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Sustainability, Volume 11, Issue 11 (June-1 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) With this work the authors briefly deal with the question of depopulation of rural and internal [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Collective Energy Practices: A Practice-Based Approach to Civic Energy Communities and the Energy System
Sustainability 2019, 11(11), 3230; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11113230
Received: 10 May 2019 / Revised: 4 June 2019 / Accepted: 5 June 2019 / Published: 11 June 2019
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Abstract
Civic energy communities (CECs) have emerged throughout Europe in recent years, developing a range of activities to promote, generate, and manage renewable energy within the community. Building on theories of Social Practice, we develop the notion of Collective Energy Practice to account for [...] Read more.
Civic energy communities (CECs) have emerged throughout Europe in recent years, developing a range of activities to promote, generate, and manage renewable energy within the community. Building on theories of Social Practice, we develop the notion of Collective Energy Practice to account for the activity of CECs. This expands the practice-based understanding of energy, which thus far has mostly focused on energy practices of the home. Additionally, we build on earlier practice-based thinking to come to our understanding of a ‘system of energy practices’. This view places the collective energy practices of CECs in a broader mesh of sites of practice, including policymaking, commercial activity, and grid management. Taking account of the enabling and/or restricting the influence of this broad system of energy practices is crucial in understanding the development of CECs’ practices. We accomplish this through the qualitative analysis of our long-term empirical research of five Dutch CEC sites, but also draw on our earlier fieldwork on smart grid projects in the Netherlands. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Locally Available Energy Sources and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle
Does Quality of Government Matter in Public Health?: Comparing the Role of Quality and Quantity of Government at the National Level
Sustainability 2019, 11(11), 3229; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11113229
Received: 10 April 2019 / Revised: 30 May 2019 / Accepted: 31 May 2019 / Published: 11 June 2019
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Abstract
This study aims to examine the degree of direct or indirect impact of quality and quantity of government on public health. It is a very important topic in that previous studies did not consider the role of government; they focused on the impact [...] Read more.
This study aims to examine the degree of direct or indirect impact of quality and quantity of government on public health. It is a very important topic in that previous studies did not consider the role of government; they focused on the impact of national economic, social, and political factors on public health, therefore, disregarding the governmental factors. We measured the quantity of government by public expenditure on heath (i.e., rate of share of government budget to gross domestic product (GDP)) and the quality of government by five variables such as corruption control, government effectiveness, regulatory quality, voice and accountability, and rule of law. Based on national-level panel data (three waves) that covered 148–194 countries, we examined how quality and quantity of government has an impact on four kinds of public health, i.e., infant mortality, under-five mortality, maternal mortality, and life expectancy. Results show that both the quality and quantity of government had a significant impact on public health. In the quality of government, government effectiveness has a positive impact on life expectancy and a negative influence on infant deaths. Moreover, the quality of government has a greater impact on public health than the quantity of government. Lastly, the quality of government plays a role in moderating the relationships between quantity of government and the predicted variables. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Polish Urban Allotment Gardens as ‘Slow City’ Enclaves
Sustainability 2019, 11(11), 3228; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11113228
Received: 26 April 2019 / Revised: 6 June 2019 / Accepted: 10 June 2019 / Published: 11 June 2019
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Abstract
In this article, urban allotment gardens (UAGs) are discussed as one of the alternative urban development frameworks - Slow City. The UAG concept as well as the Slow City agenda aims to protect and enhance strong community relationships, decision making, civil engagement, group [...] Read more.
In this article, urban allotment gardens (UAGs) are discussed as one of the alternative urban development frameworks - Slow City. The UAG concept as well as the Slow City agenda aims to protect and enhance strong community relationships, decision making, civil engagement, group learning, and leisure practices for people of all ages in close proximity to green spaces. The authors argue that the statutory aims, organizational culture, and governance rules of UAGs are largely coherent with the formal Slow City agenda. The authors analyze the threats to sustainable cities and the alternative urban development agendas in the context of Polish allotment gardens. With increasing problems of soil pollution, abandoned gardens, informal housing, and limitation of access to the green areas of the UAGs for other inhabitants, the pressure to reduce the number of UAGs is reinforced. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Open AccessArticle
Sustainability Strategies in Portuguese Higher Education Institutions: Commitments and Practices from Internal Insights
Sustainability 2019, 11(11), 3227; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11113227
Received: 18 April 2019 / Revised: 30 May 2019 / Accepted: 1 June 2019 / Published: 11 June 2019
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Abstract
The Copernicus Declaration of 1994, which was understood as a commitment to sustainable development (SD) by top management in higher education, was signed by many universities. This signature worked as an important driver for these institutions to put different dimensions of SD principles [...] Read more.
The Copernicus Declaration of 1994, which was understood as a commitment to sustainable development (SD) by top management in higher education, was signed by many universities. This signature worked as an important driver for these institutions to put different dimensions of SD principles into practice. In Portugal, a Southern European country, six of the fourteen universities belonging to the Portuguese University Rectors Council signed the declaration, but no attempt has been made to evaluate how these public universities integrated education for sustainable development at policy and strategy levels. This paper presents the results of a study aimed at identifying to what extent the integration of sustainability in the fourteen universities was achieved, through their own strategic and activity plans and activity and sustainability reports. A detailed content analysis was conducted on these plans and reports within the period from 2005 to 2014 (the time frame of the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development), to identify the main commitments and practices. Notwithstanding a lack of national integrated strategies or policies related to education for SD, the results show that the movement made progress at the university level, with good examples and initiatives at several universities. This paper highlights the importance of analyzing the content of plans and reports from higher education institutions (HEIs) when intending to assess and define a country profile for the implementation of sustainability in the educational sector. In addition, this research, conducted in Portugal, may be helpful to understand and value how SD is being applied in the policies and strategies of other European HEIs, as well as to share and encourage best practices and ways of improvement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Assessment in Higher Education Institutions)
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Open AccessArticle
Heterogenous Energy Consumption Behavior by Firm Size: Evidence from Korean Environmental Regulations
Sustainability 2019, 11(11), 3226; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11113226
Received: 17 May 2019 / Revised: 3 June 2019 / Accepted: 7 June 2019 / Published: 11 June 2019
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Abstract
We analyze the interdependencies between energy usage, energy costs, renewable energy shares, economic growth, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the Korean industrial sector by employing a time-series panel vector model. Although the topic itself about has been classic one, our research to [...] Read more.
