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Sustainability, Volume 10, Issue 8 (August 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) The main objective of the study is to challenge previous approaches to heritage, both in terms of [...] Read more.
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Open AccessReview A Drivers-Pressure-State-Impact-Responses Framework to Support the Sustainability of Fish and Fisheries in Lake Tana, Ethiopia
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2957; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082957
Received: 1 July 2018 / Revised: 9 August 2018 / Accepted: 14 August 2018 / Published: 20 August 2018
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Abstract
Lake Tana, Ethiopia’s largest lake, has a remarkable and conservation-worthy assemblage of fish species, requiring fisheries management for sustainable exploitation. However, due to anthropogenic impacts, many of these fish species are threatened. Hence, an improved management of these resources is recommended. To allow
[...] Read more.
Lake Tana, Ethiopia’s largest lake, has a remarkable and conservation-worthy assemblage of fish species, requiring fisheries management for sustainable exploitation. However, due to anthropogenic impacts, many of these fish species are threatened. Hence, an improved management of these resources is recommended. To allow a more sustainable exploitation of natural resources, a better understanding of the cause-effect relationships between anthropogenic impacts and environmental components is fundamental. The Drivers-Pressure-State-Impact-Responses (DPSIR) framework is a useful tool to describe these links in a meaningful way to managers and policy makers. Despite its potential, application of DPSIR is virtually lacking in developing countries. This paper assessed the potential of the DPSIR framework and used it to comprehensively describe the available knowledge and management needs in the lake catchment. Rapid population growth and the economic transformation are the main driving forces leading to various pressures such as water quality and wetlands degradation as well as declining fish community, which is detrimental to the socio-economic state and health of the local inhabitants. As feedback to the driving forces, pressures, state changes and impacts, optimal multi-level responses are developed. This study aims at providing policy makers a better understanding of the lake catchment in order to bridge the gap between science and decision-making. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Effects of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Fit and CSR Consistency on Company Evaluation: The Role of CSR Support
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2956; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082956
Received: 20 July 2018 / Revised: 9 August 2018 / Accepted: 17 August 2018 / Published: 20 August 2018
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Abstract
With growing interest in corporate social responsibility (CSR), companies are utilizing it as a public relation (PR) tool for corporate image change. Previous research suggests that the fit between a company and CSR activity is a key determinant of CSR success. They show
[...] Read more.
With growing interest in corporate social responsibility (CSR), companies are utilizing it as a public relation (PR) tool for corporate image change. Previous research suggests that the fit between a company and CSR activity is a key determinant of CSR success. They show that, the higher the CSR fit, the more positive the consumers’ evaluations are. However, although many companies undertake various CSR activities, there is no research examining the effect of consistency among various CSR activities. In addition, there is a lack of explanation for cases where consumers positively evaluate low CSR fit. In this study, we examine CSR fit, consistency among various CSR activities (CSR consistency), and the degree of consumer support for CSR activities (CSR support). Our multiple regressions show that higher the CSR support, the more positive is the consumer’s evaluation of the company. In addition, when CSR support is high, the effect of CSR fit and CSR consistency on company evaluations is insignificant. However, when consumer support for CSR activities is low, company evaluations are positive only when both CSR fit and CSR consistency are high. In addition, the influence of three variables on company evaluation is mediated by CSR motives. Finally, we discuss the implications of this study. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Multimethod Approach to Assess and Measure Corporate Social Responsibility Disclosure and Practices in a Developing Economy
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2955; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082955
Received: 31 July 2018 / Revised: 15 August 2018 / Accepted: 16 August 2018 / Published: 20 August 2018
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Abstract
Disclosures on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practices of business organizations have heightened over the past few decades due to increased awareness. Major contributions in the literature on CSR practices and their disclosures come from the studies conducted in the developed world, while many
[...] Read more.
Disclosures on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practices of business organizations have heightened over the past few decades due to increased awareness. Major contributions in the literature on CSR practices and their disclosures come from the studies conducted in the developed world, while many developing economies like Pakistan remain under-researched and fewer revelations have been made about their CSR practices. Therefore, the present study aims to explore various aspects of CSR practices of Pakistani firms and their reporting trends. A multimethod approach has been adopted to measure CSR practices with respect to both approaches, quantitative and qualitative, for 170 listed firms from 2008 to 2015. First, content analysis is employed to develop a CSR Disclosure Index (CSRD Index) as well as five sub indices, i.e., community welfare, health and education, environment and energy, product, and customer and workforce. Second, a multidimensional financial approach is used to calculate firm’s CSR monetary spending ratio (CSR-MSR) using the monetary data of CSR activities. Results suggested that most Pakistani firms disclose more information about their product-, customer-, and stakeholder-related CSR activities and put less emphasis on health and education responsibilities. Moreover, there is a strong impact of government reforms on both the firm’s CSR disclosures and monetary giving. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Sustainability Leaders’ Perceptions on the Drivers for and the Barriers to the Integration of Sustainability in Latin American Higher Education Institutions
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2954; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082954
Received: 6 July 2018 / Revised: 7 August 2018 / Accepted: 14 August 2018 / Published: 20 August 2018
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Abstract
Higher education institutions (HEIs) have been steadily progressing towards the integration of sustainable practices in their structures and operations. Several studies have reported the variety of drivers of change and the barriers to change that universities have found in the integration process. The
[...] Read more.
