicators; however, there has been less discussion of how to recognize, and therefore support, social resilience at the community level, especially in
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Resilience theory has received increased attention from researchers across a range of disciplines who have developed frameworks and articulated categories of indicators; however, there has been less discussion of how to recognize, and therefore support, social resilience at the community level, especially in urban areas. The value of urban environmental stewardship for supporting social-ecological functioning and improving quality of life in cities has been documented, but recognizing it as a strategy for strengthening social resilience to respond to future disturbances has not been fully explored. Here we address the question: How can social resilience indicators be operationalized as stewardship practices in an urban context? Using a deductive coding approach drawing upon existing resilience frameworks we analyze qualitative data from community managed-open spaces in the New York City area that have responded to various chronic presses and acute disturbances including a hurricane and a terrorist attack. In each case we identify and characterize the type of grounded, empirically observable stewardship practices that demonstrate the following indicators of social resilience at the community level: place attachment, social cohesion, social networks, and knowledge exchange and diversification. The process of operationalizing abstract indicators of social resilience has important implications for managers to support social (and ecological) resilience in the specific areas where stewardship takes place, as well as potentially having greater effects that bridge beyond the spatial and temporal boundaries of the site. We conclude by suggesting how researchers and practitioners might learn from our examples so they can recognize resilience in other sites in order to both inform research frameworks and strengthen practice and programming, while keeping larger institutional structures and context in mind. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Resilience and Urban Sustainability: From Research to Practice)
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Open AccessArticle Comparison of Socioeconomic Factors between Surrounding and Non-Surrounding Areas of the Qinghai–Tibet Railway before and after Its Construction
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 776; doi:10.3390/su8080776
Received: 21 April 2016 / Revised: 1 August 2016 / Accepted: 4 August 2016 / Published: 11 August 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (7765 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As the world’s highest railway, and the longest highland railway, the Qinghai–Tibet Railway (QTR) has been paid considerable attention by researchers. However, most attention has been paid to the ecological and environmental issues affecting it, and sustainable ecological, social, and economic development-related studies
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As the world’s highest railway, and the longest highland railway, the Qinghai–Tibet Railway (QTR) has been paid considerable attention by researchers. However, most attention has been paid to the ecological and environmental issues affecting it, and sustainable ecological, social, and economic development-related studies of the QTR are rare. In this study, by analyzing the passenger traffic, freight traffic, passenger-kilometers, and freight-kilometers of the QTR for the period 1982–2013 and the transport structure of the Tibetan Plateau (TP) for 1990–2013, the evolutionary process of the transport system in the TP following the construction of the QTR has been revealed. Subsequently, by comparing Gross Domestic Product (GDP), population, industrial structure, and urbanization level at the county and 1 km scales between surrounding and non-surrounding areas of the QTR, the differences in socioeconomic performance before and after its construction were detected. The results show that (1) in the TP, the highway-dominated transport system will break up and an integrated and sustainable transport system will form; (2) at the county scale, the annual growth rates of GDP of counties surrounding the QTR were greater than those of non-surrounding counties for the period 2000–2010. At the 1 km scale, following the opening of the completed line, the GDP of surrounding areas had a greater growth rate than before; (3) analysis at the county and 1 km scales indicated that population was not aggregated into the surrounding areas of the QTR in the period 2000–2010; (4) in terms of industrial structure, the proportion of primary industry decreased continuously, while the proportion of secondary and tertiary industries increased overall in the period 1984–2012. The QTR had no obvious impact on changes in the urbanization level of its surrounding areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Examining the Association between Physical Characteristics of Green Space and Land Surface Temperature: A Case Study of Ulsan, Korea
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 777; doi:10.3390/su8080777
Received: 9 May 2016 / Revised: 1 August 2016 / Accepted: 5 August 2016 / Published: 9 August 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (4658 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The rapid increase of impervious surfaces and the dense development that accompanies urban growth has reduced the amount of green space in urban landscapes and increased urban surface temperatures. Accordingly, the greening of urban spaces has been proposed as one approach to mitigating
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The rapid increase of impervious surfaces and the dense development that accompanies urban growth has reduced the amount of green space in urban landscapes and increased urban surface temperatures. Accordingly, the greening of urban spaces has been proposed as one approach to mitigating urban heat island (UHI) effects. To find the most practical green space design for reducing land surface temperatures (LSTs), we explored the effects of the physical characteristics of green spaces on cooling intensity and distance. The physical characteristics of green spaces were defined as shape, size, Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), and the land-use type of their surroundings. LANDSAT 8 images were used to examine 30 green spaces in Ulsan, Korea. The analytical results showed that the cooling effect was mainly observed within 120 m of a green area and that the intensity of the cooling effects did not exceed 3.0 K. A belt-shaped green space had a greater cooling distance compared to a compact green space. We also found that the NDVI and size of a green space had a positive but non-linear association with cooling intensity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nature-Based Solutions for Urban Challenges)
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Open AccessArticle Energy Performance of Hotel Buildings in Lijiang, China
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 780; doi:10.3390/su8080780
Received: 2 June 2016 / Revised: 26 July 2016 / Accepted: 26 July 2016 / Published: 12 August 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2747 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The hotel industry in China has experienced rapid growth in the past ten years and made a considerable contribution to the global tourism economy. This paper focuses on the energy performance of hotel buildings in Lijiang, China. Hotel characteristics, daily operational data, and
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The hotel industry in China has experienced rapid growth in the past ten years and made a considerable contribution to the global tourism economy. This paper focuses on the energy performance of hotel buildings in Lijiang, China. Hotel characteristics, daily operational data, and energy use data were collected by carrying out a survey of 24 hotels. The average annual energy use intensity (EUI) of four-, three-, two-, and one-star rated hotels was 180.8 kWh/m2, 113.3 kWh/m2, 74.2 kWh/m2, and 70.2 kWh/m2, respectively. Electricity, as the dominant energy source, accounted for 81% of total energy consumption and was used in the operation of air conditioning, lighting, heating, etc. Pearson correlations between EUI showed that hotel star rating, number of guest rooms, room revenue, and number of workers gave a reasonably strong correlation. A regression-based benchmarking model was established to predict EUI, and a standardization process of EUI was illustrated by statistical analysis. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Impact of China’s Recycling Subsidy Policy in the Product Life Cycle
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 781; doi:10.3390/su8080781
Received: 29 April 2016 / Revised: 1 August 2016 / Accepted: 8 August 2016 / Published: 16 August 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3317 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper examines the impact of the Chinese recycling subsidy policy (CRS-policy) on the recycling and reuse industry across the whole product life cycle. We propose a closed-loop dynamic system to illustrate the production flow and interactions among various industry and market factors.
