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Sustainability, Volume 11, Issue 12 (June-2 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Overtourism generates reductions in the quality of service in the tourist destination and the [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Environmental Innovation, Environmental Performance and Financial Performance: Evidence from Malaysian Environmental Proactive Firms
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3494; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123494 - 25 Jun 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 596
Abstract
This study is aimed to investigate the relationship between environmental performance, environmental innovation, and financial performance of firms. A total of 124 responses were collected from managers of manufacturers certified by ISO 14001 EMS in Malaysia, and the data was subjected to a [...] Read more.
This study is aimed to investigate the relationship between environmental performance, environmental innovation, and financial performance of firms. A total of 124 responses were collected from managers of manufacturers certified by ISO 14001 EMS in Malaysia, and the data was subjected to a structural equation analysis using the Smart PLS version 3.2.7 software. The results have endorsed environmental competitive capabilities i.e. environmental innovation and environmental performance as the key enablers for the creation of economic values for environmental proactive manufacturing firms. Moreover, environmental innovation is also found to be the mediator that transforms the benefits of environmental performance into financial performance. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Local Energy Communities and Distributed Generation: Contrasting Perspectives, and Inevitable Policy Trade-Offs, beyond the Apparent Global Consensus
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3493; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123493 - 25 Jun 2019
Viewed by 647
Abstract
Although a certain degree of consensus seems to pervade the ideas of “distributed energy systems” and “energy communities”, in truth, diverse views are involved. This article aims to shed light on the variety of interpretations of these two concepts. In particular, the article [...] Read more.
Although a certain degree of consensus seems to pervade the ideas of “distributed energy systems” and “energy communities”, in truth, diverse views are involved. This article aims to shed light on the variety of interpretations of these two concepts. In particular, the article critically considers the answers to the following four questions: What exactly is meant by “distributed” in the expression “distributed energy generation”? Why is distributed generation (ethically) desirable? Why should people consider it a positive idea that “communities”—and not individuals or families—are invited to manage distributed generation systems? Lastly, can energy communities be considered different from standard state intervention and from market systems? Clearly defining these questions helps in emphasising crucial differences, and it is an important step toward achieving a critical understanding. The conclusion is that there is no single interpretation for either the idea of distributed energy or that of energy communities. Shifting emphasis from one feature to another can drastically affect what policies are required to foster the creation of such communities and of a distributed energy production scenario. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Collaborative Mechanism for Pickup and Delivery Problems with Heterogeneous Vehicles under Time Windows
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3492; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123492 - 25 Jun 2019
Viewed by 471
Abstract
The sustainability and complexity of logistics networks come from the temporally and spatially uneven distributions of freight demand and supply. Operation strategies without considering the sustainability and complexity could dramatically increase the economic and environmental costs of logistics operations. This paper explores how [...] Read more.
The sustainability and complexity of logistics networks come from the temporally and spatially uneven distributions of freight demand and supply. Operation strategies without considering the sustainability and complexity could dramatically increase the economic and environmental costs of logistics operations. This paper explores how the unevenly distributed demand and supply can be optimally matched through collaborations, and formulates and solves a Collaborative Pickup and Delivery Problem under Time Windows (CPDPTW) to optimize the structures of logistics networks and improve city sustainability and liverability. The CPDPTW is a three-stage framework. First, a multi-objective linear optimization model that minimizes the number of vehicles and the total cost of logistics operation is developed. Second, a composite algorithm consisting of improved k-means clustering, Demand-and-Time-based Dijkstra Algorithm (DTDA) and Improved Non-dominated Sorting Genetic Algorithm-II (INSGA-II) is devised to solve the optimization model. The clustering algorithm helps to identify the feasible initial solution to INSGA-II. Third, a method based on improved Shapley value model is proposed to obtain the collaborative alliance strategy that achieves the optimal profit allocation strategy. The proposed composite algorithm outperforms existing algorithms in minimizing terms of the total cost and number of electro-tricycles. An empirical case of Chongqing is employed to demonstrate the efficiency of the proposed mechanism for achieving optimality for logistics networks and realizing a win-win situation between suppliers and consumers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Transportation)
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Open AccessArticle
Leadership and Organizational Culture in the Sustainability of Subsistence Small Businesses: An Intellectual Capital Based View
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3491; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123491 - 25 Jun 2019
Viewed by 546
Abstract
The concept of leadership is complex and has been studied from multiple approaches, especially from the psychological field and from the field of management. Small businesses created as way of subsistence for the entrepreneur and their family present a limited leadership. The cultural [...] Read more.
The concept of leadership is complex and has been studied from multiple approaches, especially from the psychological field and from the field of management. Small businesses created as way of subsistence for the entrepreneur and their family present a limited leadership. The cultural traditions of the forestry industry are based on the culture and indigenous know-how of the territory, especially affecting small timber businesses, the small businesses working in timber activities. This paper analyzed the interrelation between culture and leadership in the process of generating performance from sustainable competitive advantages using partial least squares (PLS) techniques. The results show that culture and leaderships are sources of competitive advantage in subsistence small businesses, but culture does not generate competitiveness directly; an organizational culture needs to act through entrepreneurial leadership. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intellectual Capital and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
An Approach to Determining the Spatially Contiguous Zone of a Self-Organized Urban Agglomeration
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3490; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123490 - 25 Jun 2019
Viewed by 458
Abstract
The evolution of the urban agglomeration is a significant development in urban geography. Determining its spatial range for effective measurement remains a challenge for researchers. In previous studies, determining spatial range has primarily been done through distinguishing the cities that should belong to [...] Read more.