We analyze the interdependencies between energy usage, energy costs, renewable energy shares, economic growth, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the Korean industrial sector by employing a time-series panel vector model. Although the topic itself about has been classic one, our research to investigate diverse dynamics between large and small-mid size businesses using micro-firm level data is the first study in literature. Since firms with different sizes are put in different policy circumstances, the aggregate-level data analysis could possibly disregard the effectiveness of environmental & renewable policies and underestimate the policy sensitivity of firms. Our findings demonstrate that the increase in energy consumption in larger firms has a greater impact on their energy costs and GHG emissions than for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Moreover, it has a significant effect on GDP. Also, the increase in renewable energy shares only has a significant influence on the energy consumption and GHG emission levels of large firms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Construction of Open Innovation Ecology on the Internet: A Case Study of Xiaomi (China) Using Institutional Logic
Sustainability 2019, 11(11), 3225; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11113225
Received: 13 May 2019 / Revised: 30 May 2019 / Accepted: 5 June 2019 / Published: 11 June 2019
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Abstract
The characteristics of collaborative innovation and interactions among core enterprises, users, and partners are critical. Research is lacking on how to construct open innovation ecology through institutional design. This study explores how core enterprises effectively motivate users and partners to participate in innovation [...] Read more.
The characteristics of collaborative innovation and interactions among core enterprises, users, and partners are critical. Research is lacking on how to construct open innovation ecology through institutional design. This study explores how core enterprises effectively motivate users and partners to participate in innovation activities on the Internet and successfully constructing open innovation ecology, using the institutional logic theory and an exploratory case study of Xiaomi, a famous Chinese Internet enterprise. The findings are as follows: (1) three main characteristics of innovation carried out by core enterprises, users, and partners in the open innovation ecology—iterative innovation, social innovation, and joint innovation; (2) three new institutional practices—following, leading, and symbiotic mechanisms—which provide an effective institutional guarantee for interaction and innovation; (3) two kinds of institutional logic—administrative logic and social logic, which core enterprises follow to construct open innovation ecology on the Internet, and its change in innovation characteristics. Therefore, a full understanding of the changing rules of the institutional logic is fundamental for successfully building open innovation ecology. This study enriches both the open innovation ecology theory as well as the institutional logic theory. In addition, Xiaomi’s open innovation ecological development model proves that core enterprises can take the approach of building open innovation ecology. It provides a strong example to other enterprises on innovations on the Internet. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
The Case for Studying Non-Market Food Systems
Sustainability 2019, 11(11), 3224; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11113224
Received: 6 May 2019 / Revised: 29 May 2019 / Accepted: 6 June 2019 / Published: 11 June 2019
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Abstract
Markets dominate the world’s food systems. Today’s food systems fail to realize the normative foundations of ecological economics: justice, sustainability, efficiency, and value pluralism. Drawing on empirical and theoretical literature from diverse intellectual traditions, I argue that markets, as an institution for governing [...] Read more.
Markets dominate the world’s food systems. Today’s food systems fail to realize the normative foundations of ecological economics: justice, sustainability, efficiency, and value pluralism. Drawing on empirical and theoretical literature from diverse intellectual traditions, I argue that markets, as an institution for governing food systems, hinder the realization of these objectives. Markets allocate food toward money, not hunger. They encourage shifting costs on others, including nonhuman nature. They rarely signal unsustainability, and in many ways cause it. They do not resemble the efficient markets of economic theory. They organize food systems according to exchange value at the expense of all other social, cultural, spiritual, moral, and environmental values. I argue that food systems can approach the objectives of ecological economics roughly to the degree that they subordinate market mechanisms to social institutions that embody those values. But such “embedding” processes, whether through creating state policy or alternative markets, face steep barriers and can only partially remedy food markets’ inherent shortcomings. Thus, ecological economists should also study, promote, and theorize non-market food systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A Research Agenda for Ecological Economics)
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Open AccessReview
Impacts of Agricultural Management Systems on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Highly Simplified Dryland Landscapes
Sustainability 2019, 11(11), 3223; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11113223
Received: 2 May 2019 / Revised: 5 June 2019 / Accepted: 9 June 2019 / Published: 11 June 2019
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Abstract
Covering about 40% of Earth’s land surface and sustaining at least 38% of global population, drylands are key crop and animal production regions with high economic and social values. However, land use changes associated with industrialized agricultural managements are threatening the sustainability of [...] Read more.
