Sustainability2014, 6(9), 6418-6431; doi:10.3390/su6096418 - published 18 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Recently, flood damage by frequent localized downpours in cities is on the increase on account of abnormal climate phenomena and the growth of impermeable areas due to urbanization. This study suggests a method to estimate real-time flood risk on roads for drivers based on the accumulated rainfall. The amount of rainfall of a road link, which is an intensive type, is calculated by using the revised method of missing rainfall in meteorology, because the rainfall is not measured on roads directly. To process in real time with a computer, we use the inverse distance weighting (IDW) method, which is a suitable method in the computing system and is commonly used in relation to precipitation due to its simplicity. With real-time accumulated rainfall, the flooding history, rainfall range causing flooding from previous rainfall information and frequency probability of precipitation are used to determine the flood risk on roads. The result of simulation using the suggested algorithms shows the high concordance rate between actual flooded areas in the past and flooded areas derived from the simulation for the research region in Busan, Korea.
Sustainability2014, 6(9), 6400-6417; doi:10.3390/su6096400 - published 15 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: With the increasing of labor salaries, the RMB exchange rate, resource product prices and requirements of environmental protection, inexpensive labor and land are no longer the decisive factor of regional competitiveness. From this perspective, China needs to shift from the extensive development mode to the sustainable development mode. Science and technology resources rational allocation is one of the key issues in sustainable development. Based on the counties (districts) data of Zhejiang Province in China, this paper portrays the spatial variation of regional sustainable development level of this area. This paper finds that counties tend to cluster in groups with the same sustainable development level, and this agglomeration trend has been enforced during the past several years. It then testifies to the relationship between the allocation of science and technology resources and local sustainable development, identifies science and technology human resources, financial resources and environmental resource are positively related to local sustainable development, except government financial support. The economic level has a negative relationship with regional sustainable development. This is because the development of the Zhejiang economy grown at the expense of the environment and ecosystem. Some advice is given according to the empirical analysis result.
Sustainability2014, 6(9), 6377-6399; doi:10.3390/su6096377 - published 15 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In the context of global concerns about climate change that stem from the alarming and unprecedented growth of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, this study discusses the use of energy by large consumers of electricity in Brazil in the perspective of sustainable development, energy resources, and regulatory policies. It evaluates the commitment to emissions restrictions among the major customers of an electricity utility company that serves 4.1 million consumers (68% of the population and 66% of the gross internal product for the second-highest economically developed Brazilian state). The evaluation is based on proposed metrics and indicators. By considering the Brazilian commitment to a policy of sustainable development, this study reviews the primary international agreements and recommendations that have been developed to mitigate and adapt to climate change and sustainability. A survey was developed for participating organizations classified by economic sector to assess their awareness to 18 issues that reflect international guidelines on emission constraints. Based on total energy consumption, the survey discusses the worrying level of GHG emissions (tCO2eq) that is associated with the generation of electricity by customers of the largest utility company. In spite of 90% of the organizations having considered sustainability as a business opportunity and a competitive differential that enables niche markets, the results of this study demonstrated low commitment to the desired emissions restrictions.
Sustainability2014, 6(9), 6362-6376; doi:10.3390/su6096362 - published 15 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Current industrial production is driven by increasing globalization, which has led to a steady increase in production volumes and complexity of products aimed at the pursuit of meeting the needs of customers. In this context, one of the main tools in the management of customer value is Lean Manufacturing or Production, though it is considered primarily as a set of tools to reduce the total cost of the resources needed to achieve such needs. This philosophy has recently been enriched in the literature with case studies that link Lean Management (LM) with the improvement of environmental sustainability. The consequence is an expansion of the Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM); indeed, CIM, currently, combining and integrating the key business functions (e.g., business, engineering, manufacturing, and information management) with a view of the life cycle, does not highlight the strategic role of the environmental aspects. In order to deal with the increasingly rapid environmental degradation that is reflected in society, in terms of both economy and quality of life, Industrial Ecology (IE) introduced a new paradigm of principles and instruments of analysis and decision support (e.g., Life Cycle Assessment—LCA, Social Life Cycle Assessment -SLCA, Material Flow Account—MFA, etc.) that can be considered as the main basis for integrating the environmental aspects in each strategy, design, production, final product, and end of life management, through the re-engineering of processes and activities towards the development of an eco-industrial system. This paper presents the preliminary observations based on a analysis of both theories (LM-IE) and provides a possible assessment of the key factors relevant to their integration in a “lean environmental management”, highlighting both positives (lights) and possible barriers (shadows).
Sustainability2014, 6(9), 6351-6361; doi:10.3390/su6096351 - published 15 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: A real-time smart metering system has strict requirements, since every piece of data gathered from various meters every hour is of importance, and each component consisting of metering infrastructure should be sustainable. Therefore, it is necessary to efficiently manage the meter data set in smart metering networks as well as in a server. Therefore, we propose a dedicated file system, a LIght-weight Metering File System (LIMFS), which is capable of not only efficiently storing and searching meter data but also performing distributed fault-tolerant meter data management for real-time smart meter devices. The proposed LIMFS exploits accumulated data sliding storage (ADSS) for lost data recovery and latest-first error-ignorant data management (LEDM) to reduce memory wastage, coping with dynamic report interval. Experimental results demonstrate that LIMFS has as a small enough overhead to be considered negligible, and provides flexible memory capacity according to dynamic report interval, in spite of lost data recovery functionality.
Sustainability2014, 6(9), 6332-6350; doi:10.3390/su6096332 - published 12 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Large-scale land acquisition in Africa has been the concern and the focus of growing global literature on land grabbing. The upswing in biofuel investments in Ghana led to large-scale land acquisitions by the private sector presided over by chiefs. This research investigates how chiefs, in playing their traditional roles in the acquisition of land and as arbitrators, were, in most instances, the cause and the solution to the ensuing conflicts in the various communities. Data was collected through interviews, use of questionnaires and focus group discussions. Some of the conflict issues include loss of farmlands or other communal lands, disagreements on the land acquisition processes, the quantum and mode of execution of compensation payments and the existence or contents of social responsibility agreements. Furthermore, the use of negotiation, mediation and courts by people in these communities relative to arbitration by chiefs is increasing. The Government of Ghana needs to strengthen the public sector land institutions and put in place stronger and binding mechanisms for resolving disputes arising from large-scale acquisitions of land to cushion the effect of the weakening confidence in the chieftaincy institution.