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Sustainability, Volume 11, Issue 16 (August-2 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) This study conceptualized race-based non-coverage and non-response errors in US household [...] Read more.
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Open AccessReview
Lane-Level Road Network Generation Techniques for Lane-Level Maps of Autonomous Vehicles: A Survey
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4511; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164511 (registering DOI)
Received: 9 July 2019 / Revised: 16 August 2019 / Accepted: 16 August 2019 / Published: 20 August 2019
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Abstract
Autonomous driving is experiencing rapid development. A lane-level map is essential for autonomous driving, and a lane-level road network is a fundamental part of a lane-level map. A large amount of research has been performed on lane-level road network generation based on various [...] Read more.
Autonomous driving is experiencing rapid development. A lane-level map is essential for autonomous driving, and a lane-level road network is a fundamental part of a lane-level map. A large amount of research has been performed on lane-level road network generation based on various on-board systems. However, there is a lack of analysis and summaries with regards to previous work. This paper presents an overview of lane-level road network generation techniques for the lane-level maps of autonomous vehicles with on-board systems, including the representation and generation of lane-level road networks. First, sensors for lane-level road network data collection are discussed. Then, an overview of the lane-level road geometry extraction methods and mathematical modeling of a lane-level road network is presented. The methodologies, advantages, limitations, and summaries of the two parts are analyzed individually. Next, the classic logic formats of a lane-level road network are discussed. Finally, the survey summarizes the results of the review. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable and Intelligent Transportation Systems)
Open AccessArticle
Addressing Uncertainty of Environmental Governance in Environmentally Sensitive Areas in Developing Countries: A Precise-Strike and Spatial-Targeting Adaptive Governance Framework
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4510; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164510 (registering DOI)
Received: 29 June 2019 / Revised: 14 August 2019 / Accepted: 16 August 2019 / Published: 20 August 2019
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Abstract
Endowed with distinctive natural ecosystems and abundant biodiversity, regional environmental governance in developing countries, especially the environmentally sensitive areas (ESAs), is facing the daunting task to ultimately divert their regional development mode towards sustainable fashion through governance transition. However, given their less-developed status [...] Read more.
Endowed with distinctive natural ecosystems and abundant biodiversity, regional environmental governance in developing countries, especially the environmentally sensitive areas (ESAs), is facing the daunting task to ultimately divert their regional development mode towards sustainable fashion through governance transition. However, given their less-developed status in particular expressed by under-developed economies, unsound political regimes, low governance capacity, such task seemingly insurmountable. In order to approach the incompatibility between economic development and maintenance of the ecosystem services value, and understand the complex and interlocked nature of the regional institution system of ESAs in developing countries, an ecosystem services value-based adaptive governance model was introduced to identify the deficiencies and failures of existing regional environmental governance and establish innovative arenas and transition agendas for innovating and reframing regional institutions and modifying role of regional actor groups and governance mode in the process of decision making on environmental issues. Such approaches were conducted in a circular diverting process in order to facilitate the mode of regional development transforming towards sustainable development. For demonstration the process of application and effectiveness of this methodology, a case study was conducted in a typical ESAs—the Water Source Area of the Middle Route Project of the South–North Water Diversion Project in China. Through integrating the ecosystem services value (ESV) assessment into a wider framework of institutional change, the regional institution system innovation and reformation was directed by taking the ESV changes and pattern of its geo-distribution in the research area as indicators or clues. Compared with traditional proposals for administrative change, the methodology proposed in this study was not prescriptive or directive: Rather, an approach for influencing the direction and speed of transition through a series of steering and coordination mechanism. Therefore, this model is with the potential to be implemented by local communities in regions, especially ESAs in developing countries, to encounter with similar regional development challenges and complex, interlocking, and over-dated regional institutional system associated with environmental issues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Comparison on Multi-Scale Urban Expansion Derived from Nightlight Imagery between China and India
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4509; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164509 (registering DOI)
Received: 2 July 2019 / Revised: 16 August 2019 / Accepted: 16 August 2019 / Published: 20 August 2019
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Abstract
“The Dragon and the Elephant” between China and India is an important manifestation of global multipolarization in the 21st century. As engines of global economic growth, the two rising powers have followed similar courses of development but possess important differences in modes of [...] Read more.
“The Dragon and the Elephant” between China and India is an important manifestation of global multipolarization in the 21st century. As engines of global economic growth, the two rising powers have followed similar courses of development but possess important differences in modes of development and urban development, which have attracted the widespread attention of scholars. From a geospatial perspective, and based on continuous annual night light data (Defense Meteorological Satellite Program-Operational Linescan System, DMSP-OLS) from 1992 to 2012, this paper conducts a multi-scale comparative analysis of urban development differences between China and India by employing various approaches such as the Gini coefficient, Getis–Ord Gi* index, and the Urban Expansion Intensity Index (UEII). The results show that: (1) The urban land space of the two countries expand rapidly, with the average annual expansion rate of China and India being 5.24% and 3.85%, respectively. The urban land expansion rate in China is 1.36 times faster than that in India. Resource-typed towns in arid northwest China and the resource-typed towns in central India have developed rapidly in recent years. (2) The unbalanced development in India is more prominent than in China; and the regional and provincial development imbalances in China are shrinking, while India’s imbalances are improving slowly and its regional differences are gradually widening. (3) The spatial pattern of land use in both countries shows significant coastal and inland differences. The difference between the east, the central regions, and the west is the main spatial pattern of China’s regional development, while the difference between the north and the south is the spatial pattern of India’s regional development. (4) There are obvious differences in the expansion intensity of core cities between the two countries. From 1997 to 2007, the expansion intensity of core cities in China was relatively higher than that in India, while that in India was relatively higher than that in China from 2007 to 2012. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Concept and Evaluation of a Method for the Integration of Human Factors into Human-Oriented Work Design in Cyber-Physical Production Systems
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4508; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164508 (registering DOI)
Received: 21 July 2019 / Revised: 16 August 2019 / Accepted: 16 August 2019 / Published: 20 August 2019
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Abstract
Due to the shift from mainly manual labor to an increased portion of cognitive tasks in manufacturing caused by the introduction of cyber-physical systems, there is a need for an updated collection of adequate design principles for user interfaces between humans and machines. [...] Read more.