Covering about 40% of Earth’s land surface and sustaining at least 38% of global population, drylands are key crop and animal production regions with high economic and social values. However, land use changes associated with industrialized agricultural managements are threatening the sustainability of these systems. While previous studies assessing the impacts of agricultural management systems on biodiversity and their services focused on more diversified mesic landscapes, there is a dearth of such research in highly simplified dryland agroecosystems. In this paper, we 1) summarize previous research on the effects of farm management systems and agricultural expansion on biodiversity and biodiversity-based ecosystem services, 2) present four case studies assessing the impacts of management systems on biodiversity and ecosystem services across highly simplified dryland landscapes of the Northern Great Plains (NGP), USA, 3) discuss approaches to sustain biodiversity-based ecosystem services in drylands, and 4) present a conceptual framework for enhancing agricultural sustainability in the drylands through research, policy, economic valuation, and adaptive management. An analysis of the land use changes due to agricultural expansion within the Golden Triangle, a representative agricultural area in the NGP, indicated that the proportion of land conversion to agriculture area was 84%, 8%, and 7% from grassland, riparian, and shrubland habitats, respectively. Our results showed this simplification was associated with a potential reduction of pollination services. Also, our economic analysis projected that if 30% parasitism could be achieved through better management systems, the estimated potential economic returns to pest regulation services through parasitoids in Montana, USA alone could reach about $11.23 million. Overall, while dryland agroecosystems showed a significant loss of native biodiversity and its services, greater pest incidence, and a decrease in plant pollinator networks, these trends were moderately reversed in organically managed farming systems. In conclusion, although land use changes due to agricultural expansion and industrialized farming threaten the sustainability of dryland agroecosystems, this impact can be partially offset by coupling ecologically-based farming practices with adaptive management strategies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Statistical and Electrical Features Evaluation for Electrical Appliances Energy Disaggregation
Sustainability 2019, 11(11), 3222; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11113222
Received: 10 May 2019 / Revised: 30 May 2019 / Accepted: 5 June 2019 / Published: 11 June 2019
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Abstract
In this paper we evaluate several well-known and widely used machine learning algorithms for regression in the energy disaggregation task. Specifically, the Non-Intrusive Load Monitoring approach was considered and the K-Nearest-Neighbours, Support Vector Machines, Deep Neural Networks and Random Forest algorithms were evaluated [...] Read more.
In this paper we evaluate several well-known and widely used machine learning algorithms for regression in the energy disaggregation task. Specifically, the Non-Intrusive Load Monitoring approach was considered and the K-Nearest-Neighbours, Support Vector Machines, Deep Neural Networks and Random Forest algorithms were evaluated across five datasets using seven different sets of statistical and electrical features. The experimental results demonstrated the importance of selecting both appropriate features and regression algorithms. Analysis on device level showed that linear devices can be disaggregated using statistical features, while for non-linear devices the use of electrical features significantly improves the disaggregation accuracy, as non-linear appliances have non-sinusoidal current draw and thus cannot be well parametrized only by their active power consumption. The best performance in terms of energy disaggregation accuracy was achieved by the Random Forest regression algorithm. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Credit Constraints on Farm Household Welfare in Rural China: Evidence from Fujian Province
Sustainability 2019, 11(11), 3221; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11113221
Received: 4 May 2019 / Revised: 3 June 2019 / Accepted: 4 June 2019 / Published: 11 June 2019
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Abstract
This study investigates the effect of demographic factors on formal and informal borrowing households in rural Fujian Province. The study tests whether credit constraint affects rural farmers’ welfare in the studied region, using a probit regression and endogenous switching regression model to analyse [...] Read more.
This study investigates the effect of demographic factors on formal and informal borrowing households in rural Fujian Province. The study tests whether credit constraint affects rural farmers’ welfare in the studied region, using a probit regression and endogenous switching regression model to analyse data collected in 2017 from 960 farm households. Analysis shows that age, poverty, household size, and farmland size operate to constrain credit in formal borrowing. Results also indicate that level of education, farm land size and age have significant impacts on rural household borrowing from informal sources. The results from the endogenous switching model approach suggest that credit constraint does have a significant impact on rural farmers’ consumption and welfare in Fujian province. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Estimating Urban Shared-Bike Trips with Location-Based Social Networking Data
Sustainability 2019, 11(11), 3220; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11113220
Received: 30 March 2019 / Revised: 1 June 2019 / Accepted: 3 June 2019 / Published: 11 June 2019
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Abstract
Dockless shared-bikes have become a new transportation mode in major urban cities in China. Excessive number of shared-bikes can occupy a significant amount of roadway surface and cause trouble for pedestrians and auto vehicle drivers. Understanding the trip pattern of shared-bikes is essential [...] Read more.
Dockless shared-bikes have become a new transportation mode in major urban cities in China. Excessive number of shared-bikes can occupy a significant amount of roadway surface and cause trouble for pedestrians and auto vehicle drivers. Understanding the trip pattern of shared-bikes is essential in estimating the reasonable size of shared-bike fleet. This paper proposed a methodology to estimate the shared-bike trip using location-based social network data and conducted a case study in Nanjing, China. The ordinary least square, geographically weighted regression (GWR) and semiparametric geographically weighted regression (SGWR) methods are used to establish the relationship among shared-bike trip, distance to the subway station and check ins in different categories of the point of interest (POI). This method could be applied to determine the reasonable number of shared-bikes to be launched in new places and economically benefit in shared-bike management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable and Intelligent Transportation Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Verification of the Role of the Experiential Value of Luxury Cruises in Terms of Price Premium
Sustainability 2019, 11(11), 3219; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11113219
Received: 30 April 2019 / Revised: 5 June 2019 / Accepted: 5 June 2019 / Published: 10 June 2019
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Abstract
The purpose of this study is to verify the willingness of customers of luxury cruises to pay for the perception of a well-being component and to pay a price premium based on the experiential value of luxury cruises. The following research objectives are [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study is to verify the willingness of customers of luxury cruises to pay for the perception of a well-being component and to pay a price premium based on the experiential value of luxury cruises. The following research objectives are presented and their resolution is subsequently pursued: first, the study distinguishes the various subordinate factors contributing to the experiential value of luxury cruises. Second, it aims to understand these subordinate factors’ impact on customers’ well-being perception. Third, the study aims to understand whether the customer is willing to pay a price premium based on his or her well-being perception. Fourth, it aims to verify the role of gender in the relationship between the perceived experiential value of luxury cruises and the proposed variables. Seven hypotheses were established to achieve these research objectives. Data collected from 273 luxury cruise customers were used. As a result, five hypotheses were accepted and two were rejected. In conclusion, the theoretical/practical implications that were proposed based on the results of the study are discussed in detail. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cruise Traveling/Airline Traveling)
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Open AccessArticle
Building a Place Brand on Local Assets: The Case of The Pla de l’Estany District and Its Rebranding
Sustainability 2019, 11(11), 3218; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11113218
Received: 12 April 2019 / Revised: 29 May 2019 / Accepted: 31 May 2019 / Published: 10 June 2019
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Abstract
The main objective of this article is to analyse whether the positioning of the Pla de l’Estany district, in Catalonia, can be redefined in a context of possible saturation of the sports brand that was structured thanks to the success of the 1992 [...] Read more.
