Next Issue
Volume 11, November-2
Previous Issue
Volume 11, October-2

Table of Contents

Sustainability, Volume 11, Issue 21 (November-1 2019)

  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
Cover Story (view full-size image) The energy efficiency, quality, and economic benefits of LED technology are an unquestionable [...] Read more.
Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
Open AccessArticle
Does China’s Pollution Levy Standards Reform Promote Green Growth?
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 6186; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11216186 - 05 Nov 2019
Abstract
Estimating the impact of environmental taxes on economic output is of great theoretical value for promoting green growth in China. Using a dataset of 232 cities from 2004 to 2014, this paper investigates the effect of pollution levy standards reform (PSR) on green [...] Read more.
Estimating the impact of environmental taxes on economic output is of great theoretical value for promoting green growth in China. Using a dataset of 232 cities from 2004 to 2014, this paper investigates the effect of pollution levy standards reform (PSR) on green total factor productivity (GTFP). We employ directional distance functions (DDF) computed by data envelopment analysis (DEA) to derive GTFP based on the Malmquist–Luenberger (ML) productivity index. Then, we investigate the impacts of PSR on China’s GTFP using Difference-in-Differences (DID) estimation. The results reveal that PSR has an inhibitory effect on GTFP, via the mechanism of technological change. Furthermore, PSR has heterogeneous impacts on different city types. The results indicate that PSR statistically significantly reduces GTFP in key environmental protection cities (KEPCs), large cities, and eastern cities, but that it has less impact on non-KEPCs, small/medium cities, megacities, and cities in central areas. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Environmental Assessment of Two Use Cycles of Recycled Aggregate Concrete
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 6185; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11216185 - 05 Nov 2019
Abstract
The main goal of this study was to compare two use cycles of natural aggregate concrete and recycled aggregate concrete, which is another way to compare the environmental impacts of recycled materials. A series of concrete mixtures with various replacement ratios of primary [...] Read more.
The main goal of this study was to compare two use cycles of natural aggregate concrete and recycled aggregate concrete, which is another way to compare the environmental impacts of recycled materials. A series of concrete mixtures with various replacement ratios of primary resources with recycled ones were prepared for this study. The mechanical properties of concrete mixtures were examined and were used for the design of structural elements in the same utilized properties. The two use cycles of a structural element were compared using life cycle assessment (LCA). In the first use cycle, the LCA of the structural element containing only primary raw materials was assessed. In the second use cycle, the LCA of a structural element in which primary materials were partially replaced by recycled ones was assessed. The obtained results confirm the potential use of high-quality recycled aggregate originating from local sources in some applications in building structures. Furthermore, the environmental assessment indicates the benefits of using recycled materials, such as environmental savings, especially the reduction of primary resource use, embodied energy, and embodied emissions, as well as reduction of the pressure on landfill sites. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Using RPL Model to Probe Trade-Offs among Negative Externalities of Controlling Invasive Species
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 6184; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11216184 - 05 Nov 2019
Abstract
This empirical study uses the choice experiment method to analyze the preferences of national park (NP) visitors regarding the negative externalities of NP measures to prevent and control invasive alien species (IAS). In addition, it estimates the visitor responses to the trade-offs between [...] Read more.
This empirical study uses the choice experiment method to analyze the preferences of national park (NP) visitors regarding the negative externalities of NP measures to prevent and control invasive alien species (IAS). In addition, it estimates the visitor responses to the trade-offs between various negative externalities and the prices visitors are willing to pay. Based on these trade-offs and the willing-to-pay prices, NPs can plan IAS prevention that has the least impact on visitors. Adopting visitors to Taiwan’s Shei-Pa National Park as the survey respondents, this paper uses a stratified random sampling method to select the survey time and applies systematic sampling to select respondents during the survey period. A total of 602 questionnaires and 2998 observations were obtained. The results reveal that visitors believe that the negative externalities of IAS have a significant impact on them. However, their preference for prevention and control outweighs their preference for no prevention and control measures. In terms of the negative externalities associated with IAS prevention and control, visitors award priority to avoidance of ecological disturbance and harm to visitor health, and are more likely to accept the reduction of recreational area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Open AccessArticle
Uncertain Hybrid Multiple Attribute Group Decision of Offshore Wind Power Transmission Mode Based on theVIKOR Method
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 6183; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11216183 - 05 Nov 2019
Abstract
With the increasing scale of offshore wind power, large-capacity and long-distance offshore wind power will be a trend in the future development of wind power. However, compared with onshore wind power transmission, offshore wind power transmission is more difficult and costly. Therefore, it [...] Read more.
