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Sustainability, Volume 11, Issue 6 (March-2 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Consumer reviews on the web have rapidly become an important information source through which [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Residents’ Attitudes towards Overtourism from the Perspective of Tourism Impacts and Cooperation—The Case of Ljubljana
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1823; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061823
Received: 8 February 2019 / Revised: 11 March 2019 / Accepted: 21 March 2019 / Published: 26 March 2019
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Abstract
Increasing worldwide evidence on disruptive unsustainable impacts, caused by growing overtourism, is shaking tourism research agendas and destination management styles. Monitoring the risks of overtourism is becoming a relevant issue for every destination. This paper combines the existing sustainability–responsibility tourism framework from academic [...] Read more.
Increasing worldwide evidence on disruptive unsustainable impacts, caused by growing overtourism, is shaking tourism research agendas and destination management styles. Monitoring the risks of overtourism is becoming a relevant issue for every destination. This paper combines the existing sustainability–responsibility tourism framework from academic research with current industry research on overtourism in order to propose a sustainable tourism impact and stakeholder cooperation based on the overtourism risk monitoring model. Data-based social science statistical methodology and tools were used to identify the residents’ attitudes about tourism impacts and cooperation in the destination of Ljubljana, Slovenia. Ljubljana represents a case of a fast-growing tourism destination, which might lead to overtourism. Research has confirmed some impact factors that negatively influence the satisfaction of local residents with tourism presence. Furthermore, it has been confirmed that increased cooperation mitigates the negative perceptions of residents on tourism presence. In its present form, the proposed monitoring model can be used to examine the overtourism situation and to inform sustainable tourism policy and management for every destination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Overtourism, Challenges and Constraints for Tourism Destinations)
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Open AccessArticle Do Amphibians and Cash Crops Compete for Scarce Water? A Spatial Correlation Analysis
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1822; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061822
Received: 26 February 2019 / Revised: 20 March 2019 / Accepted: 22 March 2019 / Published: 26 March 2019
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Abstract
It has been argued that the trade of water intensive crops may be beneficial as it helps alleviate regional differences in water scarcity by effectively transporting moisture from humid regions to arid ones. However, the incentive to grow export crops can also intensify [...] Read more.
It has been argued that the trade of water intensive crops may be beneficial as it helps alleviate regional differences in water scarcity by effectively transporting moisture from humid regions to arid ones. However, the incentive to grow export crops can also intensify pressure on local water resources. Water abstraction for use in growing cash crops can affect rivers and wetlands with rich biodiversity reserves. In many macro-level environmental assessments, it is assumed that water use is a proxy for biodiversity pressure. Here we use correlation analysis to test the degree of spatial overlap between areas with high scarce-water consumption for cash crop production (i.e., crops where a majority is exported) and areas with high species richness or vulnerability of Red-Listed amphibians. We find that, globally, there is relatively little spatial overlap between areas where scarce water is used for export production and the habitat range of stressed amphibians. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle The Suitability of the Ecosystem Services Framework for Guiding Benefit Assessments in Human-Modified Landscapes Exemplified by Regulated Watersheds—Implications for a Sustainable Approach
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1821; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061821
Received: 15 February 2019 / Revised: 22 March 2019 / Accepted: 22 March 2019 / Published: 26 March 2019
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Abstract
To support decision-making, benefit assessments have become an obligatory part of natural resource management. In this context, the ecosystem services (ES) framework has been widely adopted for identifying and assessing the values at stake, yet the concept ignores benefits from water and land [...] Read more.
To support decision-making, benefit assessments have become an obligatory part of natural resource management. In this context, the ecosystem services (ES) framework has been widely adopted for identifying and assessing the values at stake, yet the concept ignores benefits from water and land use functions as important contributions for societal welfare. This paper aims to contribute knowledge for improved benefit assessments in human-modified landscapes, exemplified by watersheds regulated for the production of hydropower. Through a case study approach in two regulated watersheds in Norway, beneficiaries’ perceptions of the benefits associated with key watershed activities, i.e., hydropower production, kayaking, angling, and hiking, are presented. Considering the beneficiaries’ perspectives, we discuss the relative ability of economic, quantitative, and qualitative assessment methods to present benefits. The study shows that benefit assessments must be carried out on different scales of governance, as benefits are context and scale dependent. We argue for an approach which considers a balance of benefits obtained from ecosystem services, and from water and land use functions within ecological limits. The suitability of the ES framework for guiding benefit assessments in a human-modified landscape and its complementarity with the sustainability concept for informing local-level decision-making are discussed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Sustainability of Ohanami Cherry Blossom Festivals as a Cultural Icon
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1820; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061820
Received: 4 February 2019 / Revised: 20 March 2019 / Accepted: 21 March 2019 / Published: 26 March 2019
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Abstract
Background: One important form of sustainability is the continuation of culture and cultural practices. This study examined the case of Japanese Ohanami or cherry blossom festivals. Historically, Ohanami focused on the cherry blossom as a symbol of spring’s arrival, where communal aspects, consumption [...] Read more.