The main objective of this article is to analyse whether the positioning of the Pla de l’Estany district, in Catalonia, can be redefined in a context of possible saturation of the sports brand that was structured thanks to the success of the 1992 Olympic Games. Furthermore, this article aims to analyse how to design and implement long-term public policies in place branding. The Pla de l’Estany district is one of the smallest in Catalonia and had its moment of splendour during the Barcelona Olympic Games, which positioned it as a place of natural beauty and sports tourism. However, twenty-five years later, we ask whether this positioning needs to be updated. This research deploys a methodological triangulation that combines in-depth interviews with opinion leaders, discussions in focus groups and an online survey open to citizens. This research presents three conclusions: it places the processes of citizen participation as a key element in the construction of territorial brands; refocuses the narrative of the territory of the Pla de l’Estany based on the concepts of “sustainable nature” and “traditional culture”; and conceptualises place branding not just from the perspective of promoting tourism, but also from that of fomenting sustainable governance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue City Branding and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Winter Sabotage: The Three-Way Interactive Effect of Gender, Age, and Season on Public Bikesharing Usage
Sustainability 2019, 11(11), 3217; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11113217
Received: 10 May 2019 / Revised: 3 June 2019 / Accepted: 4 June 2019 / Published: 10 June 2019
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Abstract
Public bikesharing is an environmentally friendly transportation mode that can remedy the urban “last mile” problem to some extents. Prior studies have investigated many predictors of the public bikesharing usage. For example, researchers find that gender, age, and physical conditions are significantly related [...] Read more.
Public bikesharing is an environmentally friendly transportation mode that can remedy the urban “last mile” problem to some extents. Prior studies have investigated many predictors of the public bikesharing usage. For example, researchers find that gender, age, and physical conditions are significantly related to the public bikesharing usage. However, few studies have tested the characteristics of each ride and no integrative theoretical framework has been provided to explain these findings. In the current study, based on the conservation of resource theory, we suggest that the reason why these factors can predict public bikesharing usage is people’s inner needs of resource conservation. Based on this theoretical framework, we propose that: first, gender, age, and season will have direct impacts on public bikesharing usage (i.e., distance and user type); second, gender, age, and season will interactively predict public bikesharing usage as well. A relatively large sample with 1,383,773 rides in 2018 from New York City is used to test our hypotheses. The results indicate that old females indeed use public bicycle less intensively in the winter than young males do in other seasons and thus support the three-way interaction effect. Implications for the emerging public transport systems and limitations of this study are also discussed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Dantzig Type Optimization Method with Applications to Portfolio Selection
Sustainability 2019, 11(11), 3216; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11113216
Received: 8 May 2019 / Revised: 3 June 2019 / Accepted: 5 June 2019 / Published: 10 June 2019
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Abstract
This paper investigates a novel optimization problem motivated by sparse, sustainable and stable portfolio selection. The existing benchmark portfolio via the Dantzig type optimization is used to construct a sparse, sustainable and stable portfolio. Based on the formulations, this paper proposes two portfolio [...] Read more.
This paper investigates a novel optimization problem motivated by sparse, sustainable and stable portfolio selection. The existing benchmark portfolio via the Dantzig type optimization is used to construct a sparse, sustainable and stable portfolio. Based on the formulations, this paper proposes two portfolio selection methods, west and north portfolio selection, and investigates their empirical properties. Numerical results presented for 12 datasets and various simulated data show that the west selection can reduce risk, and the north selection may outperform the benchmark as to risk-adjusted returns (based on, e.g., information ratio and Sharpe ratio). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Flow–Vegetation Interaction in a Living Shoreline Restoration and Potential Effect to Mangrove Recruitment
Sustainability 2019, 11(11), 3215; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11113215
Received: 23 April 2019 / Revised: 24 May 2019 / Accepted: 31 May 2019 / Published: 10 June 2019
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Abstract
Hydrodynamic differences among shorelines with no vegetation, reference vegetation (mature mangrove), and vegetation planted on restored shoreline (marsh grass and young mangrove) were compared based on field observations 6.5 years after living shoreline restoration. Mean current velocities and waves were more strongly attenuated [...] Read more.