Due to the shift from mainly manual labor to an increased portion of cognitive tasks in manufacturing caused by the introduction of cyber-physical systems, there is a need for an updated collection of adequate design principles for user interfaces between humans and machines. Thus, we developed a method for the determination and evaluation of such design principles. It is based on human factors methods and facilitates the assessment of specific work design elements which are supposed to have a significant effect on work performance and the perception of work in cyber-physical production systems (CPPS). Within the application of the developed method, we derived an overview of key design elements in CPPS, developed an experimental platform, and conducted two empirical studies with a total of n = 68 participants. This way, three design elements were investigated, and the findings transferred into preliminary design principles. We can state that the method can be used both for a better understanding of the mechanisms between human factors and work in CPPS. Besides, it helps to provide a catalogue of design principles applicable to SMEs to promote more efficient and successful integration of workers into CPPS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Industry 4.0 for SMEs - Smart Manufacturing and Logistics for SMEs)
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Open AccessArticle
Painting-Emotion Matching Technology Learning System through Repetition
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4507; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164507 (registering DOI)
Received: 19 June 2019 / Revised: 16 August 2019 / Accepted: 16 August 2019 / Published: 20 August 2019
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Abstract
People’s interest in paintings has increased as artists have easier access to an audience. However, at times, laypersons may not understand the significance of a painting. With the development of computer science, it has become possible to analyze paintings using machines, but some [...] Read more.
People’s interest in paintings has increased as artists have easier access to an audience. However, at times, laypersons may not understand the significance of a painting. With the development of computer science, it has become possible to analyze paintings using machines, but some limitations remain. In this paper, we present a learning tool to help analyze the sensitivity of a given painting. To this end, the proposed system provides users with the ability to predict the emotions expressed by a painting through repeated learning of a matched painting. Using this learning tool, users can improve their ability to understand paintings. Full article
Open AccessReview
Effects of Indoor Plants on Self-Reported Perceptions: A Systemic Review
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4506; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164506 (registering DOI)
Received: 8 July 2019 / Revised: 8 August 2019 / Accepted: 13 August 2019 / Published: 20 August 2019
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Abstract
Bringslimark, Hartig, and Pati conducted a literature review of empirical studies investigating the psychological benefits of indoor plants, all of which adopted an experimental design and were written in English. However, the researchers did not follow the rigorous Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic [...] Read more.
Bringslimark, Hartig, and Pati conducted a literature review of empirical studies investigating the psychological benefits of indoor plants, all of which adopted an experimental design and were written in English. However, the researchers did not follow the rigorous Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) protocol. Additionally, the reviewed data were obtained at least a decade ago, and thus require an update. Therefore, the present article reports a systemic review of the quantitative empirical research (in English and Chinese) exploring the effects of indoor plants on subjective psychological perceptions. The information sources were mainly Web of Science (1900–) and WANFANG DATA (1980–), in which only empirical studies using quantitative methods were selected. The eligibility criteria were studies (1) involving any participants, (2) regarding indoor plants (real or surrogates) as an intervention, excluding those equipped with a power-driven biofilter, (3) involving comparators to facilitate within-subject and between-subject comparisons, (4) presenting psychological perceptions as outcome measures, and (5) of all study designs. The two authors collected 45 journal papers (with 50 studies in total). The (1) authors and publication years, (2) participants’ nationalities, sex, and age, (3) number of interventions, (4) duration of plant exposure, (5) participant–plant distance, (6) experiment room size, (7) room climate (i.e., lighting, temperature, and humidity), (8) study designs (i.e., experimental, field experimental, quasi-experimental, field quasi-experimental, or survey designs), and (9) self-reported perceptions (i.e., emotion, cognition, health, restoration, thermal comfort, productivity, and satisfaction) were identified and reviewed. These 50 studies were also analyzed for their quality. Most had moderate research quality. The synthesized results of the reviewed studies showed that the most noticeable effects of indoor plants on participants were increasing positive emotions and reducing negative feelings, followed by reducing physical discomfort. Because members of the general public today spend most of their time indoors and are faced with increasingly severe problems associated with physical–mental health and wellbeing, the application of indoor plants to improving people’s physical–mental health is worth exploring. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of Repeated Application of Wetting Agents on Soil Water Repellency and Microbial Community
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4505; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164505 (registering DOI)
Received: 3 July 2019 / Revised: 12 August 2019 / Accepted: 15 August 2019 / Published: 20 August 2019
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Abstract
Wetting agents are the primary tool used to control soil water repellency (SWR) and localized dry spot (LDS), especially on sand-based soils. However, the effect of repeated applications of wetting agents on soil microbial populations is unknown. This two-year field experiment investigated six [...] Read more.
Wetting agents are the primary tool used to control soil water repellency (SWR) and localized dry spot (LDS), especially on sand-based soils. However, the effect of repeated applications of wetting agents on soil microbial populations is unknown. This two-year field experiment investigated six wetting agents representing different chemistry effects on a creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera L.) putting green with existing SWR. Four out of the six wetting agents improved soil volumetric water content in the second growing season, while others showed no effect. This result was negatively correlated to the development of LDS, and positively correlated to occurrence of an air-borne turf disease. Soil microbial populations, determined by soil phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analysis, found that none of the treatments applied caused a shift in microbial populations between fungi and bacteria, or gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. The stress indicators such as saturated to mono-unsaturated fatty acids were not affected by the wetting agents applied as well. However, the wetting agent that contains alkyl block polymers (ABP; Matador) with proven capability for removal of soil organic coatings showed inhibition of microbial populations at one evaluation timing. This result suggested a temporary restriction in soil carbon availability for soil microorganisms following repeated ABP application, which likely contributed to the elevated LDS development observed. Another wetting agent, a combined product of a nonionic surfactant plus acidifiers (NIS; pHAcid), which is designed to reduce inorganic carbonates while enhancing wetting, elevated all soil microbial populations tested at the end of the experiment, indicating a desirable improvement in soil health. However, repeated application of NIS did not reduce SWR at the conclusion of this experiment, which, in combination with a previous report, suggested a minimal disturbance of soil organic coatings of the hydrophobic sand. Overall, this experiment suggested that soil microbial populations can be affected by wetting agents which may further influence SWR, yet the actual effect on soil microorganisms varies depending on the chemistry of the wetting agents. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Stochastic Unit Commitment and Optimal Power Trading Incorporating PV Uncertainty
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4504; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164504 (registering DOI)
Received: 1 August 2019 / Revised: 14 August 2019 / Accepted: 15 August 2019 / Published: 20 August 2019
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Abstract
This paper focuses on the optimal unit commitment (UC) scheme along with optimal power trading for the Northeast Power System (NEPS) of Afghanistan with a penetration of 230 MW of PV power energy. The NEPS is the biggest power system of Afghanistan fed [...] Read more.
