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Special Issue "Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development"

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A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 October 2009)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Marc A. Rosen (Website)

Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, 2000 Simcoe Street North, Oshawa, Ontario, L1H 7K4, Canada
Fax: +1 905 721 3370
Interests: sustainable development; energy; exergy; efficiency; environmental impact; economics; ecology; sustainable engineering and design

Special Issue Information

«Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs» (Brundtland Commission, see Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainable_Development)

Achieving sustainable development usually requires a multidisciplinary approach in which technical, environmental, economic, societal and cultural issues are addressed. Research is needed to guide the development of appropriate sustainability measures, strategies and policy.

We invite you to contribute to this special issue by submitting comprehensive review or research articles.

Prof. Dr. Marc A. Rosen
Guest Editor

Keywords

  • interrelationships between people, resources, environment and development
  • resource use
  • environment and development
  • Brundtland commission
  • environmental strategies
  • economic and social development
  • energy
  • health
  • sustainable engineering, design, and architecture

Published Papers (31 papers)

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Open AccessArticle Developing an Ecosystem Services Online Decision Support Tool to Assess the Impacts of Climate Change and Urban Growth in the Santa Cruz Watershed; Where We Live, Work, and Play
Sustainability 2010, 2(7), 2044-2069; doi:10.3390/su2072044
Received: 2 June 2010 / Revised: 25 June 2010 / Accepted: 29 June 2010 / Published: 9 July 2010
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (1036 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Using respective strengths of the biological, physical, and social sciences, we are developing an online decision support tool, the Santa Cruz Watershed Ecosystem Portfolio Model (SCWEPM), to help promote the use of information relevant to water allocation and land management in a [...] Read more.
Using respective strengths of the biological, physical, and social sciences, we are developing an online decision support tool, the Santa Cruz Watershed Ecosystem Portfolio Model (SCWEPM), to help promote the use of information relevant to water allocation and land management in a binational watershed along the U.S.-Mexico border. The SCWEPM will include an ES valuation system within a suite of linked regional driver-response models and will use a multicriteria scenario-evaluation framework that builds on GIS analysis and spatially-explicit models that characterize important ecological, economic, and societal endpoints and consequences that are sensitive to climate patterns, regional water budgets, and regional LULC change in the SCW. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle Towards Adaptive Governance of Common-Pool Mountainous Agropastoral Systems
Sustainability 2010, 2(6), 1448-1471; doi:10.3390/su2061448
Received: 18 March 2010 / Revised: 27 April 2010 / Accepted: 11 May 2010 / Published: 26 May 2010
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (259 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The paper deals with analyses and propositions for adaptive governance of an alpine (A) and an Ethiopian (B) agropastoral system with common-pool pastures. Sustainability can be enhanced by augmenting (i) the ecological and social capitals in relation to costs and (ii) the [...] Read more.
The paper deals with analyses and propositions for adaptive governance of an alpine (A) and an Ethiopian (B) agropastoral system with common-pool pastures. Sustainability can be enhanced by augmenting (i) the ecological and social capitals in relation to costs and (ii) the resilience or adaptive capacity. In (A), a multifunctional agriculture appears to maintain the ecological capital providing many ecosystem services. In (B), the ecological capital can be increased by reversing the trend towards land degradation. In (A), there are several opportunities for reducing the high costs of the social capital. In (B), the institutions should be revised and rules should restrain competitive behavior. (A) and (B) exhibit a high degree of transformability. Many drivers appear to be responsible for the cycling of the agropastoral and higher level systems vulnerable to multiple stressors. Measures are proposed to escape from possible rigidity (A) and poverty (B) traps. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle Some Sustainability Aspects of Energy Conversion in Urban Electric Trains
Sustainability 2010, 2(5), 1389-1407; doi:10.3390/su2051389
Received: 1 April 2010 / Revised: 30 April 2010 / Accepted: 6 May 2010 / Published: 17 May 2010
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (439 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The paper illustrates some aspects of energy conversion processes during underground electric train operation. Energy conversion processes are explained using exergy, in order to support transport system sustainability. Loss of exergy reflects a loss of potential of energy to do work. Following [...] Read more.