The evolution of the urban agglomeration is a significant development in urban geography. Determining its spatial range for effective measurement remains a challenge for researchers. In previous studies, determining spatial range has primarily been done through distinguishing the cities that should belong to urban agglomerations from among other cities by using various indicators. Both the selection of indicators and the standards used for calculation and identification have been based on subjective choices, and have not considered spatial distribution or morphology. The urban agglomeration can be regarded as a self-organized space, and spatial features of the fractal can be regarded as one of the morphological characterizations of spatial self-organization. From the perspective of the assumption that the space of urban agglomerations is molecule like assembled, and through the extraction and analysis of spatial fractals, we present an objective method to determine the “spatially contiguous zone” of urban agglomeration, particularly the spatial range in which the urban agglomeration is able to exercise jurisdiction within the radius of its capacity, rather than in the administrative division. Our method is applied in this paper to the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei urban agglomeration and produced the following results: (1) the existence of spatial fractals and the theory of space unit molecule like self-organization or assembly in the morphology of urban agglomerations has been proved; and (2) a spatially contiguous zone could be identified for the urban agglomeration has been confirmed. Compared with previous methods used for determining space, this method is centered on the spatial morphology of urban agglomerations; the recognition of a spatially contiguous zone liberates the geographical limits of the result from city boundary restrictions. Concurrently, by considering the linkages within the city as a self-organizing black box, we can circumvent the one-sidedness involved with the selection of indicators that has biased previous studies, thereby avoiding having to focus on the specific mechanism of urban dynamics, and coming much closer to its self-organizing dynamic inner nature. This approach will prove to be a useful reference for the identification of spatial ranges in future studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Loss-Driven Adversarial Ensemble Deep Learning for On-Line Time Series Analysis
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3489; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123489 - 25 Jun 2019
Viewed by 529
Abstract
Developing a robust and sustainable system is an important problem in which deep learning models are used in real-world applications. Ensemble methods combine diverse models to improve performance and achieve robustness. The analysis of time series data requires dealing with continuously incoming instances; [...] Read more.
Developing a robust and sustainable system is an important problem in which deep learning models are used in real-world applications. Ensemble methods combine diverse models to improve performance and achieve robustness. The analysis of time series data requires dealing with continuously incoming instances; however, most ensemble models suffer when adapting to a change in data distribution. Therefore, we propose an on-line ensemble deep learning algorithm that aggregates deep learning models and adjusts the ensemble weight based on loss value in this study. We theoretically demonstrate that the ensemble weight converges to the limiting distribution, and, thus, minimizes the average total loss from a new regret measure based on adversarial assumption. We also present an overall framework that can be applied to analyze time series. In the experiments, we focused on the on-line phase, in which the ensemble models predict the binary class for the simulated data and the financial and non-financial real data. The proposed method outperformed other ensemble approaches. Moreover, our method was not only robust to the intentional attacks but also sustainable in data distribution changes. In the future, our algorithm can be extended to regression and multiclass classification problems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Time Series Analyses in Business)
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Open AccessArticle
Success Factors of National-Scale Forest Restorations in South Korea, Vietnam, and China
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3488; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123488 - 25 Jun 2019
Viewed by 448
Abstract
The total global forest area is decreasing significantly, yet stories of successful large-scale forest restoration are still scarce. In the 1980s, when properly designed concepts and methodologies were absent, state-led, large-scale restoration projects in lower-income countries (LICs) in Asia were already successful. These [...] Read more.
The total global forest area is decreasing significantly, yet stories of successful large-scale forest restoration are still scarce. In the 1980s, when properly designed concepts and methodologies were absent, state-led, large-scale restoration projects in lower-income countries (LICs) in Asia were already successful. These then LICs—South Korea, Vietnam, and China—experienced dramatic forest land use changes driven by different socioeconomic and political developments, from deforestation and forest degradation to reforestation and ecological restoration. This study examines the institutional settings of each country’s restoration programs, focusing on the inputs of the external factors, their effects on the relevant action arena, and their payment mechanisms. By conducting critical comparisons between three country cases, we found that the ability of nations that had implemented reforestation programs to restore their forests was often influenced by external variables, which included biophysical conditions, local community attributes, and local, state, and federal rules. The result of this research provides practical implications and contributes to the body of literature comparing restoration cases from Asian countries, which have rarely been investigated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Forest Management)
Open AccessConcept Paper
Rural-Urban Migration and the Growth of Informal Settlements: A Socio-Ecological System Conceptualization with Insights Through a “Water Lens”
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3487; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123487 - 25 Jun 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 595
Abstract
Informal settlements i.e., slums emerge from the interplay of multidimensional factors related to urbanization and sustainability. While the contribution of urban factors is well understood, the role of external drivers, such as uncontrolled migration to urban areas, is rarely addressed in research or [...] Read more.