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This paper examines the impact of the Chinese recycling subsidy policy (CRS-policy) on the recycling and reuse industry across the whole product life cycle. We propose a closed-loop dynamic system to illustrate the production flow and interactions among various industry and market factors. A simulation analysis is conducted using data on gas auto engines in China to evaluate the effectiveness of the CRS-policy in encouraging product recycling and reuse. Specifically, we analyze the preventative and regenerative effects of the CRS-policy, and its impact on environmental pollution and social welfare. We further investigate how market factors, including the manufacturer’s innovation environment, consumer environmental awareness and sensitivity to the subsidy, and recycling and reuse industry profit, affect the effectiveness of the CRS-policy. The study provides strong evidence of the important role of the subsidy policy in the recycling and reuse industry and offers insightful recommendations for enhancing the effectiveness of the subsidy policy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Decision-Making and Sustainable Drainage: Design and Scale
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 782; doi:10.3390/su8080782
Received: 12 May 2016 / Revised: 4 August 2016 / Accepted: 9 August 2016 / Published: 10 August 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (4672 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainable Drainage (SuDS) improves water quality, reduces runoff water quantity, increases amenity and biodiversity benefits, and can also mitigate and adapt to climate change. However, an optimal solution has to be designed to be fit for purpose. Most research concentrates on individual devices,
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Sustainable Drainage (SuDS) improves water quality, reduces runoff water quantity, increases amenity and biodiversity benefits, and can also mitigate and adapt to climate change. However, an optimal solution has to be designed to be fit for purpose. Most research concentrates on individual devices, but the focus of this paper is on a full management train, showing the scale-related decision-making process in its design with reference to the city of Coventry, a local government authority in central England. It illustrates this with a large scale site-specific model which identifies the SuDS devices suitable for the area and also at the smaller scale, in order to achieve greenfield runoff rates. A method to create a series of maps using geographical information is shown, to indicate feasible locations for SuDS devices across the local government authority area. Applying the larger scale maps, a management train was designed for a smaller-scale regeneration site using MicroDrainage® software to control runoff at greenfield rates. The generated maps were constructed to provide initial guidance to local government on suitable SuDS at individual sites in a planning area. At all scales, the decision about which device to select was complex and influenced by a range of factors, with slightly different problems encountered. There was overall agreement between large and small scale models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agroecology and Water Management)
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Open AccessArticle A Global Perspective on the Sustainable Performance of Urbanization
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 783; doi:10.3390/su8080783
Received: 13 March 2016 / Revised: 26 July 2016 / Accepted: 5 August 2016 / Published: 11 August 2016
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (1063 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Urbanization, particularly in developing countries, is a major strategy for development. However, major concerns accompany it, such as air pollution, habitat destruction, and loss of arable land. In responding to these challenges, governments throughout the world have been implementing various policy mechanisms to
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Urbanization, particularly in developing countries, is a major strategy for development. However, major concerns accompany it, such as air pollution, habitat destruction, and loss of arable land. In responding to these challenges, governments throughout the world have been implementing various policy mechanisms to guide the practice of urbanization towards sustainable development. It appears that there is little research investigating the outcomes of those efforts in implementing sustainable urbanization strategies. This paper provides a profile of sustainable urbanization from a global perspective. Data used for this research cover 111 countries and are collected from the World Bank database and the United Nation database. A ranking list of sustainable performance of urbanization between these countries is produced and discussed. The study suggests that countries at different stages of urbanization have achieved different levels of sustainable performance. The research results provide significant references for future study in the field of urbanization from a global perspective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Resilience and Urban Sustainability: From Research to Practice)
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Open AccessArticle Decomposition of Net CO2 Emission in the Wuhan Metropolitan Area of Central China
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 784; doi:10.3390/su8080784
Received: 1 June 2016 / Revised: 25 July 2016 / Accepted: 29 July 2016 / Published: 11 August 2016
PDF Full-text (1439 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Policy-makers have been sharing growing concerns that climate change has significant impacts on human society and economic activates. Knowledge of the influencing factors of CO2 emission is the crucial step to reduce it. In this paper, both CO2 emission and CO
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Policy-makers have been sharing growing concerns that climate change has significant impacts on human society and economic activates. Knowledge of the influencing factors of CO2 emission is the crucial step to reduce it. In this paper, both CO2 emission and CO2 sink on a city-level of the nine cities in Wuhan Metropolitan Area are calculated using the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change approach. Moreover, the logarithmic mean Divisia index (LMDI) model was employed to decompose the net CO2 emission from 2001 to 2009. Results showed that (1) the largest amount of CO2 emission comes from energy while the largest amount CO2 sink comes from cropland; (2) economic level (S) was the largest positive driving factor for net CO2 emission growth in the Wuhan Metropolitan Area, population (P) also played a positive driving role, but with very weak contribution; and as negative inhibiting factors, energy structure (E) and energy efficiency (C) significantly reduced the net CO2 emission. Full article