The paper illustrates some aspects of energy conversion processes during underground electric train operation. Energy conversion processes are explained using exergy, in order to support transport system sustainability. Loss of exergy reflects a loss of potential of energy to do work. Following the notion that life in Nature demonstrates sustainable energy conversion, we approach the sustainability of urban transportation systems according to the model of an ecosystem. The presentation steps based on an industrial ecosystem metabolism include describing the urban electric railway system as an industrial ecosystem with its limits and components, defining system operation regimes, and assessing the equilibrium points of the system for two reference frames. For an electric train, exergy losses can be related to the energy flows during dynamic processes, and exergy conversion in these processes provides a meaningful measure of the industrial (i.e., transportation) ecosystem efficiency. As a validation of the theoretical results, a case study is analyzed for three underground urban electric train types REU-U, REU-M, REU-G operating in the Bucharest Underground Railway System (METROREX). The main experimental results are presented and processed, and relevant diagrams are constructed. It is determined that there is great potential for improving the performance of rail systems and increasing their sustainability. For instance, power converters and efficient anti-skid systems can ensure optimum traction and minimum electricity use, and the recovered energy in electric braking can be used by other underground trains, increasing exergy efficiency, although caution must be exercised when doing so to avoid reducing the efficiency of the overall system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle Science, Open Communication and Sustainable Development
Sustainability 2010, 2(4), 993-1015; doi:10.3390/su2040993
Received: 1 February 2010 / Revised: 19 March 2010 / Accepted: 22 March 2010 / Published: 13 April 2010
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (255 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
One of the prerequisites for sustainable development is knowledge, in order to inform coping with sustainability threats and to support innovative sustainability pathways. Transferring knowledge is therefore a fundamental challenge for sustainability, in a context where external knowledge must be integrated with [...] Read more.
One of the prerequisites for sustainable development is knowledge, in order to inform coping with sustainability threats and to support innovative sustainability pathways. Transferring knowledge is therefore a fundamental challenge for sustainability, in a context where external knowledge must be integrated with local knowledge in order to promote user-driven action. But effective local co-production of knowledge requires ongoing local access to existing scientific and technical knowledge so that users start on a level playing field. The information technology revolution can be a powerful enabler of such access if intellectual property obstacles can be overcome, with a potential to transform prospects for sustainability in many parts of the world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle Is Globalisation Sustainable?
Sustainability 2010, 2(1), 280-293; doi:10.3390/su2010280
Received: 23 November 2009 / Accepted: 8 January 2010 / Published: 14 January 2010
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (253 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
It is clear that globalisation is something more than a purely economic phenomenon manifesting itself on a global scale. Among the visible manifestations of globalisation are the greater international movement of goods and services, financial capital, information and people. In addition, there [...] Read more.
It is clear that globalisation is something more than a purely economic phenomenon manifesting itself on a global scale. Among the visible manifestations of globalisation are the greater international movement of goods and services, financial capital, information and people. In addition, there are technological developments, more international cultural exchanges, facilitated by the freer trade of more differentiated products as well as by tourism and immigration, changes in the political landscape and ecological consequences. In this paper, we link the Maastricht Globalisation Index with Sustainability Indices to analyse if more globalised countries are doing better in terms of sustainable development and its dimensions. The results seem to suggest that the process of globalisation may render world development more sustainable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle On the Feasibility of a Timely Transition to a More Sustainable Energy Future
Sustainability 2010, 2(1), 204-214; doi:10.3390/su2010204
Received: 10 November 2009 / Accepted: 5 January 2010 / Published: 11 January 2010
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (372 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The paper uses the framework of the IPAT equation, as applied to CO2 emission, to decompose the various driving forces in the global energy use. Data from recent history are superimposed on projections of SRES IPCC scenarios to determine if enough [...] Read more.
The paper uses the framework of the IPAT equation, as applied to CO2 emission, to decompose the various driving forces in the global energy use. Data from recent history are superimposed on projections of SRES IPCC scenarios to determine if enough sustainable capacity can be built to prevent irreversible ecological deterioration. The conclusion from the analysis is that, in agreement with the IPCC 4th report, until about 2030 there are no large differences between a sustainable scenario and the one that resembles “business as usual”. The sharp divergence that follows stems from different estimates in population growth and in the percentage of use of fossil fuels in the total energy mix. Decomposition of alternative energy options indicate that the rate of increase of alternatives such as hydroelectric and nuclear start with a relatively high base but a growth rate too short for major contribution to a timely replacement of fossil fuels while wind and solar starts from a much lower base but rate of growth, if maintained, that can satisfy a timely replacement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle Structured Mental Model Approach for Analyzing Perception of Risks to Rural Livelihood in Developing Countries
Sustainability 2010, 2(1), 1-29; doi:10.3390/su2010001
Received: 11 November 2009 / Accepted: 21 December 2009 / Published: 24 December 2009
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (670 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents the Structural Mental Model Approach aimed at understanding differences in perception between experts and farmers regarding the various livelihood risks farmers are confronted with. The SMMA combines the Sustainable Livelihood Framework with the Mental Model Approach and consists of [...] Read more.
