Next Issue
Previous Issue

E-Mail Alert

Add your e-mail address to receive forthcoming issues of this journal:

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Table of Contents

Sustainability, Volume 9, Issue 2 (February 2017)

  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
Cover Story Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): 1. No Poverty. The photo is adapted from [...] Read more.
View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-165
Export citation of selected articles as:

Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review, Other

Open AccessEditorial Sustainable Governance in Northeast Asia: Challenges for the Sustainable Frontier
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 191; doi:10.3390/su9020191
Received: 12 January 2017 / Revised: 13 January 2017 / Accepted: 20 January 2017 / Published: 28 January 2017
PDF Full-text (1119 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This Special Issue consists of selected papers from the 2016 annual international Sustainable Asia Conference (SAC), held on Jeju Island, South Korea, from 28 June to 2 July 2016. SAC 2016 is one of the leading international conferences for presenting novel and fundamental
[...] Read more.
This Special Issue consists of selected papers from the 2016 annual international Sustainable Asia Conference (SAC), held on Jeju Island, South Korea, from 28 June to 2 July 2016. SAC 2016 is one of the leading international conferences for presenting novel and fundamental advances in sustainable development issues for Asia. In this special issue, most of the papers emphasize the importance of sustainable governance in harmonizing economic development with a healthier life, while enhancing the quality of all economic activities. The majority of papers in this special issue also deal with problems of urbanization, because the Northeast Asian countries are experiencing the transformation of their economic structure from quantitatively oriented development to the qualitative, highlighting socioeconomic performance. There has been a vast amount of discussion and many ideas put forward on sustainable development, but as the Marrakech Proclamation of COP 22 concluded in November 2016, it is now time to meet the practical challenges of sustainable development. This special edition will shed light on the action plan against global warming and environmental degradation. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessEditorial A Helicopter View of the Special Issue on Wave Energy Converters
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 297; doi:10.3390/su9020297
Received: 14 February 2017 / Revised: 14 February 2017 / Accepted: 15 February 2017 / Published: 17 February 2017
PDF Full-text (172 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper intends to provide the reader with an overview of the Special Issue on Wave Energy Converters. Through 16 contributions from authors of 10 different countries, a number of key topics have been tackled, including resource assessment, engineering design, and financial analysis.
[...] Read more.
This paper intends to provide the reader with an overview of the Special Issue on Wave Energy Converters. Through 16 contributions from authors of 10 different countries, a number of key topics have been tackled, including resource assessment, engineering design, and financial analysis. As a whole, the Special Issue forms an interesting and helpful compendium on the state of the art of wave energy extraction and exploitation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wave Energy Converters)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review, Other

Open AccessArticle Ecological Land Fragmentation Evaluation and Dynamic Change of a Typical Black Soil Farming Area in Northeast China
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 300; doi:10.3390/su9020300
Received: 20 December 2016 / Revised: 12 February 2017 / Accepted: 14 February 2017 / Published: 17 February 2017
PDF Full-text (4996 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ecological land is a land use category provided with considerable ecological value and a vital indicator reflecting regional eco-environmental quality. However, it has experienced severe fragmentation during the rapid urbanization in China which strongly threatened the regional ecological security, land use pattern and
[...] Read more.
Ecological land is a land use category provided with considerable ecological value and a vital indicator reflecting regional eco-environmental quality. However, it has experienced severe fragmentation during the rapid urbanization in China which strongly threatened the regional ecological security, land use pattern and human living environment. Therefore, analysis of spatiotemporal change of ecological land use and ecological landscape pattern is particularly essential. In this paper, a case study was made in Nong’an County, which is a typical black soil farming area located in northeast China facing severe conflicts among cultivated land protection, urban expansion and ecological security. A landscape fragmentation evaluation model was proposed to measure the degree of regional ecological land fragmentation. We also determined the land use change features through the methods of dynamic change information exploration and by performing transfer trajectory analysis during the period from 1996 to 2014. The results showed that the ecological land in Nong’an County has experienced increasing fragmentation during the past 18 years. The statistical results showed that the land transition between ecological land and other land categories was quite frequent, and it especially appeared as a dramatic decline of grassland and severe increase of saline-alkali land. In addition, human interferences especially construction activities and cultivated land occupation were still the dominant factors to the fragmentation of ecological land and the frequent transition among the land use categories. The fragmentation degree showed a downward tendency at the end of the study, which indicated noticeable benefits of land use regulation and land protection policies directed towards land ecological value. This study aims to provide a scientific evaluation model for measuring ecological land fragmentation degree, and figure out the regional land use transition relationships to offer suggestions for decision-making and provide a practical case in a typical region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Keep on Rockin’ in a (Plastic-)Free World: Collective Efficacy and Pro-Environmental Intentions as a Function of Task Difficulty
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 200; doi:10.3390/su9020200
Received: 27 October 2016 / Accepted: 24 January 2017 / Published: 1 February 2017
PDF Full-text (1173 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Collective efficacy—the belief that one’s group is capable of affecting relevant aspects of its environment—has been highlighted as an important predictor of sustainable behavior. It increases people’s collective action tendencies, and is important for fostering environmental behavioral change beyond self-efficacy beliefs. The current
[...] Read more.
Collective efficacy—the belief that one’s group is capable of affecting relevant aspects of its environment—has been highlighted as an important predictor of sustainable behavior. It increases people’s collective action tendencies, and is important for fostering environmental behavioral change beyond self-efficacy beliefs. The current study addresses two primary goals. First, we tested whether the difficulty of a task increased collective efficacy, and thereby environmental intentions. Second, we explored how collective and self-efficacy in concert predict such intentions. In a combined field-and-survey study, 165 voluntary participants took part in a plastic reduction challenge that was pretested as easy, moderate, or difficult. After being confronted with the task, participants completed an online questionnaire in which, among other variables, specific and general self-efficacy, collective efficacy, and pro-environmental intentions were measured—both general and plastic-reduction specific. Results revealed that (a) collective efficacy was significantly stronger when task difficulty was moderate rather than easy or difficult; and (b) that through specific collective and self-efficacy perceptions, sustainable intentions were gauged—even when controlling for attitudes and social norms. These findings suggest that collective efficacy beliefs are particularly relevant for attaining environmental goals that are neither too easy nor too difficult, and could thus be valuable for communication and policy strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Consumer Behavior)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Emission Control in River Network System of the Taihu Basin for Water Quality Assurance of Water Environmentally Sensitive Areas
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 301; doi:10.3390/su9020301
Received: 15 December 2016 / Accepted: 14 February 2017 / Published: 17 February 2017
PDF Full-text (12477 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As pollution incidents frequently occurred in the functional water areas of the Taihu Basin, Yangtze Delta, effective emission control to guarantee water quality in the Taihu Basin became the priority for environmental management. In this study, a new total emission control (TEC) method
[...] Read more.
As pollution incidents frequently occurred in the functional water areas of the Taihu Basin, Yangtze Delta, effective emission control to guarantee water quality in the Taihu Basin became the priority for environmental management. In this study, a new total emission control (TEC) method was proposed with an emphasis on the concept of water environmentally sensitive areas (WESAs). This method was verified in Wujiang District and the techniques can be concluded in three steps: (1) a 1-D mathematical model for the study area was established and the model was calibrated using field measurement data; (2) based on an analysis of administrative planning and regulations, WESAs were identified as the main controlling objectives for emission control calculations. The weighting coefficient of local pollution sources was investigated to discuss the effectiveness of TEC on water quality improvement at WESAs; and (3) applying the river network mathematical model, water quality along the river segments was simulated under different pollution control plans. The results proved the effectiveness of TEC in the study area and indicated that a 14.6% reduction in the total amount of ammonia-nitrogen (NH3-N), as well as a 31.1% reduction in the total amount of chemical oxygen demand (CODcr), was essential in order to meet the water quality standard in the WESAs. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Financing Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City: What Lessons Can Be Drawn for Other Large-Scale Sustainable City-Projects?
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 201; doi:10.3390/su9020201
Received: 24 October 2016 / Accepted: 24 January 2017 / Published: 1 February 2017
PDF Full-text (2054 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City (SSTEC) is currently the best-known and arguably the most successful large-scale sustainable new town development project in China; as such, experiences gathered there are of significant importance for the development of other eco-cities in China and elsewhere. This article focuses
[...] Read more.
Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City (SSTEC) is currently the best-known and arguably the most successful large-scale sustainable new town development project in China; as such, experiences gathered there are of significant importance for the development of other eco-cities in China and elsewhere. This article focuses on a thus far relatively understudied aspect of SSTEC, the financial vehicles used to fund SSTEC. The authors find that highly structured and intense collaboration at the national level between China and Singapore plays a catalytic role in attracting many other players to the project by giving them confidence that it is too big to fail. It encourages various preferential policies from lower governmental bodies, broad involvement of the private sector, a market-based operation model and the issuing of bonds in Singapore, which all contribute significantly to Tianjin eco-city’s financial viability. The broad involvement of the private sector relieves part of the financial burden from local governments, while the bonds issued in international markets lower the interest rate for master developers. However, the Sino-Singaporean collaboration at the national level is far less likely to be replicated to other eco-cities, since this requires an enormous willingness on the part of other countries to invest manpower, money, and other resources into the construction of eco-cities in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle LMDI Decomposition Analysis of Energy Consumption in the Korean Manufacturing Sector
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 202; doi:10.3390/su9020202
Received: 22 September 2016 / Accepted: 24 January 2017 / Published: 1 February 2017
PDF Full-text (1511 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The energy consumption of Korea’s manufacturing sector has sharply increased over the past 20 years. This paper decomposes the factors influencing energy consumption in this sector using the logarithmic mean Divisia index (LMDI) method and analyzes the specific characteristics of energy consumption from
[...] Read more.
The energy consumption of Korea’s manufacturing sector has sharply increased over the past 20 years. This paper decomposes the factors influencing energy consumption in this sector using the logarithmic mean Divisia index (LMDI) method and analyzes the specific characteristics of energy consumption from 1991 to 2011. The analysis reveals that the activity effect played a major role in increasing energy consumption. While the structure and intensity effects contributed to the reduction in energy consumption, the structure effect was greater than the intensity effect. Over the periods, the effects moved in opposite directions; that is, the structure effect decreased when the intensity effect increased and vice versa. The energy consumption by each industry is decomposed into two factors, activity and intensity effects. The increase of energy consumption due to the activity effect is largest in the petroleum and chemical industry, followed by the primary metal and non-ferrous industry, and the fabricated metal industry. The decrease of energy consumption due to the intensity effect is largest in the fabricated metal industry, followed by the primary metal and non-ferrous industry, and the non-metallic industry. The energy consumption due to intensity effect in the petroleum and chemical industry has risen. To save energy consumption more efficiently for addressing climate change in this sector, industrial restructuring and industry-specific energy saving policies should be introduced. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle A Feasibility Assessment of Photovoltaic Power Systems in Ireland; a Case Study for the Dublin Region
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 302; doi:10.3390/su9020302
Received: 18 November 2016 / Revised: 6 February 2017 / Accepted: 15 February 2017 / Published: 18 February 2017
PDF Full-text (1371 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Photovoltaic (PV) power generation is one of the cleanest sources for producing renewable energy; however uptake on the Irish renewable energy market to date has been low. There is a lack of support for solar PV systems in Ireland; there is currently no
[...] Read more.
Photovoltaic (PV) power generation is one of the cleanest sources for producing renewable energy; however uptake on the Irish renewable energy market to date has been low. There is a lack of support for solar PV systems in Ireland; there is currently no solar PV energy feed-in-tariff as there are for other renewable energy systems in Ireland. Despite the current lack of support, the Government has indicated that support for the uptake of solar PV installations will be provided through the provision of a feed-in tariff in the future. The aim of this study was to determine the feasibility of installing PV systems under Irish climatic conditions at a location based in Dublin, Ireland, from a technical, environmental and economic point of view. This was achieved by carrying out a life cycle assessment of potential environmental impacts, and analysis of energy and economic payback times relating to the proposed PV system. Four possible renewable feed-in-tariffs (based on existing feed-in-tariffs for other renewable energy systems) were considered to determine the effect of such tariffs on the overall economics of the proposed PV system. Results show that life cycle GHG emissions are 69 g CO2-eq per kWh generated by the system, significantly lower than the current electricity grid mix emissions of 469 g CO2-eq per kWh. It will take 5.23 years of operation of the solar plant to generate the same amount of energy (in terms of primary energy equivalent) that was used to produce the system itself. The economic payback time varies from 19.3 and 34.4 years depending on the rate of renewable energy feed-in-tariff applied. The costs for the production of PV electricity in this study are higher than is usual in countries where the solar PV market is more developed, e.g., Germany, due to constraints with building integration and lack of experienced PV installers. As more PV is deployed, the Irish PV installer base will increase and ‘learning by doing’ effects will allow installers to install projects more efficiently and quickly under Irish conditions, leading to significantly reduced costs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solar Photovoltaic Electricity)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Weight Determination of Sustainable Development Indicators Using a Global Sensitivity Analysis Method
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 303; doi:10.3390/su9020303
Received: 28 November 2016 / Revised: 13 February 2017 / Accepted: 13 February 2017 / Published: 21 February 2017
PDF Full-text (1721 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainable development (SD) evaluations have attracted considerable attention from governments and scientific communities around the world. The objective and quantitative calculation of the importance of sustainable assessment indicators is a key problem in the accurate evaluation of SD. Traditional methods fail to quantify
[...] Read more.
Sustainable development (SD) evaluations have attracted considerable attention from governments and scientific communities around the world. The objective and quantitative calculation of the importance of sustainable assessment indicators is a key problem in the accurate evaluation of SD. Traditional methods fail to quantify the coupling effects among indicators. This paper presents a weight determination approach based on the global sensitivity analysis algorithm known as the extended Fourier amplitude sensitivity test (EFAST). This method is efficient and robust and is not only able to quantify the sensitivity of the evaluation indictors to the target, but can also quantitatively describe the uncertainties among the indictors. In this paper, we analyze the sensitivity of 18 indicators in a multi-index comprehensive evaluation model and weigh the indicators in the system according to their importance. To verify the feasibility and advantages of this new method, we compare the evaluation result with the traditional entropy method. The comparison shows that the EFAST algorithm can provide greater detail in an SD evaluation. Additionally, the EFAST algorithm is more specific in terms of quantitative analysis and comprehensive aspects and can more effectively distinguish the importance of indicators. Full article
Figures

Figure 1a

Open AccessArticle Financial Inclusion, Entry Barriers, and Entrepreneurship: Evidence from China
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 203; doi:10.3390/su9020203
Received: 10 January 2017 / Accepted: 25 January 2017 / Published: 1 February 2017
PDF Full-text (276 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper aims at investigating the relationship between financial inclusion and the formation of entrepreneurs, both theoretically and empirically. We first construct a theoretical model to examine how the development of financial inclusion affects the formation of entrepreneurs. The model suggests that the
[...] Read more.
This paper aims at investigating the relationship between financial inclusion and the formation of entrepreneurs, both theoretically and empirically. We first construct a theoretical model to examine how the development of financial inclusion affects the formation of entrepreneurs. The model suggests that the development of financial inclusion can mitigate credit constraints on entrepreneurial activities by reducing information asymmetry in financial transactions, and in addition this effect is greater in industries with lower barriers to entry. Then, using data from 31 provinces and 19 industries in China during the period 2005–2014, we test the impact of financial inclusion on the formation of entrepreneurs. The estimation results confirm the positive effect of financial inclusion development on the formation of entrepreneurs, and indicate that this effect is heterogeneous across industries. Moreover, the development of financial inclusion is often beneficial to the formations of entrepreneurs in sectors with lower entry barriers. Full article
Open AccessArticle Understanding the Mechanisms behind Changing People’s Recycling Behavior at Work by Applying a Comprehensive Action Determination Model
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 204; doi:10.3390/su9020204
Received: 7 December 2016 / Accepted: 27 January 2017 / Published: 2 February 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1588 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study moves toward a better understanding of the mechanisms behind changing people’s recycling behavior at work by mapping out which pathways and variables change in recycling behavior as triggered by interventions. A questionnaire was designed based on the theory of planned behaviour,
[...] Read more.
This study moves toward a better understanding of the mechanisms behind changing people’s recycling behavior at work by mapping out which pathways and variables change in recycling behavior as triggered by interventions. A questionnaire was designed based on the theory of planned behaviour, the norm-activation model, habits, and a comprehensive action determination model (CADM). The data was collected in two rounds: before the intervention and after a three-month pilot period with implemented interventions using a sample of n = 1269 students and employees. The CADM model appears to be a good fit with the data. The results from the structural equation modelling indicate the pathways to influencing behavioural change. The most important psychological variables accounting for waste separation behaviour are intentions, perceived behavioural control, personal norms, social norms and habits. No difference in waste separation behaviour was observed in the control building. Interventions targeting the increase in waste separation raised participants’ intentions to engage in such behaviour. Results indicate that waste separation at work must go beyond technical aspects to include various key elements of sustainability to ensure success. Furthermore, understanding human behavior is key in determining the performance and success of an integrated and effective recycling intervention strategy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Solid Waste Management)
Figures