This paper focuses on the optimal unit commitment (UC) scheme along with optimal power trading for the Northeast Power System (NEPS) of Afghanistan with a penetration of 230 MW of PV power energy. The NEPS is the biggest power system of Afghanistan fed from three main sources; 1. Afghanistan’s own power generation units (three thermal units and three hydro units); 2. imported power from Tajikistan; 3. imported power from Uzbekistan. PV power forecasting fluctuations have been handled by means of 50 scenarios generated by Latin-hypercube sampling (LHS) after getting the point solar radiation forecast through the neural network (NN) toolbox. To carry out the analysis, we consider three deterministic UC and two stochastic UC cases with a two-stage programming model that indicates the day-ahead UC as the first stage and the intra-day operation of the system as the second stage. A binary-real genetic algorithm is coded in MATLAB software to optimize the proposed cases in terms of thermal units’ operation costs, import power tariffs, as well as from the perspective of the system reliability risks expressed as the reserve and load not served costs. The results indicate that in the deterministic UC models, the risk of reserve and load curtailment does exist. The stochastic UC approaches including the optimal power trading are superior to the deterministic ones. Moreover, the scheduled UC costs and reserves are different from the actual ones. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Sustainable Electric Power Systems Research)
Open AccessArticle
Entrepreneurship as Catalyst for Sustainable Development: Opening the Black Box
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4503; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164503 (registering DOI)
Received: 23 July 2019 / Revised: 14 August 2019 / Accepted: 16 August 2019 / Published: 20 August 2019
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Abstract
In the last decades, sustainable development has become an important topic of discussion for scholars and practitioners concerned with environmental issues. Since the publication of the Brundtland Report, which represents a milestone in triggering awareness for sustainability issues, sustainable development has steadily gained [...] Read more.
In the last decades, sustainable development has become an important topic of discussion for scholars and practitioners concerned with environmental issues. Since the publication of the Brundtland Report, which represents a milestone in triggering awareness for sustainability issues, sustainable development has steadily gained popularity to become one of the most important environmental discourses today. Together with innovation, the United Nations identified entrepreneurship as a key element for addressing sustainable development challenges. Due to its growing recognition as a driver of sustainable development, entrepreneurship is subject to research across many scientific disciplines. To systemize the current state of knowledge, the purpose of this paper is to systematically review recent literature and to outline how sustainable development influences entrepreneurial activities and vice versa. In addition, it investigates whether and under what circumstances entrepreneurship can contribute to the economic, environmental and social dimension of sustainable development. The systematic literature review shows that several research areas, such as opportunities, motivations, competencies, strategies and business models of sustainability-oriented entrepreneurs, have already received wide coverage by academic literature. However, our knowledge about how entrepreneurial activities contribute to the achievement of the United Nations sustainable development goals is still limited and should be addressed by further research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development in Small and Medium-sized Enterprises)
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Open AccessArticle
A CFD Based Application of Support Vector Regression to Determine the Optimum Smooth Twist for Wind Turbine Blades
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4502; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164502 (registering DOI)
Received: 25 July 2019 / Revised: 15 August 2019 / Accepted: 16 August 2019 / Published: 20 August 2019
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Abstract
Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is a powerful tool to estimate accurately the aerodynamic loads on wind turbine blades at the expense of high requirements like the duration of computation. Such requirements grow in the case of blade shape optimization in which several analyses [...] Read more.
Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is a powerful tool to estimate accurately the aerodynamic loads on wind turbine blades at the expense of high requirements like the duration of computation. Such requirements grow in the case of blade shape optimization in which several analyses are needed. A fast and reliable way to mimic the CFD solutions is to use surrogate models. In this study, a machine learning technique, the support vector regression (SVR) method based on a set of CFD solutions, is used as the surrogate model. CFD solutions are calculated by solving the Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes equation with the k-epsilon turbulence model using a commercial solver. The support vector regression model is then trained to give a functional relationship between the spanwise twist distribution and the generated torque. The smooth twist distribution is defined using a three-node cubic spline with four parameters in total. The optimum twist is determined for two baseline blade cases: the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Phase II and Phase VI rotor blades. In the optimization process, extremum points that give the maximum torque are easily determined since the SVR gives an analytical model. Results show that it is possible to increase the torque generated by the NREL VI blade more than 10% just by redistributing the spanwise twist without carrying out a full geometry optimization of the blade shape with many shape-defining parameters. The increase in torque for the NREL II case is much higher. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Consistent Computational Approaches for Wind Energy Applications)
Open AccessArticle
Artificial Intelligence Based Commercial Risk Management Framework for SMEs
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4501; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164501 (registering DOI)
Received: 30 June 2019 / Revised: 13 August 2019 / Accepted: 15 August 2019 / Published: 20 August 2019
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Abstract
Risk management in commercial processes is among the most important procedures affecting the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), their innovativeness and potential contribution to global sustainable development goals (SDGs). The ecosystem of commercial processes is the prerequisite to manage risk faced [...] Read more.