This paper presents the Structural Mental Model Approach aimed at understanding differences in perception between experts and farmers regarding the various livelihood risks farmers are confronted with. The SMMA combines the Sustainable Livelihood Framework with the Mental Model Approach and consists of three steps: (i) definition and weighting of different livelihood capitals; (ii) analysis of livelihood dynamics, and (iii) definition of the social capital by means of agent networks. The results provide a sound basis for the design of sustainable policy interventions such as communication and educational programs which consider farmers’ priorities and viewpoints. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle The Tenuous Use of Exergy as a Measure of Resource Value or Waste Impact
Sustainability 2009, 1(4), 1444-1463; doi:10.3390/su1041444
Received: 5 November 2009 / Accepted: 19 December 2009 / Published: 23 December 2009
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (420 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Exergy is a thermodynamic concept that has been widely promoted for assessing and improving sustainability, notably in the characterization of resources and wastes. Despite having many notable benefits, exergy is often misused by authors who tend to apply it as an intrinsic [...] Read more.
Exergy is a thermodynamic concept that has been widely promoted for assessing and improving sustainability, notably in the characterization of resources and wastes. Despite having many notable benefits, exergy is often misused by authors who tend to apply it as an intrinsic characteristic of an object (i.e., as a static thermodynamic variable). Using both theoretical and empirical evidence the authors present five key limitations that must be overcome before exergy can be applied to characterize objects: (1) the incompatibility between exergy quality and resource quality; (2) the inability of exergy to characterize non work-producing resources via the concentration exergy; (3) the constraints placed on the derivation of exergy; (4) problems with the exergy reference environment; and (5) the multiple perspectives applied to exergy analysis. Until the limitations are addressed, exergy should only be used for its original purpose as a decision making tool for engineering systems analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle Sustainability: Living within One’s Own Ecological Means
Sustainability 2009, 1(4), 1412-1430; doi:10.3390/su1041412
Received: 26 October 2009 / Accepted: 16 December 2009 / Published: 21 December 2009
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (426 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper provides a critical review of sustainability, including its definitions, dimensions, measurements, and practices, as well as approaches to achieve sustainability. It raises questions about conventional definitions and argues for taking into account the geographic dimension of sustainability for better understanding [...] Read more.
This paper provides a critical review of sustainability, including its definitions, dimensions, measurements, and practices, as well as approaches to achieve sustainability. It raises questions about conventional definitions and argues for taking into account the geographic dimension of sustainability for better understanding of the regional differences in sustainability and transition to sustainability. The paper proposes that sustainability should be defined as "living within one’s own ecological means." This definition pays attention to regional disparities in biocapacity and ecological footprint. It realizes that not all people’s present and future needs may be met in all regions of the world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle The Influence of Thermodynamic Ideas on Ecological Economics: An Interdisciplinary Critique
Sustainability 2009, 1(4), 1195-1225; doi:10.3390/su1041195
Received: 10 October 2009 / Accepted: 24 November 2009 / Published: 1 December 2009
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (546 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The influence of thermodynamics on the emerging transdisciplinary field of 'ecological economics‘ is critically reviewed from an interdisciplinary perspective. It is viewed through the lens provided by the 'bioeconomist' Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen (1906–1994) and his advocacy of 'the Entropy Law' as a determinant [...] Read more.
The influence of thermodynamics on the emerging transdisciplinary field of 'ecological economics‘ is critically reviewed from an interdisciplinary perspective. It is viewed through the lens provided by the 'bioeconomist' Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen (1906–1994) and his advocacy of 'the Entropy Law' as a determinant of economic scarcity. It is argued that exergy is a more easily understood thermodynamic property than is entropy to represent irreversibilities in complex systems, and that the behaviour of energy and matter are not equally mirrored by thermodynamic laws. Thermodynamic insights as typically employed in ecological economics are simply analogues or metaphors of reality. They should therefore be empirically tested against the real world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle EU-Mercosur Trade Agreement: Potential Impacts on Rural Livelihoods and Gender (with Focus on Bio-fuels Feedstock Expansion)
Sustainability 2009, 1(4), 1120-1143; doi:10.3390/su1041120
Received: 9 October 2009 / Accepted: 24 November 2009 / Published: 26 November 2009
PDF Full-text (288 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The trade-sustainable impact assessment of the European Union-Mercosur trade agreement found that the economic impact of the trade liberalisation scenario could be positive in the agricultural sectors of Mercosur countries. However, it also found that the social and environmental impacts would be [...] Read more.
The trade-sustainable impact assessment of the European Union-Mercosur trade agreement found that the economic impact of the trade liberalisation scenario could be positive in the agricultural sectors of Mercosur countries. However, it also found that the social and environmental impacts would be mixed and potentially detrimental. This paper addresses the likely effects on the livelihoods of vulnerable rural populations. It argues that the potential impacts can be analysed within a diversified livelihood strategies framework, which is expanded to include institutional and policy factors. It concludes that the negative expected impact responds to the highly uneven access to capital assets. On the other hand, the effects are not generalised to all Mercosur countries, nor to all regions in each of the member countries. Enhancing or mitigating measures refer to the importance of sequencing and regulation to improve disadvantaged groups‘ abilities to participate in trade-led agricultural intensification or industrialisation processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle A Model for Sustainable Humanitarian Engineering Projects
Sustainability 2009, 1(4), 1087-1105; doi:10.3390/su1041087
Received: 10 September 2009 / Accepted: 18 November 2008 / Published: 20 November 2009
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (212 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The engineering profession should embrace a new mission statement—to contribute to the building of a more sustainable, stable, and equitable world. Recently, engineering students and professionals in the United States have shown strong interest in directly addressing the needs of developing communities [...] Read more.