Higher education institutions (HEIs) have been steadily progressing towards the integration of sustainable practices in their structures and operations. Several studies have reported the variety of drivers of change and the barriers to change that universities have found in the integration process. The present investigation is aimed at further characterizing and ranking the drivers for, and barriers of, sustainability integration in HEIs within their structures and operating functions. Open-ended expert opinion interviews of key sustainability leaders appointed at 45 HEIs from 10 Latin-American countries were conducted in order to learn lessons from their diverse experiences of the process. Additionally, a thematic workshop on HEI sustainability was organized to facilitate further discussions between 23 sustainability scholars and/or national coordinators of university networks from 11 Latin American countries. As a result, 15 barriers were identified as hindering the institutionalization of sustainability in HEIs. This study also examined the relationship between these reported barriers with 13 main drivers that were identified to be facilitating the integration of sustainable practices within the organizational and academic structures at the universities. The strong correspondence between the several observed drivers for, and barriers to, change highlights the importance of strategic planning that offers integrated actions. The findings of this paper can serve as a reference to assist HEIs in identifying drivers of, and barriers to, sustainability, so that the former can be fostered and the latter addressed effectively. This can help identify and plan targeted actions to make the transition towards sustainability in HEIs more natural and effective. Full article
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Open AccessArticle How Far Has China’s Urbanization Gone?
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2953; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082953
Received: 3 July 2018 / Revised: 14 August 2018 / Accepted: 16 August 2018 / Published: 20 August 2018
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Abstract
China’s rapid urbanization has attracted wide international attention. However, it may not be sustainable. In order to assess it objectively and put forward recommendations for future development, this paper first develops a four-dimensional Urbanization Quality Index using weights calculated by the Deviation Maximization
[...] Read more.
China’s rapid urbanization has attracted wide international attention. However, it may not be sustainable. In order to assess it objectively and put forward recommendations for future development, this paper first develops a four-dimensional Urbanization Quality Index using weights calculated by the Deviation Maximization Method for a comprehensive assessment and then reveals the spatial association of China’s urbanization by Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis. The study leads to three major findings. First, the urbanization quality in China has gradually increased over time, but there have been significant differences between regions. Second, the four aspects of urbanization quality have shown the following trends: (i) the quality of urban development has steadily increased; (ii) the sustainability of urban development has shown a downward trend in recent years; (iii) the efficiency of urbanization improved before 2006 but then declined slightly due to capital, land use, and resource efficiency constraints; (IV) the urban–rural integration deteriorated in the early years but then improved over time. Third, although the urbanization quality has a significantly positive global spatial autocorrelation, the local spatial autocorrelation varies between eastern and western regions. Based on these findings, this paper concludes with policy recommendations for improving urbanization quality and its sustainability in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle A Decision-Making Model for Adopting a Cloud Computing System
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2952; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082952
Received: 25 July 2018 / Revised: 13 August 2018 / Accepted: 16 August 2018 / Published: 20 August 2018
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Abstract
The use of big data, artificial intelligence, and new information and communication technologies has led to sustainable developments and improved business competitiveness. Until recently cloud services were classified as having special system requirements for a business organization, and was represented by different cloud
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The use of big data, artificial intelligence, and new information and communication technologies has led to sustainable developments and improved business competitiveness. Until recently cloud services were classified as having special system requirements for a business organization, and was represented by different cloud computing architecture layers like infrastructure, platform, or software as a service. However, as the environment of IT services undergoes successive changes, companies have been required to reconsider their business models and consider adopting a cloud computing system, which can bring on business achievements and development. Regarding a decision-making model for adopting a cloud computing system, this paper analyzes critical variables in a hierarchical structure of decision areas: technology, organization, and environment, as well as seven factors and 23 attributes based on underlying decision factors of cloud computing adoption by AHP (Analytic Hierarchy Process) and Delphi analysis. Furthermore, this research explores a comparative analysis between demanders and providers of cloud computing adoption. Resultantly, this study suggests several important factors for adopting a cloud computing system: top management support, competitive pressure, and compatibility. From the demander side, the high priority factor was compatibility and competitive pressure; in contrast, related advantage and top management support were regarded as priority factors for providers to service their cloud computing systems. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Geometrical and Functional Criteria as a Methodological Approach to Implement a New Cycle Path in an Existing Urban Road Network: A Case Study in Rome
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2951; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082951
Received: 4 July 2018 / Revised: 9 August 2018 / Accepted: 16 August 2018 / Published: 20 August 2018
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Abstract
Most road accidents occur in urban areas and notably at urban intersections, where cyclists and motorcyclists are the most vulnerable. In the last few years, cycling mobility has been growing; therefore, bike infrastructures should be designed to encourage this type of mobility and
[...] Read more.
Most road accidents occur in urban areas and notably at urban intersections, where cyclists and motorcyclists are the most vulnerable. In the last few years, cycling mobility has been growing; therefore, bike infrastructures should be designed to encourage this type of mobility and reduce motorized and/or private transport. The paper presents a study to implement a new cycle path in the existing cycle and road network in Rome, Italy. The geometric design of the new path complies with Italian standards regarding the technical characteristics of bicycle paths, while the Highway Capacity Manual has been considered for the traffic analysis. In particular, a before-after approach has been adopted to examine and compare the traffic flow at more complex and congested intersections where the cycle path will pass. Trams, buses, cars, bikes and pedestrians were the traffic components considered in each analysis. The software package PTV VISSIM 8 allowed the simulations of traffic flows at traffic-light intersections; an original linear process has been proposed to model dynamic intelligent traffic controls, which are not admitted by the software used. The traffic analysis allowed the identification of the best option for each of the five examined intersections. Particularly, the maximum queue length value and the total number of passed vehicles have been considered in order to optimize the transport planning process. The results of this study highlight the importance of providing engineered solutions when a cycle path is implemented in a complex road network, in order to avoid negative impacts on the citizens and maximize the expected advantages. Full article
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Open AccessReview What do We Talk about When We Talk about Social-Ecological Systems? A Literature Review
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2950; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082950
Received: 17 July 2018 / Revised: 11 August 2018 / Accepted: 16 August 2018 / Published: 20 August 2018
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Abstract
In the last decade, probably in response to global changes and the environmental crisis, the use of the term “social-ecological system” (SES) in scientific literature has grown. This is certainly a sign that the need and importance of transdisciplinary research has been recognized.