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Open AccessArticle High-Reflectance Technology on Building Façades: Installation Guidelines for Pedestrian Comfort
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 785; doi:10.3390/su8080785
Received: 15 June 2016 / Revised: 3 August 2016 / Accepted: 9 August 2016 / Published: 10 August 2016
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Abstract
The focus of this study is on the impact of solar radiation reflected from the building façade to a pedestrian. The possibility of using high-reflectance technology on building façades was evaluated by using a two-dimensional simple building façade model. The effectiveness of applying
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The focus of this study is on the impact of solar radiation reflected from the building façade to a pedestrian. The possibility of using high-reflectance technology on building façades was evaluated by using a two-dimensional simple building façade model. The effectiveness of applying retroreflective materials to building façades was also evaluated in regards to avoiding adverse effects on pedestrians. The ratio of diffusely-reflected solar radiation to a pedestrian from a given floor is proportional to the ratio of the angle of the reflective arc reaching a pedestrian from that floor to the angle of the reflective arc from the entire building. Specular reflection of solar radiation from the building façade is calculated by ray-tracing method corresponding to solar angle θ. In Japanese cities that are located at mid-latitudes, applying high-reflectance technology to a building façade at the fourth floor and above produces reflection of solar radiation that does not have adverse effects on pedestrians. High-reflectance technology is applicable on building façades above the fourth floor at any latitude, if we ignore a negative effect, since incident direct solar radiation to the building façade around noon is small at low latitude. Retroreflective material was considered for use on building façades below the third floor in order to avoid impacts on pedestrians from the reflection of solar radiation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Heat Island)
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Open AccessArticle Self-Adaptive Revised Land Use Regression Models for Estimating PM2.5 Concentrations in Beijing, China
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 786; doi:10.3390/su8080786
Received: 8 March 2016 / Revised: 2 August 2016 / Accepted: 4 August 2016 / Published: 11 August 2016
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Abstract
Heavy air pollution, especially fine particulate matter (PM2.5), poses serious challenges to environmental sustainability in Beijing. Epidemiological studies and the identification of measures for preventing serious air pollution both require accurate PM2.5 spatial distribution data. Land use regression (LUR) models
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Heavy air pollution, especially fine particulate matter (PM2.5), poses serious challenges to environmental sustainability in Beijing. Epidemiological studies and the identification of measures for preventing serious air pollution both require accurate PM2.5 spatial distribution data. Land use regression (LUR) models are promising for estimating the spatial distribution of PM2.5 at a high spatial resolution. However, typical LUR models have a limited sampling point explanation rate (SPER, i.e., the rate of the sampling points with reasonable predicted concentrations to the total number of sampling points) and accuracy. Hence, self-adaptive revised LUR models are proposed in this paper for improving the SPER and accuracy of typical LUR models. The self-adaptive revised LUR model combines a typical LUR model with self-adaptive LUR model groups. The typical LUR model was used to estimate the PM2.5 concentrations, and the self-adaptive LUR model groups were constructed for all of the sampling points removed from the typical LUR model because they were beyond the prediction data range, which was from 60% of the minimum observation to 120% of the maximum observation. The final results were analyzed using three methods, including an accuracy analysis, and were compared with typical LUR model results and the spatial variations in Beijing. The accuracy satisfied the demands of the analysis, and the accuracies at the different monitoring sites indicated spatial variations in the accuracy of the self-adaptive revised LUR model. The accuracy was high in the central area and low in suburban areas. The comparison analysis showed that the self-adaptive LUR model increased the SPER from 75% to 90% and increased the accuracy (based on the root-mean-square error) from 20.643 μg/m3 to 17.443 μg/m3 for the PM2.5 concentrations during the winter of 2014 in Beijing. The spatial variation analysis for Beijing showed that the PM2.5 concentrations were low in the north, especially in the northwest region, and high in the southern and central portions of Beijing. This spatial variation was consistent with the fact that the northern region is mountainous and has fewer people and less traffic, which results in lower air pollution, than in the central region, which has a high population density and heavy traffic. Moreover, the southern region is adjacent to Hebei province, which contains many polluting enterprises; thus, this area exhibits higher air pollution levels than Beijing. Therefore, the self-adaptive revised LUR model is effective and reliable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Pollution Monitoring and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle Investigating Yield Variability and Inefficiency in Rice Production: A Case Study in Central China
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 787; doi:10.3390/su8080787
Received: 1 June 2016 / Revised: 5 August 2016 / Accepted: 8 August 2016 / Published: 11 August 2016
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Abstract
Insufficient and high variability in rice yield is a threat to food security in China, prompting the need for strategies to mitigate yield variability and increase productivity. This study investigates the presence of production risk and technical inefficiency for a sample of rice