The engineering profession should embrace a new mission statement—to contribute to the building of a more sustainable, stable, and equitable world. Recently, engineering students and professionals in the United States have shown strong interest in directly addressing the needs of developing communities worldwide. That interest has taken the form of short-and medium-term international trips through Engineers Without Borders—USA and similar organizations. There are also several instances where this kind of outreach work has been integrated into engineering education at various US institutions such as the University of Colorado at Boulder. This paper addresses the challenges and opportunities associated with balancing two goals in engineering for humanitarian development projects: (i) effective sustainable community development, and (ii) meaningful education of engineers. Guiding principles necessary to meet those two goals are proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle Resource Allocation for Sustainable Urban Transit from a Transport Diversity Perspective
Sustainability 2009, 1(4), 960-977; doi:10.3390/su1040960
Received: 31 August 2009 / Accepted: 28 October 2009 / Published: 2 November 2009
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (290 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Different transport stakeholders have different needs for transport infrastructure and services. Meeting the needs of all stakeholders implies a trade-off of benefits and costs between supply and demand and creates transport diversity issues. However, the literature has largely ignored these issues. Transport [...] Read more.
Different transport stakeholders have different needs for transport infrastructure and services. Meeting the needs of all stakeholders implies a trade-off of benefits and costs between supply and demand and creates transport diversity issues. However, the literature has largely ignored these issues. Transport diversity can assess the level to which important needs are satisfied equitably, and monitor whether transportation systems are moving towards sustainability by confirming the targets and basic level of quality of life. Based on the concept of transport diversity, this study utilizes fuzzy multi-objective programming to solve non-linear multi-objective problems involving urban public transit systems to determine the impact of resource allocation on needs satisfaction in relation to stakeholder behaviors. The proposed approach avoids problems of inefficient and inequitable resource allocation. A real-life case is presented to demonstrate the feasibility of applying the proposed methodology. Furthermore, empirical outcomes show that recent investments allocated to public transit systems considered equitable stakeholder satisfaction for both mass rapid transit (MRT) and bus, and also promoted transport diversity in the Taipei metropolitan area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle Marketing Sustainable Consumption within Stores: A Case Study of the UK’s Leading Food Retailers
Sustainability 2009, 1(4), 815-826; doi:10.3390/su1040815
Received: 1 September 2009 / Accepted: 27 September 2009 / Published: 12 October 2009
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (163 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainable consumption is a core policy objective within the UK Government’s Sustainable Development Strategy and there is a growing awareness that retailers have a vital role to play in promoting more sustainable patterns of consumption. This paper explores how the UK’s top [...] Read more.
Sustainable consumption is a core policy objective within the UK Government’s Sustainable Development Strategy and there is a growing awareness that retailers have a vital role to play in promoting more sustainable patterns of consumption. This paper explores how the UK’s top ten food retailers are communicating sustainable consumption agendas to their customers within stores in the towns of Cheltenham and Gloucester. The findings reveal that while these retailers are providing customers with some information on sustainable consumption the dominant thrust of marketing communication within stores is designed to encourage consumption. The paper concludes with some reflections on how sustainable consumption fits into the large food retailers’ business models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle Environmental Strategies for Electrical and Electronic Equipment Supply Chains: Which to Choose?
Sustainability 2009, 1(3), 722-733; doi:10.3390/su1030722
Received: 19 August 2009 / Accepted: 17 September 2009 / Published: 23 September 2009
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (202 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Waste electrical and electronic equipment is one of the major world-wide waste streams triggering the emergence of environmental strategies. Environmental regulations, closed-loop supply chain (CLSC) activities and design-for-environment (DfE) practices are environmental friendly strategies being implemented by governments and industry. In this [...] Read more.
Waste electrical and electronic equipment is one of the major world-wide waste streams triggering the emergence of environmental strategies. Environmental regulations, closed-loop supply chain (CLSC) activities and design-for-environment (DfE) practices are environmental friendly strategies being implemented by governments and industry. In this paper, we apply a System Dynamics model to a CLSC of electrical and electronic equipment in Greece. Extensive numerical investigation provides insights regarding the impact of different legislative measures, CLSC activities and DfE practices on the environmental (availability of natural resources and landfills) and economic sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle Business Students’ Conceptions of Sustainability
Sustainability 2009, 1(3), 662-673; doi:10.3390/su1030662
Received: 14 August 2009 / Accepted: 15 September 2009 / Published: 16 September 2009
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (52 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the field of higher education, the role of sustainability is increasingly seen as an important capability of successful graduates, one of a group of higher-level dispositions that is particularly important for students’ future professional roles. Discussion of sustainability often assumes that [...] Read more.