[...] Read more.
In the last decade, probably in response to global changes and the environmental crisis, the use of the term “social-ecological system” (SES) in scientific literature has grown. This is certainly a sign that the need and importance of transdisciplinary research has been recognized. Here, we explore whether the use of the term is a buzzword or, rather, actually represents a key concept in the integration of social and ecological research. We compiled a database of publications (N = 1289) that mentioned SES in the title, keywords and abstract. Subsequently, we analyzed the authors’ affiliations, type of work (conceptual, empirical or review), study site, prevailing human use, temporal and spatial scales of the analysis, kind of variables analyzed (socioeconomic or biophysical), and the method/s used to integrate them. We detected four time spans in the use of the term (1975–1997, 1998–2006, 2007–2012, 2013–2016). Our results suggest that SES is a widely invoked concept in the study of the interface between social and ecological systems. Most works show some common elements, such as the analysis of resilience, ecosystem services, sustainability, governance and adaptive management. However, the majority of studies do not study SES as a whole, integrating both social and ecological variables and their feedback loops. We consider SES as a concept still in construction in order to build a necessary framework for the integration of social and ecological sciences. For a robust evolution, we recommend that one focus on: (i) A conscious, discussed and agreed effort of scientists to conduct the transdisciplinary research needed to study SES; and (ii) the development of methodological tools for the true integration of social and ecological data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social-Ecological Systems. Facing Global Transformations)
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Open AccessArticle Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Green Spaces in the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei Region in the Past 20 Years
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2949; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082949
Received: 19 July 2018 / Revised: 8 August 2018 / Accepted: 17 August 2018 / Published: 20 August 2018
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Abstract
Rapid urbanization has caused the reduction of green spaces in most cities, disrupting the structure and process of urban and rural ecosystems. The accurate identification of spatiotemporal changes in green spaces is important to delineate future management and planning. We investigated green space
[...] Read more.
Rapid urbanization has caused the reduction of green spaces in most cities, disrupting the structure and process of urban and rural ecosystems. The accurate identification of spatiotemporal changes in green spaces is important to delineate future management and planning. We investigated green space types of the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei region in 1995, 2000, 2005, 2010, and 2015 based on the elevation data and land use/cover for those years. Spatiotemporal changes in these identified green spaces between 1995 and 2015 were evaluated as well as the spatial hotspots of disappeared and unstable green patches. The results indicate that the cultivated land in plains and forests and cultivated land in medium-high mountainous areas were the main green space types in the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei region during the period from 1995 to 2015. A large number of green spaces, in particular cultivated lands, in the peripheral areas of big cities were replaced by construction sites over the past 20 years. Hotspots of unstable green spaces were mainly distributed in the western and northern mountainous areas of the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei region, where green spaces changed from one type to another. These findings provide an important reference for the management and planning of land and green spaces towards an integrative and collaborative development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land-Use Competition)
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Open AccessArticle Analytical Determination of Medical Gases Consumption and Their Impact on Hospital Sustainability
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2948; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082948
Received: 9 July 2018 / Revised: 16 August 2018 / Accepted: 17 August 2018 / Published: 20 August 2018
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Abstract
Medical gases are known to show a great environmental impact and also to consume relevant resources in terms of hospital management. The present work reports on a study performed between 2008 and 2016 in a target set of 12 Spanish hospitals with floor
[...] Read more.
Medical gases are known to show a great environmental impact and also to consume relevant resources in terms of hospital management. The present work reports on a study performed between 2008 and 2016 in a target set of 12 Spanish hospitals with floor area and number of beds ranging 2314–23,300 m2 and 20–194, respectively, for which the average annual consumption rates of oxygen, nitrogen, medicinal air, carbon dioxide and nitrogen protoxide were analysed. The annual consumption of medical gases in a hospital was proved to be correlated with the number of hospital discharges, the number of surgeries, the number of emergency interventions, the number of hospitalisations, the number of hospital beds, the useful floor area of the building and the number of workers. In particular, the annual consumption per hospital bed was computed as 350 m3 for oxygen, 325 m3 for medicinal air, 9 m3 for nitrogen protoxide and 3 m3 for carbon dioxide. It is shown that healthcare activity appears as an adequate variable to quantify and to monitor medical gases consumption in hospitals, to assess the size of their facilities as well as to optimise maintenance management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Healthcare Facilities)
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Open AccessArticle The Public Health Impact of Road-Traffic Noise in a Highly-Populated City, Republic of Korea: Annoyance and Sleep Disturbance
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2947; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082947
Received: 18 July 2018 / Revised: 14 August 2018 / Accepted: 15 August 2018 / Published: 20 August 2018
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Abstract
Sustainable transportation is an essential part of a sustainable city; however, modern transportation systems with internal-combustion engines emits unacceptably high level of air-pollutants and noise. It is recognized widely that road-traffic noise has negative health impacts (such as annoyance and sleep disturbance) on
[...] Read more.
Sustainable transportation is an essential part of a sustainable city; however, modern transportation systems with internal-combustion engines emits unacceptably high level of air-pollutants and noise. It is recognized widely that road-traffic noise has negative health impacts (such as annoyance and sleep disturbance) on exposed population in highly-populated cities. These harmful effects should be removed or at least reduced to guarantee the sustainability of modern cities. The estimation of pollutant levels at a specific location and the extent of the damage is therefore important for policy makers. This study presents a procedure to determine the levels of road-traffic noise at both day and night, and an assessment of the adverse health effects across Gwangju Metropolitan City (GMC), Republic of Korea (ROK). Road-traffic noise maps in 2-D and 3-D were generated, in order to find spatial distribution of noise levels across the city and noise level at the façade of a building-floor, respectively. The adoption of existing assessment models for the highly-annoyed (%HA) and highly-sleep-disturbed (%HSD) leads to building-based estimation of the affected population and spatial distribution of the road networks of the city. Very high noise levels were found to exist along major roads in the day and at night, with little difference between them. As a result, approximately 10% and 5% of the total population (n = 1,471,944) were estimated to experience high-level annoyance and sleep disturbance, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Transportation)
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Open AccessArticle SLAM for Humanoid Multi-Robot Active Cooperation Based on Relative Observation
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2946; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082946
Received: 26 June 2018 / Revised: 8 August 2018 / Accepted: 10 August 2018 / Published: 20 August 2018
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Abstract
The simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) of robot in the complex environment is a fundamental research topic for service robots. This paper presents a new humanoid multi-robot SLAM mechanism that allows robots to collaborate and localize each other in their own SLAM process.
