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Special Issue "Resilient, Sustainable and Smart Cities: Emerging Trends and Approaches"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (21 December 2017)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Ernesto D.R. Santibanez-Gonzalez

Universidad de Talca, Chile
Website | E-Mail
Interests: sustainable supply chain; sustainable operations management; operations research; logistics; last-mile supply chain; energy aware modelling; carbon capture and sequestration; low carbon economy; circular economy; smart and sustainable cities; game theory
Guest Editor
Prof. Olga Battaia

ISAE-Supaero, Toulouse, France
Website | E-Mail
Interests: reverse supply chains; sustainable manufacturing; combinatorial optimization; decision support systems; optimal design of production lines
Guest Editor
Prof. Ana Paula Barbosa-Póvoa

Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal
Website | E-Mail
Interests: supply chain management; operations management; logistics; systems engineering
Guest Editor
Dr. Lei Zhu

School of Economics and Management, Beihang University, Beijing, China
Website | E-Mail
Interests: energy investment assessment; impact analysis of climate change; energy and climate technology evaluation; real option analysis; game theory, and stochastic programming

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue is open to researchers from around the world, interested in the development and applications of advanced quantitative approaches to address important issues and problems that arise in the area of Resilient, Sustainable and Smart Cities; in particular, in a setting of global climate change. We aim to publish cutting-edge research, both theoretical and empirical, which analyzes emerging trends and new approaches for supporting complex decisions in the urban–city arena. We expect that submissions will come partially from selected papers presented at the 2nd Global Conference on Theory and Applications of Operations Research/Operations Management Approaches for Sustainability, which will take place in September, 2017, in Beijing, China. Some of the topics of interest, while not exhaustive, include the following:

  • - Emerging trends in last-mile distribution problems in future cities;
  • - Approaches for disaster management in urban areas;
  • - Efficient waste management in cities;
  • - Making a low-carbon economy work in future cities;
  • - Trends in public and freight transportation for sustainable cities;
  • - Quantitative approaches for supporting a smart city;
  • -  Impacts of circular economy approaches on cities

Dr. Ernesto D.R. Santibanez-Gonzalez
Prof. Olga Battaia
Prof. Ana Paula Barbosa-Póvoa
Dr. Lei Zhu
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • resilient city
  • sustainable, smart city
  • low carbon economy
  • operations research
  • quantitative models and methods
  • operations management
  • logistics
  • supply chain