Hydrodynamic differences among shorelines with no vegetation, reference vegetation (mature mangrove), and vegetation planted on restored shoreline (marsh grass and young mangrove) were compared based on field observations 6.5 years after living shoreline restoration. Mean current velocities and waves were more strongly attenuated in vegetation (from channel to shoreline: 80–98% velocity decrease and 35–36% wave height reduction) than in bare shoreline (36–72% velocity decrease, 7% wave height reduction, ANOVA: p < 0.001). Normalized turbulent kinetic energy dissipation rates were significantly higher in reference vegetation (0.16 ± 0.03 m−1) than in restored (0.08 ± 0.02 m−1) or bare shoreline (0.02 ± 0.01 m−1, p < 0.001). Significant differences in the current attenuation and turbulence dissipation rates for the reference and planted vegetation are attributed to the observed differences in vegetation array and morphology. Although the hydrodynamic analyses did not suggest limitations to recruitment, mangrove seedlings were not observed in restored vegetation, while four recruited seedlings/m were counted in the reference vegetation. The lack of recruitment in the restored shoreline may suggest a lag in morphological habitat suitability (slope, sediment texture, organic matter content) after restoration. Although hydrodynamics suggest that the restored site should be functionally similar to a reference condition, thresholds in habitat suitability may emerge over longer timescales. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Spatiotemporal Evolution of the Taiwanese-Funded Information Technology and Electronics Industry Value Chain in Mainland China
Sustainability 2019, 11(11), 3214; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11113214
Received: 11 April 2019 / Revised: 30 May 2019 / Accepted: 1 June 2019 / Published: 10 June 2019
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Abstract
The Chinese Mainland has become the largest production base and a major potential market for Taiwan’s information and electronics industry. Thus, studying the spatiotemporal evolution of the Taiwanese-funded information technology and electronics industry in the Mainland from the value chain perspective is necessary. [...] Read more.
The Chinese Mainland has become the largest production base and a major potential market for Taiwan’s information and electronics industry. Thus, studying the spatiotemporal evolution of the Taiwanese-funded information technology and electronics industry in the Mainland from the value chain perspective is necessary. This will help deepen the labor division and collaboration between the cross-strait information technology (IT) and electronics industry for sustainable development. Using Taiwanese investments during 1991–2012 and detailed firm-level data for 1976–2012, this study examines the spatiotemporal trajectory and geographical patterns of the labor division of Mainland China’s Taiwanese-funded IT and electronics industrial value chain from a modular perspective. Based on the characteristics of the modular production process, the Taiwanese-funded IT and electronics firms in Mainland China are divided into four modules—parts manufacturing (PM), key parts manufacturing (KPM), complete machine manufacturing (CMM), and design and marketing (DM). We found that: (1) technology and value witnessed clear stage changes; (2) the PM and CMM modules were more decentralized, and the four modules formed five clusters; and (3) despite an increase, the degree of the four geographical divisions of labor was relatively low. This study offers implications for research and IT policy and electronics enterprises’ production practices. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Understanding the Repurchase Intention of Premium Economy Passengers Using an Extended Theory of Planned Behavior
Sustainability 2019, 11(11), 3213; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11113213
Received: 3 May 2019 / Revised: 3 June 2019 / Accepted: 5 June 2019 / Published: 10 June 2019
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Abstract
This study investigates the repurchase intention of passengers who have experienced premium economy class. To achieve the research purpose, we examine the relationship among psychological factors, perceived price, perceived service quality, perceived value and repurchase intention using a research model extended from the [...] Read more.
This study investigates the repurchase intention of passengers who have experienced premium economy class. To achieve the research purpose, we examine the relationship among psychological factors, perceived price, perceived service quality, perceived value and repurchase intention using a research model extended from the theory of planned behavior (TPB). The survey data were collected both airside and landside at two major Korean international airports from 382 passengers who used premium economy class. The results show that the repurchase intention of passengers is influenced by the attitude, perceived behavioral control, and perceived value derived from price and service quality; repurchase intention is not influenced by the subjective norm. These findings will enable air carriers to better understand the intention of premium economy passengers with respect to psychological and service value perspectives. They can also be used to improve marketing capabilities and the sustainable profitability of premium economy service. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Service Quality in Leisure and Tourism)
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Open AccessArticle
A Method for Rockburst Prediction in the Deep Tunnels of Hydropower Stations Based on the Monitored Microseismicity and an Optimized Probabilistic Neural Network Model
Sustainability 2019, 11(11), 3212; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11113212
Received: 29 March 2019 / Revised: 27 May 2019 / Accepted: 3 June 2019 / Published: 10 June 2019
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Abstract
Hydropower is one of the most important renewable energy sources. However, the safe construction of hydropower stations is seriously affected by disasters like rockburst, which, in turn, restricts the sustainable development of hydropower energy. In this paper, a method for rockburst prediction in [...] Read more.
Hydropower is one of the most important renewable energy sources. However, the safe construction of hydropower stations is seriously affected by disasters like rockburst, which, in turn, restricts the sustainable development of hydropower energy. In this paper, a method for rockburst prediction in the deep tunnels of hydropower stations based on the use of real-time microseismic (MS) monitoring information and an optimized probabilistic neural network (PNN) model is proposed. The model consists of the mean impact value algorithm (MIVA), the modified firefly algorithm (MFA), and PNN (MIVA-MFA-PNN model). The MIVA is used to reduce the interference from redundant information in the multiple MS parameters in the input layer of the PNN. The MFA is used to optimize the parameter smoothing factor in the PNN and reduce the error caused by artificial determination. Three improvements are made in the MFA compared to the standard firefly algorithm. The proposed rockburst prediction method is tested by 93 rockburst cases with different intensities that occurred in parts of the deep diversion and drainage tunnels of the Jinping II hydropower station, China (with a maximum depth of 2525 m). The results show that the rates of correct rockburst prediction of the test samples and learning samples are 100% and 86.75%, respectively. However, when a common PNN model combined with monitored microseismicity is used, the related rates are only 80.0% and 61.45%, respectively. The proposed method can provide a reference for rockburst prediction in MS monitored deep tunnels of hydropower projects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Artificial Intelligence for Renewable Energy Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Role of Nutrient-Enriched Biochar as a Soil Amendment during Maize Growth: Exploring Practical Alternatives to Recycle Agricultural Residuals and to Reduce Chemical Fertilizer Demand
Sustainability 2019, 11(11), 3211; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11113211
Received: 4 May 2019 / Revised: 29 May 2019 / Accepted: 31 May 2019 / Published: 10 June 2019
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Abstract
Recycling and value-added utilization of agricultural residues through combining technologies such as anaerobic digestion and pyrolysis could double the recoverable energy, close the nutrient recycle loop, and ensure cleaner agricultural production. This study assessed the beneficial application of biochar to soil to recycle [...] Read more.