[...] Read more.
The simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) of robot in the complex environment is a fundamental research topic for service robots. This paper presents a new humanoid multi-robot SLAM mechanism that allows robots to collaborate and localize each other in their own SLAM process. Each robot has two switchable modes: independent mode and collaborative mode. Each robot can respond to the requests of other robots and participate in chained localization of the target robot under the leadership of the organiser. We aslo discuss how to find the solution of optimal strategy for chained localization. This mechanism can improve the performance of bundle adjustment at the global level, especially when the image features are few or the results of closed loop are not ideal. The simulation results show that this method has a great effect on improving the accuracy of multi-robot localization and the efficiency of 3D mapping. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Control Dust Pollution on Construction Sites: What Governments Do in China?
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2945; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082945
Received: 10 July 2018 / Revised: 8 August 2018 / Accepted: 16 August 2018 / Published: 20 August 2018
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Abstract
Dust pollution is a key issue that contractors ought to address in the sphere of sustainable construction. Governments on behalf of the public assume part of the responsibilities for minimizing dust emissions on construction sites. However, the measures that are useful for governments
[...] Read more.
Dust pollution is a key issue that contractors ought to address in the sphere of sustainable construction. Governments on behalf of the public assume part of the responsibilities for minimizing dust emissions on construction sites. However, the measures that are useful for governments to fulfill such a responsibility have not been explored explicitly in previous studies. The aim of this research is to map out China’s practices in this area with the intention of filling the knowledge gap. Using a combination of research methods, five categories of governmental measures are proposed: technological, economic, supervisory, organizational, and assessment-based. Data from 37 major cities in China are collected for analysis. While the proposed categories of measures are demonstrated in China, the data analysis results show that governments prefer technological and organizational measures, and institutional guarantees and technological innovation are a prerequisite for dust-free construction. This research provides a comprehensive examination of construction dust control from the perspective of governments, and it can assist governments in improving the performance of dust management in the construction context. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Measuring Knowledge Diffusion in Water Resources Research and Development: The Case of Korea
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2944; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082944
Received: 23 July 2018 / Revised: 16 August 2018 / Accepted: 17 August 2018 / Published: 19 August 2018
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Abstract
Technological knowledge created through government R&D investment not only contributes to technology and market expansion, but is also a major factor in evaluating a nation’s innovation capacity. As government budgets are limited, establishing an effective investment strategy is important. The purpose of this
[...] Read more.
Technological knowledge created through government R&D investment not only contributes to technology and market expansion, but is also a major factor in evaluating a nation’s innovation capacity. As government budgets are limited, establishing an effective investment strategy is important. The purpose of this paper is to suggest R&D investment priorities in terms of the centrality of knowledge diffusion—which technology field is targeted in knowledge diffusion—and rapidity of knowledge diffusion—how quickly technological knowledge diffuses. The analysis focused on a water resources R&D program led by the Korean government. The centrality and rapidity of knowledge diffusion were analyzed using network analysis and patent citation information, respectively. By showing that results differ depending on whether centrality or rapidity are used to rank investments, the findings suggest the need for multiple analyses when establishing an R&D investment strategy. Moreover, this study expanded analysis of knowledge diffusion to the second diffusion, and confirmed that, when the rapidity of knowledge diffusion through the second diffusion is considered, priorities for government R&D investments change. The results have useful implications for R&D investment by identifying investment priorities in the water resources sector, and changes in those priorities when mid- to long-term knowledge diffusion is considered. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Study of the Impact of a High-Speed Railway Opening on China’s Accessibility Pattern and Spatial Equality
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2943; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082943
Received: 6 July 2018 / Revised: 2 August 2018 / Accepted: 15 August 2018 / Published: 19 August 2018
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Abstract
China’s high-speed rail was inaugurated in 2008; it has greatly improved accessibility, and reduced the time required to travel between cities, but at the same time, has caused an unfair distribution of accessibility levels. Therefore, this paper analyzes urban traffic roads and socio-economic
[...] Read more.
China’s high-speed rail was inaugurated in 2008; it has greatly improved accessibility, and reduced the time required to travel between cities, but at the same time, has caused an unfair distribution of accessibility levels. Therefore, this paper analyzes urban traffic roads and socio-economic statistics, using network analysis methods, accessibility coefficients of variation, and social demand indexes to explore the spatial and temporal characteristics of transport accessibility and spatial equity in China. By 2015, the national transport accessibility level will form a new pattern of “corridors” and “islands”, centered on high-speed rail lines and sites. Additionally, the opening of high-speed railways has improved, to a certain extent, the inter-regional accessibility balance, and increased accessibility from high-speed railway sites to non-site cities. Spatial equality was also analyzed using the accessibility coefficient and social demand index. In conclusion, studying accessibility and spatial equity plays an important role in the rational planning of urban land resources and transportation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Road Transportation Planning)
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Open AccessArticle Financial Ratios as Indicators of Economic Sustainability: A Quantitative Analysis for Swiss Dairy Farms
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2942; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082942
Received: 28 June 2018 / Revised: 9 August 2018 / Accepted: 11 August 2018 / Published: 19 August 2018
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Abstract
In agriculture, a rising number of sustainability assessments are available that also comprise financial ratios. In a literature review of farm management textbooks, taking account of the differences between European and North American practices and considering prevalent sustainability assessment approaches, we identified frequently
[...] Read more.