Background: One important form of sustainability is the continuation of culture and cultural practices. This study examined the case of Japanese Ohanami or cherry blossom festivals. Historically, Ohanami focused on the cherry blossom as a symbol of spring’s arrival, where communal aspects, consumption of sake and seasonal foods, painting or photography, and pilgrimages to sacred sites were used to celebrate the ephemeral aspects of blossoms, spring, and life. Methods: This study examines how cherry blossom festivals are celebrated and understood and how these celebrations are changing. Results: Current celebrations demonstrate several forces are changing this celebration. The changes in cherry blossom festivals are seen in four areas (bonding, cultural continuity, marketing exploitation, and cultural symbolism). Cherry blossom festivals are also observed overseas—at first glance this suggests its continuity, however, the ways in which Ohanami is observed raise concerns about the accuracy of this cultural practice. Conclusion: Ohanami celebrations are celebrated both in Japan and overseas, and although their practice continues, the nature of the cultural celebrations are changing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Place Branding and the Consumption of Heritage)
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Open AccessArticle Mapping and Assessing Green Infrastructure Connectivity in European City Regions
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1819; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061819
Received: 28 February 2019 / Revised: 25 March 2019 / Accepted: 25 March 2019 / Published: 26 March 2019
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Abstract
Urban green infrastructure is becoming an increasingly important concept for sustainable urban planning. In the past, planning practice and research have worked on defining principles and suggesting relevant indicators to promote the concept. While there has been a focus on multifunctionality of green [...] Read more.
Urban green infrastructure is becoming an increasingly important concept for sustainable urban planning. In the past, planning practice and research have worked on defining principles and suggesting relevant indicators to promote the concept. While there has been a focus on multifunctionality of green infrastructure elements, the connectivity principle is underrepresented, especially in urban research. Therefore, this paper suggests land use indicators to map and assess the degree of connectivity of open spaces within the urban realm. Empirical results are presented for three European case studies. The relevance of connectivity indicators for urban green infrastructure planning is highlighted and linked to future needs for improving strategic urban planning. Full article
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Open AccessArticle How Resilient is Growth? Resilience Assessment of Austrian Municipalities on the Basis of Census Data from 1971 to 2011
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1818; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061818
Received: 20 February 2019 / Revised: 19 March 2019 / Accepted: 20 March 2019 / Published: 26 March 2019
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Abstract
Living conditions and development perspectives are influenced by territorial inequalities. In this study, an assessment of long-term local and regional resilience was conducted in order to understand the structural strengths and weaknesses in spatial development in Austria. To gain new insights into the [...] Read more.
Living conditions and development perspectives are influenced by territorial inequalities. In this study, an assessment of long-term local and regional resilience was conducted in order to understand the structural strengths and weaknesses in spatial development in Austria. To gain new insights into the known development patterns, a new resilience-oriented assessment was conducted. A growth-oriented assessment was carried out in parallel to provide a reference for interpreting the results. A set of criteria corresponding with each of the two assessment approaches was applied to obtain quantitative results. To determine the spatial dependency of the values’ characteristics, spatial statistics was applied. The reinterpretation of existing data and comparison of the results revealed a new level of insight into regional development and made it possible to determine the level of resilience of a region or municipality. The resilience could be evaluated relatively, by comparing the resilience of different spatial units within the study area. Similarities and differences between the results of the two approaches were revealed and discussed. The outcomes confirmed that the growth-oriented perspective is too narrow and further approaches are necessary in order to assess the sustainability and resilience of the local and regional spatial structures and development. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Using the Markov Chain to Analyze Precipitation and Groundwater Drought Characteristics and Linkage with Atmospheric Circulation
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1817; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061817
Received: 18 February 2019 / Revised: 13 March 2019 / Accepted: 19 March 2019 / Published: 26 March 2019
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Abstract
In recent years, Taiwan has been facing water shortages due to the impact of climate change, which has resulted in many serious drought events, especially in southern Taiwan. Long-term records from 25 rainfall stations and 17 groundwater stations in the southern Taiwan basin [...] Read more.
In recent years, Taiwan has been facing water shortages due to the impact of climate change, which has resulted in many serious drought events, especially in southern Taiwan. Long-term records from 25 rainfall stations and 17 groundwater stations in the southern Taiwan basin were used in this study. We used the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) and the Standardized Groundwater Level Index (SGI) and employed the first-order Markov chain model and wavelet transform to determine the drought characteristics and propagation, including the steady-state probabilities of drought events and the mean duration for each station. The Drought Index (DI) was also used to investigate the effects of rainfall on groundwater drought. The results show that the steady-state probability of the meteorological drought in the Yanshui River basin in southern Taiwan is higher than that in other basins. The area with the longer mean duration is located in the Yanshui River basin and the Erren River basin, and overall, the mean duration ranges from 3 to 7 months. In addition, the results from the drought proneness analysis indicated that when rainfall causes a longer drought duration, there will be a higher degree of proneness to groundwater drought in the future. Finally, the results show that the mean duration of groundwater droughts are longer than those of meteorological droughts. The results of the wavelet analysis revealed a positive correlation at long-term scales, which may be related to large-scale atmospheric circulation. The information from this research could be used as a reference for water resource management in the future. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Transit versus Nature. Depreciation of Environmental Values of the Road Alleys. Case Study: Gamerki-Jonkowo, Poland
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1816; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061816
Received: 16 February 2019 / Revised: 19 March 2019 / Accepted: 22 March 2019 / Published: 26 March 2019
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Abstract
Road alleys are multifunctional features in open landscapes that serve as ecological corridors connecting habitats, and play an important role in sustaining ecological stability. However, multiple road authorities claim that tree-lined routes pose a threat to traffic safety and should therefore be removed. [...] Read more.