Recycling and value-added utilization of agricultural residues through combining technologies such as anaerobic digestion and pyrolysis could double the recoverable energy, close the nutrient recycle loop, and ensure cleaner agricultural production. This study assessed the beneficial application of biochar to soil to recycle digestate nutrients, improve soil quality, and reduce conventional chemical fertilizer. The addition of digestate-enriched biochar improved soil quality as it provided higher soil organic matter (232%–514%) and macronutrients (110%–230%) as opposed to the unenriched biochar and control treatments. Maize grown in soil amended with digestate-enriched biochar showed a significantly higher biomass yield compared to the control and non-enriched biochar treatments but was slightly lower than yields from chemical fertilizer treatments. The slightly lower yield (20%–25%) achieved from digestate-enriched biochar was attributed to slower mineralization and release of the adsorbed nutrients in the short term. However, digestate-enriched biochar could in the long term become more beneficial in sustaining soil fertility through maintaining high soil organic matter and the gradual release of micronutrients compared to conventional chemical fertilizer. Positive effects on soil micronutrients, macronutrients, organic matter, and biomass yield indicates that enriched biochar could partly replace chemical fertilizers and promote organic farming in a circular economy concept. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Organic Waste Management)
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Open AccessArticle
The Influence of Innovation on Corporate Sustainability in the International Banking Industry
Sustainability 2019, 11(11), 3210; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11113210
Received: 20 March 2019 / Revised: 28 May 2019 / Accepted: 4 June 2019 / Published: 10 June 2019
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Abstract
We empirically explore the innovation and corporate sustainability link using a large sample of worldwide banks for the period 2003–2016. Our results suggest that service innovation performance enhances the banking industry’s corporate sustainability. In addition, we contribute by proposing a conceptual framework for [...] Read more.
We empirically explore the innovation and corporate sustainability link using a large sample of worldwide banks for the period 2003–2016. Our results suggest that service innovation performance enhances the banking industry’s corporate sustainability. In addition, we contribute by proposing a conceptual framework for understanding the link between innovation performance and corporate sustainability in the banking industry. The framework consists of three underlying dimensions—the antecedents of innovation performance, the specific innovation performance initiatives, and how these initiatives are converted into improved corporate sustainability. Our findings provide insights for academics and practitioners on the dynamics between service innovation performance and corporate sustainability in the banking sector. Further, due to the intermediation role of banks in the economy, their evolution towards sustainable banking constitutes a lever for sustainability across other industries and overall sustainable development. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Developing Fair Investment Plans to Enhance Supply Chain Visibility Using Cooperative Games
Sustainability 2019, 11(11), 3209; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11113209
Received: 9 May 2019 / Revised: 30 May 2019 / Accepted: 3 June 2019 / Published: 10 June 2019
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Abstract
As supply chains become more complex and globalized, the individual participants of the supply chains should invest in systems based on information communication technologies (ICT) such as the remote frequency identification device (RFID) with tags that secure the visibility of the entire supply [...] Read more.
As supply chains become more complex and globalized, the individual participants of the supply chains should invest in systems based on information communication technologies (ICT) such as the remote frequency identification device (RFID) with tags that secure the visibility of the entire supply chain. In addition, the level of visibility, such as the container, pallet, carton, and box, should be determined for each participant to optimize its own profit function. By using a collaborative game scheme, the present study illustrates the relationships among participants who invest to a certain level of visibility, and then how much value each participant gets. To find feasible solutions, a genetic algorithm-based mechanism is devised for modeling various fitness functions considering the total profit and benefit to cost (B/C) ratio. The proposed framework considers the relationship among participants, as well as the impact from the enhanced visibility, and it may be possible to make fair and rational decisions for all participants based on the quantitative metrics such as the B/C ratio. In this paper, we propose a novel method based on the game-theoretic approach where the enhanced visibility prevents a certain participant from taking most of the benefit. It seems possible to establish a long-term sustainable supply chain visibility by distributing profit fairly to all participants in the supply chain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optimal Decisions and Risk Assessment in Sustainable Supply Chains)
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Open AccessReview
Strengthening and Repair of Reinforced Concrete Columns by Jacketing: State-of-the-Art Review
Sustainability 2019, 11(11), 3208; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11113208
Received: 17 May 2019 / Revised: 3 June 2019 / Accepted: 4 June 2019 / Published: 9 June 2019
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Abstract
Sustainability necessitates the protection of infrastructure from any kind of deterioration over the life cycle of the asset. Deterioration in the capacity of reinforced concrete (RC) infrastructure (e.g., bridges, buildings, etc.) may result from localised damage sustained during extreme loading scenarios, such as [...] Read more.