In agriculture, a rising number of sustainability assessments are available that also comprise financial ratios. In a literature review of farm management textbooks, taking account of the differences between European and North American practices and considering prevalent sustainability assessment approaches, we identified frequently used financial ratios. Five ratios relate to the indicator profitability and four to the indicator liquidity. Another eight financial indicators refer to the indicators financial efficiency, stability, solvency and repayment capacity. Based on more than 14,000 accountancies of dairy farms from the Swiss Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN), we carried out a Spearman correlation analysis for normalised and harmonised financial ratios. The correlation analysis revealed mostly positive correlations. To assess the implementation of a quantitative economic sustainability assessment we compare an aggregated indicator compound of all 17 ratios with two selections of financial ratios–first, a compound European and, second, a compound North American economic sustainability indicator. The correlation between the complete and the reduced sets of indicators suggest that both aggregate economic indicators can be reasonably applied to estimate the economic sustainability for Swiss dairy farms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle Susceptibility Assessments of Landslides in Hulu Kelang Area Using a Geographic Information System-Based Prediction Model
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2941; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082941
Received: 13 July 2018 / Revised: 9 August 2018 / Accepted: 13 August 2018 / Published: 19 August 2018
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Abstract
This study was conducted to estimate the susceptibility of landslides on a test site in Malaysia (Hulu Kelang area). A Geographic Information system (GIS)-based physical model named YS-Slope, which integrates a mechanistic infinite slope stability method and the geo-hydrological model was applied to
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This study was conducted to estimate the susceptibility of landslides on a test site in Malaysia (Hulu Kelang area). A Geographic Information system (GIS)-based physical model named YS-Slope, which integrates a mechanistic infinite slope stability method and the geo-hydrological model was applied to calculate the safety factor of the test site. Input data, slopes, soil-depth, elevations, soil properties and plant covers were constructed as GIS datasets. The factor of safety of shallow landslides along the wetting front and deep-seated landslides at the bottom of the groundwater were estimated to compare with the analysis results of the existing model and actual landslides in 2008. According to the results of the study, shallow landslides mainly occurred in the central area which has many historical landslides, while deep-seated landslides were predominant in the east side of the study area. A ROC analysis was conducted and it is shown that the prediction result at the end of the northeast monsoon for shallow landslides showed relatively high accuracy compared with other predictions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
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Open AccessArticle Factors Affecting Global versus Local Environmental and Economic Performance of Dairying: A Case Study of Swiss Mountain Farms
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2940; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082940
Received: 19 July 2018 / Revised: 14 August 2018 / Accepted: 15 August 2018 / Published: 19 August 2018
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 703 | PDF Full-text (257 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Improving the sustainability of the dairy food chain requires a simultaneous improvement in global and local environmental performance, as well as in the economic performance of dairy farms. We investigated the effect of different structural, farm management, socio-demographic, technological and natural-environment-related factors on
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Improving the sustainability of the dairy food chain requires a simultaneous improvement in global and local environmental performance, as well as in the economic performance of dairy farms. We investigated the effect of different structural, farm management, socio-demographic, technological and natural-environment-related factors on the economic and environmental performance of dairying. Our analysis relied on a case study of 56 Swiss alpine dairy farm observations, for which cradle-to-farm gate life cycle assessments and farm accountancy data were combined. The data refer to the years 2006 to 2008. The effect of the selected factors on farms’ economic and environmental performance was analysed by means of non-parametric statistical approaches. The results revealed the existence of some factors presenting synergies and several factors showing trade-offs in the enhancement of farm global environmental, local environmental and economic performance. More generally, the promotion of farm global environmental performance and farm economic performance was shown to be synergetic whereas the enhancement of farm global and local environmental performance turned out to be mostly antinomic. However, some factors, namely organic farming, higher agricultural education, silage-free milk production, and also, to a weaker extent, full-time farming, larger farm size and lower intensity of cattle concentrates use, showed a potential to bring simultaneous improvements in the global and local environmental performance as well as the economic performance of dairy farming. Policy-makers should be aware of the complexity of the joint improvement of farm economic and environmental performance and only promote factors capable of synergistically enhancing the environmental and economic performance of dairy farming. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
Open AccessArticle What are the Key Indicators of Mega Sustainable Construction Projects? —A Stakeholder-Network Perspective
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2939; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082939
Received: 18 July 2018 / Revised: 10 August 2018 / Accepted: 13 August 2018 / Published: 18 August 2018
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Abstract
Mega sustainable construction projects (MSCPs) require complex system engineering. There are various indicators available to evaluate sustainable construction, and it is difficult to determine which the key indicators are among them. Existing studies do not adequately consider the stakeholders associated with the indicators
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Mega sustainable construction projects (MSCPs) require complex system engineering. There are various indicators available to evaluate sustainable construction, and it is difficult to determine which the key indicators are among them. Existing studies do not adequately consider the stakeholders associated with the indicators of sustainable construction, leading to key decision-makers’ lack of targeted management strategies to improve the sustainability level of MSCPs. Using literature analysis and expert interviews, this study identified the key evaluation indicators of MSCPs from a stakeholder-network perspective. Social network analysis (SNA) was used to explore the relationships between the key evaluation indicators and corresponding stakeholders. The results showed that the government and designers significantly impacted other stakeholders and played as the key stakeholders in MSCPs. Regarding the indicators, applying energy-saving and intelligent technologies plays a key role in the MSCPs. This study links key indicators of MSCPs with the associated stakeholders, which helps decision-makers to develop targeted strategies to improve the sustainability level of MSCPs, thereby not only improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the intervention strategies, but also helping to save decision-makers’ monetary and human resources which are usually limited. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development and Management of Mega Projects)
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Open AccessArticle Do Rural Policies Impact on Tourism Development in Italy? A Case Study of Agritourism