In the field of higher education, the role of sustainability is increasingly seen as an important capability of successful graduates, one of a group of higher-level dispositions that is particularly important for students’ future professional roles. Discussion of sustainability often assumes that all participants understand the term in the same way, and different understandings can make meaningful dialogue difficult. This article presents an empirical investigation of the ways in which students from a business faculty at a large metropolitan university view sustainability in the specific context of their tertiary education. While some students viewed the notion in quite naïve ways—for example, the idea of ‘keeping themselves going’—others talked about much broader views incorporating ideas of inter-generational justice. Investigation of such views provides important evidence for dialogue on sustainability with the next generation of professional leaders in business. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle Assessing Public Attitudes and Behaviour to Household Waste Management in Cameroon to Drive Strategy Development: A Q Methodological Approach
Sustainability 2009, 1(3), 556-572; doi:10.3390/su1030556
Received: 8 July 2009 / Accepted: 25 August 2009 / Published: 3 September 2009
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (75 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Household waste is an environmental and public health problem, especially for the large cities in Sub-Saharan African countries. While the improper management of household waste in Cameroon is linked to the systematic failure of policy makers and municipal authorities to identify the [...] Read more.
Household waste is an environmental and public health problem, especially for the large cities in Sub-Saharan African countries. While the improper management of household waste in Cameroon is linked to the systematic failure of policy makers and municipal authorities to identify the most sustainable ways of dealing with it in such a manner that is in line is with their socio-economic aspirations, the impact of public attitudes and behaviour has been neglected. It is in this context that this paper uses Q-methodology, a powerful methodology for identifying the different trends in behaviour in the management of household waste in Douala, Cameroon. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle Educating for Local Development and Global Sustainability: An Overview in Spain
Sustainability 2009, 1(3), 479-493; doi:10.3390/su1030479
Received: 23 July 2009 / Accepted: 7 August 2009 / Published: 14 August 2009
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (67 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The following are systematized examples, taken from the general panorama of activities currently being implemented in Spain, of significant experiences and formative strategies of local sustainable development. They correspond to three different intervention areas in education: different levels in the school system, [...] Read more.
The following are systematized examples, taken from the general panorama of activities currently being implemented in Spain, of significant experiences and formative strategies of local sustainable development. They correspond to three different intervention areas in education: different levels in the school system, adults training in competence and technical abilities, and community education. They offer a contextualized model of education intervention that contributes to ecological and environmental sustainability, social promotion and productive competitiveness. The experiences described permit, in many cases, changes of life styles and social customs, adjusting them to the requirements of sustainable development; in others, to form new generations for local sustainable development and global sustainability. Although procedures must vary to suit the particular features inherent in each such realm, it is the function of education to tackle first and foremost the training of the intellect, the education of emotions and moral personality, and the acquisition of professional skills. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle Linkage-Based Frameworks for Sustainability Assessment: Making a Case for Driving Force-Pressure-State-Exposure-Effect-Action (DPSEEA) Frameworks
Sustainability 2009, 1(3), 441-463; doi:10.3390/su1030441
Received: 18 June 2009 / Accepted: 5 August 2009 / Published: 10 August 2009
Cited by 21 | PDF Full-text (120 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The main objective of this paper is to discuss different approaches, identify challenges, and to select a framework for delivering effective sustainability assessments. Sustainable development is an idealistic concept and its assessment has always been a challenge. Several approaches, methodologies and conceptual [...] Read more.
The main objective of this paper is to discuss different approaches, identify challenges, and to select a framework for delivering effective sustainability assessments. Sustainable development is an idealistic concept and its assessment has always been a challenge. Several approaches, methodologies and conceptual frameworks have been developed in various disciplines, ranging from engineering to business and to policy making. The paper focuses mainly on various linkage-based frameworks and demonstrates that the driving force-state-exposure-effect-action (DPSEEA) framework can be used to achieve sustained health benefits and environmental protection in accordance with the principles of sustainable development, especially because of its resemblance to the environmental risk assessment and management paradigms. The comparison of linkage-based frameworks is demonstrated through an example of sustainability in a higher educational institution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle Design for Sustainability: Current Trends in Sustainable Product Design and Development
Sustainability 2009, 1(3), 409-424; doi:10.3390/su1030409
Received: 7 July 2009 / Accepted: 3 August 2009 / Published: 4 August 2009
Cited by 22 | PDF Full-text (318 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Design for Sustainability (D4S) concept outlines methodologies for making sustainable improvements (social, economic and environmental) to products by applying elements of life cycle thinking. D4S builds on the work of ecodesign to include economic and social concerns, and its methodology includes [...] Read more.
