Open AccessArticle
Performance Evaluation of Borehole Heat Exchanger in Multilayered Subsurface
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 356; doi:10.3390/su9030356 -
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
[...] Read more.
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
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Knowledge Management in Startups: Systematic Literature Review and Future Research Agenda
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 361; doi:10.3390/su9030361 -
Abstract
This paper conducts a systematic literature review on knowledge management (KM) in the context of startups in order to analyze the state of the art, identify research gaps and define a future research agenda. The main findings highlight that, even though there is
[...] Read more.
This paper conducts a systematic literature review on knowledge management (KM) in the context of startups in order to analyze the state of the art, identify research gaps and define a future research agenda. The main findings highlight that, even though there is an increasing number of papers on the topic of KM in startups, several issues are still neglected. Specifically, the paper identifies four main gaps in the body of literature. The first gap deals with the environmental and socio-political factors influencing the adoption of KM in startups. The second gap regards the lack of a comprehensive taxonomy of knowledge management systems (KMSs) that may support the processes of knowledge creation, acquisition, storage, transfer, sharing and application. This second gap allows us to identify a third gap concerning the level of alignment between startup’s strategies and technologies adopted. Finally, the fourth gap deals with the issue of the impact of KM on startup’s performances with regard to economic, financial, market, technical, technological, organizational, human and relational performance. From these four gaps, six research questions (RQs) have been proposed. These RQs allow us to identify possible areas of analysis to define a future research agenda. Neglecting these issues means underestimating all the possible advantages of KM adoption for a startup to achieve efficiency, effectiveness and scalability goals. Full article
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 -
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.
[...] Read more.
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
Open AccessArticle
A Conceptual Framework for Classification Management of Contaminated Sites in Guangzhou, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 362; doi:10.3390/su9030362 -
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
[...] Read more.
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
Open AccessArticle
Spatial Patterns and Driving Forces of Greenhouse Land Change in Shouguang City, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 359; doi:10.3390/su9030359 -
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,
[...] Read more.
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
Figures

Figure 1

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 -
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
[...] Read more.
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
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Advanced Monitoring and Management Systems for Improving Sustainability in Precision Irrigation
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 353; doi:10.3390/su9030353 -
Abstract
Globally, the irrigation of crops is the largest consumptive user of fresh water. Water scarcity is increasing worldwide, resulting in tighter regulation of its use for agriculture. This necessitates the development of irrigation practices that are more efficient in the use of water
[...] Read more.
Globally, the irrigation of crops is the largest consumptive user of fresh water. Water scarcity is increasing worldwide, resulting in tighter regulation of its use for agriculture. This necessitates the development of irrigation practices that are more efficient in the use of water but do not compromise crop quality and yield. Precision irrigation already achieves this goal, in part. The goal of precision irrigation is to accurately supply the crop water need in a timely manner and as spatially uniformly as possible. However, to maximize the benefits of precision irrigation, additional technologies need to be enabled and incorporated into agriculture. This paper discusses how incorporating adaptive decision support systems into precision irrigation management will enable significant advances in increasing the efficiency of current irrigation approaches. From the literature review, it is found that precision irrigation can be applied in achieving the environmental goals related to sustainability. The demonstrated economic benefits of precision irrigation in field-scale crop production is however minimal. It is argued that a proper combination of soil, plant and weather sensors providing real-time data to an adaptive decision support system provides an innovative platform for improving sustainability in irrigated agriculture. The review also shows that adaptive decision support systems based on model predictive control are able to adequately account for the time-varying nature of the soil–plant–atmosphere system while considering operational limitations and agronomic objectives in arriving at optimal irrigation decisions. It is concluded that significant improvements in crop yield and water savings can be achieved by incorporating model predictive control into precision irrigation decision support tools. Further improvements in water savings can also be realized by including deficit irrigation as part of the overall irrigation management strategy. Nevertheless, future research is needed for identifying crop response to regulated water deficits, developing improved soil moisture and plant sensors, and developing self-learning crop simulation frameworks that can be applied to evaluate adaptive decision support strategies related to irrigation. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

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 -
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
[...] Read more.
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
Figures

Figure 1

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 -
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)
[...] Read more.
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
Figures

Figure 1

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 -
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
[...] Read more.
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
Open AccessArticle
Technological Approaches to Sustainable Agriculture at a Crossroads: An Agroecological Perspective
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 349; doi:10.3390/su9030349 -
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
[...] Read more.
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
Figures

Figure 1

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 -
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
[...] Read more.
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
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Saving Soil for Sustainable Land Use
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 350; doi:10.3390/su9030350 -
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.
[...] Read more.
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
Figures

Figure 1

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 -
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
[...] Read more.
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
Figures

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 -
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
[...] Read more.
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
Open AccessArticle
Getting Wasted at WOMADelaide: The Effect of Signage on Waste Disposal
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 344; doi:10.3390/su9030344 -
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
[...] Read more.
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
Figures

Figure 1

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 -
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
[...] Read more.
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
Figures

Figure 1

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 -
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
[...] Read more.
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
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Economic Performance of Traditional and Modern Rice Varieties under Different Water Management Systems
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 347; doi:10.3390/su9030347 -
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
[...] Read more.
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
Figures

Figure 1

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 -
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
[...] Read more.
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
Figures

Figure 1