Open AccessArticle The New Cooperative Medical Scheme and Self-Employment in Rural China
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 304; doi:10.3390/su9020304
Received: 29 October 2016 / Revised: 5 January 2017 / Accepted: 14 February 2017 / Published: 22 February 2017
PDF Full-text (200 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Using panel data from the China Health and Nutrition Survey, this study estimates the effect of the New Cooperative Medical Scheme (NCMS) on self-employment in rural China, based on a difference-in-differences method (combined with propensity score matching). Specifically, we compare employment status of
[...] Read more.
Using panel data from the China Health and Nutrition Survey, this study estimates the effect of the New Cooperative Medical Scheme (NCMS) on self-employment in rural China, based on a difference-in-differences method (combined with propensity score matching). Specifically, we compare employment status of the participants and non-participants groups before and after the NCMS was implemented (within the common-support region). We found that the NCMS increased a rural resident’s likelihood of shifting from working for others to self-employed by 38 percentage points and that of shifting from temporarily employed to self-employed by 23 percentage points. These results suggest that apart from reducing uncertainty in future spending for the insured due to catastrophic illness, universal health insurance could also have a positive effect on the labor market, namely, that of increasing rates of self-employment. Full article
Open AccessArticle Monitoring Environmental Quality by Sniffing Social Media
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 85; doi:10.3390/su9020085
Received: 9 November 2016 / Revised: 22 December 2016 / Accepted: 5 January 2017 / Published: 10 February 2017
PDF Full-text (4130 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Nowadays, the environmental pollution and degradation in China has become a serious problem with the rapid development of Chinese heavy industry and increased energy generation. With sustainable development being the key to solving these problems, it is necessary to develop proper techniques for
[...] Read more.
Nowadays, the environmental pollution and degradation in China has become a serious problem with the rapid development of Chinese heavy industry and increased energy generation. With sustainable development being the key to solving these problems, it is necessary to develop proper techniques for monitoring environmental quality. Compared to traditional environment monitoring methods utilizing expensive and complex instruments, we recognized that social media analysis is an efficient and feasible alternative to achieve this goal with the phenomenon that a growing number of people post their comments and feelings about their living environment on social media, such as blogs and personal websites. In this paper, we self-defined a term called the Environmental Quality Index (EQI) to measure and represent people’s overall attitude and sentiment towards an area’s environmental quality at a specific time; it includes not only metrics for water and food quality but also people’s feelings about air pollution. In the experiment, a high sentiment analysis and classification precision of 85.67% was obtained utilizing the support vector machine algorithm, and we calculated and analyzed the EQI for 27 provinces in China using the text data related to the environment from the Chinese Sina micro-blog and Baidu Tieba collected from January 2015 to June 2016. By comparing our results to with the data from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), we showed that the environment evaluation model we constructed and the method we proposed are feasible and effective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Ecosystems and Society in the Context of Big and New Data)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Examining Structural Relationships between Work Engagement, Organizational Procedural Justice, Knowledge Sharing, and Innovative Work Behavior for Sustainable Organizations
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 205; doi:10.3390/su9020205
Received: 2 October 2016 / Accepted: 25 January 2017 / Published: 2 February 2017
PDF Full-text (941 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Despite the importance of the human/social dimension of organizational sustainability, this area of scholastic endeavor has received relatively little attention when compared to the economic and environmental dimensions of sustainability. On the basis of social exchange theory, this study posited the important role
[...] Read more.
Despite the importance of the human/social dimension of organizational sustainability, this area of scholastic endeavor has received relatively little attention when compared to the economic and environmental dimensions of sustainability. On the basis of social exchange theory, this study posited the important role that employee work engagement is a key component for improving human performance for organizational sustainability. In order to do so, it suggests the important role that employee work engagement has on the relationships among various factors in the organization, including organizational procedural justice, knowledge sharing, and innovative work behaviors. A total of 400 complete responses from full-time employees in Korean organizations were used for the purpose of data analysis with structural equation modeling (SEM). The results demonstrated that organizational procedural justice is positively related with employee work engagement, knowledge sharing, and innovative work behavior. In addition, work engagement enhances employee knowledge sharing and innovative work behavior, and knowledge sharing enhances innovative work behavior. With regard to the mechanisms of these relationships, work engagement and knowledge sharing acted as significant mediators. Based on the findings, we suggested relevant research implications and recommendations for future research on sustainable organizations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle The Suitability of Different Nighttime Light Data for GDP Estimation at Different Spatial Scales and Regional Levels
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 305; doi:10.3390/su9020305
Received: 9 December 2016 / Revised: 10 February 2017 / Accepted: 14 February 2017 / Published: 19 February 2017
PDF Full-text (4606 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Nighttime light data offer a unique view of the Earth’s surface and can be used to estimate the spatial distribution of gross domestic product (GDP). Historically, using a simple regression function, the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program’s Operational Linescan System (DMSP/OLS) has been used
[...] Read more.
Nighttime light data offer a unique view of the Earth’s surface and can be used to estimate the spatial distribution of gross domestic product (GDP). Historically, using a simple regression function, the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program’s Operational Linescan System (DMSP/OLS) has been used to correlate regional and global GDP values. In early 2013, the first global Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) visible infrared imaging radiometer suite (VIIRS) nighttime light data were released. Compared with DMSP/OLS, they have a higher spatial resolution and a wider radiometric detection range. This paper aims to study the suitability of the two nighttime light data sources for estimating the GDP relationship between the provincial and city levels in Mainland China, as well as of different regression functions. First, NPP/VIIRS nighttime light data for 2014 are corrected with DMSP/OLS data for 2013 to reduce the background noise in the original data. Subsequently, three regression functions are used to estimate the relationship between nighttime light data and GDP statistical data at the provincial and city levels in Mainland China. Then, through the comparison of the relative residual error (RE) and the relative root mean square error (RRMSE) parameters, a systematical assessment of the suitability of the GDP estimation is provided. The results show that the NPP/VIIRS nighttime light data are better than the DMSP/OLS data for GDP estimation, whether at the provincial or city level, and that the power function and polynomial models are better for GDP estimation than the linear regression model. This study reveals that the accuracy of GDP estimation based on nighttime light data is affected by the resolution of the data and the spatial scale of the study area, as well as by the land cover types and industrial structures of the study area. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Long-Term Hydrocarbon Trade Options for the Maghreb Region and Europe—Renewable Energy Based Synthetic Fuels for a Net Zero Emissions World
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 306; doi:10.3390/su9020306
Received: 20 November 2016 / Revised: 6 January 2017 / Accepted: 15 February 2017 / Published: 19 February 2017
PDF Full-text (11855 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Concerns about climate change and increasing emission costs are drivers for new sources of fuels for Europe. Sustainable hydrocarbons can be produced synthetically by power-to-gas (PtG) and power-to-liquids (PtL) facilities, for sectors with low direct electrification such as aviation, heavy transportation and chemical
[...] Read more.
Concerns about climate change and increasing emission costs are drivers for new sources of fuels for Europe. Sustainable hydrocarbons can be produced synthetically by power-to-gas (PtG) and power-to-liquids (PtL) facilities, for sectors with low direct electrification such as aviation, heavy transportation and chemical industry. Hybrid PV–Wind power plants can harvest high solar and wind potentials of the Maghreb region to power these systems. This paper calculates the cost of these fuels for Europe, and presents a respective business case for the Maghreb region. Calculations are hourly resolved to find the least cost combination of technologies in a 0.45° × 0.45° spatial resolution. Results show that, for 7% weighted average cost of capital (WACC), renewable energy based synthetic natural gas (RE-SNG) and RE-diesel can be produced in 2030 for a minimum cost of 76 €/MWhHHV (0.78 €/m3SNG) and 88 €/MWhHHV (0.85 €/L), respectively. While in 2040, these production costs can drop to 66 €/MWhHHV (0.68 €/m3SNG) and 83 €/MWhHHV (0.80 €/L), respectively. Considering access to a WACC of 5% in a de-risking project, oxygen sales and CO2 emissions costs, RE-diesel can reach fuel-parity at crude oil prices of 101 and 83 USD/bbl in 2030 and 2040, respectively. Thus, RE-synthetic fuels could be produced to answer fuel demand and remove environmental concerns in Europe at an affordable cost. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Electricity)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Directionality across Diversity: Governing Contending Policy Rationales in the Transition towards the Bioeconomy
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 206; doi:10.3390/su9020206
Received: 30 November 2016 / Revised: 17 January 2017 / Accepted: 25 January 2017 / Published: 3 February 2017
PDF Full-text (557 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Although the bioeconomy has been embraced by many governments around the world as a way of responding to the grand challenge of climate change, it remains unclear what the bioeconomy is and how it can contribute to achieving these broad policy objectives. The
[...] Read more.
Although the bioeconomy has been embraced by many governments around the world as a way of responding to the grand challenge of climate change, it remains unclear what the bioeconomy is and how it can contribute to achieving these broad policy objectives. The aim of this paper is to improve our understanding of whether, and how, the bioeconomy includes contending rationales for governance and policy-making. In order to do this, we apply a typology of three bioeconomy visions onto the policy discourse on the bioeconomy. These visions are (1) a bio-technology vision; (2) a bio-resource vision; and (3) a bio-ecology vision. Based on a discourse analysis of 41 submissions to a public hearing on the development of a bioeconomy strategy in Norway, the paper explores the actors involved in shaping the new bioeconomy and analyses their positions on this emerging field. The paper finds that it is possible to categorise the consultative inputs into these three visions, and also that the bio-resource vision is predominant, which reflects the structure of the national economy. Moreover, the paper reflects upon how the contending visions observed imply negotiations and power struggles, which may hamper directionality in the current socio-technical transition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovation and Sustainable Development for the Bioeconomy)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Feasibility Study of the Post-2020 Commitment to the Power Generation Sector in South Korea
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 307; doi:10.3390/su9020307
Received: 6 December 2016 / Revised: 14 February 2017 / Accepted: 15 February 2017 / Published: 20 February 2017
PDF Full-text (1247 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We analyze the economic effects of greenhouse gases (GHG) reduction measures of the generation sector of South Korea to accomplish the 2030 GHG reduction target using a scenario-based approach. We estimate the GHG emission of the South Korean power industry in 2030 based
[...] Read more.
We analyze the economic effects of greenhouse gases (GHG) reduction measures of the generation sector of South Korea to accomplish the 2030 GHG reduction target using a scenario-based approach. We estimate the GHG emission of the South Korean power industry in 2030 based on both the 7th Electricity Supply and Demand Plan and the GHG emission coefficients issued by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). We establish four scenarios for reduction measures by replacing the coal-fired power plants with nuclear power, renewable energy and carbon capture and storage, and liquefied natural gas (LNG) combined cycle generation. Finally, the nuclear power scenario demonstrates the most positive measure in terms of GHG reduction and economic effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Nuclear Power)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Stochastic Differential Equation Models for the Price of European CO2 Emissions Allowances
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 207; doi:10.3390/su9020207
Received: 8 October 2016 / Revised: 23 January 2017 / Accepted: 24 January 2017 / Published: 4 February 2017
PDF Full-text (643 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Understanding the stochastic nature of emissions allowances is crucial for risk management in emissions trading markets. In this study, we discuss the emissions allowances spot price within the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme: Powernext and European Climate Exchange. To compare the fitness of
[...] Read more.
Understanding the stochastic nature of emissions allowances is crucial for risk management in emissions trading markets. In this study, we discuss the emissions allowances spot price within the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme: Powernext and European Climate Exchange. To compare the fitness of five stochastic differential equations (SDEs) to the European Union allowances spot price, we apply regression theory to obtain the point and interval estimations for the parameters of the SDEs. An empirical evaluation demonstrates that the mean reverting square root process (MRSRP) has the best fitness of five SDEs to forecast the spot price. To reduce the degree of smog, we develop a new trading scheme in which firms have to hand many more allowances to the government when they emit one unit of air pollution on heavy pollution days, versus one allowance on clean days. Thus, we set up the SDE MRSRP model with Markovian switching to analyse the evolution of the spot price in such a scheme. The analysis shows that the allowances spot price will not jump too much in the new scheme. The findings of this study could contribute to developing a new type of emissions trading. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Improving Agricultural Water Use Efficiency: A Quantitative Study of Zhangye City Using the Static CGE Model with a CES Water−Land Resources Account
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 308; doi:10.3390/su9020308
Received: 1 November 2016 / Revised: 5 February 2017 / Accepted: 14 February 2017 / Published: 21 February 2017
PDF Full-text (795 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Water resources play a vital role in human life and agriculture irrigation, especially for agriculture-dominant developing countries and regions. Improving agricultural water use efficiency has consequently become a key strategic choice. This study, based on Zhangye City’s economic characteristics and data, applies a
[...] Read more.
Water resources play a vital role in human life and agriculture irrigation, especially for agriculture-dominant developing countries and regions. Improving agricultural water use efficiency has consequently become a key strategic choice. This study, based on Zhangye City’s economic characteristics and data, applies a static Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) model with a constant elasticity of substitution (CES) composited water−land resources account to assess the impact of improving agricultural water use efficiency on economy, water conservation and land reallocation. Results reveal that: Zhangye City’s GDP increases by 0.10% owing to an increasing average technical level by improving agricultural water use efficiency; total water consumption decreases by 122 million m3, 69% of which comes from a reduction of surface water use; and land demand increases by 257.43 hectares mainly due to agricultural land demands. With respect to the sectors’ output, export-oriented sectors with higher water intensities in the agricultural sectors benefit most. In contrast, land-intensive sectors contract the most, as the rental price of land rises. Therefore, agricultural water conservation technology should be introduced considering more in surface water. Furthermore, higher demand for agricultural land would reduce land availability for other sectors, thus inhibiting urbanization pace on a small scale. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Developing a Rating System for Building Energy Efficiency Based on In Situ Measurement in China
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 208; doi:10.3390/su9020208
Received: 28 December 2016 / Revised: 23 January 2017 / Accepted: 24 January 2017 / Published: 3 February 2017
PDF Full-text (6338 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Building energy consumption in China recently surpassed the US building consumption, and it is expected to increase significantly in the next decade pushed by the continuous population and urbanization increase. In response to that situation, the Chinese government introduced a series of building
[...] Read more.
Building energy consumption in China recently surpassed the US building consumption, and it is expected to increase significantly in the next decade pushed by the continuous population and urbanization increase. In response to that situation, the Chinese government introduced a series of building energy codes and rating systems to assess and enhance the building energy performance. The purpose of this study is to develop a rating system for the building energy efficiency, based on in situ measurement. The system is intended for office buildings in China’s cold zone. An evaluation framework, graphic dominant point, and principle of data collection and processing are illustrated in this paper. Three existing buildings were rated under the new rating system. The authors believe that the new system will contribute to a more accurate and comprehensive understanding for asset holders and occupants, that report on the extent to which energy efficiency buildings have been reached. Rating results are expected to be a reference for the retrofitting of existing buildings and the design of new buildings. In addition, the outlook for the rating system was also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Assessments of Buildings)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Balancing Disassembly Line in Product Recovery to Promote the Coordinated Development of Economy and Environment
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 309; doi:10.3390/su9020309
Received: 21 December 2016 / Revised: 6 February 2017 / Accepted: 16 February 2017 / Published: 21 February 2017
PDF Full-text (1384 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
For environmentally conscious and sustainable manufacturing, many more manufacturers are acting to recycle and remanufacture their post-consumed products. The most critical process of remanufacturing is disassembly, since it allows for the selective extraction of the valuable components and materials from returned products to
[...] Read more.
For environmentally conscious and sustainable manufacturing, many more manufacturers are acting to recycle and remanufacture their post-consumed products. The most critical process of remanufacturing is disassembly, since it allows for the selective extraction of the valuable components and materials from returned products to reduce the waste disposal volume. It is, therefore, important to design and balance the disassembly line to work efficiently due to its vital role in effective resource usage and environmental protection. Considering the disassembly precedence relationships and sequence-dependent parts removal time increments, this paper presents an improved discrete artificial bee colony algorithm (DABC) for solving the sequence-dependent disassembly line balancing problem (SDDLBP). The performance of the proposed algorithm was tested against nine other approaches. Computational results evidently indicate the superior efficiency of the proposed algorithm for addressing the environmental and economic concerns while optimizing the multi-objective SDDLBP. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle DEA Efficiency of Energy Consumption in China’s Manufacturing Sectors with Environmental Regulation Policy Constraints
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 210; doi:10.3390/su9020210
Received: 19 December 2016 / Revised: 16 January 2017 / Accepted: 26 January 2017 / Published: 4 February 2017
