Sustainability2015, 7(9), 11933-11948; doi:10.3390/su70911933 (registering DOI) - published 27 August 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: With the purpose of establishing an effective subsidy scheme to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, this paper proposes a two-stage game for a competitive urban transport market. In the first stage, the authority determines operating subsidies based on social welfare maximization. Observing the predetermined subsidies, two transit operators set fares and frequencies to maximize their own profits at the second stage. The detailed analytical and numerical analyses demonstrate that of the three proposed subsidy schemes, the joint implementation of trip-based and frequency-related subsidies not only generates the largest welfare gains and makes competitive operators provide equilibrium fares and frequencies, which largely resemble first-best optimal levels but also greatly contributes to reducing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions on major urban transport corridors.
Sustainability2015, 7(9), 11909-11932; doi:10.3390/su70911909 (registering DOI) - published 27 August 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In dealing with renewable electricity (RE), individuals are involved both as end-consumers on the demand side and as stakeholders (citizens) in the local production process on the supply side. Empirical evidence shows that in many countries, consumers are willing to pay a significant amount to facilitate adoption of RE. By contrast, environmental externalities are often the cause of strong opposition to RE adoption if local communities are involved as stakeholders in wind, solar or biomass investment projects. Looking at the literature on willingness to pay and on willingness to accept, we have investigated RE acceptance mechanisms. First, we have used the meta-analysis to assess the major determinants of RE acceptance on both demand and supply sides. Meta-analysis has provided some insights useful for managing field research on an onshore wind farm enlargement project located in the Umbria region. Meta-analysis and survey results confirm that the local community plays a central role in local RE acceptance. Furthermore, people who have previous experience with windmills require less compensation, or are willing to pay more, for RE development. Results suggest that these attributes should be included in future research to improve understanding of determinants of RE acceptance.
Sustainability2015, 7(9), 11893-11908; doi:10.3390/su70911893 (registering DOI) - published 27 August 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: With rapid and continuous population growth and the associated declining quality of cultivated land, food security in China has been attracting the attention of scholars both domestically and internationally. In recent decades, the implications of the cultivated land balance policy have promoted spatial changes of cultivated land. Estimating the agricultural potential productivity and assessing its response to cultivated land changes could provide a scientific basis for strategic decision-making concerning grain production and thus guarantee food security. In the present study, the Agro-Ecological Zone (AEZ) model was applied to estimate the agricultural potential productivity. Data from the second national land survey were first applied to characterize the changes of cultivated land (by comparing the cultivated land in 2009 with that in 2012) and their influence on potential productivity in Mainland China. We propose a utilization degree of total potential productivity (UTP) and its ratio coefficient (RUTP) to reveal the utilization status of potential productivity and its change characteristics at the provincial level. It was found that there was a trend for cultivated land to be shifted away from cities, and the average productive capability per hectare of cultivated land declined from 7386.5 kg/ha to 6955.2 kg/ha by occupying highly productive cultivated land generally near the cities and compensating less productive cultivated land in remote areas. UTPs and RUTPs indicate a significant difference in the utilization status of potential productivity among the 31 provinces of Mainland China. Grain production with the aim of sustainable development should be strategized according to the particular facts of each province. The methods we applied can mine the impacts of cultivated land changes on potential productivity and the utilization of potential productivity effectively.
Sustainability2015, 7(9), 11878-11892; doi:10.3390/su70911878 - published 26 August 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Identification of environmental hotspots becomes a pressing issue for companies pursuing sustainable supply chain management. In particular, excessive dependence on water resources outside the country may put the supply chain at unanticipated risk of water shortage. This article presents a practical approach to screening potential environmental hotspots of different impact categories that occur in the supply chain using environmental input-output analysis. First, the amounts of domestic and foreign potential impacts of global warming, terrestrial acidification, and water resource consumption, induced through supply chains were calculated for 403 sectors of Japanese products. Thereafter, with a focus on potential impacts induced through the import of raw materials, a framework for screening foreign potential hotspots was presented. The results showed that the sectoral potential impacts of water resource consumption had high rates of foreign impacts at deeper tiers of the supply chains for some sectors, which indicated that there exist hidden water hotspots outside the country. In the case study of fiber yarns, impacts on water resource consumption induced as a result of the import of crops, as well as that induced in silviculture as a result of the import of wood chips, were found to be the foreign potential hotspots.
Sustainability2015, 7(9), 11857-11877; doi:10.3390/su70911857 - published 26 August 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The paper analyzes the impacts of mining activities on sustainable land management in mining areas in the Republic of Serbia and Romania and discusses the main challenges related to the management of these issues in legislation and practice. Particular attention is paid to land disturbance, mine waste management and land reclamation, as well as access to land for mining purposes, the transfer of mining royalties and the partnerships of the mining industry, governments, communities and civil society for sustainable mining. Both governments are willing to provide the adequate role to mining in strengthening the national economies, but they face numerous constraints in this matter. Sustainable mining practices and consistent implementation of the mining for the closure planning approach,within an improved legislative framework and in cooperation with stakeholders at all levels, create conditions for the development of creative, profitable, environmentally-sound and socially-responsible management and reuse of mine lands.
Sustainability2015, 7(9), 11838-11856; doi:10.3390/su70911838 - published 26 August 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: An intra-urban hierarchy of activity centers interconnected by non-motorized and public transportation is broadly believed to be the ideal urban spatial structure for sustainable cities. However, the proper hinterland area for centers at each level lacks empirical study. Based on the concentric structure of everyday travel distances, working centers, shopping centers, and neighborhood centers are extracted from corresponding types of POIs in 286 Chinese cities at the prefectural level and above. A U-shaped curve between Household Transportation Energy Consumption (HTEC) per capita and center density at each of the three levels has been found through regression analysis. An optimal intra-urban hierarchy of activity centers is suggested to construct energy-efficient cities.