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Sustainability, Volume 11, Issue 13 (July-1 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) This article presents a behavioral analysis of tourists visiting a tourist beach area in the north [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
A Study of Tourists’ Holiday Rush-Hour Avoidance Travel Behavior Considering Psychographic Segmentation
Sustainability 2019, 11(13), 3755; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11133755
Received: 17 June 2019 / Revised: 3 July 2019 / Accepted: 4 July 2019 / Published: 9 July 2019
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Abstract
Tourists are confronted with congestion caused by concentrated travel during public holidays. In order to guide tourists to make voluntary changes regarding their travel times during holidays, this paper focuses on exploring holiday rush-hour avoidance travel behavior (HRATB) considering psychological factors. First, based [...] Read more.
Tourists are confronted with congestion caused by concentrated travel during public holidays. In order to guide tourists to make voluntary changes regarding their travel times during holidays, this paper focuses on exploring holiday rush-hour avoidance travel behavior (HRATB) considering psychological factors. First, based on the theory of planned behavior, the effects of psychological factors including attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavior control on holiday avoidance travel intention and behavior were quantitatively analyzed by the structural equation model. Second, according to those three subjective psychological factors and the three objective factors of age, monthly income, and tourist group, the segmentation method of the latent class model was adopted to explore tourists’ preferences with regard to HRATB. Finally, an empirical analysis was carried out through questionnaire data. The results show that attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavior control have significant impacts on intention and behavior with regard to holiday avoidance travel. There are significant differences in psychological observation variables such as rush-hour avoidance travel intention, attitude and subjective norm among the four segments of tourists, and cost sensitivity. In addition, this paper puts forward some countermeasures and suggestions for the four types of tourists. Conclusions provide a theoretical basis for formulating travel measures to attract different types of tourists. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Role of Hazard and Vulnerability in Modulating Economic Damages of Inland Floods in the United States Using a Survey-Based Dataset
Sustainability 2019, 11(13), 3754; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11133754
Received: 11 June 2019 / Revised: 1 July 2019 / Accepted: 2 July 2019 / Published: 9 July 2019
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Abstract
This study investigates the trends in economic damages caused by three types of inland floods (flash flood, flood, and heavy rain) in the United States and the variations in related hazard and vulnerability indicators between 1996 and 2016. We explore the underlying mechanisms [...] Read more.
This study investigates the trends in economic damages caused by three types of inland floods (flash flood, flood, and heavy rain) in the United States and the variations in related hazard and vulnerability indicators between 1996 and 2016. We explore the underlying mechanisms based on a survey-based dataset maintained by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Weather Service. An annual average of 6518 flood occurrences was reported, which caused economic damages of 3351 million USD per year. Flash flood and flood contributed to 53% and 32% of total occurrences and was associated with a larger share of damaging events (SDE). Results show that the higher impacts by flood and flash flood on property and crop are partly attributed to the greater intensity of rainfall. In addition, flood has the highest unit cost of damages. Notably, despite an upward tendency in economic damages by flash floods, no evident change trend is observed for inland floods as a whole. Further analysis shows changes in economic damages by heavy rain and flash flood are mainly governed by the increased annual frequency and hazard intensity, but the change of trend in their vulnerability indicators (i.e., SDE and Damage Per Event (DPE)) is not obvious. Regarding floods, it was not possible to attribute the variations in economic losses to hazard and vulnerability, as no significant tendency is found except for an increasing SDE. Despite limitations of length of records, data collection, and methodology, the difference in economic impacts and the related hazard and vulnerability revealed in this study can help better target future adaptation and mitigation measures. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Characteristic Development Model: A Transformation for the Sustainable Development of Small Towns in China
Sustainability 2019, 11(13), 3753; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11133753
Received: 10 May 2019 / Revised: 28 June 2019 / Accepted: 29 June 2019 / Published: 9 July 2019
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Abstract
In recent years, the construction of small towns in China has faced many challenges, hindering the sustainable development of small towns. This paper proposes that the traditional development model of small towns no longer meets the current demands, and it urgently needs updating. [...] Read more.
In recent years, the construction of small towns in China has faced many challenges, hindering the sustainable development of small towns. This paper proposes that the traditional development model of small towns no longer meets the current demands, and it urgently needs updating. In the past two years, there has been an increase in the construction of characteristic small towns in China. This is a good beginning for the transformation development of small towns and would bring new opportunities. However, some problems have developed. One example is the emergence of the “blind town”, which means the governors cultivate a featured town blindly without objectively considering the reality of that area. These decisions have a negative impact on the future sustainable development of small towns. Therefore, the governors need to consider the basic conditions of the area, perform a scientific assessment, and present a clear cultivation strategy. This paper presents a preliminary scientific method for the characteristic development mode of small towns with “explore characteristic–evaluate characteristic–nurture characteristic” as the main line, which would be conducive to the characteristic transformation for the steady and sustainable development of small towns in China. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Binder and Mixture Fatigue Performance of Plant-Produced Road Surface Course Asphalt Mixtures with High Contents of Reclaimed Asphalt
Sustainability 2019, 11(13), 3752; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11133752
Received: 28 May 2019 / Revised: 3 July 2019 / Accepted: 3 July 2019 / Published: 9 July 2019
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Abstract
The aged properties of Reclaimed Asphalt (RA) binders are one of the main factors working against their utilisation in high-RA content (>30%) mixes for surface courses. Fatigue cracking is the main distress of surface courses that are manufactured with a high percentage of [...] Read more.
