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Sustainability, Volume 11, Issue 7 (April-1 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Land use and land use change are among the main drivers of the ongoing loss of biodiversity at a [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
A Two-Sided Matching Model for Task Distribution in Ridesharing: A Sustainable Operations Perspective
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 2187; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11072187
Received: 16 January 2019 / Revised: 25 March 2019 / Accepted: 5 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
With regard to task distribution in a ridesharing company, both the suitability of the tasks assigned to the drivers and the acceptability of the riders receiving the service should be simultaneously considered to improve the sustainability regarding Hitch services. Firstly, the process of [...] Read more.
With regard to task distribution in a ridesharing company, both the suitability of the tasks assigned to the drivers and the acceptability of the riders receiving the service should be simultaneously considered to improve the sustainability regarding Hitch services. Firstly, the process of the bi-directional choice between the drivers and the riders is described as a one-to-one two-sided matching problem. Next, prospect theory is used to characterize the psychological perceived behavior of both sides towards the matching scheme under the multiple criteria. Thus, the suitability function concerning the drivers and the acceptability function regarding the riders are naturally constructed. Following this, a two-sided matching decision model with two objectives is proposed. Finally, numerical experiments are presented to verify the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed model. Besides, managerial insights associated with how to set the optimization objectives under unbalanced supply-demand in ridesharing companies are given. Increasingly, this paper aims to not only validate the proposed methodology, but also to highlight the importance and urge of incorporating sustainability into the task distribution problem in ridesharing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sharing Economy for Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Environmental Regulations on Technological Innovation Efficiency in China’s Industrial Enterprises: A Spatial Analysis
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 2186; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11072186
Received: 19 February 2019 / Revised: 22 March 2019 / Accepted: 5 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
China’s traditional industrial model is characterized by high energy consumption and high pollution, which results in many environmental problems that cannot be ignored. To achieve sustainable development, the Chinese government has proposed five development concepts of “innovation, coordination, green, openness, and sharing”. This [...] Read more.
China’s traditional industrial model is characterized by high energy consumption and high pollution, which results in many environmental problems that cannot be ignored. To achieve sustainable development, the Chinese government has proposed five development concepts of “innovation, coordination, green, openness, and sharing”. This initiative highlights the urgency of China’s efforts to strengthen environmental regulation. Based on the panel data of industrial enterprises in China from 2006 to 2015, this study not only investigates the spatial features of technological innovation efficiency, but also examines the relationship between technology innovation efficiency and environmental regulations from a spatial perspective. The results indicate that first, China’s provincial-level technological innovation efficiencies are uneven in space. Second, voluntary regulation positively affects the technological innovation efficiency of industrial enterprises at the provincial level, while mandatory regulation has no significant impact. Third, there is a spatial spillover effect in voluntary regulation at the provincial level. One highlight implication is that the government should promulgate environmental regulations based on each province’s technological innovation potential, due to the spatial differences in technological innovation activities. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
A Basic Study on a Rectangular Plane Space Sound Absorber Using Permeable Membranes
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 2185; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11072185
Received: 31 March 2019 / Revised: 8 April 2019 / Accepted: 10 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
In this communication, the sound absorption characteristics of rectangular-shaped plane space sound absorbers without any backing structure using permeable membranes (PMs) are measured by reverberation room method. First, three types of PMs, in this study woven fabrics, are selected with different flow resistances [...] Read more.
In this communication, the sound absorption characteristics of rectangular-shaped plane space sound absorbers without any backing structure using permeable membranes (PMs) are measured by reverberation room method. First, three types of PMs, in this study woven fabrics, are selected with different flow resistances and surface densities. They are prepared in the plane rectangular-shaped space absorbers of two different sizes. The measured results are discussed through comparison with the existing theoretical and measured results for absorbers of the other shapes or configurations. The present results and discussion demonstrate that the reverberation absorption coefficients of the proposed absorbers are low at low frequencies and converge to a moderately high value at high frequencies. Especially, ones with higher flow resistance than the air impedance converge to a value greater than 0.5, which is a theoretically estimated maximum absorption coefficient of infinite single-leaf PM. This is inferred to be attributed mainly to area effect. From these results the proposed absorbers can be used effectively despite of their very simple structure. Also it is found that the proposed absorber can offer higher sound absorption than permeable membrane absorbers of other shapes or configuration. Regarding the effect of the size, the absorbers of smaller size offer higher absorption coefficients regardless of material properties of the PMs used in the experiments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Acoustic Materials)
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Open AccessArticle
The Role of Hydrogen in the Ecological Benefits of Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel Production and Use: An LCA Benchmark
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 2184; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11072184
Received: 21 February 2019 / Revised: 25 March 2019 / Accepted: 2 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
Desulphurization of oil-based fuels is common practice to mitigate the ecological burden to ecosystems and human health of SOx emissions. In many countries, fuels for vehicles are restricted to 10 ppm sulphur. For marine fuels, low sulphur contents are under discussion. The [...] Read more.