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Insufficient and high variability in rice yield is a threat to food security in China, prompting the need for strategies to mitigate yield variability and increase productivity. This study investigates the presence of production risk and technical inefficiency for a sample of rice farms in the Xiangyang city of China using a stochastic production frontier framework. Results from the risk function reveal that labor and better soil quality have significant risk-reducing effects while machinery exerts a significant risk-increasing effect on rice production. The estimated mean technical efficiency score is 84%, suggesting that, on average, farmers could increase their rice production by 16%, without increasing the existing input levels by improving their management techniques. Factors that significantly affect technical efficiency are the age of farmers, female ratio, access and use of extension services, off-farm income, and the size of cultivated land. Results from this study suggest that yield variability and technical inefficiency in rice production can be reduced by appropriate choice of input combinations and elimination of mistakes in the production process through efficient management practices. Strategies, such as providing better extension services, loosening liquidity constraints facing farmers, and expanding rice farmers’ producing area, would help to achieve minimum inefficiency in production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
Open AccessArticle Urban Green Infrastructure Impacts on Climate Regulation Services in Sydney, Australia
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 788; doi:10.3390/su8080788
Received: 1 April 2016 / Revised: 31 July 2016 / Accepted: 6 August 2016 / Published: 11 August 2016
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Abstract
In many parts of the world, urban planning has a renewed focus on addressing the multiple challenges associated with population growth and climate change. Focused on local needs and priorities, these planning processes are raising tensions between more compact and dense urban form
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In many parts of the world, urban planning has a renewed focus on addressing the multiple challenges associated with population growth and climate change. Focused on local needs and priorities, these planning processes are raising tensions between more compact and dense urban form to reduce energy use and associated emissions and the provision of urban green infrastructure for ecosystem services and climate adaptation. In this study, we investigated the spatial distribution of green infrastructure at the neighbourhood scale in Sydney, Australia and examined how a mix of landscape types (pavement, bare soil/dry grass, green grass, and tree cover) affect temperature variation in three important locations for urban residents—around the home, in the roads and footpaths where people walk, and in parkland areas. Considering that residential and parkland areas contribute to the majority of green space in Sydney, it is important to understand how changes in landscape mix within these three neighbourhood areas will affect local temperature for urban residents. For residential houses, it was found that the percentage of tree canopy cover around the house had a significant negative relationship (p = 0.002) with surface temperatures of rooftops where greater tree cover led to lower rooftop temperatures. In streetscapes, both the percentage of tree cover (p < 0.0001) and the percentage of green grass (p < 0.0001) within the road segment had a significant negative relationship with the surface temperature of the road pavement. In the parks, the percentage of pavement (p < 0.0001) and the percentage of bare soil/dry grass (p < 0.0001) showed a significantly positive trend with land surface temperatures where greater land cover in the form of pavement and bare soil/dry grass led to higher temperatures. Collectively, these findings highlight the importance of promoting or reducing certain landscape covers depending on the land use type in order to maximise the cooling potential of green infrastructure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maintaining Ecosystem Services to Support Urban Needs)
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Open AccessArticle How Supportive Are Romanian Consumers of the Circular Economy Concept: A Survey
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 789; doi:10.3390/su8080789
Received: 30 April 2016 / Revised: 21 July 2016 / Accepted: 3 August 2016 / Published: 11 August 2016
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Abstract
The aim of this paper is to investigate consumer behavior regarding the environment and the adoption of new patterns of behavior and responsible consumption in the promotion of a Circular Economy (CE) in Romania. With this goal in mind, a questionnaire survey was
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The aim of this paper is to investigate consumer behavior regarding the environment and the adoption of new patterns of behavior and responsible consumption in the promotion of a Circular Economy (CE) in Romania. With this goal in mind, a questionnaire survey was performed on-line on a nationwide scale to explore consumers’ behaviors and attitudes, which was distributed in all four of Romania’s macro-regions and interviewing 642 respondents. The results indicate that the consumers have a positive attitude towards the importance of the environmental protection, in general and it also measures the frequency of adopting eco-friendly behaviors by the consumers, showing that the consumption behavior is not very consistent with the general attitude regarding environment. As a parallel, consumers are aware of the importance of CE business models, in general, both for the economy and for the environment, but the adoption of consumption patterns specific to CE business models, necessary for the development and the success of the CE business models, has a low probability in the absence of direct or indirect incentives and benefits fostering the adoption of these consumption patterns. In conclusion, the development of CE business models in Romania requires a national strategy, which includes means to sustain the adoption of necessary new consumption behaviors, besides awareness raising and educational campaigns for explaining to consumers the liaison and the impact of their behavior to the environment and to the economy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Circular Economy)
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Open AccessArticle Urban Expansion and Agricultural Land Loss in China: A Multiscale Perspective
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 790; doi:10.3390/su8080790
Received: 25 May 2016 / Revised: 5 August 2016 / Accepted: 8 August 2016 / Published: 11 August 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (7532 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
China’s rapid urbanization has contributed to a massive agricultural land loss that could threaten its food security. Timely and accurate mapping of urban expansion and urbanization-related agricultural land loss can provide viable measures to be taken for urban planning and agricultural land protection.
