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Sustainability, Volume 11, Issue 19 (October-1 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Can the effectiveness of normative appeals be reinforced through imagery that reaffirms the [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Optimum Design and Energy Performance of Hybrid Triple Glazing System with Vacuum and Carbon Dioxide Filled Gap
Sustainability 2019, 11(19), 5543; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195543 - 08 Oct 2019
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Abstract
This study develops a hybrid triple glazing technology that combines vacuum and carbon dioxide (CO2) gaps to help store CO2 in buildings. We determine the optimal thickness of glazing and calculate its thermal transmission (U-value). The amount of energy saved [...] Read more.
This study develops a hybrid triple glazing technology that combines vacuum and carbon dioxide (CO2) gaps to help store CO2 in buildings. We determine the optimal thickness of glazing and calculate its thermal transmission (U-value). The amount of energy saved by using the proposed glazing system is then compared with that when using conventional insulating gases (air, argon, and krypton). Therm & Window, a modeling and analysis program for glazing, and EnergyPlus, a building environment and energy evaluation program, were used for the analysis. The optimal thickness determined for the vacuum and CO2 sections is 6.2 mm and 19 mm, respectively. The latter section comprises a 15-mm CO2 gap and 4 mm of glass. The total thickness of the glazing is 25.2 mm and the U-value is 0.259 W/m2∙K. The energy performance of the triple glazing using vacuum and CO2 gaps is between that of glazing using vacuum and air and that using vacuum and krypton gas gaps. Further, its performance is comparable to that of triple glazing using vacuum and argon gas gaps. Therefore, the hybrid triple glazing proposed in this paper represents an advanced glazing technique that can absorb CO2 and reduce energy consumption in buildings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
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Open AccessArticle
Renovation Construction Process Scheduling for Long-Term Performance of Buildings: An Application Case of University Campus
Sustainability 2019, 11(19), 5542; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195542 - 08 Oct 2019
Viewed by 229
Abstract
Renovation construction is employed for maintaining the long-term performance of buildings. For the occupants, the building users, renovation contributes to the acceptable levels of convenience and quality of the buildings. However, if the operation continues during the renovation for an area containing several [...] Read more.
Renovation construction is employed for maintaining the long-term performance of buildings. For the occupants, the building users, renovation contributes to the acceptable levels of convenience and quality of the buildings. However, if the operation continues during the renovation for an area containing several buildings, such as a university campus, the impacts on the occupants are unavoidable. The complicated schedule plan is needed due to the various types of buildings and types of renovation under limited resources. The goal of this study is to build a model that can help the planners to make the renovation schedule plan. Taking a university campus as an example, the occupants’ convenience rate and the long-term quality of the building are analyzed in this paper. Based on the key attributes of building renovation, this study proposes a model integrating the genetic algorithm and simulation to provide the optimal schedule plan to the planners. The model is demonstrated by an application case of a university campus of 11 buildings remaining in operation. It helps the university maintain a good level of long-term performance of buildings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Scheduling Problems in Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Local Clusters as “Building Blocks” for Smart Specialization Strategies: A Dynamic SWOT Analysis Application in the Case of San Diego (US)
Sustainability 2019, 11(19), 5541; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195541 - 08 Oct 2019
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Abstract
The paper aimed at exploring the role of local industrial clusters as a part of an important evidence-based pathway for operationalizing smart specialization policy. Hitherto, the scientific debate has been largely focused on the relationship of clusters with the local business environment to [...] Read more.
The paper aimed at exploring the role of local industrial clusters as a part of an important evidence-based pathway for operationalizing smart specialization policy. Hitherto, the scientific debate has been largely focused on the relationship of clusters with the local business environment to boost competitiveness and has mostly searched for the operationalization of smart specialization policy in economically successful regions. However, the understanding of the role of local clusters (LCs), in terms of cluster industries that serve local businesses and residents, as potential “building-blocks” of Smart Specialization Strategies (S3) still lacks interpretive studies. We proposed a conceptual framework to unveil those factors of LCs that may be enhanced in the S3 policy design, around the concepts of adaptiveness and responsiveness to structural and influencing features of a local economic system. The distinction between Local and Traded clusters, applied in the US context, allows the identification of Local Cluster performance because of the availability of a robust data set. Accordingly, a tool is proposed to investigate those factors that are likely empowering smart specialization strategies: The dynamic SWOT analysis on the case of San Diego provides interesting insights toward building this conceptual framework. The findings may help explain how to relate LCs with smart specialization as building-blocks, based on potential risks and opportunities associated with the local economic system. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sustainable Development of a Peripheral Mountain Region on the State Border: Case Study of Moravské Kopanice Microregion (Moravia)
Sustainability 2019, 11(19), 5540; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195540 - 08 Oct 2019
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Abstract
The sustainability of rural areas is considered to be most threatened in peripheral, hardly accessible microregions with insufficient economical sources. The paper analyses one such rural area in the eastern part of Moravia from the viewpoint of individual economic, social, and environmental sustainability [...] Read more.
The sustainability of rural areas is considered to be most threatened in peripheral, hardly accessible microregions with insufficient economical sources. The paper analyses one such rural area in the eastern part of Moravia from the viewpoint of individual economic, social, and environmental sustainability pillars. The area under study is the mountain territory on the border with Slovakia, which is under large-scale landscape protection. The area with very limited economic sources has been impacted with a change to the geopolitical situation after 1993 (from the centre of Czechoslovakia to the fringe of Czechia). It was stated that the environmental pillar is in the best of conditions; however, perhaps threatened with missing technical infrastructure in relation to the disposal of solid, liquid, and gaseous waste, the social pillar is improving in relation to the post-productive transition, whereas the economic pillar is the most fragile because of its dependence on exogenous jobs in surrounding towns. In general, the microregion seems to be sustainable at the moment. Long-term sustainability will depend on the general economic, demographic, and climatic development of the country and Europe. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Interspecies Sustainability to Ensure Animal Protection: Lessons from the Thoroughbred Racing Industry
Sustainability 2019, 11(19), 5539; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195539 - 08 Oct 2019
Viewed by 266
Abstract
There is a disconnect between dominant conceptions of sustainability and the protection of animals arising from the anthropocentric orientation of most conceptualisations of sustainability, including sustainable development. Critiques of this disconnect are primarily based in the context of industrial animal agriculture and a [...] Read more.