Road alleys are multifunctional features in open landscapes that serve as ecological corridors connecting habitats, and play an important role in sustaining ecological stability. However, multiple road authorities claim that tree-lined routes pose a threat to traffic safety and should therefore be removed. This aspect of safety seems crucial to authorities, significantly overwhelming the benefits of road alleys. Problems with the vitality of the trees (which are mainly mature and aging) deliver arguments for cutting them down. The aim of this paper is to examine the environmental and natural value of road alleys based on a 14 km long section of the Gamerki—Jonkowo Road in the Province of Warmia (Northeast Poland). Further, we aim to verify the degree of hazard posed by trees to be felled for safety reasons. An examination framework with six components was developed for the research. This framework includes a tree risk assessment and vitality evaluation, pulling tests, an examination of the protected hermit beetle and lichen species, and an examination of bat fauna. The results revealed that no trees were in the resignation phase and confirmed that the alley is a unique natural habitat with protected species of lichen, a few bats, and valuable insect species, among others the hermit beetle (Osmoderma barnabita). Therefore, the alley cannot be perceived only as a component of the road infrastructure. The maintenance of the trees seems to be essential when taking into account the environmental stability of the region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle Residential Greenery: State of the Art and Health-Related Ecosystem Services and Disservices in the City of Berlin
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1815; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061815
Received: 18 February 2019 / Revised: 20 March 2019 / Accepted: 23 March 2019 / Published: 26 March 2019
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Abstract
Inclusively accessible green areas are essential for livable cities. The residential greenery on a door’s step of urban dwellers has rarely been the subject of research. Here we provide insights into the state of the art of residential greenery in Berlin, Germany. We [...] Read more.
Inclusively accessible green areas are essential for livable cities. The residential greenery on a door’s step of urban dwellers has rarely been the subject of research. Here we provide insights into the state of the art of residential greenery in Berlin, Germany. We focus on socially disadvantaged neighborhoods exposed to high loads of environmental stressors and belonging to four relevant building types of Central European cities. 32 plots in eight sample areas were randomly chosen and surveyed during 2017 and 2018. We surveyed the presence of structural elements, the presence and abundance of woody species and the health-related ecosystem (dis-)services (i.e., species’ air filtration and allergenic potential). We analysed the similarity among tree species to assess plant use patterns. The air cleaning and allergenic potential of woody species were assigned based on literature. In order to discuss strategies to improve residential greenery, we performed an analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of these green spaces. We revealed a high dissimilarity of woody species assemblages across sites and within different building types, indicating no common plant use fashion. Recorded species provide moderate to high air filtering capacity. One to two third of all trees have a high allergenic potential that has to be addressed in future plant use decisions. Bike racks, benches, lights and playgrounds are common elements, whereas bioswales, facade-bound greening, atrium, fountains or ponds are rare. Their implementation can enhance the health and wellbeing of local residents. Building-attached greenery can improve densely built up areas of the Wilhelminian period, whereas space-intensive measures can be implemented in the spacious greenery of row–buildings settlements of the 1920s–1970s and of large housing estates of the 1970s–1980s. We revealed a high motivation for (co-)design and care by residents and discussed strategies on transformation towards multi-functional, healthy and biodiversity-friendly residential greeneries. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Reinterpreting the Connotation of “Sustainability” and the Expansion of Social Policy in China
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1814; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061814
Received: 15 February 2019 / Revised: 20 March 2019 / Accepted: 22 March 2019 / Published: 26 March 2019
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Abstract
This article examines the interplay between welfare ideas and institutional development and then seeks to explore the ideational background for social policy expansion in China. It focuses on the welfare semantics and narratives that underpin the grand social policy transformation since the millennium. [...] Read more.
This article examines the interplay between welfare ideas and institutional development and then seeks to explore the ideational background for social policy expansion in China. It focuses on the welfare semantics and narratives that underpin the grand social policy transformation since the millennium. The primary research question concerns whether the approach of “sustainability” is related to social policy in China, and, if yes, how and to what extent. Through the analysis of academic literatures and government documents on social policy in China, we explore the new “sustainability approach” to Chinese social policy that is constructed by social experts and international agencies. While the old sustainability approach overwhelmingly links the “sustainable development” of social policy to the issue of financial affordability and the adequacy of benefit levels, the newly interpreted approach highlights the significant meaning of social policy for long-term and inclusive development over the upcoming decades. Against this backdrop, a holistic national plan for socio-economic modernization has incorporated social policy. Beyond economic and ecological objectives, social development with a focus on social policy has become a key pillar of sustainable development in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Social Policy)
Open AccessArticle A Framework for Implementing and Tracking Circular Economy in Cities: The Case of Porto
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1813; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061813
Received: 28 January 2019 / Revised: 15 March 2019 / Accepted: 16 March 2019 / Published: 26 March 2019
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Abstract
Circular economy (CE) is an emerging concept that contrasts the linear economic system. This concept is particularly relevant for cities, currently hosting approximately 50% of the world’s population. Research gaps in the analysis and implementation of circular economy in cities are a significant [...] Read more.
Circular economy (CE) is an emerging concept that contrasts the linear economic system. This concept is particularly relevant for cities, currently hosting approximately 50% of the world’s population. Research gaps in the analysis and implementation of circular economy in cities are a significant barrier to its implementation. This paper presents a multi-sectorial and macro-meso level framework to monitor (and set goals for) circular economy implementation in cities. Based on literature and case studies, it encompasses CE key concepts, such as flexibility, modularity, and transparency. It is structured to include all sectors in which circular economy could be adopted in a city. The framework is then tested in Porto, Portugal, monitoring the circularity of the city and considering its different sectors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Circular Economy, Ethical Funds, and Engineering Projects)
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Open AccessArticle Using RISKPLAN for Earthquake Risk Assessment in Sichuan Province, China
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1812; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061812
Received: 9 December 2018 / Revised: 18 March 2019 / Accepted: 20 March 2019 / Published: 26 March 2019
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Abstract
Sichuan Province of China is a prominent population and economic growth center as well as an earthquake-stricken region. A sound understanding of the seismic risk that Sichuan Province is facing is useful to raise risk awareness, achieve disaster risk reduction (DRR), and guarantee [...] Read more.