Risk management in commercial processes is among the most important procedures affecting the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), their innovativeness and potential contribution to global sustainable development goals (SDGs). The ecosystem of commercial processes is the prerequisite to manage risk faced by SMEs. Commercial risk assessment and management using elements of artificial intelligence, big data, and machine learning technologies could be developed and maintained as external services for a group of SMEs allowing to share costs and benefits. This paper aims to provide a conceptual framework of commercial risk assessment and management solution based on elements of artificial intelligence. This conceptualization is done on the background of scientific literature, policy documents, and risk management standards. Main building blocks of the framework in terms of commercial risk categories, data sources and workflow phases are presented in the article. Business companies, state policy, and academic research focused recommendations on the further development of the framework and its implementation are elaborated. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Assessing the Amenity Value of Forest Ecosystem Services: Perspectives from the Use of Sustainable Green Spaces
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4500; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164500 (registering DOI)
Received: 4 June 2019 / Revised: 1 August 2019 / Accepted: 13 August 2019 / Published: 20 August 2019
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Abstract
Due to the fragility of forest ecosystems, developing forest recreational resources must consider sustainable ecological, economic, and social development, and reduce impacts from recreational activities. Diverse forests with different biodiversity could promote forest ecosystem services and resistance to the pressure of tourism development. [...] Read more.
Due to the fragility of forest ecosystems, developing forest recreational resources must consider sustainable ecological, economic, and social development, and reduce impacts from recreational activities. Diverse forests with different biodiversity could promote forest ecosystem services and resistance to the pressure of tourism development. Under such circumstance, it is important to ensure that the travel and tourism industry develops under the principle of sustainable management and assists ecosystem conservation. Forest ecosystem services (FES) have received increasing attention. Especially, the amenity value provided by FES is beneficial for enhancing human health, and has gained popularity. Huisun National Forest Park (HNFP) has the greatest natural forests in Taiwan, and tourists visit the HNFP for the well-preserved environment, abundance of green space, cleanliness, beautiful scenery, and quietness. This study assessed the amenity value of the Huisun National Forest Park (HNFP) by adopting the payment card method via face-to-face survey data of 223 respondents. The annual amenity value of the HNFP per person is NT$2884 in winter and NT$2905 in summer. The total annual amenity value of the HNFP is NT$473,978,430–474,755,774. The results showed that gender, age, education level, monthly income, place of residence, participation in environmental groups, frequency of visiting the HNFP, and stay period significantly influence willingness to pay (WTP). This study concludes that an ecologically sustainable forest with ecosystem services could provide multiple benefits to different stakeholders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Hospitality and Tourism)
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Open AccessArticle
Furthering Internal Border Area Studies: An Analysis of Dysfunctions and Cooperation Mechanisms in the Water and River Management of Catalonia, Aragon and the Valencian Community (Spain)
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4499; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164499 (registering DOI)
Received: 19 July 2019 / Revised: 6 August 2019 / Accepted: 16 August 2019 / Published: 20 August 2019
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Abstract
Cooperation between countries or regions that share a political border is one of the primary concerns of border studies. However, while cooperation between states is a well-established field based on international agreements, the cooperation between internal-state regions is not as well understood and [...] Read more.
Cooperation between countries or regions that share a political border is one of the primary concerns of border studies. However, while cooperation between states is a well-established field based on international agreements, the cooperation between internal-state regions is not as well understood and requires more exhaustive study. Cooperation agreements between regions are frequently based on the shared and collaborative management of environmental resources such as river basins. This paper aimed to identify mechanisms of river basin cooperation in the internal border area between Catalonia, Aragon and the Valencian Community (Spain), with the objective of analyzing dysfunctions in their water management and identifying the territorial needs for the efficient management of these resources. Focus group sessions were conducted with 84 public administration stakeholders and a total of 53 border municipalities were involved in the project. In our study area, we identified a considerable number of dysfunctions that affected different levels of water management (e.g., supply, navigation and reservoirs) and which impeded effective cooperation between different administrations (above all, between town councils and the public water agencies). However, we also identified several interesting initiatives to promote water management in both the medium and long term, including river contracts, river commonwealths and river tourism projects managed by border municipalities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human–River Interactions in Cities)
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Open AccessArticle
Balancing Institutions for Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals Through ‘Network Within Hierarchy’
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4498; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164498 (registering DOI)
Received: 24 May 2019 / Revised: 1 August 2019 / Accepted: 12 August 2019 / Published: 20 August 2019
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Abstract
Policy integration as the central theme of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda calls for more networks for linking actors and policies. The national coordinators of SDGs implementation have maintained a steering hierarchy that creatively engages the network of ministries to develop and [...] Read more.
Policy integration as the central theme of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda calls for more networks for linking actors and policies. The national coordinators of SDGs implementation have maintained a steering hierarchy that creatively engages the network of ministries to develop and implement the National Strategy on Sustainable Development. The integration literature presents a gap in understanding the internal fights of the bureaucrats behind the glossy policy documents. The study relied on 53 in-depth interviews and public documents from Finland, Germany and the Czech Republic to reveal how bureaucrats design institutions to balance the network, hierarchy and market features by maximising the strengths of each mode. The analysis aimed to reveal how ‘Networks Within Hierarchy’ facilitates policy integration. It was found that the network deliberated slowly, rationally and personally. The supporting hierarchy provided direction, steered processes and finalised decisions, and the competitive market supplied choices of policy idea, killed bad ideas, and retained specialisation. When the network entered into endless debate, the coordinators forced a consensus through the hierarchy. Bureaucrats competed with each other in proposing better arguments for their ideas, lifting the quality of the deliberation and the consensus. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Is It Time for a Reset in Arctic Governance?
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4497; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164497 (registering DOI)
Received: 2 August 2019 / Revised: 11 August 2019 / Accepted: 15 August 2019 / Published: 20 August 2019
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Abstract
Conditions in the Arctic today differ from those prevailing during the 1990s in ways that have far-reaching implications for the architecture of Arctic governance. What was once a peripheral region regarded as a zone of peace has turned into ground zero for climate [...] Read more.