Informal settlements i.e., slums emerge from the interplay of multidimensional factors related to urbanization and sustainability. While the contribution of urban factors is well understood, the role of external drivers, such as uncontrolled migration to urban areas, is rarely addressed in research or policy-making. This study develops a novel conceptualization of slums by reviewing the pushing and pulling factors of migration and their contribution to informal settlements through 1) a socio-ecological system approach and 2) the concept of adaptive capacity. Further, it advances the discussion around synergistic and coherent policy-making in the urban context by reviewing three urban agendas and further using water as a case with the concept of cross-cutting domains. We show that the emergence of urban challenges can, and should be, linked to the root causes of flows into urban areas. Understanding these linkages through a socio-ecological system framework opens a window for knowledge-based policy development and addressing the question of how to avoid unsustainable urban development. Urbanization is one of the phenomena where the excessive complexity and dimensions of problems should not hamper action but instead, actions should be encouraged and enabled with synergistic and integrative pathways for sustainable urban development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Study of the Structural and Robustness Characteristics of Madrid Metro Network
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3486; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123486 - 25 Jun 2019
Viewed by 456
Abstract
A transportation service must be sustainable, respectful of the environment, and socially and economically responsible. These requirements make metro networks the ideal candidate as the most efficient mean of transport in our society. Now, a correct management of this type of infrastructures entails [...] Read more.
A transportation service must be sustainable, respectful of the environment, and socially and economically responsible. These requirements make metro networks the ideal candidate as the most efficient mean of transport in our society. Now, a correct management of this type of infrastructures entails the analysis of the structure and robustness of these networks. This allows us to detect malfunctions and, above all, to design in the most appropriate way the expansion of subway networks. This is one of the major challenges facing the study of transport networks in sustainable smart cities. In this sense, the complex network analysis provides us with the necessary scientific tools to perform both quantitative and qualitative analysis of metro networks. This work deals with Madrid metro network, which is the largest in Spain. The main structural and topological characteristics, and robustness features of Madrid metro network were studied. The results obtained were analyzed and some conclusions were derived. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Knowledge and Technology Transfer Influencing the Process of Innovation in Green Supply Chain Management: A Multicriteria Model Based on the DEMATEL Method
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3485; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123485 - 25 Jun 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 641
Abstract
After performing a systematic review of the literature, it was noticeable that the discussion regarding Green Supply Chain Management (GSCM) along with Knowledge and Technology Transfer (KTT) and Innovation is scarce. To address this issue, the objective of this paper is to analyze [...] Read more.
After performing a systematic review of the literature, it was noticeable that the discussion regarding Green Supply Chain Management (GSCM) along with Knowledge and Technology Transfer (KTT) and Innovation is scarce. To address this issue, the objective of this paper is to analyze the relationship between GSCM, KTT, and Innovation. To achieve this purpose, we developed a conceptual framework based on the literature review, which raised some hypotheses. In order to verify the hypotheses and validate the framework, we designed a multicriteria model called the KTT-GSCM Multicriteria Model, composed of two stages. The first stage describes factors that are relevant to GSCM, KTT, and Innovation, ascertaining which ones have influence over the others and which ones are influenced by the others, through the Decision-Making Trial and Evaluation Laboratory (DEMATEL) method. The second stage of the model analyzes the level of each perspective in each company and in the supply chain as a whole, thus verifying the hypotheses. This model was applied in 13 firms of a supply chain that has a rotomolding firm as a focal company. Through the development and application of the model, it was possible to verify the hypotheses raised and conclude that the perspectives of GSCM, KTT, and Innovation are, in fact, influenced by one another and that both Innovation and KTT promote greater development in GSCM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovation and the Development of Enterprises)
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Open AccessArticle
An Integrated Approach for Modeling Ontology-Based Task Knowledge on an Incident Command System
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3484; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123484 - 25 Jun 2019
Viewed by 451
Abstract
This paper presents the TTIPP methodology, an integration of task analysis, task ontology, integration definition function modeling (IDEF0), Petri net, and Petri net mark language (PNML), to organize and model the task knowledge in the form of natural language expressions acquired during the [...] Read more.
This paper presents the TTIPP methodology, an integration of task analysis, task ontology, integration definition function modeling (IDEF0), Petri net, and Petri net mark language (PNML), to organize and model the task knowledge in the form of natural language expressions acquired during the knowledge-acquisition process. The goal of the methodology is to make the tasks more useful, accessible, and sharable through the web for a variety of stakeholders interested in solving a problem which is expressed mostly in linguistic form, and to shed light on the nature of problem-solving knowledge. This study provides a core epistemology for the knowledge engineer while developing the task ontology for a generic task. The proposed model overcomes the drawbacks of IDEF0, which are its static nature and Petri net which has no concept of hierarchy. A good number of countries lie on the typhoon and earthquake belts, which make them vulnerable to natural calamities. However, a practical incident command system (ICS) that provides a common framework to allow emergency responders of different backgrounds to work together effectively for standardized, on-the-scene, incident management has yet to be developed. There is a strong need to explicitly share, copy, and reuse the existing problem-solving knowledge in a complex ICS. As an example, the TTIPP model is applied to the task of emergency response for debris-flow during a typhoon as a part of an ICS. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Fatigue Properties of Cold-Recycled Emulsified Asphalt Mixtures Fabricated by Different Compaction Methods
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3483; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123483 - 25 Jun 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 456
Abstract
This paper focuses on investigating the fatigue properties of cold-recycled emulsified asphalt mixtures (CEAMs) designed via two different compaction methods. First, two different CEAM compaction procedures were investigated and evaluated, including the modified Marshall compaction method (MMCM) and the vertical vibration testing method [...] Read more.