The aged properties of Reclaimed Asphalt (RA) binders are one of the main factors working against their utilisation in high-RA content (>30%) mixes for surface courses. Fatigue cracking is the main distress of surface courses that are manufactured with a high percentage of RA. This investigation presents results of the rheological and fatigue results of different asphalt mixtures and their recovered binders. The binders were recovered from asphalt mixtures that had been manufactured in asphalt plants using different amounts of RA with contents up to 60% with and without rejuvenators. Two different sources of RA were used, representing a moderately aged RA and an extremely aged RA. The Dynamic Shear Rheometer (DSR) was used to assess the fatigue-characteristics of the binders using time sweep tests while the fatigue characteristics of their mixtures were assessed using the Indirect Tensile Fatigue Test (ITFT). The fatigue data was analysed based on the cumulative dissipated energy approach in addition to traditional fatigue analysis. Results have shown that the ageing condition of RA significantly affects the fatigue properties of recovered binders. Binder and asphalt mixture fatigue results showed that RA contents up to 60% can produce comparable fatigue performance compared to lower percentages of RA in road surface course if the aged RA binder is sufficiently rejuvenated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Infrastructure Materials and Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Sustainable Irrigation Management of Ornamental Cordyline Fruticosa “Red Edge” Plants with Saline Water
Sustainability 2019, 11(13), 3751; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11133751
Received: 13 May 2019 / Revised: 19 June 2019 / Accepted: 25 June 2019 / Published: 9 July 2019
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Abstract
The aim of this work was to analyze the influence of the salinity of the nutrient solution on the transpiration and growth of Cordyline fruticosa var. “Red Edge” plants. A specific irrigation management model was calibrated with the experimental data. An experiment was [...] Read more.
The aim of this work was to analyze the influence of the salinity of the nutrient solution on the transpiration and growth of Cordyline fruticosa var. “Red Edge” plants. A specific irrigation management model was calibrated with the experimental data. An experiment was performed with four treatments. These treatments consisted of the application of four nutrient solutions with different electrical conductivity (ECw) levels ranging from 1.5 dS m−1 (control treatment) to 4.5 dS m−1. The results showed that day-time transpiration decreases when salt concentration in the nutrient solution increases. The transpiration of the plant in the control treatment was modelled by applying a combination method while the effect of the salinity of the nutrient solution was modelled by deriving a saline stress coefficient from the experimental data. The results showed that significant reductions in plant transpiration were observed for increasing values of ECw. The crop development and yield were also affected by the increasing salinity of the nutrient solution. A relationship between the ECw and the relative crop yield was derived. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Irrigation System)
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Open AccessReview
Education Development in China: Education Return, Quality, and Equity
Sustainability 2019, 11(13), 3750; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11133750
Received: 29 May 2019 / Revised: 1 July 2019 / Accepted: 2 July 2019 / Published: 9 July 2019
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Abstract
As the biggest developing country with the largest population in the world, China has made great achievements in education development, which has contributed tremendously to reducing poverty and boosting prosperity in the past decades. However, in the course of education development, many problems [...] Read more.
As the biggest developing country with the largest population in the world, China has made great achievements in education development, which has contributed tremendously to reducing poverty and boosting prosperity in the past decades. However, in the course of education development, many problems and issues have emerged, which have also been extensively studied by scholars in various fields in both China and international contexts. Among the myriad of research topics, three research foci stand out as the most concerning and studied: education return, education quality, and education equity. This paper draws on both international research literature and evidence from China to discuss education development issues including education return, education quality, and education equity, and suggests future directions for research and practice to enhance education development and to achieve a sustainable future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Education and Approaches)
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Open AccessArticle
Hydropower Development and Fishways: A Need for Connectivity in Rivers of the Upper Paraná Basin
Sustainability 2019, 11(13), 3749; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11133749
Received: 31 May 2019 / Revised: 1 July 2019 / Accepted: 3 July 2019 / Published: 9 July 2019
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Abstract
South American rivers have become intensely affected by the construction of hydroelectric dams that block the river’s connectivity for migratory fish species. In order to mitigate the problems caused by dams and to reestablish connections between habitats, fishways are implemented. Fishways are structures [...] Read more.
South American rivers have become intensely affected by the construction of hydroelectric dams that block the river’s connectivity for migratory fish species. In order to mitigate the problems caused by dams and to reestablish connections between habitats, fishways are implemented. Fishways are structures that aid fish in overcoming obstacles and help preserve migratory, reproductive, and feeding routes. This study performed an inventory of all hydropower plants—present and future—in the Upper Paraná River, with the objective of identifying fishways unknown to scientific literature, as well as the task of mapping them. By doing so, the current situation of structural connectivity via fishways in the Upper Paraná River Basin was described. Overall, 389 dams along 209 rivers were identified; of these, only 9% (35 dams) have fishways. In addition, an alarming explosion of future medium-sized hydropower plants was observed, with an expectation of an almost 500% increase in relation to those existing. This data reveals a trend of reduction of free-flowing river stretches, which are crucial habitats for Neotropical potamodromous species, and point to a deficiency in the structural connectivity of existing hydropower dams. Furthermore, if the implementations of these expected constructions are associated with limited connectivity as a result of the absence of fishways, the management of fisheries and their resources in the Upper Paraná River may become unsustainable. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Big Data for the Sustainability of Healthcare Project Financing
Sustainability 2019, 11(13), 3748; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11133748
Received: 11 June 2019 / Revised: 28 June 2019 / Accepted: 5 July 2019 / Published: 9 July 2019
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Abstract
This study aims to detect if and how big data can improve the quality and timeliness of information in infrastructural healthcare Project Finance (PF) investments, making them more sustainable, and increasing their overall efficiency. Interactions with telemedicine or disease management and prediction are [...] Read more.
This study aims to detect if and how big data can improve the quality and timeliness of information in infrastructural healthcare Project Finance (PF) investments, making them more sustainable, and increasing their overall efficiency. Interactions with telemedicine or disease management and prediction are promising but are still underexploited. However, given rising health expenditure and shrinking budgets, data-driven cost-cutting is inevitably required. An interdisciplinary approach combines complementary aspects concerning big data, healthcare information technology, and PF investments. The methodology is based on a business plan of a standard healthcare Public-Private Partnership (PPP) investment, compared with a big data-driven business model that incorporates predictive analytics in different scenarios. When Public and Private Partners interact through networking big data and interoperable databases, they boost value co-creation, improving Value for Money and reducing risk. Big data can also help by shortening supply chain steps, expanding economic marginality and easing the sustainable planning of smart healthcare investments. Flexibility, driven by timely big data feedbacks, contributes to reducing the intrinsic rigidity of long-termed PF healthcare investments. Healthcare is a highly networked and systemic industry, that can benefit from interacting with big data that provide timely feedbacks for continuous business model re-engineering, reducing the distance between forecasts and actual occurrences. Risk shrinks and sustainability is fostered, together with the bankability of the infrastructural investment. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Agritourism: A Hedonic Approach of Quality Tourism Indicators in South Tyrol
Sustainability 2019, 11(13), 3747; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11133747
Received: 23 May 2019 / Revised: 29 June 2019 / Accepted: 4 July 2019 / Published: 9 July 2019
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Abstract
This paper examines the prices of agritourism accommodation that include food services (i.e., the option to have breakfast) and related farm attributes. We analyze what tourists are willing to pay per night for a designated farm holiday stay in South Tyrol offered through [...] Read more.