PDF Full-text (8260 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Because overall energy consumption intensity in China’s manufacturing industry is extremely high, the study of energy efficiency in that industry, with an analysis of the policy impacts of energy intensity reduction and other key factors, will no doubt improve energy utilization in the
[...] Read more.
Because overall energy consumption intensity in China’s manufacturing industry is extremely high, the study of energy efficiency in that industry, with an analysis of the policy impacts of energy intensity reduction and other key factors, will no doubt improve energy utilization in the industry and stimulate sustainable development within it. This paper uses 2004–2014 panel data of 28 manufacturing industries and a piecewise linear utility function to construct a data envelopment analysis (DEA) model of energy consumption with environmental regulations constraints. We also examine the DEA evaluation of energy efficiency in manufacturing industries. We integrate environmental regulations as qualitative variables into the energy consumption evaluation model to research the coupling effects on energy consumption intensity of energy consumption structure, opening up, environmental regulations, technological progress, and competition within industries. The research shows that energy efficiency policy intensity is not the major effect on the development of low or moderate energy-consumption industries, whereas low-energy-efficiency policy is very favorable for the development of high energy-consumption industries. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Assessment of Soil Health in Urban Agriculture: Soil Enzymes and Microbial Properties
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 310; doi:10.3390/su9020310
Received: 15 August 2016 / Accepted: 16 February 2017 / Published: 20 February 2017
PDF Full-text (815 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Urban agriculture has been recently highlighted with the increased importance for recreation in modern society; however, soil quality and public health may not be guaranteed because of continuous exposure to various pollutants. The objective of this study was to evaluate the soil quality
[...] Read more.
Urban agriculture has been recently highlighted with the increased importance for recreation in modern society; however, soil quality and public health may not be guaranteed because of continuous exposure to various pollutants. The objective of this study was to evaluate the soil quality of urban agriculture by soil microbial assessments. Two independent variables, organic and inorganic fertilizers, were considered. The activities of soil enzymes including dehydrogenase, β-glucosidase, arylsulfatase, urease, alkaline and acid phosphatases were used as indicators of important microbial mediated functions and the soil chemical properties were measured in the soils applied with organic or inorganic fertilizer for 10 years. Fatty acid methyl ester analysis was applied to determine the soil microbial community composition. Relatively higher microbial community richness and enzyme activities were found in the organic fertilizers applied soils as compared to the inorganic fertilizers applied soils. Principal component analysis explained the positive influence of organic fertilizers on the microbial community. The application of organic fertilizers can be a better alternative compared to inorganic fertilizers for the long-term health and security of urban agriculture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Management of Post-Epidemic Mass Carcasses Burial Sites)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Detecting Sustainability of Desertification Reversion: Vegetation Trend Analysis in Part of the Agro-Pastoral Transitional Zone in Inner Mongolia, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 211; doi:10.3390/su9020211
Received: 29 October 2016 / Revised: 26 January 2017 / Accepted: 31 January 2017 / Published: 4 February 2017
PDF Full-text (14807 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Vegetation dynamics are an important topic in the field of global environment change, which is of great significance to monitor temporal–spatial variability of desertification at regional or global scales. Following the reported desertification reversion in the late 1990s in the Horqin Sandy Land,
[...] Read more.
Vegetation dynamics are an important topic in the field of global environment change, which is of great significance to monitor temporal–spatial variability of desertification at regional or global scales. Following the reported desertification reversion in the late 1990s in the Horqin Sandy Land, an issue was concerned for desertification control by decreased water availability. To detect the desertification process, MODIS Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) sequences were investigated to analyze the effect on vegetation over the 2000–2015 growing season. Results showed that: (1) NDVI sequences exhibited a positive trend in most of the significant pixels (19.1%–44.7% of the total), particularly in the southeastern part of Horqin, while showing a negative trend of 2.2%–4.3%; (2) NDVI was weakly related to precipitation since 2000, because intensified anthropogenic activities have obscured the impacts of climate variables, with a rapid decrease in grassland, and increase in cropland and woodland; and (3) the improved NDVI was interpreted by expanding cropland and excessive groundwater irrigation, according to the positive effect of grain yield on NDVI all over the Horqin area. For persistent desertification reversion, a land use strategy should be more adaptive to the carrying capacity in this agro-pastoral transitional zone, particularly with respect to water capacity. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Causes for Adaptation: Access to Forests, Markets and Representation in Eastern Senegal
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 311; doi:10.3390/su9020311
Received: 21 December 2016 / Accepted: 7 February 2017 / Published: 20 February 2017
PDF Full-text (283 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Adaptation is a means of reducing vulnerability. So, understanding causes of vulnerability should help to achieve adaptation. Why, then, are people vulnerable? Why do expected dry spells turn into hunger? Why do mere droughts become disasters? This article shows some of the multiscale
[...] Read more.
Adaptation is a means of reducing vulnerability. So, understanding causes of vulnerability should help to achieve adaptation. Why, then, are people vulnerable? Why do expected dry spells turn into hunger? Why do mere droughts become disasters? This article shows some of the multiscale processes that make the lives of people in the forests of Eastern Senegal precarious; it outlines processes that reduce forest villagers’ access to resources, lucrative markets and political representation. These are the processes that place villagers at risk when exposed to stressors— climate or otherwise. In this case, the Forest Service applies double standards—favoring urban merchants while subordinating forest villagers—through the making, interpretation, implementation and circumvention of laws and regulations. The wealth of the poor is continuously expropriated by a well-adapted extractive apparatus, enriching urban merchants while leaving villagers incapacitated. These people may lack adaptive capacity or capability or assets or social protections, but those lacks have causes. “Adaptation” without identifying and addressing these root causes is palliative at best. Security requires emancipatory transformations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Governance for Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Experimenting with Law and Governance for Decentralized Electricity Systems: Adjusting Regulation to Reality?
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 212; doi:10.3390/su9020212
Received: 20 December 2016 / Revised: 20 January 2017 / Accepted: 1 February 2017 / Published: 5 February 2017
PDF Full-text (217 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Moving towards a low-carbon society calls not only for technological innovation, but also for new modes of governance. However, the current legal framework of the electricity sector, and the modes of governance that it establishes, impede innovation in the sector. To overcome this
[...] Read more.
Moving towards a low-carbon society calls not only for technological innovation, but also for new modes of governance. However, the current legal framework of the electricity sector, and the modes of governance that it establishes, impede innovation in the sector. To overcome this obstacle, in 2015 the Dutch government adopted a Crown decree for experiments with decentralized renewable electricity generation (Experimentation Decree) with the aim to generate insights on how to adjust the legal framework. The question remains whether regulation is being adopted to real-life settings, i.e., which lessons can be learned from experimentally acquired results regarding new modes of governance for decentralized electricity systems? To answer this question we apply an interdisciplinary approach: we investigate which modes of governance are established in the Experimentation Decree (legal research) and which ones are implemented in nine projects (governance research). Under the Decree, associations have to carry out all tasks in the electricity supply chain and can engage in collective generation, peer-to-peer supply and system operation. Other modes of governance, new actors for emerging activities and consumer involvement are limited. We conclude that the Experimentation Decree is too restricted regarding new modes of governance for a decentralized electricity system in real-life settings. Full article
Open AccessArticle Mapping the Influence of Land Use/Land Cover Changes on the Urban Heat Island Effect—A Case Study of Changchun, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 312; doi:10.3390/su9020312
Received: 30 December 2016 / Accepted: 13 February 2017 / Published: 20 February 2017
PDF Full-text (14973 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The spatio-temporal patterns of land use/land cover changes (LUCC) can significantly affect the distribution and intensity of the urban heat island (UHI) effect. However, few studies have mapped a clear picture of the influence of LUCC on UHI. In this study, both qualitative
[...] Read more.
The spatio-temporal patterns of land use/land cover changes (LUCC) can significantly affect the distribution and intensity of the urban heat island (UHI) effect. However, few studies have mapped a clear picture of the influence of LUCC on UHI. In this study, both qualitative and quantitative models are employed to explore the effect of LUCC on UHI. UHI and LUCC maps were retrieved from Landsat data acquired from 1984, 1992, 2000, 2007, and 2014 to show their spatiotemporal patterns. The results showed that: (1) both the patterns of LUCC and UHI have had dramatic changes in the past 30 years. The urban area of Changchun increased more than four times, from 143.15 km2 in 1984 to 577.45 km2 in 2014, and the proportion of UHI regions has increased from 15.27% in 1984 to 29.62% in 2014; (2) the spatiotemporal changes in thermal environment were consistent with the process of urbanization. The average LST of the study area has been continuously increasing as many other land use types have been transformed to urban regions. The mean temperatures were higher in urban regions than rural areas over all of the periods, but the UHI intensity varied based on different measurements; and (3) the thermal environment inside the city varied widely even within a small area. The LST possesses a very strong positive relationship with impervious surface area (ISA), and the relationship has become stronger in recent years. The UHI we employ, specifically in this study, is SUHI (surface urban heat island). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Heat Island)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Study on the Evolution Mechanism and Development Forecasting of China’s Power Supply Structure Clean Development
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 213; doi:10.3390/su9020213
Received: 31 October 2016 / Revised: 26 January 2017 / Accepted: 26 January 2017 / Published: 5 February 2017
PDF Full-text (5178 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The clean development of China’s power supply structure has become a crucial strategic problem for the low-carbon, green development of Chinese society. Considering the subsistent developments of optimized allocation of energy resources and efficient utilization, the urgent need to solve environmental pollution, and
[...] Read more.
The clean development of China’s power supply structure has become a crucial strategic problem for the low-carbon, green development of Chinese society. Considering the subsistent developments of optimized allocation of energy resources and efficient utilization, the urgent need to solve environmental pollution, and the continuously promoted power market-oriented reform, further study of China’s power structure clean development has certain theoretical value. Based on the data analysis, this paper analyzes the key factors that influence the evolution process of the structure with the help of system dynamics theory and carries out comprehensive assessments after the construction of the structure evaluation system. Additionally, a forecasting model of the power supply structure development based on the Vector Autoregressive Model (VAR) has been put forward to forecast the future structure. Through the research of policy review and scenario analysis, the paths and directions of structure optimization are proposed. In this paper, the system dynamics, vector autoregressive model (VAR), policy mining, and scenario analysis methods are combined to systematically demonstrate the evolution of China’s power structure, and predict the future direction of development. This research may provide a methodological and practical reference for the analysis of China’s power supply structure optimization development and for theoretical studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Electric Power Systems Research)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Analyzing Agricultural Agglomeration in China
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 313; doi:10.3390/su9020313
Received: 9 January 2017 / Accepted: 4 February 2017 / Published: 20 February 2017
PDF Full-text (2631 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There has been little scholarly research on Chinese agriculture’s geographic pattern of agglomeration and its evolutionary mechanisms, which are essential to sustainable development in China. By calculating the barycenter coordinates, the Gini coefficient, spatial autocorrelation and specialization indices for 11 crops during 1981–2012,
[...] Read more.
There has been little scholarly research on Chinese agriculture’s geographic pattern of agglomeration and its evolutionary mechanisms, which are essential to sustainable development in China. By calculating the barycenter coordinates, the Gini coefficient, spatial autocorrelation and specialization indices for 11 crops during 1981–2012, we analyze the evolutionary pattern and mechanisms of agricultural agglomeration. We argue that the degree of spatial concentration of Chinese planting has been gradually increasing and that regional specialization and diversification have progressively been strengthened. Furthermore, Chinese crop production is moving from the eastern provinces to the central and western provinces. This is in contrast to Chinese manufacturing growth which has continued to be concentrated in the coastal and southeastern regions. In Northeast China, the Sanjiang and Songnen plains have become agricultural clustering regions, and the earlier domination of aquaculture and rice production in Southeast China has gradually decreased. In summary, this paper provides a political economy framework for understanding the regionalization of Chinese agriculture, focusing on the interaction among the objectives, decisionmaking behavior, path dependencies and spatial effects. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle A General Micro-Level Modeling Approach to Analyzing Interconnected SDGs: Achieving SDG 6 and More through Multiple-Use Water Services (MUS)
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 314; doi:10.3390/su9020314
Received: 12 December 2016 / Revised: 11 February 2017 / Accepted: 14 February 2017 / Published: 21 February 2017
PDF Full-text (267 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The 2030 agenda presents an integrated set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets that will shape development activities for the coming decade. The challenge now facing development organizations and governments is how to operationalize this interconnected set of goals and targets through
[...] Read more.
The 2030 agenda presents an integrated set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets that will shape development activities for the coming decade. The challenge now facing development organizations and governments is how to operationalize this interconnected set of goals and targets through effective projects and programs. This paper presents a micro-level modeling approach that can quantitatively assess the impacts associated with rural water interventions that are tailored to specific communities. The analysis focuses on how a multiple-use water services (MUS) approach to SDG 6 could reinforce a wide range of other SDGs and targets. The multilevel modeling framework provides a generalizable template that can be used in multiple sectors. In this paper, we apply the methodology to a dataset on rural water services from Mozambique to show that community-specific equivalents of macro-level variables used in the literature such as Cost of Illness (COI) avoided can provide a better indication of the impacts of a specific intervention. The proposed modeling framework presents a new frontier for designing projects in any sector that address the specific needs of communities, while also leveraging the knowledge gained from previous projects in any country. The approach also presents a way for agencies and organizations to design projects or programs that bridge sectors/disciplines (water, irrigation, health, energy, economic development, etc.) to advance an interconnected set of SDGs and targets. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Perceptual Differences among Stakeholders in the Tourism Supply of Xi’an City, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 214; doi:10.3390/su9020214
Received: 16 November 2016 / Revised: 18 January 2017 / Accepted: 26 January 2017 / Published: 7 February 2017
PDF Full-text (7179 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The stakeholders’ perceptual evaluations of the supply structure of destination tourism play an important role in promoting the sustainable development of regional tourism. However, the research on the structural perceptions of destination tourism supply is relatively insufficient in current research on the perceptions
[...] Read more.
The stakeholders’ perceptual evaluations of the supply structure of destination tourism play an important role in promoting the sustainable development of regional tourism. However, the research on the structural perceptions of destination tourism supply is relatively insufficient in current research on the perceptions of tourism stakeholders. This paper analyzes the perceptual differences among inbound tourists, community residents and tourism practitioners from the core and auxiliary tourism supply dimensions. After having applied the structural equation model in this paper, the advantages and disadvantages of the tourism supply of Xi’an, a famous tourist city in China, were identified. In addition, the findings of this paper are: the inbound tourists have high perceptual sensitivity over the factors of the urban core tourism supply; the community residents have high perceptual sensitivity over the auxiliary tourist supply factors; the tourism practitioners have similar perceptual sensitivity over the factors of urban core and auxiliary tourism supply. The advantageous factors involve tourist attractions, tourist shopping, tourist entertainment, hospitality environment and tourist information. Furthermore, the moderately stable supply factors of Xi’an include tourist transportation, tourist catering, tourist accommodation, marketing as well as safety and security, while the natural environment is the limiting factor. The results support sustainable development and the coordination of different stakeholders in the destinations. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle A Decision Support System for Plant Optimization in Urban Areas with Diversified Solar Radiation
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 215; doi:10.3390/su9020215
Received: 7 December 2016 / Revised: 18 January 2017 / Accepted: 24 January 2017 / Published: 6 February 2017
PDF Full-text (7352 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Sunshine is an important factor which limits the choice of urban plant species, especially in environments with high-density buildings. In practice, plant selection and configuration is a key step of landscape architecture, which has relied on an experience-based qualitative approach. However, the rationality
[...] Read more.
Sunshine is an important factor which limits the choice of urban plant species, especially in environments with high-density buildings. In practice, plant selection and configuration is a key step of landscape architecture, which has relied on an experience-based qualitative approach. However, the rationality and efficiency of this need to be improved. To maintain the diversity of plant species and to ensure their ecological adaptability (solar radiation) in the context of sustainable development, we developed the Urban Plants Decision Support System (UP-DSS) for assisting plant selection in urban areas with diversified solar radiation. Our methodology mainly consists of the solar radiation model and calibration, the urban plant database, and information retrieval model. The structure of UP-DSS is also presented at the end of the methodology section, which is based on the platform of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Microsoft Excel. An application of UP-DSS is demonstrated in a residential area of Wuhan, China. The results show that UP-DSS can provide a very scientific and stable tool for the adaptive planning of shade-tolerant plants and photoperiod-sensitive plants, meanwhile, it also provides a specific plant species and the appropriate types of plant community for user decision-making according to different sunshine radiation conditions and the designer’s preferences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Sustainability and Planning Support Systems)
Figures