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Enhancing the Efficiency of Massive Online Learning by Integrating Intelligent Analysis into MOOCs with an Application to Education of Sustainability
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 468; doi:10.3390/su10020468
Received: 14 December 2017 / Revised: 18 January 2018 / Accepted: 8 February 2018 / Published: 9 February 2018
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Abstract
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) is an innovative method in modern education, especially important for autonomous study and the sharing of global excellent education resources. However, it is not easy to implement the teaching process according to the specific characters of students by
[...] Read more.
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) is an innovative method in modern education, especially important for autonomous study and the sharing of global excellent education resources. However, it is not easy to implement the teaching process according to the specific characters of students by MOOCs because the number of participants is huge and the teacher cannot identify the characters of students through a face to face interaction. As a new subject combined with different areas, such as economics, sociology, environment, and even engineering, the education of sustainability-related courses requires elaborate consideration of individualized teaching for students from diverse backgrounds and with different learning styles. Although the major MOOC platforms or learning management systems (LMSs) have tried lots of efforts in the design of course system and the contents of the courses for sustainability education, the achievements are still unsatisfied, at least the issue of how to effectively take into account the individual characteristics of participants remains unsolved. A hybrid Neural Network (NN) model is proposed in this paper which integrates a Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN) and with a Gated Recurrent Unit (GRU) based Recurrent Neural Networks (RNN) in an effort to detect individual learning style dynamically. The model was trained by learners’ behavior data and applied to predicting their learning styles. With identified learning style for each learner, the power of MOOC platform can be greatly enhanced by being able to offer the capabilities of recommending specific learning path and the relevant contents individually according to their characters. The efficiency of learning can thus be significantly improved. The proposed model was applied to the online study of sustainability-related course based on a MOOC platform with more than 9,400,000 learners. The results revealed that the learners could effectively increase their learning efficiency and quality for the courses when the learning styles are identified, and proper recommendations are made by using our method. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Formation Mechanism and Coping Strategy of Public Emergency for Urban Sustainability: A Perspective of Risk Propagation in the Sociotechnical System
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 386; doi:10.3390/su10020386
Received: 14 December 2017 / Revised: 22 January 2018 / Accepted: 30 January 2018 / Published: 1 February 2018
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Abstract
Urban public emergencies now break out frequently, causing heavy losses and threatening urban sustainability at the same time. To help better curb public emergencies, minimize their damage to cities, and maintain the sustainable operation of the city, this paper takes the urban public
[...] Read more.
Urban public emergencies now break out frequently, causing heavy losses and threatening urban sustainability at the same time. To help better curb public emergencies, minimize their damage to cities, and maintain the sustainable operation of the city, this paper takes the urban public emergency as the research object, discussing the formation mechanism of urban public emergencies and putting forward feasible countermeasures. First, we propose the concept of risk propagation chain and construct an urban socio-technical system risk propagation chain model by introducing the Tropos Goal-Risk framework. The risk propagation chain formation mechanism and the emergency formation mechanism are researched by using this model to analyze the specific conditions and paths of risk propagation. Then the targeted countermeasures are put forward to prevent and manage emergencies, advancing the goal of sustainable development. Finally, a case is used to verify the theory and model. This study not only provides a theoretical framework for the formation of urban public emergencies but also provides a practical method for modeling public emergencies and dealing with urban sustainability problems. Full article
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Open AccessArticle To License or Not to License Remanufacturing Business?
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 347; doi:10.3390/su10020347
Received: 4 December 2017 / Revised: 16 January 2018 / Accepted: 25 January 2018 / Published: 29 January 2018
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Abstract
Many original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) face the choice of whether to license an independent remanufacturer (IR) to remanufacture their used products. In this paper, we develop closed-loop supply chain models with licensed and unlicensed remanufacturing operations to analyze the competition and cooperation between
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Many original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) face the choice of whether to license an independent remanufacturer (IR) to remanufacture their used products. In this paper, we develop closed-loop supply chain models with licensed and unlicensed remanufacturing operations to analyze the competition and cooperation between an OEM and an IR. The OEM sells new products and collects used products through trade-ins, while the IR intercepts the OEM’s cores to produce remanufactured products and sell them in the same market. We derive optimal decisions for each of the two types of firms in licensed and unlicensed remanufacturing scenarios and identify conditions under which the OEM and the IR would be most likely to cooperate with each other in implementing remanufacturing. The results show although it is beneficial for an OEM to license an IR to remanufacture its cores, it is not always necessary for an IR to accept OEM’s authorization. Moreover, we contrast the result for licensed remanufacturing scenario in the decentralized system with that in the centrally coordinated system to quantify potential inefficiency resulting from decentralization of decision making. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Optimization of a Traffic Control Scheme for a Post-Disaster Urban Road Network