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2938; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082938
Received: 17 July 2018 / Revised: 9 August 2018 / Accepted: 13 August 2018 / Published: 18 August 2018
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Abstract
This paper investigates how and to what extent European and national policies have financed Italian agritourism. It analyses financial support derived from the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) (First and Second Pillar) and national and local subsidies. For this purpose, the authors have proposed
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This paper investigates how and to what extent European and national policies have financed Italian agritourism. It analyses financial support derived from the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) (First and Second Pillar) and national and local subsidies. For this purpose, the authors have proposed a comparative analysis between Italian agritourism and farms without tourism activities, by stressing the distribution of public financial supports concerning the 2007–2013 programming period of the European Union (EU) for Rural Development. The empirical analysis is based on the Italian Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN) dataset. The data were stratified by altimetry zone and farm size. Descriptive statistics and the Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) for each group were used. The main results show how the Second Pillar has mainly supported small and medium-sized farms with tourism activities and located in disadvantaged areas. This study could be useful to policymakers regarding the evaluation of the mission for diversification in agriculture, represented here by the carrying out of tourist activities on farms and the contribution for the retention of small-scale farms in marginal areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Employment and Income Growth from Sustainable Tourism)
Open AccessArticle Laboratory Experimental Laws for the Radon Exhalation of Similar Uranium Samples with Low-Frequency Vibrations
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2937; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082937
Received: 30 May 2018 / Revised: 7 August 2018 / Accepted: 7 August 2018 / Published: 18 August 2018
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Abstract
It is the fact that there are lots of hazard incidents in underground uranium mines caused by radon but in-suit uranium samples were difficult to collect. Based on closed chamber method, three similar samples in different sealed ways were made in a laboratory
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It is the fact that there are lots of hazard incidents in underground uranium mines caused by radon but in-suit uranium samples were difficult to collect. Based on closed chamber method, three similar samples in different sealed ways were made in a laboratory with different material rations, namely uranium tailings, quartz sand, cement, iron powder and silicon powder to measure the radon concentrations with and without low-frequency vibrations, which was used by the experimental device for low-frequency vibration diffusion of radon. The results showed that the radon exhalation coming from the similar samples was influenced by the low frequency vibration; the results are presented as two-stage variations compared with the blank group. The radon exhalation increased with the rising vibration frequency when the frequency was 50 to 70 Hz, but fell slowly after reaching the peak radon exhalation rate. Analyses of the relations between the rock damage degree, changes in porosity and the occurrence of an inflection point in the radon exhalation rate in the samples found that they also increased when the frequency was between 0 to 80 in sample 3. The maximum porosity of the third samples was about 4.8% with a low-frequency vibration 60 Hz, while the maximum damage degree was about 0.07 at 50 Hz. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nuclear Safety, Emergency, Security: Theory and Technology)
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Open AccessArticle China-Angola Investment Model
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2936; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082936
Received: 7 July 2018 / Revised: 8 August 2018 / Accepted: 14 August 2018 / Published: 18 August 2018
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Abstract
In the aftermath of Angola’s civil war, strong economic relations developed between the country and the People’s Republic of China. Our study addresses China’s investment risks in Angola, considering an infrastructure-for-petroleum partnership between these two countries. The main working hypothesis is that the
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In the aftermath of Angola’s civil war, strong economic relations developed between the country and the People’s Republic of China. Our study addresses China’s investment risks in Angola, considering an infrastructure-for-petroleum partnership between these two countries. The main working hypothesis is that the recovery of Chinese investments made in Angola is has translated into thousands of barrels of petroleum being imported daily from Angola. We analyzed the main economic, social, and political indicators that describe the situation in Angola that could impact the recovery of Chinese loans in the form of oil exports. Data processing implied involved regression-based imputation, MinMax data normalization, the use of the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP), and econometric analysis, next to the construction of a composite risk indicator. The results of the econometric analysis highlighted that an increase in the composite risk indicator of 1% leads to a decrease in the quantity of petroleum exported by almost 6377 barrels per day. Because, at least in the short run, the economic diversification in Angola is weak, and the most important asset is its oil, the partnership with China will continue to exist. This cooperation model represents a source of economic growth and infrastructure development for Angola and a source of energy that fuels China—one of the most powerful economies in the world. Full article
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Open AccessArticle An Analysis of Hazardous Chemical Accidents in China between 2006 and 2017
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2935; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082935
Received: 12 July 2018 / Revised: 4 August 2018 / Accepted: 14 August 2018 / Published: 18 August 2018
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Abstract
From the perspective of characteristics and causes, probability and forecast, and safety management evaluation, this paper analyzes 3974 hazardous chemical casualty accidents that occurred between 2006 and 2017 in China. The trends, monthly and hourly distributions, lifecycles, chemical and accident types, and the
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From the perspective of characteristics and causes, probability and forecast, and safety management evaluation, this paper analyzes 3974 hazardous chemical casualty accidents that occurred between 2006 and 2017 in China. The trends, monthly and hourly distributions, lifecycles, chemical and accident types, and the direct and indirect causes of casualty accidents are analyzed first. To estimate the probability of casualty accidents, the Poisson regression model is employed. The time series model is developed to forecast the number of casualty accidents. The safety management of hazardous chemicals is evaluated based on an inverted U-shaped curve that fits the relationship between the number of casualty accidents and petrochemical industry outputs. Moreover, measures for improving the safety management of hazardous chemicals are provided based on the analysis, forecast, and evaluation. The results show that the probability of 200–600 casualty accidents occurring per year in China is 59.10%. Sixteen of thirty provinces are identified as having better safety management with regard to hazardous chemicals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Chemistry)
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Open AccessArticle Is Jakarta’s New Flood Risk Reduction Strategy Transformational?