Figure 1a

Open AccessArticle The MIMOSE Approach to Support Sustainable Forest Management Planning at Regional Scale in Mediterranean Contexts
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 316; doi:10.3390/su9020316
Received: 19 December 2016 / Revised: 15 February 2017 / Accepted: 16 February 2017 / Published: 21 February 2017
PDF Full-text (10401 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In recent decades, Mediterranean landscapes have been affected by human-induced drivers, such as land use and climate change. Forest ecosystems and landscapes have been particularly affected in mountainous regions due to limited management and stewardship, especially in remote areas. Therefore, there is a
[...] Read more.
In recent decades, Mediterranean landscapes have been affected by human-induced drivers, such as land use and climate change. Forest ecosystems and landscapes have been particularly affected in mountainous regions due to limited management and stewardship, especially in remote areas. Therefore, there is a need to set up new strategies to enhance ecosystem services in forested areas which, in turn, will benefit local communities and economies. In this study, we implemented a new approach—Multiscale Mapping of Ecosystem Services (MIMOSE)—to assess ecosystem services in Mediterranean forests located in a mountainous region of Italy. We spatially assessed timber provision and carbon sequestration according to three forest management strategies: business-as-usual, maximizing economic values, and prioritizing conservation. Sustainable strategies for forest planning were identified at the landscape scale. We found that (i) timber provision is a conflicting service, especially when adaptation strategies are promoted; (ii) the most balanced set of forest ecosystem services is achieved through prioritizing conservation; and (iii) the ecosystem services availability is enhanced by optimizing the spatial allocation of different management strategies. Our approach is suitable to support landscape planning for balancing forest ecosystem potentialities while respecting local community needs and promoting sustainable development goals in the Mediterranean area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Decision Support for Forest Ecosystem Management Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Critical Factors Affecting the Quality of Industrialized Building System Projects in China
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 216; doi:10.3390/su9020216
Received: 19 November 2016 / Revised: 27 January 2017 / Accepted: 28 January 2017 / Published: 5 February 2017
PDF Full-text (212 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Whilst the benefits of applying an industrialized building system (IBS) have been well recognized globally in the construction industry, the application of IBS is particularly limited in developing countries such as China, and quality is considered one of the key issues affecting its
[...] Read more.
Whilst the benefits of applying an industrialized building system (IBS) have been well recognized globally in the construction industry, the application of IBS is particularly limited in developing countries such as China, and quality is considered one of the key issues affecting its application. This paper identifies a number of the key quality factors which present barriers to the promotion of IBS within the context of the Chinese construction industry. These include key factors such as “Inaccurate design of the connecting points between core components”, “Lack of design norms and standards for IBS components”, “Lack of quality criteria for IBS components”, “Lack of production norms and standards for IBS components”, “Lack of quality management system in production process”, and “Lack of technical guidelines for the construction of IBS projects”. The data used for analysis are derived from a comprehensive practical survey. The validity of the data is examined by using a statistical method. The findings from the study provide valuable references for formulating effective measures to mitigate the negative effects of these quality factors on IBS application in China, thereby ensuring that practice of the IBS system can be further developed within the country. Full article
Open AccessArticle Effects of Continuous Tomato Monoculture on Soil Microbial Properties and Enzyme Activities in a Solar Greenhouse
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 317; doi:10.3390/su9020317
Received: 10 December 2016 / Revised: 17 February 2017 / Accepted: 17 February 2017 / Published: 21 February 2017
PDF Full-text (938 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Soil-related obstacles resulting from continuous monoculture have limited the sustainable development of the tomato industry in China. An experiment on tomatoes with seven continuous monoculture treatments (the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 11th, and 13th crops, respectively) was conducted in a solar greenhouse,
[...] Read more.
Soil-related obstacles resulting from continuous monoculture have limited the sustainable development of the tomato industry in China. An experiment on tomatoes with seven continuous monoculture treatments (the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 11th, and 13th crops, respectively) was conducted in a solar greenhouse, to investigate the influence of monoculture on soil quality. Most soil quality indicators first increased and then decreased with increasing continuous monoculture crops, and significant differences among crops were observed. Indicators at the 13th crop were significantly lower than those at the other crops in terms of average well color development (AWCD), substrate richness (S), the Shannon diversity index (H), and the McIntosh index (U) of the soil microbial community (SMC), soil urease (UR), and neutral phosphatase (N-PHO) activities, and available nitrogen (AN) and potassium (AK). However, fungal abundance (FUN) at the 13th crop was significantly higher than that at the other crops. As principal component analysis (PCA) revealed, SMC functional diversity at the 1st, 11th, and 13th crops were similar, and were obviously distinguished from those at the other crops. Moreover, the tomato yield was significantly and positively correlated with soil-available potassium and SMC functional diversity indexes. Our findings indicated that short-term continuous monoculture, e.g., for fewer than seven or nine crops, was beneficial for soil quality improvement. However, continuous monoculture for greater than 11 crops had adverse effects on soil enzyme activities, soil microbial abundances, soil chemical properties, soil SMC functional diversity, and the tomato yield, particularly at the 13th crop. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Science in Conservation Agricultural Systems)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Influence of Road Patterns on PM2.5 Concentrations and the Available Solutions: The Case of Beijing City, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 217; doi:10.3390/su9020217
Received: 22 November 2016 / Revised: 19 January 2017 / Accepted: 25 January 2017 / Published: 7 February 2017
PDF Full-text (7977 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With the increase in urbanization and energy consumption, PM2.5 has become a major pollutant. This paper investigates the impact of road patterns on PM2.5 pollution in Beijing, focusing on two questions: Do road patterns significantly affect PM2.5 concentrations? How do
[...] Read more.
With the increase in urbanization and energy consumption, PM2.5 has become a major pollutant. This paper investigates the impact of road patterns on PM2.5 pollution in Beijing, focusing on two questions: Do road patterns significantly affect PM2.5 concentrations? How do road patterns affect PM2.5 concentrations? A land-use regression model (LUR model) is used to quantify the associations between PM2.5 concentrations, and road patterns, land-use patterns, and population density. Then, in the condition of excluding other factors closely correlated to PM2.5 concentrations, based on the results of the regression model, further research is conducted to explore the relationship between PM2.5 concentrations and the types, densities, and layouts of road networks, through the controlling variables method. The results are as follows: (1) the regression coefficient of road patterns is significantly higher than the water area, population density, and transport facilities, indicating that road patterns have an obvious influence on PM2.5 concentrations; (2) under the same traffic carrying capacity, the layout of “a tight network of streets and small blocks” is superior to that of “a sparse network of streets and big blocks”; (3) the grade proportion of urban roads impacts the road patterns’ rationality, and a high percentage of branch roads and secondary roads could decrease PM2.5 concentrations. These findings could provide a reference for the improvement of the traffic structure and air quality of Beijing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle An Integrated Approach to Evaluating and Selecting Green Logistics Providers for Sustainable Development
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 218; doi:10.3390/su9020218
Received: 23 November 2016 / Revised: 22 January 2017 / Accepted: 27 January 2017 / Published: 6 February 2017
PDF Full-text (769 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Balancing economic development with environmental protection has become a critical concern worldwide. However, along with the highly competitively global marketplace, economic factors are known to directly affect an enterprise’s development and its future business. Therefore, selecting the right partner for sustainable collaboration that
[...] Read more.
Balancing economic development with environmental protection has become a critical concern worldwide. However, along with the highly competitively global marketplace, economic factors are known to directly affect an enterprise’s development and its future business. Therefore, selecting the right partner for sustainable collaboration that will lead to improved business performance and reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions is a significant problem for many enterprises. In addition, investigating the economic impact of companies that are charged to protect the environment is becoming increasingly problematic. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to evaluate the comparative efficiencies of 16 Green Logistics Providers (GLPs) in the USA from 2012 to 2015, and the projected four-year period of 2016–2019, by means of an integrated approach that combines the grey forecasting model GM (1,1) and Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA). The results show that there are two GLPs, Knight Transportation and the Union Pacific Corporation, that possess a higher efficiency level and are achieving positive technical change. However, this study also determined that Hyster-Yale Materials Handling and CSX Corporation did not reach an acceptable efficiency score; therefore, they should improve technical efficiency to mitigate environmental concerns. This completely integrative methodology has the potential to provide the best decision-making strategies for finding suitable collaborative partners who are able to meet the sustainability requirements in most economic and environmental areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Manufacturing)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Carbon Dioxide Emission Evaluation of Porous Vegetation Concrete Blocks for Ecological Restoration Projects
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 318; doi:10.3390/su9020318
Received: 25 December 2016 / Revised: 2 February 2017 / Accepted: 16 February 2017 / Published: 22 February 2017
PDF Full-text (1702 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to determine the mix proportions that can minimize CO2 emissions while satisfying the target performance of porous vegetation concrete. The target performance of porous vegetation concrete was selected as compressive strength (>15 MPa) and void ratio
[...] Read more.
The purpose of this study is to determine the mix proportions that can minimize CO2 emissions while satisfying the target performance of porous vegetation concrete. The target performance of porous vegetation concrete was selected as compressive strength (>15 MPa) and void ratio (>25%). This study considered the use of reinforcing fiber and styrene butadiene (SB) latex to improve the strength of porous vegetation concrete, as well as the use of blast furnace slag aggregate to improve the CO2 emissions-reducing effect, and analyzed and evaluated the influence of fiber reinforcing, SB latex, and blast furnace slag aggregate on the compressive strength and CO2 emissions of porous vegetation concrete. The CO2 emissions of the raw materials were highest for cement, followed by aggregate, SB latex, and fiber. Blast furnace slag aggregate showed a 30% or more CO2 emissions-reducing effect versus crushed aggregate, and blast furnace slag cement showed a 78% CO2 emissions-reducing effect versus Portland cement. The CO2 emissions analyses for each raw material showed that the CO2 emissions during transportation were highest for the aggregate. Regarding CO2 emissions in each production stage, the materials stage produced the highest CO2 emissions, while the proportion of CO2 emissions in the transportation stage for each raw material, excluding fiber, were below 3% of total emissions. Use of blast furnace slag aggregate in porous vegetation concrete produced CO2 emissions-reducing effects, but decreased its compressive strength. Use of latex in porous vegetation concrete improved its compressive strength, but also increased CO2 emissions. Thus, it is appropriate to use latex in porous vegetation concrete to improve its strength and void ratio, and to use a blast furnace slag aggregate replacement ratio of 40% or less. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Rebound Effect or Induced Demand? Analyzing the Compound Dual Effects on VMT in the U.S.
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 219; doi:10.3390/su9020219
Received: 1 December 2016 / Revised: 17 January 2017 / Accepted: 24 January 2017 / Published: 7 February 2017
PDF Full-text (1138 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This research explored the dual influence of fuel efficiency and roadway capacity on vehicle distance traveled. The empirical study was conducted by applying a generalized least square (GLS) analysis to the U.S. state-level panel data of fuel efficiency, roadway lane-miles, and vehicle miles
[...] Read more.
This research explored the dual influence of fuel efficiency and roadway capacity on vehicle distance traveled. The empirical study was conducted by applying a generalized least square (GLS) analysis to the U.S. state-level panel data of fuel efficiency, roadway lane-miles, and vehicle miles traveled (VMT) for over three decades (1980–2010). The analysis confirmed the co-existence of rebound effect and induced demand on driving distances over the decades—improved fuel efficiency and expanded roadway capacity caused additional vehicle distance traveled, partially offsetting the benefits of the measures taken. Furthermore, the results showed that the magnitude of each effect would be unjustifiably overestimated if this dual influence was not taken into consideration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Healthcare Waste Generation Worldwide and Its Dependence on Socio-Economic and Environmental Factors
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 220; doi:10.3390/su9020220
Received: 24 November 2016 / Revised: 24 January 2017 / Accepted: 3 February 2017 / Published: 6 February 2017
PDF Full-text (1181 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper examines the dependence of the healthcare waste (HCW) generation rate on several social-economic and environmental parameters. Correlations were calculated between the quantities of healthcare waste generated (expressed in kg/bed/day) versus economic indices (GDP, healthcare expenditure per capita), social indices (HDI, IHDI,
[...] Read more.
This paper examines the dependence of the healthcare waste (HCW) generation rate on several social-economic and environmental parameters. Correlations were calculated between the quantities of healthcare waste generated (expressed in kg/bed/day) versus economic indices (GDP, healthcare expenditure per capita), social indices (HDI, IHDI, MPI, life expectancy, mean years of schooling, HIV prevalence, deaths due to tuberculosis and malaria, and under five mortality rate), and an environmental sustainability index (total CO2 emissions) from 42 countries worldwide. The statistical analysis included the examination of the normality of the data and the formation of linear multiple regression models to further investigate the correlation between those indices and HCW generation rates. Pearson and Spearman correlation coefficients were also calculated for all pairwise comparisons. Results showed that the life expectancy, the HDI, the mean years of schooling and the CO2 emissions positively affect the HCW generation rates and can be used as statistical predictors of those rates. The resulting best reduced regression model included the life expectancy and the CO2 emissions and explained 85% of the variability of the response. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Solid Waste Management)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Achieving a Sustainable Urban Form through Land Use Optimisation: Insights from Bekasi City’s Land-Use Plan (2010–2030)
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 221; doi:10.3390/su9020221
Received: 2 December 2016 / Revised: 1 February 2017 / Accepted: 3 February 2017 / Published: 6 February 2017
PDF Full-text (3369 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cities worldwide have been trying to achieve a sustainable urban form to handle their rapid urban growth. Many sustainable urban forms have been studied and two of them, the compact city and the eco city, were chosen in this study as urban form
[...] Read more.
Cities worldwide have been trying to achieve a sustainable urban form to handle their rapid urban growth. Many sustainable urban forms have been studied and two of them, the compact city and the eco city, were chosen in this study as urban form foundations. Based on these forms, four sustainable city criteria (compactness, compatibility, dependency, and suitability) were considered as necessary functions for land use optimisation. This study presents a land use optimisation as a method for achieving a sustainable urban form. Three optimisation methods (particle swarm optimisation, genetic algorithms, and a local search method) were combined into a single hybrid optimisation method for land use in Bekasi city, Indonesia. It was also used for examining Bekasi city’s land-use-plan (2010–2030) after optimising current (2015) and future land use (2030). After current land use optimisation, the score of sustainable city criteria increased significantly. Three important centres of land use (commercial, industrial, and residential) were also created through clustering the results. These centres were slightly different from centres of the city plan zones. Additional land uses in 2030 were predicted using a nonlinear autoregressive neural network with external input. Three scenarios were used for allocating these additional land uses including sustainable development, government policy, and business-as-usual. Future land use allocation in 2030 found that the sustainable development scenario showed better performance compared to government policy and business-as-usual scenarios. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maintaining Ecosystem Services to Support Urban Needs)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle How to Set the Allowance Benchmarking for Cement Industry in China’s Carbon Market: Marginal Analysis and the Case of the Hubei Emission Trading Pilot
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 322; doi:10.3390/su9020322
Received: 24 January 2017 / Revised: 16 February 2017 / Accepted: 17 February 2017 / Published: 22 February 2017
PDF Full-text (1451 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Greenhouse gas (GHG) benchmarking for allocation serves as rewards for early actions in mitigating GHG emissions by using more advanced technologies. China Hubei launched the carbon emission trading pilot in 2014, with the cement industry represented as a major contributor to the GHG
[...] Read more.
Greenhouse gas (GHG) benchmarking for allocation serves as rewards for early actions in mitigating GHG emissions by using more advanced technologies. China Hubei launched the carbon emission trading pilot in 2014, with the cement industry represented as a major contributor to the GHG emissions in Hubei. This article is set to establish a general benchmarking framework by describing and calculating the marginal abatement cost curve (MACC) and marginal revenue and then comparing the different GHG benchmarking approaches for the cement industry in the Hubei Emission Trading Pilot (Hubei ETS) case. Based on the comparison of three GHG benchmarking approaches, the Waxman-Markey standard, the European Union Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS) cement benchmarking, and the benchmarking approach applied in California Cap-and-Trade program, it is found that; (1) the Waxman-Markey benchmark is too loose to apply in Hubei as it provides little incentive for companies to mitigate; (2) the EU ETS benchmark approach fits the current cement industry in Hubei ETS; and (3) the GHG benchmarking standard in the California Cap-and-Trade Program is the most stringent standard and drives the direction of the future development for Hubei ETS. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Manufacturers’ Closed-Loop Orientation for Green Supply Chain Management
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 222; doi:10.3390/su9020222
Received: 26 August 2016 / Revised: 26 January 2017 / Accepted: 30 January 2017 / Published: 7 February 2017
PDF Full-text (1891 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The concept of green supply chain management (GSCM) is still in its infancy and has been implemented only to a limited extent. Strategic orientation is an important factor affecting its implementation. No reliable and valid strategic orientation construct has been developed for greening
[...] Read more.
The concept of green supply chain management (GSCM) is still in its infancy and has been implemented only to a limited extent. Strategic orientation is an important factor affecting its implementation. No reliable and valid strategic orientation construct has been developed for greening a supply chain. This study proposes closed-loop orientation (CLO) as the appropriate strategic orientation to implement GSCM practices successfully and develops a valid measurement of CLO. Data collected from 296 Chinese manufacturers were analyzed using the structural equation modeling method to examine the relationships among CLO, GSCM practice and environmental and economic performance. The results show that both CLO and GSCM have positive effects on the environmental performance and economic performance and that CLO positively impacts the level of implementation of GSCM. The results also show that GSCM completely mediates the relationships between CLO and environmental and economic performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Effectiveness Evaluation for a Commercialized PV-Assisted Charging Station
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 323; doi:10.3390/su9020323
Received: 19 January 2017 / Revised: 15 February 2017 / Accepted: 17 February 2017 / Published: 22 February 2017
PDF Full-text (3169 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Photovoltaic–assisted Charging Station (PVCS) is regarded as one of the most promising charging facilities for future electric vehicle (EV) energy supplementation. In this paper, the operation mode and profitability of a commercialized PVCS are analyzed under the energy policy of China. In
[...] Read more.
The Photovoltaic–assisted Charging Station (PVCS) is regarded as one of the most promising charging facilities for future electric vehicle (EV) energy supplementation. In this paper, the operation mode and profitability of a commercialized PVCS are analyzed under the energy policy of China. In order to evaluate the long-term effectiveness of using the PVCS to provide guidance for the investors of the stations, a set of evaluation indexes is introduced, including the quality of service, the environmental and economic benefits, and the impacts on the grid. Furthermore, an easily-achieved charging strategy which considers the quality of service and the self-consumption of PV energy is proposed. Finally, an effectiveness evaluation for different operational scenarios of the PVCS is completed, based on the actual statistical data. The simulation and evaluation results indicate that the PVCS has the potential to produce satisfactory environmental/economic benefits and to reduce the impacts and dependence of an EV’s charging load on the grid. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solar Photovoltaic Electricity)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Extraction of Pressurized Gas in Low Air-Conductivity Coal Seam Using Drainage Roadway
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 223; doi:10.3390/su9020223
Received: 2 October 2016 / Revised: 22 January 2017 / Accepted: 25 January 2017 / Published: 7 February 2017
PDF Full-text (2139 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A drainage roadway was constructed in the fractured zone beside an air-return roadway of a mining site. However, drainage roadways serve only one working face and are discarded after mining, thus weakening sustainable mining practices. To improve the sustainability at mining sites, this
[...] Read more.
A drainage roadway was constructed in the fractured zone beside an air-return roadway of a mining site. However, drainage roadways serve only one working face and are discarded after mining, thus weakening sustainable mining practices. To improve the sustainability at mining sites, this paper proposes a new drainage roadway that can serve two adjacent working faces. A schematic layout of the proposed lateral high drainage roadway (LHDR) is presented. The LHDR can be used to extract pressurized gas from two neighboring mining zones. A theoretical study, numerical simulation, and field observations were performed to identify the mining-induced fractures and stress distribution. The layout of the LHDR and the optimal position of the extraction boreholes were derived considering the geological conditions in the Liyazhuang Coal Mine in China. A borehole and LHDR were installed at the specified mining site and the rock displacement of the LHDR and gas concentration at branch pipelines, boreholes of the LHDR, and upper part of the working face were monitored during mining. The performance of the LHDR was validated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
Figures