This paper focuses on investigating the fatigue properties of cold-recycled emulsified asphalt mixtures (CEAMs) designed via two different compaction methods. First, two different CEAM compaction procedures were investigated and evaluated, including the modified Marshall compaction method (MMCM) and the vertical vibration testing method (VVTM). Indirect tensile fatigue tests were then performed to research the fatigue lives of CEAMs fabricated via the two methods. Finally, a Weibull distribution was applied to analyze the fatigue test results, and the fatigue equation was constructed. The results indicated that the average mechanical strength ratio between the CEAM samples produced by VVTM and the field core samples was >92%, whereas the average ratio of the specimens shaped by the MMCM was <65%. Compared with MMCM-molded CEAMs, VVTM-fabricated CEAMs showed decreased optimal moisture and emulsified asphalt contents by 11% and 9%, respectively, but exhibited improved moisture stability, anti-cracking performance, and anti-rutting performance by 4%, 12%, and 35%, respectively. The fatigue equations established on the basis of the Weibull distribution could effectively assess the fatigue life of CEAMs. The VVTM-manufactured CEAMs showed good resistance of stress change sensitivity and fatigue failure under different stress ratios. The VVTM-compacted CEAMs demonstrated increased fatigue life by 36% at a stress ratio of 0.45 and by 325% at a repeated load of 0.27 MPa compared with the MMCM-fabricated CEAMs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Pavement Materials, Design and Construction)
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Open AccessArticle
Return Strategies and Online Product Customization in a Dual-Channel Supply Chain
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3482; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123482 - 25 Jun 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 423
Abstract
This paper investigates in a dual-channel supply chain which return strategy is better for the manufacturer that considers the consumers’ utility. We find that a manufacturer prefers offering a Money-Back Guarantee (MBG) as long as the net salvage value of the returned product [...] Read more.
This paper investigates in a dual-channel supply chain which return strategy is better for the manufacturer that considers the consumers’ utility. We find that a manufacturer prefers offering a Money-Back Guarantee (MBG) as long as the net salvage value of the returned product is positive in a channel. However, the return strategy of the retailer is more affected by the return policy of another channel than the net salvage value. In order to reduce online returns, we propose the online product customization channel, and then, we examine the choice of return policy and the manufacturer’s channel selection. We show that the demand and profit of the manufacturer will increase to a certain extent when opening an online customization channel. However, compared to the case where both channels provide an MBG, the implementation of online customization may hurt the manufacturer’s profits with the increase in consumer satisfaction in indirect channels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optimal Decisions and Risk Assessment in Sustainable Supply Chains)
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Open AccessArticle
Innovative Recycling of Lime Slaker Grits from Paper-Pulp Industry Reused as Aggregate in Ambient Cured Biomass Fly Ash-Based Geopolymers for Sustainable Construction Material
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3481; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123481 - 25 Jun 2019
Viewed by 429
Abstract
Lime slaker grits and biomass fly ash are solid wastes produced by the Kraft paper-pulp industry that are commonly disposed of in landfill. However, recent studies and European regulations discourage such disposal practices. This work investigates an alternative and innovative way to recycle [...] Read more.
Lime slaker grits and biomass fly ash are solid wastes produced by the Kraft paper-pulp industry that are commonly disposed of in landfill. However, recent studies and European regulations discourage such disposal practices. This work investigates an alternative and innovative way to recycle and reuse these wastes in the production of green geopolymeric mortars intended for application in the construction industry. Here, biomass fly ash was used as the main source of alumino-silicate in the binder precursor (70 wt.% substitution to metakaolin), and grits (ranging from 1–12.5 mm, as provided by the industry) were reused as aggregate. Aggregate granulometry was also completed by using a commercial natural siliceous sand (<1 mm). Mortars using sand only were prepared for comparative reasons. The implemented mix was designed to investigate the influence of the grits on the mortar’s properties such as its binder/aggregate ratio, workability, bulk density, water sorptivity, and compressive strength. At the same time, waste reuse was analysed in light of its limitations and potentialities. Moreover, in the pursuit of sustainability, the manufacturing process that was followed was highly cost-effective in ambient curing conditions (20 °C, 65% RH), which avoided the use of any external source of energy as commonly used in geopolymers processing. The achieved results proved that the combined use of these wastes, which to date has hardly been explored, along with ambient manufacturing conditions increases the material sustainability. The produced mortars are suitable for innovative applications in various fields, with a particular focus on construction and contribute to the circular economy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Efficient Management of Sustainable Supply Chains)
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Open AccessArticle
What Does It Take to Make the Compact City Liveable for Wider Groups? Identifying Key Neighbourhood and Dwelling Features
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3480; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123480 - 25 Jun 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 546
Abstract
Compact cities promote sustainability through several mechanisms, and high-density city development has become a key strategy for policy decision makers to accommodate population growth and mitigate human impacts of the local and global environment. The aim of this study is to identify elements [...] Read more.
Compact cities promote sustainability through several mechanisms, and high-density city development has become a key strategy for policy decision makers to accommodate population growth and mitigate human impacts of the local and global environment. The aim of this study is to identify elements of the built environment and inner-city dwellings considered important for improving compact-city liveability for various groups throughout their life cycles. To attend to the depth and complexity of this issue, this study is based on a qualitative approach, where data are gathered through in-depth interviews with housing market specialists. The expert panel emphasises proximity to green spaces and easy access to local services/facilities and public transportation as key elements of the built environment to improve compact-city liveability. At the same time, some of the respondents strongly argue with facilitating neighbourhoods for private cars. With regard to dwelling characteristics, the experts emphasised the importance of adequate storage space and the availability of a balcony as vital to high-density liveability. Balconies can alleviate some of the negative effects by working as a personal ‘mini garden’. Moreover, a general opinion among experts is that compact living developments should facilitate shared facilities to level out the space disadvantages of small-space dwellings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle
On-line Crowdsourcing: Motives of Customers to Participate in Online Collaborative Innovation Processes
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3479; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123479 - 25 Jun 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 706
Abstract
The large-scale adoption of the Internet and social media make transactions and interactions between businesses and customers easy, inexpensive, and highly efficient. Online crowdsourcing and co-creation with customers are developments increasingly seen as attractive alternatives to traditional forms of innovation management. Online customers [...] Read more.