Sustainability necessitates the protection of infrastructure from any kind of deterioration over the life cycle of the asset. Deterioration in the capacity of reinforced concrete (RC) infrastructure (e.g., bridges, buildings, etc.) may result from localised damage sustained during extreme loading scenarios, such as earthquakes, hurricanes or tsunamis. In addition, factors such as the corrosion of rebars or ageing may also deteriorate or degrade the capacity of an RC column, thereby necessitating immediate strengthening to either extend or ensure its design life is not limited. The aim of this paper is to provide a state-of-the-art review of various strengthening and repair methods for RC columns proposed by different researchers in the last two decades. The scope of this review paper is limited to jacketing techniques for strengthening and/or repairing both normal- and high-strength RC columns. The paper also identifies potential research gaps and outlines the future direction of research into the strengthening and repair of RC columns. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Text Mining Approach for Sustainable Performance in the Film Industry
Sustainability 2019, 11(11), 3207; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11113207
Received: 8 April 2019 / Revised: 4 June 2019 / Accepted: 4 June 2019 / Published: 9 June 2019
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Abstract
Many previous studies have shown that the volume or valence of electronic word of mouth (eWOM) has a sustainable and significant impact on box office performance. Traditional studies used quantitative data, such as ratings, to measure eWOM. However, recent studies analyzed unstructured data, [...] Read more.
Many previous studies have shown that the volume or valence of electronic word of mouth (eWOM) has a sustainable and significant impact on box office performance. Traditional studies used quantitative data, such as ratings, to measure eWOM. However, recent studies analyzed unstructured data, such as comments, through web-based text analysis. Based on recent research trends, we analyzed not only quantitative data, like ratings, but also text data, like reviews, and we performed a sentiment analysis using a text mining technique. Studies have also examined the effect of cultural differences on the decision-making processes of individuals and organizations. We applied Hofstede’s cultural theory to eWOM and analyzed the moderating effect of cultural differences on eWOM influence. We selected 338 films released between 2006 and 2015 from the BoxOfficeMojo database. We collected ratings and reviews, box office revenues, and other basic information from the Internet Movie Database (IMDb). We also analyzed the effects of cultural differences, such as power distance, individualism, uncertainty avoidance, and masculinity, on box office performance. We found that user comments have a greater impact on film sales than user ratings, and movie stars and co-production contribute to box office success. We also conclude that cultural and geographical differences moderate the sentiment elasticity of eWOM. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
How to Save Bike-Sharing: An Evidence-Based Survival Toolkit for Policy-Makers and Mobility Providers
Sustainability 2019, 11(11), 3206; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11113206
Received: 26 April 2019 / Revised: 30 May 2019 / Accepted: 31 May 2019 / Published: 9 June 2019
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Abstract
A new mobility ethos is needed for cities looking to overcome the problems that have been accumulated for decades by a transport paradigm that prioritises automobiles over people. Bike-sharing, a measure promoting voluntary travel behaviour change, could be part of a refined toolbox [...] Read more.
A new mobility ethos is needed for cities looking to overcome the problems that have been accumulated for decades by a transport paradigm that prioritises automobiles over people. Bike-sharing, a measure promoting voluntary travel behaviour change, could be part of a refined toolbox that will help in forging this new ethos. Despite a rapid emergence during the last handful of years, as evidenced by 1956 operational local schemes and approximately 15,254,400 self-service public use bicycles across the world, bike-sharing has been attracting negative attention lately. Tens of schemes have closed down, deemed as financial or operational failures, stigmatising bike-sharing’s brand and putting the future of the concept itself in jeopardy. However, discounting bike-sharing as flawed may not be fair or accurate. This paper identifies a formula of success for bike-sharing operations based on a state-of-the-art case study analysis, which is supported by primary data evidence from two survey-based studies in Sweden and Greece. This paper suggests that residents in cities hosting or looking to host bike-sharing schemes are usually very supportive of them but not always likely to use them. More importantly, this paper delivers some key policy and business lessons that form a survival guide for effectively introducing and running public bicycle schemes. These lessons include, among others, the need for: tailoring the system design and expansion strategy according to the host city needs, city-operator and commercial partner synergies, more bike-friendly infrastructure and legislation, pro-active cultural engagement, anti-abuse measures, enhanced fleet management and realistic profit expectations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Spatial Cluster-Based Model for Static Rebalancing Bike Sharing Problem
Sustainability 2019, 11(11), 3205; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11113205
Received: 23 April 2019 / Revised: 31 May 2019 / Accepted: 3 June 2019 / Published: 8 June 2019
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Abstract
Bike sharing systems, as one of the complementary modes for public transit networks, are designed to help travelers in traversing the first/last mile of their trips. Different factors such as accessibility, availability, and fares influence these systems. The availability of bikes at certain [...] Read more.
Bike sharing systems, as one of the complementary modes for public transit networks, are designed to help travelers in traversing the first/last mile of their trips. Different factors such as accessibility, availability, and fares influence these systems. The availability of bikes at certain times and locations is studied under rebalancing problem. The paper proposes a bottom-up cluster-based model to solve the static rebalancing problem in bike sharing systems. First, the spatial and temporal patterns of bike sharing trips in the network are investigated. Second, a similarity measure based on the trips between stations is defined to discover groups of correlated stations, using a hierarchical agglomerative clustering method. Third, two levels for rebalancing are assumed as intra-clusters and inter-clusters with the aim of keeping the balance of the network at the beginning of days. The intra-cluster level keeps the balance of bike distribution inside each cluster, and the inter-cluster level connects different clusters in order to keep the balance between the clusters. Finally, rebalancing tours are optimized according to the positive or negative balance at both levels of the intra-clusters and inter-clusters using a single objective genetic algorithm. The rebalancing problem is modeled as an optimization problem, which aims to minimize the tour length. The proposed model is implemented in one week of bike sharing trip data set in Chicago, USA. Outcomes of the model are validated for two subsequent weekdays. Analyses show that the proposed model can reduce the length of the rebalancing tour by 30%. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Environmental Aspects of Generation Y’s Sustainable Mobility
Sustainability 2019, 11(11), 3204; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11113204
Received: 3 May 2019 / Revised: 3 June 2019 / Accepted: 5 June 2019 / Published: 8 June 2019
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Abstract
This research paper identifies and explores the opinions and attitudes of young people about urban transport. It is the first study on this topic, based on the survey, analysing the mobility choices of young adults (more specifically, Generation Y) in Poland and for [...] Read more.