The Design for Sustainability (D4S) concept outlines methodologies for making sustainable improvements (social, economic and environmental) to products by applying elements of life cycle thinking. D4S builds on the work of ecodesign to include economic and social concerns, and its methodology includes both incremental and radical innovation. The United Nations Environment Programme and the Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands, in concert with key partners, work to support, illustrate, and diffuse targeted D4S demonstration efforts, including the European Commission-funded Cleaner Production for Better Products project in Vietnam, that are needed to change unsustainable consumption and production patterns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle Policy and Planning Challenges to Promote Efficient Urban Spatial Development during the Emerging Rapid Transformation in China
Sustainability 2009, 1(3), 384-408; doi:10.3390/su1030384
Received: 16 June 2009 / Accepted: 31 July 2009 / Published: 3 August 2009
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (706 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper investigates the linkage between emerging urban spatial development and institutional arrangements in China. Emerging spatial patterns, which are prevalent and sizable so that any impacts will be substantial, include dispersed employment concentration, fragmented land development, over-scaled land development, leapfrogging development, [...] Read more.
This paper investigates the linkage between emerging urban spatial development and institutional arrangements in China. Emerging spatial patterns, which are prevalent and sizable so that any impacts will be substantial, include dispersed employment concentration, fragmented land development, over-scaled land development, leapfrogging development, and whack-a-mole development. From the institutional point of view, these patterns are associated with decentralization, fiscal incentives for local government, land regulations, and fragmented planning system. It is concluded that these emerging spatial patterns significantly affect long term city sustainable growth and comprehensive reforms are needed to promote efficient urban spatial forms. It is further concluded that labor division between planning and markets should be reshaped in determining urban spatial growth by shifting planning to focus on zoning that provides sufficient development room in a long term and making markets to decide the timing of land development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle A Methodological Proposal for Corporate Carbon Footprint and Its Application to a Wine-Producing Company in Galicia, Spain
Sustainability 2009, 1(2), 302-318; doi:10.3390/su1020302
Received: 22 April 2009 / Accepted: 11 June 2009 / Published: 16 June 2009
Cited by 20 | PDF Full-text (110 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Corporate carbon footprint (CCFP) is one of the most widely used indicators to synthesise environmental impacts on a corporate scale. We present a methodological proposal for CCFP calculation on the basis of the “method composed of financial accounts” abbreviated as MC3, considering [...] Read more.
Corporate carbon footprint (CCFP) is one of the most widely used indicators to synthesise environmental impacts on a corporate scale. We present a methodological proposal for CCFP calculation on the basis of the “method composed of financial accounts” abbreviated as MC3, considering the Spanish version “metodo compuesto de las cuentas contables”. The main objective is to describe how this method and the main outputs obtained work. This latter task is fulfilled with a practical case study, where we estimate the carbon footprint of a wine-producing company for the year 2006. Results show the origin of impacts generated, providing this firm with disaggregated information on the contribution to its CCFP of each one of its activities and consumptions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle Improving the Sustainability of Office Partition Manufacturing: Balancing Options for Reducing Emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds
Sustainability 2009, 1(2), 234-253; doi:10.3390/su1020234
Received: 5 May 2009 / Accepted: 31 May 2009 / Published: 3 June 2009
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (77 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Options are examined to improve the sustainability of office partition manufacturing by reducing volatile organic compounds (VOC) emissions. Base VOC emissions for a typical plant are estimated using a mass balance approach. Pollution prevention and sustainability measures are assessed using realistic criteria [...] Read more.
Options are examined to improve the sustainability of office partition manufacturing by reducing volatile organic compounds (VOC) emissions. Base VOC emissions for a typical plant are estimated using a mass balance approach. Pollution prevention and sustainability measures are assessed using realistic criteria and weightings. Sustainability has been considered from an industry perspective, considering factors like economics, environmental impact, quality, health and safety. Through a case study, it is demonstrated that several advantageous options are available for reducing VOC emissions in manufacturing office furniture partitions, and thereby enhancing the sustainability of that industrial operation. The measures deemed most viable include implementing several best management practices, not painting of non-visible parts, switching gluing processes, recycling solvent and modifying attachments. The results are intended to be balanced so as to improve their acceptability and adoptability by industry. It appears that it would be advantageous for manufacturers of office panels to evaluate the feasibility of these measures and to implement the most appropriate. The results are likely extendable to other operations in the wood furniture industry, and would improve their sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle Automobility: Global Warming as Symptomatology
Sustainability 2009, 1(2), 187-208; doi:10.3390/su1020187
Received: 2 February 2009 / Accepted: 8 April 2009 / Published: 17 April 2009
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (194 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The argument of this paper is that sustainability requires a new worldview-paradigm. It critically evaluates Gore’s liberal-based environmentalism in order to show how “shallow ecologies” are called into question by deeper ecologies. This analysis leads to the notion that global warming is [...] Read more.