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China’s rapid urbanization has contributed to a massive agricultural land loss that could threaten its food security. Timely and accurate mapping of urban expansion and urbanization-related agricultural land loss can provide viable measures to be taken for urban planning and agricultural land protection. In this study, urban expansion in China from 2001 to 2013 was mapped using the nighttime stable light (NSL), normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), and water body data. Urbanization-related agricultural land loss during this time period was then evaluated at national, regional, and metropolitan scales by integrating multiple sources of geographic data. The results revealed that China’s total urban area increased from 31,076 km2 in 2001 to 80,887 km2 in 2013, with an average annual growth rate of 13.36%. This widespread urban expansion consumed 33,080 km2 of agricultural land during this period. At a regional scale, the eastern region lost 18,542 km2 or 1.2% of its total agricultural land area. At a metropolitan scale, the Shanghai–Nanjing–Hangzhou (SNH) and Pearl River Delta (PRD) areas underwent high levels of agricultural land loss with a decrease of 6.12% (4728 km2) and 6.05% (2702 km2) of their total agricultural land areas, respectively. Special attention should be paid to the PRD, with a decline of 13.30% (1843 km2) of its cropland. Effective policies and strategies should be implemented to mitigate urbanization-related agricultural land loss in the context of China’s rapid urbanization. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Corporate Sustainability Strategies: A Case Study in Brazil Focused on High Consumers of Electricity
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 791; doi:10.3390/su8080791
Received: 6 July 2016 / Revised: 3 August 2016 / Accepted: 4 August 2016 / Published: 11 August 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1570 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The decline of socio-ecological resilience has emerged as an unprecedented truth with high risks to local and global economies, thereby increasing the vulnerability of businesses and markets while potentially threatening the wellbeing of civil society as a whole. From a business perspective, corporate
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The decline of socio-ecological resilience has emerged as an unprecedented truth with high risks to local and global economies, thereby increasing the vulnerability of businesses and markets while potentially threatening the wellbeing of civil society as a whole. From a business perspective, corporate strategies towards sustainability are crucial to strengthen the social and economic foundations that foster sustainable development. In order to assist enterprises pursuing leading market positions, this work proposes a set of strategic actions towards sustainability and an evaluation scheme to assess the effectiveness of their implementation process. This proposed global strategy encompasses five key sustainability indices—commitment, investment, difficulty, proactivity and vulnerability—focusing the investigation on a sample of enterprises representing the highest consumers of electricity in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Addressing the energy consumption, this study also discusses the concerning level of GHG emissions that are associated with the generation of electricity. Although 85% of the enterprises participating in this survey recognized the relevance of the actions proposed, the current degree of proactivity and vulnerability associated with these enterprises indicate that very few of them have effectively implemented and invested in corporate sustainability programs, certainly a symptom of their institutional vulnerability. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Sustaining Cultural and Natural Heritage in Albania
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 792; doi:10.3390/su8080792
Received: 31 May 2016 / Revised: 14 July 2016 / Accepted: 8 August 2016 / Published: 11 August 2016
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Abstract
This article describes the ongoing project “School for Cultural Heritage through Map Exploitation” (SCHEME), an integrated set of activities designed to support social inclusion in heritage promotion processes in Albania. The main project goal is delivering ICT tools (map and crowdfunding platforms) and
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This article describes the ongoing project “School for Cultural Heritage through Map Exploitation” (SCHEME), an integrated set of activities designed to support social inclusion in heritage promotion processes in Albania. The main project goal is delivering ICT tools (map and crowdfunding platforms) and procedures as well as improving the capacity of stakeholders to sustainably valorize hidden resources. The underlying approach has capitalized on existing technologies and experiences through the development of an advanced interactive multimedia map using data produced in the Ljubljana Process. Subsequently, the map will be extended by collecting more data on the Lake Ohrid Region, which has been selected as a pilot area to promote the neglected inland, relieving pressure on more famous coastal sites. A contest among schools will enrich the database, uploading multifaceted memories collected by students. The winning cultural asset will be the object of a small-scale rehabilitation project supported by a fundraising campaign through a crowdfunding platform. The centrality of people’s active participation will contribute to governance innovation by reverting to traditional top-down promotion processes and practices, in which heritage consumers represent passive recipients of ready-made offers and messages. The map platform also holds specific potential for cultural tourism purposes, avoiding mistakes in the geo-localization of sites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Cultural and Natural Heritage)
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Open AccessArticle Assessment of Environmental and Economic Impacts of Vine-Growing Combining Life Cycle Assessment, Life Cycle Costing and Multicriterial Analysis
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 793; doi:10.3390/su8080793
Received: 15 April 2016 / Revised: 8 July 2016 / Accepted: 5 August 2016 / Published: 13 August 2016
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (18477 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The wine sector is going through a significant evolution dealing with the challenges of competition issues in international markets and with necessary commitments to sustainability improvement. In the wine supply chain, the agricultural phase represents a potential source of pollution and costs. From
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The wine sector is going through a significant evolution dealing with the challenges of competition issues in international markets and with necessary commitments to sustainability improvement. In the wine supply chain, the agricultural phase represents a potential source of pollution and costs. From the farmers’ point of view, these contexts require them to be more attentive and find a compromise among environmental benefits, economic benefits, and costs linked to farming practices. This paper aims to make a sustainability assessment of different wine-growing scenarios located in Calabria (Southern Italy) that combines conflicting insights, i.e., environmental and economic ones, by applying Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Life Cycle Costing (LCC) to identify the main hotspots and select the alternative scenarios closest to the ideal solution through the VIKOR multicriteria method. In particular, the latter allowed us to obtain synthetic indices for a two-dimensional sustainability assessment. Conventional practices associated to the espalier training system represent the best compromise from both environmental and economic points of view, due to the higher yield per hectare. The choices regarding Functional Unit (FU) and indicators were shown to have a high influence on results. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Re-Introducing Consumption to the ‘Circular Economy’: A Sociotechnical Analysis of Domestic Food Provisioning