The large-scale adoption of the Internet and social media make transactions and interactions between businesses and customers easy, inexpensive, and highly efficient. Online crowdsourcing and co-creation with customers are developments increasingly seen as attractive alternatives to traditional forms of innovation management. Online customers are willing to spend time and effort on collaborative innovation trajectories and so have a say in the development of new products and services. Identifying and recruiting capable and innovation-minded co-creation partners online is one of the main challenges of such collaborative innovation-focused processes; understanding the attitudes and motives of innovation-minded customers are the first steps in enticing and recruit these as innovation partners. In this study, we identify and classify customer motives for participating in online co-creation processes in two European countries: Spain and The Netherlands. More than a quarter of online customers are active co-creators and two co-creator profiles were identified in both countries, based the levels of motivation predisposition; Spanish online customers are more involved and enthusiastic co-creators than Dutch customers. The study confirms that financial motives are not the main reason for co-creation; highly motivated customers are motivated by product-related benefits, while hedonic benefits are the most important triggers for less motivated co-creators. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Digital Markets and the Consumer)
Open AccessArticle
A Methodology of Partner Selection for Sustainable Industry-University Cooperation Based on LDA Topic Model
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3478; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123478 - 25 Jun 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 462
Abstract
In today’s knowledge-based society, industry-university cooperation (IUC) is recognized as an effective tool for technological innovation. Many studies have shown that selecting the right partner is essential to the success of the IUC. Although there have been a lot of studies on the [...] Read more.
In today’s knowledge-based society, industry-university cooperation (IUC) is recognized as an effective tool for technological innovation. Many studies have shown that selecting the right partner is essential to the success of the IUC. Although there have been a lot of studies on the criteria for selecting a suitable partner for IUC or strategic alliances, there has been a problem of making decisions depending on the qualitative judgment of experts or staff. While related works using patent analysis enabled the quantitative analysis and comparison of potential research partners, they overlooked the fact that there are several sub-technologies in one specific technology domain and that the applicant’s research concentration and competency are not the same for every sub-technology. This study suggests a systematic methodology that combines the Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) topic model and the clustering algorithm in order to classify the sub-technology categories of a particular technology domain, and identifies the best college partners in each category. In addition, a similar-patent density (SPD) index was proposed and utilized for an objective comparison of potential university partners. In order to investigate the practical applicability of the proposed methodology, we conducted experiments using real patent data on the electric vehicle domain obtained from the Korean Intellectual Property Office. As a result, we identified 10 research and development sectors wherein Hyundai Motor Company (HMC) focuses using LDA and clustering. The universities with the highest values of SPD for each sector were chosen to be the most suitable partners of HMC for collaborative research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Forest Investment Framework as a Support Tool for the Sustainable Management of Planted Forests
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3477; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123477 - 25 Jun 2019
Viewed by 818
Abstract
Planted forest ecosystems provide a wide range of goods and services such as timber, carbon sequestration, and avoided erosion. However, only ecosystem services with market values (e.g., timber) are usually represented in decision making while those with non-market values (e.g., avoided erosion) that [...] Read more.
Planted forest ecosystems provide a wide range of goods and services such as timber, carbon sequestration, and avoided erosion. However, only ecosystem services with market values (e.g., timber) are usually represented in decision making while those with non-market values (e.g., avoided erosion) that are difficult to quantify are often ignored. A spatial economic tool, the Forest Investment Framework (FIF), integrates data from forest growth models with spatial, biophysical, and economic data, to quantify the broader value of planted forests and to represent non-market values in sustainable forest management. In this paper, we have tested the applicability of FIF in three types of case studies: assessment of afforestation feasibility, regional economic analyses, and ecosystem service assessment. This study provides evidence that a spatial economic tool that quantifies the economic, environmental, and social values of the planted forest ecosystem is valuable in informing land management decisions for maintaining and enhancing the provision of market and non-market ecosystem services to society. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Forest Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Resilience in Mountain Farming in Norway
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3476; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123476 - 25 Jun 2019
Viewed by 495
Abstract
The concept of socio-ecological farm resilience is used to understand how farmers manoeuvre in a context of change, what choices and priorities they make, and how that subsequently influences the development of the farming landscape. The author uses farm resilience, the capabilities of [...] Read more.
The concept of socio-ecological farm resilience is used to understand how farmers manoeuvre in a context of change, what choices and priorities they make, and how that subsequently influences the development of the farming landscape. The author uses farm resilience, the capabilities of buffering, adaptation and transformation, and the response of bouncing back or forward as a conceptual frame in a study of farmers in a mountain community in Norway. Interviews were held with selected farmers. The results indicated that the resilience framework is useful in order to understand farmers’ priorities and situations. The author finds that the responses and decisions are in line with all three capabilities as well as with bouncing back and forward. However, most responses were categorized as bouncing back (i.e. adjustments and changes) but the logic of the farm system remained the same. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Grazing Systems)
Open AccessArticle
Examination of Chinese Tourists’ Unsustainable Food Consumption: Causes and Solutions
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3475; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123475 - 25 Jun 2019
Viewed by 418
Abstract
Gastronomic tours have become a prevalent form of travel in many destinations and have boosted the development of destinations’ tourism economy. However, unsustainable food consumption, especially the wastage of food by tourists, is severe and has yet to receive sufficient academic attention. Thus, [...] Read more.