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2934; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082934
Received: 28 May 2018 / Revised: 6 July 2018 / Accepted: 30 July 2018 / Published: 18 August 2018
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Abstract
On a conceptual and normative level, the debate around transformation in the context of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation has been rising sharply over the recent years. Yet, whether and how transformation occurs in the messy realities of policy and action,
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On a conceptual and normative level, the debate around transformation in the context of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation has been rising sharply over the recent years. Yet, whether and how transformation occurs in the messy realities of policy and action, and what separates it from other forms of risk reduction, is far from clear. Jakarta appears to be the perfect example to study these questions. It is amongst the cities with the highest flood risk in the world. Its flood hazard is driven by land subsidence, soil sealing, changes in river discharge, and—increasingly—sea level rise. As all of these trends are set to continue, Jakarta’s flood hazard is expected to intensify in the future. Designing and implementing large-scale risk reduction and adaption measures therefore has been a priority of risk practitioners and policy-makers at city and national level. Against this background, the paper draws on a document analysis and original empirical household survey data to review and evaluate current adaptation measures and to analyze in how far they describe a path that is transformational from previous risk reduction approaches. The results show that the focus is clearly on engineering solutions, foremost in the Giant Sea Wall project. The project is likely to transform the city’s flood hydrology. However, it cements rather than transforms the current risk management paradigm which gravitates around the goal of controlling flood symptoms, rather than addressing their largely anthropogenic root causes. The results also show that the planned measures are heavily contested due to concerns about ecological impacts, social costs, distributional justice, public participation, and long-term effectiveness. On the outlook, the results therefore suggest that the more the flood hazard intensifies in the future, the deeper a societal debate will be needed about the desired pathway in flood risk reduction and overall development planning—particularly with regards to the accepted levels of transformation, such as partial retreat from the most flood-affected areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transforming Development and Disaster Risk)
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Open AccessArticle Urban Transformations as an Indicator of Unsustainability in the P2P Mass Tourism Phenomenon: The Airbnb Case in Spain through Three Case Studies
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2933; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082933
Received: 6 August 2018 / Revised: 12 August 2018 / Accepted: 14 August 2018 / Published: 18 August 2018
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Abstract
Globalization and the development of the so-called “collaborative economies” has coincided with an important transformation of mass tourism in the last decades. This phenomenon has been accentuated enormously in many European cities in recent years, generating a new P2P tourist model. The situation
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Globalization and the development of the so-called “collaborative economies” has coincided with an important transformation of mass tourism in the last decades. This phenomenon has been accentuated enormously in many European cities in recent years, generating a new P2P tourist model. The situation is having a strong social impact on the urban transformation of cities, and its characteristics are closely related to real estate speculative movements. In this sense, the analysis of urban transformation can offer interesting conclusions about the sustainability of these new tourist models in large touristic cities. In this article, we will analyse the effect associated with of so-called phenomena of “tourist flats” from the Airbnb portal in the cities of Madrid, Barcelona, and Palma de Mallorca. Through the use of GIS indicators and geostatistic analysis of spatial correlation, the current incidence of this phenomenon in these cities, and possible future scenarios of maintaining the current trend, will be evaluated and discussed. The results obtained show worrying indicators in relation to the economic and social sustainability of the current urban-tourist model created in the city which are linked to gentrification processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Employment and Income Growth from Sustainable Tourism)
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Open AccessArticle Comparative Study on the Environmental Impact of Traditional Clay Bricks Mixed with Organic Waste Using Life Cycle Analysis
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2917; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082917
Received: 3 July 2018 / Revised: 29 July 2018 / Accepted: 1 August 2018 / Published: 18 August 2018
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Abstract
The construction industry is responsible for 40–45% of primary energy consumption in Europe. Therefore, it is essential to find new materials with a lower environmental impact to achieve sustainable buildings. The objective of this study was to carry out the life cycle analysis
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The construction industry is responsible for 40–45% of primary energy consumption in Europe. Therefore, it is essential to find new materials with a lower environmental impact to achieve sustainable buildings. The objective of this study was to carry out the life cycle analysis (LCA) to evaluate the environmental impacts of baked clay bricks incorporating organic waste. The scope of this comparative study of LCA covers cradle to gate and involves the extraction of clay and organic waste from the brick, transport, crushing, modelling, drying and cooking. Local sustainability within a circular economy strategy is used as a laboratory test. The energy used during the cooking process of the bricks modified with organic waste, the gas emission concentrate and the emission factors are quantified experimentally in the laboratory. Potential environmental impacts are analysed and compared using the ReCiPe midpoint LCA method using SimaPro 8.0.5.13. These results achieved from this method are compared with those obtained with a second method—Impact 2002+ v2.12. The results of LCA show that the incorporation of organic waste in bricks is favourable from an environmental point of view and is a promising alternative approach in terms of environmental impacts, as it leads to a decrease of 15–20% in all the impact categories studied. Therefore, the suitability of the use of organic additives in clay bricks was confirmed, as this addition was shown to improve their efficiency and sustainability, thus reducing the environmental impact. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Construction Materials)
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Open AccessArticle Green Production Planning and Control Model with ABC under Industry 4.0 for the Paper Industry
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2932; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082932
Received: 4 July 2018 / Revised: 8 August 2018 / Accepted: 10 August 2018 / Published: 17 August 2018
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Abstract
In the last 20 years, with the liberalization of the economy, and the trend of industrial globalization, people have gradually paid more attention to environmental protection. With the tremendous advances in information technology, enterprises facing such a severe impact on the business operations,