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 794; doi:10.3390/su8080794
Received: 30 April 2016 / Revised: 15 July 2016 / Accepted: 4 August 2016 / Published: 12 August 2016
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Abstract
The paper makes two contributions to the advancement of the ‘circular economy’ as a blueprint for a more sustainable society. The first is to highlight the importance of understanding the dynamics of consumption and waste in the domestic sphere. The second is to
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The paper makes two contributions to the advancement of the ‘circular economy’ as a blueprint for a more sustainable society. The first is to highlight the importance of understanding the dynamics of consumption and waste in the domestic sphere. The second is to illustrate two ways in which using insights from socio-technical literature on sustainable consumption, in combination with the sociology of food, could contribute to redressing this shortfall. This includes understanding why people use or consume particular goods or services, and how this might be altered; and what drives the production of waste and the adoption of strategies for its reduction by consumers. We mobilise insights from a socio-technical perspective on consumption, which highlights the importance of everyday interactions between routine activities, mundane technologies and cultural meanings in (re)producing patterns of consumption. These insights are illustrated with reference to domestic food provisioning, using empirical data generated through twenty semi-structured interviews with consumers in relation to meat consumption and thriftiness. Two suggestions for the development of the ‘circular economy’ to better take account of consumption within the domestic sphere are made. The first is a shift from imagining consumers as ‘users’ of particular products or services, to conceptualisation as ‘doers’ of everyday activities. The second is a broadening of the principle of ‘eco-effectiveness’ to take account for the social value of consumption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Circular Economy)
Open AccessArticle Spatial Distribution of Mercury (Hg) Concentration in Agricultural Soil and Its Risk Assessment on Food Safety in China
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 795; doi:10.3390/su8080795
Received: 2 June 2016 / Revised: 4 August 2016 / Accepted: 8 August 2016 / Published: 12 August 2016
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Abstract
Soil mercury (Hg) pollution in some areas of China is a serious problem and has aroused a lot of attention on a local scale. However, there are few studies on Hg pollution on a national scale. This study collected 444 published papers during
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Soil mercury (Hg) pollution in some areas of China is a serious problem and has aroused a lot of attention on a local scale. However, there are few studies on Hg pollution on a national scale. This study collected 444 published papers during 2005–2015 on Hg concentrations in agricultural soil throughout China, under seven land uses, namely: dry land, paddy field, vegetable field, tea garden, orchard, traditional Chinese medicine field and tobacco field, to assess the spatial distribution of Hg concentration and evaluate its influence on food safety. The averaged Hg concentration (0.108 mg/kg) was higher than its background (0.065 mg/kg), but much lower than the guidelines (GB15618-1995 II) for crop production. The spatial distribution of Hg throughout China showed great variability, with some hotspots due to Hg related mining and smelting activities. According to the Environment Quality Standard for soil in China (GB15618-1995 II), 4.2% of agricultural soil should be abandoned due to Hg pollution, and 2.0% faced a high risk of Hg pollution. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Comprehensive Benefit Evaluation of the Power Distribution Network Planning Project Based on Improved IAHP and Multi-Level Extension Assessment Method
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 796; doi:10.3390/su8080796
Received: 25 May 2016 / Revised: 21 July 2016 / Accepted: 8 August 2016 / Published: 13 August 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (492 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Reasonable distribution network planning is an essential prerequisite of the economics and security of the future power grid. The comprehensive benefit evaluation of a distribution network planning project can make significant contributions towards guiding decisions during the planning scheme, the optimization of the
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Reasonable distribution network planning is an essential prerequisite of the economics and security of the future power grid. The comprehensive benefit evaluation of a distribution network planning project can make significant contributions towards guiding decisions during the planning scheme, the optimization of the distribution network structure, and the rational use of resources. In this paper, in light of the characteristics of the power distribution network, the comprehensive benefit evaluation index system is constructed considering the influencing factors of technical benefit, economic benefit, and social benefit. To eliminate the influence of subjective factors on the evaluation effects and the uncertainty of the influencing factors effectively, the improved interval analytic hierarchy process is employed to calculate the index weights more simply. Moreover, based on the traditional single-factor extension evaluation, this study proposes a multi-level extension assessment model to evaluate the comprehensive benefit of the power distribution network planning project. The model can not only identify the key factors that affect the evaluation effect of the power distribution network planning project, but also can predict the overall development trend of the project. Finally, using a specific urban distribution network planning project as an example, the findings indicate that the comprehensive benefit grade of this power distribution network planning project is “better” due to the benefit grade variable eigenvalue j * [ 3.33 , 3.418 ] [ 3 , 4 ] , and illustrates that the model is credible and practical to achieve the comprehensive benefit evaluation of the power distribution network planning project. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Not Deep Learning but Autonomous Learning of Open Innovation for Sustainable Artificial Intelligence
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 797; doi:10.3390/su8080797
Received: 25 May 2016 / Revised: 25 July 2016 / Accepted: 2 August 2016 / Published: 13 August 2016
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (3031 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
What do we need for sustainable artificial intelligence that is not harmful but beneficial human life? This paper builds up the interaction model between direct and autonomous learning from the human’s cognitive learning process and firms’ open innovation process. It conceptually establishes a