Sichuan Province of China is a prominent population and economic growth center as well as an earthquake-stricken region. A sound understanding of the seismic risk that Sichuan Province is facing is useful to raise risk awareness, achieve disaster risk reduction (DRR), and guarantee sustainable socio-economic development. Earthquake risk assessment is the first step in these efforts. This study strives to demonstrate the feasibility of applying an integrated earthquake risk assessment in Sichuan Province of China using RISKPLAN, a risk evaluation tool of natural hazards developed by the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN). The time and location of seismic events in Sichuan were incorporated into three scenarios and calculated with respect to expected losses under different assumed conditions of earthquake occurrence, such as the recurrence interval and magnitude. Furthermore, cost-effectiveness calculations were made regarding the various possible scenarios to assess the ratio of expected losses and the required financial means for prevention and mitigation measures against the effects of seismic activities in Sichuan. Our results show that when the magnitude of the seismic event is greater than expected, reduction and mitigation investments for a possible earthquake risk will be all the more rewarding. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Testing the Influence of Purity-Based Interventions on Pro-environmental Behavior
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1811; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061811
Received: 29 January 2019 / Revised: 7 March 2019 / Accepted: 21 March 2019 / Published: 26 March 2019
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Abstract
Environmental issues are often discussed in purity-related terms. For instance, pollution, contamination, toxicity, and degradation are all concepts that can evoke notions of (im)purity in an environmental context. In this paper, we assess the efficacy of purity-based norms as drivers of environmentally sustainable [...] Read more.
Environmental issues are often discussed in purity-related terms. For instance, pollution, contamination, toxicity, and degradation are all concepts that can evoke notions of (im)purity in an environmental context. In this paper, we assess the efficacy of purity-based norms as drivers of environmentally sustainable behavior. First, using a social media-based environmental cleanup campaign as a test case, we find that purity-based norms increase participation in the campaign. We then replicate and extend these findings in three behavioral experiments, finding that purity-based interventions do increase environmental behavior (Study 1), but that these effects are strongest for people who are more deeply connected with an in-group (Studies 2 and 3). Using an integrative approach to combine computational linguistics with behavioral experiments, we find that purity-based norms can be powerful motivators of environmental behavior, particularly if they emphasize the relation to one’s in-group. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Communicative and Behavioral Interventions to Increase Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Sustainable Reuse of Military Facilities with a Carbon Inventory: Kinmen, Taiwan
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1810; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061810
Received: 16 February 2019 / Revised: 22 March 2019 / Accepted: 22 March 2019 / Published: 26 March 2019
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Abstract
Military government was lifted from Kinmen in 1992. The opening-up of cross-strait relations transformed the island into a tourist destination. This transformation led to electricity and water shortages in Kinmen. With the reduction in the number of troops, military facilities fell into disuse [...] Read more.
Military government was lifted from Kinmen in 1992. The opening-up of cross-strait relations transformed the island into a tourist destination. This transformation led to electricity and water shortages in Kinmen. With the reduction in the number of troops, military facilities fell into disuse and are now being released for local government use. The aim of this project was to monitor the carbon footprint of a reused military facility during renovation of the facility. The LCBA-Neuma system, a local carbon survey software developed by the Low Carbon Building Alliance (LCBA) and National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan, was used in this project. The system analyzes the carbon footprint of the various phases of the building life cycle (LC) during renovation and carbon compensation strategies were employed to achieve the low carbon target. This project has pioneered the transformation of a disused military facility using this approach. The carbon footprint of energy uses during post-construction operation (CFeu) accounted for the majority of carbon emissions among all stages, at 1,088,632.19 kgCO2e/60y, while the carbon footprint of the new building materials (CFm) was the second highest, at 214,983.66 kgCO2e/60y. Installation of a solar cell system of 25.2 kWp on the rooftop as a carbon offset measure compensated for an estimated 66.1% of the total life-cycle carbon emissions. The findings of this study show that the process of reusing old military facilities can achieve the ultimate goal of zero carbon construction and sustainable development. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Assessment of Aesthetic Preferences in Relation to Vegetation-Created Enclosure in Chinese Urban Parks: A Case Study of Shenzhen Litchi Park
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1809; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061809
Received: 12 March 2019 / Accepted: 21 March 2019 / Published: 26 March 2019
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Abstract
Building on the mystery/complexity/legibility/coherence model of Kaplan and Kaplan (1989) and up-to-date landscape visualization techniques, this paper presents a case study analyzing people’s aesthetic preferences for scenes with varying levels of enclosure created through vegetation. Participants were asked to view 48 computer-generated urban [...] Read more.
Building on the mystery/complexity/legibility/coherence model of Kaplan and Kaplan (1989) and up-to-date landscape visualization techniques, this paper presents a case study analyzing people’s aesthetic preferences for scenes with varying levels of enclosure created through vegetation. Participants were asked to view 48 computer-generated urban park scenes with different levels of enclosure and to rate them for three aesthetic preference factors: coherence, complexity, and legibility. The results are as follows: (1) If the visual and/or physical setting is enclosed, participants will give lower ratings for legibility than in open scenes. (2) Physically open scenes are rated as more coherent than physically enclosed scenes. (3) Participants rate complexity for physically enclosed scenes lower than for physically open scenes. It is concluded that enclosure as a predictor variable for landscape preference has a practical significance for future urban landscape research and designs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle Spatial Justice of a Chinese Metropolis: A Perspective on Housing Price-to-Income Ratios in Nanjing, China
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1808; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061808
Received: 20 February 2019 / Revised: 20 March 2019 / Accepted: 20 March 2019 / Published: 26 March 2019
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Abstract
The housing price-to-income ratio is an important index for measuring the health of real estate, as well as detecting residents’ housing affordability and regional spatial justice. This paper considers 1833 residential districts in one main urban area and three secondary urban areas in [...] Read more.