There is a disconnect between dominant conceptions of sustainability and the protection of animals arising from the anthropocentric orientation of most conceptualisations of sustainability, including sustainable development. Critiques of this disconnect are primarily based in the context of industrial animal agriculture and a general model of a species-inclusive conception of sustainability has yet to emerge. The original contribution of this article is two-fold: First, it develops a theoretical framework for interspecies sustainability. Second, it applies this to a case study of the thoroughbred racing industry. Interviews were conducted with thoroughbred industry and animal advocacy informants in the US, Australia and Great Britain. While industry informants claim thoroughbred welfare is seminal for industry sustainability, they adopt a market-oriented anthropocentric conception of sustainability and do not consider animal welfare a sustainability domain in its own right. Animal advocacy informants demonstrate a deeper understanding of welfare but some express discomfort about linking sustainability, welfare and racing. Eight analytical layers have been identified in the discourse in the interface of sustainability and animal protection, of which two have transformational potential to advance interspecies sustainability. Interspecies sustainability urgently needs to be advanced to ensure animal protection in the sustainability transition, and to not leave the defining of animal welfare and sustainability to animal industries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Human-Animal Relationships)
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Open AccessArticle
Thermal Performances of Three Old Houses: A Comparative Study of Heterogeneous Vernacular Traditions in Taiwan
Sustainability 2019, 11(19), 5538; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195538 - 08 Oct 2019
Viewed by 210
Abstract
The paper presents a comparative study of the climate responsive design strategies and indoor thermal performance of three vernacular houses in Guanshan Township of eastern Taiwan by building survey and instrument measurements. These houses are all about 80 years old. They are of [...] Read more.
The paper presents a comparative study of the climate responsive design strategies and indoor thermal performance of three vernacular houses in Guanshan Township of eastern Taiwan by building survey and instrument measurements. These houses are all about 80 years old. They are of Chinese style, Japanese style, and a mixture of both styles. All three houses are popular building types in the region. Key findings include: (1) Space buffer, thermal insulation, ground exposure, and natural ventilation are the key elements of climate responsive design strategies. (2) The climate responsive design strategies of the three buildings, while using similar building material, are not the same. They are strongly associated with the buildings’ cultural roots as well as the buildings’ use patterns. (3) The Chinese-style house is a heat rejecter. It is comfortable in spring and summer. The mixed-style house is a heat keeper. It is comfortable in winter and spring. The Japanese-style house is well-ventilated and has equal thermal comfort level at around 50% in all seasons. It is uncommon that vernacular buildings from different cultural traditions coexist in the same region. This study provides detail appraisals of their respective sustainable design strategies in hot and humid climate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Environmental Benefits of Stock Evolution of Coal-Fired Power Generators in China
Sustainability 2019, 11(19), 5537; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195537 - 08 Oct 2019
Viewed by 185
Abstract
The evolution of in-use coal-fired power generators (CPGs) in China has been impelled by a series of policies called Developing Large Units and Suppressing Small Ones in recent decades. However, it remains highly uncertain about the contribution of the evolution on air pollution [...] Read more.
The evolution of in-use coal-fired power generators (CPGs) in China has been impelled by a series of policies called Developing Large Units and Suppressing Small Ones in recent decades. However, it remains highly uncertain about the contribution of the evolution on air pollution reductions at different stages. Models used to assess the effects of CPGs’ evolution often do not account for the different boundary conditions related to units composition and age structure of the existing CPGs, and lifetime expectancy, which hinders effective strategy development and realistic target setting. This study employs a dynamic Type-Cohort-Time (TCT) stock-driven model and Logarithmic Mean Divisia Index (LMDI) technique, to investigate the structural evolution of China’s CPGs as well as its environmental effects from 1980 to 2050. We consider generator-specific characteristics, lifetime-related issues and alternative techniques in the historical and scenario analysis. The main results are as follows: the environmental benefits of structural evolution were limited, compared with the changes in emission coefficient due to technical renovation. However, scenario analysis indicates that structural adjustment by elimination of outdated CPGs and construction of new ones in future will undertake emission reduction commitments, since the potentials of other approaches decrease. Uncertainty analysis further demonstrates that promoting elimination of small CPGs and substituting them with renewable energy will bring more emission reductions. The key findings can support policy-making on elimination, construction, and emissions abatement of CPGs. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Power System and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Transport Accessibility of Warsaw: A Case Study
Sustainability 2019, 11(19), 5536; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195536 - 08 Oct 2019
Viewed by 199
Abstract
In this study, we detected which means of transportation is beneficial from a travel time perspective in specific districts of Warsaw, Poland. To achieve this goal, we proposed a framework to perform a spatial analysis to describe the as-is situation in the city [...] Read more.
In this study, we detected which means of transportation is beneficial from a travel time perspective in specific districts of Warsaw, Poland. To achieve this goal, we proposed a framework to perform a spatial analysis to describe the as-is situation in the city (the state that the situation is in at the present time). The framework contains the following elements: attractiveness analysis, travel time and speed analysis, and potential accessibility analysis. The relationship between the averaged nominal travel speed and the number of residents was also investigated. We used data from a journey planner, as well as land use and population statistics, and employed descriptive analytics. The results are presented as maps of travel times, travel speed, and potential accessibility, as well as scatter plots of dependencies between travel speed and number of residents. Unfortunately, public transportation ranks behind car and bike transport in terms of travel time, speed, and potential accessibility. The largest positive influence on effectiveness of traveling by public transportation is the metro and railway system; also, bikes can perfectly complement the public transportation system. The obtained results can be used to indicate directions of changes in the transportation system of Warsaw. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Accessibility and Transportation Equity)
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Open AccessArticle
Customized Bus Network Design Based on Individual Reservation Demands
Sustainability 2019, 11(19), 5535; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195535 - 08 Oct 2019
Viewed by 169
Abstract
With the advantages of congestion alleviation, environmental friendliness, as well as a better travel experience, the customized bus (CB) system to reduce individual motorized travel is highly popular in increasing numbers of cities in China. The line planning problem is a key aspect [...] Read more.
With the advantages of congestion alleviation, environmental friendliness, as well as a better travel experience, the customized bus (CB) system to reduce individual motorized travel is highly popular in increasing numbers of cities in China. The line planning problem is a key aspect of the CB system. This paper presents a detailed flow chart of a CB network planning methodology, including individual reservation travel demand data processing, CB line origin–destination (OD) area division considering quantity constraints of demand in areas and distance constraints based on agglomerative hierarchical clustering (AHC), an initial set of CB lines generating quantity constraints of the demand on each line and line length constraints, and line selection model building, striking a balance between operator interests, social benefits, and passengers’ interests. Finally, the impacts of the CB vehicle type, the fixed operation cost of online car-hailing (OCH), and the weights of each itemized cost are discussed. Serval operating schemes for the Beijing CB network were created. The results show that the combination of CB vehicles with 49 seats and 18 seats is the most cost-effective and that CBs with low capacity are more cost-effective than those with larger capacity. People receive the best service when decision-makers pay more attention to environmental pollution and congestion issues. The CB network’s service acceptance rate and the spatial coverage increase with the fixed operating cost per OCH vehicle per day c 0 C . The CB vehicle use decreases as c 0 C c c increases. The results of this study can provide technical support for CB operators who design CB networks. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Scissors Difference of Socioeconomics, Travel and Space Consumption Behavior of Rural and Urban Households and Its Impact on Modeling Accuracy and Data Requirements
Sustainability 2019, 11(19), 5534; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195534 - 08 Oct 2019
Viewed by 197
Abstract
It is believed that the “scissors difference” of socioeconomics between rural and urban households in typical municipalities of China is significant. This may result in differences in their behavior and has important implications for urban land use and transportation planning policies, as well [...] Read more.
It is believed that the “scissors difference” of socioeconomics between rural and urban households in typical municipalities of China is significant. This may result in differences in their behavior and has important implications for urban land use and transportation planning policies, as well as related modeling accuracy and data requirements. However, detailed analyses regarding such “scissors differences” between rural and urban groups in China have not been done before. In this study, travel survey data collected from the City of Wuhan in 2008 is used to study if rural and urban households are statistically different in terms of household income, household size, space consumption, highest household mobility and travel distance. A set of statistical tests, such as the Kolmogorov–Smirnov test, Mann–Whitney U test and Kruskal–Wallis H test, are applied to the study data. The study results show that the “scissors difference” is found to be statistically significant in terms of household size (HS), household income (HI), building area (BA) consumed and household mobility (except for travel distance) between rural and urban households. Conversely, analyses applied to travel distance of urban and rural household subgroups (categorized by HS and HI) reveal that the urban and rural counterparts show almost exactly opposite behavior. The study results also suggest that such differences should be explicitly considered in relevant modeling exercises by separately setting up urban and rural household groups, but the number of household groups used should be determined based on a balance between modeling accuracy and data required/modeling workload. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Quantitative Assessment of Agricultural Drought Risk in Southeast Gansu Province, Northwest China
Sustainability 2019, 11(19), 5533; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195533 - 08 Oct 2019
Viewed by 232
Abstract
The sector that suffers the most directly from drought is agriculture, and drought is expected to become more serious in the context of global warming. Effectively evaluating the agricultural drought risk is fundamental to establishing present water resource management and guaranteeing food security. [...] Read more.
The sector that suffers the most directly from drought is agriculture, and drought is expected to become more serious in the context of global warming. Effectively evaluating the agricultural drought risk is fundamental to establishing present water resource management and guaranteeing food security. Therefore, southeast Gansu province was selected for this study as a typical region for which to analyze drought trends and assess agricultural drought risk. Trends for the period from 1967 to 2018 were analyzed at 21 locations by using the Mann–Kendall method, and drought was quantified by using the Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI). Spatial characteristics of the agricultural drought risk that emphasized the combined role of hazards and vulnerability were investigated at a 1-km grid scale. Results showed that the annual SPEI exhibited a nonsignificant increasing trend from 1967 to 1990 but that after 1990, the SPEI showed a steep downward trend of 0.1 per decade. The drying trend from 1990 to 2018 was mainly attributed to a significant increase in the reference evapotranspiration. Approximately 16.1% of the agricultural areas are exposed to an extremely high risk and 42.2% are exposed to high risk of drought. Moreover, 56.7% of the extremely high-risk agricultural areas are located in the Longnan region, which strongly suggests that more attention must be paid to preparedness for and mitigation of drought in the Longnan region. This study offers a scientific approach to evaluating the risk of agricultural drought in dry agricultural regions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Understanding the Sustainable Usage Intention of Mobile Payment Technology in Korea: Cross-Countries Comparison of Chinese and Korean Users
Sustainability 2019, 11(19), 5532; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195532 - 08 Oct 2019
Viewed by 203
Abstract
Mobile payment (m-payment) enables consumers to perform their payment tasks via a mobile technology platform. In this study, we summarized, evaluated, and expanded upon the literature about m-payment usage intention by synthetically integrating the advantages of three information systems theories into an integrated [...] Read more.
Mobile payment (m-payment) enables consumers to perform their payment tasks via a mobile technology platform. In this study, we summarized, evaluated, and expanded upon the literature about m-payment usage intention by synthetically integrating the advantages of three information systems theories into an integrated model, which details the complementary relationship between the objective measures, subjective perception of m-payment services, and m-payment technology–task fit characteristics. Based on a sample of 908 individuals in two different Kakaopay user groups (467 Chinese Kakaopay users in Korea and 441 local Korean Kakaopay users) and the three-model integrated optimization, we integrated the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology model (UTAUT), the information systems success model (D&M ISS), and the task-technology fit model (TTF), considering moderating variables (Chinese and Korea experienced consumers) and multi-group analysis. We chose the factors influencing Chinese and Korean consumers’ usage intention as the research objects, and ultimately achieved our purpose of more accurately predicting consumer behavior patterns to expand the scale of potential Chinese consumers. The empirical results theoretically contribute to academic and practical solutions for the Korean m-payment product and help technology suppliers to stimulate the sustainable growth of Korean mobile payment consumer groups in Korea. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Information Sharing on Sustainable and Resilient Supply Chains)
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Open AccessArticle
Corporate Public Transparency on Financial Performance: The Moderating Role of Political Embeddedness
Sustainability 2019, 11(19), 5531; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195531 - 08 Oct 2019
Viewed by 257
Abstract
Corporate public transparency (CPT) is instrumental for companies to establish communications and trust with the public by disclosing and communicating information concerning corporate environmental and social impacts. However, it is still in dispute whether CPT can help promote corporate financial performance (CFP). This [...] Read more.
Corporate public transparency (CPT) is instrumental for companies to establish communications and trust with the public by disclosing and communicating information concerning corporate environmental and social impacts. However, it is still in dispute whether CPT can help promote corporate financial performance (CFP). This paper studied the moderating role of political embeddedness on the relationship between CPT and CFP. We investigate multiple hypotheses about the moderating roles of the political embeddedness including bureaucratic embeddedness (political connections of a chief executive officer (CEO) who was/is a government official or member of political council) and ownership embeddedness (i.e., state-owned enterprises (SOEs)). With the data of 195 observations from top 200 Chinese enterprises ranked by revenue for the years 2014~2016, the results show the following: (1) the relationship of CPT on CFP is moderated by government official and SOE ownership; (2) a negative moderating effect of government official; and (3) a negative moderating effect of SOE ownership. The research implications are further discussed. The findings of this study have practical implications for investors, stakeholders, and regulators. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Sustainability of the Loita Maasai Childrens’ Ethnomedicinal Knowledge
Sustainability 2019, 11(19), 5530; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195530 - 07 Oct 2019
Viewed by 259
Abstract
Knowledge and practice of medicinal plant use is embedded in the Maasai culture. However, it is not known how that knowledge and practices are acquired by children and transferred across generations. We assessed children’s knowledge of medicinal plants and their uses, methods of [...] Read more.
Knowledge and practice of medicinal plant use is embedded in the Maasai culture. However, it is not known how that knowledge and practices are acquired by children and transferred across generations. We assessed children’s knowledge of medicinal plants and their uses, methods of knowledge acquisition and transfer, and how that process is influenced by demographic attributes such as gender, level of education, and age. We interviewed 80 children who were 6–17 years old. Mann–Whitney U, Kruskal–Wallis tests and Spearman Rank order correlation were performed to determine the influence of gender, level of education, and age when they are in the process of acquiring ethnomedicinal plant knowledge. The Maasai children acquired knowledge of medicinal plants progressively with their age. Ethnomedicinal knowledge was not influenced by gender or level of education. The children were introduced to the knowledge of local medicinal plants and their use at an average age of seven years and the knowledge was transferred indiscriminately to both girls and boys. This study aids in the protection and conservation of medicinal plant knowledge by encouraging the sustainability of the local cultural heritage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cultural Crossovers and Social Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of ESGC Indicators on Financial Performance of Listed Travel and Leisure Companies
Sustainability 2019, 11(19), 5529; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195529 - 07 Oct 2019
Viewed by 286
Abstract
The objective of this work was to research the impact of environmental, social, governance, and controversies (ESGC) indicators on financial performance. We used a sample of financial and nonfinancial business data from international countries for 2017 obtained through the Thomson Reuters environmental, social, [...] Read more.
The objective of this work was to research the impact of environmental, social, governance, and controversies (ESGC) indicators on financial performance. We used a sample of financial and nonfinancial business data from international countries for 2017 obtained through the Thomson Reuters environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) database. The company participants in the study belong to the tourism sector and are listed on international stock market indices. The methodology used was based on parametric and nonparametric statistical tests. Evidence supports that governance practices significantly influence financial performance. The contribution of the study is two-fold—from a theoretical perspective, it adds to the existing literature and, from an empirical point of view, we developed ESGC indicators and their relationship with financial performance using a binary regression logistic model, with results that can be applied to an international tourist perspective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development in the Hotel Industry)
Open AccessArticle
Analysis on the Evolution Path and Hotspot of Knowledge Innovation Study Based on Knowledge Map
Sustainability 2019, 11(19), 5528; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195528 - 07 Oct 2019
Viewed by 259
Abstract
Innovation is the main driving force for promoting high-quality economic development. The ability for knowledge innovation and knowledge transformation productivity reflects the ability for scientific research transformation and the comprehensive strength of the science and technology of the country. This paper takes the [...] Read more.
Innovation is the main driving force for promoting high-quality economic development. The ability for knowledge innovation and knowledge transformation productivity reflects the ability for scientific research transformation and the comprehensive strength of the science and technology of the country. This paper takes the knowledge innovation literature collected in the Web of Science database as its research object, carries on the knowledge atlas analysis with Citespace IV software, makes a knowledge atlas of the space-time distribution, document co-citation and keyword co-occurrence, respectively, and further explores the distribution status, changing trend and hot areas of knowledge innovation research. (1) American and British scholars have led the research in knowledge innovation, and Chinese scholars have followed the international frontier in this field; (2) The research evolution path of knowledge innovation can be summarized as follows: the research object is gradually detailed from the macro-enterprise level to the micro-enterprise level. The research hotspots are as follows: (3) The four hotspots of knowledge innovation research are based on research on the knowledge innovation system within enterprises, research on the knowledge innovation mode based on innovation cooperation among enterprises, and research on the knowledge innovation among enterprises based on inter-organizational knowledge. Research on the knowledge innovation path of knowledge sharing and enterprise knowledge innovation development is based on the global strategic orientation. This paper clarifies the evolution path and development trend of knowledge innovation research, offering a summary for further research and motivating professionals to research future knowledge innovation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
GIS-Based Social Cost–Benefit Analysis on Integrated Urban Water Management in China: A Case Study of Sponge City in Harbin
Sustainability 2019, 11(19), 5527; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195527 - 07 Oct 2019
Viewed by 254
Abstract
Climate change along with industrialization or urbanization, which uses materials with low water permeability and is accompanied by change in urban land use, are major reasons for frequent urban floods in many Chinese cities. Moreover, upgrading the drainage system can have numerous negative [...] Read more.
Climate change along with industrialization or urbanization, which uses materials with low water permeability and is accompanied by change in urban land use, are major reasons for frequent urban floods in many Chinese cities. Moreover, upgrading the drainage system can have numerous negative environmental impacts on the city, especially in districts with dense population and buildings. A new integrated urban water management (IUWM) strategy implemented in China, “sponge city,” has gained significant attention in recent years. In this study, a novel framework is built to analyze the effectiveness of sponge city by 3D simulating urban inundation results and performing a cost–benefit analysis. Construction and maintenance fees are included in the costs list, and carbon reduction, air quality improvement, rainwater harvesting, and reduction of flood risk are included under benefits. The district of Nangang in Harbin city in Northeast China was chosen as a case study area. Finally, we conclude that the maximum precipitation of 49.82 mm/h by sponge city can bring the inundation depth below a target depth in the target area. Further, though the sponge city project is not effective from a private perspective, it is effective from a social perspective. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Competencies and Pedagogies for Sustainability Education: A Roadmap for Sustainability Studies Program Development in Colleges and Universities
Sustainability 2019, 11(19), 5526; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195526 - 07 Oct 2019
Viewed by 313
Abstract
Sustainability studies educators in colleges and universities must identify and teach the knowledge, skills, and abilities their graduates will most need to advance sustainability while confronting perhaps the most serious, sweeping, and integrated set of challenges humanity has ever known. Using a rigorous [...] Read more.
Sustainability studies educators in colleges and universities must identify and teach the knowledge, skills, and abilities their graduates will most need to advance sustainability while confronting perhaps the most serious, sweeping, and integrated set of challenges humanity has ever known. Using a rigorous grounded theory and hermeneutics based analysis/synthesis of the relevant literature, this study articulates and describes in depth a set of five competencies for the sustainability field and suggests potentially effective pedagogies for teaching them. Findings in the areas of both competencies and pedagogies for sustainability education imply the benefits of integrative, active, collaborative, and applied approaches to curriculum development and teaching—approaches that directly involve students in learning and practicing transdisciplinary engagement in service to sustainability. The Bachelor of Arts in Sustainability Studies program at Colorado Mountain College serves as an example of how the articulated competency framework is being applied to evaluate and enhance curriculum and learning outcomes. The competency framework and pedagogical recommendations offered may also serve as roadmaps for educators at other institutions who prepare graduates to address the pressing challenges of sustainability evident in communities, nations, and the world. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Understanding Spatio-Temporal Characteristics of Urban Travel Demand Based on the Combination of GWR and GLM
Sustainability 2019, 11(19), 5525; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195525 - 07 Oct 2019
Viewed by 230
Abstract
Taxis are an important part of the urban public transit system. Understanding the spatio-temporal variations of taxi travel demand is essential for exploring urban mobility and patterns. The purpose of this study is to use the taxi Global Positioning System (GPS) trajectories collected [...] Read more.
Taxis are an important part of the urban public transit system. Understanding the spatio-temporal variations of taxi travel demand is essential for exploring urban mobility and patterns. The purpose of this study is to use the taxi Global Positioning System (GPS) trajectories collected in New York City to investigate the spatio-temporal characteristic of travel demand and the underlying affecting variables. We analyze the spatial distribution of travel demand in different areas by extracting the locations of pick-ups. The geographically weighted regression (GWR) method is used to capture the spatial heterogeneity in travel demand in different zones, and the generalized linear model (GLM) is applied to further identify key factors affecting travel demand. The results suggest that most taxi trips are concentrated in a fraction of the geographical area. Variables including road density, subway accessibility, Uber vehicle, point of interests (POIs), commercial area, taxi-related accident and commuting time have significant effects on travel demand, but the effects vary from positive to negative across the different zones of the city on weekdays and the weekend. The findings will be helpful to analyze the patterns of urban travel demand, improve efficiency of taxi companies and provide valuable strategies for related polices and managements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Transportation)
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Open AccessArticle
Developing A Semi-Markov Process Model for Bridge Deterioration Prediction in Shanghai
Sustainability 2019, 11(19), 5524; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195524 - 07 Oct 2019
Viewed by 253
Abstract
The performance of urban bridges will deteriorate gradually throughout service life. Bridge deterioration prediction is essential for bridge management, especially for maintenance planning and decision-making. By considering the time-dependent reliability in the bridge deterioration process, a Weibull distribution based semi-Markov process model for [...] Read more.
The performance of urban bridges will deteriorate gradually throughout service life. Bridge deterioration prediction is essential for bridge management, especially for maintenance planning and decision-making. By considering the time-dependent reliability in the bridge deterioration process, a Weibull distribution based semi-Markov process model for urban bridge deterioration prediction was proposed in this paper. Historical inspection records stored in the Bridge Manage System (BMS) database in Shanghai since 2004 were investigated. The Weibull distribution was used to characterize the bridge deterioration behavior within each condition rating (CR), and the semi-Markov process was used to calculate the bridge transition probabilities between adjacent CRs. After that, the service life expectancy of urban bridges, the transition probabilities of the deck system and the substructure, and the future CR proportion change caused by deterioration was predicted. The prediction results indicate that the life expectancy of concrete beam bridges is about 77 years. The decay rate of the deck system is the fastest among three major parts, and the substructure has a much longer life expectancy. It suggests that the overall prediction accuracy of the semi-Markov model in network-level is better than the regression analysis method. Furthermore, the proportion of bridges in intact condition will gradually decrease in the next few decades, while the percentage of bridges in the qualified and bad state will increase rapidly. The prediction results show a good agreement with the actual deterioration trend of the urban bridges in Shanghai. In order to alleviate the pressure of bridge maintenance in the future, it is necessary to adopt a more targeted preventive maintenance strategy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Construction Engineering and Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Status of Waste Management in the East African Cities: Understanding the Drivers of Waste Generation, Collection and Disposal and Their Impacts on Kampala City’s Sustainability
Sustainability 2019, 11(19), 5523; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195523 - 06 Oct 2019
Viewed by 301
Abstract
The factors that influence waste generation and management vary with country but there is a gap in the availability of waste data in Africa limiting the assessment of these factors for sustainability. Hence, this study was aimed at evaluating the drivers of waste [...] Read more.
The factors that influence waste generation and management vary with country but there is a gap in the availability of waste data in Africa limiting the assessment of these factors for sustainability. Hence, this study was aimed at evaluating the drivers of waste generation, collection and disposal, and their impact on sustainability of Kampala as compared to the East African Community (EAC). Waste generation in Kampala was calculated using recorded waste collection efficiencies while data for Nairobi and Dar es Salaam was obtained from existing literature. Waste quantities for disposal were recorded daily at Kiteezi landfill from 2011 to 2017. Results showed that the major drivers of waste generation, collection and disposal in the EAC are population growth, vehicle capacity and the need for disposal respectively. Waste generation rate in Kampala increased from 0.26 to 0.47 kg/capita/day and the annual waste quantity increased significantly (p < 0.5) by 48% from 227,916 to 481,081 tons corresponding to a 54% population increase. Waste collection efficiency increased from 30% to 64% and hence waste for disposal increased significantly (p < 0.5), with a mean of 15,823 tons/month; but varied significantly (p < 0.5) with the city division. The most (5120 tons) and least (3472 tons) waste per month was collected from the Central and Nakawa divisions respectively. Additionally, Kampala Capital City Authority collected significantly more waste than private collectors for all study years. Waste is disposed of at the Kiteezi landfill despite exhausted capacity. Future projections showed that by 2030, annual waste would increase by approximately 60% for Kampala and Nairobi and by 74% for Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam generated the highest amount of waste, five times more than Kampala. More investment needs to be made towards the reduction of waste disposal and strategies developed for the reuse and recycling of waste. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Challenges for Medium-Size Urban Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Research of Modified Atomizers and Their Application for Moistening of Air-Cleaning Device Charges
Sustainability 2019, 11(19), 5522; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195522 - 06 Oct 2019
Viewed by 228
Abstract
The size of sprayed droplets is a very important parameter that influences the operational efficiency of air-cleaning device charges. It is desirable for atomizers to spray droplets that are dispersed as much as technically and economically reasonable and possible. Fine dispersion spraying ensures [...] Read more.
The size of sprayed droplets is a very important parameter that influences the operational efficiency of air-cleaning device charges. It is desirable for atomizers to spray droplets that are dispersed as much as technically and economically reasonable and possible. Fine dispersion spraying ensures effective moistening of the air-cleaning device charges, as well as an optimal consumption of water or other liquids. Three modifications of special atomizers were used for experimental analysis. The atomization of liquid and spraying in the special atomizer occurs when two frontal streams confront each other. Frontal streams are formed by an inner shield located in the special atomizer. The experiment was conducted using different spraying pressures, namely: 6 bar, 4 bar, 2 bar. The evaluation (performed using a microscope) of the size of sprayed droplets shows that the best (finest) spraying was by the special atomizer of modification 3. The depth of the channel of the inner shield is the parameter that has the biggest influence on the size of sprayed droplets. The special atomizer of modification 3 produces droplets with the following size distribution and rates: ≤0.05 mm—63.2 vol%; 0.2–0.6 mm—28.3 vol%; 0.6–1.0 mm—8.1 vol%; ≥1.0 mm—0.4 vol%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Technologies in Air Treatment)
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Open AccessArticle
Dynamic Credit Risk Evaluation Method for E-Commerce Sellers Based on a Hybrid Artificial Intelligence Model
Sustainability 2019, 11(19), 5521; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195521 - 06 Oct 2019
Viewed by 328
Abstract
Credit risk evaluation is important for e-commerce platforms, due to the uncertainty and transaction risk associated with buyers and sellers. Moreover, it is the key ingredient for the development of the e-commerce ecosystem and sustainability of the financial market. The main objective of [...] Read more.
Credit risk evaluation is important for e-commerce platforms, due to the uncertainty and transaction risk associated with buyers and sellers. Moreover, it is the key ingredient for the development of the e-commerce ecosystem and sustainability of the financial market. The main objective of this paper is to develop an effective and user-friendly system for seller credit risk evaluation. Three hybrid artificial intelligent models, including (1) decision tree—artificial neural network (ANN), (2) decision tree—logistic regression, and (3) decision tree—dynamic Bayesian network have been investigated. The models were trained using sellers credit cases from Taobao, which has 609 cases, and each case had 23 categorical and numerical attributes. The results suggest that the combination of decision tree—ANN provides the highest accuracy, which can promote healthy and fast transactions between buyers and sellers on the platforms. This model is regarded as a powerful tool that allows us to build an advanced credit risk evaluation system, and meet the requirements of the platform transaction mode to be dynamic and self-learning—which will ultimately contribute to the sustainable development of the e-commerce ecosystem. The empirical results can serve as a reference for e-commerce platforms promoting an optimum credit risk evaluation model to improve e-commerce transaction environment and for buyers and investors making decisions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessCommunication
Cheese as a Tourism Resource in Russia: The First Report and Relevance to Sustainability
Sustainability 2019, 11(19), 5520; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195520 - 06 Oct 2019
Viewed by 277
Abstract
Cheese tasting attracts crowds of visitors to areas in countries such as France, Italy, Spain, and New Zealand, distinguishing cheese tourism as an individual tourism direction within food (gastronomic, culinary) tourism. Internationally known, but locally specific and artisanal cheese is thought to be [...] Read more.
Cheese tasting attracts crowds of visitors to areas in countries such as France, Italy, Spain, and New Zealand, distinguishing cheese tourism as an individual tourism direction within food (gastronomic, culinary) tourism. Internationally known, but locally specific and artisanal cheese is thought to be the main resource. Its exploitation by the tourism industry contributes to sustainability, supporting rural lifestyles and facilitating the integration of rural traditions, heritage, and natural landscapes. In Russia, cheese production is concentrated in regions including Altay, Voronezh, and Moscow. The state of tourist activities favors the use of cheese as a valuable tourism resource. Importantly, this resource is linked to the production of common sorts of cheese in big (industry-scale) amounts and the creation of cheese-related attractions like cheese museums. Cheese festivals also take place locally. A comparison to the European experience of cheese tourism reveals significant peculiarities of this activity in Russia and, particularly, a bigger relevance to industrial tourism than to food and rural tourism. Realization of only part of the opportunities linked to cheese tourism presents challenges regarding environmental and socioeconomical sustainability. Full article
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Open AccessProject Report
A Study in Options to Improve Aerodynamic Profile of Heavy-Duty Vehicles in Europe
Sustainability 2019, 11(19), 5519; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195519 - 06 Oct 2019
Viewed by 235
Abstract
In this paper, we present and discuss different aerodynamic solutions available for European tractor and semi-trailers configurations along with summarizing their impact on the aerodynamic drag that contributes to the reduction of fuel consumption. Combinations of different aerodynamic solutions have been presented, and [...] Read more.
In this paper, we present and discuss different aerodynamic solutions available for European tractor and semi-trailers configurations along with summarizing their impact on the aerodynamic drag that contributes to the reduction of fuel consumption. Combinations of different aerodynamic solutions have been presented, and conclusions have been drawn from comparative studies and experience of the participating partners of Project TRANSFORMERS, but no CFD simulations have been done for the same solutions. The paper concludes by proposing configurations of aerodynamic measures for various configurations and how they can be cost-effectively adapted to improve the efficiency in road freight logistics networks and reduce emission. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Transportation)
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Open AccessArticle
Multiscale Market Integration and Nonlinear Granger Causality between Natural Gas Futures and Physical Markets
Sustainability 2019, 11(19), 5518; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195518 - 06 Oct 2019
Viewed by 257
Abstract
This paper comprehensively analyzed the price integration of the U.S. natural gas futures market and its physical markets. The analyses were conducted in the form of graphics using the ensemble empirical mode decomposition (EEMD) method and minimum spanning trees with various horizons. Our [...] Read more.
This paper comprehensively analyzed the price integration of the U.S. natural gas futures market and its physical markets. The analyses were conducted in the form of graphics using the ensemble empirical mode decomposition (EEMD) method and minimum spanning trees with various horizons. Our findings indicated that the network structures of the minimum spanning trees of the gas futures and physical markets are the same on different time scales. The citygate returns were always the core of the physical gas markets. In addition, the gas futures and physical markets were highly integrated on different time scales. Moreover, our findings showed that at the original data level, unidirectional linear and nonlinear causalities from gas futures to physical returns exist. Specifically, the relationships between futures and physical gas returns were not constant across various time scales. In the long term, futures gas returns had only a linear causality with the citygate, commercial, and industry gas returns, and a unidirectional, nonlinear causality with residential gas returns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
The Impacts of Landscape Changes on Annual Mean Land Surface Temperature in the Tropical Mountain City of Sri Lanka: A Case Study of Nuwara Eliya (1996–2017)
Sustainability 2019, 11(19), 5517; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195517 - 06 Oct 2019
Viewed by 293
Abstract
Although urbanization has contributed to improving living conditions, it has had negative impacts on the natural environment in urbanized areas. Urbanization has changed the urban landscape and resulted in increasing land surface temperature (LST). Thus, studies related to LST in various urban environments [...] Read more.
Although urbanization has contributed to improving living conditions, it has had negative impacts on the natural environment in urbanized areas. Urbanization has changed the urban landscape and resulted in increasing land surface temperature (LST). Thus, studies related to LST in various urban environments have become popular. However, there are few LST studies focusing on mountain landscapes (i.e., hill stations). Therefore, this study investigated the changes in the landscape and their impacts on LST intensity (LSTI) in the tropical mountain city of Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka. The study utilized annual median temperatures extracted from Landsat data collected from 1996 to 2017 based on the Google Earth Engine (GEE) interface. The fractions of built-up (BL), forested (FL) and agricultural (AL) land, were calculated using land use and cover maps based on urban–rural zone (URZ) analysis. The urban–rural margin was demarcated based on the fractions of BL (<10%), and LSTI that were measured using the mean LST difference in the urban–rural zone. Besides, the mixture of land-use types was calculated using the AL/FL and BL/FL fraction ratios, and grid-based density analysis. The results revealed that the BL in all URZs rapidly developed, while AL decreased during the period 1996 to 2017. There was a minimal change in the forest area of the Nuwara Eliya owing to the government’s forest preservation policies. The mean temperature of the study area increased by 2.1 °C from 1996 to 2017. The magnitude of mean LST between urban–rural zones also increased from 1.0 °C (1996) to 3.5 °C (2017). The results also showed that mean LST was positively correlated with the increase and decrease of the BL/FL and AL/FL fraction ratios, respectively. The grid-based analysis showed an increasing, positive relationship between mean LST and density of BL. This indicated that BL density had been a crucial element in increasing LST in the study area. The results of this study will be a useful indicator to introduce improved landscape and urban planning in the future to minimize the negative impact of LST on urban sustainability. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Management Scale Assessment of Practices to Mitigate Cattle Microbial Water Quality Impairments of Coastal Waters
Sustainability 2019, 11(19), 5516; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195516 - 06 Oct 2019
Viewed by 311
Abstract
Coastal areas support multiple important resource uses including recreation, aquaculture, and agriculture. Unmanaged cattle access to stream corridors in grazed coastal watersheds can contaminate surface waters with fecal-derived microbial pollutants, posing risk to human health via activities such as swimming and shellfish consumption. [...] Read more.
Coastal areas support multiple important resource uses including recreation, aquaculture, and agriculture. Unmanaged cattle access to stream corridors in grazed coastal watersheds can contaminate surface waters with fecal-derived microbial pollutants, posing risk to human health via activities such as swimming and shellfish consumption. Improved managerial control of cattle access to streams through implementation of grazing best management practices (BMPs) is a critical step in mitigating waterborne microbial pollution in grazed watersheds. This paper reports trend analysis of a 19-year dataset to assess long-term microbial water quality responses resulting from a program to implement 40 grazing BMPs within the Olema Creek Watershed, a primary tributary to Tomales Bay, USA. Stream corridor grazing BMPs implemented included: (1) Stream corridor fencing to eliminate/control cattle access, (2) hardened stream crossings for cattle movements across stream corridors, and (3) off stream drinking water systems for cattle. We found a statistically significant reduction in fecal coliform concentrations following the initial period of BMP implementation, with overall mean reductions exceeding 95% (1.28 log10)—consistent with 1—2 log10 (90–99%) reductions reported in other studies. Our results demonstrate the importance of prioritization of pollutant sources at the watershed scale to target BMP implementation for rapid water quality improvements and return on investment. Our findings support investments in grazing BMP implementation as an important component of policies and strategies to protect public health in grazed coastal watersheds. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Eutrophication and Sustainable Management of Water)
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Open AccessArticle
Opportunities to Improve Sustainable Environmental Design of Dwellings in Rural Southwest China
Sustainability 2019, 11(19), 5515; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195515 - 06 Oct 2019
Viewed by 277
Abstract
This paper addresses the need, established following consultation with stakeholders, for more detailed environmental design guidance to support construction of more sustainable and comfortable rural dwellings in Southwest China. Despite increasing focus on sustainable design in urban developments in China, there are considerable [...] Read more.
This paper addresses the need, established following consultation with stakeholders, for more detailed environmental design guidance to support construction of more sustainable and comfortable rural dwellings in Southwest China. Despite increasing focus on sustainable design in urban developments in China, there are considerable gaps in research and information dissemination for sustainable building in more diverse rural areas. Multiple methods of investigation and analysis have been utilized. Contextual research was undertaken in relation to location, ethnic group, site/location, and building construction options. Visits to typical villages allowed discussions with stakeholders and the gathering of data on existing and new dwelling types and their surroundings. This led to the conclusion that there is insufficient attention paid in understanding residents’ knowledge and skills related to design options; further specific accessible guidance is needed. Resulting from this, quantitative analyses using climate data for 46 locations in Southwest China were used to determine the value of design opportunities to create comfortable internal environments. A need for a more detailed level of guidance that can be used by the stakeholders is presented, and 15 exemplar locations were studied in parametric fashion for typical dwelling design configurations. Outcomes indicated the value of location-specific design optimization; something now recommended for all new/redeveloped dwellings. These findings impact across a wide geographical area and could benefit daily living conditions across many rural settlements in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Residential Landscapes: An International Perspective)
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Open AccessArticle
Good Urban Governance and City Resilience: An Afrocentric Approach to Sustainable Development
Sustainability 2019, 11(19), 5514; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195514 - 05 Oct 2019
Viewed by 285
Abstract
Good urban governance is a multidimensional concept that focuses on the improvement of the quality of living conditions of local citizens, especially those of marginalised and disadvantaged communities. Cities face various adversities and challenges, such as unsustainable use of natural resources, lack of [...] Read more.
Good urban governance is a multidimensional concept that focuses on the improvement of the quality of living conditions of local citizens, especially those of marginalised and disadvantaged communities. Cities face various adversities and challenges, such as unsustainable use of natural resources, lack of housing and infrastructure, the prevalence of poverty, rapid urbanisation, crime, disasters and effects of climate change. City resilience is an inclusive process that refers to a city’s ability to sustainably manage unexpected and expected risk-related events. In addition, it includes a city’s capacity to adapt to future challenges from a strategic and spatial perspective. This paper aims to analyze the nature of sustainable development in general. More specifically, it sets out to analyze the importance of urban governance in Africa and the interrelationship of good urban governance and city resilience. The purpose is to provide a theoretical underpinning and a practical orientation for the role that urban governance could play in sustainable development. The methodology is based on a document analysis by way of an intensive literature study. The qualitative description of the findings focused on the themes that emerged from the research and the manner in which they were conceptualised. It was established that while African countries have experienced certain successes, there have been many challenges as far as ‘good’ and ‘sustainable’ urban governance is concerned. Results indicated that the notion of ‘good urban governance’ is a prerequisite for African countries to design and execute sustainable development initiatives successfully. Full article
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