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What do we need for sustainable artificial intelligence that is not harmful but beneficial human life? This paper builds up the interaction model between direct and autonomous learning from the human’s cognitive learning process and firms’ open innovation process. It conceptually establishes a direct and autonomous learning interaction model. The key factor of this model is that the process to respond to entries from external environments through interactions between autonomous learning and direct learning as well as to rearrange internal knowledge is incessant. When autonomous learning happens, the units of knowledge determinations that arise from indirect learning are separated. They induce not only broad autonomous learning made through the horizontal combinations that surpass the combinations that occurred in direct learning but also in-depth autonomous learning made through vertical combinations that appear so that new knowledge is added. The core of the interaction model between direct and autonomous learning is the variability of the boundary between proven knowledge and hypothetical knowledge, limitations in knowledge accumulation, as well as complementarity and conflict between direct and autonomous learning. Therefore, these should be considered when introducing the interaction model between direct and autonomous learning into navigations, cleaning robots, search engines, etc. In addition, we should consider the relationship between direct learning and autonomous learning when building up open innovation strategies and policies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Fuzzy Bi-Objective Production-Distribution Planning Problem under the Carbon Emission Constraint
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 798; doi:10.3390/su8080798
Received: 12 June 2016 / Revised: 27 July 2016 / Accepted: 5 August 2016 / Published: 12 August 2016
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Abstract
This study addresses the design of a four-stage production distribution system under a carbon emission constraint. The first stage contains a set of established retail outlets. The second stage consists of a set of possible distribution centers. The third stage is comprised of
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This study addresses the design of a four-stage production distribution system under a carbon emission constraint. The first stage contains a set of established retail outlets. The second stage consists of a set of possible distribution centers. The third stage is comprised of a set of manufacturing units. The final and fourth stage involves a set of suppliers. We propose a bi-objective optimization problem with a mixed-integer linear programming scheme for maximizing the total profits while minimizing the cumulative shortages in a multi-period planning horizon with inaccurate information on raw material resources. We also propose a two-phase approach to solve the proposed model and obtain a Pareto-optimal solution. The effectiveness of the solution method for obtaining the fuzzy efficient solution is demonstrated with computational experiments. Sensitivity analysis is used for examining the effect of the carbon emission constraint on the optimal decisions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Coping with Migration-Induced Urban Growth: Addressing the Blind Spot of UN Habitat
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 800; doi:10.3390/su8080800
Received: 19 June 2016 / Revised: 4 August 2016 / Accepted: 8 August 2016 / Published: 16 August 2016
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Abstract
The demography of cities in the 21st century will be shaped, to a large extent, by migration. This paper argues that the rights-based approach to urban policy advocated in the preparatory work of Habitat III, the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban
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The demography of cities in the 21st century will be shaped, to a large extent, by migration. This paper argues that the rights-based approach to urban policy advocated in the preparatory work of Habitat III, the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development to be held in October 2016 in Quito, Ecuador, may not be conducive to this goal. The approach lacks a contextual and dynamic understanding of urbanization. It implicitly assumes that a growing and expansive urban economy would primarily benefit the rich and harm the poor. The resulting containment policies to stop “urban sprawl” and defend “the right to the city” can, however, be counterproductive if adopted in cities in less developed countries (LDCs) that grow fast due to internal migration. Attempts to limit urban growth may merely lead to more informal settlements, less affordable housing, and increasing costs of doing business. In other words, it may benefit the rich and harm the poor. LDCs should, therefore, refrain from adopting defensive urban policies mostly advocated by more developed countries (MDCs) and, instead, plan for sustainable urban expansion designed to improve access to essential urban services and to create a level playing field for newcomers in business. In this context, urban policies may build upon the basic insights of the late urbanist Jane Jacobs. She recognized that the vital function of cities is to provide affordable infrastructure and an institutional environment that enable migrants and other marginal urban communities to contribute to urban prosperity and problem-solving with their skills, networks, and entrepreneurial minds. The resulting social and economic empowerment increases access to essential human rights and ensures that cities become more inclusive, resilient, and sustainable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A Contextual and Dynamic Understanding of Sustainable Urbanisation)
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Open AccessArticle An Interpretive Framework for Assessing and Monitoring the Sustainability of School Gardens
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 801; doi:10.3390/su8080801
Received: 29 June 2016 / Revised: 7 August 2016 / Accepted: 10 August 2016 / Published: 15 August 2016
PDF Full-text (1810 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
School gardens are, increasingly, an integral part of projects aiming to promote nutritional education and environmental sustainability in many countries throughout the world. In the late 1950s, FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) and UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund) had already developed projects to
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School gardens are, increasingly, an integral part of projects aiming to promote nutritional education and environmental sustainability in many countries throughout the world. In the late 1950s, FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) and UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund) had already developed projects to improve the dietary intake and behavior through school and community gardens. However, notwithstanding decades of experience, real proof of how these programs contribute to improving sustainability has not been well-documented, and reported findings have mostly been anecdotal. Therefore, it is important to begin a process of collecting and monitoring data to quantify the results and possibly improve their efficiency. This study’s primary goal is to propose an interpretive structure—the “Sustainable Agri-Food Evaluation Methodology-Garden” (SAEMETH-G), that is able to quantifiably guide the sustainability evaluation of various school garden organizational forms. As a case study, the methodology was applied to 15 school gardens located in three regions of Kenya, Africa. This application of SAEMETH-G as an assessment tool based on user-friendly indicators demonstrates that it is possible to carry out sustainability evaluations of school gardens through a participatory and interdisciplinary approach. Thus, the hypothesis that the original SAEMETH operative framework could be tested in gardens has also been confirmed. SAEMETH-G is a promising tool that has the potential to help us understand school gardens’ sustainability better and to use that knowledge in their further development all over the world. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Energy Saving of Conservation Voltage Reduction Based on Load-Voltage Dependency
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 803; doi:10.3390/su8080803