Conditions in the Arctic today differ from those prevailing during the 1990s in ways that have far-reaching implications for the architecture of Arctic governance. What was once a peripheral region regarded as a zone of peace has turned into ground zero for climate change on a global scale and a scene of geopolitical maneuvering in which Russia is flexing its muscles as a resurgent great power, China is launching economic initiatives, and the United States is reacting defensively as an embattled but still potent hegemon. This article explores the consequences of these developments for Arctic governance and specifically for the role of the Arctic Council. The article canvasses options for adjusting the council’s membership and its substantive remit. It pays particular attention to opportunities for the council to play a role in managing the increasingly complex Arctic regime complex. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Relationship between Corporate Sustainability Disclosure and Firm Financial Performance in Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) Listed Mining Companies
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4496; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164496 (registering DOI)
Received: 18 April 2019 / Revised: 28 June 2019 / Accepted: 28 June 2019 / Published: 20 August 2019
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Abstract
Whether corporate sustainability disclosure (CSD) affects profitability remains indistinct to many firms. This paper examines the relationship between corporate sustainability disclosure and return on investment. The sample of this study consisted of ten Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE)-listed mining companies, and the data was [...] Read more.
Whether corporate sustainability disclosure (CSD) affects profitability remains indistinct to many firms. This paper examines the relationship between corporate sustainability disclosure and return on investment. The sample of this study consisted of ten Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE)-listed mining companies, and the data was extracted from sustainability reports for a period of five years from 2010 to 2014. In this regard, data collection was undertaken by the adoption of a content analysis approach. A multi-regression analysis was used to analyze the relationship between environmental disclosure and return on investment. The same statistical mechanism was employed to determine the association involving social disclosure and return on investment. Results show that there is a negative relationship between environmental disclosure and return on investment. On the other hand, the research reveals that there is also a positive association between social disclosure and return on investment. This implies that an increase in corporate reporting of social issues results in heightened financial performance through an increase in return on investment. This study recommends the adoption of corporate social disclosure as it will encourage firms to be socially responsible, while also generating financial benefits. Further studies can be conducted about the change from voluntary corporate social disclosure to mandatory disclosure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle
Collective Intelligence: An Emerging World in Open Innovation
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4495; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164495
Received: 21 July 2019 / Revised: 12 August 2019 / Accepted: 13 August 2019 / Published: 19 August 2019
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Abstract
Responding to the lack of empirical research on the effect of collective intelligence on open innovation in the fourth industrial revolution, we examined the relationship between collective intelligence and open innovation. Collective intelligence or crowd innovation not only produces creative ideas or inventions, [...] Read more.
Responding to the lack of empirical research on the effect of collective intelligence on open innovation in the fourth industrial revolution, we examined the relationship between collective intelligence and open innovation. Collective intelligence or crowd innovation not only produces creative ideas or inventions, but also moderates any firm to innovate inside-out, outside-in, or in a coupled manner. We asked the following research questions: Does collective intelligence (or crowd innovation) motivate open innovation? Is there any difference in the effect of collective intelligence on open innovation by industry? These research questions led to the following three hypotheses: (1) Collective intelligence increases the performance of a firm, (2) collective intelligence will moderate the effect of open innovation, and (3) differences exist between the automotive industry and the pharmaceutical industry in these two effects. To empirically examine these three hypotheses, we analyzed the registered patents of these two industries from 2000 to 2014 over a 15-year period. These automotive and pharmaceutical patents were registered in the B60 category and the A61K category of the Korea Patent office, respectively. Collective intelligence was measured by co-invention. We found differences in the effects of collective intelligence on open innovation between the two industries. In the automotive industry, collective intelligence not only directly increased the performance, but also indirectly moderated the open innovation effect. However, this was not the case for the pharmaceutical industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in 2nd IT Revolution with Dynamic Open Innovation)
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Open AccessArticle
The Hydrosocial Cycle in Coastal Tourist Destinations in Alicante, Spain: Increasing Resilience to Drought
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4494; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164494
Received: 21 June 2019 / Revised: 15 August 2019 / Accepted: 15 August 2019 / Published: 19 August 2019
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Abstract
Tourism, and particularly residential tourism, has led to a change in the urban and demographic model of towns along the European Mediterranean coastline. Water as a resource limited and limiting for the growth of tourism is a popular topic in the scientific literature. [...] Read more.
Tourism, and particularly residential tourism, has led to a change in the urban and demographic model of towns along the European Mediterranean coastline. Water as a resource limited and limiting for the growth of tourism is a popular topic in the scientific literature. However, the incorporation of non-conventional resources (desalination) has meant, in theory, that this limitation has been overcome. The aims of this paper are: (a) to identify the different tourism models existing in coastal towns in Alicante province and characterize them according to their water consumption from 2002–2017; and (b) analyse the hydrosocial cycle, highlighting the measures aimed at satisfying water demand and identifying the limitations related to these hydrosocial systems. To this end, different types of information have been processed, and various basic indicators have been analysed. The results revealed the increase in the resilience of this region to natural aridity and drought events. This was possible because the demand management and the use of desalinated water. However, this has generated other problems associated (energetics, environmental) due to maintenance of a non-sustainable territorial model based on an accelerated real estate development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Geography and Social Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle
A New Topology of a Fast Proactive Hybrid DC Circuit Breaker for MT-HVDC Grids
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4493; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164493
Received: 26 June 2019 / Revised: 26 July 2019 / Accepted: 14 August 2019 / Published: 19 August 2019
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Abstract
One of the major challenges toward the reliable and safe operation of the Multi-Terminal HVDC (MT-HVDC) grids arises from the need for a very fast DC-side protection system to detect, identify, and interrupt the DC faults. Utilizing DC Circuit Breakers (CBs) to isolate [...] Read more.