The argument of this paper is that sustainability requires a new worldview-paradigm. It critically evaluates Gore’s liberal-based environmentalism in order to show how “shallow ecologies” are called into question by deeper ecologies. This analysis leads to the notion that global warming is better understood as a symptom indicative of the worldview that is the source for environmental crises. Heidegger’s ontological hermeneutics and its critique of modern technology show that the modern worldview involves an enframing (a totalizing technological ordering) of the natural. Enframing reveals entities as standing reserve (on demand energy suppliers). My thesis maintains that enframing is geographically expressed as automobility. Because of the energy needs used to maintain automobility, reaching the goal of sustainability requires rethinking the spatial organization of life as a function of stored energy technologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle Energy Sustainability: A Pragmatic Approach and Illustrations
Sustainability 2009, 1(1), 55-80; doi:10.3390/su1010055
Received: 9 March 2009 / Accepted: 27 March 2009 / Published: 30 March 2009
Cited by 18 | PDF Full-text (287 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Many factors to be appropriately addressed in moving towards energy sustainability are examined. These include harnessing sustainable energy sources, utilizing sustainable energy carriers, increasing efficiency, reducing environmental impact and improving socioeconomic acceptability. The latter factor includes community involvement and social acceptability, economic [...] Read more.
Many factors to be appropriately addressed in moving towards energy sustainability are examined. These include harnessing sustainable energy sources, utilizing sustainable energy carriers, increasing efficiency, reducing environmental impact and improving socioeconomic acceptability. The latter factor includes community involvement and social acceptability, economic affordability and equity, lifestyles, land use and aesthetics. Numerous illustrations demonstrate measures consistent with the approach put forward, and options for energy sustainability and the broader objective of sustainability. Energy sustainability is of great importance to overall sustainability given the pervasiveness of energy use, its importance in economic development and living standards, and its impact on the environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview The Rhetoric of Sustainability: Perversity, Futility, Jeopardy?
Sustainability 2010, 2(2), 645-659; doi:10.3390/su2020645
Received: 30 December 2009 / Accepted: 9 February 2010 / Published: 22 February 2010
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (227 KB)
Abstract
In 1991, development economist and American public intellectual Albert O. Hirschman wrote the Rhetoric of Reaction [1]. In this book, which was prescient of more contemporary popular books such as Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine [2] and James C. Scott’s Seeing Like [...] Read more.
In 1991, development economist and American public intellectual Albert O. Hirschman wrote the Rhetoric of Reaction [1]. In this book, which was prescient of more contemporary popular books such as Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine [2] and James C. Scott’s Seeing Like a State [3], Hirschman proposed a way to understand the kinds of arguments made by conservatives about proposals for change. His compelling trilogy of modes of arguments included arguments of perversity, futility, and jeopardy. I argue here that this schema can additionally be used as a way to understand the limits that are seen to exist to approaching sustainable development. I will demonstrate the pervasiveness of arguments that our best attempts to move toward sustainability in our cities today may present threats that are just as grave as those of not acting. This exercise serves two purposes. One is to urge those who would call themselves sustainability scholars to think critically and carefully about the lines of thought and action that may separate different sustainability motivations from the far reaches of interdisciplinary work in this field. The other is to suggest that, because of the persistence of certain kinds of arguments about the impossibility of sustainability, suggestive of deep and enduring instincts of doubt through human history, we should be skeptical of the legitimacy of these claims about the limitations of achieving sustainable development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessReview Hazards and Risks of Engineered Nanoparticles for the Environment and Human Health
Sustainability 2009, 1(4), 1161-1194; doi:10.3390/su1041161
Received: 22 September 2009 / Accepted: 24 November 2009 / Published: 30 November 2009
Cited by 22 | PDF Full-text (489 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The objectives of this article are to: (1) investigate the current state of knowledge of the risks of engineered nanoparticles for the environment and human health, (2) estimate whether this knowledge is sufficient to facilitate their comprehensive and effective risk assessment and [...] Read more.
The objectives of this article are to: (1) investigate the current state of knowledge of the risks of engineered nanoparticles for the environment and human health, (2) estimate whether this knowledge is sufficient to facilitate their comprehensive and effective risk assessment and (3) provide recommendations on future research in the field of risk assessment of nanomaterials. In order to meet the objectives, the relevance of each of the four steps of the risk assessment methodology (i.e., hazard identification, dose-response assessment, exposure assessment and risk characterization) was evaluated in the context of the current state of knowledge of the risks of nanomaterials, limitations were identified and recommendations were given on how to overcome them. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessReview Investment in Sustainable Development: A UK Perspective on the Business and Academic Challenges
Sustainability 2009, 1(4), 1144-1160; doi:10.3390/su1041144
Received: 22 September 2009 / Accepted: 24 November 2009 / Published: 27 November 2009
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (492 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There are many legislative, stakeholder and supply chain pressures on business to be more ‘sustainable’. Universities have recognised the need for graduate knowledge and understanding of sustainable development issues. Many businesses and universities have responded and introduced Sustainable Development models into their [...] Read more.