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 68; doi:10.3390/su10010068
Received: 19 November 2017 / Revised: 19 December 2017 / Accepted: 22 December 2017 / Published: 28 December 2017
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Abstract
Traffic control of urban road networks during emergency rescues is conducive to rapid rescue in the affected areas. However, excessive control will lead to negative impacts on the normal traffic order. We propose a novel model to optimize the traffic control scheme during
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Traffic control of urban road networks during emergency rescues is conducive to rapid rescue in the affected areas. However, excessive control will lead to negative impacts on the normal traffic order. We propose a novel model to optimize the traffic control scheme during the post-disaster emergency rescue period named PD-TCM (post-disaster traffic control model). In this model, the vertex and edge betweenness indexes of urban road networks are introduced to evaluate the controllability of the road sections. The gravity field model is also used to adjust the travel time function of different road sections in the control and diverging domains. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed model can obtain the optimal traffic control scheme efficiently, which gives it the ability to meet the demand of emergency rescues as well as reducing the disturbances caused by controls. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Study on Environment Performance Evaluation and Regional Differences of Strictly-Environmental-Monitored Cities in China
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2094; doi:10.3390/su9122094
Received: 25 September 2017 / Revised: 2 November 2017 / Accepted: 9 November 2017 / Published: 8 December 2017
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Abstract
With the rapid economic growth and development, the problem of environmental pollution in China’s cities is becoming increasingly serious, and environmental pollution takes on a regional difference. There is, however, little comprehensive evaluation on the environmental performance and the regional difference of strictly-environmental-monitored
[...] Read more.
With the rapid economic growth and development, the problem of environmental pollution in China’s cities is becoming increasingly serious, and environmental pollution takes on a regional difference. There is, however, little comprehensive evaluation on the environmental performance and the regional difference of strictly-environmental-monitored cities in China. In this paper, the environmental performance of 109 strictly-environmental-monitored cities in China is evaluated in terms of natural performance, management performance, and scale performance by Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA), incorporating PM2.5 and PM10 as undesirable outputs. The empirical results show that: (1) At present, the natural performance is quite high, while the management performance is noticeably low for most cities. (2) The gap between the level of economic development and environmental protection among cities in China is large, and the scale efficiency of big cities is better than that of smaller cities. The efficiency value of large-scale cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, etc. is high, equaling 1; the value of smaller cities such as Sanmenxia, Baoding, Mudanjiang, and Pingdingshan is low, close to 0, indicating that big cities are characterized by high environmental efficiency. (3) From the perspective of region, the level of environmental performance in China is very uneven. For example, the environmental efficiency level of the Pan-Pearl River Delta region is superior to that of the Pan-Yangtze River region and the Bahia Rim region, whose values of environmental efficiency are 0.858, 0.658, and 0.622 respectively. The average efficiency of the Southern Coastal Economic Zone, Eastern Coastal Comprehensive Economic Zone, and the Comprehensive Economic Zone in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River is higher than that of other regions. Finally, corresponding countermeasures and suggestions are put forward. The method used in this paper is applicable to the performance evaluation of cities, and the results of the evaluation reflect the differences of the environmental performance level between strictly-environmental-monitored cities and different regions in China, providing reference for the balanced environmental development of cities and regions. Full article
Open AccessArticle The STIRPAT Analysis on Carbon Emission in Chinese Cities: An Asymmetric Laplace Distribution Mixture Model
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2237; doi:10.3390/su9122237
Received: 2 October 2017 / Revised: 18 November 2017 / Accepted: 29 November 2017 / Published: 4 December 2017
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Abstract
In cities’ policy-making, it is a hot issue to grasp the determinants of carbon dioxide emission in Chinese cities. And the common method is to use the STIRPAT model, where its coefficients represent the influence intensity of each determinants of carbon emission. However,
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In cities’ policy-making, it is a hot issue to grasp the determinants of carbon dioxide emission in Chinese cities. And the common method is to use the STIRPAT model, where its coefficients represent the influence intensity of each determinants of carbon emission. However, less work discusses estimation accuracy, especially in the framework of non-normal distribution and heterogeneity among cities’ emission. To improve the estimation accuracy, this paper employs a new method to estimate the STIRPAT model. The method uses a mixture of Asymmetric Laplace distributions (ALDs) to approximate the true distribution of the error term. Meantime, a designed two-layer EM algorithm is used to obtain estimators. We test the robustness via the comparison results of five different models. We find that the ALDs Mixture Model is more reliable the others. Further, a significant Kuznets curve relationship is identified in China. Full article
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