Gastronomic tours have become a prevalent form of travel in many destinations and have boosted the development of destinations’ tourism economy. However, unsustainable food consumption, especially the wastage of food by tourists, is severe and has yet to receive sufficient academic attention. Thus, this study aimed to examine this kind of unsustainable behavior from tourists’ perspective to help the academia and practitioners to better understand the causes and solutions pertaining to the issue. Participants’ demographic information and content data were collected and analyzed. Content analysis was adopted to summarize the major themes emerging from the data. Results indicated that tourists, the industry, and government should be responsible for the issue. The reasons related to each stakeholder are shown together with the countermeasures. This study is among the first to examine the issue, which can lay the foundation for further studies in the same research area and help to address unsustainable food consumption. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Evaluation of Extracurricular Sports Activities as an Educational Element for Sustainable Development in Educational Institutions
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3474; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123474 - 25 Jun 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 484
Abstract
Education that instills healthy habits has acquired much attention in recent years due to concerns related to obesity and the sedentary lifestyle of the scholastic population. Extracurricular sports activities can contribute to the creation of healthy habits and can promote active lifestyles. These [...] Read more.
Education that instills healthy habits has acquired much attention in recent years due to concerns related to obesity and the sedentary lifestyle of the scholastic population. Extracurricular sports activities can contribute to the creation of healthy habits and can promote active lifestyles. These positive habits provide social benefits and are a facilitator of sustainable development. Thisstudy had two objectives: To assess the quality and value of extracurricular sports activities offered by schools, as well as the satisfaction of the participants and their future intentions to participate; and to assess the relationship between these constructs, with the aim of identifying factors that encourage schoolchildren to be active. Information was gathered from 1080 children in secondary education in Spain (n = 1080) (65.90% boys, 13.76 ± 1.39 years). The instruments used were the Scale of Perception of Sports Organizations (EPOD2) and a future intentions scale. The evaluation of satisfaction, quality, and value, as well as the intentions expressed by the young athletes to continue participating in extracurricular sports activities were positive, with average values close to the maximum. The best-rated quality variables were human resources. A significant association was identified between communication and loyalty, and response capacity and sports spaces. Likewise, perceived satisfaction and value were related to loyalty and price. In short, student perceptions establish a clear relationship between evaluations of activities and the intention to continue practicing sports in schools. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Education for Sustainability in Physical Education)
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Open AccessArticle
Trends and Features of Agroforestry Research Based on Bibliometric Analysis
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3473; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123473 - 25 Jun 2019
Viewed by 597
Abstract
The world is faced with dual challenges to ensure food security for its large and still growing population and to mitigate climate change. It is necessary to develop more diversified and multifunction agricultural systems to address the challenges. Therefore, as a reasonable land [...] Read more.
The world is faced with dual challenges to ensure food security for its large and still growing population and to mitigate climate change. It is necessary to develop more diversified and multifunction agricultural systems to address the challenges. Therefore, as a reasonable land use practice, agroforestry has become the hotspot in scientific research in recent decades. This study performed quantitative and qualitative analyses of agroforestry research published between 1990 and 2018 based on bibliometric methods, expecting to guidance for further research in order to scientifically understand of the trends and features of agroforestry research over time and by region. A total of 4204 publications were obtained from Web of Science. The results show that the research interest in the agroforestry field has significantly enhanced, and about 139 countries have been involved with the research in this field. These publications cover 66 subject categories and a great diversity research theme. Since 1990, the popular keywords in agroforestry research have been changed from “Intercropping”, “Alley cropping”, and “Multipurpose trees” to “Carbon sequestration”, “Ecosystem service”, and “Climate change”. This indicates that the theme of agroforestry research has changed and the research scale is gradually expanding. Furthermore, agroforestry research themes vary with regions, since different regions have various requirements on the function of the agroforestry system. In the end, given the current trend of agroforestry science, we conclude a list of research potentials of agroforestry in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agricultural Diversity)
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Open AccessArticle
#Globalcitizen: An Explorative Twitter Analysis of Global Identity and Sustainability Communication
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3472; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123472 - 25 Jun 2019
Viewed by 583
Abstract
(1) Background: global citizenship is often associated with pro-social and pro-environmental attitudes, beliefs and behaviors. Much of this research relies on questionnaire studies, whereas studies drawing on naturally occurring daily communications are under-used. In this paper, we analyse the content that users publish [...] Read more.
(1) Background: global citizenship is often associated with pro-social and pro-environmental attitudes, beliefs and behaviors. Much of this research relies on questionnaire studies, whereas studies drawing on naturally occurring daily communications are under-used. In this paper, we analyse the content that users publish on Twitter related to the issue of global identity and citizenship. (2) Methods: we assessed word frequencies and associated hashtags of 35,237 tweets marked with the hashtag #globalcitizen. A sentiment analysis was conducted to investigate the moods and emotions of the tweets. (3) Results: in line with expectations derived from social identity theory, we found that associated words and hashtags were more often linked to themes of common good/disadvantaged groups than they were to the topic of nature and environment. Providing evidence for an empowerment function of global citizenship, the sentiment analysis suggests that global citizenship is related to rather positive emotions. (4) Conclusion: these findings reveal how identity constructions in social media predict associated contents and possibly pathways to social change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Social Media)
Open AccessArticle
State-of-Charge Effects on Standalone Solar-Storage Systems in Hot Climates: A Case Study in Saudi Arabia
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3471; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123471 - 24 Jun 2019
Viewed by 406
Abstract
In this paper, we quantify the economic and environmental implications of operating a standalone photovoltaic-battery system (PVB) while varying the battery’s minimum allowable state of charge (MSOC), the load profile, and simultaneously incorporating ambient temperature effects in hot climates. To that end, Saudi [...] Read more.