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In the last 20 years, with the liberalization of the economy, and the trend of industrial globalization, people have gradually paid more attention to environmental protection. With the tremendous advances in information technology, enterprises facing such a severe impact on the business operations, business administrative models must be innovative and adaptable in order to survive and flourish. The paper industry is not only a highly polluting industry, but in the case of long-term overcapacity, the price of paper products is often suppressed, which lowers profitability. The purpose of this study, which is based on the production data of a paper company, is to pose a mathematical programming decision model which integrates green manufacturing technologies, activity-based costing (ABC), and the theory of constraint (TOC); this model should assist in preparing the best production plans, and achieve the optimal profitable product mix. In addition, this study also proposes that the most popular related technologies developed by Industry 4.0 be applied to production control in recent years in order to enhance production efficiency and quality. The findings of this study should contribute to the improvement of the competitiveness of the paper industry, and provide insights into the value of an integrated mathematical programming model applied for product-mix decision. At the same time, we have also applied the related technologies developed by Industry 4.0 to machine maintenance and quality control in manufacturing workshops. With its tremendous benefits, we can actively arouse the industry’s understanding of, and attention to, Industry 4.0, thereby increasing the interest in industrial 4.0-related technology investments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modelling and Analysis of Sustainability Related Issues in New Era)
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Open AccessArticle What Drives the Rise of Metro Developments in China? Evidence from Nantong
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2931; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082931
Received: 16 July 2018 / Revised: 10 August 2018 / Accepted: 15 August 2018 / Published: 17 August 2018
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This paper addresses to the rapid rise of metro developments in Chinese cities to reconsider the official justifications of such mega-projects and the underlying driving forces behind proposal and approval processes. Qualitative approaches were undertaken in this in-depth case study of Nantong’s metro
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This paper addresses to the rapid rise of metro developments in Chinese cities to reconsider the official justifications of such mega-projects and the underlying driving forces behind proposal and approval processes. Qualitative approaches were undertaken in this in-depth case study of Nantong’s metro project, through insights into planning documents and evidences gathered from interviews, together with relevant socioeconomic data. Our research findings reveal four major motivations to develop metro projects in China: the city’s expected improvements through the metro system, the local economic power as the essential requirement and source of confidence for project development, the inter-city competition as an invisible factor driving project proposals, and the changing domestic political economy as the direct cause of its approval. As a topic that is frequently studied in the relevant literature and often advocated by metro projects promoters, the local expected achievements in terms of modal shift to public transport, transit-oriented development, economic growth, and tax maximisation are highlighted in this case study. Additionally, in China, inter-city competition and economic-political reasons involved in initiating, promoting, and approving urban mega-projects are also vital to the whole process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Transportation)
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Open AccessArticle Translating Agroecology into Policy: The Case of France and the United Kingdom
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2930; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082930
Received: 25 May 2018 / Revised: 3 August 2018 / Accepted: 10 August 2018 / Published: 17 August 2018
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Abstract
The popularity of agroecology has grown over the last few years as an alternative paradigm for food systems. This public attention has meant agroecology is increasingly becoming institutionalised and integrated into food policy frameworks. While there is a significant body of literature discussing
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The popularity of agroecology has grown over the last few years as an alternative paradigm for food systems. This public attention has meant agroecology is increasingly becoming institutionalised and integrated into food policy frameworks. While there is a significant body of literature discussing the origins and worldviews intrinsic to agroecology, hardly any academic publications focusing on analysing policies claiming to have an agroecological focus exist. This first policy study of its kind contributes to the scarce agroecological policy literature by interrogating what we argue is a ‘translation’ process, which starts with the vision of agroecology and analyses how the concept changes once it has been operationalised into a policy document or law. Evidence from two European agricultural policy contexts, namely France and the United Kingdom, is presented. The methodology followed focused on the analysis of the context, problem construction, conceptualisation of agroecology, operational principles, and policy instruments included in the policy documents. Three main themes emerged from the case studies: differences in framing agroecology in the public policy arena; common dependencies to existing configurations influencing translations of agroecology in public policies; and the need for democratic discussion on the hybridisation of agroecology itself, as well as on implied, but often veiled, political choices. This paper concludes that a selective and relational hybridisation of agroecology is emerging during its ‘translation’ into public policies. Full article
Open AccessArticle Advanced Oxidation Processes and Nanofiltration to Reduce the Color and Chemical Oxygen Demand of Waste Soy Sauce
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2929; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082929
Received: 20 July 2018 / Revised: 3 August 2018 / Accepted: 15 August 2018 / Published: 17 August 2018
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Abstract
Currently, the ozone (O3) oxidation efficiency in the treatment of waste soy sauce provides 34.2% color removal and a 27.4% reduction in its chemical oxygen demand (COD). To improve the O3 oxidation efficiency, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)
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Currently, the ozone (O3) oxidation efficiency in the treatment of waste soy sauce provides 34.2% color removal and a 27.4% reduction in its chemical oxygen demand (COD). To improve the O3 oxidation efficiency, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is used to cause a H2O2/O3 process. In H2O2/O3 process experiments, a previously optimized pH of 11 and applied O3 dose of 50 mg L−1 were used and the H2O2/O3 ratio was varied between 0.1 and 0.9 in intervals of 0.2. The results show that an H2O2/O3 ratio of 0.3 results in the highest efficiencies in terms of color removal (51.6%) and COD reduction (33.8%). Nanofiltration (NF) was used to pretreat the waste soy sauce to improve color removal and COD reduction. The results showed that NF with an NE-70 membrane results in 80.8% color removal and 79.6% COD reduction. Finally, the combination of NF and H2O2/O3 process resulted in the best treatment efficiency: 98.1% color removal and 98.2% COD reduction. Thus, NF & H2O2/O3 process can be considered as one of the best treatment methods for waste soy sauce, which requires high intrinsic color removal and COD reduction efficiencies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Wastewater Treatment Systems)
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