The housing price-to-income ratio is an important index for measuring the health of real estate, as well as detecting residents’ housing affordability and regional spatial justice. This paper considers 1833 residential districts in one main urban area and three secondary urban areas in Nanjing during the period 2009–2017 as research units. It also simulates and estimates the spatial distribution of the housing price-to-income ratio with the kriging interpolation method of geographic information system (GIS) geostatistical analysis and constructs a housing spatial justice model by using housing price, income, and housing price-to-income ratio. The research results prove that in the one main urban area and the three secondary urban areas considered, the housing price-to-income ratio tended on the whole to rise, presenting a core edge model of a progressive decrease from the Main Urban Area to the secondary urban areas spatially, with high-value areas centered around famous school districts and new town centers. The housing spatial justice degree presented a trend opposite to that of the housing price-to-income ratio pattern; it progressively decreased from the secondary urban areas to the Main Urban Area. Furthermore, the spatial justice degree tended to decrease in the new towns, in the periphery of the Main Urban Area, and in the secondary urban areas, and it tended to rise, relatively, in the inner urban areas. The enhancement of the housing price-to-income ratio has caused the urban housing spatial justice degree to become gradually imbalanced, gradually squeezing out the poor and vulnerable groups to urban fringe areas and leading to a phenomenon of middle class stratification. This has thus aroused social problems such as housing differentiation and class solidification, etc., and has caused inequality in social spaces. Tt is therefore urgently necessary to reflect on urban space production with the value and principle of spatial justice, which is also the only way to obtain urban sustainable development, in mind. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geographic Data Science and Sustainable Urban Developments)
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Open AccessArticle The Social Costs of Marine Litter along the East China Sea: Evidence from Ten Coastal Scenic Spots of Zhejiang Province, China
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1807; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061807
Received: 28 February 2019 / Revised: 17 March 2019 / Accepted: 18 March 2019 / Published: 25 March 2019
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Abstract
Marine litter poses numerous threats to the global environment. To estimate the social costs of marine litter in China, two stated preference methods, namely the contingent valuation model (CVM) and the choice experiment model (CEM), were used in this research. This paper conducted [...] Read more.
Marine litter poses numerous threats to the global environment. To estimate the social costs of marine litter in China, two stated preference methods, namely the contingent valuation model (CVM) and the choice experiment model (CEM), were used in this research. This paper conducted surveys at ten different beaches along the East China Sea in Zhejiang province in October 2017. The results indicate that approximately 74.1% of the interviewees are willing to volunteer to participate in clean-up programmes and are willing to spend 1.5 days per month on average in their daily lives, which equates to a potential loss of income of USD 1.08 per day. The willingness to pay for the removal of the main types of litter ranges from USD 0.12–0.20 per visitor across the four sample cities, which is mainly determined by the degree of the removal, the crowdedness of the beach and the visitor’s perception. The social costs are USD 1.08–1.40 per visitor when the contingent valuation method is applied and USD 1.00–1.07 per visitor when the choice experiment method is adopted, which accounts for 8–14% of the beach entrance fee. The analysis of the social costs of marine litter yielded some useful implications regarding future coastal management policy, including extra entrance fee, the quality-oriented environmental strategy and more incentives to volunteers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Uncovering Variations, Determinants, and Disparities of Multisector-Level Final Energy Use of Industries Across Cities
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1806; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061806
Received: 3 March 2019 / Revised: 21 March 2019 / Accepted: 22 March 2019 / Published: 25 March 2019
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Abstract
With continuous industrialization and urbanization, cities have become the dominator of energy consumption, to which industry is making leading contribution among all sectors. Given the insufficiency in comparative study on the drivers of energy use across cities at multisector level, this study selected [...] Read more.
With continuous industrialization and urbanization, cities have become the dominator of energy consumption, to which industry is making leading contribution among all sectors. Given the insufficiency in comparative study on the drivers of energy use across cities at multisector level, this study selected seven representative cities in China to quantify and analyze the contributions of factors to changes in final energy use (FEU) in industrial aggregate and sectoral levels by using Logarithmic Mean Divisia Index method. Disparities in the drivers of industrial FEU across cities were explicitly revealed within two stages (2005–2010 and 2010–2015). Some key findings are presented as follows. Alongside the increase in industrial output of seven cities within two stages, the variation trends in industrial FEU are different. Industrial output effect (contribution rate 16.7% ~ 184.0%) and energy intensity effect (contribution rate −8.6% ~ −76.5%) contributed to the increase in aggregate FEU positively and negatively, respectively. Beijing had the largest contribution share of industrial structure effect (−24.4% and −12.8%), followed by Shenyang and Xi’an. Contributions of energy intensity effect and industrial output effect for Chemicals, Nonmetals, Metals, and Manufacture of equipment were much larger than those of other sectors. The results revealed that production technological innovations, phase-out of outdated capacities of energy intensive industries, and industrial restructuring are crucial for reduction in industrial FEU of cities. This study also provided reference to reasonable industrial layout among cities and exertion of technological advantages from a national perspective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Does Remanufacturing Always Benefit the Manufacturer and Hurt the Supplier?
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1805; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061805
Received: 18 February 2019 / Revised: 15 March 2019 / Accepted: 19 March 2019 / Published: 25 March 2019
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Abstract
Traditional wisdom claims that remanufacturing operations always benefit the manufacturer in monopolistic cases and hurt the supplier in a supply chain system. However, we show that this claim does not hold when firms face a mature market. In particular, we consider a case [...] Read more.