In this paper, we quantify the economic and environmental implications of operating a standalone photovoltaic-battery system (PVB) while varying the battery’s minimum allowable state of charge (MSOC), the load profile, and simultaneously incorporating ambient temperature effects in hot climates. To that end, Saudi Arabia has been chosen for this case study. Over a project lifetime of 25 years, we find that, contrary to the widely accepted norm of 50% being a reasonable MSOC, a lower MSOC can bestow economic benefits. For example, a MSOC of 20% results in a lower number of batteries required throughout the lifetime of the project—while still meeting demand. For a village of 1000 homes, this translates to a saving of $47 million in net present value. Further, incorporating temperature effects results in deducing more realistic costs that are 125% higher than the ideal scenario (i.e., when temperature is not modeled). This difference stems from underestimating the actual number of batteries needed throughout the project lifetime. Compared to a diesel-powered microgrid, and for a village of 1000 homes, a PVB would, on an annual basis, avoid emitting 5000 tons of carbon and avoid burning 2 million liters of diesel. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Cultural Heritage Appraisal by Visitors to Global Cities: The Use of Social Media and Urban Analytics in Urban Buzz Research
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3470; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123470 - 24 Jun 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 478
Abstract
An attractive cultural heritage is an important magnet for visitors to many cities nowadays. The present paper aims to trace the constituents of the destination attractiveness of 40 global cities from the perspective of historical-cultural amenities, based on a merger of extensive systematic [...] Read more.
An attractive cultural heritage is an important magnet for visitors to many cities nowadays. The present paper aims to trace the constituents of the destination attractiveness of 40 global cities from the perspective of historical-cultural amenities, based on a merger of extensive systematic databases on these cities. The concept of cultural heritage buzz is introduced to highlight: (i) the importance of a varied collection of urban cultural amenities; (ii) the influence of urban cultural magnetism on foreign visitors, residents and artists; and (iii) the appreciation for a large set of local historical-cultural amenities by travelers collected from a systematic big data set (emerging from the global TripAdvisor platform). A multivariate and econometric analysis is undertaken to validate and test the quantitative picture of the above conceptual framework, with a view to assess the significance of historical-cultural assets and socio-cultural diversity in large urban agglomerations in the world as attraction factors for visitors. The results confirm our proposition on the significance of urban cultural heritage as a gravity factor for destination choices in international tourism in relation to a high appreciation for historical-cultural amenities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Valuing Cultural Capital in the Smart Cities Era)
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Open AccessArticle
Italy without Urban ‘Sprinkling’. A Uchronia for a Country that Needs a Retrofit of Its Urban and Landscape Planning
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3469; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123469 - 24 Jun 2019
Viewed by 415
Abstract
The research presented in the work is linked to important production of data over 10 years of activity that allowed us to trace the configuration of Italian urban settlements in the 1950s. Starting from this information, the paper puts forward a uchronian reconstruction [...] Read more.
The research presented in the work is linked to important production of data over 10 years of activity that allowed us to trace the configuration of Italian urban settlements in the 1950s. Starting from this information, the paper puts forward a uchronian reconstruction of the physiognomy of the national territory asking if—instead of the weak urban development policies implemented for over half a century—a more purposeful method of planning and designing settlements had been chosen in the Sixties to favor their aggregation and protect the country’s huge landscape heritage. From the model used, important indications emerge for control and management of retrofit (de-sprinkling) policies of which the need has been felt in recent years, as suggested by repeated messages from European bodies, the scientific community, associations and some politicians. The uchronic scenario is constructed starting from the settlement configuration of the 1950s, developing a model of maximum aggregation for the urbanized parts that were intervened in between this period and 2000, simulating a geography that maintains the quantities of soil transformed over the last 50 years. It emerges from the processing of the data that the Italian territory would have retained its low settlement density areas almost intact at the same level as in the 50s, that is to say 73% of the entire peninsular territory. It would also have preserved a large part of its free peninsular and insular coastline at about 60–70%, against the present day 45%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Urban Planning and Land Management)
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Open AccessCommentary
Challenges of Governing Off-Grid “Productive” Sanitation in Peri-Urban Areas: Comparison of Case Studies in Bolivia and South Africa
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3468; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123468 - 24 Jun 2019
Viewed by 475
Abstract
Globally, peri-urban areas are experiencing rapid urbanization. Conventional infrastructure development is generally slow to catch up and the lack of basic sanitation in peri-urban areas is a constantly growing—and often overlooked—problem. There are examples where these challenges have been addressed by off-grid “productive” [...] Read more.