Figure 1a

Open AccessArticle Effects of Land Use Change for Crops on Water and Carbon Budgets in the Midwest USA
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 225; doi:10.3390/su9020225
Received: 15 December 2016 / Revised: 29 January 2017 / Accepted: 31 January 2017 / Published: 7 February 2017
PDF Full-text (3161 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Increasing demand for food and bioenergy has altered the global landscape dramatically in recent years. Land use and land cover change affects the environmental system in many ways through biophysical and biogeochemical mechanisms. In this study, we evaluate the impacts of land use
[...] Read more.
Increasing demand for food and bioenergy has altered the global landscape dramatically in recent years. Land use and land cover change affects the environmental system in many ways through biophysical and biogeochemical mechanisms. In this study, we evaluate the impacts of land use and land cover change driven by recent crop expansion and conversion on the water budget, carbon exchange, and carbon storage in the Midwest USA. A dynamic global vegetation model was used to simulate and examine the impacts of landscape change in a historical case based on crop distribution data from the United States Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Services. The simulation results indicate that recent crop expansion not only decreased soil carbon sequestration (60 Tg less of soil organic carbon) and net carbon flux into ecosystems (3.7 Tg·year−1 less of net biome productivity), but also lessened water consumption through evapotranspiration (1.04 × 1010 m3·year−1 less) over 12 states in the Midwest. More water yield at the land surface does not necessarily make more water available for vegetation. Crop residue removal might also exacerbate the soil carbon loss. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Restructuring the Vietnamese Rice Sector: Towards Increasing Sustainability
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 325; doi:10.3390/su9020325
Received: 29 November 2016 / Revised: 31 January 2017 / Accepted: 9 February 2017 / Published: 22 February 2017
PDF Full-text (835 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Although Vietnam is one of the biggest rice exporters today, there is an urgent need to restructure the sector. To guide the transition from being a quantity-focused producer to a credible supplier of quality rice, this study explores the sector’s opportunities for sustainable
[...] Read more.
Although Vietnam is one of the biggest rice exporters today, there is an urgent need to restructure the sector. To guide the transition from being a quantity-focused producer to a credible supplier of quality rice, this study explores the sector’s opportunities for sustainable value chain upgrading. Data was collected through focus group discussions with farmers, stacked surveys with rice value chain stakeholders, and a participatory workshop bringing several value chain actors together. Stakeholders perceive the sector’s capability to grasp opportunities (including growing export and domestic markets) to be higher than its resilience to potential threats (including more stringent food safety regulations and climate change). Three strategies are discussed for making rice value chains more sustainable; embodying sustainability in the product through certified sustainable production labels; internalizing sustainable production standards through vertical coordination (e.g., contract farming); and disembodying sustainability through book and claim certificate trading. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Implementation of Sustainable Tourism in the German Alps: A Case Study
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 226; doi:10.3390/su9020226
Received: 17 December 2016 / Revised: 22 January 2017 / Accepted: 1 February 2017 / Published: 8 February 2017
PDF Full-text (214 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
What are the processes behind efforts for more sustainable mountain destinations in the German Alps and what are the views of different tourism stakeholders on these processes? The research deals both with threats pushing the agenda of sustainable development (such as climate change
[...] Read more.
What are the processes behind efforts for more sustainable mountain destinations in the German Alps and what are the views of different tourism stakeholders on these processes? The research deals both with threats pushing the agenda of sustainable development (such as climate change and depletion of resources), indicators of sustainable tourism (to measure the scope of change), as well as cross-border cooperation and stakeholder engagement in the German Alps. The data was collected through 30 interviews with individuals dealing with tourism development and sustainable tourism development in the German Alps. The findings suggest that a holistic approach and collection and dissemination of data and knowledge on sustainability are the basis for developing sustainable mountain tourism. Implementation and monitoring should focus on specific flagship sustainable tourism products, as well as on a destination in a broader sense and the sustainable tourism market. Three themes emerged as important for implementation of sustainable tourism in the German Alps: indicators of sustainable tourism, cross-border cooperation and stakeholder engagement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Tourism in Mountain Regions)
Open AccessArticle Malagasy Conservationists and Environmental Educators: Life Paths into Conservation
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 227; doi:10.3390/su9020227
Received: 20 December 2016 / Revised: 25 January 2017 / Accepted: 1 February 2017 / Published: 8 February 2017
PDF Full-text (218 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In a globally fast-changing world, dedicated conservationists play a central role in societies moving towards the achievement of sustainable development. How do people become advocates for nature? Research suggests that childhood experiences in natural places are core determinants for the development of environmental
[...] Read more.
In a globally fast-changing world, dedicated conservationists play a central role in societies moving towards the achievement of sustainable development. How do people become advocates for nature? Research suggests that childhood experiences in natural places are core determinants for the development of environmental stewardship. In many developing countries, however, access to intact natural environments is limited. This study explores formative influences on individuals who actively contribute to nature conservation and environmental education (EE) in Madagascar. We conducted nine semi-structured interviews with participants in a national EE workshop. Formative experiences were reported mainly from university years, and influential persons were researchers and high school teachers, many from abroad. The media also play a considerable role, while negative experiences, familial influences, or experience of natural areas during childhood were rarely mentioned. In contrast to former studies, the results suggest that direct experiences of nature can still be decisive in determining a young person’s path as a dedicated environmental practitioner during young adulthood. Role models who are active in the conservation and sustainable development fields can compensate for a lack of familial models. These findings might require a rethinking of current educational practices in Madagascar because children might not be the only important group to target with educational interventions. Full article
Open AccessArticle Synergistic Effects of n-Hexane Fraction of Parkia biglobosa (Jacq.) Bark Extract and Selected Antibiotics on Bacterial Isolates
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 228; doi:10.3390/su9020228
Received: 21 December 2016 / Revised: 22 January 2017 / Accepted: 25 January 2017 / Published: 8 February 2017
PDF Full-text (3810 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The incidence of resistance to commonly used antimicrobial agents by microbial pathogens demands increased effort in the development of effective ways of treating infections and diseases. The n-hexane fraction of lyophilized crude bark extract of Parkia biglobosa (Jacq.) was prepared and, in
[...] Read more.
The incidence of resistance to commonly used antimicrobial agents by microbial pathogens demands increased effort in the development of effective ways of treating infections and diseases. The n-hexane fraction of lyophilized crude bark extract of Parkia biglobosa (Jacq.) was prepared and, in combination with selected antibiotics, assayed for antimicrobial activity against some selected bacterial pathogens using time-kill assay. Protein leakage analysis of the combined agents was performed using Bradford protein quantification method. Determination of active compounds present in the n-hexane fraction was done using Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR). While time-kill assay detected 43.33% synergy; 56.67% indifference and no antagonism at 1/2 × minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC), 1 × MIC exhibited 55% synergy, 45% indifference and no antagonism. Protein leakages from the cells of selected bacteria ranged from 1.20 µg/mL to 256.93 µg/mL. The presence of a phenyl group, an aromatic ring and phenolic compounds in the n-hexane fraction was confirmed at 2162 cm−1–2020 cm−1, 1605 cm−1–1533 cm−1 and 1438 cm−1–1444 cm−1 spectra peaks, respectively. The observed antibiotic−n-hexane fraction synergistic interaction revealed the improved antibacterial activity of the selected antibiotics. Hence, exploration of a combination of antibiotics with plant secondary metabolites is hereby advocated in the global quest for means of combating infectious diseases caused by multidrug-resistant pathogens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development Initiatives towards Poverty Alleviation)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle The Monetary Valuation of Environmental Externalities through the Analysis of Real Estate Prices
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 229; doi:10.3390/su9020229
Received: 17 October 2016 / Revised: 13 January 2017 / Accepted: 25 January 2017 / Published: 8 February 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1157 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper proposes a theoretical model of evaluation of environmental externalities based on the analysis of real estate prices. This issue is included in regional planning policies which include activities and interventions that produce economic and non-economic effects. The monetary assessment of economic
[...] Read more.
This paper proposes a theoretical model of evaluation of environmental externalities based on the analysis of real estate prices. This issue is included in regional planning policies which include activities and interventions that produce economic and non-economic effects. The monetary assessment of economic and non-economic effects can be expressed as a forecast (ex ante) and/or following (ex post) such activities and interventions. The assessment of the economic impact, with particular reference to interventions and infrastructure work, is widely based on procedures which make use of market prices. The proposed model was applied to an actual case, considering the effects of noise pollution, produced by traffic from the Naples Beltway, on residential property. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Impacts of Natural Disasters on Swedish Electric Power Policy: A Case Study
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 230; doi:10.3390/su9020230
Received: 23 December 2016 / Revised: 2 February 2017 / Accepted: 4 February 2017 / Published: 8 February 2017
PDF Full-text (2632 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The future of climate and sustainable energy are interrelated. Speaking of one without mentioning the other is quite difficult. The increasing number of natural disasters pose a great threat to the electric power supply security in any part of the world. Sweden has
[...] Read more.
The future of climate and sustainable energy are interrelated. Speaking of one without mentioning the other is quite difficult. The increasing number of natural disasters pose a great threat to the electric power supply security in any part of the world. Sweden has been one of the countries that have suffered from unacceptably long blackouts. The tremendous outcomes of the power interruptions have made the field of the economic worth of electric power reliability a popular area of interest among researchers. Nature has been the number one enemy against the supply security of the electricity. This paper introduces a recent and thorough electric power reliability analysis of Sweden and focuses on the country’s struggle against climate change-related natural disasters via updating the country’s electric power policy to improve its service quality. The paper highlights the Gudrun storm of 2005 as a case study to demonstrate the severe impacts of extreme weather events on the energy systems. The economic damage of the storm on the electric power service calculated to be around 3 billion euros. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Mapping the Distribution Pattern of Gentrification near Urban Parks in the Case of Gyeongui Line Forest Park, Seoul, Korea
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 231; doi:10.3390/su9020231
Received: 26 December 2016 / Revised: 2 February 2017 / Accepted: 6 February 2017 / Published: 9 February 2017
PDF Full-text (6552 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The objective of this study was to map the distribution pattern of gentrification, showing the adverse effect of urban parks. The study adopted the perspective that urban parks, which have thus far been featured in urban planning without much criticism, may actually bring
[...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to map the distribution pattern of gentrification, showing the adverse effect of urban parks. The study adopted the perspective that urban parks, which have thus far been featured in urban planning without much criticism, may actually bring about unintended effects. This study employed a theory of gentrification that has received increasing interest in urban sociology to investigate the other side of the gentrification phenomenon. We identified urban parks as the cause of the gentrification from the start, and verified and visualised the phenomenon in the case of the Gyeongui Line Forest Park. We determined that the area with the higher possibility of gentrification was that within 600 m of the park. Big data accumulated over the past decade were used to prepare a proactive, systematic procedure to address gentrification, which is materialising in diverse forms. Through this study, we contribute to debates on the environmental justice of urban parks. Small changes in urban space can strongly affect our healthy lifestyles and urban sustainability. From this perspective, our study’s research process and its results could provide indications of how to structure and manage new urban planning projects in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Exploring the Use of Unprocessed Waste Chicken Eggshells for UV-Protective Applications
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 232; doi:10.3390/su9020232
Received: 13 December 2016 / Revised: 26 January 2017 / Accepted: 4 February 2017 / Published: 9 February 2017
PDF Full-text (2823 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Photodegradation causes a steady loss of the useful physical, mechanical and optical properties of materials, necessitating their replacement over time. Because UV (Ultraviolet) light is most harmful in this regard, many materials now contain UV-protective additives. However, these additives are not always effective
[...] Read more.
Photodegradation causes a steady loss of the useful physical, mechanical and optical properties of materials, necessitating their replacement over time. Because UV (Ultraviolet) light is most harmful in this regard, many materials now contain UV-protective additives. However, these additives are not always effective and durable, can be expensive, and their natural extraction or synthetic production can be harmful to the environment. Here, we investigated the use of unprocessed chicken eggshells in providing UV protection to two commonly used synthetic polymers: polystyrene and nylon. We show that unprocessed chicken eggshells provide a durable and effective UV protection. Our data sets the stage for future research to find a practical way to use the large amounts of unprocessed chicken eggshell waste as novel, economically appealing and environmentally friendly UV-protective additives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Can Australia Power the Energy-Hungry Asia with Renewable Energy?
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 233; doi:10.3390/su9020233
Received: 20 December 2016 / Revised: 1 February 2017 / Accepted: 3 February 2017 / Published: 8 February 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (4742 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The Paris Agreement points out that countries need to shift away from the existing fossil-fuel-based energy system to limit the average temperature rise to 1.5 or 2 °C. A cost-optimal 100% renewable energy based system is simulated for East Asia for the year
[...] Read more.
The Paris Agreement points out that countries need to shift away from the existing fossil-fuel-based energy system to limit the average temperature rise to 1.5 or 2 °C. A cost-optimal 100% renewable energy based system is simulated for East Asia for the year 2030, covering demand by power, desalination, and industrial gas sectors on an hourly basis for an entire year. East Asia was divided into 20 sub-regions and four different scenarios were set up based on the level of high voltage grid connection, and additional demand sectors: power, desalination, industrial gas, and a renewable-energy-based synthetic natural gas (RE-SNG) trading between regions. The integrated RE-SNG scenario gives the lowest cost of electricity (€52/MWh) and the lowest total annual cost of the system. Results contradict the notion that long-distance power lines could be beneficial to utilize the abundant solar and wind resources in Australia for East Asia. However, Australia could become a liquefaction hub for exporting RE-SNG to Asia and a 100% renewable energy system could be a reality in East Asia with the cost assumptions used. This may also be more cost-competitive than nuclear and fossil fuel carbon capture and storage alternatives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Renewable Electricity)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmentally Sound Technology in Endogenous Firm Growth
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 234; doi:10.3390/su9020234
Received: 14 November 2016 / Revised: 18 January 2017 / Accepted: 27 January 2017 / Published: 10 February 2017
PDF Full-text (232 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We have entered the “New Normal” economy, with more emphasis on economic growth driven by innovation than resource. This paper investigates the impacts of firms considering corporate social responsibility and environmentally sound technology by building a three-stage Cournot competition model with asymmetric cost.
[...] Read more.