Traditional wisdom claims that remanufacturing operations always benefit the manufacturer in monopolistic cases and hurt the supplier in a supply chain system. However, we show that this claim does not hold when firms face a mature market. In particular, we consider a case in which some consumers in the market possess old products before the selling season, i.e., some consumers are holders. A monopolistic manufacturer collects used products from holders and then sells the products to non-holders after furbishing and remanufacturing. In the integrated case, the manufacturer performs manufacturing and remanufacturing together. We find that remanufacturing may hurt the manufacturer when the fraction of non-holders in the market and the production cost are both low. In the separated case, in which an upstream supplier provides the core component to a downstream manufacturer, the downstream manufacturer undertakes the remanufacturing operation as well as manufacturing. We find that the supplier can benefit from the manufacturer’s remanufacturing operation under a specific condition, even if the manufacturer always receives a higher profit. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How Better Decision-Making Helps to Improve Sustainability - Part II)
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Open AccessArticle A Hybrid Approach for Multi-Step Wind Speed Forecasting Based on Multi-Scale Dominant Ingredient Chaotic Analysis, KELM and Synchronous Optimization Strategy
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1804; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061804
Received: 6 March 2019 / Revised: 19 March 2019 / Accepted: 20 March 2019 / Published: 25 March 2019
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Abstract
Accurate wind speed prediction plays a significant role in reasonable scheduling and the safe operation of the power system. However, due to the non-linear and non-stationary traits of the wind speed time series, the construction of an accuracy forecasting model is difficult to [...] Read more.
Accurate wind speed prediction plays a significant role in reasonable scheduling and the safe operation of the power system. However, due to the non-linear and non-stationary traits of the wind speed time series, the construction of an accuracy forecasting model is difficult to achieve. To this end, a novel synchronous optimization strategy-based hybrid model combining multi-scale dominant ingredient chaotic analysis and a kernel extreme learning machine (KELM) is proposed, for which the multi-scale dominant ingredient chaotic analysis integrates variational mode decomposition (VMD), singular spectrum analysis (SSA) and phase-space reconstruction (PSR). For such a hybrid structure, the parameters in VMD, SSA, PSR and KELM that would affect the predictive performance are optimized by the proposed improved hybrid grey wolf optimizer-sine cosine algorithm (IHGWOSCA) synchronously. To begin with, VMD is employed to decompose the raw wind speed data into a set of sub-series with various frequency scales. Later, the extraction of dominant and residuary ingredients for each sub-series is implemented by SSA, after which, all of the residuary ingredients are accumulated with the residual of VMD, to generate an additional forecasting component. Subsequently, the inputs and outputs of KELM for each component are deduced by PSR, with which the forecasting model could be constructed. Finally, the ultimate forecasting values of the raw wind speed are calculated by accumulating the predicted results of all the components. Additionally, four datasets from Sotavento Galicia (SG) wind farm have been selected, to achieve the performance assessment of the proposed model. Furthermore, six relevant models are carried out for comparative analysis. The results illustrate that the proposed hybrid framework, VMD-SSA-PSR-KELM could achieve a better performance compared with other combined models, while the proposed synchronous parameter optimization strategy-based model could achieve an average improvement of 25% compared to the separated optimized VMD-SSA-PSR-KELM model. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Application of Nonnegative Tensor Factorization for Intercity Rail–Air Transport Supply Configuration Pattern Recognition
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1803; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061803
Received: 5 January 2019 / Revised: 27 February 2019 / Accepted: 20 March 2019 / Published: 25 March 2019
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Abstract
With the rapid expansion of the railway represented by high-speed rail (HSR) in China, competition between railway and aviation will become increasingly common on a large scale. Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou are the busiest cities and the hubs of railway and aviation transportation [...] Read more.
With the rapid expansion of the railway represented by high-speed rail (HSR) in China, competition between railway and aviation will become increasingly common on a large scale. Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou are the busiest cities and the hubs of railway and aviation transportation in China. Obtaining their supply configuration patterns can help identify defects in planning. To achieve that, supply level is proposed, which is a weighted supply traffic volume that takes population and distance factors into account. Then supply configuration can be expressed as the distribution of supply level over time periods with different railway stations, airports, and city categories. Furthermore, nonnegative tensor factorization (NTF) is applied to pattern recognition by introducing CP (CANDECOMP/PARAFAC) decomposition and the block coordinate descent (BCD) algorithm for the selected data set. Numerical experiments show that the designed method has good performance in terms of computation speed and solution quality. Recognition results indicate the significant pattern characteristics of rail–air transport for Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou are extracted, which can provide some theoretical references for practical policymakers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Attitudes of Voluntary Simplifier University Students in Hungary
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1802; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061802
Received: 24 February 2019 / Revised: 13 March 2019 / Accepted: 20 March 2019 / Published: 25 March 2019
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Abstract
The Lifestyle of Voluntary Simplicity (LOVOS) segment is composed of consumers who attempt to achieve sustainable consumption. The segment has been examined by only a few research studies so far, and none of them were conducted among Hungarian consumers. Therefore, the aim of [...] Read more.