With the increasing scale of offshore wind power, large-capacity and long-distance offshore wind power will be a trend in the future development of wind power. However, compared with onshore wind power transmission, offshore wind power transmission is more difficult and costly. Therefore, it is of great practical significance and urgency to select the appropriate power transmission mode to realize the long-distance transmission of large-capacity offshore wind power. Since the selection of offshore wind power transmission mode is a multiple attribute decision making problem, in this paper, the technical characteristics of high voltage alternating current (HVAC) and voltage source converter based on high voltage direct current (VSC-HVDC) that are already in use and hybrid HVDC that is possible to be used in offshore wind power transmission in the future are discussed. Based on this analysis, the reliability, economy and construction difficulty of offshore wind power transmission mode are systematically analyzed, and VIKOR method is applied to group decision-making for the selection of offshore wind power transmission mode. The main contributions of this paper are as follows: (1) the characteristics of large-capacity and long-distance offshore wind power transmission are studied, and the evaluation system with multiple indexes including a large number of qualitative indexes is constructed from the technical, economic and social aspects. In order to deal with difficult problems of fuzzy information, interval numbers, language variables, intuitionistic fuzzy numbers and other data types are used to deal with them effectively. (2) In the VIKOR method, because the expert weights are unknown in group decision-making, the expert trust function is used to objectively determine the weight of each expert. (3) The group decision-making analysis of actual case of offshore wind power plant is carried out by using expert knowledge and VIKOR method. The case shows that this method is simple, reasonable and practical. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Identifying Nature–Community Nexuses for Sustainably Managing Social and Ecological Systems: A Case Study of the Qianjiangyuan National Park Pilot Area
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 6182; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11216182 - 05 Nov 2019
Abstract
Designing policies for the sustainable development of social-ecological systems with complex human–land relations requires integrated management and nexus thinking; China’s national parks are typical social-ecological systems. Ecosystem services and community livelihood are two essential components of sustainable management in the nature–community nexus (NCN). [...] Read more.
Designing policies for the sustainable development of social-ecological systems with complex human–land relations requires integrated management and nexus thinking; China’s national parks are typical social-ecological systems. Ecosystem services and community livelihood are two essential components of sustainable management in the nature–community nexus (NCN). This study focuses on the Qianjiangyuan National Park Pilot Area in eastern China. Following a systems approach and integrating qualitative (causal analysis and systems but dynamic methods) and quantitative (InVEST model, Spearman’s correlation analysis, regression analysis, and multiple correspondence analysis) methods, we developed two causal mechanisms linking livelihood assets and ecosystem services, and verified them by exploring multi-dimensional linkages and revealing two types of NCNs. Results showed that the proportions of cropland and orchard areas have significant negative correlations with water and soil retention services, respectively, while forests significantly benefit both services. A positive NCN exists in areas where water and soil retention services perform well and the local community develops vibrantly with a considerable proportion of young, highly educated, or high-income (especially the income from secondary industries) residents. A negative NCN is seen in areas where the water and soil retention services values are low; a great many households do not have substantial income from secondary and tertiary industries, and few households have vast forest areas. These results can be used as scientific evidence for optimizing institutional arrangements and contributing to sustainable and harmonious development of national parks in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue National Parks: Theories and Practices)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
The Impact of Blockchain Technology Application on Supply Chain Partnership and Performance
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 6181; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11216181 - 05 Nov 2019
Abstract
Blockchain technology is now considered a next generation information technology tool for sustainable growth in supply chain (SC) management. However, its study is relatively rare in the literature on SC collaboration and sustainability management research, despite its advantages in sustaining connectivity and reliability [...] Read more.
Blockchain technology is now considered a next generation information technology tool for sustainable growth in supply chain (SC) management. However, its study is relatively rare in the literature on SC collaboration and sustainability management research, despite its advantages in sustaining connectivity and reliability among SC partners. This study investigates how the use of blockchain in SC activities can influence (increase or decrease) SC partnership efficiency and growth, thereby affecting SC performance outcomes. Specifically, this study empirically validates a measurement and structural equation model with 306 SC experts from various industries. The findings show that the blockchain technology characteristics (information transparency, information immutability, and smart contracts) have significant positive effects on partnership growth and marginal effects on partnership efficiency. Though partnership growth has a positive effect on firm performance, partnership efficiency shows a negative effect. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Digital Supply Chain)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Sustainable Approach to Eradicate the Inhibitory Effect of Free-Cyanide on Simultaneous Nitrification and Aerobic Denitrification during Wastewater Treatment
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 6180; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11216180 - 05 Nov 2019
Abstract
Simultaneous nitrification and aerobic denitrification (SNaD) is a preferred method for single stage total nitrogen (TN) removal, which was recently proposed to improve wastewater treatment plant design. However, SNaD processes are prone to inhibition by toxicant loading with free cyanide (FCN) possessing the [...] Read more.
Simultaneous nitrification and aerobic denitrification (SNaD) is a preferred method for single stage total nitrogen (TN) removal, which was recently proposed to improve wastewater treatment plant design. However, SNaD processes are prone to inhibition by toxicant loading with free cyanide (FCN) possessing the highest inhibitory effect on such processes, rendering these processes ineffective. Despite the best efforts of regulators to limit toxicant disposal into municipal wastewater sewage systems (MWSSs), FCN still enters MWSSs through various pathways; hence, it has been suggested that FCN resistant or tolerant microorganisms be utilized for processes such as SNaD. To mitigate toxicant loading, organisms in SNaD have been observed to adopt a diauxic growth strategy to sequentially degrade FCN during primary growth and subsequently degrade TN during the secondary growth phase. However, FCN degrading microorganisms are not widely used for SNaD in MWSSs due to inadequate application of suitable microorganisms (Chromobacterium violaceum, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Thiobacillus denitrificans, Rhodospirillum palustris, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Alcaligenes faecalis) commonly used in single-stage SNaD. This review expatiates the biological remedial strategy to limit the inhibition of SNaD by FCN through the use of FCN degrading or resistant microorganisms. The use of FCN degrading or resistant microorganisms for SNaD is a cost-effective method compared to the use of other methods of FCN removal prior to TN removal, as they involve multi-stage systems (as currently observed in MWSSs). The use of FCN degrading microorganisms, particularly when used as a consortium, presents a promising and sustainable resolution to mitigate inhibitory effects of FCN in SNaD. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
A Sustainability Assessment of Five Major Food Crops’ Water Footprints in China from 1978 to 2010
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 6179; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11216179 - 05 Nov 2019
Abstract
Rice, wheat, corn, soybeans, and sorghum are the five major crops in China, which account for 92% of the country’s total grain production and 33% of its water consumption. Combining water footprint analysis tools with sustainability assessment tools, the water sustainability of the [...] Read more.