We have entered the “New Normal” economy, with more emphasis on economic growth driven by innovation than resource. This paper investigates the impacts of firms considering corporate social responsibility and environmentally sound technology by building a three-stage Cournot competition model with asymmetric cost. The sustainable development of economic and endogenous firm growth achieves the win–win result in the theoretical model. Using data from 31 firms in China, this paper empirically researches on the relationships among corporate social responsibility, environmentally sound technology and firm endogenous growth. The results show that: (1) Marginal cost decreased with the increase of innovation, as well as getting government research and development subsidy, which has a positive effect on firm growth. (2) Consumers respond positively to corporate social responsibility initiative, the reputation of the firm can be improved. At the same time, environmentally sound technology objectively reduces the marginal cost of competitors because of the technology spillover. (3) Profit of a firm undertaking corporate social responsibility partly decreases, which has a negative effect on firm growth. The contradiction between corporate social responsibility and profit of firm could be adjusted, such as socially responsible investment fund hosed by institutional investors. Full article
Open AccessArticle Urbanization and Socioeconomic Development in Inner Mongolia in 2000 and 2010: A GIS Analysis
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 235; doi:10.3390/su9020235
Received: 7 December 2016 / Revised: 3 February 2017 / Accepted: 3 February 2017 / Published: 10 February 2017
PDF Full-text (996 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Economic indicators and other indices measuring overall development describe local development trajectories differently. In this paper, we illustrated this difference and explored how urbanization is related to development by a case study in Inner Mongolia, China. We calculated the human development index (HDI)
[...] Read more.
Economic indicators and other indices measuring overall development describe local development trajectories differently. In this paper, we illustrated this difference and explored how urbanization is related to development by a case study in Inner Mongolia, China. We calculated the human development index (HDI) and compared the temporal and spatial dynamics of the overall development (represented by the HDI) and economic growth (represented by the GDP) in 2000 and 2010. We conducted partial correlation analysis between the HDI and urbanization rate whilst controlling for the effects of the GDP. Our results showed that the spatial pattern of the HDI was little in 2000 and became clearer in 2010 when the western part tended to have higher values and the northeastern part tended to have lower values. The spatial trend for the GDP was obvious in 2000 as the high values clustered in the northwest and the low values clustered in the southeast but became less obvious in 2010 when high values clustered in several counties in the southwest and low values took up almost the entire northeast and some counties in the middle. Furthermore, we found that the HDI of all the city districts were significantly higher than their surrounding rural counties in both 2000 and 2010. Urbanization rates are found to be positively correlated with the HDI even when we controlled the effects of the GDP (p < 0.001). This study illustrated that the HDI and GDP told different stories on local performance in development at the county level. Translating the fast economic growth into an improvement in education and health relies on many other factors and our results seem to suggest that urbanization is one of these factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle A New Optimization Model for the Sustainable Development: Quadratic Knapsack Problem with Conflict Graphs
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 236; doi:10.3390/su9020236
Received: 12 December 2016 / Revised: 24 January 2017 / Accepted: 4 February 2017 / Published: 9 February 2017
PDF Full-text (263 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
New information technology constantly improves the efficiency of social networks. Using optimization and decision models in the context of large data sets attracts extensive attention. This paper investigates a novel mathematical model for designing and optimizing environmental economic policies in a protection zone.
[...] Read more.
New information technology constantly improves the efficiency of social networks. Using optimization and decision models in the context of large data sets attracts extensive attention. This paper investigates a novel mathematical model for designing and optimizing environmental economic policies in a protection zone. The proposed model is referred to as the quadratic knapsack problem with conflict graphs, which is a new variant of the knapsack problem family. Due to the investigated problem processing a high complex structure, in order to solve efficiently the problem, we develop a metaheuristic which is based on the large neighborhood search. The proposed method embeds a construction procedure into a sophistical neighborhood search. For more details, the construction procedure takes charge of finding a starting solution while the investigated neighborhood search is used to generate and explore the solution space issuing from the provided starting solution. In order to highlight our theoretical model, we evaluate the model on a set of complex benchmark data sets. The obtained results demonstrate that the investigated algorithm is competitive and efficient compared to legacy algorithms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Ecosystems and Society in the Context of Big and New Data)
Open AccessArticle The Influence of Household Heterogeneity Factors on the Green Travel Behavior of Urban Residents in the East China Region
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 237; doi:10.3390/su9020237
Received: 30 November 2016 / Revised: 24 January 2017 / Accepted: 3 February 2017 / Published: 10 February 2017
PDF Full-text (3335 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A questionnaire survey was conducted with 1475 urban residents in the east region of China to explore the impact of household heterogeneity factors on the green travel behavior of urban residents. The green travel behavior was divided into practice-based and promotion-based green travel
[...] Read more.
A questionnaire survey was conducted with 1475 urban residents in the east region of China to explore the impact of household heterogeneity factors on the green travel behavior of urban residents. The green travel behavior was divided into practice-based and promotion-based green travel behavior, and the results showed that variables including gender, age, educational background, household monthly income, amount of cars, professional status, positional tiers and housing ownership were correlated with both of the two types of green travel behavior significantly. Variables that included having elderly family members or not, having children or not, and position level were only correlated with practice-based green travel behavior significantly. Moreover, the study found that the variables female, elderly and young, highly educated, low-income, low professional status, low positional tiers, low positional status, house-renting, not having elderly family members or children and having fewer cars had a significantly positive impact on green travel behavior. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Efficiency of Iron-Based Oxy-Hydroxides in Removing Antimony from Groundwater to Levels below the Drinking Water Regulation Limits
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 238; doi:10.3390/su9020238
Received: 22 November 2016 / Revised: 16 January 2017 / Accepted: 5 February 2017 / Published: 10 February 2017
PDF Full-text (3041 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study evaluates the efficiency of iron-based oxy-hydroxides to remove antimony from groundwater to meet the requirements of drinking water regulations. Results obtained by batch adsorption experiments indicated that the qualified iron oxy-hydroxide (FeOOH), synthesized at pH 4 for maintaining a high positive
[...] Read more.
This study evaluates the efficiency of iron-based oxy-hydroxides to remove antimony from groundwater to meet the requirements of drinking water regulations. Results obtained by batch adsorption experiments indicated that the qualified iron oxy-hydroxide (FeOOH), synthesized at pH 4 for maintaining a high positive charge density (2.5 mmol OH/g) achieved a residual concentration of Sb(III) below the EU drinking water regulation limit of 5 μg/L by providing an adsorption capacity of 3.1 mg/g. This is more than twice greater compared either to similar commercial FeOOHs (GFH, Bayoxide) or to tetravalent manganese feroxyhyte (Fe-MnOOH) adsorbents. In contrast, all tested adsorbents failed to achieve a residual concentration below 5 μg/L for Sb(V). The higher efficiency of the qualified FeOOH was confirmed by rapid small-scale column tests, since an adsorption capacity of 3 mg Sb(III)/g was determined at a breakthrough concentration of 5 μg/L. However, it completely failed to achieve Sb(V) concentrations below 5 μg/L even at the beginning of the column experiments. The results of leaching tests classified the spent qualified FeOOH to inert wastes. Considering the rapid kinetics of this process (i.e., 85% of total removal was performed within 10 min), the developed qualified adsorbent may be promoted as a prospective material for point-of-use Sb(III) removal from water in vulnerable communities, since the adsorbent’s cost was estimated to be close to 30 ± 3.4 €/103 m3 for every 10 μg Sb(III)/L removed. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Spatial Variability and Ecological Effects of Anthropogenic Activities in a Nature Reserve: A Case Study in the Baijitan National Nature Reserve, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 239; doi:10.3390/su9020239
Received: 31 December 2016 / Accepted: 6 February 2017 / Published: 9 February 2017
PDF Full-text (2182 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Nature reserves play an essential role in protecting natural resources and maintaining an ecological balance. However, certain nature reserves are increasingly disturbed by human activities in the form of settlements, roads, farmland, etc. How to monitor the status of nature reserves by using
[...] Read more.
Nature reserves play an essential role in protecting natural resources and maintaining an ecological balance. However, certain nature reserves are increasingly disturbed by human activities in the form of settlements, roads, farmland, etc. How to monitor the status of nature reserves by using remote sensing methods has been a focus of scholars for a long time. In this study, remote sensing satellite images from 2009 and 2014 were used to extract and analyze the distribution of anthropogenic activities, such as agriculture, industry, residency, traffic, and other human activities. On this basis, the Nature Reserve Human Interference (NRHI) and landscape indices (LI) were calculated to describe the intensity of anthropogenic disturbance; in addition, the slope and aspect were analyzed to describe the regularity in the distribution of anthropogenic activities. The results showed that more than 90% of the anthropogenic activity occurred in the experimental and buffer zones. Likewise, the NRHI increased from 0.0901 in 2009 to 0.1127 in 2014. The NRHI was proportional to the patch density (PD), landscape shape index (LSI), landscape division index (DIVISION), Shannon’s diversity index (SHDI), and Shannon′s evenness index (SHEI), and it was inversely proportional to the contagion index (CONTAG). Moreover, 84.54% of the anthropogenic activity occurred in a range from 0 to 3.6 degrees, and 14.44% of the activity occurred in a range from 3.6 to 7.2 degrees. More than 60% of the anthropogenic activity occurred on sunny slopes because of the human adaptability to the environment and the possibility for humans to fulfill their physical needs (warmth and comfort). Thus, the monitoring of this nature reserve needs to be further strengthened and focused on the area with a range of 0–7.2 degrees and on the sunny slopes. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Responding to the Drought: A Spatial Statistical Approach to Investigating Residential Water Consumption in Fresno, California
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 240; doi:10.3390/su9020240
Received: 15 December 2016 / Accepted: 7 February 2017 / Published: 9 February 2017
PDF Full-text (733 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Using data from the 2015 Residential Water Consumption Survey, this study examines residential water-use behavior and attitudes after the recent drought in Fresno, California. Spatial autoregressive models of residential water consumption were estimated, accounting for the effects of social interactions in communities (i.e.,
[...] Read more.
Using data from the 2015 Residential Water Consumption Survey, this study examines residential water-use behavior and attitudes after the recent drought in Fresno, California. Spatial autoregressive models of residential water consumption were estimated, accounting for the effects of social interactions in communities (i.e., neighborhood effects), while controlling for indoor and outdoor house attributes, economic conditions, and attitudes toward water uses. The findings show that the spatial autocorrelations do exist. This suggests that the neighborhood effects can be a useful lever to facilitate initiatives aiming at promoting community engagement on water-saving practices. The results also indicate that a larger house tends to incur more water use, so does the presence of pools. Using a drip irrigation system for watering the backyard can help reduce water consumption. Medium income families turn out to use the least amount of water among different income groups, suggesting that water-saving policies may yield different results among residents of various income levels. Interestingly, respondents who considered themselves heavy water users actually used less water. This implies that the awareness of water importance can significantly influence residents’ water-use behavior and therefore the promotion of a water-saving culture can help reduce residential water consumption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Assessing the Bicycle Network in St. Louis: A PlaceBased User-Centered Approach
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 241; doi:10.3390/su9020241
Received: 20 December 2016 / Accepted: 6 February 2017 / Published: 9 February 2017
PDF Full-text (3537 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
To transition towards sustainability and increase low-impact transportation, city planners are integrating bicycle infrastructure in urban landscapes. Yet, this infrastructure only promotes cycling according to how well it is sited within a specific city. How to best site bicycle facilities is essential for
[...] Read more.
To transition towards sustainability and increase low-impact transportation, city planners are integrating bicycle infrastructure in urban landscapes. Yet, this infrastructure only promotes cycling according to how well it is sited within a specific city. How to best site bicycle facilities is essential for sustainability planning. We review approaches to assessing and siting new bicycle facilities. Following sustainability science, we argue that active cyclists should be consulted to incorporate users’ site-specific knowledge into bicycle infrastructure assessments. We then pilot an approach that surveys cyclists concerning level of stress along routes ridden in St. Louis, MO, USA. Among the active cyclists surveyed (n = 89), we found stress correlates with speed limit, roadway classification, and number of lanes. Although cyclists surveyed in St. Louis prefer roads with bike lanes over roads with sharrows or no infrastructure, the presence of bicycle infrastructure had no correlation with reported levels of stress. The piloted survey and spatial analytic tool are transferable to other localities. For planners, the maps generated by this participant data approach identify high-stress routes as targets of new infrastructure or information to direct cyclists to safer routes. For bicyclists, the maps generated identify low-stress routes for recreation and commuting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Examining the Interaction of Taxi and Subway Ridership for Sustainable Urbanization
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 242; doi:10.3390/su9020242
Received: 14 December 2016 / Revised: 17 January 2017 / Accepted: 19 January 2017 / Published: 10 February 2017
PDF Full-text (2818 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
A transit ridership study is an essential part of sustainability, and can provide a deep understanding of people’s travel patterns for efficient transportation development and urbanization. However, there is a lack of empirical studies comparing subway and taxi services, and their interactions within
[...] Read more.
A transit ridership study is an essential part of sustainability, and can provide a deep understanding of people’s travel patterns for efficient transportation development and urbanization. However, there is a lack of empirical studies comparing subway and taxi services, and their interactions within a city, that is to say, the interdependent transportation networks. Incorporating new data, this study aims to examine the spatial variation of urban taxi ridership due to the impacts of a new subway line operation opened in 2014 in Wuxi, China. We examine the spatial patterns and interactions of ridership in Wuxi by integrating taxi trajectory from GPS data and subway data from continuously collected fare transactions. The results indicated that the demand for taxi and subway usage is quite elastic with respect to both location and time, and the new subway’s opening had more influence on areas adjacent to subway stations and urban center-suburban travel. Furthermore, increases in travel time and distance would increase the demand for subway, while taxi trips largely represented movements for those locations that the subway could not reach. This paper betters the understanding of travel patterns through large volumes of transportation data for sustainable urbanization policy design. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Characterization of the Microbial Communities in Rumen Fluid Inoculated Reactors for the Biogas Digestion of Wheat Straw
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 243; doi:10.3390/su9020243
Received: 17 December 2016 / Revised: 23 January 2017 / Accepted: 4 February 2017 / Published: 10 February 2017
PDF Full-text (1921 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The present study investigated the effect of rumen fluid (RF) concentration on the methane production through anaerobic digestion of wheat straw in batch mode, and compared the microbial communities in RF and RF inoculated reactors by 16S rRNA genes sequencing. Six levels of
[...] Read more.
The present study investigated the effect of rumen fluid (RF) concentration on the methane production through anaerobic digestion of wheat straw in batch mode, and compared the microbial communities in RF and RF inoculated reactors by 16S rRNA genes sequencing. Six levels of RF concentration including 1%, 5%, 10%, 15%, 20% and 25% (v/v) were used in reactors R1, R5, R10, R15, R20 and R25 respectively. The results revealed that lower than or equal to 5% RF concentrations resulted in reactor acidification and low methane production. The highest methane yield of 106 mL CH4 g VS−1 was achieved in R10, whereas higher RF concentrations than 10% could not improve the methane production significantly. Methanosarcina barkeri was abundant in the well-working reactors, and Methanobacterium was dominant in the poor-working reactors, implying the archaeal communities in reactors had changed greatly from the Methanobrevibacter-dominated RF. Although the relative abundance of Clostridium and Ruminococcus were greatly different between RF and reactors, the Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes communities were dominant in all the tested samples. The results indicated that the in vitro anaerobic conditions had altered the rumen methanogenic communities significantly and the facultative acetoclastic Methanosarcina was important for the methane production in the RF seeded reactors. Full article
Figures