The Lifestyle of Voluntary Simplicity (LOVOS) segment is composed of consumers who attempt to achieve sustainable consumption. The segment has been examined by only a few research studies so far, and none of them were conducted among Hungarian consumers. Therefore, the aim of our exploratory research is to examine the occurrence of the LOVOS consumer group among university students from Debrecen, Hungary. To achieve our aim, we first identified the five main value groups of the LOVOS lifestyle with an expert focus group interview. Based on the interview, a questionnaire survey was conducted among university students from Debrecen (N = 500). Based on the results, four value-based segments were identified, of which the Voluntary simplifiers’ cluster (39.6% of respondents) reflected the characteristics of the LOVOS lifestyle to the greatest extent. Based on the literature, it seemed necessary to segment this group further in terms of their commitment to individual values. As a result, three further clusters were created, of which, the Holistic simplifiers’ group (9.8% of respondents) showed the greatest commitment to the values of the LOVOS lifestyle. We concluded that the characteristics of voluntary simplifiers have already appeared among university students from Debrecen, but further research is needed to reveal the value orientation of the whole of Hungarian society. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conscious Consumption)
Open AccessCorrection Correction: An Efficient Grid-Based K-Prototypes Algorithm for Sustainable Decision Making Using Spatial Objects. Sustainability 2018, 10, 2614
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1801; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061801
Received: 20 March 2019 / Accepted: 21 March 2019 / Published: 25 March 2019
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Abstract
The authors would like to make the following corrections to this paper [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Advanced IT based Future Sustainable Computing)
Open AccessArticle Estimation of the Amount of Disposed Antibiotics
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1800; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061800
Received: 11 February 2019 / Revised: 11 March 2019 / Accepted: 20 March 2019 / Published: 25 March 2019
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Abstract
The impact of the antibiotics in the environment is not well understood yet. Moreover, the total amount of antibiotics that are ending up in the environment as solid waste is not known and cannot be rigorously determined as many variables are influencing the [...] Read more.
The impact of the antibiotics in the environment is not well understood yet. Moreover, the total amount of antibiotics that are ending up in the environment as solid waste is not known and cannot be rigorously determined as many variables are influencing the determination of their concentration. The present article is focused on the estimation of the amount of non-prescribed antibiotics that are used in different European countries. Particular attention is paid to the class of beta-lactams, as they are responsible for a considerate share of the antimicrobial resistance. The primary purpose was the estimation of the quantity of non-prescribed antibiotics that might reach the environment as solid waste. For the present study, we used the ECDC and EUROSTAT reported data. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Trends in Municipal Solid Waste Management)
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Open AccessArticle Impact of Biogas and Waste Fats Methyl Esters on NO, NO2, CO, and PM Emission by Dual Fuel Diesel Engine
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1799; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061799
Received: 21 February 2019 / Revised: 21 March 2019 / Accepted: 22 March 2019 / Published: 25 March 2019
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The aim of this study was to perform a comparative analysis of the unit gas emission value in the exhaust of a dual fuel diesel engine. The results of the effects of a diesel engine’s applications in biogas plants and the method for [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to perform a comparative analysis of the unit gas emission value in the exhaust of a dual fuel diesel engine. The results of the effects of a diesel engine’s applications in biogas plants and the method for calculating mass gas emissions per unit of produced electricity are shown. The test was performed using a two-cylinder, naturally aspirated, liquid-cooled diesel engine. The diesel engine powered a generator connected to the grid. The engine was fed with liquid fuels—waste cooking oil methyl ester (UCOME) and diesel fuel (DF)—and with a gas fuel, biogas (BG). The engine ran at a constant rotational speed (2000 rpm ± 30 rpm) with variable load. The gas analyzer measured the amount of CO, NO, NO2, and PM (particulate matter) in exhaust gas. This gas content share was then converted to mass per engine generated energy unit. This experiment showed the effect of BG introduced to the intake manifold on fuel combustion, as well as an increase in CO and NO2 emission and decrease in NO and PM. In terms of dependence of exhaust emissions on the type of liquid fuel used, the use of UCOME as opposed to diesel fuel resulted in PM reduction and increase of NO emissions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Energy and Biorefineries from Biowastes)
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Open AccessArticle A Post-Training Study on the Budgeting Criteria Set and Priority for MALE UAS Design
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1798; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061798
Received: 15 January 2019 / Revised: 28 February 2019 / Accepted: 9 March 2019 / Published: 25 March 2019
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Abstract
A recent study proposed a systematic “(budgeting) knowledge discovery educational framework” (BKDEF). This BKDEF is focused on guiding staff training courses for enhancing the ability to allocate the “large but limited” budget for single, high-cost product design. However, except for its initial application [...] Read more.
A recent study proposed a systematic “(budgeting) knowledge discovery educational framework” (BKDEF). This BKDEF is focused on guiding staff training courses for enhancing the ability to allocate the “large but limited” budget for single, high-cost product design. However, except for its initial application to support the budget planning for the next generation fighter design, the framework’s effectiveness is still awaiting further scrutiny. This study fills the gap by providing the “second application” of BKDEF, which is to support another similar decision for designing the medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial system (MALE UAS). This paper verified the effectiveness of the framework through an empirical application and obtained the knowledge required to allocate a budget for MALE UAS design following the group-opinion basis. In addition, the original analytical style for the last “decision analysis” phase of BKDEF, which included pure quantitative analytical items in order to understand the similarities and diversities in the individual opinions, was replaced by a comparative study to discover the homogeneity and heterogeneity between the two budgeting decisions in a larger scope. As a consequence, the two criteria sets did not overlap despite both decisions being related to military aircraft design. The absolute weights for the MALE UAS design criteria were more balanced than those for the air-superior fighter design, even if the size of the criteria set was larger. The results pave a way for future studies on how other military aircrafts are designed, as more confidence about the use of a BKDEF can be gained from increasing applications, thus more insightful aerospace knowledge can be exploited in comparisons with these works. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Using Structural Equation Modeling to Propose a Model for Shopping Complex Design Based on Universal Design Concept
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1797; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061797
Received: 18 February 2019 / Revised: 15 March 2019 / Accepted: 21 March 2019 / Published: 25 March 2019
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Abstract
Universal design (UD) is a design style that promotes the design for all people regardless of their abilities and sociodemographic features. The UD is also viewed as an element of social sustainability. Shopping complexes, as one of the main places for leisure activities, [...] Read more.