Rice, wheat, corn, soybeans, and sorghum are the five major crops in China, which account for 92% of the country’s total grain production and 33% of its water consumption. Combining water footprint analysis tools with sustainability assessment tools, the water sustainability of the five major crops can be analyzed. Based on ecological economics theory, this paper constructs a sustainability evaluation system of China’s five major crops’ water footprints and analyzes the national and provincial diversity of the sustainability of the five major crops’ water footprints using three dimensions: scale, distribution, and equity. We find that the interprovincial distribution equity sustainability divergence is the key bottleneck factor that restricts sustainability (more than scale and configuration). One key strategy is to arrange grain production at the national level, on the basis of considering the differences of water-resource endowment between different provinces to break through the bottleneck of the water-resource distribution sustainability of these five major food crops. This paper determines a general management model that can improve the sustainability of water resource management at the interprovincial level by comparing and analyzing the most sustainable and least sustainable provinces for the water footprint production of these five major crops. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Global Water Management)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Agent-Based Modelling of a Coupled Water Demand and Supply System at the Catchment Scale
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 6178; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11216178 - 05 Nov 2019
Abstract
Water is of uttermost importance for human well-being and a central resource in sustainable development. Many simulation models for sustainable water management, however, lack explanatory and predictive power because the two-way dynamic feedbacks between human and water systems are neglected. With Agent-based Modelling [...] Read more.
Water is of uttermost importance for human well-being and a central resource in sustainable development. Many simulation models for sustainable water management, however, lack explanatory and predictive power because the two-way dynamic feedbacks between human and water systems are neglected. With Agent-based Modelling of Resources (Aqua.MORE; here, of the resource water), we present a platform that can support understanding, interpretation and scenario development of resource flows in coupled human–water systems at the catchment scale. Aqua.MORE simulates the water resources in a demand and supply system, whereby water fluxes and socioeconomic actors are represented by individual agents that mutually interact and cause complex feedback loops. First, we describe the key steps for developing an agent-based model (ABM) of water demand and supply, using the platform Aqua.MORE. Second, we illustrate the modelling process by application in an idealized Alpine valley, characterized by touristic and agricultural water demand sectors. Here, the implementation and analysis of scenarios highlights the possibilities of Aqua.MORE (1) to easily deploy case study-specific agents and characterize them, (2) to evaluate feedbacks between water demand and supply and (3) to compare the effects of different agent behavior or water use strategies. Thereby, we corroborate the potential of Aqua.MORE as a decision-support tool for sustainable watershed management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Watershed Modelling and Management for Sustainability)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Quantifying the Distribution and Diversity of Fish Species Along Elevational Gradients in the Weihe River Basin, Northwest China
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 6177; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11216177 - 05 Nov 2019
Abstract
In this study, species compositions, distributions, and diversity patterns of fish assemblages were investigated at 50 sampling sites in the Weihe River and its two largest tributaries, the Jinghe River and the Beiluo River, under high- and low-flow conditions in 2017. For every [...] Read more.
In this study, species compositions, distributions, and diversity patterns of fish assemblages were investigated at 50 sampling sites in the Weihe River and its two largest tributaries, the Jinghe River and the Beiluo River, under high- and low-flow conditions in 2017. For every condition tested and in the all rivers tested, Cyprinidae was the richest family, containing 17 of the 39 identified fish species. Carassius auratus was the most common species, accounting for 11.3% of the total individuals. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMDS), analysis of similarities (ANOSIM), and similarity percentage analysis (SIMPER) revealed that fish species composition differed significantly among rivers (p < 0.05), with dissimilar species assemblages found in the different rivers. Variation was influenced by a combined effect of habitat conditions, environmental factors, and human impact. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) identified variables explaining the variation in fish species (p < 0.05), and elevation contributed the most under both flow conditions. Alpha diversity decreased with increasing elevation within rivers as a result of changing environmental conditions, especially for wetted width. Alpha and beta diversities of rivers increased with increasing drainage area, which is related to habitat heterogeneity. The decrease in alpha diversity and the increase in beta diversity with increasing elevation can be explained by variations in habitat and geographic features. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Vulnerability of the Maritime Network to Tropical Cyclones in the Northwest Pacific and the Northern Indian Ocean
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 6176; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11216176 - 05 Nov 2019
Abstract
Maritime networks are one of the most important types of transportation networks in international logistics and it accounts for 90% of the global trade volume. However, the structure of maritime networks is severely impacted by tropical cyclones, especially the maritime network in the [...] Read more.
Maritime networks are one of the most important types of transportation networks in international logistics and it accounts for 90% of the global trade volume. However, the structure of maritime networks is severely impacted by tropical cyclones, especially the maritime network in the Northwest Pacific and the northern Indian Ocean. This paper investigates the vulnerability of the maritime network in the Northwest Pacific and the northern Indian Ocean to the influence of tropical cyclones through removing ports at high or very high tropical cyclones hazard levels and analyzing how the network structure characteristics change from a complex network point of view. From the results, we find that this maritime network is a small-world network and the degree distribution of ports follows a power law distribution. The ports in East Asia are impacted more severely by the tropical cyclones. Moreover, this maritime network exhibits some vulnerability to tropical cyclones. However, the interconnection of the survived ports is not severely impacted, when the network is attacked by tropical cyclones. The port system in the Philippines is most vulnerable to the influence of tropical cyclones, followed by the ports systems in Japan and China. The paper also shows that it is important for studies of maritime network vulnerability to identify the ports that are both important to the regional and cross-regional logistics and severely impacted by natural hazards. The findings provide a theoretical basis for optimizing the port layout and improving the ability of the network to resist damage caused by tropical cyclones. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Transportation)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Valorizing Waste Lignocellulose-Based Furniture Boards by Phosphoric Acid and Hydrogen Peroxide (Php) Pretreatment for Bioethanol Production and High-Value Lignin Recovery
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 6175; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11216175 - 05 Nov 2019
Abstract
Three typical waste furniture boards (fiberboard, chipboard, and blockboard) were pretreated with phosphoric acid and hydrogen peroxide (PHP). The fractionation process of these feedstocks was attempted in order to harvest the cellulose-rich fraction for enzymatic hydrolysis and bioethanol conversion; further, lignin recovery was [...] Read more.
Three typical waste furniture boards (fiberboard, chipboard, and blockboard) were pretreated with phosphoric acid and hydrogen peroxide (PHP). The fractionation process of these feedstocks was attempted in order to harvest the cellulose-rich fraction for enzymatic hydrolysis and bioethanol conversion; further, lignin recovery was also considered in this process. The results indicated that 78.9–91.2% of the cellulose was recovered in the cellulose-rich fraction. The decreased crystallinity, which promoted the water retention capacity and enzyme accessibility, contributed greatly to the excellent hydrolysis performance of the cellulose-rich fraction. Therefore, rather high cellulose–glucose conversions of 83.3–98.0% were achieved by hydrolyzing the pretreated furniture boards, which allowed for harvesting 208–241 g of glucose from 1.0 kg of feedstocks. Correspondingly, 8.1–10.4 g/L of ethanol were obtained after 120 h of simultaneous saccharification and fermentation. The harvested lignin exhibited abundant carboxyl –OH groups (0.61–0.67 mmol g−1). In addition, approximately 15–26 g of harvested oligosaccharides were integrated during PHP pretreatment. It was shown that PHP pretreatment is feasible for these highly recalcitrant biomass board materials, which can diversify the bioproducts used in the integrated biorefinery concept. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Biorefining of Biowaste)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Quantitative Influence of Land-Use Changes and Urban Expansion Intensity on Landscape Pattern in Qingdao, China: Implications for Urban Sustainability
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 6174; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11216174 - 05 Nov 2019
Abstract
The spatial structure and configuration of land-use patches, i.e., landscape patterns could affect the flow of energy and materials in inner-urban ecosystems, and hence the sustainable development of urban areas. Studying landscape pattern changes under the process of urbanization would have implicational significance [...] Read more.
The spatial structure and configuration of land-use patches, i.e., landscape patterns could affect the flow of energy and materials in inner-urban ecosystems, and hence the sustainable development of urban areas. Studying landscape pattern changes under the process of urbanization would have implicational significance to urban planning and urban sustainability. In this paper, land-use change and urban expansion intensity (UEI) were treated as the inducement factors for changes in landscape patterns, and stepwise regression and geographically weighted regression (GWR) were adapted to quantify their integrated and distributed magnitude effects on landscape patterns, respectively. The findings suggested that land-uses have different contributions to changes in landscape patterns at different urban development zones (downtown, suburban plain area and mountainous suburban areas). Furthermore, the GWR analysis results indicated that the effect of UEI on landscape patterns has spatial and temporal heterogeneity. From 1987 to 2000, the UEI had great explanatory capacity on changes in landscape patterns and helped the landscape assemble faster in the downtown and adjacent areas. However, with the shifting of the center of urban construction from downtown to the suburbs, the high explanatory ability was oriented towards suburban areas during 2000–2016 and the magnitude of influence spatially changed. Therefore, a compact city and protection policy should be adapted to different regions in the study area to achieve strong urban sustainability. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
The Predictability of Short-Term Urban Rail Demand: Choice of Time Resolution and Methodology
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 6173; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11216173 - 05 Nov 2019
Abstract
The accuracy of short-term demand forecasting is critical for real-time operation management of urban rail transit, which largely depends on the choice of time resolution. Although there have been continuous improvements in forecasting models, the basic issue has not been well addressed. In [...] Read more.
The accuracy of short-term demand forecasting is critical for real-time operation management of urban rail transit, which largely depends on the choice of time resolution. Although there have been continuous improvements in forecasting models, the basic issue has not been well addressed. In this regard, the predictability of short-term demand in terms of time resolution setting and the corresponding model selection have been addressed in this study. Two methods have been considered: the demand forecasting with the past demand during the same time slot on the same weekday (the same period method); and that with continuous time series demand exactly before the forecasted time slot (time series method). The predictability for these two methods was respectively measured by the similarity of the same period and the stability of the time series. Consequently, the influence of time resolution on the predictability of short-term demand for urban rail transit has been evaluated. With the methods proposed, this study conducted an analysis on five-week smartcard data in the Beijing subway system. Results suggest that the predictability of short-term demand presented remarkable heterogeneity in both time and space. The predictability of demand forecasting at station level has been summarized into different levels, and the corresponding methods can be selected for each class. Generally, to ensure a desirable accuracy, forecasting can be made at a 10-min and 60-min interval on weekdays and weekends, respectively. The same period method works better for the short-term demand forecasting on weekdays. While the time series method performs better for prediction on weekends. As for short-time OD (origin-destination) demand, the time series method with a 10-min interval, which is supplemented by the same period method, can generate acceptable forecasting results. In brief, this study provides suggestions on the time resolution and method selection for short-term demand forecasting. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Heterogeneous Winter Wheat Populations Differ in Yield Stability Depending on their Genetic Background and Management System
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 6172; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11216172 - 05 Nov 2019
Abstract
Twelve winter wheat composite cross populations (CCPs), based on three genetic backgrounds and maintained at the University of Kassel, Germany, under both organic and conventional management, were assessed for yield performance and stability in comparison to two commercial varieties over eight and 10 [...] Read more.
Twelve winter wheat composite cross populations (CCPs), based on three genetic backgrounds and maintained at the University of Kassel, Germany, under both organic and conventional management, were assessed for yield performance and stability in comparison to two commercial varieties over eight and 10 experimental years. A number of stability parameters were chosen in order to identify populations with either adaptation to specific environments or broad adaptation across environments. The genetic effects of the CCP parental varieties were clearly present when comparing CCP yield performance in both management systems. Compared to the variety ‘Capo’, CCPs yielded similarly under organic, but poorer under conventional conditions. Under both management systems, CCPs with the broadest or with a more modern (high yielding) genetic base achieved the greatest yield stability, exceeding that of ‘Capo’, and demonstrating the buffering capacity of genetic diversity. CCPs with a genetic background of high yielding parents reacted most strongly to the different environments and apparently diverged under conventional management over time. Possibilities to improve CCPs through the addition of new genetic material while maintaining the benefits of diversity to achieve higher and more stable yields, particularly in light of increasingly unpredictable climatic conditions are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic Resources for Sustainable Agriculture)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
A Data-Based Fault-Detection Model for Wireless Sensor Networks
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 6171; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11216171 - 05 Nov 2019
Abstract
With the expansion of smart agriculture, wireless sensor networks are being increasingly applied. These networks collect environmental information, such as temperature, humidity, and CO2 rates. However, if a faulty sensor node operates continuously in the network, unnecessary data transmission adversely impacts the [...] Read more.
With the expansion of smart agriculture, wireless sensor networks are being increasingly applied. These networks collect environmental information, such as temperature, humidity, and CO2 rates. However, if a faulty sensor node operates continuously in the network, unnecessary data transmission adversely impacts the network. Accordingly, a data-based fault-detection algorithm was implemented in this study to analyze data of sensor nodes and determine faults, to prevent the corresponding nodes from transmitting data; thus, minimizing damage to the network. A cloud-based “farm as a service” optimized for smart farms was implemented as an example, and resource management of sensors and actuators was provided using the oneM2M common platform. The effectiveness of the proposed fault-detection model was verified on an integrated management platform based on the Internet of Things by collecting and analyzing data. The results confirm that when a faulty sensor node is not separated from the network, unnecessary data transmission of other sensor nodes occurs due to continuous abnormal data transmission; thus, increasing energy consumption and reducing the network lifetime. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessConcept Paper
From Values to Behavior: Proposition of an Integrating Model
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 6170; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11216170 - 05 Nov 2019
Abstract
Human values are at the heart of our lives. We all hold a set of values that influence our actions. The protection of the natural environment is no exception to this rule. That is why the study of human values is key to [...] Read more.
Human values are at the heart of our lives. We all hold a set of values that influence our actions. The protection of the natural environment is no exception to this rule. That is why the study of human values is key to reaching the imperative of sustainability. In this conceptual paper, we aim to (1) integrate the key theories and models explaining the influence of human values on behavior and to (2) identify factors that might have previously been overlooked. Drawing from a range of disciplines, this article proposes an integrated model mapping the influence of human values on behavior. It also puts forward the concept of consequences as an emerging factor that could play an important role in this relationship. Recommendations are to extend the research to an empirical investigation of the model and to develop the definition of the concept of consequences and the role they play in the influence of values on consumer behavior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conscious Consumption)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Management and Perception of Metropolitan Natura 2000 Sites: A Case Study of La Mandria Park (Turin, Italy)
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 6169; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11216169 - 05 Nov 2019
Abstract
The European Commission promotes management practices for nature conservation and human well-being, requiring the involvement of users in Natura 2000 sites. The research aim was to investigate the user’s aesthetic perception in relation to the adoption of different management measures, within an Italian [...] Read more.
The European Commission promotes management practices for nature conservation and human well-being, requiring the involvement of users in Natura 2000 sites. The research aim was to investigate the user’s aesthetic perception in relation to the adoption of different management measures, within an Italian metropolitan Natura 2000 site. The research was performed in La Mandria Park in 2018 (1780 ha). The method was based on a participatory approach (interviews, questionnaires and participatory mapping), involving both park managers and users. Four main landscape elements were identified: lawns, woodlands, lines of trees and water bodies. Questionnaires (N = 232) were analyzed by descriptive and regression analysis. Mapped preferred places were analyzed using ecological indexes on 500 m land use buffers. A gendered perception of the aesthetic quality was detected, demonstrating that women are more strictly connected to nature than men. Users involved in park activities better perceived the aesthetic quality, while regular visitors had a worst perception. From participatory mapping (N = 137), it emerges that the eight preferred places are characterized by a mixed land use with different maintenance regimes and ecological values. Users’ perceptions should be integrated in a co-management plan in metropolitan Natura 2000 sites, combining nature conservation with user enjoyment. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Ammonia Volatilization Losses during Irrigation of Liquid Animal Manure
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 6168; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11216168 - 05 Nov 2019
Abstract
Ammonia loss resulting from land application of liquid animal manure varies depending on the composition of the manure and the method used to apply manure to cropland. High levels of ammonia volatilization result in an economic loss to the farmer based on the [...] Read more.
Ammonia loss resulting from land application of liquid animal manure varies depending on the composition of the manure and the method used to apply manure to cropland. High levels of ammonia volatilization result in an economic loss to the farmer based on the value of the nitrogen and have also been shown to be a source of air pollution. Using irrigation as a method of applying liquid manure to cropland has generally been accepted as a method that increases the volatilization of ammonia. However, only three studies available in the literature measured the amount of ammonia lost during the irrigation process. Only one of the three studies concluded that ammonia loss during irrigation was significant. A pooled statistical and uncertainty analysis of the 55 available observations was performed to determine if ammonia loss occurred during irrigation of animal manure. Data on the total solids content of the manure were also included as an indicator of evaporation losses. Volatilization losses during irrigation were not found to be statistically significant, and evaporation losses were small, 2.4%, and agreed with previous studies on irrigation performance. Furthermore, the range of ammonia loss reported in previous studies was determined to be within the errors associated with the measurement of total ammoniacal nitrogen concentrations and the calculation of per cent differences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green, Closed Loop, Circular Bio-Economy)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Ecovillagers’ Assessment of Sustainability: Differing Perceptions of Technology as a Differing Account of Modernism
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 6167; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11216167 - 05 Nov 2019
Abstract
There is great debate over how to measure progress towards ecological sustainability, and a number of approaches deployed by various groups to try and achieve it. One of these is the “ecovillage,” a form of communal living—the primary purpose of which is to [...] Read more.
There is great debate over how to measure progress towards ecological sustainability, and a number of approaches deployed by various groups to try and achieve it. One of these is the “ecovillage,” a form of communal living—the primary purpose of which is to enable a reduction in consumption through the collectivization of resources. This paper presents a case study of an ecovillage named Dancing Rabbit, which stands as an example counter to mainstream discourses on progress through the relatively successful approach to ecological sustainability. In the dwellings they have built, their resource consumption patterns, and the diverse attitudes towards technology use that they express, the ecovillagers in this study demonstrate narratives of progress which center an ecological motive over one of profitable innovation. Rather than rely on modernist assumptions of engineering our way to sustainable living through advanced technology or embrace primitivist notions of rejecting it all together, the case study of Dancing Rabbit presents an approach functioning as an alternative to that prevailing dichotomy. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Post-Construction Alignment Revision in Direct-Fixation Railroad Tracks
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 6166; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11216166 - 05 Nov 2019
Abstract
In railroad construction—in particular, direct-fixation tracks—a longitudinal concrete block known as a “plinth” is used to elevate the profiles of the railroad track from the aerial guideway (e.g., bridge deck). A post-construction alignment revision is often required if the plinth elevation surpasses its [...] Read more.
In railroad construction—in particular, direct-fixation tracks—a longitudinal concrete block known as a “plinth” is used to elevate the profiles of the railroad track from the aerial guideway (e.g., bridge deck). A post-construction alignment revision is often required if the plinth elevation surpasses its maximum tolerance after the concrete pour. In such cases, the plinth surface needs to be grinded to meet the design elevation, or a shim should be inserted underneath the rail pad to raise the profile elevation. Considering both sides of the rail plinths, vertical design factors, and performance specifications, re-optimization of the vertical profile is of great interest, but the process poses challenges and represents a practical research problem. An optimization model aimed at minimizing the cost of post-construction alignment repairs is proposed and a real-case numerical example is analyzed to check the effectiveness of the model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Rail and Metro Systems)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Morpho-Agronomic Characterisation of Runner Bean (Phaseolus coccineus L.) from South-Eastern Europe
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 6165; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11216165 - 04 Nov 2019
Abstract
In South-Eastern Europe, the majority of runner-bean (Phaseolus coccineus L.) production is based on local populations grown mainly in home gardens. The local runner-bean plants are well adapted to their specific growing conditions and microclimate agro-environments, and show great morpho-agronomic diversity. Here, [...] Read more.
In South-Eastern Europe, the majority of runner-bean (Phaseolus coccineus L.) production is based on local populations grown mainly in home gardens. The local runner-bean plants are well adapted to their specific growing conditions and microclimate agro-environments, and show great morpho-agronomic diversity. Here, 142 runner-bean accessions from the five South-Eastern European countries of Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, North Macedonia and Romania were sown and cultivated in their respective countries and characterised using 28 quantitative and qualitative morpho-agronomic descriptors for Phaseolus spp. based on inflorescences, leaves, plants, pods and seeds. For each of these morpho-agronomic descriptors, the accessions can be classified into two or three specific groups. The highest correlations were observed within the fluorescence, seed and pod traits. The highest variability, at 76.39%, was between the different countries, representing different geographic origins, while the variability within the countries was 23.61%. Cluster analysis based on these collected morpho-agronomic data also classified the accessions into three groups according to genetic origins. The data obtained serve as useful genetic information for plant breeders for the breeding of new bean varieties for further studies of the morpho-agronomic traits of the runner bean. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
The Corporate Performance Measurement and Its Importance for the Pricing in a Transport Enterprise
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 6164; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11216164 - 04 Nov 2019
Abstract
Due to the specificity of transport services that are being performed with an unambiguous impact on the environment and society, all activities of transport enterprises oriented towards the achievement of the sustainability goals are more visible than in the case of other enterprises. [...] Read more.
Due to the specificity of transport services that are being performed with an unambiguous impact on the environment and society, all activities of transport enterprises oriented towards the achievement of the sustainability goals are more visible than in the case of other enterprises. Consequently, the growing need for sustainability increases not only the costs of individual transport services but also the total costs of a transport enterprise. Indisputably, the costs affect the pricing, which leads to the final market prices. On the one hand, they can increase the prices, but on the other hand, they decrease the enterprise’s competitiveness and its success in the market at the same time. Even though the cost-based pricing is essential, it is not sufficient under these circumstances. Based on the objectives stated above, the primary aim of this paper is to emphasize that the creation of prices in a transport enterprise must consider the global aspects of the enterprise’s performance as a prerequisite for its competitiveness. The results include proposing several variants of corporate performance measurement that are relevant and supported by a literature review of the current knowledge on the topic, an analysis of internal documents from a particular freight-transport enterprise, and structured interviews with the managers. Subsequently, the model proposed can be used by managers of transport enterprises in their decision-making process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Issues in Transport Pricing)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Stories that Change Our World? Narratives of the Sustainable Economy
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 6163; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11216163 - 04 Nov 2019
Abstract
Narratives are shaping our understanding of the world. They convey values and norms and point to desirable future developments. In this way, they justify and legitimize political actions and social practices. Once a narrative has emerged and this world view is supported by [...] Read more.
Narratives are shaping our understanding of the world. They convey values and norms and point to desirable future developments. In this way, they justify and legitimize political actions and social practices. Once a narrative has emerged and this world view is supported by broad societal groups, narratives can provide powerful momentum to trigger innovation and changes in the course of action. Narratives, however, are not necessarily based on evidence and precise categories, but can instead be vague and ambiguous in order to be acceptable and attractive to different actors. However, the more open and inclusive a narrative is, the less impact can be expected. We investigate whether there is a shared narrative in research for the sustainable economy and how this can be evaluated in terms of its potential societal impact. The paper carves out the visions for the future that have been underlying the research projects conducted within the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) funding programme “The Sustainable Economy”. It then analyzes whether these visions are compatible with narratives dominating societal discourse on the sustainable economy, and concludes how the use of visions and narratives in research can contribute to fostering societal transformations. Full article
Open AccessConcept Paper
Identifying Consumer Lifestyles through Their Energy Impacts: Transforming Social Science Data into Policy-Relevant Group-Level Knowledge
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 6162; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11216162 - 04 Nov 2019
Abstract
The analytical framework presented herein is based on the identification of social groups with distinct patterns in their energy-relevant behaviour. This was achieved by clustering individuals according to their primary energy demands in six main areas of life. Due to the close relationship [...] Read more.
The analytical framework presented herein is based on the identification of social groups with distinct patterns in their energy-relevant behaviour. This was achieved by clustering individuals according to their primary energy demands in six main areas of life. Due to the close relationship between energy-relevant behaviour and associated impacts, the suggested approach is considered better suited for the identification of groups with actual differences in their climate and energy-related behaviour than conventional approaches that cluster individuals based on their psychological or sociodemographic characteristics. Moreover, it is assumed that this focus on energy-relevant behaviour leads to a higher measuring equivalence in a country comparison or in a longitudinal setting. From an analytical point of view, the most significant benefit of the presented method over conventional lifestyle typologies is that all psychological, cultural and sociodemographic factors can be used as explanatory variables without resulting in circular reasoning. In terms of required data, the approach was designed around what could be collected by conventional survey methods. Variables such as energy use and emissions were calculated by the means of life cycle assessment (LCA) based on self-reported behaviour and equipment use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Impact Assessment and Sustainable Development)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Time Variant Multi-Objective Interval-Valued Transportation Problem in Sustainable Development
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 6161; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11216161 - 04 Nov 2019
Abstract
Sustainable development is treated as the achievement of continued economic development without detriment to environmental and natural resources. Now-a-days, in a competitive market scenario, most of us are willing to pay less and to gain more in quickly without considering negative externalities for [...] Read more.
Sustainable development is treated as the achievement of continued economic development without detriment to environmental and natural resources. Now-a-days, in a competitive market scenario, most of us are willing to pay less and to gain more in quickly without considering negative externalities for the environment and quality of life for future generations. Recalling this fact, this paper explores the study of time variant multi-objective transportation problem (MOTP) with consideration of minimizing pollution. Time of transportation is of utmost importance in reality; based on this consideration, we formulate a MOTP, where we optimize transportation time as well as the cost function. The parameters of MOTP are interval-valued, so this form of MOTP is termed as a multi-objective interval transportation problem (MOITP). A procedure is taken into consideration for converting MOITP into deterministic form and then for solving it. Goal programming is applied to solve the converted transportation problem. A case study is conducted to justify the methodology by utilizing the environmental impact. At last, conclusions and future research directions are included regarding our study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soft Computing for Sustainability)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
The LED Paradox: How Light Pollution Challenges Experts to Reconsider Sustainable Lighting
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 6160; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11216160 - 04 Nov 2019
Abstract
In the 21st century, the notion of “sustainable lighting” is closely associated with LED technology. In the past ten years, municipalities and private light users worldwide have installed light-emitting diodes in urban spaces and public streets to save energy. Yet an increasing body [...] Read more.
In the 21st century, the notion of “sustainable lighting” is closely associated with LED technology. In the past ten years, municipalities and private light users worldwide have installed light-emitting diodes in urban spaces and public streets to save energy. Yet an increasing body of interdisciplinary research suggests that supposedly sustainable LED installations are in fact unsustainable, because they increase light pollution. Paradoxically, blue-rich cool-white LED lighting, which is the most energy-efficient, also appears to be the most ecologically unfriendly. Biologists, physicians and ecologists warn that blue-rich LED light disturbs the circadian day-and-night rhythm of living organisms, including humans, with potential negative health effects on individual species and whole ecosystems. Can the paradox be solved? This paper explores this question based on our transdisciplinary research project Light Pollution—A Global Discussion. It reveals how light pollution experts and lighting professionals see the challenges and potential of LED lighting from their different viewpoints. This expert feedback shows that “sustainable LED lighting” goes far beyond energy efficiency as it raises complex design issues that imply stakeholder negotiation. It also suggests that the LED paradox may be solved in context, but hardly in principle. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Delineation of Urban Growth Boundaries Using a Patch-Based Cellular Automata Model under Multiple Spatial and Socio-Economic Scenarios
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 6159; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11216159 - 04 Nov 2019
Abstract
The urban growth boundary (UGB) plays an important role in the regulation of urban sprawl and the conservation of natural ecosystems. The delineation of UGBs is a common strategy in urban planning, especially in metropolitan areas undergoing fast expansion. However, reliable tools for [...] Read more.
The urban growth boundary (UGB) plays an important role in the regulation of urban sprawl and the conservation of natural ecosystems. The delineation of UGBs is a common strategy in urban planning, especially in metropolitan areas undergoing fast expansion. However, reliable tools for the delineation of informed UGBs are still not widely available for planners. In this study, a patch-based cellular automaton (CA) model was applied to build UGBs, in which urban expansions were represented as organic and spontaneous patch growing processes. The proposed CA model enables the modeler to build various spatial and socio-economic scenarios for UGB delineation. Parameters that control the patch size and shape, along with the spatial compactness of an urban growth pattern, were optimized using a genetic algorithm. A random forest model was employed to estimate the probability of urban development. Six scenarios in terms of the demand and the spatial pattern of urban land allocation were constructed to generate UGB alternatives based on the simulated urban land maps from the CA model. Application of the proposed model in Ezhou, China from 2004 to 2030 reveals that the model proposed in this study can help urban planners make informed decisions on the delineation of UGBs under different scenarios. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Mitigation of CO2 and N2O Emission from Cabbage Fields in Korea by Optimizing Tillage Depth and N-Fertilizer Level: DNDC Model Simulation under RCP 8.5 Scenario
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 6158; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11216158 - 04 Nov 2019
Abstract
In this study, we applied the Denitrification and Decomposition model to predict the greenhouse gas (GHGs; CO2 and N2O) emissions and cabbage yields from 8072 cabbage fields in Korea in the 2020s and 2090s. Model outputs were evaluated as a [...] Read more.
In this study, we applied the Denitrification and Decomposition model to predict the greenhouse gas (GHGs; CO2 and N2O) emissions and cabbage yields from 8072 cabbage fields in Korea in the 2020s and 2090s. Model outputs were evaluated as a function of tillage depth (T1, T2, and T3 for 10, 20, and 30 cm) and fertilizer level (F1, F2, and F3 for 100, 200, and 400 kg N ha−1) under the Representative Concentration Pathways 8.5 climate change scenario. For both time periods, CO2 emissions increased with tillage depth, and N2O emissions were predominantly influenced by the level of applied N-fertilizers. Both cabbage yields and GHGs fluxes were highest when the T3F3 farming practice was applied. Under current conventional farming practices (T1F3), cabbage yield was projected at 64.5 t ha−1 in the 2020s, which was close in magnitude to the predicted cabbage demand. In the 2090s, the predicted cabbage supply by the same practice far exceeded the projected demand at 28.9 t ha−1. Cabbage supply and demand were balanced and GHGs emissions reduced by 19.6% in the 2090s when 94% of the total cabbage farms adopted low carbon-farming practices (e.g., reducing fertilizer level). Our results demonstrate the large potential for Korean cabbage farms to significantly contribute towards the mitigation of GHGs emissions through the adoption of low-carbon farming practices. However, in order to incentivize the shift towards sustainable farming, we advise that lower yield and potential economic losses in farmlands from adopting low-carbon practices should be appropriately compensated by institutional policy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Warming, Environmental Governance and Sustainability Issues)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Older People, Mobility and Transport in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Review of the Research
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 6157; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11216157 - 04 Nov 2019
Abstract
Older populations are rising globally, which in high-income countries has helped to generate a growing literature on the impact of ageing on travel requirements and transport policy. This article aims to provide an initial assessment of the state of knowledge on the impact [...] Read more.
Older populations are rising globally, which in high-income countries has helped to generate a growing literature on the impact of ageing on travel requirements and transport policy. This article aims to provide an initial assessment of the state of knowledge on the impact on transportation policy and usage of the increasing numbers of older people in low- and middle-income countries (LAMICs), through a review of the literature relating to older people and transportation. As both the academic and policy/practice-related literature specifically addressing ageing and transport in LAMICs is limited, the study looks beyond transportation to assess the state of knowledge regarding the ways in which older people’s mobility is affected by issues, such as health, well-being, social (dis)engagement and gender. We find significant knowledge gaps, resulting in an evidence base to support the implementation of policy is lacking. Most research in low-income countries (LICs) is either broad quantitative analysis based on national survey data or small-scale qualitative studies. We conclude that, although study of the differing contexts of ageing in LAMICs as they relate to older people’s mobilities and transport use has barely begun, institutions which both make and influence policymaking recognise the existence of significant knowledge gaps. This should provide the context in which research agendas can be established. Full article
Previous Issue
Back to TopTop