Figure 1a

Open AccessArticle H2O2 Based Oxidation Processes for the Treatment of Real High Strength Aqueous Wastes
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 244; doi:10.3390/su9020244
Received: 1 December 2016 / Revised: 25 January 2017 / Accepted: 7 February 2017 / Published: 10 February 2017
PDF Full-text (4099 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This work was aimed at studying the applicability of H2O2-based oxidation processes (namely H2O2/UV, photo-Fenton, and Fenton) for the treatment of six real aqueous wastes. These wastes derived from chemical, pharmaceutical, and detergent production, and
[...] Read more.
This work was aimed at studying the applicability of H2O2-based oxidation processes (namely H2O2/UV, photo-Fenton, and Fenton) for the treatment of six real aqueous wastes. These wastes derived from chemical, pharmaceutical, and detergent production, and were characterised by high COD (chemical oxygen demand) and, in four cases, surfactant concentrations: overall, about 100 tests were conducted. The H2O2/UV and photo-Fenton processes proved to be very effective in COD removal, the efficiency being greater than 70%. The optimal treatment conditions for the H2O2/UV process were: 120 min reaction, H2O2/CODinitial dosage ratio = 1/2; the radiation intensity (up to 2000 W·L−1) revealed to be a crucial factor, especially in the earlier stage of the process (about 40 min): this aspect can be exploited to reduce the costs related to energy consumption. For the photo-Fenton process the following conditions were chosen: Fe2+/H2O2 ratio = 1/30; specific power input = 125 W·L−1; H2O2/CODinitial = 1/2; reaction time = 240 min. Photolytic reactions and the presence of dissolved oxygen revealed to be crucial factors for COD removal. The Fenton process, while showing a moderate efficiency (25% COD removal) in the treatment of high loaded wastewaters, provided excellent results in the treatment of aqueous wastes with high content of surfactants. An average yield removal of 70% for non-ionic surfactants (TAS) and 95% for anionic surfactants (MBAS) was obtained, under the following optimal conditions: Fe2+/H2O2 = 1/4, H2O2/CODinitial ratio = 1, and contact time = 30 min. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Dimensions of Community and Local Institutions’ Support: Towards an Eco-Village Kelurahan in Indonesia
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 245; doi:10.3390/su9020245
Received: 17 October 2016 / Revised: 13 January 2017 / Accepted: 27 January 2017 / Published: 11 February 2017
PDF Full-text (2258 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The goal of the Global Eco-village Network (GEN) is to create and promote sustainable human settlements that allow people to live more comfortably. However, an eco-village cannot exist without the support of the local government and the community. A village (kelurahan)
[...] Read more.
The goal of the Global Eco-village Network (GEN) is to create and promote sustainable human settlements that allow people to live more comfortably. However, an eco-village cannot exist without the support of the local government and the community. A village (kelurahan) is expected to recognize and implement a settlement’s environmental management by maintaining environmentally friendly behavior in daily activities. Gayamsari is a kelurahan in Semarang City that has been implementing the eco-village concept. This study aims to explain, through quantitative descriptive analysis, the extent at which the eco-village aspects are achieved by local and institutional participation in Gayamsari. The idea of an eco-village is to bring harmony to the three pillars of sustainable development—the social, economic, and ecological components—to create a sustainable living environment. However, the results show that Gayamsari needs improvement, especially in terms of ensuring a safe and comfortable environment, which can be achieved through strengthening the participation of both the community and local institutions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Do Private Sustainability Standards Contribute to Income Growth and Poverty Alleviation? A Comparison of Different Coffee Certification Schemes in Ethiopia
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 246; doi:10.3390/su9020246
Received: 30 September 2016 / Revised: 27 January 2017 / Accepted: 6 February 2017 / Published: 11 February 2017
PDF Full-text (549 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Private sustainability standards are increasingly important in food trade with developing countries, but the implications for smallholder farmers are still poorly understood. We analyze the implications of different coffee certification schemes in Ethiopia using cross-sectional survey data, and regression and propensity-score-matching techniques. We
[...] Read more.
Private sustainability standards are increasingly important in food trade with developing countries, but the implications for smallholder farmers are still poorly understood. We analyze the implications of different coffee certification schemes in Ethiopia using cross-sectional survey data, and regression and propensity-score-matching techniques. We find that: Rainforest Alliance (RA) and double Fairtrade-Organic (FT-Org) certifications are associated with higher incomes and reduced poverty, mainly because of higher prices; Fairtrade (FT) certification hardly affects welfare; and Organic (Org) certification reduces incomes, chiefly due to lower yields. Cooperative heterogeneity importantly shapes these results. Results imply that private standards may not always deliver what they promise to consumers. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle The Importance of Accurate Solar Data for Designing Solar Photovoltaic Systems—Case Studies in Spain
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 247; doi:10.3390/su9020247
Received: 15 December 2016 / Accepted: 7 February 2017 / Published: 10 February 2017
PDF Full-text (895 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Renewable energies have experienced a great growth in recent years, and nowadays participate in the set of energies used in developed and developing countries to produce electricity. Among these technologies, photovoltaic energy, which produces clean electricity from the Sun, is the one that
[...] Read more.
Renewable energies have experienced a great growth in recent years, and nowadays participate in the set of energies used in developed and developing countries to produce electricity. Among these technologies, photovoltaic energy, which produces clean electricity from the Sun, is the one that has grown faster, and its implementation all over the world is a guarantee of a solid and efficient energy technology. Nevertheless, in order to design very efficient solar energy systems, it is crucial to have a good solar radiation database. There are databases where it is possible to find information on solar radiation, but only for horizontal surfaces. Afterwards, it is necessary to transform the horizontal solar radiation data to tilt solar radiation data. This transformation is not easy, and the application of complex mathematical equations, and expressions, and difficult algorithms must be done. An application called virtual laboratory “OrientSol 3.0” which allows the user to easily obtain the solar radiation for any tilt surface has been developed by us. Thus, our main objectives in this paper are to present the developed virtual laboratory and to explain its main features and core functionalities. In order to point out the difficulties and complexity of the transformation of horizontal solar radiation data to tilt solar radiation data, we will present some examples of the results this application provides and compare the solar radiation data supplied with this application with some other solar radiation data obtained from other databases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solar Photovoltaic Electricity)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Social Capital, Race, and Income Inequality in the United States
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 248; doi:10.3390/su9020248
Received: 11 December 2016 / Accepted: 7 February 2017 / Published: 10 February 2017
PDF Full-text (592 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Since the 1980s, the United States has witnessed increasing wealth concentration in the hands of the ultra-rich. Measured at the state level, the top 10 percent of income earners amassed roughly 43% of total income, and economic growth only enhanced this inequality between
[...] Read more.
Since the 1980s, the United States has witnessed increasing wealth concentration in the hands of the ultra-rich. Measured at the state level, the top 10 percent of income earners amassed roughly 43% of total income, and economic growth only enhanced this inequality between the ultrarich and the rest of citizens. This paper examines whether social capital plays a positive role in mitigating income inequality at the state level, with an emphasis on racial diversity and its relation to church attendance. The empirical findings demonstrate that social capital, whether measured by Robert Putnam’s state-level social capital index (SCI), or a new measure that improves SCI’s original measurement, fails to improve income equality. In comparison, racial diversity is found to be a consistent contributor of income inequality. In states with a greater proportion of minority population, the ultra-rich tend to share more wealth and social capital potentially facilitates the ultra-rich to enjoy the benefit of economic growth. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Exotic Invasive Shrub Glossy Buckthorn Reduces Restoration Potential for Native Forest Herbs
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 249; doi:10.3390/su9020249
Received: 19 December 2016 / Accepted: 7 February 2017 / Published: 10 February 2017
PDF Full-text (5095 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Invasive glossy buckthorn could reduce restoration potential for understory native forest herbs by compromising their growth and biodiversity. Few studies of glossy buckthorn’s effects on forest herbs exist, and none were done in early-successional, partially open hardwood forests. This study was conducted in
[...] Read more.
Invasive glossy buckthorn could reduce restoration potential for understory native forest herbs by compromising their growth and biodiversity. Few studies of glossy buckthorn’s effects on forest herbs exist, and none were done in early-successional, partially open hardwood forests. This study was conducted in a mature hybrid poplar plantation invaded by buckthorn, located in southeastern Québec. We tested the effect of buckthorn removal on the growth of three forest herb species, whether this effect varied among species, and if canopy type (two poplar clones) influenced this effect. Forest herbs were planted in herbicide (buckthorn removed) and control treatments in the plantation understory, an environment similar to that of early-successional hardwood forests. Over the first two growing seasons, species showed specific reactions to buckthorn cover. Mean relative growth rate (RGR) for Asarum canadense and Polygonatum pubescens was increased in the herbicide treatment (48% and 33%, respectively) and decreased in the control treatment (−35% and −33%, respectively). Sanguinaria canadensis growth was the highest among species, with no difference between treatments. No effects of canopy type were detected. Results suggest that planting forest herbs for restoration purposes may be unsuccessful if buckthorn is present. Important changes in understory flora biodiversity are likely to occur over the long term in forests invaded by buckthorn. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecological Restoration for Sustainable Forest Management)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Residential Heat Supply by Waste-Heat Re-Use: Sources, Supply Potential and Demand Coverage—A Case Study
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 250; doi:10.3390/su9020250
Received: 31 October 2016 / Accepted: 25 January 2017 / Published: 10 February 2017
PDF Full-text (10636 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper deals with climate change mitigation and addresses waste heat reuse as a measure which is until now considered only to a limited extent. The City of Vienna serves as a case study to explore potentials to improve the urban heat supply
[...] Read more.
This paper deals with climate change mitigation and addresses waste heat reuse as a measure which is until now considered only to a limited extent. The City of Vienna serves as a case study to explore potentials to improve the urban heat supply using waste heat as an additional energy source. As no observation data about waste heat and detailed heating demand is available, this data is derived from proxy data for estimating waste heat reuse potential and residential heating demand patterns. Heat requirements for manufacturing and service provision is explored and, based on the distribution of the companies within the city, mapped as waste heat sources. Employees per company serves as proxy data to allocate the heat volume. Waste heat share and temperature ranges is reviewed from literature. Heating demand is mapped based on floor space of the buildings by age class and building type. Merging supply and demand maps allows to quantify the residential heating demand coverage through local waste heat in the potential supply areas within different distance ranges and housing density classes. In high density housing areas, only a small share of the demand can be covered by waste heat supply even within 250 m distance from sources due to few companies which could provide waste heat. In medium to low density housing areas in Vienna’s outer districts with more industry, a higher share of residential heating demand near the sources can be covered by waste heat within a 250 m distance. Within a 500 m distance, around half of the residential heating demand can be covered only in low density housing areas near the waste heat sources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Equilibrium Strategy Based Recycling Facility Site Selection towards Mitigating Coal Gangue Contamination
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 251; doi:10.3390/su9020251
Received: 7 December 2016 / Accepted: 6 February 2017 / Published: 10 February 2017
PDF Full-text (2770 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Environmental pollution caused by coal gangue has been a significant challenge for sustainable development; thus, many coal gangue reduction approaches have been proposed in recent years. In particular, coal gangue facility (CGF) construction has been considered as an efficient method for the control
[...] Read more.
Environmental pollution caused by coal gangue has been a significant challenge for sustainable development; thus, many coal gangue reduction approaches have been proposed in recent years. In particular, coal gangue facility (CGF) construction has been considered as an efficient method for the control and recycling of coal gangue. Meanwhile, the identification and selection of suitable CGF sites is a fundamental task for the government. Therefore, based on the equilibrium strategy, a site selection approach under a fuzzy environment is developed to mitigate coal gangue contamination, which integrates a geographical information system (GIS) technique and a bi-level model to identify candidate CGF sites and to select the most suitable one. In this situation, the GIS technique used to identify potential feasible sites is able to integrate a great deal of geographical data tofitwithpracticalcircumstances;thebi-levelmodelusedtoscreentheappropriatesitecanreasonably dealwiththeconflictsbetweenthelocalauthorityandthecolliery. Moreover,aKarush–Kuhn–Tucker (KKT) condition-based approach is used to find an optimal solution, and a case study is given to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method. The results across different scenarios show that appropriate site selection can achieve coal gangue reduction targets and that a suitable excess stack level can realize an environmental-economic equilibrium. Finally, some propositions and management recommendations are given. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Seeing the People’s Republic of China through the Eyes of Montesquieu: Why Sino-European Collaboration on Eco City Development Suffers from European Misinterpretations of “Good Governance”
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 151; doi:10.3390/su9020151
Received: 1 November 2016 / Revised: 20 December 2016 / Accepted: 6 January 2017 / Published: 7 February 2017
PDF Full-text (592 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
China faces a number of impressive challenges in dealing with climate change: rising energy use, growing emission levels of greenhouse gases, dangerous levels of air pollution over cities and low resilience against flood and drought. Sustainable urbanization has been adopted as a keyword
[...] Read more.
China faces a number of impressive challenges in dealing with climate change: rising energy use, growing emission levels of greenhouse gases, dangerous levels of air pollution over cities and low resilience against flood and drought. Sustainable urbanization has been adopted as a keyword in handling these challenges. The Chinese central government has undertaken a variety of measures, including the launch of large Sino-European programs to learn from ‘developed nations’. In the wake of these partnerships, a great variety of cross-national and cross-city agreements were signed. Sino-European cooperation does not often run as smoothly as initially hoped because of diverging interests, cultural misunderstandings and practical limitations. In the background, a mismatch in normative conceptions Chinese and European participants have of ‘good governance’ plays a role. In this contribution, insights taken from Montesquieu’s ‘The Spirit of Laws’ regarding checks and balances and trias politica (updated to ‘sextas politica’ for the 21st century) are used to comprehend how the exertion of power is distributed and expected to be distributed differently in Chinese than in European administrative traditions. The article will end with conclusions on how European misconceptions of Chinese governance complicate Sino-European collaboration in sustainable urbanization policies. Full article
Open AccessArticle Plans and Living Practices for the Green Campus of Portland State University
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 252; doi:10.3390/su9020252
Received: 10 December 2016 / Accepted: 3 February 2017 / Published: 10 February 2017
PDF Full-text (14877 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study aims to comprehend Portland State University (PSU)’s green campus strategies, and students’ level of knowledge and living practices relating to green campus. PSU’s sustainable campus plan has been nationally and internationally recognized. A literature review, field investigation, and interviews were conducted
[...] Read more.
This study aims to comprehend Portland State University (PSU)’s green campus strategies, and students’ level of knowledge and living practices relating to green campus. PSU’s sustainable campus plan has been nationally and internationally recognized. A literature review, field investigation, and interviews were conducted to ascertain the PSU green campus strategies. This study also used a survey to understand students’ level of knowledge and practices. The survey results were analyzed by SPSS. Green campus projects at PSU were operated by official organizations and funded according to PSU’s long term plans in 12 multilateral categories: administration, energy, water, climate action, green buildings, green purchasing, waste reduction and recycling, food and dining services, transportation, land use, action, and education and student activity. The survey results show that the level of students’ understanding about PSU’s green campus strategies was somewhat low, but the amount of practice of a sustainable lifestyle was higher. Students who had taken courses related with sustainability or were engaged in sustainable activities had more knowledge about green campus strategies than students who had not. Therefore, it would be important to focus more on educating students and developing related programs in order to have more positive effects of green campus projects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle Scheduling Optimization of Home Health Care Service Considering Patients’ Priorities and Time Windows
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 253; doi:10.3390/su9020253
Received: 30 October 2016 / Accepted: 7 February 2017 / Published: 10 February 2017
PDF Full-text (2393 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As a new service model, home health care can provide effective health care by adopting door-to-door service. The reasonable arrangements for nurses and their routes not only can reduce medical expenses, but also can enhance patient satisfaction. This research focuses on the home
[...] Read more.
As a new service model, home health care can provide effective health care by adopting door-to-door service. The reasonable arrangements for nurses and their routes not only can reduce medical expenses, but also can enhance patient satisfaction. This research focuses on the home health care scheduling optimization problem with known demands and service capabilities. Aimed at minimizing the total cost, an integer programming model was built in this study, which took both the priorities of patients and constraints of time windows into consideration. The genetic algorithm with local search was used to solve the proposed model. Finally, a case study of Shanghai, China, was conducted for the empirical analysis. The comparison results verify the effectiveness of the proposed model and methodology, which can provide the decision support for medical administrators of home health care. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Dynamic Carpooling in Urban Areas: Design and Experimentation with a Multi-Objective Route Matching Algorith
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 254; doi:10.3390/su9020254
Received: 30 December 2016 / Accepted: 6 February 2017 / Published: 10 February 2017
PDF Full-text (911 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper focuses on dynamic carpooling services in urban areas to address the needs of mobility in real-time by proposing a two-fold contribution: a solution with novel features with respect to the current state-of-the-art, which is named CLACSOON and is available on the
[...] Read more.
This paper focuses on dynamic carpooling services in urban areas to address the needs of mobility in real-time by proposing a two-fold contribution: a solution with novel features with respect to the current state-of-the-art, which is named CLACSOON and is available on the market; the analysis of the carpooling services performance in the urban area of the city of Cagliari through emulations. Two new features characterize the proposed solution: partial ridesharing, according to which the riders can walk to reach the driver along his/her route when driving to the destination; the possibility to share the ride when the driver has already started the ride by modelling the mobility to reach the driver destination. To analyse which features of the population bring better performance to changing the characteristics of the users, we also conducted emulations. When compared with current solutions, CLACSOON allows for achieving a decrease in the waiting time of around 55% and an increase in the driver and passenger success rates of around 4% and 10%,respectively. Additionally, the proposed features allowed for having an increase in the reduction of the CO2 emission by more than 10% with respect to the traditional carpooling service. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Evaluating Resiliency of Supply Chain Network: A Data Envelopment Analysis Approach
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 255; doi:10.3390/su9020255
Received: 17 November 2016 / Revised: 6 February 2017 / Accepted: 8 February 2017 / Published: 11 February 2017
PDF Full-text (996 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Supply chains can be vulnerable to sudden disruptions, especially when it emphasizes efficient operation. In this regard, supply chain resilience (SCR) has received attention recently to cope with disruptions and improve competitiveness. This paper presents a novel methodology to measure resilience between different
[...] Read more.
Supply chains can be vulnerable to sudden disruptions, especially when it emphasizes efficient operation. In this regard, supply chain resilience (SCR) has received attention recently to cope with disruptions and improve competitiveness. This paper presents a novel methodology to measure resilience between different configurations of a supply chain network (SCN), based on a number of influential factors. For this reason, data envelopment analysis (DEA) is employed to identify the best-practice and less-performing SCN configurations among a group of alternatives. On this basis, the extent to which a current configuration can improve its resiliency is also measured. The methodology is applied to the case of E1, a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) company in Korea. Topological and operational measures were used as variables to assess resilience. The results suggest that the LPG supply chain in the case study requires an addition in the number and capacity of supply nodes in its network. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle The Resource Benefits Evaluation Model on Remanufacturing Processes of End-of-Life Construction Machinery under the Uncertainty in Recycling Price
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 256; doi:10.3390/su9020256
Received: 12 October 2016 / Revised: 24 January 2017 / Accepted: 8 February 2017 / Published: 11 February 2017
PDF Full-text (2960 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the process of end-of-life construction machinery remanufacturing, the existence of uncertainties in all aspects of the remanufacturing process increase the difficulty and complexity of resource benefits evaluation for them. To quantify the effects of those uncertainty factors, this paper makes a mathematical
[...] Read more.
In the process of end-of-life construction machinery remanufacturing, the existence of uncertainties in all aspects of the remanufacturing process increase the difficulty and complexity of resource benefits evaluation for them. To quantify the effects of those uncertainty factors, this paper makes a mathematical analysis of the recycling and remanufacturing processes, building a resource benefits evaluation model for the end-of-life construction machinery. The recycling price and the profits of remanufacturers can thereby be obtained with a maximum remanufacturing resource benefit. The study investigates the change regularity of the resource benefits, recycling price, and profits of remanufacturers when the recycling price, quality fluctuation coefficient, demand coefficient, and the reusing ratio of products or parts are varying. In the numerical experiment, we explore the effects of uncertainties on the remanufacturing decisions and the total expected costs. The simulated analysis shows when the quality fluctuation coefficient is approaching to 1, the values of the profits of remanufacturer, the maximal resource benefits and recycling price grade into constants. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Energy Consumption Analysis for Concrete Residences—A Baseline Study in Taiwan
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 257; doi:10.3390/su9020257
Received: 1 December 2016 / Revised: 6 February 2017 / Accepted: 7 February 2017 / Published: 12 February 2017
PDF Full-text (2104 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Estimating building energy consumption is difficult because it deals with complex interactions among uncertain weather conditions, occupant behaviors, and building characteristics. To facilitate estimation, this study employs a benchmarking methodology to obtain energy baseline for sample buildings. Utilizing a scientific simulation tool, this
[...] Read more.
Estimating building energy consumption is difficult because it deals with complex interactions among uncertain weather conditions, occupant behaviors, and building characteristics. To facilitate estimation, this study employs a benchmarking methodology to obtain energy baseline for sample buildings. Utilizing a scientific simulation tool, this study attempts to develop energy consumption baselines of two typical concrete residences in Taiwan, and subsequently allows a simplified energy consumption prediction process at an early design stage of building development. Using weather data of three metropolitan cities as testbeds, annual energy consumption of two types of modern residences are determined through a series of simulation sessions with different building settings. The impacts of key building characteristics, including building insulation, air tightness, orientation, location, and residence type, are carefully investigated. Sample utility bills are then collected to validate the simulated results, resulting in three adjustment parameters for normalization, including ‘number of residents’, ‘total floor area’, and ‘air conditioning comfort level’, for justification of occupant behaviors in different living conditions. Study results not only provide valuable benchmarking data serving as references for performance evaluation of different energy-saving strategies, but also show how effective extended building insulation, enhanced air tightness, and prudent selection of residence location and orientation can be for successful implementation of building sustainability in tropical and subtropical regions. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Topographic Correction of Landsat TM-5 and Landsat OLI-8 Imagery to Improve the Performance of Forest Classification in the Mountainous Terrain of Northeast Thailand
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 258; doi:10.3390/su9020258
Received: 10 November 2016 / Revised: 7 February 2017 / Accepted: 9 February 2017 / Published: 12 February 2017
PDF Full-text (17282 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The accurate mapping and monitoring of forests is essential for the sustainable management of forest ecosystems. Advancements in the Landsat satellite series have been very useful for various forest mapping applications. However, the topographic shadows of irregular mountains are major obstacles to accurate
[...] Read more.
The accurate mapping and monitoring of forests is essential for the sustainable management of forest ecosystems. Advancements in the Landsat satellite series have been very useful for various forest mapping applications. However, the topographic shadows of irregular mountains are major obstacles to accurate forest classification. In this paper, we test five topographic correction methods: improved cosine correction, Minnaert, C-correction, Statistical Empirical Correction (SEC) and Variable Empirical Coefficient Algorithm (VECA), with multisource digital elevation models (DEM) to reduce the topographic relief effect in mountainous terrain produced by the Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM)-5 and Operational Land Imager (OLI)-8 sensors. The effectiveness of the topographic correction methods are assessed by visual interpretation and the reduction in standard deviation (SD), by means of the coefficient of variation (CV). Results show that the SEC performs best with the Shuttle Radar Topographic Mission (SRTM) 30 m × 30 m DEM. The random forest (RF) classifier is used for forest classification, and the overall accuracy of forest classification is evaluated to compare the performances of the topographic corrections. Our results show that the C-correction, SEC and VECA corrected imagery were able to improve the forest classification accuracy of Landsat TM-5 from 78.41% to 81.50%, 82.38%, and 81.50%, respectively, and OLI-8 from 81.06% to 81.50%, 82.38%, and 81.94%, respectively. The highest accuracy of forest type classification is obtained with the newly available high-resolution SRTM DEM and SEC method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in the Mountains Region)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle The Influence of Natura 2000 Sites on Land-Taking Processes at the Regional Level: An Empirical Analysis Concerning Sardinia (Italy)
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 259; doi:10.3390/su9020259
Received: 10 November 2016 / Revised: 26 January 2017 / Accepted: 1 February 2017 / Published: 13 February 2017
PDF Full-text (13203 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article focuses on the role that the provisions of the Natura 2000 Network play in affecting land-taking processes by looking at the Italian region of Sardinia, where strict rules on land development have been enforced since 1993 through regional landscape plans and
[...] Read more.
This article focuses on the role that the provisions of the Natura 2000 Network play in affecting land-taking processes by looking at the Italian region of Sardinia, where strict rules on land development have been enforced since 1993 through regional landscape plans and where an extensive Natura 2000 Network, covering nearly 19% of the regional land mass, was established in compliance with Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora and Directive 2009/147/EC on the conservation of wild birds. The results and inferences of our study could be easily generalized to other European Union regions, provided that similar geographic datasets are available. By shedding some light on the relation between land take on the one hand, and nature conservation and landscape protection on the other, it is possible to enhance regional planning policies to prevent or hinder land-taking processes, and, by doing so, to help implementing the European Commission recommendation on no net land take by 2050 into the EU regional policies. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle The Financial Crisis and Co-Movement of Global Stock Markets—A Case of Six Major Economies
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 260; doi:10.3390/su9020260
Received: 14 November 2016 / Revised: 21 January 2017 / Accepted: 6 February 2017 / Published: 13 February 2017
PDF Full-text (1076 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper investigates the impact of recent financial crisis on six major stock markets during the three periods. To measure the impact of the crisis on different stock markets, we have applied a vector auto-regression (VAR) model and conducted Granger causality tests. The
[...] Read more.
This paper investigates the impact of recent financial crisis on six major stock markets during the three periods. To measure the impact of the crisis on different stock markets, we have applied a vector auto-regression (VAR) model and conducted Granger causality tests. The data used in this study, consists of time series of daily stock market indices at closing time, in terms of local currency units of the world’s six major stock markets which were affected during the financial crisis, while the sample period was divided into several sub-periods. The main objectives of the research was to discover the degree of interdependence of the six stock markets and trace out the Granger causality relationships and dynamic responses of one market to in another in innovation, and to make a comparison on the degree of the co-movements in three periods, namely, the pre-crisis period, crisis period, and post-crisis periods. The results suggest that the financial crisis has reinforced the interdependence relationship of global stock markets. However, general co-movements of global stock markets persist even after the crisis and still remained stronger in some economies. Full article
Figures