Universal design (UD) is a design style that promotes the design for all people regardless of their abilities and sociodemographic features. The UD is also viewed as an element of social sustainability. Shopping complexes, as one of the main places for leisure activities, can be designed and assessed based on UD to enhance the usability for all shoppers. At present, no clear definition of UD is available in shopping complex design criteria. Consequently, a very limited number of design and assessment guidelines are based on UD. The present study remedied this shortcoming in knowledge through translating and defining the conceptual components of features of UD for shopping complexes. The contribution of shopping complexes’ design elements also was identified. The aforesaid objectives were achieved through a comprehensive literature review. The findings of this review contributed to the development of conceptual models to define UD in shopping mall design. This study administrated a questionnaire to collect data, and the data were tested for model fitness using structural equation modeling. The UD translation can help practitioners and researchers to design and assess the shopping complexes to ensure all shoppers are served on an equal basis. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Modeling the Consumers Opinion Influence in Online Social Media in the Case of Eco-friendly Products
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1796; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061796
Received: 25 February 2019 / Revised: 13 March 2019 / Accepted: 21 March 2019 / Published: 25 March 2019
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Abstract
Social influence has a positive impact on the purchase intention for eco-friendly products along with other subjective and objective aspects related to environmental attitude, product attitude, and subjective and objective knowledge. Also, exposure to media has been proven to have a significant positive [...] Read more.
Social influence has a positive impact on the purchase intention for eco-friendly products along with other subjective and objective aspects related to environmental attitude, product attitude, and subjective and objective knowledge. Also, exposure to media has been proven to have a significant positive affect on environmental attitude, with effect on the purchase intention. Several recent studies have shown the importance of consumers’ influence in online social networks, underlying the role played by the online environments over consumers’ attitude. As a result, the current research tries to analyze the influence exerted on consumers’ decision to purchase eco-friendly products by their activity in online social environments. Using a questionnaire, filled-in by 409 respondents, a series of variables have been extracted with regard to the eco-friendly products. An agent-based model has been created, fed with the values of the variables extracted from the questionnaire, and used for simulations. As a result, it has been observed that an increase in online media exposure can have a high positive impact on the eco-friendly product adoption. Depending on the type of product—soft or durable good—different times for the eco-friendly product adoption have been determined relatively to the considered variables. Last, the possible limitations of using an agent-based modeling approach are discussed, along with possible extensions and improvements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle An Empirical Analysis of the Factors Affecting the Adoption and Diffusion of GBTS in the Construction Market
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1795; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061795
Received: 25 February 2019 / Revised: 21 March 2019 / Accepted: 21 March 2019 / Published: 25 March 2019
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Abstract
This study focuses on better development of green buildings. The key to the sustainable development of the construction industry is to popularize and promote the spread of green building technologies (GBTS) in the construction market. This study integrates the technology acceptance model (TAM) [...] Read more.
This study focuses on better development of green buildings. The key to the sustainable development of the construction industry is to popularize and promote the spread of green building technologies (GBTS) in the construction market. This study integrates the technology acceptance model (TAM) and the innovation diffusion theory (IDT) to analyze and construct the theoretical model of developers’ GBTS adoption behavior from three dimensions, including the individual factor, product factor and interface factor. This paper discusses the mechanism of GBTS adoption and diffusion in the construction market. The data are collected by questionnaire, and the structural equation model (SEM) is used for empirical analysis. The results show that the developers’ perceived usefulness (PU) and perceived ease of use (PEOU) of GBTS, developers’ innovativeness and sense of community at the individual level, competitive advantage at the product level, as well as government structural guarantees and relevant stakeholders at the interface level have a significant positive impact on the adoption of GBTS by developers. It is proved that the model can explain the basic path of GBTS adoption by developers, and suggestions to promote the adoption and diffusion of GBTS in China are put forward. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Building Technologies)
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Open AccessArticle A Structural Analysis of Economic Processes by the Use of “Energy Content Value”
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1794; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061794
Received: 11 February 2019 / Revised: 7 March 2019 / Accepted: 15 March 2019 / Published: 25 March 2019
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Abstract
Since currency is a means of exchange, it forms a standard of value. Modern economics uses the function of currency as a “general standard of value” and describes the economic processes in the terms of value by the quantity of money. The most [...] Read more.
Since currency is a means of exchange, it forms a standard of value. Modern economics uses the function of currency as a “general standard of value” and describes the economic processes in the terms of value by the quantity of money. The most notable indicator to symbolize this situation is “Gross Domestic Product” (GDP). However, GDP, in general, does not indicate the economic process as a whole. It is necessary to add intermediate inputs to the GDP in order to calculate the total amount of industrial output of a country, and this total industrial output can never realize without energy supply. In other words, the total industrial output of a country and the total amount of energy supplied (= consumed) constitute an inseparable relationship like the front and back of the coin. This research tries to propose an alternative evaluation indicator based on “energy”, which is the most important economic substance and the indispensable requirement for all human activities. Regarding this issue, this study deals with the following problems. First, we refer to a dualistic composition which Soddy had adopted, from the beginning, to classify wealth, which is a product of economic processes, into two categories: one on a physical dimension (Wealth I · II) and the other on a psychological dimension (Virtual Wealth). Then, based on the dualistic framework proposed by Soddy, we present that we can evaluate the economic process, through a compound-eye view, on two dimensions: the physical dimension (energy flow) and the institutional dimension (money flow). Next, we focus on ‘the economic process presented by monetary value’ (A) and ‘the energy quantity which effectually supports this process’ (B). We have introduced how to project (B) onto the constituent elements of (A). Thus, we take a case study on Japan by use of dualistic aspects approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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