Received: 15 July 2016 / Revised: 2 August 2016 / Accepted: 10 August 2016 / Published: 15 August 2016
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Abstract
Reducing voltage to reduce energy consumption, referred to as conservation voltage reduction (CVR), can lead to energy savings. Calculating the effects of reducing voltage requires accurate load models. This paper investigates a load-voltage dependency factor that can be measured via field experiments using
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Reducing voltage to reduce energy consumption, referred to as conservation voltage reduction (CVR), can lead to energy savings. Calculating the effects of reducing voltage requires accurate load models. This paper investigates a load-voltage dependency factor that can be measured via field experiments using common existing instrumentation. A relationship between the load-voltage dependency factor and the percentage of the load that is constant impedance and the percentage that is constant power is presented. A new coordinated control algorithm using the load-voltage dependency factor measured by the field experiments is proposed. Parametric studies are presented which compare CVR with coordinated control versus traditional control. Across the two model comparisons of minimizing energy consumption, the coordinated control for conservation voltage reduction showed significant energy reduction over local control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Community Resilience to Cyclone Disasters in Coastal Bangladesh
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 805; doi:10.3390/su8080805
Received: 16 May 2016 / Revised: 3 August 2016 / Accepted: 10 August 2016 / Published: 15 August 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (15241 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Bangladesh is one of the poorest and most disaster-prone countries in the world. To address both problems simultaneously, sustainable livelihoods (SL) could be better connected with disaster risk reduction (DRR). For this purpose, one initiative implemented in Bangladesh is called the Vulnerability to
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Bangladesh is one of the poorest and most disaster-prone countries in the world. To address both problems simultaneously, sustainable livelihoods (SL) could be better connected with disaster risk reduction (DRR). For this purpose, one initiative implemented in Bangladesh is called the Vulnerability to Resilience (V2R) programme which ran from 2013 to 2016. This programme was primarily initiated and funded by the British Red Cross in a consortium with the Swedish Red Cross and the German Red Cross. This article presents the first evaluation of the V2R programme with three objectives. The first objective was to measure whether the selected communities have achieved community resilience characteristics as defined by the programme. The second objective was to conduct a cost-benefit analysis for the intervention. The third objective was to analyse V2R’s impact on the communities in terms of DRR and SL. Community-based focus group discussions and household-based surveys were conducted before and after the intervention (2013–2016) in two coastal communities in Patuakhali district, Nowapara and Pashurbunia. The analysis found that community members are now engaged with many hazard-resilient and vulnerability-reducing livelihood activities, using SL to implement DRR, yet these approaches were almost absent prior to V2R. Consequently, the communities have achieved resilience characteristics, being more well-organized and better connected; having better access to infrastructure, services, and economic opportunities; are more knowledgeable and healthier; and are better managing their available resources. Critiques of the concepts are discussed, although in this case, DRR based on SL has shown positive results, exactly as development theory suggests. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Farmers’ Risk Perception towards Climate Change: A Case of the GAP-Şanlıurfa Region, Turkey
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 806; doi:10.3390/su8080806
Received: 13 April 2016 / Revised: 4 August 2016 / Accepted: 11 August 2016 / Published: 15 August 2016
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Abstract
The purpose of this research is to evaluate farmers’ risk perception towards climate change in dry farming areas of the Şanlıurfa province in Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) Region, Turkey, and their willingness to pay for adaptation practices and explore the potential factors that
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The purpose of this research is to evaluate farmers’ risk perception towards climate change in dry farming areas of the Şanlıurfa province in Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) Region, Turkey, and their willingness to pay for adaptation practices and explore the potential factors that contribute to the understanding of climate change. The main material of this research comes from a sample of 466 farmers among 32,809 in Şanlıurfa who were chosen via a simple random sampling method. Sampling was conducted in 2014 and participants were interviewed face to face by questionnaires and local interviewers were used in order to maximize the reliability of the results. The logistic regression and fit tests were used for analysis. The results indicate that 53% of farmers have a risk perception about climate change and 62% of farmers accept paying for adaptation practices to reduce its potential effects. Explanatory affecting factors, such as age, agricultural income, amount of land owned, farming experience, agricultural credit usage, household numbers, non-agricultural manpower, education level and water perception, significantly explained the risk perceptions. This study is one of the first of its type in GAP-Şanlıurfa, Turkey. Therefore, the results could be helpful for decision- and policy-makers to develop adaptive strategies. Full article
Open AccessArticle Simulation and Assessment of Whole Life-Cycle Carbon Emission Flows from Different Residential Structures
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 807; doi:10.3390/su8080807
Received: 13 April 2016 / Revised: 6 August 2016 / Accepted: 11 August 2016 / Published: 16 August 2016
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Abstract
To explore the differences in carbon emissions over the whole life-cycle of different building structures, the published calculated carbon emissions from residential buildings in China and abroad were normalized. Embodied carbon emission flows, operations stage carbon emission flows, demolition and reclamation stage carbon
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To explore the differences in carbon emissions over the whole life-cycle of different building structures, the published calculated carbon emissions from residential buildings in China and abroad were normalized. Embodied carbon emission flows, operations stage carbon emission flows, demolition and reclamation stage carbon emission flows and total life-cycle carbon emission flows from concrete, steel, and wood structures were obtained. This study is based on the theory of the social cost of carbon, with an adequately demonstrated social cost of carbon and social discount rate. Taking into consideration both static and dynamic situations and using a social discount rate of 3.5%, the total life-cycle carbon emission flows, absolute carbon emission and building carbon costs were calculated and assessed. The results indicated that concrete structures had the highest embodied carbon emission flows and negative carbon emission flows in the waste and reclamation stage. Wood structures that started the life-cycle with stored carbon had the lowest carbon emission flows in the operations stage and relatively high negative carbon emission flows in the reclamation stage. Wood structures present the smallest carbon footprints for residential buildings. Full article
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