This research paper identifies and explores the opinions and attitudes of young people about urban transport. It is the first study on this topic, based on the survey, analysing the mobility choices of young adults (more specifically, Generation Y) in Poland and for countries in Central and Eastern Europe. The aim of the paper is to show their travel behaviour from sustainable mobility perspective. The primary data was obtained through the online survey. The data analysis was held with use of factor analysis and ANOVA. The research results indicated the variables influencing the environmental dimension of sustainable mobility attitudes of young adults in four areas: the ecology-oriented approach to transport, opinions about sharing economy, public car concept and future transport system. The analysis of variance revealed significant differences in the ecology-oriented approach between people born in different decades, between men and women and between people with driving licences and people without them. Those results provide the insights for local authorities and mobility service providers. The recommendations at the end of the paper focus on the need for continuation of research in similar fields. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Transportation for Sustainable Cities)
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Open AccessArticle
ICT and the Sustainability of World Heritage Sites. Analysis of Senior Citizens’ Use of Tourism Apps
Sustainability 2019, 11(11), 3203; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11113203
Received: 23 April 2019 / Revised: 28 May 2019 / Accepted: 4 June 2019 / Published: 8 June 2019
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Abstract
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and applications (apps) for tourists are key tools for the sustainability of World Cultural Heritage Sites (WCHS). Their integration into tourism marketing strategies poses challenges regarding the satisfaction of the expectations of the target stakeholders, particularly senior tourists, [...] Read more.
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and applications (apps) for tourists are key tools for the sustainability of World Cultural Heritage Sites (WCHS). Their integration into tourism marketing strategies poses challenges regarding the satisfaction of the expectations of the target stakeholders, particularly senior tourists, people aged 60 and over. This paper adopts an exploratory and descriptive approach that combines qualitative techniques (focus groups), to study the use senior citizens make of ICT and tourism apps, with quantitative ones. In this sense, content analysis has been performed on a sample of tourism apps. The results reveal that ICT are essential tools for senior tourists and positively influence tourists’ final perception of the travel experience. The analysis of these mobile apps shows that they meet the expectations of senior tourists, who constitute a relevant generation for cultural tourism and are of special interest for the sustainability of WCHS. The configuration and development of these tools must be adapted to this generation, which we call Generation W. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cultural Heritage and Smart Tourism)
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Open AccessArticle
Scenario-Based Extreme Flood Risk of Residential Buildings and Household Properties in Shanghai
Sustainability 2019, 11(11), 3202; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11113202
Received: 7 May 2019 / Revised: 2 June 2019 / Accepted: 4 June 2019 / Published: 8 June 2019
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Abstract
Extreme flooding usually causes huge losses of residential buildings and household properties, which is critical to flood risk analysis and flood resilience building in Shanghai. We developed a scenario-based multidisciplinary approach to analyze the exposure, losses and risks of residential buildings and household [...] Read more.
Extreme flooding usually causes huge losses of residential buildings and household properties, which is critical to flood risk analysis and flood resilience building in Shanghai. We developed a scenario-based multidisciplinary approach to analyze the exposure, losses and risks of residential buildings and household properties, and their spatial patterns at the neighborhood committee level in Shanghai, based on extreme storm flood scenarios of 1/200, 1/500, 1/1000 and 1/5000-year. Our findings show that the inundation area of the residential buildings caused by a 1/200-year storm flood reaches 24.9 km2, and the total loss of residential buildings and household properties is 29.7 billion CNY (Chinese Yuan) (or 4.4 billion USD), while the inundation area of residential buildings and the total loss increases up to 162.4 km2 and 366.0 billion CNY (or 54.2 billion USD), respectively for a 1/5000-year storm flood. The estimated average annual loss (AAL) of residential buildings and household properties for Shanghai is 590 million CNY/year (or 87.4 million USD/year), with several hot spots distributed around the main urban area and on the bank of the Hangzhou Bay. Among sixteen districts, Pudong has the highest exposure and annual expected loss, while the inner city is also subject to extreme flooding with an AAL up to near half of the total. An analysis of flood risk in each of 209 subdistricts/towns finds that those most vulnerable to storm flooding are concentrated in Pudong, Jiading, Baoshan Districts and the inner city. Our work can provide meaningful information for risk-sensitive urban planning and resilience building in Shanghai. The methodology can also be used for risk analysis in other coastal cities facing the threat of storm flooding. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Scoping Review of Barriers to Investment in Climate Change Solutions
Sustainability 2019, 11(11), 3201; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11113201
Received: 26 April 2019 / Revised: 30 May 2019 / Accepted: 4 June 2019 / Published: 8 June 2019
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Abstract
The finance sector has engaged with policy development processes associated with climate solutions for well over a decade, with the aim of overcoming barriers to investment. In this paper we analyse 31 practice-based policy reports which highlight key barriers to such investing. We [...] Read more.
The finance sector has engaged with policy development processes associated with climate solutions for well over a decade, with the aim of overcoming barriers to investment. In this paper we analyse 31 practice-based policy reports which highlight key barriers to such investing. We use those practice-based policy reports to identify themes associated with barriers to investment to conduct a scoping literature review of academic research. We identify 91 relevant papers and use content analysis to summarise the barriers identified in a structured way to help inform the research landscape in a timely manner. Given the urgency of this issue, we call on the academic community to focus more effort in this new and emerging discipline and, in particular, on the need for an independent view on the validity of some of the claims made in these practice-based policy reports. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Financial Markets)
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