Figure 1a

Open AccessArticle Blueberry Supply Chain in Italy: Management, Innovation and Sustainability
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 261; doi:10.3390/su9020261
Received: 9 November 2016 / Revised: 4 February 2017 / Accepted: 6 February 2017 / Published: 13 February 2017
PDF Full-text (2848 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The growing trend market of fresh products is driven by a consumer oriented to new lifestyles and environmental issues. The berries market in Europe represents a good example of a consumer driven supply chain, due to the capacity to answer all the sequences
[...] Read more.
The growing trend market of fresh products is driven by a consumer oriented to new lifestyles and environmental issues. The berries market in Europe represents a good example of a consumer driven supply chain, due to the capacity to answer all the sequences of the system. To explore the process developed by fruit growers’ associated groups in Italy, the research is organized into four stages. The first stage provides a review of the organization of the fresh fruit supply chain (FFSC) and the need to innovate it in light of the driven demand. The second section focuses on the innovation displayed towards storing, managing and maintaining the quality of fruit during the supply. The third section considers the case study. The manuscript concludes by summarising the main results and discussing the implications for future research. The use of a modified active packaging system (MAP) with “green” films has enabled the maintenance of the quality of the fruits for two months, as well as the presence of the company blueberries market for longer periods, and has finally led to improving the exports, thus reaching new European countries, increasing the turnover of the associated group and better remuneration for the fruit growers as a consequence. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Strategic Planning for Sustainability in Canadian Higher Education
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 161; doi:10.3390/su9020161
Received: 31 October 2016 / Revised: 16 December 2016 / Accepted: 25 December 2016 / Published: 24 January 2017
PDF Full-text (1149 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper reviews representations of sustainability in the strategic plans of Canadian higher education institutions (HEIs). A content analysis of the strategic plans of 50 HEIs was undertaken to determine the extent to which sustainability is included as a significant policy priority in
[...] Read more.
This paper reviews representations of sustainability in the strategic plans of Canadian higher education institutions (HEIs). A content analysis of the strategic plans of 50 HEIs was undertaken to determine the extent to which sustainability is included as a significant policy priority in the plans, including across the five domains of governance, education, campus operations, research, and community outreach. We found 41 strategic plans with some discussion of sustainability, and identified three characteristic types of response: (i) accommodative responses that include sustainability as one of many policy priorities and address only one or two sustainability domains; (ii) reformative responses that involve some alignment of policy priorities with sustainability values in at least a few domains; and (iii) progressive responses that make connections across four or five domains and offer a more detailed discussion of sustainability and sustainability-specific policies. Accommodative responses were dominant. More progressive responses were typically from institutions participating in the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. The paper concludes with consideration of the political and economic contexts contributing to this relative prevalence of accommodative responses to sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Education and Approaches)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Practical In-Depth Analysis of IDS Alerts for Tracing and Identifying Potential Attackers on Darknet
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 262; doi:10.3390/su9020262
Received: 15 December 2016 / Revised: 5 February 2017 / Accepted: 7 February 2017 / Published: 13 February 2017
PDF Full-text (1257 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The darknet (i.e., a set of unused IP addresses) is a very useful solution for observing the global trends of cyber threats and analyzing attack activities on the Internet. Since the darknet is not connected with real systems, in most cases, the incoming
[...] Read more.
The darknet (i.e., a set of unused IP addresses) is a very useful solution for observing the global trends of cyber threats and analyzing attack activities on the Internet. Since the darknet is not connected with real systems, in most cases, the incoming packets on the darknet (‘the darknet traffic’) do not contain a payload. This means that we are unable to get real malware from the darknet traffic. This situation makes it difficult for security experts (e.g., academic researchers, engineers, operators, etc.) to identify whether the source hosts of the darknet traffic are infected by real malware or not. In this paper, we present the overall procedure of the in-depth analysis between the darknet traffic and IDS alerts using real data collected at the Science and Technology Cyber Security Center (S&T CSC) in Korea and provide the detailed in-depth analysis results. The ultimate goal of this paper is to provide practical experience, insight and know-how to security experts so that they are able to identify and trace the root cause of the darknet traffic. The experimental results show that correlation analysis between the darknet traffic and IDS alerts is very useful to discover potential attack hosts, especially internal hosts, and to find out what kinds of malware infected them. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced IT based Future Sustainable Computing)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Decreasing Net Primary Productivity in Response to Urbanization in Liaoning Province, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 162; doi:10.3390/su9020162
Received: 5 December 2016 / Revised: 10 January 2017 / Accepted: 19 January 2017 / Published: 24 January 2017
PDF Full-text (32176 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Regional ecosystems have been greatly affected by the rapid expansion of urban areas. In order to explore the impact of land use change on net primary productivity (NPP) in rapidly developing cities during the current urbanization process, we quantified land use change in
[...] Read more.
Regional ecosystems have been greatly affected by the rapid expansion of urban areas. In order to explore the impact of land use change on net primary productivity (NPP) in rapidly developing cities during the current urbanization process, we quantified land use change in Liaoning province between 2000 and 2010 using net primary productivity as an indicator of ecosystem productivity and health. The Carnegie–Ames–Stanford Approach model was used to estimate NPP by region and land use. We used a unit circle-based evaluation model to quantify local urbanization effects on NPP around eight representative cities. The dominant land use types were farmland, woodland and urban, with urban rapidly replacing farmland. Mean annual NPP and total NPP decreased faster from 2005 to 2010 than from 2000 to 2005, reflecting increasing urbanization rates. The eastern, primarily woodland part of Liaoning province had the greatest reduction in NPP, while the western part, which was primarily farmland and grassland, had the lowest reduction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Perception on the Risk of the Sonora River Pollution
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 263; doi:10.3390/su9020263
Received: 17 November 2016 / Accepted: 8 February 2017 / Published: 13 February 2017
PDF Full-text (210 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study applies the “psychometric paradigm” of risk perception to the heavy mineral spill in the Sonora River (Mexico). A total of 241 inhabitants of the polluted area with a mean age of 46.3 years participated in the study, completing an interview questionnaire
[...] Read more.
This study applies the “psychometric paradigm” of risk perception to the heavy mineral spill in the Sonora River (Mexico). A total of 241 inhabitants of the polluted area with a mean age of 46.3 years participated in the study, completing an interview questionnaire at the onset of the disaster. The results allow us to establish a profile of the 18 characteristics comprising the model and a multiple regression analysis shows that some characteristics of the dimensions of dread risk and unknown risk explain a percentage of the magnitude of the perceived risk. In addition, the behaviors recommended by the authorities were classified by the participants according to their estimated usefulness. Significant differences were observed. Avoiding contact with the water was considered the most effective, followed by recommendations on the use of the water, with actions related to the environment and how to avoid pollution being considered the least effective. In sum, the strategy deployed allows us to observe how the victims perceive the disaster and organize the behaviors proposed by the authorities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle A Report on the In Vitro Antioxidant Properties of Vachellia karroo Leaf Extract: A Plant Widely Grazed by Goats in the Central Eastern Cape of South Africa
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 164; doi:10.3390/su9020164
Received: 21 December 2016 / Revised: 15 January 2017 / Accepted: 19 January 2017 / Published: 15 February 2017
PDF Full-text (211 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The polyphenolic constituents and antioxidant activity of aqueous and acetone extracts of Vachellia karroo leaves were determined in order to evaluate its efficacy in scavenging radicals such as DPPH, ferric reducing power and nitric oxide as an antioxidant model. The flavonols and flavonoid
[...] Read more.
The polyphenolic constituents and antioxidant activity of aqueous and acetone extracts of Vachellia karroo leaves were determined in order to evaluate its efficacy in scavenging radicals such as DPPH, ferric reducing power and nitric oxide as an antioxidant model. The flavonols and flavonoid and phenolic content of the leaf extracts were also accessed using benchmark phytochemical reaction methods. Results of the phytochemical analyses revealed the presence of flavonoids and flavonol and phenolic compounds in the leaf extracts. The total phenolic content values in the aqueous and acetone leaf extracts were 7.40 and 11.09 mg tannic acid equivalent/g of extract powder, respectively. The total flavonol and flavonoid content values of the aqueous leaf extracts were 9.90 and 53.23 mg quercetin equivalent/g of extract, respectively, while those of the acetone leaf extracts were 1.18 and 5.18 mg quercetin equivalent/g of extract, respectively. At 0.2 mg/mL, the values for the scavenging activities of the acetone and aqueous extracts of the V. karroo leaves were significantly higher (p < 0.05) than that of the ascorbic acid but comparable to BHT against ferric oxide radicals. The findings from the study reveal that the antioxidative potentials of V. karroo leaf extract and could serve as free radical inhibitors, possibly acting as principal antioxidants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development Initiatives towards Poverty Alleviation)
Open AccessArticle Hierarchical Model Predictive Control for Sustainable Building Automation
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 264; doi:10.3390/su9020264
Received: 29 June 2016 / Accepted: 2 February 2017 / Published: 13 February 2017
PDF Full-text (1743 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A hierarchicalmodel predictive controller (HMPC) is proposed for flexible and sustainable building automation. The implications of a building automation system for sustainability are defined, and model predictive control is introduced as an ideal tool to cover all requirements. The HMPC is presented as
[...] Read more.
A hierarchicalmodel predictive controller (HMPC) is proposed for flexible and sustainable building automation. The implications of a building automation system for sustainability are defined, and model predictive control is introduced as an ideal tool to cover all requirements. The HMPC is presented as a development suitable for the optimization of modern buildings, as well as retrofitting. The performance and flexibility of the HMPC is demonstrated by simulation studies of a modern office building, and the perfect interaction with future smart grids is shown. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Post Occupancy Evaluation)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Surplus, Scarcity and Soil Fertility in Pre-Industrial Austrian Agriculture—The Sustainability Costs of Inequality
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 265; doi:10.3390/su9020265
Received: 15 November 2016 / Accepted: 2 February 2017 / Published: 13 February 2017
PDF Full-text (575 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper takes a Long-Term Socio-Ecological Research (LTSER) perspective to integrate important aspects of social inequality into Socio-Ecological Metabolism (SEM) research. SEM has dealt with biophysical features of pre-industrial agricultural systems from a largely apolitical perspective, neglecting social relations and conditions of peasant
[...] Read more.
This paper takes a Long-Term Socio-Ecological Research (LTSER) perspective to integrate important aspects of social inequality into Socio-Ecological Metabolism (SEM) research. SEM has dealt with biophysical features of pre-industrial agricultural systems from a largely apolitical perspective, neglecting social relations and conditions of peasant production and reproduction. One of the politically and economically most important manorial systems in Early Modern Austria (Grundherrschaft Grafenegg) serves as a case study to reconstruct the unequal distribution of central resources between ruling landlords and subjected peasants. We show that peasant land use systems generated small surpluses only, whereas landlords enjoyed significant economies of scale. Furthermore, we explore what these conditions of landlord surplus and peasant scarcity implied for their respective agro-ecological sustainability. Finally, we argue that within pre-industrial agrarian systems sustainability costs of inequality were severely limiting margins for agricultural intensification and growth of peasant economies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Social Ecology and Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Environmental Sustainability: A Case of Policy Implementation Failure?
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 165; doi:10.3390/su9020165
Received: 2 December 2016 / Revised: 19 January 2017 / Accepted: 20 January 2017 / Published: 24 January 2017
PDF Full-text (252 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
For a generation, governments around the world have been committed to sustainable development as a policy goal. This has been supported by an array of new policies ranging from international agreements, to national strategies, environmental laws at many levels of government, regional programs,
[...] Read more.
For a generation, governments around the world have been committed to sustainable development as a policy goal. This has been supported by an array of new policies ranging from international agreements, to national strategies, environmental laws at many levels of government, regional programs, and local plans. Despite these efforts, decades of scientific monitoring indicate that the world is no closer to environmental sustainability and in many respects the situation is getting worse. This paper argues that a significant contributing factor to this situation is policy implementation failure. A systematic review of the literature reveals that the failure to achieve the intended outcomes of environmental policies is due to economic, political and communication factors. Conflict between the objectives of environmental policies and those focused on economic development, a lack of incentives to implement environmental policies, and a failure to communicate objectives to key stakeholders are all key factors that contribute to the inability to attain environmental sustainability. Full article
Open AccessArticle Demand Forecasting for Heavy-Duty Diesel Engines Considering Emission Regulations
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 166; doi:10.3390/su9020166
Received: 15 December 2016 / Revised: 17 January 2017 / Accepted: 19 January 2017 / Published: 24 January 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2475 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Makers of heavy-duty diesel engines (HDDEs) need to reduce their inventory of old-generation products in preparation for the demand for next-generation products that satisfy new emission regulations. In this paper, a new demand forecasting model is proposed to reflect special conditions raised by
[...] Read more.
Makers of heavy-duty diesel engines (HDDEs) need to reduce their inventory of old-generation products in preparation for the demand for next-generation products that satisfy new emission regulations. In this paper, a new demand forecasting model is proposed to reflect special conditions raised by the technological generational shift owing to new emission regulation enforcement. In addition, sensitivity analyses are conducted to better accommodate uncertainty involved at the time of prediction. Our proposed model can help support manufacturers’ production and sales management for a series of products in response to new emission regulations. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Effect of Corn Residue Biochar on the Hydraulic Properties of Sandy Loam Soil
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 266; doi:10.3390/su9020266
Received: 26 November 2016 / Revised: 1 February 2017 / Accepted: 4 February 2017 / Published: 14 February 2017
PDF Full-text (1964 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Biochar has an ability to alter the biological, chemical, and physical properties of soil due to its physicochemical properties such as surface area, porosity, nutrient retention ability, available nutrient contents, aromaticity, etc. The present study was designed to evaluate the impact of physical
[...] Read more.
Biochar has an ability to alter the biological, chemical, and physical properties of soil due to its physicochemical properties such as surface area, porosity, nutrient retention ability, available nutrient contents, aromaticity, etc. The present study was designed to evaluate the impact of physical properties and application rate of biochar on the hydraulic properties of a sandy loam soil in the short term. Biochar was produced at 500 °C from dried corn residue (BC500). The BC500 was incorporated at the rates of 0, 2.5%, 5.0%, 7.5%, and 10% (w·w−1) into the sandy loam soil and filled up to a height of 4 cm, in cores having 5 cm diameter and height. Each treatment was performed in triplicate and equilibrated for 30 days. Then saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ksat), water holding capacity (WHC), and bulk density were determined in each sample after four days of saturation at room temperature in a water bath. The BC500 particle size distribution, pores, and surface functional groups were assessed. The Ksat exhibited a highly significant exponential reduction from 0% to 7.5% of BC500 application and approached an asymptote at 10% BC500. Bulk density showed a significant negative correlation to biochar application rate. The WHC and BC500 application rate illustrated a strong positive relationship. Biochar surface was free from hydrophobic functional groups. The addition of BC500 has a positive influence on soil hydraulic properties, primarily due to the increased soil porosity. The BC500 is composed of a microporous structure and hydrophilic surface that retain water in sandy textured soils. The application of BC500 would be a wise investment to maximize the water use efficiency in soils for agricultural production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Management of Post-Epidemic Mass Carcasses Burial Sites)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Efficiency Allocation of Provincial Carbon Reduction Target in China’s “13·5” Period: Based on Zero-Sum-Gains SBM Model
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 167; doi:10.3390/su9020167
Received: 18 November 2016 / Revised: 12 January 2017 / Accepted: 17 January 2017 / Published: 24 January 2017
PDF Full-text (736 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Firstly, we introduce the “Zero Sum Gains” game theory into the SBM (Slacks-based Measure) model, and establish the ZSG-SBM model. Then, set up 4 development scenarios for the China’s economic system in “13·5” (The Chinese government formulates a Five-Year Planning for national economic
[...] Read more.
Firstly, we introduce the “Zero Sum Gains” game theory into the SBM (Slacks-based Measure) model, and establish the ZSG-SBM model. Then, set up 4 development scenarios for the China’s economic system in “13·5” (The Chinese government formulates a Five-Year Planning for national economic and social development every five years, “13·5” means 2016 to 2020.) period through two dimensions as economic growth and energy consumption structure, and make the efficient allocation in provincial level of carbon reduction target by using the above ZSG-SBM model based on the China’s overall carbon reduction constraint (18%) which is set in “13·5” planning. Finally, we analyze the provincial development path of low-carbon economy by comparing the economic development status with the allocated result of carbon reduction target. Results show that: After the ZSG-SBM model being applied to the efficiency allocation of carbon emission, the input and output indicators of the 30 provinces realize the effective allocation, and the carbon emission efficiency reaches the efficiency frontier. The equity-oriented administrative allocation scheme of government will bring about efficiency loss in a certain degree, and the efficiency allocation scheme, based on the ZSG-SBM model, fits better with the long-term development requirement of low-carbon economy. On the basis of carbon intensity constraint, the re-constraint of energy intensity will force the provinces to optimize their energy consumption structure, thereby enhancing the overall carbon emission efficiency of China. Sixteen provinces’ allocation results of carbon reduction target are above China’s average (18%) in “13·5” period, all the provinces should select appropriate development path of low-carbon economy according to the status of their resource endowment, economic level, industrial structure and energy consumption structure. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle The Impact of a Values-Based Supply Chain (VBSC) on Farm-Level Viability, Sustainability and Resilience: Case Study Evidence
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 267; doi:10.3390/su9020267
Received: 23 December 2016 / Revised: 2 February 2017 / Accepted: 9 February 2017 / Published: 14 February 2017
PDF Full-text (1117 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The ‘Agriculture of the Middle’ (AotM) development paradigm emphasises that in order to survive, family farms must transition from a supply chain approach to a values-based supply chain (VBSC) approach, involving amendments to both product type and actor dynamics within the chain. This
[...] Read more.
The ‘Agriculture of the Middle’ (AotM) development paradigm emphasises that in order to survive, family farms must transition from a supply chain approach to a values-based supply chain (VBSC) approach, involving amendments to both product type and actor dynamics within the chain. This paper presents a qualitative case study of a beef co-operative integrated to a VBSC. We use an analytical framework of viability, sustainability and resilience to analyse impacts at farm-level. Our analysis highlights a number of positive effects on farm-level viability, sustainability and resilience. These benefits stemmed largely from improvements to market orientation, price stability, and members’ capacities in responding to problems. However, the autonomy of the co-operative was challenged by VBSC chain members, which impacted negatively on the stability of the co-operative. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Industrial Symbiosis, Networking and Innovation: The Potential Role of Innovation Poles
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 169; doi:10.3390/su9020169
Received: 17 November 2016 / Revised: 16 January 2017 / Accepted: 19 January 2017 / Published: 24 January 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (531 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the literature, there is much debate on how to make Industrial Symbiosis (IS) successful and on the factors that may potentially affect its implementation, including networking and innovation. They have so far found limited space for investigation in favor of other technical
[...] Read more.
In the literature, there is much debate on how to make Industrial Symbiosis (IS) successful and on the factors that may potentially affect its implementation, including networking and innovation. They have so far found limited space for investigation in favor of other technical and economic aspects, such as the nature of the processes involved, regulatory issues, economic feasibility, and stakeholders involvement. However, in some cases, they may become relevant, especially when considered together and in their synergistic interaction. An interesting context to be considered in this respect is that of the Innovation Poles (IPs), which are government-sponsored consortia, created within EU programs with the objective of stimulating innovation within network of organizations and that promote the competitiveness in specific industries or value-chains at a local or regional level. In the present article, we firstly discuss how these topics have been so far addressed in IS studies, and then we analyze the main features of the IP model with the aim to understand if, and through which mechanisms, it can contribute to the development and spread of IS. A literature overview through desktop analysis and direct research, which particularly focused on the Italian IPs, provided the knowledge basis of the study. The results highlight the positive role that the IP model could play, both for its institutional activity of production and dissemination of knowledge and innovation, and, mostly, if considered as an applicative context for IS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diverse Dynamics of Industrial Symbiosis: Emergence and Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Quantifying a Financially Sustainable Strategy of Public Transport: Private Capital Investment Considering Passenger Value
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 269; doi:10.3390/su9020269
Received: 27 October 2016 / Revised: 4 January 2017 / Accepted: 18 January 2017 / Published: 15 February 2017
PDF Full-text (1698 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Releaving traffic congestion by developing public transport as an alternative mode of travel is a common practice all over the world. However, the increasing public transport subsidies have created a financial burden for governments. Encouragingly, private capital supplies an opportunity for public transport
[...] Read more.
Releaving traffic congestion by developing public transport as an alternative mode of travel is a common practice all over the world. However, the increasing public transport subsidies have created a financial burden for governments. Encouragingly, private capital supplies an opportunity for public transport in sustainable finance. Previous research mainly focuses on qualitative analysis and money-for-value (MFV) analysis. In this paper, a new investment model is proposed based on the concept ‘passenger value’, and a bi-level programming model (BLPM) is constructed as a quantitative analysis tool. The upper target of BLPM is the total surplus (including the value of time (VOT) of passengers) of the public transport system and the upper constraint is the ticket price. The lower target of BLPM is passenger’s surplus, the lower constraints are service capability and the lowest return rate of the private sector. The public transport of Jinan City, China is taken as a case to quantify the impacts of private capital investment in public transport. Results show that the proposed investment model considering passenger value is superior to the traditional one, and effective private capital investment could increase the total societal benefit of the transportation system. The proposed investment strategy satisfies economic viability and is a financially sustainability strategy. Additionally, travelers should be encouraged to use public transport through improving the service quality and passenger returns. Only in this way can the success rate of the private sector investment in public transport be improved efficiently. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Towards Urban Resilience: A Multi-Criteria Analysis of Seismic Vulnerability in Iasi City (Romania)
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 270; doi:10.3390/su9020270
Received: 11 December 2016 / Revised: 18 January 2017 / Accepted: 8 February 2017 / Published: 15 February 2017
PDF Full-text (6755 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
When relating to hazards such as earthquakes, a primary task of a resilience approach is to evaluate vulnerability in an integrative manner by taking into account the most relevant indicators. Focused on Iasi, one of the major Romanian cities which are exposed to
[...] Read more.
When relating to hazards such as earthquakes, a primary task of a resilience approach is to evaluate vulnerability in an integrative manner by taking into account the most relevant indicators. Focused on Iasi, one of the major Romanian cities which are exposed to the earthquakes originating in Vrancea area, this study aims to assess seismic vulnerability using a multi-criteria analysis of buildings infrastructure and social vulnerability. Several indicators are taken into account, such as physical (related to the characteristics of buildings and terrain) and social indicators (related to population and economic income), as well as the accessibility from/to emergency services/hospitals. The indicators were processed by standardization (Z score), processed and correlated using the principal components analysis (PCA) and integrated within an Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP). By summing the weighted values of the standardized indicators, a (integrated) seismic vulnerability index was obtained. It is a pre-assessment of the seismic vulnerability in Iasi City and also a prerequisite for the identification of the necessary prevention measures to be taken in compliance with the identified spatial patterns of vulnerability as a part of a resilient approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resilience to Natural and Man-Made Disasters)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Value Assigned to Employees Who Preserve the Social and Organizational Environment
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 170; doi:10.3390/su9020170
Received: 2 December 2016 / Revised: 20 January 2017 / Accepted: 21 January 2017 / Published: 25 January 2017
PDF Full-text (856 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this study, we were interested in the behaviors of individuals who preserve the social and organizational environment by ensuring sustainability. More specifically, we are interested in allegiant behaviors. Numerous studies have highlighted the normative character of allegiance. Therefore, we questioned the value
[...] Read more.
In this study, we were interested in the behaviors of individuals who preserve the social and organizational environment by ensuring sustainability. More specifically, we are interested in allegiant behaviors. Numerous studies have highlighted the normative character of allegiance. Therefore, we questioned the value attributed to allegiance. We questioned 170 employees on social values that they attribute in terms of desirability and utility to a future colleague (subordinate or peer) starting from the responses that these future colleagues were supposed to have submitted to an allegiance questionnaire. It was observed that desirability and utility make reference to two independent dimensions, utility being often more important. It was also noted there is greater severity assigned to endo-group targets (future peers) than to exo-group targets (future subordinates). Finally, it was noted that there was not so much a valuation of allegiant targets, but rather a rejection of rebel targets, which raises the question of the bi-dimensionality of the valuation-devaluation process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multi-disciplinary Sustainability Research)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Adaptation to Climate Change through Spatial Planning in Compact Urban Areas: A Case Study in the City of Thessaloniki
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 271; doi:10.3390/su9020271
Received: 24 November 2016 / Revised: 11 January 2017 / Accepted: 7 February 2017 / Published: 15 February 2017
PDF Full-text (3412 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
One of the problems urban areas are facing is the coupled effect of climate change and the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect. This article attempts to demonstrate the potential of spatial planning to reduce the UHI effect and, hence, to contribute to climate
[...] Read more.
One of the problems urban areas are facing is the coupled effect of climate change and the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect. This article attempts to demonstrate the potential of spatial planning to reduce the UHI effect and, hence, to contribute to climate change adaptation in compact urban areas. After a brief review of the relevant literature, the article focuses on one case study within the compact urban area of the city of Thessaloniki. The geographical, socio-economic and urban form data of the study area and its subsequent vulnerability to UHI were initially assessed. Based on these features, a local spatial planning strategy is proposed, and the study proceeds to a detailed amendment of the land use plan, within part of the vulnerable zone. This takes into account the existing urban form, the lack of resources and the availability of the spatial planning tools within the Greek spatial planning system. Τhe main purpose of this article is to highlight the fact that, even in urban areas where the potential for intervention seems to be marginal, because of their existing form, the complexities of the local planning system and resource limitations, improvements to the UHI effect and adaptation to climate change can be achieved by better land use planning and urban design. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Heat Island)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle