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Sustainability, Volume 9, Issue 3 (March 2017)

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Cover Story Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): 2. Zero Hunger. The photo is adapted from [...] Read more.
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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessEditorial I Have a Dream: Organic Movements Include Gene Manipulation to Improve Sustainable Farming
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 392; doi:10.3390/su9030392
Received: 1 March 2017 / Revised: 1 March 2017 / Accepted: 3 March 2017 / Published: 7 March 2017
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Abstract
Several papers in a Special Issue of Sustainability have recently discussed various aspects to evaluate whether organic farming and gene manipulation are compatible. A special emphasis was given to new plant breeding techniques (NPBTs). These new approaches allow the most predictable genetic alterations
[...] Read more.
Several papers in a Special Issue of Sustainability have recently discussed various aspects to evaluate whether organic farming and gene manipulation are compatible. A special emphasis was given to new plant breeding techniques (NPBTs). These new approaches allow the most predictable genetic alterations of crop plants in ways that the genetically modified plant is identical to a plant generated by conventional breeding. The articles of the Special Issue present the arguments pro and contra the inclusion of the plants generated by NPBTs in organic farming. Organic movements have not yet made a final decision whether some of these techniques should be accepted or banned. In my view these novel genetically manipulated (GM) crops could be used in such a way as to respect the requirements for genetically manipulated organisms (GMOs) formulated by the International Federation of Organic Movements (IFOAM). Reviewing the potential benefits of disease-resistant potatoes and bananas, it seems possible that these crops support organic farming. To this end, I propose specific requirements that the organic movements should proactively formulate as their standards to accept specific GM crops. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organic Farming and Gene Manipulation)
Open AccessEditorial Sustainability through the Lens of Environmental Sociology: An Introduction
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 474; doi:10.3390/su9030474
Received: 10 March 2017 / Revised: 15 March 2017 / Accepted: 15 March 2017 / Published: 22 March 2017
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Abstract
Our planet is undergoing radical environmental and social changes. Sustainability has now been put into question by, for example, our consumption patterns, loss of biodiversity, depletion of resources, and exploitative power relations. With apparent ecological and social limits to globalization and development, current
[...] Read more.
Our planet is undergoing radical environmental and social changes. Sustainability has now been put into question by, for example, our consumption patterns, loss of biodiversity, depletion of resources, and exploitative power relations. With apparent ecological and social limits to globalization and development, current levels of consumption are known to be unsustainable, inequitable, and inaccessible to the majority of humans. Understanding and achieving sustainability is a crucial matter at a time when our planet is in peril—environmentally, economically, socially, and politically. Since its official inception in the 1970s, environmental sociology has provided a powerful lens to understanding the challenges, possibilities, and modes of sustainability. This editorial, accompanying the Special Issue on “sustainability through the Lens of Environmental Sociology”, first highlights the evolution of environmental sociology as a distinct field of inquiry, focusing on how it addresses the environmental challenges of our time. It then adumbrates the rich theoretical traditions of environmental sociology, and finally examines sustainability through the lens of environmental sociology, referring to various case studies and empirical analyses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability through the Lens of Environmental Sociology)

Research

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Open AccessArticle Structuring Tensions and Key Relations of Montreal Seasonal Food Markets in the Sustainability Transition of the Agri-Food Sector
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 320; doi:10.3390/su9030320
Received: 12 August 2016 / Revised: 7 February 2017 / Accepted: 11 February 2017 / Published: 24 February 2017
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Abstract
In cities across the world, local food networks aim to make food systems more sustainable and secure for all. As part of that effort, some of these networks also seek to introduce social innovation in the mode of selling food, namely as a
[...] Read more.
In cities across the world, local food networks aim to make food systems more sustainable and secure for all. As part of that effort, some of these networks also seek to introduce social innovation in the mode of selling food, namely as a way to initiate a broader transition of the sector. Based on two years of action research conducted together with promoters of Montreal’s seasonal markets, this article offers an account of the co-constructed narrative of a transition of the agri-food sector. On the one hand, transition theory anticipates that the transition to sustainability of the agri-food sector would depend on the protection and empowerment of innovative ‘niches’ that are facing the locked-in structure of the agri-food ‘sociotechnical regime’. Yet, on the other hand, the seasonal markets do not fit well in this portrait: they are shown to evolve at the intersection of the sociotechnical regime and innovative niches. For this reason, they are subject to regime rules and become difficult to protect as an entity. As such, seasonal markets face ‘structuring tensions’ that generate both practical dilemmas and innovative solutions in their modes of organization. These solutions, however, rely on webs of resources and supports that constitute ‘key relations’ for unlocking the agri-food regime rules. It is through managing these tensions and relations that the seasonal markets end up reconfiguring social and material relations and providing solutions for food security and a more sustainable food system. Therefore, we argue that the structuring tension and key relation concepts are useful for understanding the dynamics of social innovation in the transition to sustainability in food systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle Temperature and Cardiovascular Mortality Associations in Four Southern Chinese Cities: A Time-Series Study Using a Distributed Lag Non-Linear Model
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 321; doi:10.3390/su9030321
Received: 10 November 2016 / Revised: 13 February 2017 / Accepted: 15 February 2017 / Published: 23 February 2017
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Abstract
Few studies on population-specific health effects of extreme temperature on cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) deaths have been conducted in the subtropical and tropical climates of China. We examined the association between extreme temperature and CVD across four cities in China. We performed a two-stage
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Few studies on population-specific health effects of extreme temperature on cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) deaths have been conducted in the subtropical and tropical climates of China. We examined the association between extreme temperature and CVD across four cities in China. We performed a two-stage analysis; we generated city-specific estimates using a distributed lag non-linear model (DLNM) and estimated the overall effects by conducting a meta-analysis. Heat thresholds of 29 °C, 29 °C, 29 °C, and 30 °C and cold thresholds of 6 °C, 10 °C, 14 °C, and 15 °C were observed in Hefei, Changsha, Nanning, and Haikou, respectively. The lag periods for heat-related CVD mortality were observed only for 0–2 days, while those of cold-related CVD mortality were observed for 10–15 days. The meta-analysis showed that a 1 °C increase above the city-specific heat threshold was associated with average overall CVD mortality increases of 4.6% (3.0%–6.2%), 6.4% (3.4%–9.4%), and 0.2% (−4.8%–5.2%) for all ages, ≥65 years, and <65 years over a lag period of 0–2 days, respectively. Similarly, a 1 °C decrease below the city-specific cold threshold was associated with average overall CVD mortality increases of 4.2% (3.0%–5.4%), 4.9% (3.5%–6.3%), and 3.1% (1.7%–4.5%), for all ages, ≥65 years, and <65 years over a lag period of 0–15 days, respectively. This work will help to take appropriate measures to reduce temperature-mortality risk in different populations in the subtropical and tropical climates of China. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Accuracy of Environmental Monitoring in China: Exploring the Influence of Institutional, Political and Ideological Factors
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 324; doi:10.3390/su9030324
Received: 21 March 2016 / Revised: 25 November 2016 / Accepted: 5 December 2016 / Published: 23 February 2017
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Abstract
Environmental monitoring data are essential to informing decision-making processes relevant to the management of the environment. Their accuracy is therefore of extreme importance. The credibility of Chinese environmental data has been long questioned by domestic and foreign observers. This paper explores the potential
[...] Read more.
Environmental monitoring data are essential to informing decision-making processes relevant to the management of the environment. Their accuracy is therefore of extreme importance. The credibility of Chinese environmental data has been long questioned by domestic and foreign observers. This paper explores the potential impact of institutional, political, and ideological factors on the accuracy of China’s environmental monitoring data. It contends that the bureaucratic incentive system, conflicting agency goals, particular interests, and ideological structures constitute potential sources of bias in processes of environmental monitoring in China. The current leadership has acknowledged the issue, implementing new measures to strengthen administrative coordination and reinforce the oversight of the central government over local authorities. However, the failure to address the deeper political roots of the problem and the ambivalence over the desirability of public participation to enhance transparency might jeopardize Beijing’s strive for environmental data accuracy. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Social Perspective on the Renewable Energy Autonomy of Geographically Isolated Communities: Evidence from a Mediterranean Island
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 327; doi:10.3390/su9030327
Received: 23 November 2016 / Revised: 27 January 2017 / Accepted: 15 February 2017 / Published: 23 February 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (847 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The use of renewable energy sources can provide a path toward sustainable development and regional energy independence. In particular, renewable-based energy autonomy constitutes a viable option in remote areas. This work presents a survey on the use of renewable energy as part of
[...] Read more.
The use of renewable energy sources can provide a path toward sustainable development and regional energy independence. In particular, renewable-based energy autonomy constitutes a viable option in remote areas. This work presents a survey on the use of renewable energy as part of an energy autonomy plan on a Mediterranean island. The study also included personal communications with residents and local community leaders. The results show an overall positive attitude toward renewable energy applications. The majority of the respondents support the implementation of renewable-based, small-scale projects corresponding to local energy autonomy scenarios. They are, furthermore, convinced that a wider use of renewable technologies can reduce the environmental impact of conventional fuels. However, although people are aware of technologies widely used on the island, they are much less so when it comes to less prominent technologies (wave energy, fuel cells, etc.). People tend to be more open to installations of solar, wind and geothermal energy, while generally they dislike nuclear and coal power plants. Lastly, the majority of the respondents believe that local policies on energy issues should change, while they also perceive the lack of political will as one of the most important obstacles to the implementation of renewable technologies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Functional Differentiation and Sustainability: A New Stage of Development in the Chinese Container Port System
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 328; doi:10.3390/su9030328
Received: 22 December 2016 / Revised: 6 February 2017 / Accepted: 17 February 2017 / Published: 23 February 2017
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Abstract
Adjacent ports played a significant role in the evolution of the port system. In our study, we selected five pairs (i.e., Dalian–Yingkou, Qingdao–Yantai, Shanghai–Ningbo, Xiamen–Quanzhou, and Shenzhen–Guangzhou) of the most important adjacent ports in China to reveal the recent trend of China unique
[...] Read more.
Adjacent ports played a significant role in the evolution of the port system. In our study, we selected five pairs (i.e., Dalian–Yingkou, Qingdao–Yantai, Shanghai–Ningbo, Xiamen–Quanzhou, and Shenzhen–Guangzhou) of the most important adjacent ports in China to reveal the recent trend of China unique port system development; how and why will port system development be de-concentrated; and integrate the conceptual modal into in-depth analysis. The major findings are as follows: (1) There is functional differentiation in adjacent ports. To some big ports’ sustainability, they focus on foreign trade while other small ports, in order to achieve sustainable development, they focus on domestic trade; (2) First-mover advantage and dislocation competition is a mechanism of China ports functional differentiation; (3) Shanghai and Ningbo are unique in that both ports are similarly focused on foreign trade because they both have deep-water harbors, excellent geographical location, export-oriented hinterland economy, and close foreign investment relationships. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Environmental Impact Analysis on Residential Building in Malaysia Using Life Cycle Assessment
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 329; doi:10.3390/su9030329
Received: 31 December 2016 / Revised: 13 February 2017 / Accepted: 20 February 2017 / Published: 23 February 2017
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Abstract
The building industry has a significant impact on the environment due to massive natural resources and energy it uses throughout its life cycle. This study presents a life cycle assessment of a semi-detached residential building in Malaysia as a case study and assesses
[...] Read more.
The building industry has a significant impact on the environment due to massive natural resources and energy it uses throughout its life cycle. This study presents a life cycle assessment of a semi-detached residential building in Malaysia as a case study and assesses the environmental impact under cradle-to-grave which consists of pre-use, construction, use, and end-of-life phases by using Centre of Environmental Science of Leiden University (CML) 2001. Four impact categories were evaluated, namely, acidification, eutrophication, global warming potential (GWP), and ozone layer depletion (ODP). The building operation under use phase contributed the highest global warming potential and acidification with 2.41 × 103 kg CO2 eq and 1.10 × 101 kg SO2 eq, respectively. In the pre-use phase, concrete in the substructure has the most significant overall impact with cement as the primary raw material. The results showed that the residential building in Malaysia has a fairly high impact in GWP but lower in acidification and ODP compared to other studies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Consumer Choices and Motives for Eco-Labeled Products in China: An Empirical Analysis Based on the Choice Experiment
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 331; doi:10.3390/su9030331
Received: 3 January 2017 / Revised: 17 February 2017 / Accepted: 20 February 2017 / Published: 23 February 2017
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Abstract
Based on choice experiments conducted via face-to-face interviews with 435 participants in four provincial areas of China (Shanghai, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, and Guangdong), Chinese consumers’ preferences and motives for purchasing eco-labeled rice are examined in this study. The heterogeneous effects of each motivating channel
[...] Read more.
Based on choice experiments conducted via face-to-face interviews with 435 participants in four provincial areas of China (Shanghai, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, and Guangdong), Chinese consumers’ preferences and motives for purchasing eco-labeled rice are examined in this study. The heterogeneous effects of each motivating channel are also investigated. The results reveal positive correlations between premiums for eco-labeled rice and consumers’ concerns about food safety and the environment, suggesting that health benefits and environmental considerations are the two critical motivations. The willingness to pay for eco-labeled rice does not increase with consumers’ knowledge of the different production standards indicated by each eco-label. Individual characteristics that determine each class are further explored through a seemingly irrelevant regression to identify the target group of consumers for policy-makers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Performance versus Values in Sustainability Transformation of Food Systems
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 332; doi:10.3390/su9030332
Received: 7 January 2017 / Accepted: 18 February 2017 / Published: 23 February 2017
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Abstract
Questions have been raised on what role the knowledge provided by sustainability science actually plays in the transition to sustainability and what role it may play in the future. In this paper we investigate different approaches to sustainability transformation of food systems by
[...] Read more.
Questions have been raised on what role the knowledge provided by sustainability science actually plays in the transition to sustainability and what role it may play in the future. In this paper we investigate different approaches to sustainability transformation of food systems by analyzing the rationale behind transformative acts-the ground that the direct agents of change act upon- and how the type of rationale is connected to the role of research and how the agents of change are involved. To do this we employ Max Weber’s distinction between instrumental rationality and value-rationality in social action. In particular, we compare two different approaches to the role of research in sustainability transformation: (1) Performance-based approaches that measure performance and set up sustainability indicator targets and benchmarks to motivate the agents in the food system to change; (2) Values-based approaches that aim at communicating and mediating sustainability values to enable coordinated and cooperative action to transform the food system. We identify their respective strengths and weaknesses based on a cross-case analysis of four cases, and propose that the two approaches, like Weber’s two types of rationality, are complementary-because they are based on complementary observer stances—and that an optimal in-between approach therefore cannot be found. However, there are options for reflexive learning by observing one perspective-and its possible blind spots-from the vantage point of the other, so we suggest that new strategies for sustainability transformation can be found based on reflexive rationality as a third and distinct type of rationality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
Open AccessArticle High Biodiversity of Green Infrastructure Does Not Contribute to Recreational Ecosystem Services
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 334; doi:10.3390/su9030334
Received: 31 December 2016 / Revised: 17 February 2017 / Accepted: 20 February 2017 / Published: 24 February 2017
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Abstract
Urban lakes, especially those of natural origin, provide ecosystem services, recreation being one of the most important and highly valued by city dwellers. Fulfilling the needs of city residents to relax and have contact with nature has become a priority in urbanized areas
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Urban lakes, especially those of natural origin, provide ecosystem services, recreation being one of the most important and highly valued by city dwellers. Fulfilling the needs of city residents to relax and have contact with nature has become a priority in urbanized areas and has been proven to positively affect people’s health and well-being. The recreational potential of water bodies was identified to be the most important aspect of ecosystem services to the residents of the neighboring areas. An assessment of recreational ecosystem services (RES) provisioning to society based on the real time spent by the citizens and housing values in the urban–rural gradient revealed that the economic benefits of lakes differ in urbanized, suburban and rural landscapes. The growth of cities has led to an increased population density in the surroundings of ecologically valuable areas, resulting in higher pressure from visitors seeking recreational areas. Along with urbanization, the impoverishment of ecosystem functions takes place, limiting their capability to provide ecosystem services. In this work, the provisioning of recreational ecosystem services of 28 floodplain lakes located along the urban–rural gradient of the Warsaw agglomeration was assessed. The relationship between the ecological value of the water bodies, measured using naturalness indices, and the recreational ecosystem services they can provide was assessed. The results showed that the floodplain lakes located along the urban–rural gradient are of great importance to the citizens due to their recreational potential. The provisioning of recreational ecosystem services is poorly connected with the ecological characteristics of the floodplain lakes. Only hemeroby was significantly correlated with provisioning, and there was no relationship with factors such as naturalness of vegetation or water quality, demonstrating that public preference was not generally influenced by high ecological quality. These data should be available to potential buyers and be integrated in spatial planning management plans in order to shape future housing policy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maintaining Ecosystem Services to Support Urban Needs)
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Open AccessArticle Financial Development and Economic Growth: The Role of Foreign-Owned Banks in CESEE Countries
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 335; doi:10.3390/su9030335
Received: 28 December 2016 / Revised: 15 January 2017 / Accepted: 20 February 2017 / Published: 3 March 2017
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Abstract
This study focuses on the role of financial development in the economic growth of Central, Eastern and South-Eastern European (CESEE) countries in the post-communist era (1995–2014), which coincides with the opening up of financial markets to foreign investors and the global financial crisis.
[...] Read more.
This study focuses on the role of financial development in the economic growth of Central, Eastern and South-Eastern European (CESEE) countries in the post-communist era (1995–2014), which coincides with the opening up of financial markets to foreign investors and the global financial crisis. We investigate whether economic growth in CESEE countries has benefited from the presence of foreign-owned banks. To this end, we introduce some refined measures of financial development and control for banks’ financial strength. Our results challenge the idea that bank credit fosters economic growth and that foreign-owned banks are indisputably a positive addition to local markets able to foster economic growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Regional Features and National Differences in Population Distribution in China’s Border Regions (2000–2015)
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 336; doi:10.3390/su9030336
Received: 22 December 2016 / Revised: 20 February 2017 / Accepted: 20 February 2017 / Published: 25 February 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2970 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
China is of great geostrategic significance not only in the Asia-Pacific region, but also in the wider world. The population distribution in China’s border regions is of significance for the development of China and neighboring countries. Based on the LandScan Population Distribution Database,
[...] Read more.
China is of great geostrategic significance not only in the Asia-Pacific region, but also in the wider world. The population distribution in China’s border regions is of significance for the development of China and neighboring countries. Based on the LandScan Population Distribution Database, this study used GIS spatial analysis and statistics to investigate national trends in the population distribution of China’s border regions. The study areas were the buffer zones within specified Euclidean distances from the land borders of China. The results showed that: (1) Although the population agglomeration index and population size inside China’s border areas have increased, the population density inside China’s border areas is still far below China’s average population density; (2) Over the last 15 years, the population of China’s northwestern border has been sparse, with small increases in the population agglomeration index and population size. China’s northeastern and southwestern border regions have several average population density areas, but the northeastern regions have seen a substantial reduction in population size since 2000. Based on our analysis, we propose that the Chinese government introduce supporting policies for the development of border regions to maintain the population size. At the same time, considering the varied living suitability of the natural environment along the northeastern, northwestern, and southwestern borders, “moderate agglomeration” and “moderate evacuation” population development strategies should be implemented in specified areas. Tilt policy should also be implemented in areas of rapid population decline. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle Environmental Law Clinics in Collaboration with Environmental NGOs in China
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 337; doi:10.3390/su9030337
Received: 19 January 2017 / Revised: 18 February 2017 / Accepted: 20 February 2017 / Published: 24 February 2017
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Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to study the effect of an innovative curriculum design on environmental education in China, specifically with regard to an Environmental Law Clinic (ELC) course, to be run in co-operation with environmental NGOs (ENGOs). Adopting a qualitative case
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The purpose of this paper is to study the effect of an innovative curriculum design on environmental education in China, specifically with regard to an Environmental Law Clinic (ELC) course, to be run in co-operation with environmental NGOs (ENGOs). Adopting a qualitative case study method, our researchers investigated the effect of this innovative curriculum, including the quantity of student environmental knowledge, the level of the sense of student environmental responsibility, and the ability of students to solve environmental disputes. We also investigated each participant’s attitudes toward this innovative design. Our researchers employed various methods to analyze the student questionnaires, and to simulate consultation records and interview records. The results of our study show that an ELC (in co-operation with ENGOs) would be innovative and indispensable in the field of contemporary environmental law education. In fact, our design largely solves the problems faced by China’s ELC education. The innovative curriculum we have designed is beneficial to the sustainable development of society, because it not only improves a student’s practical ability, necessary knowledge, and the skills to deal with cases, but the curriculum also increases a student’s sense of environmental responsibility. However, to promote the wide-range practice and sustainable development of this curriculum in China, sound and multilevel support systems and measures are required. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Optimal Acquisition and Production Policy for End-of-Life Engineering Machinery Recovering in a Joint Manufacturing/Remanufacturing System under Uncertainties in Procurement and Demand
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 338; doi:10.3390/su9030338
Received: 14 December 2016 / Revised: 18 January 2017 / Accepted: 20 February 2017 / Published: 24 February 2017
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Abstract
The intensive shortage of natural resources and the inchoate phase of automobile remanufacturing in a closed-loop supply chain (CLSC) are driving people to take cyclic manufacturing seriously. Aiming at maximizing resource utilization and produce profits, we apply an optimizing mathematical analysis to the
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The intensive shortage of natural resources and the inchoate phase of automobile remanufacturing in a closed-loop supply chain (CLSC) are driving people to take cyclic manufacturing seriously. Aiming at maximizing resource utilization and produce profits, we apply an optimizing mathematical analysis to the modeling of automobile engine remanufacturing in a joint manufacturing system, in which the quantity and quality of procurement, and the demand of the market, are both uncertain. The manufacturer can either produce new products with raw materials or remanufacture the returned product taken back from customers; the raw materials are bought from two suppliers with certain probabilities of disruption in the supply. The returned products are classified into different quality levels according to the testing results after sorting, by considering the remanufacture-up-to strategy we obtained the optimal remanufacturing ratio, then the manufacturing quantity and corresponding maximized total profit of this joint system are determined. We also investigated a real-life case of auto engine remanufacturing, comparing it with the theory of optimal remanufacturing policy, and the results indicate that a material savings of more than 45% and a cost improvement of more than 40% could be achieved when the optimal remanufacturing policy of our model is implemented. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Equity and the Conservation of Global Ecosystem Services
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 339; doi:10.3390/su9030339
Received: 19 December 2016 / Accepted: 22 February 2017 / Published: 24 February 2017
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Abstract
This article provides a first rough sketch of how to conceptualize countries’ present and historical contributions to the loss of global ecosystem services, i.e., ecosystem services of which the delivery is global and omnidirectional, and discusses the implications of questions concerning the international
[...] Read more.
This article provides a first rough sketch of how to conceptualize countries’ present and historical contributions to the loss of global ecosystem services, i.e., ecosystem services of which the delivery is global and omnidirectional, and discusses the implications of questions concerning the international distribution of responsibilities. On the basis of limited empirical data about past and present land conversion, some first calculations suggest that keeping converted land in a converted state, thus preventing ecosystems recovery, may contribute more to current loss of global ecosystem services than new conversion of ecosystems. Moreover, many developing countries in the tropics may contribute more to the loss of global ecosystem services, in both absolute terms and per capita, than many developed countries in temperate zones. This would make finding an equitable arrangement for international allocation of responsibilities for biological conservation far more complex than for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, raising new and challenging questions for normative theorists. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Screening of Tree Species for Improving Outdoor Human Thermal Comfort in a Taiwanese City
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 340; doi:10.3390/su9030340
Received: 24 December 2016 / Revised: 21 February 2017 / Accepted: 21 February 2017 / Published: 24 February 2017
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Abstract
Tropical cities can use urban greening designs featuring trees that provide shade and cooling in hot outdoor environments. The cooling effect involves numerous tree characteristics that are not easy to control during planting design, such as the canopy size and the optical properties
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Tropical cities can use urban greening designs featuring trees that provide shade and cooling in hot outdoor environments. The cooling effect involves numerous tree characteristics that are not easy to control during planting design, such as the canopy size and the optical properties of leaves. Planting the appropriate tree species dominates the cooling effects and the human thermal environment. Based on environmental and plant data, including the tree species, crown diameter of trees, physiologically equivalent temperature (PET), and sky view factor (SVF) in an outdoor space, a series of hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) procedures was implemented to identify the tree species that are appropriate for improving thermal comfort. The results indicated strong correlations between SVF, average crown diameter, and PET. SVF decreased as the average crown diameter increased. For the average crown diameter of trees in an area wider than 1.5 m, the cooling effect was especially dominated by the tree species. Therefore, 15 species were screened by HCA procedures, based on a similar cooling effect. These species had various cooling effects, and were divided into four categories. Tree species, such as Spathodea campanulata and Cinnamomum camphora, had the appropriate crown diameter and cooling effect for the most comfortable thermal environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maintaining Ecosystem Services to Support Urban Needs)
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Open AccessArticle Visions and Expectations for the Norwegian Bioeconomy
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 341; doi:10.3390/su9030341
Received: 30 November 2016 / Accepted: 15 February 2017 / Published: 24 February 2017
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Abstract
Developing a future bioeconomy has become critical for three main reasons: (1) The need for sustainability of resource use; (2) The growing demand for both food and energy; and (3) The need to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation. As Zilberman observes, a
[...] Read more.
Developing a future bioeconomy has become critical for three main reasons: (1) The need for sustainability of resource use; (2) The growing demand for both food and energy; and (3) The need to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation. As Zilberman observes, a transition to bioeconomy “is a continuing evolutionary process of transition from systems of mining non-renewable resources to farming renewable ones”. Hence, to meet the challenges created by a growing dependence on non-renewable resources, radical changes are needed that involve more than development of or changes within the individual bio-based sectors. In line with emerging attention to the bioeconomy in Europe and elsewhere, great expectations towards the bioeconomy have been launched in high level industry and policy fora, as well as in resource-based economies such as Norway's. Grounded in theories of transition and transition management, this paper discusses the Norwegian biosector's expectations regarding a bioeconomy. Analyses are based on empirical survey data from biosector representatives. Findings suggest that there are clear differences between sectors in motivation for a future bioeconomy. A transition into a complete bioeconomy will demand a system shift and more cross-sectoral integration between these regimes than currently exists. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovation and Sustainable Development for the Bioeconomy)
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Open AccessArticle External Knowledge Sourcing and Green Innovation Growth with Environmental and Energy Regulations: Evidence from Manufacturing in China
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 342; doi:10.3390/su9030342
Received: 15 December 2016 / Revised: 25 January 2017 / Accepted: 16 February 2017 / Published: 25 February 2017
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Abstract
This paper adopts the slacks-based measure-directional distance function (SBM-DDF, 2009) method for deriving the “Green Innovation Growth” rates of 28 manufacturing industries in China. The results indicate that the overall level of green innovation growth in China’s manufacturing is relatively low, with a
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This paper adopts the slacks-based measure-directional distance function (SBM-DDF, 2009) method for deriving the “Green Innovation Growth” rates of 28 manufacturing industries in China. The results indicate that the overall level of green innovation growth in China’s manufacturing is relatively low, with a declining trend. The tradeoffs among energy, environment and economy are rather sharp, and the “Porter Effect (1995)” (environmental regulation will promote green technology innovation) is not currently realized quickly in manufacturing. These evaluations imply an unsustainable development model in China, with significant differences among industries. By using a dynamic panel threshold model and employing an industry-level panel dataset for 2008–2014, we show that external knowledge sourcing has a significant negative impact on green innovation growth but with different constraints on R&D levels among industries. With the strengthening of R&D levels, gradually surpassing “critical mass”, the negative role of external knowledge sourcing in driving this mechanism becomes smaller and smaller; it has a non-linear relationship with the “threshold effect”. Consequently, we provide insights into the relationship among energy consumption, environmental pollution and technology innovation, and show how the heterogeneity of the R&D threshold affects differences in external knowledge sourcing and green innovation growth. These insights lead to a better understanding of the driving force, realizing path and policy design for green innovation growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Estimating the Economic Impacts of a Small-Scale Sport Tourism Event: The Case of the Italo-Swiss Mountain Trail CollonTrek
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 343; doi:10.3390/su9030343
Received: 12 January 2017 / Revised: 17 February 2017 / Accepted: 23 February 2017 / Published: 26 February 2017
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Abstract
Evidence from several studies shows that small-scale sport events may have more positive repercussions for the host community than major ones in terms of both economic and social impacts. This study estimates the economic impacts on a small community derived from athletes’ expenditure
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Evidence from several studies shows that small-scale sport events may have more positive repercussions for the host community than major ones in terms of both economic and social impacts. This study estimates the economic impacts on a small community derived from athletes’ expenditure at a specific small-scale sport tourism event, the Italo-Swiss mountain endurance trail CollonTrek. Even if this kind of event is considered a minor sport event, generating very limited economic activity, this study supports the hypothesis that the funds invested by the public administration are compensated for by revenue generated during the trail. In fact, according to the three analyzed scenarios (Conservative, Average and Liberal), for each euro invested by the public administration, an economic return between €17.62 and €18.92 has been estimated, and between €5.64 and €6.9 (32%–36.47%) represent the direct economic return for the local community. Furthermore, in addition to the direct economic benefits, in accordance with the feedback from a sample of participants at the event (n = 180), this kind of event has positive implications in terms of future tourism for the host valley, pointing out how this kind of tourist activities has positive repercussions in terms of economic and social sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Tourism in Mountain Regions)
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Open AccessArticle Getting Wasted at WOMADelaide: The Effect of Signage on Waste Disposal
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 344; doi:10.3390/su9030344
Received: 7 December 2016 / Revised: 1 February 2017 / Accepted: 8 February 2017 / Published: 26 February 2017
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Abstract
In recent years, there has been a rise in environmental consciousness and community awareness of waste disposal issues. However, discrepancies remain between people’s attitude and their behavior regarding waste disposal and recycling; commonly known as the “attitude behavior gap”. This study was designed
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In recent years, there has been a rise in environmental consciousness and community awareness of waste disposal issues. However, discrepancies remain between people’s attitude and their behavior regarding waste disposal and recycling; commonly known as the “attitude behavior gap”. This study was designed to aid in bridging this gap by exploring how signage, incorporating psychological principles and effective sign design, can encourage people to correctly dispose of their unwanted materials. The utilization of festivals, mass gatherings and events as spaces to test the impact of pro-environmental messaging on behavior is an emerging field of research. This study investigated the role of signage in aiding attendees of the world music festival WOMADelaide to correctly dispose of their unwanted materials. To complement and support the three-bin system utilized by the waste contractors for the event, four signs were developed and tested in the catering area. These signs included a baseline sign, as well as three motivational signs containing graphics and messages, based on different theoretical positions or psychological principles. The results gained from analyzing the concealed camera footage indicated that the bins under the three motivational signs elicited a greater number of deposits. However, the waste was no better sorted than those located under the baseline sign. The findings of this study support previous research into the “attitude behavior gap” and highlight areas for future research into signage in a festival setting. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Identifying Critical Factors Influencing the Rents of Public Rental Housing Delivery by PPPs: The Case of Nanjing
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 345; doi:10.3390/su9030345
Received: 1 December 2016 / Revised: 10 February 2017 / Accepted: 20 February 2017 / Published: 26 February 2017
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Abstract
The occupancy rate of Public Rental Housing (PRH) in China is relatively low due to the unreasonable rents. At the same time, the development of PRH using Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) increases the complexity of the rents. Therefore, the critical factors influencing the
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The occupancy rate of Public Rental Housing (PRH) in China is relatively low due to the unreasonable rents. At the same time, the development of PRH using Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) increases the complexity of the rents. Therefore, the critical factors influencing the rents of PRH delivery by PPPs should be identified. Based on the comprehensive literature, this article identified a conceptual model for the factors influencing the rents of PRH delivery by PPPs in China, composed of 14 factors grouped in three factor packages, and discussed the relationships among three factor packages. A survey based on Nanjing was conducted to assess the relative significance of 14 factors. According to the results, six critical factors were identified: construction costs, household income, floor area and structure, transportation, market rents in the same district and public facilities. In addition, the proposed conceptual model had a good fit. The results also supported two hypothetical relationships among three factor packages: (1) the increase of the affordability of the target tenants had a positive effect on the increase of profits of private sectors; and (2) the increase of the affordability of the target tenants had a positive effect on the increase of level of the characteristics of PRH units. For future research, six critical factors and the relationships among three factor packages can be used to determine the reasonable rents for PRH delivery by PPPs in China. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Accessibility of Water-Related Cultural Ecosystem Services through Public Transport—A Model for Planning Support in the Stockholm Region
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 346; doi:10.3390/su9030346
Received: 22 December 2016 / Revised: 1 February 2017 / Accepted: 16 February 2017 / Published: 26 February 2017
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Abstract
Planning for sustainable cities involves supporting compact, energy-efficient urban form as well as maintaining attractive and liveable urban landscapes. Attractive cities depend highly on services provided by ecosystems, especially cultural ecosystem services (ES), which give direct benefits to urban citizens. Therefore, access to
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Planning for sustainable cities involves supporting compact, energy-efficient urban form as well as maintaining attractive and liveable urban landscapes. Attractive cities depend highly on services provided by ecosystems, especially cultural ecosystem services (ES), which give direct benefits to urban citizens. Therefore, access to a diversity of urban functions and publicly available ES by walking and public transport should be considered when planning for sustainable cities. This could be facilitated by user-friendly planning support models. The aim of this study was to develop a GIS-based model for assessing accessibility to ES, more specifically, water-related cultural ecosystem services (WCES), via walking and public transport, with input from stakeholders. The model was applied to the Stockholm region in Sweden. Travel times and census data were used to derive measures and maps of accessibility to prioritised WCES in the region, today and in urbanisation scenarios for 2050. The results showed how access to WCES varied spatially within the region. The number of potential visitors to different WCES sites now and in the future urbanisation scenarios was estimated, and areas in need for future development of the public transport system as well as WCES were identified. The GIS-based accessibility model has potential to be used as planning support in urban planning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Sustainability and Planning Support Systems)
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Open AccessArticle Economic Performance of Traditional and Modern Rice Varieties under Different Water Management Systems
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 347; doi:10.3390/su9030347
Received: 6 December 2016 / Revised: 15 February 2017 / Accepted: 23 February 2017 / Published: 26 February 2017
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Abstract
Italian rice production is progressively threatened by water scarcity. Some strategies have been developed to reduce water use. Nevertheless, reducing water irrigation amounts may lower paddy rice production. This publication compares the productivity and the economic performances of traditional and modern rice varieties
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Italian rice production is progressively threatened by water scarcity. Some strategies have been developed to reduce water use. Nevertheless, reducing water irrigation amounts may lower paddy rice production. This publication compares the productivity and the economic performances of traditional and modern rice varieties in northern Italy using two different water management systems. The objective of this analysis is to enhance Italian rice cultivation at the economic, environmental and agronomic levels. Some positive variations of water productivity and economic water productivity were observed for the two varieties when using a lower amount of irrigation water. However, actual production costs and most water supply fees are the same for all the irrigation methods. Furthermore, the study of agronomic traits shows that during the recent years, there were no significant differences or increases of yield among varieties. Consequently, to be adopted by farmers, the irrigation costs coupled with improved rice accessions need to be optimized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Water Resources Management)
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Open AccessArticle Spatial Analysis of Chinese Grain Production for Sustainable Land Management in Plain, Hill, and Mountain Counties
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 348; doi:10.3390/su9030348
Received: 24 December 2016 / Revised: 22 February 2017 / Accepted: 22 February 2017 / Published: 27 February 2017
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Abstract
In the context of China’s food security, spatially explicit information on grain production is an important asset to achieve the sustainable management of cultivated land. Previous studies have shown that spatial mismatches exist between grain production and water and cultivated land resources. In
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In the context of China’s food security, spatially explicit information on grain production is an important asset to achieve the sustainable management of cultivated land. Previous studies have shown that spatial mismatches exist between grain production and water and cultivated land resources. In this paper, county-level data are used to investigate the degree of spatial (mis)match between grain output and the geographical distribution patterns of plain, hill, and mountain counties. We estimate the difference in grain output between these different types of counties with a Spatial Autoregression Model. The results indicate that plain counties have the highest grain output, followed by hill counties and mountain counties subsequently. The reasons for the higher production in plain counties lie in the presence of more cultivated land, as well as a higher degree of irrigation and agricultural mechanization. The current pattern of Chinese total grain production follows the law of substituting labor with mechanization. Improving efficiency in the use of water resources and chemical fertilizer is both urgent and crucial. In this paper, we propose that the future roles for total grain production in relation to landforms should be: increased production and competitiveness in plain counties, a stabilization of capacity in hill counties, and a decrease in grain production in mountain counties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Land Use in China)
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Open AccessArticle Technological Approaches to Sustainable Agriculture at a Crossroads: An Agroecological Perspective
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 349; doi:10.3390/su9030349
Received: 24 November 2016 / Revised: 22 February 2017 / Accepted: 23 February 2017 / Published: 27 February 2017
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Abstract
Most efforts to improve agricultural production remain focused on practices driven by an intensification agenda and not by an agroecological one. Agroecology transcends the reformist notion of organic agriculture and sustainable intensification proponents who contend that changes can be achieved within the dominant
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Most efforts to improve agricultural production remain focused on practices driven by an intensification agenda and not by an agroecological one. Agroecology transcends the reformist notion of organic agriculture and sustainable intensification proponents who contend that changes can be achieved within the dominant agroindustrial system with minor adjustments or “greening” of the current neoliberal agricultural model. In the technological realm, merely modifying practices to reduce input use is a step in the right direction but does not necessarily lead to the redesign of a more self sufficient and autonomous farming system. A true agroecological technological conversion calls into question monoculture and the dependency on external inputs. Traditional farming systems provide models that promote biodiversity, thrive without agrochemicals, and sustain year-round yields. Conversion of conventional agriculture also requires major social and political changes which are beyond the scope of this paper. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Saving Soil for Sustainable Land Use
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 350; doi:10.3390/su9030350
Received: 4 November 2016 / Revised: 15 February 2017 / Accepted: 22 February 2017 / Published: 27 February 2017
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Abstract
This paper experiments with some costs-benefit analyses, seeking a balance between soil-take and buildability due to land policy and management. The activities have been carried out inside the MITO lab (Lab for Multimedia Information for Territorial Objects) of the Polytechnic University of Bari.
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This paper experiments with some costs-benefit analyses, seeking a balance between soil-take and buildability due to land policy and management. The activities have been carried out inside the MITO lab (Lab for Multimedia Information for Territorial Objects) of the Polytechnic University of Bari. Reports have been produced about the Southern Italian Apulia Region, which is rich in farmland and coastline, often invaded by construction, with a severe loss of nature, a degradation of the soil, landscape, and ecosystem services. A methodological approach to the assessment of sustainability of urban expansion related, on one hand, to “plus values” deriving from the transformation of urban fringes and, on the other hand to the analysis of the transition of land-use, with the aim of “saving soil” against urban sprawl. The loss of natural and agricultural surfaces due to the expanding artificial lands is an unsustainable character of urban development, especially in the manner in which it was carried out in past decades. We try to assess how plus value can be considered “unearned”, and to understand if the “land value recapture” can compensate for the negative environmental effects of urban expansion. We measured the transition from farmlands and natural habitat to urbanization with the support of the use of some Geographic Information Systems (GIS) tools, in favor of a new artificial land cover in the region of Apulia, Southern Italy. Data have been collected at the regional scale and at the local level, producing information about land use change and increases of property values due to improvements, referring to the 258 municipalities of the region. Looking at the results of our measurements, we started an interpretation of the driving forces that favor the plus values due to the transition of land-use. Compensation, easements, recapture of plus value, and improvement are, nowadays in Italy, discussed as major land-policy tools for managing environmental and landscape preservation. The interplay between urban economics and environmentally sound regulations reveals some controversial issues in urban governance and nature preservation: perhaps some abstract regulations, conjoined with non-case-oriented urban policies, consider these keywords as the old chemists considered the Philosopher’s Stone. The analyses show criticality emerging themes in emblematic cases, studied in some municipal contexts. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Understanding Driving Forces and Implications Associated with the Land Use and Land Cover Changes in Portugal
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 351; doi:10.3390/su9030351
Received: 28 December 2016 / Revised: 9 February 2017 / Accepted: 21 February 2017 / Published: 27 February 2017
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Abstract
Understanding the processes of land use and land cover changes (LUCC) and the associated driving forces is important for achieving sustainable development. This paper presents the LUCC in Portugal at the regional level (NUTS II) from 1995 to 2010 and discusses the main
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Understanding the processes of land use and land cover changes (LUCC) and the associated driving forces is important for achieving sustainable development. This paper presents the LUCC in Portugal at the regional level (NUTS II) from 1995 to 2010 and discusses the main driving forces and implications associated with these LUCC. The main objectives of this work are: (a) to quantify the land use and land cover (LUC) types (level I of LUC cartography) by NUT II in Portugal for the years 1995, 2007 and 2010; (b) to assess the spatio-temporal LUCC; and (c) to identify and discuss the main driving forces of LUCC and corresponding implications based on correlations and Principal Components Analysis. The results revealed large regional and temporal LUCC and further highlighted the different and sometimes opposite time trends between neighboring regions. By associating driving forces to LUCC, different influences at the regional level were observed, namely LUCC into agriculture land derived from the construction of dams (Alentejo region), or the conversion of coniferous forest into eucalypt forest (Centre region) associated with increased gross value added (GVA) and employment in industry and forestry. Temporal differentiation was also observed, particularly in the settlements that expanded between 1995 and 2007 due to the construction of large infrastructures (e.g., highways, industrial complexes, or buildings), which is reflected on employment in industry and construction and respective GVA. However, certain LUCC have implications, particularly in energy consumption, for which different behavior between regions can be highlighted in this analysis, but also on land-use sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle A New Perspective on Formation of Haze-Fog: The Fuzzy Cognitive Map and Its Approaches to Data Mining
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 352; doi:10.3390/su9030352
Received: 9 January 2017 / Accepted: 23 February 2017 / Published: 27 February 2017
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Abstract
Haze-fog has seriously hindered the sustainable development of the ecological environment and caused great harm to the physical and mental health of residents in China. Therefore, it is important to probe the formation of haze-fog for its early warning and prevention. The formation
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Haze-fog has seriously hindered the sustainable development of the ecological environment and caused great harm to the physical and mental health of residents in China. Therefore, it is important to probe the formation of haze-fog for its early warning and prevention. The formation of haze-fog is, in fact, a fuzzy nonlinear process. The formation of haze-fog is such a complex process that it is difficult to simulate its dynamic evolution using traditional methods, mainly because of the lack of their consideration of the nonlinear relationships. It is, therefore, essential to explore new perspectives on the formation of haze-fog. In this work, previous research on haze-fog formation is summarized first. Second, a new perspective is proposed on the application of fuzzy cognitive map to the formation of haze-fog. Third, a data mining method based on the genetic algorithm is used to discover the causality values of a fuzzy cognitive map (FCM) for hazefog formation. Finally, simulation results are obtained through an experiment using the fuzzy cognitive map and its data mining method for the formation of haze-fog. The validity of this approach is determined by definition of a simple rule and the Kappa values. Thus, this research not only provides a new idea using FCM modeling the formation of haze-fog, but also uses an effective method of FCM for solving the nonlinear dynamics of the haze-fog formation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Big Data and Predictive Analytics for Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Climate, Agroecology and Socio-Economic Determinants of Food Availability from Agriculture in Bangladesh, (1948–2008)
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 354; doi:10.3390/su9030354
Received: 10 November 2016 / Revised: 19 February 2017 / Accepted: 24 February 2017 / Published: 28 February 2017
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Abstract
The paper examines the impacts of prices, resources, technology, education, public investments, climatic variables and agroecology on Food Availability (FA) from domestic agriculture in Bangladesh using a panel data of 17 regions covering a 61-year period (1948–2008) by utilising a dynamic agricultural supply
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The paper examines the impacts of prices, resources, technology, education, public investments, climatic variables and agroecology on Food Availability (FA) from domestic agriculture in Bangladesh using a panel data of 17 regions covering a 61-year period (1948–2008) by utilising a dynamic agricultural supply response framework and Generalised Methods of Moments (GMM) estimator. Results revealed that FA has increased at the rate of 1.32% p.a. with significant regional variations. Significant regional differences exist with respect to climatic variables, resources, Green Revolution (GR) technology and education. Among the output prices, rise in the prices of rice, vegetables and pulses significantly increase FA whereas an increase in spice price significantly reduces FA. Among the input prices, a rise in labour wage significantly increases FA. FA increases significantly with an increase in GR technology expansion, as expected. Among the resources, increases in average farm size and labour stock per farm significantly increase FA, as expected. Among the climatic factors, a rise in annual minimum temperature significantly increases FA. FA is also significantly influenced by agroecological characteristics. FA is significantly higher in Karatoa floodplain and Atrai Basin but significantly lower in Ganges Tidal floodplain. Major disasters/events (i.e., the Liberation War of 1971 and 1988 flood) also significantly reduced FA, as expected. The key conclusion is that, over the past six decades, Food Availability in Bangladesh was significantly shaped by changes in climate, agrocology, output prices, resources and GR technology diffusion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agriculture and Development)
Open AccessArticle Corporate Social Responsibility Motive Attribution by Service Employees in the Parcel Logistics Industry as a Moderator between CSR Perception and Organizational Effectiveness
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 355; doi:10.3390/su9030355
Received: 20 December 2016 / Revised: 16 February 2017 / Accepted: 19 February 2017 / Published: 28 February 2017
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Abstract
With sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) emerging as urgent issues in the logistics service industry, the effects of CSR on employee work behavior is receiving increasing attention. This study explores this issue by considering intrinsic and extrinsic CSR motive attributions as moderating
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With sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) emerging as urgent issues in the logistics service industry, the effects of CSR on employee work behavior is receiving increasing attention. This study explores this issue by considering intrinsic and extrinsic CSR motive attributions as moderating variables between CSR perception and organizational commitment and organizational citizenship behavior. The results of a cross-sectional survey and hierarchical regression analyses of 241 survey responses from parcel delivery logistics employees indicate that their perception of CSR strongly enhances their organizational commitment and organizational citizenship behavior. This study also presents evidence that the positive effect of CSR on organizational commitment is weakened when employees attribute CSR practices to intrinsic motives. This study provides guidance for managers in the logistics sector and for academics who wish to address sustainability and CSR issues and to enhance employees’ organizational commitment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Supply Chain Management)
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Open AccessArticle Performance Evaluation of Borehole Heat Exchanger in Multilayered Subsurface
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 356; doi:10.3390/su9030356
Received: 22 January 2017 / Revised: 19 February 2017 / Accepted: 25 February 2017 / Published: 1 March 2017
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Abstract
In layered subsurface, the soil around a vertical borehole heat exchanger (BHE) contains different geological layers. Non-uniformity and groundwater flow can affect the performance of BHE drastically. In this paper, through the field investigation of boreholes in Zhu Shan, Nanjing, China, a numerical
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In layered subsurface, the soil around a vertical borehole heat exchanger (BHE) contains different geological layers. Non-uniformity and groundwater flow can affect the performance of BHE drastically. In this paper, through the field investigation of boreholes in Zhu Shan, Nanjing, China, a numerical model considering five strata is developed. Using thermal resistance and capacity models for inside borehole and a combination of a locally refined grid for discretizing and solving the soil mass governing equations, the numerical model is calculated and validated by field test data. The maximum temperature difference never exceeds 0.3 °C. The numerical model is also compared with the homogenous finite line source (FLS) model. Based on the numerical multilayered model, the axial temperature profile at different distances under different heating times are presented and explored. After 60 days heating at the distance of 0.2 m to heat injection borehole, the maximum temperature rise is 9.2 °C in unsaturated soil layer, but the temperature rise in aquifer layer and in fractured layer are only 7.6 °C and 6.7 °C, respectively. Furthermore, two modified numerical layered models, in which the groundwater flow in aquifer or fracture layer is negligible, are established to analyze how the different layered characteristics impact on performance of BHE. The results showed that ignoring the groundwater flow in aquifer layer made the outlet temperature 0.7 °C higher than that of the original numerical layered model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Performance Evaluation and Field Application of Red Clay Green Roof Vegetation Blocks for Ecological Restoration Projects
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 357; doi:10.3390/su9030357
Received: 2 January 2017 / Revised: 21 February 2017 / Accepted: 22 February 2017 / Published: 28 February 2017
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Abstract
In this study, for restoration of ecological systems in buildings, porous vegetation red clay green roof blocks were designed for performance evaluation. Blast furnace slag (BFS; fine aggregates (agg.)), coarse aggregates, polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) fiber (hydrophilic fiber), and red clay (ecofriendly additive material)
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In this study, for restoration of ecological systems in buildings, porous vegetation red clay green roof blocks were designed for performance evaluation. Blast furnace slag (BFS; fine aggregates (agg.)), coarse aggregates, polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) fiber (hydrophilic fiber), and red clay (ecofriendly additive material) were applied to the construction of the porous vegetation red clay green roof blocks. A decrease in cement use is one way of reducing carbon emissions. To increase the water retentivity and the efficiency of roof vegetation blocks, blast furnace slag aggregates with excellent water absorptivity and polyvinyl alcohol fiber with a water absorption rate above 20% were added. In particular, the addition of polyvinyl alcohol fiber prevents performance reduction of the green roof vegetation blocks during freezing and melting in winter. Compressive strength, void ratio, and unit-mass tests were conducted to evaluate the performance of the roof vegetation blocks. After their application to roof vegetation, the effect of water purification was evaluated. According to the experimental results, the mix that satisfies the target performance of green roof vegetation blocks (compression strength above 8 MPa, void ratio above 20%, unit mass 2.0 kg/cm3 or below) is: cement = 128.95 kg/m3, BFS = 96.75 kg/m3, red clay = 96.75 kg/m3, water = 81.50 kg/m3, BFS agg. = 1450 kg/m3, PVA fiber = 1.26 kg/m3. The green roof vegetation blocks were designed using the mix that satisfied the target performance. To find the amount of attainable water due to rainfall, a rainfall meter was installed after application of the roof vegetation to measure daily rainfall and calculate the amount of attainable water. The results show that, for 1 mm of rainfall, it is possible to attain about 0.53 L of water per 1 m2. In addition, the water quality of effluents after application of roof vegetation was analyzed, and the results satisfied Class 4 of the River-life Environmental Standard for Availability of Agricultural Water. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
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Open AccessArticle Energy Generation from Horse Husbandry Residues by Anaerobic Digestion, Combustion, and an Integrated Approach
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 358; doi:10.3390/su9030358
Received: 21 October 2016 / Accepted: 17 February 2017 / Published: 28 February 2017
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Abstract
Horse-related activities often occur close to urban areas, where acreage for horse manure disposal is scarce, and subsequently alternative recovery options are necessary. Anaerobic digestion, direct combustion, and the integrated generation of solid fuel and biogas from biomass (IFBB) process are potential techniques
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Horse-related activities often occur close to urban areas, where acreage for horse manure disposal is scarce, and subsequently alternative recovery options are necessary. Anaerobic digestion, direct combustion, and the integrated generation of solid fuel and biogas from biomass (IFBB) process are potential techniques focusing on energy provision. In this study, samples of horse faeces were analysed for chemical composition as pure feedstock and in mixture with straw or wood shavings, as well as for energy yield by biogas production or from combustion of solid fuel. It was observed that chemical properties of faeces, in a mixture with wood shavings, were promising for direct combustion, but achieved low methane yields. The methane yield of pure faeces and the straw mixture was 222.33 ± 13.60 and 233.01 ± 31.32 lN·kg-1 volatile solids (VS)added, respectively. The IFBB process divided the biomass into a press cake with reduced mineral concentration and a press fluid. Methane yields of press fluids were low (108.2 lN·kg-1 VSadded, on average). The chemical composition of the press cake allowed for combustion and led to a higher gross energy potential than anaerobic digestion (two-fold higher for pure manure and the mixture with straw, and five-fold higher for the mixture with shavings). Consequently, the gross energy potential of IFBB is higher compared to anaerobic digestion, however it should be noted that local conditions might favour the implementation of anaerobic digestion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass Energy Conversion)
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Open AccessArticle Spatial Patterns and Driving Forces of Greenhouse Land Change in Shouguang City, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 359; doi:10.3390/su9030359
Received: 26 August 2016 / Revised: 21 February 2017 / Accepted: 24 February 2017 / Published: 1 March 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2670 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
As an important facet of modern agricultural development, greenhouses satisfy ever-increasing demands for agricultural production and, therefore, constitute a growing proportion of global agriculture. However, just a handful of countries regularly collect statistics on the land cover of greenhouse infrastructure. Even when collected,
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As an important facet of modern agricultural development, greenhouses satisfy ever-increasing demands for agricultural production and, therefore, constitute a growing proportion of global agriculture. However, just a handful of countries regularly collect statistics on the land cover of greenhouse infrastructure. Even when collected, these data cannot provide the detailed spatial information required for environmental risk assessment. It is, therefore, important to map spatial changes in greenhouse land cover using remote sensing (RS) approaches to determine the underlying factors driving these changes. In this paper, we apply a support vector machine (SVM) algorithm to identify greenhouse land cover in Shouguang City, China. Enhanced thematic mapper (ETM) images were selected as the data source for land use classification in this study as they can be freely acquired and offer the necessary spatial resolution. We then used a binary logistic regression model to quantitatively discern the mechanisms underlying changes in greenhouse land cover. The results of this study show that greenhouse land cover in Shouguang increased by 50.51% between 2000 and 2015, and that 90.39% of this expansion took place between 2010 and 2015. Elevation, slope, precipitation, and the distance to the nearest rural settlements and coastline are all significant factors driving expansion in greenhouse land cover, while distance to the nearest urban areas, rivers, roads, railways, and coastline have contributed to contractions in this land use type. Our research provided a practical approach to allow the detection of changes in greenhouse land cover in the countries with using free or low-cost satellite images. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle Cross-Border Cooperation (CBC) in Southern Europe—An Iberian Case Study. The Eurocity Elvas-Badajoz
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 360; doi:10.3390/su9030360
Received: 15 December 2016 / Accepted: 27 February 2017 / Published: 1 March 2017
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Abstract
The experiences of cross-border cooperation (CBC), undertaken not only in Europe but throughout the world, have enabled areas to gain greater importance in recent decades at an international level, showing potential for integrative functions and joint development as exemplified by several CBC projects.
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The experiences of cross-border cooperation (CBC), undertaken not only in Europe but throughout the world, have enabled areas to gain greater importance in recent decades at an international level, showing potential for integrative functions and joint development as exemplified by several CBC projects. The present paper assesses the impact of CBC projects by analyzing a protocol established in 2013 between the cities of Elvas and Badajoz, which induced the creation of the Eurocity Elvas-Badajoz. The paper kicks off with a critical review on territorial factors for success in CBC areas, considering the analysis of several case studies throughout Europe. The lessons learned, taken from the analyzed case studies, and the identified territorial success factors were used as assessment points for the investigation of the target study area, the Eurocity ElvasBadajoz. The investigation explores public participation perceptions towards the identification of what changes with respect to standards of life with the CBC project, providing the current state of affairs and identifying where to place efforts in order to reach sustainable development for the region. While being a transition area, it presents several opportunities for growth. These opportunities have not yet been object of analysis and debate with respect to lasting, sustainable successful growth. The present research enables the identification of several territorial factors for success in the study area, such as the connectivity/movement between cities and strong political commitment. From the identified critical factors, it was possible to highlight the importance of public transportation as a priority for achieving success in this CBC project. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Conceptual Framework for Classification Management of Contaminated Sites in Guangzhou, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 362; doi:10.3390/su9030362
Received: 18 January 2017 / Accepted: 27 February 2017 / Published: 1 March 2017
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Abstract
Contaminated sites have become a worldwide issue because of significant environmental and health risks to users of the land. With the aim of synthesizing useful services delivered by land reuse for environmental, social and economic benefits, effective management measures have been taken nationally
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Contaminated sites have become a worldwide issue because of significant environmental and health risks to users of the land. With the aim of synthesizing useful services delivered by land reuse for environmental, social and economic benefits, effective management measures have been taken nationally and regionally to rehabilitate contaminated sites. The unacceptable risks, large number of contaminated sites and urgent demand for land supply make it necessary to centralize limited resources within contaminated sites. In reference to the classification rationale in developed countries trying to deal with contaminated sites in an integrated, saving and timely manner, we design a conceptual framework that considers the unique context in China. We classify contaminated sites in five steps, namely: listing, investigating, filing, classifying and managing. Based on the classification results, effective suggestions are proposed for graded and classified management and further decision-making at the highest level of design. The results show that potential contaminated sites can be divided into high, medium and low priority based on four factors (social concern, redevelopment demand, health risk and ecological risk). Site-specific management strategies focusing on environmental monitoring, detailed site survey and immediate remediation, respectively, are suggested that focus on corresponding contaminated sites in different priorities. The feasibility and reliability of the proposed framework are further discussed in the final section. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Rediscovering Rural Territories by Means of Religious Route Planning
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 363; doi:10.3390/su9030363
Received: 20 December 2016 / Revised: 16 February 2017 / Accepted: 22 February 2017 / Published: 2 March 2017
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Abstract
Since ancient times, pilgrimages have been an important expression of faith because slow-paced traveling, physical effort, and a closer relationship with nature favor introspection. Protecting pilgrimage routes means transforming them into a medium to rediscover and guide landscape development while avoiding possible speculative
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Since ancient times, pilgrimages have been an important expression of faith because slow-paced traveling, physical effort, and a closer relationship with nature favor introspection. Protecting pilgrimage routes means transforming them into a medium to rediscover and guide landscape development while avoiding possible speculative drifts. Such an approach is particularly important in rural areas often relegated to a marginal role in planning strategies, but frequently traversed by these itineraries. This paper deals with pilgrimage routes in Sardinia (Italy) and their chance to become an integral part of composite territorial infrastructures for triggering regeneration processes in rural areas. First, we introduce the topic with reference to planning literature and various case studies. Then, we select four pilgrimage itineraries that extend through different parts of the island, and compare them using a set of indicators regarding landscape, accessibility, visibility, equipment, planning, and management. A composite index has been developed to classify paths with respect to their potential to become part of a system of greenways, providing facilities and benefits to surrounding areas. The analysis highlights the strengths and weaknesses of local realities. It underlines factors, such as intrinsic characteristics of territories, local management, and decision-making circumstances, which affect trail potentialities to activate greenway projects to trace a new development perspective for rural areas. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Formulating Assessment Indices and Strategies for the Transition to Local Industrial Development in Taoyuan City, Taiwan
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 364; doi:10.3390/su9030364
Received: 26 October 2016 / Revised: 25 February 2017 / Accepted: 27 February 2017 / Published: 2 March 2017
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Abstract
Local industries are crucial for enhancing urban competitiveness and are closely related to national economic performance. To sustainably develop local industries, a set of assessment indices should be formulated in addition to factors such as geographical environments, cultural history, development processes, and industrial
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Local industries are crucial for enhancing urban competitiveness and are closely related to national economic performance. To sustainably develop local industries, a set of assessment indices should be formulated in addition to factors such as geographical environments, cultural history, development processes, and industrial structures for governments to promote development policies while satisfying the goal of sustainable industrial development. This study first adopted the fuzzy Delphi method to construct the indices for assessing local industrial development, referred to the action plans for the six key industries formulated by the Executive Yuan of Taiwan, and subsequently integrated the analytic hierarchy process and analytic network process to determine the order of priority for policies facilitating local industrial development for future reference. The results indicated that infrastructure, innovative research and development, and government policies are crucial bases for local industrial development. Furthermore, this study adopted Taoyuan to verify these indices and compiled expert suggestions to indicate that the government should prioritize the development of the biotechnology, green energy, and medical care industries. When developing local industries in the future, a set of assessment standards and policy analyses should be established for the government to enhance local industrial development and thus increase international competitive advantages by fully ascertaining the factors for industrial success and the characteristics of local advantages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle A Geographic Information System (GIS)-Based Analysis of Social Capital Data: Landscape Factors That Correlate with Trust
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 365; doi:10.3390/su9030365
Received: 2 November 2016 / Revised: 24 February 2017 / Accepted: 24 February 2017 / Published: 2 March 2017
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Abstract
The field of community sociology has yielded rich insights on how neighborhoods and individuals foster social capital and reap the benefits of interpersonal relationships and institutions alike. Traditionally, institutions and cultural factors have been lauded as catalysts of community social life and cohesion.
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The field of community sociology has yielded rich insights on how neighborhoods and individuals foster social capital and reap the benefits of interpersonal relationships and institutions alike. Traditionally, institutions and cultural factors have been lauded as catalysts of community social life and cohesion. Yet, the built environment and configuration of the landscape, including infrastructure, amenities and population density, may also contribute to community social capital. In this article, we embedded zip code-level responses from Harvard University’s Saguaro Seminar’s 2006 Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey with a geographic information system. Specifically, we correlated responses on residents’ general trust, trust of one’s neighbors, and trust of members of other racial groups with local urban environmental factors and infrastructural indicators such as housing and street conditions, land use, city form, amenity access (e.g., libraries and schools), home vacancy rates, and home value. We conducted these tests at the national level and for Rochester, NY, due to its many survey responses. We found that housing vacancies drive down levels of social trust, as captured by homeownership rates and tenure, yielding higher levels of social trust, and that certain urban facilities correlate with high trust among neighbors. Results can inform urban planners on the amenities that support sustainable community ties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Ecosystems and Society in the Context of Big and New Data)
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Open AccessArticle Identification of Non-economic Influencing Factors Affecting Farmer’s Participation in the Paddy Landto-Dry Land Program in Chicheng County, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 366; doi:10.3390/su9030366
Received: 27 December 2016 / Accepted: 23 February 2017 / Published: 2 March 2017
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Abstract
There is global enthusiasm for payments for ecosystem services (PES) programs to solve environmental problems, including in China. However, PES programs in China go against the principle of ‘voluntary transaction’, which weakens the influences of economic factors on farmers’ participation decisions and makes
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There is global enthusiasm for payments for ecosystem services (PES) programs to solve environmental problems, including in China. However, PES programs in China go against the principle of ‘voluntary transaction’, which weakens the influences of economic factors on farmers’ participation decisions and makes it hard to reveal their influence on farmers’ participation willingness. Using household survey data and a logistic regression model, this study attempts to understand the influencing factors of farmers’ decision-making on involvement in PES projects for hypothetical voluntary participation and focuses on whether the farmer would reject the program if the payment stopped. A surprising but promising result is found in the case of the Paddy Landto-Dry Land (PLDL) program in Chicheng County, China, wherein, apart from the negative impact of education and the positive effect of off-farm income, two non-economic factors play a significant role in farmers’ participation. The one is basic cognition, which negatively affects farmers’ participation, and the other is inner altruistic motivation, which positively contributes to the participation. In addition, the high proportion of reconversion to paddy land after the payment period threatens the long-term sustainability of the PLDL program. Faced with the low education and environmental cognition statuses in remote agricultural areas, increasing educational quality and promoting the popular awareness of PES programs in rural areas should be highlighted in sustaining the efficiency and effectiveness of PES programs in the long run. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Transmission Algorithm with QoS Considerations for a Sustainable MPEG Streaming Service
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 367; doi:10.3390/su9030367
Received: 23 December 2016 / Accepted: 25 February 2017 / Published: 2 March 2017
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Abstract
With the proliferation of heterogeneous networks, there is a need to provide multimedia stream services in a sustainable manner. It is especially critical to maintain the Quality of Service (QoS) standards. Existing multimedia streaming services have been studied to guarantee QoS on the
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With the proliferation of heterogeneous networks, there is a need to provide multimedia stream services in a sustainable manner. It is especially critical to maintain the Quality of Service (QoS) standards. Existing multimedia streaming services have been studied to guarantee QoS on the receiving side. QoS has not been ensured due to the fact that the loss of streaming data to be transmitted has not been considered in network conditions. With an algorithm that considers the QoS and can reduce the overhead of the network, it will be possible to reduce the transmission error and wastage of communication network resources. In this paper, we propose a scheme that improves the reliability of multimedia transmissions by using an adaptive algorithm that switches between UDP (User Datagram Protocol) and TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) based on the size of the data. In addition, we present a method that retransmits essential portions of the multimedia data, thus improving transmission efficiency. We simulate an MPEG (Moving Picture Experts Group) stream service and evaluate the performance of the proposed adaptive MPEG stream service. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced IT based Future Sustainable Computing)
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Open AccessArticle Responses of Vegetation Growth to Climatic Factors in Shule River Basin in Northwest China: A Panel Analysis
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 368; doi:10.3390/su9030368
Received: 16 December 2016 / Revised: 21 February 2017 / Accepted: 28 February 2017 / Published: 3 March 2017
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Abstract
The vegetation response to climatic factors is a hot topic in global change research. However, research on vegetation in Shule River Basin, which is a typical arid region in northwest China, is still limited, especially at micro scale. On the basis of Moderate-resolution
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The vegetation response to climatic factors is a hot topic in global change research. However, research on vegetation in Shule River Basin, which is a typical arid region in northwest China, is still limited, especially at micro scale. On the basis of Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data and daily meteorological data, employing panel data models and other mathematical models, the aim of this paper is to reveal the interactive relationship between vegetation variation and climatic factors in Shule River Basin. Results show that there is a widespread greening trend in the whole basin during 2000–2015, and 80.28% of greening areas (areas with vegetation improvement) are distributed over upstream region, but the maximum vegetation variation appears in downstream area. The effects of climate change on NDVI lag about half to one month. The parameters estimated using panel data models indicate that precipitation and accumulated temperature have positive contribution to NDVI. With every 1-mm increase in rainfall, NDVI increases by around 0.223‰ in upstream area and 0.6‰ in downstream area. With every 1-°C increase in accumulated temperature, NDVI increases by around 0.241‰ in upstream area and 0.174‰ in downstream area. Responses of NDVI to climatic factors are more sensitive when these factors are limiting than when they are not limiting. NDVI variation has performance in two seasonal and inter-annual directions, and the range of seasonal change is far more than that of inter-annual change. The inverted U-shaped curve of the variable intercepts reflects the seasonal change. Our results might provide some scientific basis for the comprehensive basin management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Low Carbon-Oriented Optimal Reliability Design with Interval Product Failure Analysis and Grey Correlation Analysis
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 369; doi:10.3390/su9030369
Received: 31 December 2016 / Revised: 19 February 2017 / Accepted: 27 February 2017 / Published: 4 March 2017
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Abstract
The problem of large amounts of carbon emissions causes wide concern across the world, and it has become a serious threat to the sustainable development of the manufacturing industry. The intensive research into technologies and methodologies for green product design has significant theoretical
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The problem of large amounts of carbon emissions causes wide concern across the world, and it has become a serious threat to the sustainable development of the manufacturing industry. The intensive research into technologies and methodologies for green product design has significant theoretical meaning and practical value in reducing the emissions of the manufacturing industry. Therefore, a low carbon-oriented product reliability optimal design model is proposed in this paper: (1) The related expert evaluation information was prepared in interval numbers; (2) An improved product failure analysis considering the uncertain carbon emissions of the subsystem was performed to obtain the subsystem weight taking the carbon emissions into consideration. The interval grey correlation analysis was conducted to obtain the subsystem weight taking the uncertain correlations inside the product into consideration. Using the above two kinds of subsystem weights and different caution indicators of the decision maker, a series of product reliability design schemes is available; (3) The interval-valued intuitionistic fuzzy sets (IVIFSs) were employed to select the optimal reliability and optimal design scheme based on three attributes, namely, low carbon, correlation and functions, and economic cost. The case study of a vertical CNC lathe proves the superiority and rationality of the proposed method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Low Carbon Development for Emerging Markets)
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Open AccessArticle Key Variables for Decision-Making on Urban Renewal in China: A Case Study of Chongqing
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 370; doi:10.3390/su9030370
Received: 28 December 2016 / Revised: 26 February 2017 / Accepted: 1 March 2017 / Published: 3 March 2017
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Abstract
Currently, the Chinese government leads urban renewal via a top-down management style with the government playing the role of decision-maker. The decision-making opinions held by groups of stakeholders are divided, which creates many social problems, project technical issues and even civil disorder. This
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Currently, the Chinese government leads urban renewal via a top-down management style with the government playing the role of decision-maker. The decision-making opinions held by groups of stakeholders are divided, which creates many social problems, project technical issues and even civil disorder. This paper uses factor analysis to extract the key variables for decision-making on urban renewal and the entropy weight method to sort these key variables by importance. Based on this order, the differing opinions of stakeholders regarding urban renewal decision-making are explored. First, contradictory opinions exist concerning the importance of the ecological environment, housing and facilities, social welfare and commercial activities, which are the main driving forces behind urban renewal, due to the groups of stakeholders having different interest demands. Second, these varying interest demands of the stakeholders affect the urban renewal decision-making results. Finally, compensation to people for the demolition of their homes, infrastructure supplements and the investment behaviour of developers display the greatest lack of consensus of all the variables tested in urban renewal decision-making between different stakeholders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle Series Connected Photovoltaic Cells—Modelling and Analysis
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 371; doi:10.3390/su9030371
Received: 11 January 2017 / Revised: 22 February 2017 / Accepted: 28 February 2017 / Published: 7 March 2017
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Abstract
As solar energy costs continue to drop, the number of large-scale deployment projects increases, and the need for different analysis models for photovoltaic (PV) modules in both academia and industry rises. This paper proposes a modified equivalent-circuit model for PV modules. A PV
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As solar energy costs continue to drop, the number of large-scale deployment projects increases, and the need for different analysis models for photovoltaic (PV) modules in both academia and industry rises. This paper proposes a modified equivalent-circuit model for PV modules. A PV module comprises several series-connected PV cells, to generate more electrical power, where each PV cell has an internal shunt resistance. Our proposed model simplifies the standard one-diode equivalent-circuit (SEC) model by removing the shunt resistance and including its effect on the diode part of the circuit, while retaining the original model accuracy. Our proposed equivalent circuit, called here a modified SEC (MSEC), has less number of circuit elements. All of the PV cells are assumed operating under the same ambient conditions where they share the same electric voltage and current values. To ensure the simplification did not come at a reduction in the accuracy of the SEC model, we validate our MSEC model by simulating both under the same conditions, calculate, and compare their current/voltage (I/V) characteristics. Our results validate the accuracy of our model with the difference between the two models falling below 1%. Therefore, the proposed model can be adopted as an alternative representation of the equivalent circuit for PV cells and modules. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solar Photovoltaic Electricity)
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Open AccessArticle On-Grid Solar PV versus Diesel Electricity Generation in Sub-Saharan Africa: Economics and GHG Emissions
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 372; doi:10.3390/su9030372
Received: 17 January 2017 / Accepted: 27 February 2017 / Published: 3 March 2017
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Abstract
Many power utilities in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) have inadequate generation capacity, unreliable services, and high costs. They also face capital constraints that restrict them from making the investments necessary for capacity expansion. Capacity shortages have compelled power utilities to use leased emergency power-generating
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Many power utilities in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) have inadequate generation capacity, unreliable services, and high costs. They also face capital constraints that restrict them from making the investments necessary for capacity expansion. Capacity shortages have compelled power utilities to use leased emergency power-generating units, mainly oil-fired diesel generators, as a short-term solution. An economic analysis is carried out to compare the economic net present value (ENPV) of fuel savings, as well as the greenhouse gas (GHG) savings, from investing capital in a solar PV power-generation plant with those from investing the same amount of funds into a diesel power plant. The results show that ENPV is negative for the solar PV plant, whereas it has a large positive value for the diesel plant. In addition, the diesel plant would be almost three times as effective in reducing GHG emissions as the same value of investment in the solar PV plant. Even with solar investment costs falling, it will take 12 to 24 years of continuous decline before solar PV becomes cost-effective for SSA. The capital cost of solar PV would need to drop to US$1058.4 per kW to yield the same level of ENPV as the diesel plant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solar Photovoltaic Electricity)
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Open AccessArticle Composite Building Materials: Thermal and Mechanical Performances of Samples Realized with Hay and Natural Resins
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 373; doi:10.3390/su9030373
Received: 31 October 2016 / Accepted: 27 February 2017 / Published: 3 March 2017
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Abstract
Recent years have seen an increasing public interest in issues related to energy saving and environmental pollution reduction in the building sector. As a result, many directives have been issued, the most important being the Directive 2010/31/EU (EPBD Recast) on the energy performance
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Recent years have seen an increasing public interest in issues related to energy saving and environmental pollution reduction in the building sector. As a result, many directives have been issued, the most important being the Directive 2010/31/EU (EPBD Recast) on the energy performance of buildings, which requires that “Member States shall ensure that by 31 December 2020 all new buildings are nearly zero-energy buildings”. This goal can be obtained not only by reducing energy demand for heating and cooling, but also, for example, by improving building envelope performances. In this work, a first analysis of the thermal and structural behaviour of a biocomposite material, constituted by a natural resin (rosin) and vegetal fibres (hay), has been performed, with particular attention to the share of fibres and the granulometry in the mixture. The biocomposite has shown both good insulation properties and mechanical resistance. However, the results show that further analyses should be performed on the optimisation of the samples’ preparation process. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Forest Fragmentation and Driving Forces in Yingkou, Northeastern China
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 374; doi:10.3390/su9030374
Received: 24 November 2016 / Revised: 21 February 2017 / Accepted: 28 February 2017 / Published: 4 March 2017
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Abstract
Forest fragmentation, the process of changing original large and intact forest patches into smaller and isolated areas, significantly influences the balance of surface physical environment, biodiversity, and species richness. Sufficient knowledge of forest fragmentation is necessary to maintain ecological balance and promote sustainable
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Forest fragmentation, the process of changing original large and intact forest patches into smaller and isolated areas, significantly influences the balance of surface physical environment, biodiversity, and species richness. Sufficient knowledge of forest fragmentation is necessary to maintain ecological balance and promote sustainable resource utilization. This study combines remote sensing, geographical information systems, and landscape metrics to assess forest fragmentation at landscape and pixel levels during different time periods (2000–2005, 2005–2010, and 2010–2015) in the Yingkou region. Spatial statistical analysis is also used to analyze the relationship between forest landscape fragmentation and its determinants (e.g., natural factors, socioeconomic factors, and proximity factors). Results show that forest patches became smaller, subdivided, and isolated during 2010–2015 at the total landscape level. Local changes occurred in the southwest of the study region or around the development area. Our data also indicate that shrinkage and subdivision were the main forest fragmentation processes during three times, and attrition became the main forest fragmentation process from 2010 to 2015. These changes were significantly influenced by natural factors (e.g., elevation and slope), proximity factors (e.g., distance to city and distance to province roads), and socioeconomic factors (e.g., gross domestic product). Results presented in this study provide valuable insights into the pattern and processes of forest fragmentation and present direct implications for the protection and reasonable utilization of forest resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Compromise between Short- and Long-Term Financial Sustainability: A Hybrid Model for Supporting R&D Decisions
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 375; doi:10.3390/su9030375
Received: 16 January 2017 / Revised: 17 February 2017 / Accepted: 22 February 2017 / Published: 4 March 2017
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Abstract
The debate of “short-termism” has gained increasing interests from various fields, ranging from management to economics; it mainly concerns the decisions or actions taken by businesses that might yield short-term returns at the cost of long-term value or sustainability. Previous studies have highlighted
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The debate of “short-termism” has gained increasing interests from various fields, ranging from management to economics; it mainly concerns the decisions or actions taken by businesses that might yield short-term returns at the cost of long-term value or sustainability. Previous studies have highlighted this dilemma faced by managers, mainly from the pressure of capital markets or short-sighted shareholders who crave for immediate financial outcomes; intelligent decision aids that can compromise between the short- and long-term financial sustainability, based on a company’s policy, are highly needed. Therefore, the aim of this study is to develop a multiple-rule-based hybrid decision model to support management teams on prioritizing new R&D projects, considering the financial prospects in dual timeframes (i.e., short- and long-term) for sustainability. Furthermore, in the presence of business uncertainty and the limited knowledge of managers on new projects, the intuitionistic fuzzy technique is incorporated. A case of selecting new R&D projects for an IC design company is illustrated using the proposed approach, and the financial data from a group of public-listed IC stocks from Taiwan are inducted to form the decision model. The findings not only support the IC design company to select new projects but also provide business insights to facilitate the understandings of this controversial issue in managerial practice. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Managing Reputational Risk through Environmental Management and Reporting: An Options Theory Approach
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 376; doi:10.3390/su9030376
Received: 17 January 2017 / Revised: 14 February 2017 / Accepted: 27 February 2017 / Published: 4 March 2017
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Abstract
Reputation is a complex and multidimensional concept that may be organized in downside and upside reputational risk. In this article, we present a formal modelling for the management capabilities of environmental management and reporting over reputational risk, considering that reputational risk is becoming
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Reputation is a complex and multidimensional concept that may be organized in downside and upside reputational risk. In this article, we present a formal modelling for the management capabilities of environmental management and reporting over reputational risk, considering that reputational risk is becoming increasingly important for organizations and it directly depends on the information available about companies’ environmental performances. As long as the effectiveness of communication and disclosure plays a key role in the process, the usefulness of environmental management and reporting as a hedging instrument for reputational risk is addressed through different levels of information transparency. When considering a scenario of voluntary reporting, we show that environmentally concerned companies can reduce the cost of environmental management as a reputational risk strategy, as well as reducing the potential loss of reputational value from reputational threats and increasing the potential profit from reputational opportunities. In the context of mandatory reporting, we highlight the role of assurance companies as bearers of the risk of bad reputations for non-concerned companies. As a result, this novel approach applies theoretical oriented research from options theory to reputational risk management literature, so that it benefits from the option’s well known theory, robustness, and conclusions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Risk Assessment and Management)
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Open AccessArticle Environmentally Friendly Supplier Selection Using Prospect Theory
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 377; doi:10.3390/su9030377
Received: 11 December 2016 / Revised: 1 March 2017 / Accepted: 1 March 2017 / Published: 4 March 2017
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Abstract
This paper proposes an optimal selection method to address the real-world problem of environmentally friendly supplier selection, based on prospect theory. This study adopted the manufacturer’s point of view, and considered the manufacturer’s psychological and behavioral factors in the process of choosing suppliers.
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This paper proposes an optimal selection method to address the real-world problem of environmentally friendly supplier selection, based on prospect theory. This study adopted the manufacturer’s point of view, and considered the manufacturer’s psychological and behavioral factors in the process of choosing suppliers. The first step was to build supplier-selection indexes for manufacturers. Then, the study assessed the attribute of manufacturer expectations as a reference point. Next, index gains and losses were evaluated against the expectation reference point, yielding a payoff matrix and loss matrix. Finally, the study used prospect theory to calculate the comprehensive prospect value of each supplier; comprehensive prospect values were sorted in descending order to help manufacturers make the best choice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Application of Green Production)
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Open AccessArticle Modelling Land Use and Transport Policies to Measure Their Contribution to Urban Challenges: The Case of Madrid
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 378; doi:10.3390/su9030378
Received: 30 December 2016 / Revised: 20 February 2017 / Accepted: 24 February 2017 / Published: 7 March 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (6327 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Urban areas play a key role in the development of European territories, and it is essential for them to be sustainable and efficient. However, the European cities are facing some challenges related to certain trends that are threatening their sustainable development and operational
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Urban areas play a key role in the development of European territories, and it is essential for them to be sustainable and efficient. However, the European cities are facing some challenges related to certain trends that are threatening their sustainable development and operational efficiency. In this paper, we compare the contribution of three policy measures—cordon toll accompanied by public transport improvements, teleworking and re-densification—to address different city challenges. The policy assessment requires a long term simulation tool, i.e., the MARS (Metropolitan Activity Relocation Simulator) model, which is able to consider interactions between land use and transport systems. The simulations of the different policy scenarios were carried out for the case of Madrid in the period 2012–2031. The contribution of the policy measures to address the city challenges was measured through different indicators. The results indicated that the three policy measures contributed to the time efficiency challenge, by saving time for the commute, reducing congestion and improving the traffic flows at peak hours. The most effective policy in this regard is the teleworking measure. Another challenge addressed by the three policies was the accessibility to PT. The three policy scenarios, when simulated, showed higher PT use, especially the cordon toll scenario. However, the only policy that really contributed to the energy, emissions and pollution city challenges was the re-densification measure, which reduced travel distances and encouraged a mobility that relies more on PT and slow modes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle Soil Organic Matter Responses to Anthropogenic Forest Disturbance and Land Use Change in the Eastern Brazilian Amazon
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 379; doi:10.3390/su9030379
Received: 15 November 2016 / Accepted: 21 February 2017 / Published: 7 March 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1354 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Anthropogenic forest disturbance and land use change (LUC) in the Amazon region is the main source of greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere in Brazil, due to the carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) emitted from vegetation clearance. Land use conversion associated with management
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Anthropogenic forest disturbance and land use change (LUC) in the Amazon region is the main source of greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere in Brazil, due to the carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) emitted from vegetation clearance. Land use conversion associated with management practices plays a key role in the distribution and origin of C in different soil organic matter (SOM) fractions. Here, we show how changing land use systems have influenced soil C and N stocks, SOM physical fractions, and the origin of SOM in the Santarém region of the eastern Brazilian Amazon. Soil C and N stocks were calculated for the surface layer of 0–30 cm. Anthropogenic disturbances to the standing forest, such as selective logging and wildfires, led to significant declines in soil C and N stocks. However, in the long-term, the conversion of the Amazon forest to pasture did not have a noticeable effect on soil C and N stocks, presumably because of additional inputs from pasture grasses. However, the conversion to cropland did lead to reductions in soil C and N content. According to the physical fractionation of SOM, LUC altered SOM quality, but silt and clay remained the combined fraction that contributed the most to soil C storage. Our results emphasize the importance of implementing more sustainable forest management systems, whilst also calling further attention to the need for fire monitoring systems, helping to ensure the resilience of C and N stocks and sequestration in forest soils; thereby contributing towards urgently needed ongoing efforts to mitigate climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Decision Support for Forest Ecosystem Management Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle An Investigation of GIS Overlay and PCA Techniques for Urban Environmental Quality Assessment: A Case Study in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 380; doi:10.3390/su9030380
Received: 31 October 2016 / Revised: 13 February 2017 / Accepted: 21 February 2017 / Published: 4 March 2017
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Abstract
The United Nations estimates that the global population is going to be double in the coming 40 years, which may cause a negative impact on the environment and human life. Such an impact may instigate increased water demand, overuse of power, anthropogenic noise,
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The United Nations estimates that the global population is going to be double in the coming 40 years, which may cause a negative impact on the environment and human life. Such an impact may instigate increased water demand, overuse of power, anthropogenic noise, etc. Thus, modelling the Urban Environmental Quality (UEQ) becomes indispensable for a better city planning and an efficient urban sprawl control. This study aims to investigate the ability of using remote sensing and Geographic Information System (GIS) techniques to model the UEQ with a case study in the city of Toronto via deriving different environmental, urban and socio-economic parameters. Remote sensing, GIS and census data were first obtained to derive environmental, urban and socio-economic parameters. Two techniques, GIS overlay and Principal Component Analysis (PCA), were used to integrate all of these environmental, urban and socio-economic parameters. Socio-economic parameters including family income, higher education and land value were used as a reference to assess the outcomes derived from the two integration methods. The outcomes were assessed through evaluating the relationship between the extracted UEQ results and the reference layers. Preliminary findings showed that the GIS overlay represents a better precision and accuracy (71% and 65%), respectively, comparing to the PCA technique. The outcomes of the research can serve as a generic indicator to help the authority for better city planning with consideration of all possible social, environmental and urban requirements or constraints. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maintaining Ecosystem Services to Support Urban Needs)
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Open AccessArticle Rockets and Feathers: The Asymmetric Effect between China’s Refined Oil Prices and International Crude Oil Prices
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 381; doi:10.3390/su9030381
Received: 16 January 2017 / Revised: 27 February 2017 / Accepted: 28 February 2017 / Published: 7 March 2017
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Abstract
This paper employs an asymmetric error-correction model (AECM), and uses monthly data on wholesale prices of gasoline and diesel products in China and international crude oil prices from February 2006 to October 2013 to examine whether China’s gasoline and diesel prices adjust asymmetrically
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This paper employs an asymmetric error-correction model (AECM), and uses monthly data on wholesale prices of gasoline and diesel products in China and international crude oil prices from February 2006 to October 2013 to examine whether China’s gasoline and diesel prices adjust asymmetrically to international crude oil price changes. Our empirical results suggest that increases and decreases in international oil prices have asymmetric effects on both wholesale prices of gasoline and diesel fuel in China, and that both increases and decreases in international oil prices have a greater effect on diesel prices than on gasoline prices in China. If there is no change in the maximum retail price, the asymmetry results from the transmission of wholesale prices in China with international oil prices. However, if there is a change in maximum retail prices, both international oil prices and maximum retail prices cause the asymmetry. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Pricing Policies of a Dual-Channel Supply Chain Considering Channel Environmental Sustainability
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 382; doi:10.3390/su9030382
Received: 12 September 2016 / Revised: 24 February 2017 / Accepted: 28 February 2017 / Published: 5 March 2017
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Abstract
This paper examines the dual-channel supply chain in which the differentiation of the environmental sustainability of channels is considered. We analyze the influences of the level of environmental sustainability of channels on the pricing policies for the supply chain members in both centralized
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This paper examines the dual-channel supply chain in which the differentiation of the environmental sustainability of channels is considered. We analyze the influences of the level of environmental sustainability of channels on the pricing policies for the supply chain members in both centralized and decentralized models using the Stackelberg game model under inconsistent price policy. We obtain the optimal level of environmental sustainability of channels and pricing decisions for the players in the centralized and decentralized dual-channel supply chains. Results show that the influence mechanisms of the level of environmental sustainability of channels on the pricing decisions are different in the centralized and decentralized models. Furthermore, numerical analysis has been conducted to investigate the effects of the cross-environmental-sustainability sensitivity factor and the initial proportion of consumers who prefer the retail channel on the level of environmental sustainability of channels, pricing policies and players’ profits. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Investigating the Impact of Human Activity on Land Use/Cover Change in China’s Lijiang River Basin from the Perspective of Flow and Type of Population
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 383; doi:10.3390/su9030383
Received: 14 November 2016 / Revised: 27 February 2017 / Accepted: 2 March 2017 / Published: 5 March 2017
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Abstract
Exploring how human activity impacts land use/cover change (LUCC) is a hot research topic in the field of geography and sustainability management. Researchers have primarily used socioeconomic variables to measure human activity. However, the human activity indexes mainly based on socioeconomic variables have
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Exploring how human activity impacts land use/cover change (LUCC) is a hot research topic in the field of geography and sustainability management. Researchers have primarily used socioeconomic variables to measure human activity. However, the human activity indexes mainly based on socioeconomic variables have a spatial resolution that is coarser than traditional LUCC datasets, which hinders a deep and comprehensive analysis. In view of these problems, we selected China’s Lijiang River Basin as our study area and proposed the use of GPS trajectory data for analyzing the impact of human activity on LUCC from two perspectives: (1) Type of population: we used the kernel density estimation method to extract the spatial distribution of activity intensity of local residents and tourists, investigated their correlation with the LUCC result, and found these two populations have different impacts on each land cover; (2) Flow of population: we used the Density-Based Spatial Clustering of Applications with Noise (DBSCAN) algorithm and a network analysis method to build a flow network of population from raw trajectories, conducted regression analysis with LUCC, and found that the flow of population is an important factor driving LUCC and is sometimes a more important factor than the static distribution of the population. Experimental results validated that the proposed method can be used to uncover the impact mechanism of human activity on LUCC at fine-grained scales and provide more accurate planning and instructions for sustainability management. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Optimal Consumer Electronics Product Take-Back Time with Consideration of Consumer Value
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 385; doi:10.3390/su9030385
Received: 21 September 2016 / Revised: 5 February 2017 / Accepted: 2 March 2017 / Published: 7 March 2017
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Abstract
Rapid economic growth in recent years has transformed our lifestyle to massively produce, consume, and dispose of products, especially for consumer electronics. This change has put great threat to our environment and caused natural resource depletion. Moreover, short product life cycles and quick
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Rapid economic growth in recent years has transformed our lifestyle to massively produce, consume, and dispose of products, especially for consumer electronics. This change has put great threat to our environment and caused natural resource depletion. Moreover, short product life cycles and quick replacements of consumer electronics create enormous electronic wastes (e-wastes). Without proper waste management, immense environmental damage is expected. In this empirical study, we notice that lots of valuable materials that can still be recycled from these used consumer electronics are left unused at home instead of being recycled at the appropriate time, which causes a low collection rate and a decrease in residual value for the used products. Therefore, it is important for the government and the recyclers to handle them efficiently by increasing the used product take-back rate. Our study develops an assessment model for customer value based on the idea of value engineering and the perspective of product life cycle. We also explore the relationship between product value and the total cost of ownership with an evaluation of their time variation, considering different usage modes for various consumer groups and different recycling award schemes (fixed and variable recycling awards). Proper take-back management is likely to create a win-win situation both for consumers and environmental protection. This study regards the notebook computer as an example to determine the optimal time for recycling laptops based on usage patterns and provides consumers a reference for when to replace their used product. The results from our modeling firstly clearly indicate that consumers with higher frequency of usage have shorter take back times and higher maximum consumer value. Secondly, a variable recycling award scheme with higher maximum consumer value is more practical than a fixed recycling award scheme. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
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Open AccessArticle The Factors of Local Energy Transition in the Seoul Metropolitan Government: The Case of Mini-PV Plants
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 386; doi:10.3390/su9030386
Received: 15 December 2016 / Accepted: 28 February 2017 / Published: 6 March 2017
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Abstract
As a way of enhancing urban sustainability, Seoul Special City, the capital of South Korea, has shown strong enthusiasm for urban energy transition by tackling climate change and expanding renewable energy. The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) has adopted the “One Less Nuclear Power
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As a way of enhancing urban sustainability, Seoul Special City, the capital of South Korea, has shown strong enthusiasm for urban energy transition by tackling climate change and expanding renewable energy. The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) has adopted the “One Less Nuclear Power Plant (OLNPP)” strategy since April 2012 and specific policy measures, including a mini-photovoltaic (PV) plant program, were introduced to facilitate the energy transition. However, varying degrees of success were achieved by 25 district-level local governments (Gu) with mini-PV plant programs. This study explored the reason why those local governments showed different levels of performance despite the strong will of municipal government (SMG) to implement urban energy transitions through the mini-PV plant program. The tested hypotheses were based on capacity, political context, public awareness and geographical diffusion. The findings indicated that institutional capacity, financial dependence, political orientation and public perception had positively affected the performance of mini-PV plant installation at each district level. Especially, the political will of each district mayor played an important role in the implementation of the policy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Sustainability and Planning Support Systems)
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Open AccessArticle China’s Carbon Footprint Based on Input-Output Table Series: 1992–2020
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 387; doi:10.3390/su9030387
Received: 15 January 2017 / Accepted: 1 March 2017 / Published: 6 March 2017
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Abstract
Reducing carbon emissions is a major concern for China’s future. This paper explores the embodied carbon footprint of Chinese final demand from the point of view of industries. It uses the Matrix Transformation Technique (MTT) to update the input-output table series from 1992
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Reducing carbon emissions is a major concern for China’s future. This paper explores the embodied carbon footprint of Chinese final demand from the point of view of industries. It uses the Matrix Transformation Technique (MTT) to update the input-output table series from 1992 to 2020 in China. Then, we measure the embodied carbon emissions for the period 1992–2020 from 29 industry producers to the final demand, covering urban and rural residential consumption, government consumption, fixed capital formation, and net exports. The results show that construction, other services, wholesale, retail trade, accommodation and catering, industrial machinery and equipment, transport, storage and postal services, and manufacture of foods and tobacco are the industries with the greatest carbon emissions from producers, while fixed capital formation and urban consumption are the largest emitters from the perspective of final demand. The embodied carbon emission multipliers for most of the industries are decreasing, while the total carbon emissions are increasing each year. The ratio of emissions from residential consumption in terms of total emissions is decreasing. Each industry has a different main final demand-driven influencing factor on emission and, for each type of final demand, there are different industries with higher emissions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle A Triple Bottom Line Analysis of Hong Kong’s Logistics Sector
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 388; doi:10.3390/su9030388
Received: 25 January 2017 / Accepted: 2 March 2017 / Published: 6 March 2017
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Abstract
Logistics play a crucial role in the development of the world economy as globalization continues. Because international trade is a driver of the gross domestic product (GDP), it impacts the economies of cities and countries. However, all transport modes consume energy and produce
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Logistics play a crucial role in the development of the world economy as globalization continues. Because international trade is a driver of the gross domestic product (GDP), it impacts the economies of cities and countries. However, all transport modes consume energy and produce air pollutants including greenhouse gases (GHGs) either directly or indirectly. This paper uses a triple bottom line approach to examine the environmental, economic, and social performance of Hong Kong’s logistics sector. The data, including annual cargo movements between Hong Kong and other places by different transport modes (container ships, aircraft, heavy trucks, and freight trains), the respective values added, and the number of workers employed in this sector, were collected from the Hong Kong government. Results showed that the total cargo weight had increased by 40% between 2000 and 2014. During the same period of time, the logistics sector contributed an average of 4.2% to Hong Kong’s total GDP, provided an average of 5.6% of total employment, but produced an average of 37.4% of Hong Kong’s total GHG emission. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Phenotypic Responses of Twenty Diverse Proso Millet (Panicum miliaceum L.) Accessions to Irrigation
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 389; doi:10.3390/su9030389
Received: 17 November 2016 / Revised: 21 February 2017 / Accepted: 5 March 2017 / Published: 7 March 2017
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Abstract
To date, little research has been conducted on the phenotypic responses of proso millet to drought and deficit irrigation treatments in the dryland wheat-based cropping systems of the Palouse bioregion of the U.S. The objectives of this study were to evaluate critical agronomic
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To date, little research has been conducted on the phenotypic responses of proso millet to drought and deficit irrigation treatments in the dryland wheat-based cropping systems of the Palouse bioregion of the U.S. The objectives of this study were to evaluate critical agronomic traits of proso millet, including emergence, plant height, days to heading, days to maturity, and grain yield, with and without supplemental irrigation. Twenty diverse proso millet accessions, originating from Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Morocco, the former Soviet Union, Turkey, and the United States, were grown in irrigated and non-irrigated treatments under organic conditions in Pullman, WA, from 2012 to 2014. Irrigation was shown to significantly improve emergence and increase plant height at stem extension and to hasten ripening of all the varieties, whereas heading date was not affected by irrigation in two of the three years tested. Irrigation resulted in higher mean seed yield across all varieties, with ‘GR 665’ and ‘Earlybird’ performing best under irrigation. Seed yield was highest in ‘GR 658’ and ‘Minsum’ in the non-irrigated treatment, suggesting the importance of identification and utilization of varieties adapted to low rainfall conditions. The highest yielding varieties in irrigated systems are unlikely be the highest yielding in dryland systems. Our results suggest that millet has potential as a regionally novel crop for inclusion in traditional dryland cropping rotations in the Palouse ecosystem, thereby contributing to increased cropping system diversity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle Modeling Post-Fire Mortality in Pure and Mixed Forest Stands in Portugal—A Forest Planning-Oriented Model
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 390; doi:10.3390/su9030390
Received: 31 December 2016 / Revised: 28 February 2017 / Accepted: 1 March 2017 / Published: 7 March 2017
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Abstract
Assessing impacts of management strategies may allow designing more resistant forests to wildfires. Planning-oriented models to predict the effect of stand structure and forest composition on mortality for supporting fire-smart management decisions, and allowing its inclusion in forest management optimization systems were developed.
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Assessing impacts of management strategies may allow designing more resistant forests to wildfires. Planning-oriented models to predict the effect of stand structure and forest composition on mortality for supporting fire-smart management decisions, and allowing its inclusion in forest management optimization systems were developed. Post-fire mortality was modeled as a function of measurable forest inventory data and projections over time in 165 pure and 76 mixed forest stands in Portugal, collected by the 5th National Forest Inventory plots (NFI) plus other sample plots from ForFireS project, intercepted within 2006–2008 wildfire perimeters’ data. Presence and tree survival were obtained by examining 2450 trees from 16 species one year after the wildfire occurrence. A set of logistic regression models were developed under a three-stage modeling system: firstly multiple fixed-effects at stand-level that comprises a sub-model to predict mortality from wildfire; and another for the proportion of dead trees on stands killed by fire. At tree-level due to the nested structure of the data analyzed (trees within stands), a mixed-effect model was developed to estimate mortality among trees in a fire event. The results imply that the variation of tree mortality decreases when tree diameter at breast height increases. Moreover, the relative mortality increases with stand density, higher altitude and steeper slopes. In the same conditions, conifers are more prone to die than eucalyptus and broadleaves. Pure stands of broadleaves exhibit noticeably higher fire resistance than mixed stands of broadleaves and others species composition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Decision Support for Forest Ecosystem Management Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Social Surveys about Solid Waste Management within Higher Education Institutes: A Comparison
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 391; doi:10.3390/su9030391
Received: 16 January 2017 / Revised: 1 March 2017 / Accepted: 3 March 2017 / Published: 7 March 2017
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Abstract
Solid waste mismanagement is a social burden that requires the introduction of reliable public policies, including recycling principles and technological facilities. However, the development of recycling plans is a real issue for municipal governments, since it involves psychological and cultural factors, both in
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Solid waste mismanagement is a social burden that requires the introduction of reliable public policies, including recycling principles and technological facilities. However, the development of recycling plans is a real issue for municipal governments, since it involves psychological and cultural factors, both in developed and developing countries. Questionnaire survey is an important tool for evaluating which solid waste management policy is suited for each specific study area, involving citizens and stakeholders. The aim of this paper is to evaluate what approach should be applied for social surveys in higher education institutes, comparing developing and developed countries. Italy is the developed country analyzed, where two universities in different cities are compared, while La Paz (Bolivia) is the emerging reality considered. The research conducted in La Paz led us to understand that, although recycling rates are low (about 8%), many students (56.96%) separate up to half of the waste produced at home. At the same time, about 53% of those interviewed do not know the recycling practices implemented by the informal sector which is the one that constantly act for improving the recycling rates of the city. Low technological acceptance is instead underlined in the high income country, since there is a common negative opinion concerning the introduction of landfills and incinerators near residential areas (49% disagree). A comparison of the methodologies adopted for the two case studies is introduced whereas investigations results are presented. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Spatiotemporal Dynamics and Spatial Determinants of Urban Growth in Suzhou, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 393; doi:10.3390/su9030393
Received: 2 January 2017 / Revised: 28 February 2017 / Accepted: 1 March 2017 / Published: 7 March 2017
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Abstract
This paper analyzes the spatiotemporal dynamics of urban growth and models its spatial determinants in China through a case study of Suzhou, a rapidly industrializing and globalizing city. We conducted spatial analysis on land use data derived from multi-temporal remote sensing images of
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This paper analyzes the spatiotemporal dynamics of urban growth and models its spatial determinants in China through a case study of Suzhou, a rapidly industrializing and globalizing city. We conducted spatial analysis on land use data derived from multi-temporal remote sensing images of Suzhou from 1986 to 2008. Three urban growth types, namely infilling, edge-expansion, and leapfrog, were identified. We used landscape metrics to quantify the temporal trend of urban growth in Suzhou. During these 22 years, Suzhou’s urbanization changed from bottom-up rural urbanization to city-based top-down urban expansion. The underlying mechanism changed from TVE (town village enterprise) driven rural industrialization to FDI (foreign direct investment) driven development zone fever. Furthermore, we employed both global and local logistic regressions to model the probability of urban land conversion against a set of spatial variables. The global logistic regression model found the significance of proximity, neighborhood conditions, and socioeconomic factors. The logistic geographically weighted regression (GWR) model improved the global regression model with better model goodness-of-fit and higher prediction accuracy. More importantly, the local parameter estimates of variables enabled us to exam spatial variations of the influences of variables on urban growth in Suzhou. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle Assessment of Alternative Scenarios for CO2 Reduction Potential in the Residential Building Sector
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 394; doi:10.3390/su9030394
Received: 19 December 2016 / Revised: 13 February 2017 / Accepted: 28 February 2017 / Published: 10 March 2017
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Abstract
The South Korean government announced its goals of reducing the country’s CO2 emissions by up to 30% below the business as usual (BAU) projections by 2020 in 2009 and 37% below BAU projections by 2030 in 2015. This paper explores the potential
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The South Korean government announced its goals of reducing the country’s CO2 emissions by up to 30% below the business as usual (BAU) projections by 2020 in 2009 and 37% below BAU projections by 2030 in 2015. This paper explores the potential energy savings and reduction in CO2 emissions offered by residential building energy efficiency policies and plans in South Korea. The current and future energy consumption and CO2 emissions in the residential building were estimated using an energy–environment model from 2010 to 2030. The business as usual scenario is based on the energy consumption characteristic of residential buildings using the trends related to socio-economic prospects and the number of dwellings. The alternative scenarios took into account energy efficiency for new residential buildings (scenario I), refurbishment of existing residential buildings (scenario II), use of highly efficient boilers (scenario III), and use of a solar thermal energy system (scenario IV). The results show that energy consumption in the residential building sector will increase by 33% between 2007 and 2030 in the BAU scenario. Maximum reduction in CO2 emissions in the residential building sector of South Korea was observed by 2030 in scenario I. In each alternative scenario analysis, CO2 emissions were 12.9% lower than in the business as usual scenario by the year 2030. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Assessments of Buildings)
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Open AccessArticle Energy Storage System Sizing Based on a Reliability Assessment of Power Systems Integrated with Wind Power
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 395; doi:10.3390/su9030395
Received: 18 January 2017 / Accepted: 3 March 2017 / Published: 7 March 2017
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Abstract
The available capacity is a major factor that influences the reliability contribution of energy storage in power systems integrated with wind power. This paper presents the capacity value of the energy storage metrics to quantitatively estimate the contribution of energy storage to the
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The available capacity is a major factor that influences the reliability contribution of energy storage in power systems integrated with wind power. This paper presents the capacity value of the energy storage metrics to quantitatively estimate the contribution of energy storage to the generation adequacy. A method in accordance with EFC approach has been introduced to model the capacity value of energy storage. The adequacy-oriented model of the energy storage available capacity is proposed for the energy storage system, regarding the roles of the key parameters for the CVES analysis. The case study results indicate that the capacity value of energy storage quantitatively weigh the contribution of the energy storage to system reliability. The sensitivity analysis of the impact factors for the CVES is conducted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Electric Power Systems Research)
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Open AccessArticle A Study of RI Clusters Based on Symbiosis Theory
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 396; doi:10.3390/su9030396
Received: 20 December 2016 / Revised: 28 February 2017 / Accepted: 3 March 2017 / Published: 8 March 2017
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Abstract
Research infrastructure (RI) refers to a large and complex science research facility or system that conducts top-level science activities. In recent years, there has been a tendency toward geographical concentration of RIs and formation of RI clusters. Some of these RI clusters have
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Research infrastructure (RI) refers to a large and complex science research facility or system that conducts top-level science activities. In recent years, there has been a tendency toward geographical concentration of RIs and formation of RI clusters. Some of these RI clusters have become engines for regional social and economic development. It turns out that RI clusters present a new stage for RI sustainable development. The present paper tries to study RI clusters based on symbiosis theory in order to build an analytical framework for policy makers’ comprehensive understanding of RI clusters. Following the analytical framework, we study the symbiosis system and the symbiosis structures of an RI cluster by analyzing its major characteristics. In order to achieve a balanced symbiotic situation, a competitive model and a symbiosis model are proposed based on the Logistic Model. The analysis is grounded in the samples of China’s typical RI clusters and other cases in the world to give a vivid and convincing illustration. During the analysis process, an RI cluster is regarded as a complex ecological system and the organization and management of units in the cluster is the focus of the study. The authors hope that the paper will supplement the existing literature, which mainly focuses on the technological problems and the evaluation of RI’s socioeconomic effects, in the sense of a systematical analysis of the management problem of RI. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
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Open AccessArticle Vulnerability Analysis of Urban Drainage Systems: Tree vs. Loop Networks
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 397; doi:10.3390/su9030397
Received: 16 January 2017 / Accepted: 23 February 2017 / Published: 7 March 2017
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Abstract
Vulnerability analysis of urban drainage networks plays an important role in urban flood management. This study analyzes and compares the vulnerability of tree and loop systems under various rainfall events to structural failure represented by pipe blockage. Different pipe blockage scenarios, in which
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Vulnerability analysis of urban drainage networks plays an important role in urban flood management. This study analyzes and compares the vulnerability of tree and loop systems under various rainfall events to structural failure represented by pipe blockage. Different pipe blockage scenarios, in which one of the pipes in an urban drainage network is assumed to be blocked individually, are constructed and their impacts on the network are simulated under different storm events. Furthermore, a vulnerability index is defined to measure the vulnerability of the drainage systems before and after the implementation of adaptation measures. The results obtained indicate that the tree systems have a relatively larger proportion of critical hydraulic pipes than the loop systems, thus the vulnerability of tree systems is substantially greater than that of the loop systems. Furthermore, the vulnerability index of tree systems is reduced after they are converted into a loop system with the implementation of adaptation measures. This paper provides an insight into the differences in the vulnerability of tree and loop systems, and provides more evidence for development of adaptation measures (e.g., tanks) to reduce urban flooding. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Eliminating Overload Trucking via a Modal Shift to Achieve Intercity Freight Sustainability: A System Dynamics Approach
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 398; doi:10.3390/su9030398
Received: 4 November 2016 / Revised: 22 February 2017 / Accepted: 5 March 2017 / Published: 8 March 2017
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Abstract
The Chinese government has long been preoccupied with solving the problem of overloaded trucking in intercity freight systems (IFSs). The enforcement of prohibiting overloaded trucking, which enhances environmental and social performance of sustainability, has not progressed well, as it raises transport costs and
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The Chinese government has long been preoccupied with solving the problem of overloaded trucking in intercity freight systems (IFSs). The enforcement of prohibiting overloaded trucking, which enhances environmental and social performance of sustainability, has not progressed well, as it raises transport costs and lowers economic performance, and cannot improve the overall performance of sustainability. It is, thus, necessary to find a way to eliminate overloaded trucking without undermining the overall performance of sustainability. A modal shift is a potential way to achieve freight sustainability, by encouraging greater use of more efficient transport modes. This paper develops a system dynamics model to perform a long-term evaluation of alternative modal shift policies with trucks meeting the statutory limit, and then identified effective policies, whereby the increasing sustainability of IFSs could be achieved. The proposed model was applied to a specific case in China. The results show that the effective modal shift policy is to construct a Class I railway to shift freight away from highways. A discussion is then proposed, based on an analysis of different parameter setting scenarios regarding more general situations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Optimizing Existing Multistory Building Designs towards Net-Zero Energy
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 399; doi:10.3390/su9030399
Received: 14 December 2016 / Revised: 16 February 2017 / Accepted: 1 March 2017 / Published: 8 March 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (10045 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Recent global developments in awareness and concerns about environmental problems have led to reconsidering built environment approaches and construction techniques. One of the alternatives is the principle of low/zero-energy buildings. This study investigates the potentials of energy savings in an existing multi-story building
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Recent global developments in awareness and concerns about environmental problems have led to reconsidering built environment approaches and construction techniques. One of the alternatives is the principle of low/zero-energy buildings. This study investigates the potentials of energy savings in an existing multi-story building in the Mediterranean region in order to achieve net-zero energy as a solution to increasing fossil fuel prices. The Colored building at the Faculty of Architecture, Eastern Mediterranean University, Cyprus was chosen as a target of this study to be investigated and analyzed in order to know how energy efficiency strategies could be applied to the building to reduce annual energy consumption. Since this research objective is to develop a strategy to achieve net-zero energy in existing buildings, case study and problem solving methodologies were applied in this research in order to evaluate the building design in a qualitative manner through observations, in addition to a quantitative method through an energy modeling simulation to achieve desirable results which address the problems. After optimizing the building energy performance, an alternative energy simulation was made of the building in order to make an energy comparison analysis, which leads to reliable conclusions. These methodologies and the strategies used in this research can be applied to similar buildings in order to achieve net-zero energy goals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Architecture and Design)
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Open AccessArticle Comparative “from Cradle to Gate” Life Cycle Assessments of Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) Materials
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 400; doi:10.3390/su9030400
Received: 3 February 2017 / Revised: 19 February 2017 / Accepted: 3 March 2017 / Published: 8 March 2017
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1134 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The objective of this work is to compare the environmental impact of two different hot mix asphalt (HMA) materials used for road construction in Italy. The analyses used a “from cradle to gate” Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) boundary system and the methodology included
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The objective of this work is to compare the environmental impact of two different hot mix asphalt (HMA) materials used for road construction in Italy. The analyses used a “from cradle to gate” Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) boundary system and the methodology included considerations about raw materials and fuel supply, as well as transport and manufacturing processes. Primary data provided by the producers and secondary data available in the literature were used as part of the analyses. The results suggest that the proposed method offers rigorous criteria for a comprehensive assessment of the environmental impact of HMA materials, which could be used, among others, as an evaluation parameter in public bids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
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Open AccessArticle An Evaluation of the Low-Carbon Effects of Urban Rail Based on Mode Shifts
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 401; doi:10.3390/su9030401
Received: 4 January 2017 / Revised: 14 February 2017 / Accepted: 27 February 2017 / Published: 8 March 2017
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Abstract
Urban rail is widely considered to be a form of low-carbon green transportation, but there is a lack of specific quantitative research to support this. By comparing the mode, distance, and corresponding energy consumption of residents before and after the opening of rail
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Urban rail is widely considered to be a form of low-carbon green transportation, but there is a lack of specific quantitative research to support this. By comparing the mode, distance, and corresponding energy consumption of residents before and after the opening of rail transit, this paper establishes a carbon reduction method for rail transit. A measurement model takes the passenger carbon emissions before the line is opened as the baseline and compares them with the standard after the opening, determining the carbon emissions reduction. The model requires a combination of a large amount of research data, transit smart card data, and GIS network measurement tools as measured data and parameters. The model is then applied to rail transit lines that have opened in Beijing in recent years. The emissions reductions of four different routes are estimated and the carbon emissions reduction effect of rail transit is evaluated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Low Carbon Development for Emerging Markets)
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Open AccessArticle Evaluation of Sulfide Control by Air-Injection in Sewer Force Mains: Field and Laboratory Study
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 402; doi:10.3390/su9030402
Received: 1 January 2017 / Accepted: 2 March 2017 / Published: 8 March 2017
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Abstract
Chemical and biological processes consume dissolved oxygen (DO) in urban wastewater during transportation along sewer systems. Anaerobic conditions (DO < 0.2 mg/L) are easily reached, leading to sulfide (S2−) generation. Release of free sulfide, hydrogen sulfide gas (H2S), from the liquid to the
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Chemical and biological processes consume dissolved oxygen (DO) in urban wastewater during transportation along sewer systems. Anaerobic conditions (DO < 0.2 mg/L) are easily reached, leading to sulfide (S2−) generation. Release of free sulfide, hydrogen sulfide gas (H2S), from the liquid to the gaseous phase, causes odor, corrosion of pipes and supposes a risk for health of people working in sewers. These issues get worse in force mains, due to inability to take oxygen from the gaseous phase of pipe. Air injection is a suggested practice to control H2S emission in force mains. That technique aims to keep aerobic conditions in wastewater in order to avoid sulfide generation and favor a decrease of Biochemical Organic Demand (BOD). However, several force mains with air injection are not achieving their goals due to a limited oxygen transfer. Field measurements of dissolved oxygen in urban wastewater are presented in an existing force main with air injection during the summer of 2014 in the southeast of Spain. A laboratory scale model is constructed to quantify two-phase flow conditions in pipe due to air injection for different incoming flows rates of water and air. Particularly, for the case of plug flow, also known as elongated bubble flow. Velocity field measurement of water phase in laboratory allows estimating turbulent diffusivity of oxygen in the water, Em, and inter-phase mass transfer coefficient KL(T). In the laboratory, flow and air depth, bubble length, water velocity field, pressure inside force main and water and airflow rates are determined experimentally. These variables are used to assess DO in water phase of force main by comparison with those obtained from field measurements. This work allows assessing air injection efficiency in wastewater, and, therefore, to predict DO in wastewater in force mains. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Sustainability in Practice: Experiences from Rural Water and Sanitation Services in West Africa
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 403; doi:10.3390/su9030403
Received: 16 January 2017 / Revised: 17 February 2017 / Accepted: 3 March 2017 / Published: 9 March 2017
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Abstract
Sustainability in water and sanitation, understood as the durability of services with a set of agreed characteristics over time, is a major challenge, particularly in rural areas of Sub-Saharan Africa. This fundamental issue must be addressed if the Sustainable Development Goals for universal
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Sustainability in water and sanitation, understood as the durability of services with a set of agreed characteristics over time, is a major challenge, particularly in rural areas of Sub-Saharan Africa. This fundamental issue must be addressed if the Sustainable Development Goals for universal access to water and sanitation are to be achieved. Major international organizations and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) need to work alongside governments to improve sustainability. This paper describes the framework for sustainability programming developed by UNICEF, which is based on a collaborative and iterative learning and adaptive approach, underpinned by regular sustainability spot checks that inform a wider national sustainability agreement. The paper details the results of application of this framework in eight West African countries over the period 2013–2015. Results show the usefulness of the framework in identifying sustainability challenges and acting upon them. However, the continuous adaptation of programs is challenging for governments and international organizations. At the same time, structural aspects that threaten sustainability (e.g., lack of capacity) cannot be addressed in the short term. Further cycles of application of the framework will continue to provide evidence on the successes and limitations of the approach and inform its evolution into a stable country led-framework. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Resolving Governance Issues to Achieve Priority Sustainable Development Goals Related to Solid Waste Management in Developing Countries
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 404; doi:10.3390/su9030404
Received: 15 December 2016 / Revised: 27 February 2017 / Accepted: 1 March 2017 / Published: 9 March 2017
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Abstract
As a key utility service that more than 2 billion people are currently lacking, solid waste management (SWM) is a crosscutting issue that can be directly linked to 12 out of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Distinguishing between physical components and
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As a key utility service that more than 2 billion people are currently lacking, solid waste management (SWM) is a crosscutting issue that can be directly linked to 12 out of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Distinguishing between physical components and governance aspects of SWM, this research focuses on governance issues concerning basic solid waste collection services and controlled disposal, thus addressing the ‘How’ and the ‘Who’ dimensions of a SWM system. As a form of transdisciplinary research, the findings from the literature on governance issues in SWM were iteratively subjected to several rounds of commentary by a large group of stakeholders from six continents, within the authors’ work for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)’s 2015 Global Waste Management Outlook. The study identifies a combination of complementary instruments required for extending collection to all and bringing disposal under control. While municipalities have a legal responsibility for providing services to their citizens, various service providers can contribute to an effective SWM system. Appropriate forms of funding are essential to secure financial sustainability of the services under the local conditions of affordability and willingness to pay. As new services require behavioural change on the part of citizens and municipal waste departments alike, communication and exchange with other stakeholders function as enabling and supporting factors. The significance of capacity development is highlighted. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Assessing the Sodium Exchange Capacity in Rainfed and Irrigated Soils in the Mediterranean Basin Using GIS
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 405; doi:10.3390/su9030405
Received: 15 December 2016 / Revised: 28 February 2017 / Accepted: 2 March 2017 / Published: 9 March 2017
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Abstract
The soil exchange complex consists of colloidal materials on which ion exchange phenomena occur allowing it to attract, retain, and exchange elements that have opposite electric charges. Since their mineral constituents (clay) and organic components (humus) are mainly of a negative nature retained
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The soil exchange complex consists of colloidal materials on which ion exchange phenomena occur allowing it to attract, retain, and exchange elements that have opposite electric charges. Since their mineral constituents (clay) and organic components (humus) are mainly of a negative nature retained or exchanged ion are predominantly cations. Historically, failing to monitor parameters like the exchange sodium percentage (ESP) has led to the permanent deterioration of soils which have become completely unproductive, largely reducing the sustainability of the agricultural systems. This study assesses how the sodium exchange capacity in irrigated soils differs from the rainfed ones through a sample survey that was carried out in the 15,031 ha of the Caia Irrigation Perimeter and adjacent areas, located in the municipalities of Elvas and Campo Maior, Portalegre District, Portugal where 14,280 georeferenced samples were collected from the top soil layer (0–20 cm), which were mixed 10 at a time so that each composite sample representing 11.1 ha. Then the samples were analyzed regarding the most relevant parameters for characterizing the soil exchange complex including the concentrations of exchanged bases and Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC). The results were arranged in a georeferenced grid with 1451 entries. Using classical statistical analysis and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software, it was possible to relate the individual soil samples analyzed with the cultural system practiced (irrigated or rainfed) and the present soil group which permitted us to analyze the influence of the cultural system in the soil exchange complex. The distribution chart of the exchange sodium and CEC were created. The obtained results confirm a general decrease of CEC values and an increase of the exchangeable sodium content of irrigated explored soils when compared to the rainfed ones, putting forward noteworthy ideas not only regarding the necessary changes towards the sustainability of these irrigated agricultural landscapes, but also considering the impact of these productive techniques on different agricultural systems. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle The Influence of Local Governance: Effects on the Sustainability of Bioenergy Innovation
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 406; doi:10.3390/su9030406
Received: 28 November 2016 / Revised: 6 February 2017 / Accepted: 21 February 2017 / Published: 9 March 2017
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Abstract
This paper deals with processes and outcomes of sustainable bioenergy development in Emilia Romagna. It draws on an on-going research project concerning inclusive innovation in forest-based bioenergy and biogas in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Italy. The goal is to explore how local governance
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This paper deals with processes and outcomes of sustainable bioenergy development in Emilia Romagna. It draws on an on-going research project concerning inclusive innovation in forest-based bioenergy and biogas in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Italy. The goal is to explore how local governance impacts on inclusive innovation processes and triple bottom sustainability of bioenergy development in Emilia Romagna and, ultimately, to contribute to the debate on the bioeconomy. It thus compares the case of biogas and forest-based bioenergy production. The study adopts an analytical framework called Grounded Innovation (GRIP) and the local governance approach. The study uses qualitative methods and particularly semi-structured interviews and governance analysis. The key results show different outcomes on both inclusive innovation and triple bottom-line dimensions. Biogas has not fostered inclusiveness and triple bottom line sustainability benefits, contrary to forest-based bioenergy. The findings indicate that the minor role of local actors, particularly municipalities, in favour of industrial and national interests may jeopardise the sustainability of biobased industries. Besides, policies limited to financial incentives may lead to a land-acquisition rush, unforeseen local environmental effects and exacerbate conflicts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovation and Sustainable Development for the Bioeconomy)
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Open AccessArticle The Impact of Policy Instruments on Soil Multifunctionality in the European Union
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 407; doi:10.3390/su9030407
Received: 26 January 2017 / Revised: 1 March 2017 / Accepted: 2 March 2017 / Published: 9 March 2017
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Abstract
Agricultural ecosystems provide a range of benefits that are vital to human well-being. These benefits are dependent on several soil functions that are affected in different ways by legislation from the European Union, national, and regional levels. We evaluated current European Union soil-related
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Agricultural ecosystems provide a range of benefits that are vital to human well-being. These benefits are dependent on several soil functions that are affected in different ways by legislation from the European Union, national, and regional levels. We evaluated current European Union soil-related legislation and examples of regional legislation with regard to direct and indirect impacts on five soil functions: the production of food, fiber, and fuel; water purification and regulation; carbon sequestration and climate regulation; habitat for biodiversity provisioning; and the recycling of nutrients/agro-chemicals. Our results illustrate the diversity of existing policies and the complex interactions present between different spatial and temporal scales. The impact of most policies, positive or negative, on a soil function is usually not established, but depends on how the policy is implemented by local authorities and the farmers. This makes it difficult to estimate the overall state and trends of the different soil functions in agricultural ecosystems. To implement functional management and sustainable use of the different soil functions in agricultural ecosystems, more knowledge is needed on the policy interactions as well as on the impact of management options on the different soil functions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Sustainability Matters in National Development Visions—Evidence from Saudi Arabia’s Vision for 2030
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 408; doi:10.3390/su9030408
Received: 30 December 2016 / Revised: 5 March 2017 / Accepted: 6 March 2017 / Published: 9 March 2017
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Abstract
Sustainability advocates for a universally shared common vision of progress towards a society that is just, safe and sustainable for humanity. Beyond environmental protection, the concept recognizes the urgent need to improve life quality through strategies that build socio-economic growth and address a
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Sustainability advocates for a universally shared common vision of progress towards a society that is just, safe and sustainable for humanity. Beyond environmental protection, the concept recognizes the urgent need to improve life quality through strategies that build socio-economic growth and address a wide range of cross cutting issues. While consensus abound that a more sustainable society serves everyone, opinions on what sustainability means and how it can be achieved are diverse. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), through the 2030 Vision and the 2020 National Transformation Program (NTP) outlines an agenda for a more balanced growth and socio-economic development. The extent to which the vision systematically aligns with sustainability principles, however, remains unexplored. This research is a maiden attempt to investigate how much sustainability substance is in the 2030 Vision and the NTP of Saudi Arabia. The Sustainable Society Index (SSI) has been employed to examine the 2030 Vision and the NTP to understand the Kingdom’s commitment to building resilient, inclusive and sustainable societies. The vision and NTP texts were matched against five broad measures and 22 sub-measures of the SSI to identity the points of convergence. While both the 2030 Vision and the NTP align with the SSI measures in some respect, the goals and objectives are, at best, a reflection of the needs, aspirations and context of Saudi Arabia. The paper concludes that the success of the 2030 Vision rests on the active involvement and empowerment of relevant stakeholders at all levels as well as the development of comprehensive assessment mechanisms based on which to measure progress towards sustainability. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Top-Down Approach to Estimating Spatially Heterogeneous Impacts of Development Aid on Vegetative Carbon Sequestration
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 409; doi:10.3390/su9030409
Received: 31 October 2016 / Revised: 15 December 2016 / Accepted: 6 February 2017 / Published: 9 March 2017
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Abstract
Since 1945, over $4.9 trillion dollars of international aid has been allocated to developing countries. To date, there have been no estimates of the regional impact of this aid on the carbon cycle. We apply a geographically explicit matching method to estimate the
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Since 1945, over $4.9 trillion dollars of international aid has been allocated to developing countries. To date, there have been no estimates of the regional impact of this aid on the carbon cycle. We apply a geographically explicit matching method to estimate the relative impact of large-scale World Bank projects implemented between 2000 and 2010 on sequestered carbon, using a novel and publicly available data set of 61,243 World Bank project locations. Considering only carbon sequestered due to fluctuations in vegetative biomass caused by World Bank projects, we illustrate the relative impact of World Bank projects on carbon sequestration. We use this information to illustrate the geographic variation in the apparent effectiveness of environmental safeguards implemented by the World Bank. We argue that sub-national data can help to identify geographically heterogeneous impact effects, and highlight many remaining methodological challenges. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Urban Land Use Efficiency and Coordination in China
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 410; doi:10.3390/su9030410
Received: 22 January 2017 / Revised: 6 March 2017 / Accepted: 7 March 2017 / Published: 9 March 2017
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Abstract
Due to the focused pursuit of economic growth in the process of the large-scale urban development of China, the phenomena of low land use efficiency and discordance of land use induce unwanted economic, social, and environmental costs. This paper presents a comprehensive study
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Due to the focused pursuit of economic growth in the process of the large-scale urban development of China, the phenomena of low land use efficiency and discordance of land use induce unwanted economic, social, and environmental costs. This paper presents a comprehensive study of urban land use efficiency and of the degree of land use coordination of 33 cities in China, using theoretical analysis, data envelopment analysis, principal component analysis, the coordination coefficient method, and four-quadrant analysis. The findings of this study suggest a gradually increasing proportion of land use efficiency from eastern to central and western regions of China, coinciding with China’s pattern of socioeconomic development. No correlation was found between high levels of urban land use efficiency and the degree of land use coordination; however, a significant correlation was found between low land use efficiency and low degrees of land use coordination. Rational land use planning and policy design can effectively improve both urban land use efficiency and coordination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle The Influence of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Outbreak on Online and Offline Markets for Retail Sales
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 411; doi:10.3390/su9030411
Received: 28 December 2016 / Accepted: 2 March 2017 / Published: 9 March 2017
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Abstract
This study investigates whether the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak in Korea affected online and offline retail sales and determines the presence of a substitution or delay effect between the two. We analyze the monthly retail sales of electronic goods, semi-luxury goods,
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This study investigates whether the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak in Korea affected online and offline retail sales and determines the presence of a substitution or delay effect between the two. We analyze the monthly retail sales of electronic goods, semi-luxury goods, and groceries using an autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) model with intervention. The findings are as follows. First, offline sales of electronic goods declined by 7.9%, while online sales increased by 7.03%, indicating that these markets can act as substitutes. Second, the offline sales of semi-luxury goods decreased for two months, while online sales remained the same, indicating that there can be a delay effect in the offline market. Finally, despite the slight increase in online sales and the moderate decrease in offline sales, the MERS outbreak did not have a statistically significant effect on grocery sales. Our research findings imply that stakeholders such as the government and retail provided useful information on how to deal with the unexpected outbreak Full article
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Open AccessArticle Decomposing the Decoupling of Water Consumption and Economic Growth in China’s Textile Industry
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 412; doi:10.3390/su9030412
Received: 21 October 2016 / Accepted: 6 March 2017 / Published: 9 March 2017
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Abstract
Unprecedented economic achievement in China’s textile industry (TI) has occurred along with rising water consumption. The goal of industrial sustainable development requires the decoupling of economic growth from resource consumption. This paper examines the relationship between water consumption and economic growth, and the
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Unprecedented economic achievement in China’s textile industry (TI) has occurred along with rising water consumption. The goal of industrial sustainable development requires the decoupling of economic growth from resource consumption. This paper examines the relationship between water consumption and economic growth, and the internal influence mechanism of China’s TI and its three sub-sectors: the manufacture of textiles (MT) sector, the Manufacture of Textile Wearing Apparel, Footwear, and Caps (MTWA) sector, and the manufacture of chemical fibers (MCF) sector. A decoupling analysis was performed and the Laspeyres decomposition method was applied to the period from 2001 to 2014. We showed that six of the fourteen years analyzed (2003, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2011, and 2013) exhibited a strong decoupling effect and three of the fourteen years (2005, 2007, and 2010) exhibited a weak decoupling effect. Overall, China’s TI experienced a good decoupling between economic growth and water consumption from 2002 to 2014. For the three sub-sectors, the MTWA sector experienced a more significant positive decoupling than the MT and MCF sectors. The decomposition results confirm that the industrial scale factor is the most important driving force of China’s TI water consumption increase, while the water efficiency factor is the most important inhibiting force. The industrial structure adjustment does not significantly affect water consumption. The industrial scale and water use efficiency factors are also the main determinants of change in water consumption for the three sub-sectors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Future Professionals: A Study of Sustainable Behavior
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 413; doi:10.3390/su9030413
Received: 3 July 2016 / Revised: 15 October 2016 / Accepted: 8 November 2016 / Published: 10 March 2017
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Abstract
Sustainability in an organizational environment involves a form of management that allows attaining a balance between the economic, environmental and social dimensions, and can contribute to the sustainable behavior of employees and administrators. Nevertheless, studies that evaluate sustainable behavior of future professionals using
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Sustainability in an organizational environment involves a form of management that allows attaining a balance between the economic, environmental and social dimensions, and can contribute to the sustainable behavior of employees and administrators. Nevertheless, studies that evaluate sustainable behavior of future professionals using a multidimensional approach to create a scale to measure sustainable behavior of students are relatively rare and there is a need for research in this field. Therefore, the objective of this article is to analyze the sustainable behavior of potential professionals, using the multidimensional approach of item response theory (IRT). A set of 13 items evaluated by specialists and tested by graduate students was applied to 492 undergraduate students from a community university in Southern Brazil in the schools of administration, human resources, accounting, law, civil engineering and biology. The results indicate that the students have higher sustainable behavior in the social dimension and lower in the economic dimension, highlighted by participation in voluntary activities. This result can provide important information to companies, given that in their processes for recruiting and selecting new employees, many have included issues related to sustainable practices, not only from an economic perspective, but particularly from environmental and social perspectives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Education and Approaches)
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Open AccessArticle Analysis of Potential Rockfalls on a Highway at High Slopes in Cold-Arid Areas (Northwest Xinjiang, China)
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 414; doi:10.3390/su9030414
Received: 12 January 2017 / Revised: 6 March 2017 / Accepted: 8 March 2017 / Published: 10 March 2017
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Abstract
In the steep mountainous areas in northwest Xinjiang, where rock mass is broken seriously due to intense freeze thaw weathering, rockfall is one of the most common geological hazards on highway high slopes. Engineering geological investigations on geological hazards along a segment of
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In the steep mountainous areas in northwest Xinjiang, where rock mass is broken seriously due to intense freeze thaw weathering, rockfall is one of the most common geological hazards on highway high slopes. Engineering geological investigations on geological hazards along a segment of the G219 highway was conducted, indicating that rockfalls on the high slopes threaten the safety of vehicles on the highway seriously. In this study, a combination of field investigations, laboratory experiments and numerical simulation methods was performed to identify unstable high slopes, simulate the rockfall trajectories and assess the rockfall hazard in the study area. The results show that there are five high slopes (i.e., W01, W02, …, W05) where rockfall hazard is extremely serious. Considering both the total kinetic energy and the accumulation rate of blocks, rockfall influence area zonation was performed, leading to the conclusions that the sections of highway on W01 to W05 are located at the medium-intensity low-accumulation zone, high-intensity medium-accumulation zone, high-intensity low-accumulation zone, high-intensity low-accumulation zone and medium-intensity high-accumulation zone, respectively. Based on the analysis, a zonation map was accomplished, which could help engineers select effective mitigation measures against rockfalls to avoid casualty and property losses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Risk Assessment and Management)
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Open AccessArticle Moderating Effects of Trust on Environmentally Significant Behavior in Korea
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 415; doi:10.3390/su9030415
Received: 22 November 2016 / Revised: 2 March 2017 / Accepted: 5 March 2017 / Published: 10 March 2017
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Abstract
To treat environmental problems and to seek sustainable development, voluntary and cooperative efforts, which is really against the traditional mentality with the emphasis on the individual competitive optimization, became the key to maintain the sustainability of complex social and ecological systems. To understand
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To treat environmental problems and to seek sustainable development, voluntary and cooperative efforts, which is really against the traditional mentality with the emphasis on the individual competitive optimization, became the key to maintain the sustainability of complex social and ecological systems. To understand the cooperative and voluntary individual’s environmentally significant behavior (ESB), this paper focuses on the role of trust, and assesses the effect of trust on the relationship between existing factors and ESB. A structural equation model (SEM) is constructed to estimate the moderating effects of trust on ESB in Korea. We found that people with a negative view on strict environmental regulations do not exhibit ESB and thus nudge policies could be much more effective than the forceful measure. It is noteworthy that public private partnership, as a kind of optimal trust, should be more promoted in the environmental protection policies. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication An Alternative Method of Spatial Autocorrelation for Chlorophyll Detection in Water Bodies Using Remote Sensing
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 416; doi:10.3390/su9030416
Received: 5 January 2017 / Revised: 21 February 2017 / Accepted: 1 March 2017 / Published: 10 March 2017
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Abstract
Additional measures of in situ water quality monitoring in natural environments can be obtained through remote sensing because certain elements in water modify its spectral behavior. One of the indicators of water quality is the presence of algae, and the aim of this
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Additional measures of in situ water quality monitoring in natural environments can be obtained through remote sensing because certain elements in water modify its spectral behavior. One of the indicators of water quality is the presence of algae, and the aim of this study was to propose an alternative method for the quantification of chlorophyll in water by correlating spectral data, infrared images, and limnology data. The object of study was an artificial lake located at Unisinos University, São Leopoldo/RS, Brazil. The area has been mapped with a modified NGB (near infrared (N), green (G) and blue (B)) camera coupled to an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). From the orthorectified and georeferenced images, a modified normalized difference vegetation index (NDVImod) image has been generated. Additionally, 20 sampling points have been established on the lake. At these points, in situ spectral analysis with a spectroradiometer has been performed, and water samples have been collected for laboratory determination of chlorophyll concentrations. The correlation resulted in two models. The first model, based on the multivariate analysis of spectral data, and the second model, based on polynomial equations from NDVI, had coefficients of determination (R2) of 0.86 and 0.51, respectively. This study confirmed the applicability of remote sensing for water resource management using UAVs, which can be characterized as a quick and easy methodology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Water Resources Management)
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Open AccessArticle Current Trends of Durability Design and Government Support in South Korea: Chloride Attack
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 417; doi:10.3390/su9030417
Received: 3 November 2016 / Accepted: 2 March 2017 / Published: 10 March 2017
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Abstract
Concrete is considered to be a construction material with high durability and excellent fire resistance. However, degradation occurs, leading to structural safety problems and expensive maintenance costs. Currently, durability design and its concepts are provided in the concrete specifications and structural design codes
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Concrete is considered to be a construction material with high durability and excellent fire resistance. However, degradation occurs, leading to structural safety problems and expensive maintenance costs. Currently, durability design and its concepts are provided in the concrete specifications and structural design codes in many countries, but they vary in terms of the design methodologies and users’ demands. Reinforced concrete (RC) structures based on a reasonable durability design with a quantitative procedure can prevent unnecessary maintenance expenses and reduce environmental loads. This paper presents the current trends of durability design in South Korea and government support for infrastructure. In this work, the two representative durability design philosophies (deterministic and probabilistic approaches) are briefly summarized, and the current guidelines and related requirements for durability design in several countries are investigated. Durability design is now changing from simple material requirement control to performance-based design with quantitative parameters considering various exposure classifications and evaluation processes. RC structures based on reasonable durability design can make a great contribution to reducing maintenance costs and environmental effects like CO2 emissions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Effects of Weather on Oilseed Rape (OSR) Yield in China: Future Implications of Climate Change
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 418; doi:10.3390/su9030418
Received: 29 December 2016 / Revised: 24 February 2017 / Accepted: 6 March 2017 / Published: 15 March 2017
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Abstract
Understanding the role of climatic factors on crop yields is essential in predicting the future impact of climate change. In order to understand the influence of climatic factors on OSR, detailed farm-level panel data from 2566 farms across 67 counties of the 6
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Understanding the role of climatic factors on crop yields is essential in predicting the future impact of climate change. In order to understand the influence of climatic factors on OSR, detailed farm-level panel data from 2566 farms across 67 counties of the 6 major OSR production regions in China, from the surveys conducted by the national OSR industry project between 2008 and 2013, were used to examine the contribution of changes in selected climatic variables between 2008 and 2013 to yield variation. Spatial and temporal patterns of the relationships between OSR yield, climatic factors were estimated together with the effects of farmer adaptation and management practices on yield variability. The analysis revealed that yields in the low-latitude production regions were more sensitive to temperature increases and likely to decline. Precipitation iwas the most influential factor on yield at the first two growth stages; temperature and sunshine hours were most important at the third and fourth growth stages, respectively. Labour input was the most influential management factor affecting yields compared with fertilizer and other inputs. The study concludes that projection of future climate change impacts will need inter alia to incorporate more sophisticated and detailed measures of climatic variables than simple means of temperature and precipitation, incorporating timing in relation to plant growth and yield. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Role of Trials and Demonstration Projects in the Development of a Sustainable Bioeconomy
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 419; doi:10.3390/su9030419
Received: 14 December 2016 / Revised: 28 February 2017 / Accepted: 9 March 2017 / Published: 11 March 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (512 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article provides an overview of the literature on demonstration projects and trials, and accounts for how insights drawn from this literature can contribute to the development of a sustainable bioeconomy. The article reviews the literature on demonstration projects and trials, covering both
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This article provides an overview of the literature on demonstration projects and trials, and accounts for how insights drawn from this literature can contribute to the development of a sustainable bioeconomy. The article reviews the literature on demonstration projects and trials, covering both more broad-based studies on demonstration projects mainly carried out in the US and more specific studies on demonstration projects for energy technologies carried out in Europe, the US, and Japan. The aim of the article is to account for how demonstration projects and trials can contribute to the development of a sustainable bioeconomy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovation and Sustainable Development for the Bioeconomy)
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Open AccessArticle Public Open Space Development for Elderly People by Using the DANP-V Model to Establish Continuous Improvement Strategies towards a Sustainable and Healthy Aging Society
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 420; doi:10.3390/su9030420
Received: 31 December 2016 / Revised: 25 February 2017 / Accepted: 7 March 2017 / Published: 11 March 2017
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Abstract
With the global trend of population aging, how to integrate the health needs of elderly people into public open space (POS) development while taking into account public interest is a major challenge in the 21st century. Although the issues of elderly people’s health
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With the global trend of population aging, how to integrate the health needs of elderly people into public open space (POS) development while taking into account public interest is a major challenge in the 21st century. Although the issues of elderly people’s health and their POS needs are receiving increasing attention, research on continuous improvement strategies for POS for healthy aging societies is still limited. Hence, this study explored continuous improvement strategies thoroughly and systematically by using the DANP-V model. The findings revealed cognitive differences between expert and elderly groups. Moreover, water features, waste management, and co-maintenance spaces were the three criteria with the largest gap value. POS improvement has previously been implemented based on a priority order ranked from the criterion with largest gap value to the criterion with the smallest one. However, an alternative approach based on the cause–effect relationship is proposed in this paper. The study findings have both theoretical and practical implications for POS planners and designers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Framework of Sustainable Service Supply Chain Management: A Literature Review and Research Agenda
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 421; doi:10.3390/su9030421
Received: 8 December 2016 / Revised: 25 February 2017 / Accepted: 7 March 2017 / Published: 12 March 2017
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Abstract
In recent years, the interdisciplinary research of supply chains and sustainability has received extensive, yet gradual, attention; when compared to the rapid economic growth of the service industry, however, sustainable supply chain management has not been systematically explored yet. It has not only
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In recent years, the interdisciplinary research of supply chains and sustainability has received extensive, yet gradual, attention; when compared to the rapid economic growth of the service industry, however, sustainable supply chain management has not been systematically explored yet. It has not only great theoretical significance, but also positive practical significance to provide a framework for the operation of a sustainable service supply chain from a sustainable development point of view. Based on the triple bottom line (TBL), we have analyzed related sustainable supply chain management research between 2006 and 2015, reviewed papers involving two or three bottom lines as well, and then introduced some classical frameworks for manufacturing supply chain management and service supply chain management. Afterward, by analyzing the differences between the manufacturing and service industries, we propose a framework of sustainable service supply chain management (SSSCM). Based on the impacts of sustainable development TBL on service supply chain participants, we have finally made a framework for sustainable operation facing triads service supply chain and proposed a future research agenda. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Low Carbon Development for Emerging Markets)
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Open AccessArticle Analysis of Energy Literacy and Misconceptions of Junior High Students in Taiwan
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 423; doi:10.3390/su9030423
Received: 10 January 2017 / Revised: 24 February 2017 / Accepted: 10 March 2017 / Published: 13 March 2017
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Abstract
Decision-making regarding energy determines carbon emissions and the severity of climate change. Energy literacy plays a crucial role because well-informed citizens can support the design and implementation of smart and forward-looking policies. Research has shown that people hold misconceptions about energy, and for
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Decision-making regarding energy determines carbon emissions and the severity of climate change. Energy literacy plays a crucial role because well-informed citizens can support the design and implementation of smart and forward-looking policies. Research has shown that people hold misconceptions about energy, and for young students these may persist into adulthood. Thus, this study is to understand the energy literacy of junior high school students in Taiwan and what their misconceptions are as well as why and how they hold these. Energy literacy scales (ELS) were developed and served as the basis for a survey of 1652 students in five regions of Taiwan, in which most indicators for knowledge were designed corresponding to common misconceptions in the scientific and social context of energy issues. Through analyzing the survey questions and survey results, interview questions were designed and 10 students were interviewed to identify their misconceptions. A “conceptual logic map” model was developed for demonstrating the sources and patterns of misconceptions and their linkages. Potential educational strategies were then proposed, showing the applicability of the model. The combination of concept-oriented energy literacy surveys, interviews, and the conceptual logic map was proven to be an effective design for misconception identification and treatment. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Boundary Bridging Arrangements: A Boundary Work Approach to Local Energy Transitions
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 424; doi:10.3390/su9030424
Received: 17 December 2016 / Revised: 30 January 2017 / Accepted: 6 March 2017 / Published: 15 March 2017
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Abstract
Local energy transitions involve various types of actors (e.g., politicians, businesses, public administrators, and citizens) that differ in their objectives, values, problem-related perspectives, and professional jargons: these differences risk deterring the collaboration that is needed to pursue energy transitions as encompassing socio-technological transformations.
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Local energy transitions involve various types of actors (e.g., politicians, businesses, public administrators, and citizens) that differ in their objectives, values, problem-related perspectives, and professional jargons: these differences risk deterring the collaboration that is needed to pursue energy transitions as encompassing socio-technological transformations. Based on a boundary work-approach, this contribution studies the interplay of actors in these transitions. The approach suggests that boundary bridging arrangements (e.g., boundary objects, boundary settings, and boundary organizations) evolve in local energy transitions, facilitating communication across the boundaries between the various types of actors. In applying the boundary work approach to the energy transitions in two German cities, the article explores the potentials and limitations of this approach. Full article
Open AccessArticle Thermal, Economic and Environmental Analysis of a Low-Cost House in Alice, South Africa
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 425; doi:10.3390/su9030425
Received: 10 January 2017 / Accepted: 8 March 2017 / Published: 13 March 2017
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Abstract
Indoor and outdoor temperature variation results in heat transfer between the inner and outer space of a house, subsequently drifting the indoor temperature out of the thermal comfort zone. This leads to occupants spending a significant amount of their income on space heating
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Indoor and outdoor temperature variation results in heat transfer between the inner and outer space of a house, subsequently drifting the indoor temperature out of the thermal comfort zone. This leads to occupants spending a significant amount of their income on space heating and cooling to achieve thermal comfort. The aim of this study is to analyze the thermal, economic and environmental impact of a low-cost house. A low-cost house located in Golf Course, Alice was used as a case study. The outdoor and indoor weather conditions of the house were monitored for periods covering summer and winter seasons. To maintain indoor thermal comfort, 3412.57 kWh of heating and 3214.75 kWh cooling energy were required in winter and summer seasons, respectively. At a rate of 1 ZAR equal to 13.34 USD and 29.39 c/kWh, the energy consumption results in $1003.02 worth of heating energy in winter and $944.88 of cooling energy in summer. In both seasons, to supply the equivalent amount of thermal energy used in the house from a coal-fired power plant, 9.65 ton of CO2, 81.71 kg of SO2 and 39.50 kg of NO2 gases will be emitted into the atmosphere. Promoting and enforcing energy efficient design in low-cost housing will not only bring about energy savings, but will also provide a year-round indoor thermal comfort. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development Initiatives towards Poverty Alleviation)
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Open AccessArticle BIM-Based 4D Simulation to Improve Module Manufacturing Productivity for Sustainable Building Projects
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 426; doi:10.3390/su9030426
Received: 16 November 2016 / Accepted: 7 March 2017 / Published: 13 March 2017
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Abstract
Modular construction methods, where products are manufactured beforehand in a factory and then transported to the site for installation, are becoming increasingly popular for construction projects in many countries as this method facilitates the use of the advanced technologies that support sustainability in
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Modular construction methods, where products are manufactured beforehand in a factory and then transported to the site for installation, are becoming increasingly popular for construction projects in many countries as this method facilitates the use of the advanced technologies that support sustainability in building projects. This approach requires dual factory–site process management to be carefully coordinated and the factory module manufacturing process must therefore be managed in a detailed and quantitative manner. However, currently, the limited algorithms available to support this process are based on mathematical methodologies that do not consider the complex mix of equipment, factories, personnel, and materials involved. This paper presents three new building information modeling-based 4D simulation frameworks to manage the three elements—process, quantity, and quality—that determine the productivity of factory module manufacturing. These frameworks leverage the advantages of 4D simulation and provide more precise information than existing conventional documents. By utilizing a 4D model that facilitates the visualization of a wide range of data variables, manufacturers can plan the module manufacturing process in detail and fully understand the material, equipment, and workflow needed to accomplish the manufacturing tasks. Managers can also access information about material quantities for each process and use this information for earned value management, warehousing/storage, fabrication, and assembly planning. By having a 4D view that connects 2D drawing models, manufacturing errors and rework can be minimized and problems such as construction delays, quality lapses, and cost overruns vastly reduced. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Disease Burden of Patients with Allergic Rhinitis from a Hospital Surveillance in Beijing
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 427; doi:10.3390/su9030427
Received: 21 November 2016 / Revised: 9 February 2017 / Accepted: 9 March 2017 / Published: 14 March 2017
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Abstract
Background: The aims of this study are to estimate the disease burden of allergic rhinitis (AR) patients and examine various underlying issues related to the symptoms and services of adult AR patients. Methods: Beijing hospital was picked as the surveillance area, and self-report
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Background: The aims of this study are to estimate the disease burden of allergic rhinitis (AR) patients and examine various underlying issues related to the symptoms and services of adult AR patients. Methods: Beijing hospital was picked as the surveillance area, and self-report questionnaires from the AR patients and data from medical examinations by specialists of otolaryngology were collected. The burden of patients with AR was evaluated by the combined results from patient-questionnaires and specialist examination reports. Results: AR imposed a substantial burden on patients regarding everyday life limitations and work performance; AR affected patients’ noses, ears, throats, and eyes in various ways. The basic daily average medicine cost was 10 RMB for each patient, and the cost for an outpatient in the hospital was 10 RMB for a basic nasal examination and more than 200 RMB if the patient needed further physical examinations. Conclusions: AR imposed burdens on everyday activities and work performance; the patients needed to wait a long time before being diagnosed, and the costs of diagnosis and treatment imposed economic burden on patients. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Coupled Allocation for Regional Initial Water Rights in Dalinghe Basin, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 428; doi:10.3390/su9030428
Received: 26 August 2016 / Revised: 28 February 2017 / Accepted: 11 March 2017 / Published: 14 March 2017
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Abstract
Regional initial water rights is a crucial part of initial water rights and clarification of it is an essential method to improve the efficiency of water use. It also promotes sustainable use of valuable water resources. Consequently, under new circumstances of China’s most
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Regional initial water rights is a crucial part of initial water rights and clarification of it is an essential method to improve the efficiency of water use. It also promotes sustainable use of valuable water resources. Consequently, under new circumstances of China’s most stringent water resources management, with water quantity and quality control, we propose a new perspective for a coupled allocation model of regional initial water rights for a typical river basin. Firstly, we design an index system following principles of the “Three Red Lines” considering the real situation of Dalinghe River Basin, China. Then, under the control of total water use, we establish an allocation model of regional initial water quantity rights by the projection pursuit technology. Secondly, under total pollutant discharge control, we established an allocation model of regional initial pollutant discharge rights considering optimized objectives of economy and society. Thirdly, considering both regional initial water quantity rights and the regional pollutant discharge rights above, we provide an incentive function to build a coupled allocation model for regional initial water rights of Dalinghe River Basin. Finally, according to the scenario of the water frequency 50% and planning year 2030, the research finding shows Chaoyang City obtains the largest quantity of regional initial water rights, followed by Jinzhou, Fuxin, Panjin and Huludao, sequentially, which approximately match the pilot plans of China’s Ministry of Water Resources. The empirical research about Dalinghe River Basin further verifies effectiveness of the model in this paper. It also provides scientific decision support for implementing China’s most stringent water resources management for Dalinghe River Basin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Water Resources Management)
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Open AccessArticle Are Chinese Green Transport Policies Effective? A New Perspective from Direct Pollution Rebound Effect, and Empirical Evidence From the Road Transport Sector
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 429; doi:10.3390/su9030429
Received: 26 December 2016 / Revised: 2 March 2017 / Accepted: 11 March 2017 / Published: 15 March 2017
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