One of the major challenges toward the reliable and safe operation of the Multi-Terminal HVDC (MT-HVDC) grids arises from the need for a very fast DC-side protection system to detect, identify, and interrupt the DC faults. Utilizing DC Circuit Breakers (CBs) to isolate the faulty line and using a converter topology to interrupt the DC fault current are the two practical ways to clear the DC fault without causing a large loss of power infeed. This paper presents a new topology of a fast proactive Hybrid DC Circuit Breaker (HDCCB) to isolate the DC faults in MT-HVDC grids in case of fault current interruption, along with lowering the conduction losses and lowering the interruption time. The proposed topology is based on the inverse current injection technique using a diode and a capacitor to enforce the fault current to zero. Also, in case of bidirectional fault current interruption, the diode and capacitor prevent changing their polarities after identifying the direction of fault current, and this can be used to reduce the interruption time accordingly. Different modes of operation of the proposed topology are presented in detail and tested in a simulation-based system. Compared to the conventional DC CB, the proposed topology has increased the breaking current capability, and reduced the interruption time, as well as lowering the on-state switching power losses. To check and verify the performance and efficiency of the proposed topology, a DC-link representing a DC-pole of an MT-HVDC system is simulated and analyzed in the PSCAD/EMTDC environment. The simulation results verify the robustness and effectiveness of the proposed HDCCB in improving the overall performance of MT-HVDC systems and increasing the reliability of the DC grids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integration of AC/DC Microgrids into Power Grids)
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Open AccessReview
Pinch Methods for Efficient Use of Water in Food Industry: A Survey Review
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4492; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164492
Received: 19 June 2019 / Revised: 1 August 2019 / Accepted: 15 August 2019 / Published: 19 August 2019
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Abstract
The implementation of sustainable water management practices, through the recycling and reuse of water, is essential in terms of minimizing production costs and the environmental impact of the food industry. This problem goes beyond the classical audit and housekeeping practices through developing a [...] Read more.
The implementation of sustainable water management practices, through the recycling and reuse of water, is essential in terms of minimizing production costs and the environmental impact of the food industry. This problem goes beyond the classical audit and housekeeping practices through developing a systemic water-using reduction strategy. The implementation of such an approach needs R&D development, especially for the food industry, where there is a lack of knowledge on: (a) process integration and (b) data on the pollutant indicators or (c) volumes of water used and discharged at specific steps of the food processing line. Since energy pinch analysis emerged, different variations of pinch methods have been developed. As a variation of pinch, Water pinch analysis is a global and systematic approach to minimize water consumption and discharges, especially for the most energy-intensive and water-consuming factories. Based on the nature of the food industry, the real systems are complex, multi-source multi-contaminant systems, the problem should be well formulated, including mathematical constraints (inequalities thresholds). Current work has reviewed comprehensive literature about different variations of pinch analysis. In continue, water pinch method deeply discussed and some relevant data concerning the water using process and pollutant indicators have been reviewed with emphasis on the food industry sector. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Food Processing and Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle
Board Directors’ Expertise and Corporate Corruption Disclosure: The Moderating Role of Political Connections
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4491; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164491
Received: 2 July 2019 / Revised: 6 August 2019 / Accepted: 7 August 2019 / Published: 19 August 2019
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Abstract
Professional expert directors extensively influence corporate corruption disclosure (CCD), while higher political connections may exacerbate corporate management. This study investigates the relationship between the presence of external experts on a board and CCD, as well as the moderating effect of political connections, on [...] Read more.
Professional expert directors extensively influence corporate corruption disclosure (CCD), while higher political connections may exacerbate corporate management. This study investigates the relationship between the presence of external experts on a board and CCD, as well as the moderating effect of political connections, on the positive role of legal experts in CCD. The study combines agency, resource dependence and stakeholder theories to show how resourceful directors on the board can promote corruption disclosure. Using data on listed firms in the Bangladeshi financial sector, the study analyzes 247 firm-year observations from 2012 to 2016. The results of a multiple regression analysis indicate that accounting experts, legal experts, political connections and corporate media visibility each have a positive and significant influence on CCD. Moreover, the moderating effect of political connections on the relationship between legal experts and CCD is negative and significant due to their higher political influences. The study has significant implications for corporate governance and for policies concerning the development of the economy while reducing corruption. Full article
Open AccessArticle
An Optimum Irrigation Schedule with Aeration for Greenhouse Tomato Cultivations Based on Entropy Evaluation Method
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4490; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164490
Received: 16 July 2019 / Revised: 14 August 2019 / Accepted: 15 August 2019 / Published: 19 August 2019
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Abstract
To balance multiple objectives of high yield by farmers, high quality by customers, and high irrigation water use efficiency (IWUE) for sustainable development of agriculture, a two-growing-season study was performed to test the effect of aeration at three irrigation levels (60%, 80%, and [...] Read more.
To balance multiple objectives of high yield by farmers, high quality by customers, and high irrigation water use efficiency (IWUE) for sustainable development of agriculture, a two-growing-season study was performed to test the effect of aeration at three irrigation levels (60%, 80%, and 100% of full irrigation) on crop growth, nutrient uptake, yield, IWUE, and fruit quality of tomato. The results showed that compared to the control, aeration significantly increased total dry weight at harvest, total N and K accumulation, which increased tomato yield by 23% and IWUE by 23% (p < 0.05). Yield and IWUE were significantly affected by irrigation with the increasing rate of 20.5% and 14.3% for yield, and with the decreasing rate of 27.7% and 8.6% for IWUE under 100% of full irrigation than that under 60% and 80% of full irrigation, respectively. Aeration positively impacted fruit quality while irrigation had a negative impact (p > 0.05). Based on these indicators, full irrigation with aeration could be an appropriate schedule for greenhouse tomato cultivations by the entropy evaluation method with the comprehensive score of 0.879 and 0.77 for the spring-summer and autumn-winter season, respectively. The result is of great significance to the farmers’ or researchers’ management of aerated irrigation in greenhouse tomatoes. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Ethical Leadership, Affective Commitment, Work Engagement, and Creativity: Testing a Multiple Mediation Approach
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4489; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164489
Received: 11 July 2019 / Revised: 15 August 2019 / Accepted: 16 August 2019 / Published: 19 August 2019
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Abstract
This study aimed to explore the relationships among ethical leadership (EL), affective commitment (AC), work engagement (WE), and employees’ creativity (EC). In total, 233 Chinese public sector employees completed the survey in three phases. We used confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and structural equation [...] Read more.
This study aimed to explore the relationships among ethical leadership (EL), affective commitment (AC), work engagement (WE), and employees’ creativity (EC). In total, 233 Chinese public sector employees completed the survey in three phases. We used confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and structural equation modeling (SEM) to analyze the data. The paper found positive relationships between EL and WE and with EL and EC. The results further revealed that AC partially mediates the EL-WE relationship, while both AC and WE fully mediate the relationship between EL and EC. Testing these relationships via a multiple-mediated approach significantly contributed to the existing research on leadership. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Leadership and Education)
Open AccessArticle
Can More Accurate Night-Time Remote Sensing Data Simulate a More Detailed Population Distribution?
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4488; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164488
Received: 11 June 2019 / Revised: 9 August 2019 / Accepted: 9 August 2019 / Published: 19 August 2019
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Abstract
Aging, shrinking cities, urban agglomerations and other new key terms continue to emerge when describing the large-scale population changes in various cities in mainland China. It is important to simulate the distribution of residential populations at a coarse scale to manage cities as [...] Read more.
Aging, shrinking cities, urban agglomerations and other new key terms continue to emerge when describing the large-scale population changes in various cities in mainland China. It is important to simulate the distribution of residential populations at a coarse scale to manage cities as a whole, and at a fine scale for policy making in infrastructure development. This paper analyzes the relationship between the DN (Digital number, value assigned to a pixel in a digital image) value of NPP-VIIRS (the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite’s Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite) and LuoJia1-01 and the residential populations of urban areas at a district, sub-district, community and court level, to compare the influence of resolution of remote sensing data by taking urban land use to map out auxiliary data in which first-class (R1), second-class (R2) and third-class residential areas (R3) are distinguished by house price. The results show that LuoJia1-01 more accurately analyzes population distributions at a court level for second- and third-class residential areas, which account for over 85% of the total population. The accuracy of the LuoJia1-01 simulation data is higher than that of Landscan and GHS (European Commission Global Human Settlement) population. This can be used as an important tool for refining the simulation of residential population distributions. In the future, higher-resolution night-time light data could be used for research on accurate simulation analysis that scales down large-scale populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Sustainable Construction Measures in Building Refurbishment—Life Cycle Comparison of Conventional and Multi-Active Façade Systems in a Social Housing Complex
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4487; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164487
Received: 28 May 2019 / Revised: 17 July 2019 / Accepted: 14 August 2019 / Published: 19 August 2019
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Abstract
Building refurbishment plays a key role in the de-carbonization of the European building stock. Whilst the renewal of the thermal envelope increases energy efficiency during the operational phase, the type of material is highly relevant for the overall environmental impact of the refurbishment. [...] Read more.
Building refurbishment plays a key role in the de-carbonization of the European building stock. Whilst the renewal of the thermal envelope increases energy efficiency during the operational phase, the type of material is highly relevant for the overall environmental impact of the refurbishment. Expanded polystyrene (EPS) is most widely used for external thermal insulation systems but is also a material based on fossil resources. Thus, alternatives made from renewable raw materials must be more widely used in order to reach the climate goals. However, comparable data on long-term material effects over the life cycle are needed for developers and planners to make informed decisions. In a Viennese case study for the largest social housing property manager in Europe, two different façade systems have been analyzed to assess the overall environmental impact of the materials. In a comprehensive life cycle assessment, a Multi-Active Façade system based on recycled paper has been compared with a conventional external thermal insulation composite system (ETICS) using EPS. It shows that whilst the evaluation during the operational phase alone results in a similar ecological footprint of the ETICS, the analysis over the whole life cycle provides a clear positive indication for the novel Multi-Active Façade. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle
Laundry Habits in Bangkok: Use Patterns of Products and Services
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4486; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164486
Received: 14 June 2019 / Revised: 5 August 2019 / Accepted: 8 August 2019 / Published: 19 August 2019
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Abstract
This study aimed to define the use of product–service system (PSS) associated with laundry businesses, such as coin-operated self-service laundromats (CL) and laundry services (LS), in order to get a better understanding of the environmental implications of PSS in laundry habits in Bangkok, [...] Read more.
This study aimed to define the use of product–service system (PSS) associated with laundry businesses, such as coin-operated self-service laundromats (CL) and laundry services (LS), in order to get a better understanding of the environmental implications of PSS in laundry habits in Bangkok, Thailand. The motivation to use PSS could vary according to the specific consumer needs often defined by cultures, and therefore the environmental impacts from the PSS use would result differently from country to country. Questionnaires and in-depth interviews were conducted with Bangkok residents to determine the laundry habits related to the use of PSS. As a result, the use of private washing machines (PW) was found to be the main option, and CL and LS were used as an additional option in the laundry habits. The most widely observed use pattern in Bangkok was the use of CL as an alternative to PW instead of buying a new machine for a new life in dormitories or other residences away from home. At that time, hand washing (HW) was also used for saving money and for the cleanliness. Regarding the environmental potential, the relationship between the PSS users and laundry habits was specifically analyzed. The group who uses PSS frequently tended to do laundry less often than those who only use PW. Meanwhile, the need for even more services is also expected to increase among the PSS users. The need to improve the quality of laundry is expected to increase with the improvement of quality of living in Bangkok in the near future. However, at the same time, these observations imply that a change of consumer behaviors related to the use of PSS determines the resulting energy consumption and environmental burdens. To further clarify sustainable consumption and production systems, a quantitative analysis of the environmental impact of the laundry habits remains as a future task. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
“We Are Prisoners in Our Own Homes”: Connecting the Environment, Gender-Based Violence and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights to Sport for Development and Peace in Nicaragua
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4485; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164485
Received: 9 July 2019 / Revised: 12 August 2019 / Accepted: 14 August 2019 / Published: 19 August 2019
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Abstract
This paper draws on postcolonial feminist political ecology theory, feminist theories of violence and new materialist approaches to sport and physical cultural studies—combined with literature on the role of non-humans in international development—to unpack the connections between gender-based violence and the environment in [...] Read more.
This paper draws on postcolonial feminist political ecology theory, feminist theories of violence and new materialist approaches to sport and physical cultural studies—combined with literature on the role of non-humans in international development—to unpack the connections between gender-based violence and the environment in sport, gender and development (SGD) programming in Nicaragua. To do this, postcolonial feminist participatory action research (PFPAR), including visual research methods such as photovoice, was used to better understand, and prioritize, young Nicaraguan women’s experiences of the environment and gender-based violence as they participated in an SGD program used to promote environmentalism and improve their sexual and reproductive health rights. To conclude, the importance of accounting for the broader physical environment in social and political forces was underlined as it shapes the lives of those on the receiving end of SGD interventions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Travel-To-School Mode Choice Modelling Employing Artificial Intelligence Techniques: A Comparative Study
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4484; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164484
Received: 22 July 2019 / Revised: 9 August 2019 / Accepted: 11 August 2019 / Published: 19 August 2019
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Abstract
Many techniques including logistic regression and artificial intelligence have been employed to explain school-goers mode choice behavior. This paper aims to compare the effectiveness, robustness, and convergence of three different machine learning tools (MLT), namely the extreme learning machine (ELM), support vector machine [...] Read more.
Many techniques including logistic regression and artificial intelligence have been employed to explain school-goers mode choice behavior. This paper aims to compare the effectiveness, robustness, and convergence of three different machine learning tools (MLT), namely the extreme learning machine (ELM), support vector machine (SVM), and multi-layer perceptron neural network (MLP-NN) to predict school-goers mode choice behavior in Al-Khobar and Dhahran cities of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). It uses the students’ information, including the school grade, the distance between home and school, travel time, family income and size, number of students in the family and education level of parents as input variables to the MLT. However, their outputs were binary, that is, either to choose the passenger car or walking to the school. The study examined a promising performance of the ELM and MLP-NN suggesting their significance as alternatives for school-goers mode choice modeling. The performances of the SVM was satisfactory but not to the same level of significance in comparison with the other two. Moreover, the SVM technique is computationally more expensive over the ELM and MLP-NN. Further, this research develops a majority voting ensemble method based on the outputs of the employed MLT to enhance the overall prediction performance. The presented results confirm the efficacy and superiority of the ensemble method over the others. The study results are likely to guide the transport engineers, planners, and decision-makers by providing them with a reliable way to model and predict the traffic demand for transport infrastructures on the basis of the prevailing mode choice behavior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Open AccessArticle
A New Framework for the Regeneration Process of Mediterranean Historic City Centres
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4483; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164483
Received: 9 July 2019 / Revised: 7 August 2019 / Accepted: 14 August 2019 / Published: 19 August 2019
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Abstract
For thousands of years, cities have evolved with changing needs. Cities are like living organisms, which are exposed to transformations as a result of changing needs and requirements. City centres are one of the attractive, essential, and vital parts of the city that [...] Read more.
For thousands of years, cities have evolved with changing needs. Cities are like living organisms, which are exposed to transformations as a result of changing needs and requirements. City centres are one of the attractive, essential, and vital parts of the city that are also affected by these changes. Specifically, historic city centres, which refer to the origins of the city, will be discussed within this context. Urban design aims to shape our cities with better quality and provide better places for everyday life. In addition, urban regeneration can be utilized as generic public policy for solving problems and providing physical improvements for these cities. Although the problems that emerge in each city are similar, sometimes they change circumstantially. As a result, the planning, implementation, and management of urban regeneration projects as well as their sustainability can produce serious complications. This article focuses on the process of urban regeneration, historic city centres, and the Mediterranean region and aims to develop an applicable regeneration framework for historic city centres limited to the Mediterranean region. First, the main problems of these cities are described. Next, characteristics of historic city centres and associated problems of the Mediterranean region are explained. Subsequently, the concept of urban regeneration is clarified, and the processes involved are discussed. Finally, an applicable urban regeneration framework for historic Mediterranean city centres, developed by the authors, is explained with the goal to reduce social segregation while incorporating the contributions of views from both local inhabitants and stakeholders in the process. The methodology of the overall research presented in this article is mainly based on a critical review of primary and secondary documents from the literature through a comparative and exploratory approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Regeneration and Sustainable Urban Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Issues and Impacts of the Apricot Value Chain on the Upland Farmers in the Himalayan Range of Pakistan
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4482; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164482
Received: 5 July 2019 / Revised: 8 August 2019 / Accepted: 14 August 2019 / Published: 19 August 2019
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Abstract
The livelihood of the people in the Himalayan range of Pakistan is largely dependent on the cultivation of fruits. Apricot and apple are the major fruits of this region, which are marketed throughout the country and also exported to other countries. Due to [...] Read more.
The livelihood of the people in the Himalayan range of Pakistan is largely dependent on the cultivation of fruits. Apricot and apple are the major fruits of this region, which are marketed throughout the country and also exported to other countries. Due to high perishability and the poor farm-to-market infrastructure in the region, farmers are unable to get maximum returns. This study was conducted keeping in view the importance of the region and the impacts of fruits on the livelihood of the farmhands. Cross-sectional data from 200 respondents were collected through a multistage random sampling technique. Factor analysis was employed to find out the constraint in the apricot production and propensity score matching estimates were employed to see the impact of apricot production on the farming communities in the study area. The results of the factor analysis show the most important group of constraints in the growth of the apricot industry is awareness, which is an internal factor. This is followed by production, policy, and marketing constraints. The least important is processing technology. Furthermore, the results show that apricot production has a significant positive impact on decreasing the poverty level of the household, depicting a great potential for the development of resilient livelihoods. Full article
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