Globally, peri-urban areas are experiencing rapid urbanization. Conventional infrastructure development is generally slow to catch up and the lack of basic sanitation in peri-urban areas is a constantly growing—and often overlooked—problem. There are examples where these challenges have been addressed by off-grid “productive” sanitation systems that provide opportunities for recovery and reuse of valuable waste stream resources. However, governing such systems and ensuring effective municipal policies can be challenging since the socio-economic contexts in many peri-urban areas are transforming rapidly. A comparison of two initiatives in Bolivia and South Africa offers valuable insights for introducing functional off-grid “productive” sanitation systems relying on urine-diverting dry toilets (UDDTs) in peri-urban settlements. Findings suggest that acceptance of the UDDTs by households largely rely on consistent awareness raising and capacity building, in addition to adaptation to the local needs and creating a sense of ownership over the toilet system. Changing perceptions of what constitutes an aspirational toilet, and developing services for waste management collection, seem to be crucial components for ensuring long-term use and functionality of the UDDTs. Investments and further innovations for upscaling of resource recovery systems are needed to make these systems cost-effective and logistically viable. To attract these additional investments, it will be crucial to assess the societal economic benefits of off-grid “productive” sanitation compared to centralized wastewater systems. The comparison also highlights that off-grid sanitation requires a clear division and coordination of roles and responsibilities among different authorities, in order to transcend political difficulties that emerge where these boundaries overlap. Thus, integrating clear boundaries into urban planning policies, and including informal processes in communities, play an important role in improving governance of basic services in peri-urban areas. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
The Pleasure of Walking: An Innovative Methodology to Assess Appropriate Walkable Performance in Urban Areas to Support Transport Planning
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3467; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123467 - 24 Jun 2019
Viewed by 519
Abstract
The Walking Suitability Index of the Territory–T-WSI is an innovative methodology to assess walkability. Unlike other methods and tools in this field designed to evaluate walkability on given origin-destination paths, T-WSI is conceived for area-wide assessments, typically at the neighborhood level. This can [...] Read more.
The Walking Suitability Index of the Territory–T-WSI is an innovative methodology to assess walkability. Unlike other methods and tools in this field designed to evaluate walkability on given origin-destination paths, T-WSI is conceived for area-wide assessments, typically at the neighborhood level. This can be achieved by visual surveys to collect data, which are easy to perform at street level, their further process via an algorithm, and their aggregation to assess the walking performance levels of the test area. The paper describes such methodology, which includes the development of 12 indicators associated with four main evaluation categories (Practicability, Safety, Urbanity and Appeal), and its application to a case study in a medium-size town in central Italy. Results are described and elaborated to highlight T-WSI’s contribution to help decision makers in the urban governance process, typically in the fields of land use, mobility management and maintenance, coherently with the research objective to enlarge the potential of walkability methodologies thus far available up to area-level assessment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Mobility: Social, Technological and Environmental Issues)
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Open AccessArticle
Multi-Criteria Decision-Making Techniques for Solving the Airport Ground Handling Service Equipment Vendor Selection Problem
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3466; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123466 - 24 Jun 2019
Viewed by 342
Abstract
Appropriate airport ground handling service (AGHS) equipment vendor selection (AGHSEVS) can prevent aircraft damage and delays in airlines schedules, and ensure reliable and high-quality ground handling service. Previous research has seldom integrated multi-criteria decision-making techniques with goal programming to solve the AGHSEVS problem. [...] Read more.
Appropriate airport ground handling service (AGHS) equipment vendor selection (AGHSEVS) can prevent aircraft damage and delays in airlines schedules, and ensure reliable and high-quality ground handling service. Previous research has seldom integrated multi-criteria decision-making techniques with goal programming to solve the AGHSEVS problem. This paper describes a new system evaluation model for AGHSEVS by considering both qualitative and quantitative methods. We compare the fuzzy TOPSIS method based on fuzzy weighted average left and right score methods with multi-choice and multi-aspiration goal programming approach of an AGHS company in Taiwan. These study results can help airport ground handling service company managers make optimal decisions for AGHSEVS problems. We hope the practicability of the comparable model with slight modifications of real situation data can be used in other AGHS companies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Influences of Transformational Leadership, Transactional Leadership, and Patriarchal Leadership on Job Satisfaction of Cram School Faculty Members
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3465; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123465 - 24 Jun 2019
Viewed by 454
Abstract
While there is a decline in the annual population of Taiwan, the number of crams schools in the supplementary education industry is increasing. A concern is that there are not enough students to go around. Cram schools are facing a difficult situation to [...] Read more.
While there is a decline in the annual population of Taiwan, the number of crams schools in the supplementary education industry is increasing. A concern is that there are not enough students to go around. Cram schools are facing a difficult situation to survive in the industry. Therefore, a great and useful leadership method is needed to help leaders lead their faculty members and organizations so that they can survive and even grow in this white-hot industry. In this study, 400 New Taipei City cram school faculties were invited to be the research objects to study the influences of transformational leadership, transactional leadership, and patriarchal leadership on job satisfaction. This study adopted the method of intentional sampling to conduct a questionnaire survey. After collecting data, SPSS 12.0 software was used to analyze the descriptive statistics, reliability analysis, description of statistics, t-test method of single factor analysis of variance, and regression. As a result of this research, the employees under transformational leadership have a larger positive result on outer job satisfaction while patriarchal leadership has positive influences on inner job satisfaction. Encouraging subordinates with positive responses, inspiring speeches, and compliments could make subordinates satisfied with the company and interaction with colleagues, while teaching subordinates behavior sets up a moral and authorized style and controlling the organization directly could let subordinates get a sense of accomplishment from work. This study is aimed to provide suggestions and references for the cram schools’ leaders to change their leadership styles and improve their employees’ job satisfaction. Cram schools that take the suggestions and references could improve their working environment and become more competitive in the education industry. Full article
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