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Sustainability, Volume 11, Issue 20 (October-2 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) This paper examines the effect of using an instructor-centered tool for automatically assessing [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Financial Support and University Performance in Korean Universities: A Panel Data Approach
Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5871; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205871 (registering DOI) - 22 Oct 2019
Abstract
This study analyzes the relationship between governmental financial support and university performance to determine whether the former enhances the latter or if universities enhance performance to attain government financial support. The types of financial support to universities considered in this study include those [...] Read more.
This study analyzes the relationship between governmental financial support and university performance to determine whether the former enhances the latter or if universities enhance performance to attain government financial support. The types of financial support to universities considered in this study include those from central and local governments. University performance is defined in terms of the job-finding rates of students, number of publications in South Korean academic journals per full-time faculty member, and number of publications in SCI journals per full-time faculty member. This study uses financial support data of 148 universities from 2009 to 2017. To investigate the relationship between university financial support and performance, we use panel Granger causality testing and panel vector auto-regressive modeling. The results show that both central and local governmental financial support have an endogenous association with students’ job-finding rates. However, local governmental financial support and research performance show a reverse causality association. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Research on Real Purchasing Behavior Analysis of Electric Cars in Beijing Based on Structural Equation Modeling and Multinomial Logit Model
Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5870; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205870 (registering DOI) - 22 Oct 2019
Abstract
At present, electric cars are being developed rapidly in China as emerging carbon emission reduction vehicles, but their proportion in the Chinese automobile market is still small, and a large number of potential consumers are still holding a wait-and-see attitude. Therefore, for the [...] Read more.
At present, electric cars are being developed rapidly in China as emerging carbon emission reduction vehicles, but their proportion in the Chinese automobile market is still small, and a large number of potential consumers are still holding a wait-and-see attitude. Therefore, for the sake of promoting the further development of electric cars in China, this paper based on the TPB (Theory of Planned Behavior) theoretical research framework, investigates potential consumers in typical areas of Beijing and collects a large amount of data through the design of paper and electronic questionnaires. SEM (Structural Equation Modeling) and MNL (Multinomial Logit Model) models are used to analyze key factors affecting consumers’ purchase intention and actual purchasing behavior. The results show that the positive and negative attributes of consumers’ attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavior control will have different effects on consumers’ actual purchasing behavior. Finally, based on the analysis results, some reasonable suggestions are proposed for the government and EV (Electric Vehicles) enterprise service providers to increase electric vehicle diffusion. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of the Economic Value of Ecological Conservation of the Kenting Coral Reef
Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5869; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205869 (registering DOI) - 22 Oct 2019
Abstract
Sightseeing and recreation have become prevalent in the Kenting coral reef area. However, coral reefs in Kenting are being severely bleached at an increasing rate under the influence of excessive human activities and climate change that have necessitated stronger conservation policies by the [...] Read more.
Sightseeing and recreation have become prevalent in the Kenting coral reef area. However, coral reefs in Kenting are being severely bleached at an increasing rate under the influence of excessive human activities and climate change that have necessitated stronger conservation policies by the government. Based on a random utility model for coral ecology conservation, the preferences and willingness-to-pay (WTP) values of diving, fishing, and sightseeing visitors are analyzed. Empirical results show that: (1) increasing living coral coverage, improving water quality, restricting the number of daily visitors, increasing biodiversity, increasing the ratio of marine protected areas, and reducing the coral reef’s conservation fund will improve the overall utility of Kenting for visitors; (2) the WTP values significantly vary with respondents’ socioeconomic background and travel behaviors; (3) the results of a latent class model (LCM) also show that the two groups with different coral conservation preferences and WTP values have different socioeconomic backgrounds and travel behaviors. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Amazing Grazing: A Public and Private Partnership to Stimulate Grazing Practices in Intensive Dairy Systems
Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5868; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205868 (registering DOI) - 22 Oct 2019
Abstract
In many intensive dairy regions in northwest Europe, a decline in grazing is observed. In the Netherlands, the proportion of dairy cows with access to pasture is declining, as well as the time spent grazing per cow. The decline in grazing is seen [...] Read more.
In many intensive dairy regions in northwest Europe, a decline in grazing is observed. In the Netherlands, the proportion of dairy cows with access to pasture is declining, as well as the time spent grazing per cow. The decline in grazing is seen as an unwanted trend by many stakeholders and is, thus, under debate amongst dairy farmers, the dairy chain, and society. Therefore, a public–private partnership was initiated to encourage grazing by providing farmers with usable means of improving their grazing systems. The partnership involved stakeholders from the dairy farming community, dairy and feed industry, agrotechnical industries, advisory services, and research. The objective of this partnership was to develop and stimulate technological innovations and management measures that increase fresh grass intake at pasture. The innovation network combined an integrated research approach with farmer working groups and broader stakeholder interactive meetings. The project started with a comprehensive grass intake framework, which was the foundation for exploration of innovations. The framework consisted of six interlinked components: soil, grass growth, grass supply, grass intake, feed supplementation, and cow behavior. In a continuous interactive cycle, strategic choices were made to focus on potentially effective innovations. The use of a public–private partnership to develop usable innovations that encourage grazing practices proven to be a good approach to develop a shared vision among stakeholders. It provided a basis to work together toward innovative practices and to disseminate the outcomes to the foreseen users. The approach succeeded in design concepts for two specific innovations, i.e., weekly grass growth predictions and daily fresh grass intake tracking. We demonstrated that meaningful grazing and fresh grass intake are possible in intensive dairy systems with high stocking rates and high levels of supplementary feeding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Grazing Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Development of Value Creation Drivers for Sustainable Design of Green Buildings in Saudi Arabia
Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5867; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205867 (registering DOI) - 22 Oct 2019
Abstract
The sustainability of green buildings has been widely recognized around the world in the recent past. Evaluating the investment on such buildings, with higher complexity than the conventional buildings, involves multiple and diverse stakeholders, such as consultants, contractors, general public, governmental institutions, etc. [...] Read more.
The sustainability of green buildings has been widely recognized around the world in the recent past. Evaluating the investment on such buildings, with higher complexity than the conventional buildings, involves multiple and diverse stakeholders, such as consultants, contractors, general public, governmental institutions, etc. The selection of useful value creation drivers is a difficult task while accommodating the opinion of a group of stakeholders with varying perceptions and experiences regarding the value creation in green building design and the associated costs. In this research, a framework is proposed to develop a set of the most important value creation drivers (VCDs) for green buildings. Five primary VCDs were developed to cover the financial, functional, operational, environmental, and management aspects of a green building. Ninety-eight (98) performance value drivers (PVDs) were identified through the literature for assessing the performance of these value creation drivers. The identified PVDs were evaluated through a hand-delivered questionnaire survey, followed by detailed statistical analysis of the collected data while using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) and Microsoft Excel software. Factor analyses were performed to eliminate the PVDs with least importance based on the responses obtained from 89 experienced managers (45%), engineers (38%), and architects (17%) working in the field of value management of construction industry in Saudi Arabia. Finally, 51 most important PVDs were grouped into two clusters for each value creation driver; for instance, control and planning clusters to assess the performance of management’s VCD. The final outcome of the research in the form of five top level VCDs, 10 clusters, and 51 PVDs will facilitate the designers for enhancing the performance efficiency and value from investment for green buildings in Saudi Arabia, Gulf, and elsewhere. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Sustainable Built Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Effectiveness of Ecosystem Strategies for the Sustainability of Marketplace Platform Ecosystems
Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5866; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205866 (registering DOI) - 22 Oct 2019
Abstract
Physical intermediary firms, such as logistics firms, are the foundation of marketplace platform ecosystems. This study introduces the case of a delivery crisis caused by the withdrawal of major logistics firms from the Japanese marketplace platform. To address such a problem, this study [...] Read more.
Physical intermediary firms, such as logistics firms, are the foundation of marketplace platform ecosystems. This study introduces the case of a delivery crisis caused by the withdrawal of major logistics firms from the Japanese marketplace platform. To address such a problem, this study considers the application of an “ecosystem strategy”. We define an ecosystem strategy in this situation, as “the strategy by which the platform owner cooperates with logistics firms to standardize logistics services and provides a platform system to improve cooperation among them”. We constructed an agent-based simulation system customized by a dataset of Japanese platform-based markets to test the effectiveness of the proposed strategy. The results indicate that the introduction of the ecosystem strategy postponed the start of the collapse. It also increased the number of platform users by roughly 1.10 times and increased the total profits of logistics firms about 1.22 times. Additionally, it removed the trade-off relationship between platform users and the profits of logistics firms and allowed the maximization of both. This study contributed to the research stream of platform ecosystems by defining an ecosystem strategy, including physical intermediary firms, and verifying the effectiveness of the strategy for ecosystem evolution and sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle
The Problem of Lighting in Underground Domes, Vaults, and Tunnel-Like Structures of Antiquity; An Application to the Sustainability of Prominent Asian Heritage (India, Korea, China)
Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5865; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205865 (registering DOI) - 22 Oct 2019
Abstract
Lighting in heritage is complex because of the forms intervening in it. The historical evolution of cultures has not been analytical and therefore, the shapes involved differ greatly from the cuboids typically found in 21st century architecture. As a vector, light inevitably attaches [...] Read more.
Lighting in heritage is complex because of the forms intervening in it. The historical evolution of cultures has not been analytical and therefore, the shapes involved differ greatly from the cuboids typically found in 21st century architecture. As a vector, light inevitably attaches to surface sources. In this research, we focused on 3D curved geometries. Following a different trail to radiative transfer by virtue of detailed knowledge of the spatiality of volumes, we present new expressions, previously undefined in the literature, that are derived from a combination of surfaces that we have found in many archaeological sites around Asia. In the discussion, we start from the particularities of spherical surfaces where a normal vector has to pass through the center. By means of easy calculations, we deducted innovative laws. These in turn, allowed us to formulate several new expressions for configuration factors based on the adroit use of spherical fragments. The method easily extends to organic shapes that are often contained in the sustainable architecture of the past. The method finishes with suitable algorithms to assess the reflections in such curved forms. Finally, we implemented the results in our creative software. In this way, we enhanced the sustainable paradigms for heritage structures in Asia that we present as a conclusion of the article. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lighting at the Frontiers of Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Exploring the Benefits of Productization in the Utilities Sector
Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5864; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205864 (registering DOI) - 22 Oct 2019
Abstract
The adoption of Product–Service Systems (PSS) in a business strategy is often mainly associated with the servitization process, where a service component is added to the product component in order to improve the value proposition of the company and better satisfy the customer’s [...] Read more.
The adoption of Product–Service Systems (PSS) in a business strategy is often mainly associated with the servitization process, where a service component is added to the product component in order to improve the value proposition of the company and better satisfy the customer’s needs. The productization phenomenon is far less studied in literature, but growingly prominent in today’s market. In particular, companies in the utilities sector have been exploring the potentialities of productization and proposing new business models for improving their offer to the customers, in order to be more and more competitive on the market. In this paper, we provide a first analysis and classification of productization strategies in the utilities sector, starting from experiences in the Italian market, with the aim of understanding which can be the main benefits of a PSS approach in this field, considering the effects on the three dimensions of sustainability (economic, environmental, and social). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Efficient Management of Sustainable Supply Chains)
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Open AccessArticle
Genetic Diversity and Population Divergence of a Rare, Endemic Grass (Elymus breviaristatus) in the Southeastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau
Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5863; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205863 (registering DOI) - 22 Oct 2019
Abstract
Elymus breviaristatus is a grass species only distributed in the southeast of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP), which has suffered from serious habitat fragmentation. Therefore, understanding patterns of genetic diversity within and among natural E. breviaristatus populations could provide insight for future conservation strategies. In [...] Read more.
Elymus breviaristatus is a grass species only distributed in the southeast of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP), which has suffered from serious habitat fragmentation. Therefore, understanding patterns of genetic diversity within and among natural E. breviaristatus populations could provide insight for future conservation strategies. In this study, sequence-related amplified polymorphism markers were employed to investigate the genetic diversity and hierarchical structure of seven E. breviaristatus populations from QTP, China. Multiple measures of genetic diversity indicated that there is low to moderate genetic variation within E. breviaristatus populations, consistent with its presumed mating system. In spite of its rarity, E. breviaristatus presented high genetic diversity that was equivalent to or even higher than that of widespread species. Bayesian clustering approaches, along with clustering analysis and principal coordinate analysis partitioned the studied populations of E. breviaristatus into five genetic clusters. Differentiation coefficients (Fst, GST, etc.) and AMOVA analysis revealed considerable genetic divergence among different populations. BARRIER analyses indicated that there were two potential barriers to gene flow among the E. breviaristatus populations. Despite these patterns of differentiation, genetic distances between populations were independent of geographic distances (r = 0.2197, p = 0.2534), indicating little isolation by distance. Moreover, despite detecting a common outlier by two methods, bioclimatic factors (altitude, annual mean temperature, and annual mean precipitation) were not related to diversity parameters, indicating little evidence for isolation caused by the environment. These patterns of diversity within and between populations are used to propose a conservation strategy for E. breviaristatus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic Resources for Sustainable Agriculture)
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Open AccessArticle
Emerging Location-Based Service Data on Perceiving and Measuring Multifunctionality of Rural Space: A Study of Suzhou, China
Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5862; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205862 (registering DOI) - 22 Oct 2019
Abstract
Understanding how human mobilities reconstruct contemporary rural space is of great significance to multifunctional rural transition. However, conventional approaches adopted by social surveys have a technological restriction on collecting data of individual behavior, such as limited samples, subjective self-reported data, and time-consuming investigation. [...] Read more.
Understanding how human mobilities reconstruct contemporary rural space is of great significance to multifunctional rural transition. However, conventional approaches adopted by social surveys have a technological restriction on collecting data of individual behavior, such as limited samples, subjective self-reported data, and time-consuming investigation. This study proposes a data-driven methodology to explore multifunctionality of rural space by employing the real-time Tencent user quantity (RTUQ) data to analyze the quantity and distribution of observables in rural space. Based on over 250,000 records of hourly RTUQ data during a one-week research period, we perceive spatiotemporal variation of human mobilities in three differentiated villages in Suzhou, China, as well as measure function of residence, employment and consumption on holidays, weekdays and weekends using original equations of function index. Results show that the RTUQ data is valid and reliable for perceiving dynamic patterns of human mobilities at village level, as well as offering new implication for transitional pathways of decision-making. The proposed method is proved to be suitable for distinguishing and comparing multifunctionality of rural space in various times and places, future research on exploring contemporary rural space towards multifunctionality with more geospatial big data is put forward. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Development of a Composite Measure of Regional Sustainable Development in Indonesia
Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5861; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205861 (registering DOI) - 22 Oct 2019
Abstract
Sustainable development has been the main agenda for Indonesia’s development at both the national and regional levels. Along with laws concerning the national development plan and regional development that mandate a sustainable development framework, the government has issued President Regulation No. 59/2017 on [...] Read more.
Sustainable development has been the main agenda for Indonesia’s development at both the national and regional levels. Along with laws concerning the national development plan and regional development that mandate a sustainable development framework, the government has issued President Regulation No. 59/2017 on the implementation of sustainable development goals. The issuance of these recent regulatory frameworks indicates that sustainable development should be taken seriously in development processes. Nevertheless, several factors affect the achievement of sustainable development. This paper investigates how economic, social, and environmental factors could be integrated into regional sustainable development indicators using a new composite index. The index is calculated based on a simple formula that could be useful for practical implementation at the policy level. Three measures of indices are developed: arithmetic, geometric, and entropy-based. The indices are aggregated to be used for comparison purposes among regions in terms of their sustainability performance. Lessons learned are then drawn for policy analysis and several recommendations are provided to address challenges in the implementation stages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
International MOOC Trends in Citizenship, Participation and Sustainability: Analysis of Technical, Didactic and Content Dimensions
Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5860; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205860 (registering DOI) - 22 Oct 2019
Abstract
Within globalization and the development of information and communication technologies (ICT), social and civic competence and sustainability take on a relevant role in the international scope. To this end, a theoretical section on citizenship models and the different fingerprints of sustainability is presented. [...] Read more.
Within globalization and the development of information and communication technologies (ICT), social and civic competence and sustainability take on a relevant role in the international scope. To this end, a theoretical section on citizenship models and the different fingerprints of sustainability is presented. The study is quantitative, with a sample of 161 massive open online courses (MOOCs) from three of the main platforms (Coursera, EdX and MiriadaX) with content on citizenship, citizen participation and/or sustainability. Both data collection and analysis are structured around a system of four categories: Technical dimension, didactic dimension, citizenship and sustainability. An exploratory analysis is carried out, followed by a factorial analysis focused on correlations and reduction of factors that allows us to define a main formative profile of the MOOC in relation to the reference themes. In this way, this research concludes that there is an international trend in MOOCs in citizenship and sustainability, whose predominant training proposals include contents related to the ecological citizenship model, as well as issues such as lack of resources, the need to reduce waste derived from consumption, climate change, or the impact of companies on the local economy and environment. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Novel Approach of IoT Services Orchestration Based on Multiple Sensor and Actuator Platforms Using Virtual Objects in Online IoT App-Store
Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5859; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205859 (registering DOI) - 22 Oct 2019
Abstract
The information and communication technology (ICT) is witnessing a revolutionary era with the advancements in the Internet of Things (IoT). An IoT network is a combination of sensor and actuator networks, connected and communicating in certain ways to design and provide IoT services [...] Read more.
The information and communication technology (ICT) is witnessing a revolutionary era with the advancements in the Internet of Things (IoT). An IoT network is a combination of sensor and actuator networks, connected and communicating in certain ways to design and provide IoT services to the end users. These IoT services are created by mapping physical-world objects into virtual-world objects. In this work, we propose a novel approach of IoT services orchestration based on multiple sensor and actuator platforms using virtual objects in online IoT application-store (app-store). In this work, we focused on combining the concepts of do-it-yourself (DIY) IoT marketplace, virtual objects (VOs), and virtual services. We built a fusion IoT services platform on a previously proposed IoT application store. The IoT application store enables the sharing and discovery of IoT VOs, along with micro-services associated with each VO uploaded into the application store. The fusion IoT services platform enables the user to fetch the desired or all VOs from the IoT app store and map the available VOs to form the fusion IoT services. The user can either select all the available VOs and see all the possible services’ combinations or select the desired (DIY) services and customize the virtual services scope. The performance of the proposed fusion IoT services platform was evaluated on the basis of the service connection times, service response times with varying load of VOs, virtual users, and active platforms. The proposed idea also offers a sustainable solution by proposing the reuse of existing resources and reducing duplicate deployments, which can lessen the total cost of the physical networks’ deployment and maintenance. To the best of our knowledge, the proposed work is the first of its kind. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of Taxation Policy on Household Spirit Consumption and Public-Finance Sustainability
Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5858; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205858 (registering DOI) - 22 Oct 2019
Abstract
The objective of this study was to estimate the sensitivity of spirit quantity demanded for price and income changes in Montenegro and to show the effectiveness of taxation-policy changes in the reduction of spirit consumption. It is the first study on this topic [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to estimate the sensitivity of spirit quantity demanded for price and income changes in Montenegro and to show the effectiveness of taxation-policy changes in the reduction of spirit consumption. It is the first study on this topic in Montenegro, where adverse effects of alcohol are recognized as an important obstacle in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The price elasticity of spirits was estimated using Deaton’s methodology on the Household Budget Survey (HBS) data in the period of 2006–2017. Cigarettes were included as a control variable as, along with spirits, they are one of the most harmful substances used in Montenegro. Using these results, we simulated the effects of spirit use on public revenue. The results show that the spirits’ own price elasticity equaled −0.45, while the cross-price elasticity equaled −0.17, showing that spirits and cigarettes are complementary goods. These results, along with elasticities calculated by sex (male, −0.55; female, −0.5), income groups (low income, −1.16; middle-income, −0.46; high-income, −0.26), and for the working-age group (−0.74), demonstrate that an increase in excise taxes could be a very efficient tool in decreasing the adverse effect of spirits and cigarettes on household member’s productivity, health, and budget, which is in line with SDGs. An efficient road map for sustainable development for Montenegro must include the reduction of health-harmful substance use through excise tax increase. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle
Air Quality Trend of PM10. Statistical Models for Assessing the Air Quality Impact of Environmental Policies
Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5857; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205857 (registering DOI) - 22 Oct 2019
Abstract
A statistical modelling of PM10 concentration (2006–2015) is applied to understand the behaviour, to know the influence of the variables to exposure risk, to treat the missing data to evaluate air quality, and to estimate data for those sites where they are not [...] Read more.
A statistical modelling of PM10 concentration (2006–2015) is applied to understand the behaviour, to know the influence of the variables to exposure risk, to treat the missing data to evaluate air quality, and to estimate data for those sites where they are not available. The study area, Castellón region (Spain), is a strategic area in the framework of EU pollution control. A decrease of PM10 is observed for industrial and urban stations. In the case of rural stations, the levels remain constant throughout the study period. The contribution of anthropogenic sources has been estimated through the PM10 background of the study area. The behaviour of PM10 annual trend is tri-modal for industrial and urban stations and bi-modal in the case of rural stations. The EU Normative suggests that 90% of the data per year are necessary to control air quality. Thus, interpolation statistical methods are presented to fill missing data: Linear Interpolation, Exponential Interpolation, and Kalman Smoothing. This study also focuses on testing the goodness of these methods in order to find the ones that better approach the gaps. After analyzing graphically and using the RMSE the last method is confirmed to be the best option. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sustainable Policy Dynamics—A Study on the Recent “Bust” of Foreign Residential Real Estate Investment in Sydney
Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5856; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205856 (registering DOI) - 22 Oct 2019
Abstract
We undertook an autopsy of the drivers of individual foreign real estate investment ‘bust’ in Australia through a new theoretical lens of ‘habitus’. Our autopsy data drew contours around the individual foreign real estate capital ‘boom and bust’ cycle, as well as the [...] Read more.
We undertook an autopsy of the drivers of individual foreign real estate investment ‘bust’ in Australia through a new theoretical lens of ‘habitus’. Our autopsy data drew contours around the individual foreign real estate capital ‘boom and bust’ cycle, as well as the long-term commitment of professionals in the real estate sector to Australia’s real estate market. More specifically, we showed that the foreign capital ‘boom and bust’ cycle began in earnest in about 2010 (starting at A$8.7 billion), grew to A$72.4 billion in 2016–2017, and then declined to A$12.5 billion in 2017–2018. This decline in foreign capital into Australian real estate occurred within a domestic real estate market in Sydney that also started to slow in 2017. Based on 20 semi-structured interviews with real estate professionals in Sydney and public material culture data, we found out that the off-the-plan apartment sales and global policy landscape changes contributed to the decline of foreign real estate investment in Australia. The three possible implications for Sydney’s future residential real estate development: (1) The loss of investors, (2) the evolution of the labor force, and (3) the diversification of housing products, have been raised as part of a future research road map. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Homicide Rates and the Multiple Dimensions of Urbanization: A Longitudinal, Cross-National Analysis
Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5855; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205855 (registering DOI) - 22 Oct 2019
Abstract
Sustainability scholars frame urbanization as a multidimensional concept with divergent environmental impacts. Through synthesizing recent quantitative studies of urbanization in criminology, we evaluated this multidimensional framework in a longitudinal, cross-national analysis of homicide rates for 217 countries between 2000 and 2015. For the [...] Read more.
Sustainability scholars frame urbanization as a multidimensional concept with divergent environmental impacts. Through synthesizing recent quantitative studies of urbanization in criminology, we evaluated this multidimensional framework in a longitudinal, cross-national analysis of homicide rates for 217 countries between 2000 and 2015. For the analysis, we also highlighted the issue of missing data, a common concern for cross-national scholars in a variety of disciplines. While controlling for other relevant factors, we compared results from panel models that use the common technique of listwise deletion (n = 113) and from structural equation models (SEM) that handle missing values with full information maximum likelihood (n = 216). While the estimates for the control variables are non-significant in the SEM approach, the findings for the urbanization variables were robust and multidimensional. In particular, while the proportion of the population that is urban is positively related to homicide, the proportion of the population living in large cities of at least one million inhabitants is significantly and negatively related to homicide in all models. Given our focus on urbanization, we outline our contribution not only in the context of criminology but also the cross-national sustainability literature, which often uses similar variables with missing values. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Evaluating the Environmental Performance of a Product/Service-System Business Model for Merino Wool Next-to-Skin Garments: The Case of Armadillo Merino®
Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5854; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205854 (registering DOI) - 22 Oct 2019
Abstract
Circular business models are often enabled by means of product/service-systems (PSS). The common perception is that such business models have enhanced environmental performance when compared to conventional business models rooted in the linear economy. This article investigates the environmental potential of developing a [...] Read more.
Circular business models are often enabled by means of product/service-systems (PSS). The common perception is that such business models have enhanced environmental performance when compared to conventional business models rooted in the linear economy. This article investigates the environmental potential of developing a use-oriented PSS business model for Merino wool t-shirts intended for use by the British Ministry of Defence as an alternative to the present supply system based on synthetic t-shirts purchased from sportswear clothing companies. To conduct the assessment, we apply the life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology to quantify and compare the climate change impacts and impact potentials of the proposed PSS business model and of a reference business model. Results showed that there could be significant contribution of quantifying environmental potential for PSS business models when justifying the transition to a circular economy. However, when adopting LCA methodology for this purpose, the design of the PSS needs to be well thought to overcome some of the identified challenges. The article concludes by making the case that LCA studies can support the definition, design and value creation of the product/service-systems in early development stages. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Trendsetting, Cultural Awareness, Cultural Receptivity, and Future Orientation among the Young Generation of Chinese College Students: Trendsetters Critically Matter
Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5853; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205853 (registering DOI) - 22 Oct 2019
Abstract
Current Chinese college students will become future consumers and fashion leaders. We examined, relying on a survey of 572 Chinese college students, which college students are trendsetters and followers. MANOVA results found four different innovation groups from trendsetters, to early adopters, to late [...] Read more.
Current Chinese college students will become future consumers and fashion leaders. We examined, relying on a survey of 572 Chinese college students, which college students are trendsetters and followers. MANOVA results found four different innovation groups from trendsetters, to early adopters, to late adopters, and to reluctant adopters. ANOVA and regression results also found significant differences in cultural receptivity, cultural awareness, and future orientation between trendsetters and followers. The regression with the quadratic forms illustrated that the impact of trendsetting is not linear and becomes much larger for trendsetters but is almost none for the three follower groups. The piecewise regression revealed that the slope of the followers is flat, implying no relationship between the followers and cultural receptivity, awareness, and future orientation. However, the slope of the trendsetters is steep, implying a strong positive relationship between trendsetters and cultural attitudes such as cultural receptivity, cultural awareness, and future orientation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in 2nd IT Revolution with Dynamic Open Innovation)
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Open AccessArticle
Water, Energy and Food Nexus in Rice Production in Thailand
Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5852; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205852 (registering DOI) - 22 Oct 2019
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Abstract
This research introduces an approach to analyze the nexus of water, energy and rice production system at the watershed scale. The nexus relationship equations, developed to suit the local scale facilitating analysis in the rice production sector, were integrated with a Material Flow [...] Read more.
This research introduces an approach to analyze the nexus of water, energy and rice production system at the watershed scale. The nexus relationship equations, developed to suit the local scale facilitating analysis in the rice production sector, were integrated with a Material Flow Analysis tool to expand the visualization capability. Moreover, the nexus flow was linked with the selected resource security, eco-efficiency and economic indicators, taking into account the spatial and temporal effect of water availability. The study covers the nexus resource flows not only in the rice production sector but also all other sectors in the whole watershed to assess local resource security. The tool covers wider implications, trade-offs and synergy impacts that were not much covered in previous studies. The tool was applied to evaluate the trade-offs and synergies of the impacts from proposed scenarios of alternative agricultural practices and land-use change options. The scenarios applying land-use change, and changing non-suitable and low-suitable rice cultivation areas to sugarcane and cassava, can reduce water use significantly resulting in reducing the nexus energy while the impact on economics, food security and direct energy use is small. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Workforce Ageing and Labour Productivity in Europe
Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5851; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205851 (registering DOI) - 22 Oct 2019
Viewed by 35
Abstract
This article analyses the influence of workforce ageing on labour productivity in Europe. This question is relevant because of the impact it may have on economic activity, social security systems sustainability and the wellbeing of the population. The method applied is a quantitative [...] Read more.
This article analyses the influence of workforce ageing on labour productivity in Europe. This question is relevant because of the impact it may have on economic activity, social security systems sustainability and the wellbeing of the population. The method applied is a quantitative contrast using the panel data technique for 24 countries in the period 1983–2014. This research is framed in the open conversation in the literature on the possible impact of ageing on productivity and takes as reference the seminal work of James Feyrer and the contrast model developed by Shekhar Aiyar, Christian Ebeke, and Xiaobo Shao. The results obtained show how a 1% increase in the workforce between the ages of 55 and 64 is related to a decrease of the annual increase in productivity between −0.106% and −0.479%. The main contribution of the article is to provide, as far as the authors are aware, the first evidence of this negative relationship for the period 1983–2014, in addition to suggesting that the influence of ageing on productivity may be reduced by the evolution of the economies in question toward capital and/or knowledge-intensive sectors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aging: Healthcare, Inequalities, Challenges and Trends)
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Factors Giving the Opportunity for Implementation of Innovations on the Example of Manufacturing Enterprises in the Silesian Province
Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5850; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205850 (registering DOI) - 22 Oct 2019
Viewed by 91
Abstract
This paper analyzes the actions that improve innovativeness in production enterprises in the Silesian province. Innovation is one of the elements that allows to achieve a competitive advantage. It is justified to research various factors that are important in improving innovativeness. The research [...] Read more.
This paper analyzes the actions that improve innovativeness in production enterprises in the Silesian province. Innovation is one of the elements that allows to achieve a competitive advantage. It is justified to research various factors that are important in improving innovativeness. The research includes selected production enterprises in the Silesian province, adopting the descriptive statistics measures and statistic tests: random sample test, chi-square independence test and the non-parametric Kruskal-Wallis test based on a survey questionnaire. Some of the most important factors determining the possibilities of innovation by manufacturing companies were detected contacts with other enterprises, R&D centers and counseling institutions, competitive position of the company, and creating appropriate incentive systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovation and the Development of Enterprises)
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Open AccessArticle
Design and Implementation of Thermal Comfort System based on Tasks Allocation Mechanism in Smart Homes
Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5849; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205849 (registering DOI) - 21 Oct 2019
Viewed by 141
Abstract
The recent trend in the Internet of Things (IoT) is bringing innovations in almost every field of science. IoT is mainly focused on the connectivity of things via the Internet. IoT’s integration tools are developed based on the Do It Yourself (DIY) approach, [...] Read more.
The recent trend in the Internet of Things (IoT) is bringing innovations in almost every field of science. IoT is mainly focused on the connectivity of things via the Internet. IoT’s integration tools are developed based on the Do It Yourself (DIY) approach, as the general public lacks technical skills. This paper presents a thermal comfort system based on tasks allocation mechanism in smart homes. This paper designs and implements the tasks allocation mechanism based on virtual objects composition for IoT applications. We provide user-friendly drag and drops panels for the new IoT users to visualize both task composition and device virtualization. This paper also designs tasks generation from microservices, tasks mapping, task scheduling, and tasks allocation for thermal comfort applications in smart home. Microservices are functional units of services in an IoT environment. Physical devices are registered, and their corresponding virtual objects are initialized. Tasks are generated from the microservices and connected with the relevant virtual objects. Afterward, they are scheduled and finally allocated on the physical IoT device. The task composition toolbox is deployed on the cloud for users to access the application remotely. The performance of the proposed architecture is evaluated using both real-time and simulated scenarios. Round trip time (RTT), response time, task dropping and latency are used as the performance metrics. Results indicate that even for worst-case scenarios, values of these metrics are negligible, which makes our architecture significant, better and ideal for task allocation in IoT network. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Role of Local Finance in Overcoming Socioeconomic Inequalities in Polish Rural Areas
Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5848; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205848 (registering DOI) - 21 Oct 2019
Viewed by 117
Abstract
Poland is affected not only by a persistent regional differentiation but also by an internal polarization of regional development levels, particularly in rural areas. Local government authorities, especially municipalities, play an important role in bridging inequalities in socioeconomic rural development. This is because [...] Read more.
Poland is affected not only by a persistent regional differentiation but also by an internal polarization of regional development levels, particularly in rural areas. Local government authorities, especially municipalities, play an important role in bridging inequalities in socioeconomic rural development. This is because the investment capacity depends on the efficiency and effectiveness of local public finance. Note that the fight against inequalities is related to the issues of sustainable development. Therefore, the main purpose of this paper is to assess the changes in the level of socioeconomic inequalities between rural municipalities and the importance of local public finance in bridging these inequalities, as illustrated by the example of Poland. The objective formulated above emanates from the research hypothesis advanced by the authors which assumes that a strong relationship exists between one’s own income and investment potential, on one side, and the socioeconomic development level of Polish rural municipalities, on the other. In the first stage of research, the levels of socioeconomic development of the municipalities surveyed were assessed with a synthetic indicator estimated using the TOPSIS method (Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to an Ideal Solution). The indicator served as a basis for building the typological classes of socioeconomic development at the municipal level. Following this, selected descriptive statistics methods were used to describe the typological classes of socioeconomic development. The second stage of research consisted of assessing the quantitative relationships between the development level and the financial situation of entities surveyed. This was done using the Pearson linear correlation coefficient and the pseudo-test of differences of means. As demonstrated in the analyses, Polish rural municipalities witnessed an improvement in their socioeconomic development level and a simultaneous reduction in development disparities. Also identified were the relationships between local public finance and development levels of rural municipalities. The empirical study also allowed us to confirm the research hypothesis formulated in this paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Value Management–New Concepts and Contemporary Trends)
Open AccessReview
Using Social Norms to Change Behavior and Increase Sustainability in the Real World: a Systematic Review of the Literature
Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5847; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205847 (registering DOI) - 21 Oct 2019
Viewed by 123
Abstract
Behavioral change interventions based on social norms have proven to be a popular and cost-effective way in which both researchers and practitioners attempt to transform behavior in order to increase environmental and social sustainability in real-world contexts. In this paper, we present a [...] Read more.
Behavioral change interventions based on social norms have proven to be a popular and cost-effective way in which both researchers and practitioners attempt to transform behavior in order to increase environmental and social sustainability in real-world contexts. In this paper, we present a systematic review of over 90 empirical studies that have applied behavioral change interventions based on social norms in field settings. Building on previous research about the sources of information that people use to understand social norms and other local determinants of behavior, we propose a framework organized along two axes that describe intervention context (situated interventions applied in the same context where the target behavior happens versus remote interventions that are applied away from that context) and type of normative information leveraged (interventions that provide summary information about a group versus interventions that expose participants to the opinions and behaviors of others). We also illustrate successful applications for each dimension, as well as the social, psychological and physical determinants of behavior that were leveraged to support change. Finally, based on our results, we discuss some of the elements and practical mechanisms that can be used by both researchers and practitioners to design more integral, effective and sustainable social norm intervention in the real world. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Biodiversity Impact of Green Roofs and Constructed Wetlands as Progressive Eco-Technologies in Urban Areas
Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5846; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205846 - 21 Oct 2019
Viewed by 124
Abstract
The total amount of sealed surfaces is increasing in many urban areas, which presents a challenge for sewerage systems and wastewater treatment plants when extreme rainfall events occur. One promising solution approach is the application of decentralized eco-technologies for water management such as [...] Read more.
The total amount of sealed surfaces is increasing in many urban areas, which presents a challenge for sewerage systems and wastewater treatment plants when extreme rainfall events occur. One promising solution approach is the application of decentralized eco-technologies for water management such as green roofs and constructed wetlands, which also have the potential to improve urban biodiversity. We review the effects of these two eco-technologies on species richness, abundance and other facets of biodiversity (e.g., functional diversity). We find that while green roofs support fewer species than ground-level habitats and thus are not a substitute for the latter, the increase in green roof structural diversity supports species richness. Species abundance benefits from improved roof conditions (e.g., increased substrate depth). Few studies have investigated the functional diversity of green roofs so far, but the typical traits of green roof species have been identified. The biodiversity of animals in constructed wetlands can be improved by applying animal-aided design rather than by solely considering engineering requirements. For example, flat and barrier-free shore areas, diverse vegetation, and heterogeneous surroundings increase the attractiveness of constructed wetlands for a range of animals. We suggest that by combining and making increasing use of these two eco-technologies in urban areas, biodiversity will benefit. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Urban Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of High-Speed Rail on Cultural Tourism Development: The Experience of the Spanish Museums and Monuments
Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5845; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205845 - 21 Oct 2019
Viewed by 114
Abstract
Although transport infrastructure is one of the prominent factors that make Spain a major tourist destination, the international literature has revealed that the opening of new High-Speed Rail (HSR) lines is not sufficient by itself in order to increase tourist outputs in the [...] Read more.
Although transport infrastructure is one of the prominent factors that make Spain a major tourist destination, the international literature has revealed that the opening of new High-Speed Rail (HSR) lines is not sufficient by itself in order to increase tourist outputs in the new connected destinations. Nevertheless, the roles played by different characteristics of both travelers and destinations are of interest but they still remain not sufficiently explored. This paper focuses on the role played by HSR in fostering cultural tourism by applying a fixed-effect econometric model to a panel database (1988–2017). The database includes the number of tourists to some of the major Spanish cultural centers. The results show different impacts based on the regions, the characteristics of the museums, and the expected tourists. For destinations with previous cultural attraction, a positive effect is more evident. Moreover, the centrality of the HSR station as an enabling factor as well as the growth of the tourist market to the surrounding municipalities has been detected. Another interesting result is related to the cooperation effect between HSR and air transport, which encourages the arrivals of foreign tourists. These findings should help planners to develop policies that optimize tourist revenues by exploiting the potential of HSR development in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High Speed Rail and Tourism)
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Open AccessArticle
Importance of the Stakeholders’ Interaction: Comparative, Longitudinal Study of Two City Logistics Initiatives
Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5844; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205844 - 21 Oct 2019
Viewed by 114
Abstract
The main purpose of the paper is to explore the importance of stakeholders’ interaction in the different stages of the implementation process of city logistics initiatives and to assess the extent to which interaction may vary between two apparently similar initiatives. A comparative, [...] Read more.
The main purpose of the paper is to explore the importance of stakeholders’ interaction in the different stages of the implementation process of city logistics initiatives and to assess the extent to which interaction may vary between two apparently similar initiatives. A comparative, longitudinal study, with data from two Swedish city logistics initiatives is conducted. The findings highlight the multiple stakeholders’ interaction and suggest that various degrees of such interaction can be beneficial for sustainable city logistics initiatives. The study demonstrates that although the interactions can be considered broadly similar, there are differences that have an impact on the implementation and development of such initiatives over time. It also highlights the relevance of integrating initiatives with existing networks to provide longer-term viability in the implementation process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue City Logistics)
Open AccessArticle
Corporate Social Responsibility and Intellectual Capital: Sources of Competitiveness and Legitimacy in Organizations’ Management Practices
Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5843; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205843 - 21 Oct 2019
Viewed by 116
Abstract
Two important managerial strategies have shaped organizations’ initiatives in recent years: corporate social responsibility (CSR) and intellectual capital (IC). Organizations’ implementation of voluntary CSR practices implies a commitment that goes beyond mere actions and it constitutes a step toward securing benefits for these [...] Read more.
Two important managerial strategies have shaped organizations’ initiatives in recent years: corporate social responsibility (CSR) and intellectual capital (IC). Organizations’ implementation of voluntary CSR practices implies a commitment that goes beyond mere actions and it constitutes a step toward securing benefits for these entities. In contrast, IC refers to a set of intangible organizational assets (i.e., human, structural, and relational capital) that are capable of providing greater value than tangible assets do. Putting both strategies into practice independently of each other is a source of competitive advantages for organizations, including more legitimacy in their sector. However, the present study sought to explore the possibility of strengthening the link between CSR and IC by integrating socially responsible practices into the configuration of each IC dimension. Thus, this research’s objective was to determine whether CSR initiatives can generate improvements in key IC components in organizations. The study included extremely diverse Spanish organizations ranging from small and medium-sized enterprises to large firms, private and public companies, and organizations serving multiple purposes, such as universities—all of which were implementing CSR initiatives. The partial least squares technique was applied to estimate a structural equation model to achieve the objective. The findings include that CSR improves organizations’ IC and that the resulting competitiveness is a source of legitimacy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intellectual Capital and Sustainability)
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Open AccessCase Report
The Determinants of Income of Rural Women in Bangladesh
Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5842; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205842 - 21 Oct 2019
Viewed by 114
Abstract
This study was carried out to identify the factor which influences rural women’s income after participation in small-scale agricultural farming, their contribution to the household, as well as their empowerment status. This research was conducted in Jinaigati upazila of Sherpur district in Bangladesh. [...] Read more.
This study was carried out to identify the factor which influences rural women’s income after participation in small-scale agricultural farming, their contribution to the household, as well as their empowerment status. This research was conducted in Jinaigati upazila of Sherpur district in Bangladesh. A total of 80 respondents (women) from this upazilla of Sherpur were selected purposively using simple random sampling. The quantitative data were collected by in depth interviewing of the 80 respondents through personal interview. The quantitative analytical tools used to attain specific objectives included various descriptive statistics, functional analysis, multiple regression co-efficient, used to identify the factors of influencing women’s income through small-scale agricultural farming. Problem Confrontation Index (PCI) used through different problems identified scores. In accordance with the results of the educational level of woman, other sources of income, experience and training, access to credit, decision-making ability have a positive influence on rural women’s income, and these variables were statistically significant. From the Problem Confrontation Index, it was found that lack of capital was the first ranked problem, need-based training the second ranked problem, high interest rate the third ranked problem, insufficient farm size the fourth ranked problem, and lack of quality of seed the fifth ranked problem. Their income from this brought remarkable positive change in their life and they had better control over their decisions and income. Finally, their active economical participation in small-scale farming assists them to overcome prejudice, socio-economic barriers, and highest empowerment attainment in the context of Bangladesh—and, if the government takes proper initiative in terms of gender policy, then rural women’s income and livelihood status will be increased remarkably. Full article
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