This paper examines the prices of agritourism accommodation that include food services (i.e., the option to have breakfast) and related farm attributes. We analyze what tourists are willing to pay per night for a designated farm holiday stay in South Tyrol offered through the “Red Rooster” brand (n = 367). We first identify factors that may influence tourist decisions to book a holiday at a farm, which include the number of flowers (i.e., the red rooster quality-rating scheme), the type of accommodation, the distance to various leisure activities, and externalities related to agricultural practices. Second, the paper develops two hedonic models to estimate implicit prices for farm holiday accommodation rates. Specifically, the dependent variables are the prices paid by guests during the summer peak and low seasons. Independent variables are various accommodation attributes, the quality of food service, and the range of possible activities in the area surrounding the farm. The results of the study show that the red rooster quality-rating scheme (i.e., the number of flowers) and the quality of food services are highly significant and have a positive impact on guest willingness to pay. Farm types, such as fruit-growing and livestock operations, have a significant but negative effect on accommodation rates at least during the peak season, whilst wine production and organic farming display a positive influence on the accommodation rates during the low season. Implications for practitioners and policy-makers are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agritourism in Mountain Regions)
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Open AccessArticle
Integrating Spatial and Temporal Approaches for Explaining Bicycle Crashes in High-Risk Areas in Antwerp (Belgium)
Sustainability 2019, 11(13), 3746; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11133746
Received: 11 June 2019 / Revised: 1 July 2019 / Accepted: 3 July 2019 / Published: 9 July 2019
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Abstract
The majority of bicycle crash studies aim at determining risk factors and estimating crash risks by employing statistics. Accordingly, the goal of this paper is to evaluate bicycle–motor vehicle crashes by using spatial and temporal approaches to statistical data. The spatial approach (a [...] Read more.
The majority of bicycle crash studies aim at determining risk factors and estimating crash risks by employing statistics. Accordingly, the goal of this paper is to evaluate bicycle–motor vehicle crashes by using spatial and temporal approaches to statistical data. The spatial approach (a weighted kernel density estimation approach) preliminarily estimates crash risks at the macro level, thereby avoiding the expensive work of collecting traffic counts; meanwhile, the temporal approach (negative binomial regression approach) focuses on crash data that occurred on urban arterials and includes traffic exposure at the micro level. The crash risk and risk factors of arterial roads associated with bicycle facilities and road environments were assessed using a database built from field surveys and five government agencies. This study analysed 4120 geocoded bicycle crashes in the city of Antwerp (CA, Belgium). The data sets covered five years (2014 to 2018), including all bicycle–motorized vehicle (BMV) crashes from police reports. Urban arterials were highlighted as high-risk areas through the spatial approach. This was as expected given that, due to heavy traffic and limited road space, bicycle facilities on arterial roads face many design problems. Through spatial and temporal approaches, the environmental characteristics of bicycle crashes on arterial roads were analysed at the micro level. Finally, this paper provides an insight that can be used by both the geography and transport fields to improve cycling safety on urban arterial roads. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sustainability Assessment of Agricultural Systems in Paraguay: A Comparative Study Using FAO’s SAFA Framework
Sustainability 2019, 11(13), 3745; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11133745
Received: 31 May 2019 / Revised: 29 June 2019 / Accepted: 3 July 2019 / Published: 9 July 2019
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Abstract
Sustainability is a topic that is at the center of current discussions in the political, economic, social, and environmental fields. For its analysis, an integral and multidisciplinary vision is needed. This work aims to assess the sustainability of agricultural systems in Paraguay through [...] Read more.
Sustainability is a topic that is at the center of current discussions in the political, economic, social, and environmental fields. For its analysis, an integral and multidisciplinary vision is needed. This work aims to assess the sustainability of agricultural systems in Paraguay through a comparison applying SAFA (Sustainability Assessment of Food and Agriculture Systems) indicators. The research focuses on 15 case studies on the territory of the Eastern Region of Paraguay divided into five classes of agricultural systems: agribusiness, conventional peasant family farming, agroecological peasant family farming, neo-rural farming, and indigenous agriculture. Data were collected through interviews with producers and key informants, direct observation, and scientific literature research in order to assess, through the SAFA Tool Software, the level of sustainability of each agricultural system as a whole and for each sustainability dimension (political, environmental, economic, and social dimension) in a comparative way. It has emerged that producers belonging to conventional peasant family farming, agroecological peasant family farming, neo-rural farming, and indigenous agriculture have achieved levels of sustainability that are similar to each other and very good in all four dimensions of sustainability. Meanwhile, agribusiness achieved moderate scores in the dimensions of governance and environmental integrity, and was good in the economic and social dimension. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Determinants of Companies that Disclose High-Quality Integrated Reports
Sustainability 2019, 11(13), 3744; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11133744
Received: 26 May 2019 / Revised: 30 June 2019 / Accepted: 2 July 2019 / Published: 9 July 2019
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Abstract
Integrated reporting is becoming increasingly popular. The focus of this study was to assess the overall integrated reporting quality of global companies and find determinants of high-level integrated reporting. Qualitative text analysis was performed on the 2017 integrated reports of 110 global organizations [...] Read more.
Integrated reporting is becoming increasingly popular. The focus of this study was to assess the overall integrated reporting quality of global companies and find determinants of high-level integrated reporting. Qualitative text analysis was performed on the 2017 integrated reports of 110 global organizations to determine in what way companies report on specific topics related to the six capitals: social and relationship, human, intellectual, manufacturing, natural, and financial. Using a novel assessment technique, scores were then assigned according to the details provided in the integrated reports on the various topics. This was done for each form of capital, and the total integrated score was subsequently calculated as the average between all the capital scores. Finally, a regression analysis was performed to determine the characteristics of high-quality integrated reporters. The results of univariate analysis and two-stage least squares instrumental variable (2SLS) regression indicate that companies of a larger size with a higher female board ratio and listing in the International Integrated Reporting Committee (IIRC) examples database are more likely to publish a higher quality integrated report. The results imply that these variables are the main disclosure drivers. However, a significant negative correlation was found between integrated report quality and the variables related to female executive ratio, external board member ratio, profitability, leverage, and previous report experience, as well as report length. No significant association was found between the location and industry group and report quality. The empirical evidence of this study shows that even though integrated reporting has become more common overall, the comparability and quality of the reports still remain low. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle
Highlighting Regional Energy-Economic-Environmental Benefits of Agricultural Bioresources Utilization: An Integrated Model from Life Cycle Perspective
Sustainability 2019, 11(13), 3743; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11133743
Received: 5 June 2019 / Revised: 3 July 2019 / Accepted: 3 July 2019 / Published: 9 July 2019
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Abstract
Bioenergy utilization is ambitiously being promoted, attributed to its renewable and clean natures. China’s provincial regions have distinct levels of agricultural development, and thus, different levels of agricultural bioresources (ABs) potentials. In this study, an integrated assessment model is developed to quantify the [...] Read more.
Bioenergy utilization is ambitiously being promoted, attributed to its renewable and clean natures. China’s provincial regions have distinct levels of agricultural development, and thus, different levels of agricultural bioresources (ABs) potentials. In this study, an integrated assessment model is developed to quantify the 3E benefits from the life cycle perspective, covering the whole process of energy-oriented ABs utilization. Integrating nine types of ABs and four types of energy conversion modes (direct combustion power generation, gasification power generation, briquette fuel and bioethanol), the model is applied to 31 provincial regions in China to uncover regional features of the 3E benefits. The results showcase that total energy benefits in all regions amount to 100.6 million tons of coal-equivalent, with the most for Henan, Heilongjiang, Shandong, Xinjiang and Jilin and the least for Tibet, Beijing, Shanghai, Qinghai and Hainan. The economic and environmental benefits of regions are consistent with the energy benefits, with a total amount of 10.5 billion USD and 229.2, 1.5 and 2.5 million t CO2, SO2 and NOx mitigations. Energy utilization proportion of ABs, allocation proportion, energy conversion coefficients, net profit coefficient and mitigation coefficients for four modes are the key parameters affecting regional 3E benefits. The results have policy implications on facilitating to reasonable and pertinent regional planning of energy-oriented ABs utilization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Basic Psychological Needs and Self-Determined Motivation as Drivers of Voluntary Simplistic Clothing Consumption Practices in South Africa
Sustainability 2019, 11(13), 3742; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11133742
Received: 30 May 2019 / Revised: 14 June 2019 / Accepted: 25 June 2019 / Published: 9 July 2019
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Abstract
Consumers’ clothing consumption is the cause of many social and environmental consequences, especially in emerging economies where consumption continues to escalate. It is therefore vital that consumers adopt more voluntary simplistic lifestyles with sustainable clothing practices. This study relies on the self-determination theory [...] Read more.
Consumers’ clothing consumption is the cause of many social and environmental consequences, especially in emerging economies where consumption continues to escalate. It is therefore vital that consumers adopt more voluntary simplistic lifestyles with sustainable clothing practices. This study relies on the self-determination theory to explore the influence of basic psychological needs (i.e., competence, autonomy, and connectedness) and self-determined motivation (i.e., identified- and integrated regulation as well as intrinsic motivation) on female consumers’ voluntary simplistic clothing practices. Data were derived from 469 online questionnaires and structural equation modeling was employed to test the hypotheses. Competence was identified as the most influential basic psychological need, followed by the need for connectedness and autonomy. Moreover, intrinsic motivation is the strongest predictor of voluntary simplistic clothing practices, while integrated regulation is deemed insignificant and identified regulation has a negative association with the practices in question. In summary, it would seem that female consumers are keen on adopting voluntary simplistic clothing behaviors. This may be due to their intrinsic motivation and competence rather than their exposure to extrinsic influences. This study provides valuable insight into the motivational determinants of voluntary simplistic clothing consumption in South Africa and may thus serve as a platform for further investigation into other emerging markets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychology of Sustainability and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle
The Layout of Maize Variety Test Sites Based on the Spatiotemporal Classification of the Planting Environment
Sustainability 2019, 11(13), 3741; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11133741
Received: 12 June 2019 / Revised: 25 June 2019 / Accepted: 30 June 2019 / Published: 9 July 2019
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Abstract
An appropriate layout of crop multi-environment trial (MET) sites is imperative for evaluating new crop varieties’ performance in terms of agronomic traits and stress tolerance, and this information is used to determine the utilization value and suitable promotion region of new varieties. Actually, [...] Read more.
An appropriate layout of crop multi-environment trial (MET) sites is imperative for evaluating new crop varieties’ performance in terms of agronomic traits and stress tolerance, and this information is used to determine the utilization value and suitable promotion region of new varieties. Actually, traditional maize test sites have been selected according to the experience of breeding experts, which leads to the strong subjective and unscientific conclusions regarding sites, as well as test results that are not representative of the target population of environments (TPE). Therefore, in this study, we proposed a new method for MET sites layout. Meteorological data, maize growth period data, and county-level maize planting area data were collected for the spatiotemporal classification of a given maize planting region to analyze change rules in the environmental category of each minimum research unit within the study period. If the occurrence frequency of its final attribution category reaches a certain threshold (50%), this minimum research unit is classified as a typical environment region; otherwise, it is classified as an atypical environment region. Then, the number of test sites in each environmental category is allocated by spatial stratified sampling. At last, we establish the optimal test sites layout and a reliability measurement (test adequacy) methods. The practicability of this method was proved by taking the Three Northeastern Provinces of China as the study area. The result shows that there should be 112 test sites in the study area, the distribution of the test sites is uniform, and the environmental representation is high. Test adequacy analysis of the test sites reveals that most of the environmental categories have a test adequacy that reaches 1 in each test period. The method proposed in this paper provides support for the scientific layout of crop varieties test sites and helps to improve the representative and reliability of variety test results while optimizing resources. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Motivational Climate, Emotional Intelligence, and Healthy Habits in Physical Education Teachers of the Future Using Structural Equations
Sustainability 2019, 11(13), 3740; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11133740
Received: 10 May 2019 / Revised: 20 June 2019 / Accepted: 4 July 2019 / Published: 9 July 2019
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Abstract
This study developed a Structural Equation Model (SEM) in order to identify the associations between motivational climate, emotional intelligence, adherence to the Mediterranean Diet (MD), Physical Activity (PA), and some health indicators in a sample of future teachers. A non-experimental and cross-sectional study [...] Read more.
This study developed a Structural Equation Model (SEM) in order to identify the associations between motivational climate, emotional intelligence, adherence to the Mediterranean Diet (MD), Physical Activity (PA), and some health indicators in a sample of future teachers. A non-experimental and cross-sectional study was carried in 775 university students (22.22 ± 3.76), using as main scales the Perceived Motivational Climate in Sport Questionnaire (PMCSQ-2), Emotional Intelligence Inventory adapted for the sport context, Physical Activity Questionnaire for Adolescents (PAQ-A), Mediterranean Diet Quality Index (KIDMED), 20 meter Shuttle Run Test (20mSRT), and percentage of lean and fat mass as calculated by the Tanita TBF300®® (Tanita-Corporation, Tokyo, Japan) electronic scale. The results showed a positive association between emotional intelligence and task climate, whereas the relationship with an ego climate was low. Ego-oriented climate was positively related to MD and high levels of PA. Emotional intelligence was directly related to higher levels of PA and the level of adherence to MD. PA was negatively associated with fat mass and positively with lean mass and VO2MAX. Task-oriented motivational climate showed a positive relation with the emotional intelligence of young people. Ego-oriented motivational climates were related to higher rates of physical-sport engagement and better diet quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Education for Sustainability in Physical Education)
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Open AccessArticle
Considering Product Life Cycle Cost Purchasing Strategy for Solving Vendor Selection Problems
Sustainability 2019, 11(13), 3739; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11133739
Received: 30 May 2019 / Revised: 24 June 2019 / Accepted: 2 July 2019 / Published: 9 July 2019
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Abstract
The framework of product life cycle (PLC) cost analysis is one of the most important evaluation tools for a contemporary high-tech company in an increasingly competitive market environment. The PLC-purchasing strategy provides the framework for a procurement plan and examines the sourcing strategy [...] Read more.
The framework of product life cycle (PLC) cost analysis is one of the most important evaluation tools for a contemporary high-tech company in an increasingly competitive market environment. The PLC-purchasing strategy provides the framework for a procurement plan and examines the sourcing strategy of a firm. The marketing literature emphasizes that ongoing technological change and shortened life cycles are important elements in commercial organizations. From a strategic viewpoint, the vendor has an important position between supplier, buyer and manufacturer. The buyer seeks to procure the products from a set of vendors to take advantage of economies of scale and to exploit opportunities for strategic relationships. However, previous studies have seldom considered vendor selection (VS) based on PLC cost (VSPLCC) analysis. The purpose of this paper is to solve the VSPLCC problems considering the situation of a single buyer–multiple supplier. For this issue, a new VSPLCC procurement model and solution procedure are derived in this paper to minimize net cost, rejection rate, late delivery and PLC cost subject to vendor capacities and budget constraints. Moreover, a real case in Taiwan is provided to show how to solve the VSPLCC procurement problem. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Extensive Orchards in the Agricultural Landscape: Effective Protection against Fraying Damage Caused by Roe Deer
Sustainability 2019, 11(13), 3738; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11133738
Received: 27 April 2019 / Revised: 5 July 2019 / Accepted: 8 July 2019 / Published: 9 July 2019
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Abstract
The objective of this research was to determine the efficiency of different types of protective barriers and how they protect against fraying damage in extensive fruit tree orchards. Orchards in open agricultural land are the target of fraying damage caused by roe deer [...] Read more.
The objective of this research was to determine the efficiency of different types of protective barriers and how they protect against fraying damage in extensive fruit tree orchards. Orchards in open agricultural land are the target of fraying damage caused by roe deer (Capreolus capreolus L.). We assessed the effectiveness of four protective barriers: a rabbit-proof fence, a standard plastic tube commonly used in forestry, and an innovative plastic tube—variants with and without an additional rendering fat application. The study was situated in three extensive orchards in the southeastern part of Moravia in the Czech Republic. We analyzed the ratio of damaged trees, stem circumference damage, the length and height of damage on tree stems, the time periods with the most observed damage, and finally, the economic efficiency of each studied barrier. Most of the damage was observed in April and July. The most effective protective barrier was the innovative tube with rendering fat application (up to 100%) followed closely by the innovative tube without rendering fat application (95%). The standard plastic tube had an effectiveness of 49%, while the rabbit-proof fence was the least effective at 25%. In terms of the mean damage-lengths on tree stems, we found no significant differences between the rabbit-proof fence and the standard plastic tubes (21–22 cm). The usage of the innovative plastic tube without rendering fat reduced the average damage-length by half (10 cm) as compared to standard types (rabbit-proof fence, standard tube) of protection. The damage-heights on tree stems showed no significant differences among all variants (53–58 cm from the ground). Our analysis of economic parameters showed that rabbit-proof fencing had the worst cost efficiency, while the innovative tubes without rendering fat, had the best cost efficiency. We recommend starting the installation of protective barriers on trees in March, since we recorded relatively high activity of male roe deer in the following months. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle
Green Practices in Hospitality: A Contingency Approach
Sustainability 2019, 11(13), 3737; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11133737
Received: 2 May 2019 / Revised: 26 June 2019 / Accepted: 27 June 2019 / Published: 9 July 2019
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Abstract
This study focuses on discovering sustainable practices and possible innovative practices according to factors of Contingency Theory. In order to achieve this, a qualitative approach has been conducted. The study analyses 24 independent hotels. Semi-structured interviews were used in this study and conducted [...] Read more.
This study focuses on discovering sustainable practices and possible innovative practices according to factors of Contingency Theory. In order to achieve this, a qualitative approach has been conducted. The study analyses 24 independent hotels. Semi-structured interviews were used in this study and conducted in person with the top managers at each hotel. The results show that, in accordance with Contingency Theory, the organizational behaviour is determined by the environment in which the hotel operates, the size of the establishment, where large- and medium-sized hotels are more committed to sustainable development, the environmental technology adopted and implemented by the hotel, and the main type of clientele, with hotels aimed at business travellers who show greater attention to the environment than those aimed at leisure travellers, mainly associated with socio-cultural values. The factors that were not completely decisive in the results analysed were the age of the hotel and the sex of the hotel owner. Considering the achieved results, this study may also contribute to identifying the most sustainable hotels and can help hotel businesses understand and reap the benefits of following a sustainable path. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Competitiveness, Sustainability and Tourism)
Open AccessArticle
Energy and Environmental Flows: Do Most Financialised Countries within the Mediterranean Area Export Unsustainability?
Sustainability 2019, 11(13), 3736; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11133736
Received: 26 May 2019 / Revised: 17 June 2019 / Accepted: 28 June 2019 / Published: 9 July 2019
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Abstract
The literature dedicated to the problems of transboundary pollution often aims to verify what the environmental and energy interactions between countries are. Little attention is paid to the financial relations of the phenomenon. We analyze how financial, environmental and energy flows have been [...] Read more.
The literature dedicated to the problems of transboundary pollution often aims to verify what the environmental and energy interactions between countries are. Little attention is paid to the financial relations of the phenomenon. We analyze how financial, environmental and energy flows have been redistributed within the main Mediterranean countries, with particular reference to pollution. Applying advanced methods of correlation, we verify the dynamics of transfer processes with the aim of assessing whether the link between economic and financial and environmental flows might support the hypothesis that rich countries export environmental emissions to poor ones. Our results show that richer countries have a significant propensity to export energy, financial flows and polluting emissions. The imbalance is even greater for emissions with local impact. This process is accompanied by a substantial increase in the financial activities of the North Mediterranean countries to the detriment of those of the South, which progressively increase their indebtedness. We find out that the economic and financial development of the North Med is accompanied by an increasing environmental impact measured by the various types of emissions covered by our study. The research shows how the most industrialized countries of the Mediterranean area are increasing the economic and financial gap with respect to the Southern Mediterranean countries. Full article
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Open AccessPerspective
China’s South-to-North Water Diversion Project Empowers Sustainable Water Resources System in the North
Sustainability 2019, 11(13), 3735; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11133735
Received: 10 May 2019 / Revised: 14 June 2019 / Accepted: 3 July 2019 / Published: 9 July 2019
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Abstract
Global freshwaters are severely depleted. Provision of improved water infrastructure technologies and innovation can address challenges posed by water shortages to environmental sustainability. China’s South-to-North Water Diversion Project has generated extensive debates over sustainability of water resources system in the northern drier region, [...] Read more.
Global freshwaters are severely depleted. Provision of improved water infrastructure technologies and innovation can address challenges posed by water shortages to environmental sustainability. China’s South-to-North Water Diversion Project has generated extensive debates over sustainability of water resources system in the northern drier region, which faces severe water scarcity hindering ecosystems, agriculture, industries and livelihoods. Some arguments extend the views that large infrastructure projects can have negative implications for biodiversity conservation and ecosystem goods and services. However, this study strengthens the opposite view, as such projects would resolve increasing environmental challenges northern China has been facing over many decades due to severe water shortages. The project empowers connectivity among individuals, community, and organizations that the sustainability of goods and services such as energy, irrigation and water supply are perceived, and livelihoods and the standard of peoples’ living is improved. A resilient, robust and adaptive water infrastructure framework can overcome the challenges of water shortages by meeting a long term social, economic and environmental goals for water resources systems in northern China. Such framework can also identify the thresholds of change and the threats associated with environmental sustainability. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Intercultural and Community Schools. Learning to Live together
Sustainability 2019, 11(13), 3734; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11133734
Received: 30 April 2019 / Revised: 29 May 2019 / Accepted: 18 June 2019 / Published: 9 July 2019
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Abstract
We must remember the need to create communicative relationships among groups from different cultures, as well as to reinforce the configuration and organisation of the Spanish school system. The objective of this article is to highlight the urgent need to recognise cultural, religious [...] Read more.
We must remember the need to create communicative relationships among groups from different cultures, as well as to reinforce the configuration and organisation of the Spanish school system. The objective of this article is to highlight the urgent need to recognise cultural, religious and linguistic diversity as values. Furthermore, Spain has rejected the French assimilationist model, both in legal and practical spheres, and the only way to integrate this model is by implementing intercultural models. Following the Convention on the Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expression of the European Union, providing respect and recognition of plurality from intercultural inclusive positions is primordial in the learning context. We cannot talk about building an intercultural society without considering democratic practice and citizen participation; to this regard, dialogue and collaboration between the school community and educational centres are imperative. It is necessary to adopt an inclusive intercultural policy, to open education centres outside of traditional school hours, to reach agreements with cultural institutions, etc. Only in this way will an intercultural society become a reality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intercultural Education and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle
A Bayesian Network-Based Integrated for Flood Risk Assessment (InFRA)
Sustainability 2019, 11(13), 3733; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11133733
Received: 28 May 2019 / Revised: 26 June 2019 / Accepted: 2 July 2019 / Published: 9 July 2019
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Abstract
Floods are natural disasters that should be considered a top priority in disaster management, and various methods have been developed to evaluate the risks. However, each method has different results and may confuse decision-makers in disaster management. In this study, a flood risk [...] Read more.
Floods are natural disasters that should be considered a top priority in disaster management, and various methods have been developed to evaluate the risks. However, each method has different results and may confuse decision-makers in disaster management. In this study, a flood risk assessment method is proposed to integrate various methods to overcome these problems. Using factor analysis and principal component analysis (PCA), the leading indicators that affect flood damage were selected and weighted using three methods: the analytic hierarchy process (AHP), constant sum scale (CSS), and entropy. However, each method has flaws due to inconsistent weights. Therefore, a Bayesian network was used to present the integrated weights that reflect the characteristics of each method. Moreover, a relationship is proposed between the elements and the indicators based on the weights called the Integrated Index for Flood Risk Assessment (InFRA). InFRA and other assessment methods were compared by receiver operating characteristics (ROC)-area under curve (AUC) analysis. As a result, InFRA showed better applicability since InFRA was 0.67 and other methods were less than 0.5. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Passivhaus Standard in the Spanish Mediterranean: Evaluation of a House’s Thermal Behaviour of Enclosures and Airtightness
Sustainability 2019, 11(13), 3732; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11133732
Received: 3 June 2019 / Revised: 1 July 2019 / Accepted: 4 July 2019 / Published: 8 July 2019
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Abstract
Few houses have been built in the Spanish Mediterranean in accordance with the Passivhaus (PH) standard. This standard is adapted to the continental climates of Central Europe and thorough studies are necessary to apply this standard in Spain, especially in the summer. High [...] Read more.
Few houses have been built in the Spanish Mediterranean in accordance with the Passivhaus (PH) standard. This standard is adapted to the continental climates of Central Europe and thorough studies are necessary to apply this standard in Spain, especially in the summer. High relative air humidity levels in coastal areas and solar radiation levels of west-facing façades require adapted architectural designs, as well as greater control of air renewal and dehumidification. A priori, energy consumptions undergo big variations. In this study, the construction of a single-family house in the Spanish Levante was analysed. All enclosure layers were monitored using sensors of surface temperature, solar radiation, indoor and outdoor air temperature, relative humidity, and air speed. The thermal behaviour of the façade enclosure and air infiltration through the enclosure were examined using the blower door test and impacts on annual energy demand were quantified. Using simulation tools, improvements are proposed, and the results are compared with examples of PH housing in other geographical areas. The annual energy demand of PH housing was 69.19% below the usual value for buildings in the Mediterranean region. Very thick thermal insulation and low values of airtightness could be applied to the envelope, which would work very well in the winter. These technique solutions could provide optimal comfort conditions with a well-designed air conditioning system in summer and low energy consumption. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Development of an Innovative Land Valuation Model (iLVM) for Mass Appraisal Application in Sub-Urban Areas Using AHP: An Integration of Theoretical and Practical Approaches
Sustainability 2019, 11(13), 3731; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11133731
Received: 10 June 2019 / Revised: 29 June 2019 / Accepted: 4 July 2019 / Published: 8 July 2019
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Abstract
Land development in sub-urban areas is more frequent than in highly urbanized cities, causing land prices to increase abruptly and making it harder for valuers to update land values in timely manner. Apart from this, the non-availability of sufficient reliable market values forces [...] Read more.
Land development in sub-urban areas is more frequent than in highly urbanized cities, causing land prices to increase abruptly and making it harder for valuers to update land values in timely manner. Apart from this, the non-availability of sufficient reliable market values forces valuers to use alternatives and subjective judgement. Land value is critical not only for private individuals but also for government agencies in their day-to-day land dealings. Thus, mass appraisal is necessary. In other words, despite the importance of reliable land value in all aspects of land administration, valuation remains disorganized, with unregulated undertakings that lack concrete scientific, legal, and practical foundations. A holistic and objective way of weighing geospatial factors through expert consultation, legal reviews, and evidence (i.e., news) will provide more realistic results than a regression-based method that does not comprehend valuation factors (i.e., physical, social, economic, environmental, and legal aspects). The analytic hierarchy process (AHP) enables these factors to be included in the model, hence providing a realistic result. The innovative land valuation model (iLVM), developed in this study, is an inclusive approach wherein experts are involved in the selection and weighing of 15 factors through the AHP. The model was validated using root mean squared error (RMSE) and compared with multiple regression analysis (MRA) through a case study in Baybay City, Philippines. Based on the results, the iLVM (RMSE = 0.526) outperformed MRA (RMSE = 1.953). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Mechanical Behavior of Hot-Mix Asphalt Made with Recycled Concrete Aggregates from Construction and Demolition Waste: A Design of Experiments Approach
Sustainability 2019, 11(13), 3730; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11133730
Received: 12 June 2019 / Revised: 3 July 2019 / Accepted: 5 July 2019 / Published: 8 July 2019
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Abstract
The present work is a re-evaluation of previous research on the durability of hot-mix asphalt made with recycled concrete aggregates from construction and demolition waste (CDW) with a different approach. Response surface methodology (RSM) was used to conduct this study. The kind of [...] Read more.
The present work is a re-evaluation of previous research on the durability of hot-mix asphalt made with recycled concrete aggregates from construction and demolition waste (CDW) with a different approach. Response surface methodology (RSM) was used to conduct this study. The kind of natural aggregates (schist and calcite-dolomite), the recycled concrete aggregates percentage (0%, 20%, 40% and 60%) and the water saturation (0% and 100%) were the pertinent factors for this methodology. Indirect tensile stress (ITS) was determined in mixtures fabricated with 0%, 20%, 40% and 60% recycled concrete aggregates. According to the results, the ITS of the bituminous mixtures increases as the percentage of recycled concrete aggregate increases. This behavior is more significant when calcite-dolomite is used as a natural aggregate. Water saturation has the same influence in both natural aggregates. The indirect tensile strength ratio (ITSR) was calculated to evaluate the stripping potential. According to the Spanish specifications, the results suggest that the percentage of CDW that can be used for hot mixes is 17% when schist is used as natural aggregate and 14% for calcite-dolomite. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Socio-Ecological Niche and Factors Affecting Agroforestry Practice Adoption in Different Agroecologies of Southern Tigray, Ethiopia
Sustainability 2019, 11(13), 3729; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11133729
Received: 15 June 2019 / Revised: 27 June 2019 / Accepted: 3 July 2019 / Published: 8 July 2019
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Abstract
This study was carried out in the southern zone of Tigray to identify and characterize traditional common agroforestry practices and understand the existing knowledge of farm households on the management of trees under different agroforestry in different agroecologies. We conducted reconnaissance and diagnostic [...] Read more.
This study was carried out in the southern zone of Tigray to identify and characterize traditional common agroforestry practices and understand the existing knowledge of farm households on the management of trees under different agroforestry in different agroecologies. We conducted reconnaissance and diagnostic surveys by systematically and randomly selecting 147 farming households in the three agroecologies of the study area. A logit regression model was employed to determine how these factors influence farmers’ adoption decision. The findings indicate that a majority of the households (46.3%) were engaged in homestead agroforestry practices (AFP), followed by live fence (25.9%) and farmland or parkland (15%) agroforestry practices. The study identified Carica papaya, Malus domestic, Persea americana, Mangifera indica, Ziziphus spina-christi, and Balanites aegyptiaca as the most dominant fruit tree species found in the home garden agroforestry. In total, 68% of the households had some of these fruit trees around their home gardens. We also established the three most dominant agricultural production systems as: i) Agricultural production system, composed of fruit tree + cereal crops + Ziziphus spina-christi + Balanites aegyptiaca and/or acacia species; ii) agricultural production system, consisting of cash crops, like Coffee arabica and Catha edulies + fruit trees + Cordia africana + Balanites aegyptiaca and/or acacia species; and iii) agricultural production, composed of fruit trees + vegetables within a boundary of Sesbania sesban and other acacia species in the modern irrigated land. Furthermore, 90.16% of the households in the highlands reported a shortage of farmland for planting trees as the main constraint. About 34.44% farmers reported using leaves of Cordia africana, Balanites aegyptiaca, pods of acacia species, and crop residue as the main source of animal fodder. In total, 86.4% of the households also recognized the importance of multipurpose trees for soil fertility enhancement, control of runoff, microclimate amelioration, environmental protection, and dry season animal fodder. According to the logit model analysis, sex, family size, educational level, and landholding significantly (p < 0.05) influence the household’s role in the adoption of agroforestry practices. Based on these findings, farmers used different adaptation strategies, such as planting of multi-purpose trees (34.7%), conservation tillage to minimize both erosion and runoff potentials as soil conservation strategies (27.2%), varying planting dates, use of drought tolerant crop varieties (16.3%), and others based on farmers’ indigenous knowledge passed down from generation to generation. We conclude that agroforestry practices are important components of farming systems in Tigray, resulting in diversified products and ecological benefits that improve socio-ecological resilience. Therefore, we recommend that agroforestry practices are mainstreamed into development plans, especially in agriculture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agroforestry and Ecosystem Regeneration)
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Open AccessArticle
Sustainable Development of Coastal Food Services
Sustainability 2019, 11(13), 3728; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11133728
Received: 21 June 2019 / Revised: 1 July 2019 / Accepted: 3 July 2019 / Published: 8 July 2019
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Abstract
Coastal food services are an important segment within ‘sea and sun’ tourism. They have a direct impact on the environment from liquid and solid waste generation, air contamination, and excessive energy and water consumption. Mass tourism and the contemporary threat of climate change [...] Read more.
Coastal food services are an important segment within ‘sea and sun’ tourism. They have a direct impact on the environment from liquid and solid waste generation, air contamination, and excessive energy and water consumption. Mass tourism and the contemporary threat of climate change enhance the anthropogenic intrusion, especially in vulnerable coastal zones. To prevent overexploitation of the coastal zones, the adaptation of the sustainable principles by coastal stakeholders is an urgent matter. Thus, this study aims to design a model of sustainable development for restaurants and to examine the level of its adoption by seaside restaurant owners in two touristic beach areas of Cadiz province, Spain. A questionnaire was performed during the high summer season in 2018. The obtained data was analysed by IBM SPSS software. The survey results showed that the model of sustainable development has been poorly adopted by restaurant managers. Foreign managers of international restaurants are less involved in the adoption of the sustainable model in comparison to Spanish restaurant owners. Moreover, restaurants that have been opened more than 10–20 years provide a more sustainable way of business operation in comparison with newly established food service organizations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle
Configuring New Business Models for Circular Economy through Product–Service Systems
Sustainability 2019, 11(13), 3727; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11133727
Received: 6 June 2019 / Revised: 4 July 2019 / Accepted: 5 July 2019 / Published: 8 July 2019
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Abstract
Product—service systems (PSSs) are often outlined as potential enablers of new business models for circular economy. However, not all business models based on product-service systems have superior circularity potential. This research demonstrates how the application of a previously developed business model configurator for [...] Read more.
Product—service systems (PSSs) are often outlined as potential enablers of new business models for circular economy. However, not all business models based on product-service systems have superior circularity potential. This research demonstrates how the application of a previously developed business model configurator for circular economy can support the design and assessment of customer value, economic and resource decoupling potential for product-service system business models in practice. By applying action research in two Nordic manufacturing companies from the furniture sector, different business model concepts based on product-service systems were proposed and assessed. Results indicate positive uptake by companies regarding the usefulness of the obtained outcomes. This research identified two key findings about ‘product-service system business models for circular economy’: (i) their configuration should fulfil certain simultaneous conditions—i.e. superior customer value, economic growth, and resource decoupling potentialto contribute to circular economy; and (ii) they are often ‘niche solutions’, fulfilling specific needs and customer segments, and more likely to flourish with certain types/characteristic of products, segments or geographical locations. Lastly, a framework outlining the conditions and trade-offs for assessing the circularity potential of business models based on product-service systems is introduced as one of the key contributions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Factors Influencing Revenue Collection for Preventative Maintenance of Community Water Systems: A Fuzzy-Set Qualitative Comparative Analysis
Sustainability 2019, 11(13), 3726; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11133726
Received: 28 May 2019 / Revised: 2 July 2019 / Accepted: 4 July 2019 / Published: 8 July 2019
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Abstract
This study analyzed combinations of conditions that influence regular payments for water service in resource-limited communities. To do so, the study investigated 16 communities participating in a new preventive maintenance program in the Kamuli District of Uganda under a public–private partnership framework. First, [...] Read more.
This study analyzed combinations of conditions that influence regular payments for water service in resource-limited communities. To do so, the study investigated 16 communities participating in a new preventive maintenance program in the Kamuli District of Uganda under a public–private partnership framework. First, this study identified conditions posited as important for collective payment compliance from a literature review. Then, drawing from data included in a water source report and by conducting semi-structured interviews with households and water user committees (WUC), we identified communities that were compliant with, or suspended from, preventative maintenance service payments. Through qualitative analyses of these data and case knowledge, we identified and characterized conditions that appeared to contribute to these outcomes. Then, we employed fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) to determine the combinations of conditions that led to payment compliance. Overall, the findings from this study reveal distinct pathways of conditions that impact payment compliance and reflect the multifaceted nature of water point sustainability. Practically, the findings identify the processes needed for successful payment compliance, which include a strong WUC with proper support and training, user perceptions that the water quality is high and available in adequate quantities, ongoing support, and a lack of nearby water sources. A comprehensive understanding of the combined factors that lead to payment compliance can improve future preventative maintenance programs, guide the design of water service arrangements, and ultimately increase water service sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Engineering and Sustainable Development)
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