There are many legislative, stakeholder and supply chain pressures on business to be more ‘sustainable’. Universities have recognised the need for graduate knowledge and understanding of sustainable development issues. Many businesses and universities have responded and introduced Sustainable Development models into their operations with much of the current effort directed at climate change. However, as the current worldwide financial crisis slowly improves, the expectations upon how businesses operate and behave are changing. It will require improved transparency and relationships with all stakeholders, which is the essence of sustainable development. The challenges and opportunities for both business and universities are to understand the requirements of sustainable development and the transformation that is required. They should ensure that knowledge is embedded within the culture of the organisation and wider society in order to achieve a sustainable future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessReview Towards Sustainable Urban Water and Sanitation Services: Barriers and Bridges
Sustainability 2009, 1(4), 1023-1034; doi:10.3390/su1041023
Received: 27 October 2009 / Accepted: 7 November 2009 / Published: 12 November 2009
PDF Full-text (149 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Mar del Plata International Water Conference provided the first global assessment of the water sector. It was found that in most developing countries the state of water supply and sanitation services were deplorable. Consequently, a call for concerted action to improve [...] Read more.
The Mar del Plata International Water Conference provided the first global assessment of the water sector. It was found that in most developing countries the state of water supply and sanitation services were deplorable. Consequently, a call for concerted action to improve coverage and efficiency of the water supply and sanitation sector was launched. This call resulted in the International Water Supply and Sanitation Decade (1981–1990). The Decade provided important lessons concerning effective methodologies to improve the state of the WSS sector. The paper discusses why the poor state of the water supply and sanitation conditions still tend to be the greatest development failure during the 20th century. The recipe for success was there, and the money was there. So, why were governments and big donors like the World Bank refusing to apply the lessons from the Decade? The basic conditions for success are spelled out, and some successful cases are used to illustrate these. The conclusion is that change is possible but that civil society organizations have to be empowered to make governments "feel the heat" and spend more money on water and sanitation, and to spend it more wisely. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessReview Sustainable Development in Northern Africa: The Argan Forest Case
Sustainability 2009, 1(4), 1012-1022; doi:10.3390/su1041012
Received: 27 August 2009 / Accepted: 6 November 2009 / Published: 9 November 2009
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (106 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The argan tree is a slow growing tree exclusively endemic in the dry lowlands of Southwest Morocco. The argan forest constitutes a long time ignored specific biotope that has been declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1998. The argan forest is [...] Read more.
The argan tree is a slow growing tree exclusively endemic in the dry lowlands of Southwest Morocco. The argan forest constitutes a long time ignored specific biotope that has been declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1998. The argan forest is particularly fragile to climate change. Forecasts show annual precipitation levels and prolonged drought periods that could severely threaten the future of the argan forest. In some places, the argan forest is already damaged, resulting in the retreat of the argan tree and the subsequent desert encroachment. An acceleration of this trend would have devastating consequences. In response, some twenty years ago, an ambitious, unique in Northern-Africa, and government-supported program was initiated in Morocco to rescue the argan tree via the sustainable development of the argan forest. Because in the late 1980s, sustainable development in developing countries was often considered as a utopia, the argan forest case represents a sign of progress, as it is also an interesting and unique experience in Africa. This review analyses the process followed, the measures taken, the pitfalls encountered, and the results obtained during the last two decades. It also points out the measures that still need to be taken before declaring the argan forest rescue mission is accomplished. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessReview A Blueprint for Florida's Clean Energy Future - Case Study of a Regional Government's Environmental Strategy
Sustainability 2009, 1(2), 97-103; doi:10.3390/su1020097
Received: 2 February 2009 / Accepted: 27 March 2009 / Published: 1 April 2009
PDF Full-text (37 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
On 13 July 2007, Governor Charlie Crist of Florida signed executive orders to establish greenhouse gas emission targets that required an 80 percent reduction below 1990 levels by the year 2050. Florida is a very high-risk state with regard to climate change. [...] Read more.
On 13 July 2007, Governor Charlie Crist of Florida signed executive orders to establish greenhouse gas emission targets that required an 80 percent reduction below 1990 levels by the year 2050. Florida is a very high-risk state with regard to climate change. Its 1,350-mile-long coastline, location in "Hurricane Alley," reliance on coral reefs and other vulnerable natural resources for its economy, and the predictions that state population could double in the next 30 years all contribute to this designation of "high-risk. As a consequence of the potential economic and ecological impacts of climate change to Florida, a series of Action Teams were created to plan for adaptation to impending environmental changes. As the 26th largest emitter of carbon dioxide on a global scale, Florida needs to act aggressively to create a clean energy footprint as part of its statewide initiatives but with global impacts. This case study examines the process and expected outcomes undertaken by a regional government that anticipates the need for stringent adaptation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)
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