Desulphurization of oil-based fuels is common practice to mitigate the ecological burden to ecosystems and human health of SOx emissions. In many countries, fuels for vehicles are restricted to 10 ppm sulphur. For marine fuels, low sulphur contents are under discussion. The environmental impact of desulphurization processes is, however, quite high: (1) The main current source for industrial hydrogen is Steam Methane Reforming (SMR), with a rather high level of CO2 emissions, (2) the hydrotreating process, especially below 150 ppm, needs a lot of energy. These two issues lead to three research questions: (a) What is the overall net ecological benefit of the current desulphurization practice? (b) At which sulfphur ppm level in the fuel is the additional ecological burden of desulphurization higher than the additional ecological benefit of less SOx pollution from combustion? (c) To what extent can cleaner hydrogen processes improve the ecological benefit of diesel desulphurization? In this paper we use LCA to analyze the processes of hydrotreatment, the recovery of sulphur via amine treating of H2S, and three processes of hydrogen production: SMR without Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS), SMR with 53% and 90% CCS, and water electrolysis with two types of renewable energy. The prevention-based eco-costs system is used for the overall comparison of the ecological burden and the ecological benefit. The ReCiPe system was applied as well but appeared not suitable for such a comparison (other damage-based indicators cannot be applied either). The overall conclusion is that (1) the overall net ecological benefit of hydrogen-based Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel is dependent of local conditions, but is remarkably high, (2) desulphurization below 10 ppm is beneficial for big cities, and (3) cleaner production of hydrogen reduces eco-cost by a factor 1.8–3.4. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Life Cycle Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
An Integrated Indicator System and Evaluation Model for Regional Sustainable Development
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 2183; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11072183
Received: 13 March 2019 / Revised: 2 April 2019 / Accepted: 4 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
Regional sustainable development has become a worldwide issue in recent years, but there is no single and universally agreed method of choosing indicators for sustainable development assessment. The subjective selection of indicators will affect the results of assessment. Each evaluation method has its [...] Read more.
Regional sustainable development has become a worldwide issue in recent years, but there is no single and universally agreed method of choosing indicators for sustainable development assessment. The subjective selection of indicators will affect the results of assessment. Each evaluation method has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the methods used to determine indicator weight also differ. Regional sustainable development is a complex system, which is difficult to evaluate objectively and scientifically using a single method. Therefore, a new integrated indicator system and evaluation model is constructed here to more accurately reflect regional sustainable development level. The indicator system and evaluation model were constructed using a case study of 17 cities in Shandong Province, China. The indicator system includes 4 subsystems, i.e., economy, society, resource, and environment. These indicators were selected through correlation analysis and discrimination analysis. A back propagation neural network was applied to evaluate the respective scores of the 4 subsystems. The comprehensive score for regional sustainable development was evaluated using the analytic hierarchy process with entropy correction. The results show that sustainable development levels in these 17 cities show a gradually decreasing trend from east to west and from coast to inland. Cities with an underdeveloped economy usually display poor levels of social development and serious environmental pollution. Through the improvement of indicator screening, evaluation model, and result correction, the error caused by a single evaluation method can be reduced significantly. This new methodology for indicator selection and comprehensive evaluation provides a new perspective for the assessment of regional sustainable development. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Research on Risk Avoidance and Coordination of Supply Chain Subject Based on Blockchain Technology
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 2182; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11072182
Received: 6 March 2019 / Revised: 28 March 2019 / Accepted: 8 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
Based on the influence of block chain technology on information sharing among supply chain participants, mean-CVaR (conditional value at risk) is used to characterize retailers’ risk aversion behavior, while a Stackelberg game is taken to study the optimal decision-making of manufacturers and retailers [...] Read more.
Based on the influence of block chain technology on information sharing among supply chain participants, mean-CVaR (conditional value at risk) is used to characterize retailers’ risk aversion behavior, while a Stackelberg game is taken to study the optimal decision-making of manufacturers and retailers during decentralized and centralized decision-making processes. Finally, the mean-CVaR-based revenue-sharing contract is used to coordinate the supply chain and profit distribution. The research shows that, under the condition of decentralized decision-making, when the retailer’s optimal order quantity is low, it is an increasing function of the weighted proportion and the risk aversion degree, while, when the retailer’s optimal order quantity is high, it is an increasing function of the weighted proportion, and has nothing to do with the risk aversion degree. The manufacturer’s blockchain technology application degree is a reduction function of the weighted proportion. When the retailer’s order quantity is low, the manufacturer’s blockchain technology application degree is a decreasing function of risk aversion, while, when the retailer’s order quantity is high, the manufacturer’s blockchain technology application is independent of risk aversion. The profit of the supply chain system under centralized decision-making is higher than that of decentralized decision-making. The revenue sharing contract can achieve the coordination of the supply chain to the level of centralized decision-making. Through blockchain technology, transaction costs among members of the supply chain can be reduced, information sharing can be realized, and the benefits of the supply chain can be improved. Finally, the specific numerical simulation is adopted to analyze the weighted proportion, risk aversion and the impact of blockchain technology on the supply chain, and verify the relevant conclusions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Comparative Analysis of Production Possibility Frontier in Measuring Social Efficiency with Data Envelopment Analysis: An Application to Airports
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 2181; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11072181
Received: 27 December 2018 / Revised: 19 March 2019 / Accepted: 31 March 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
The environmental sustainability is a globally important issue, particularly in the global warming. There are many institutions and people who are interested in the greenhouse gases emissions issue and policies that attempt to improve the problem. The aviation industry is not an exception. [...] Read more.
The environmental sustainability is a globally important issue, particularly in the global warming. There are many institutions and people who are interested in the greenhouse gases emissions issue and policies that attempt to improve the problem. The aviation industry is not an exception. Under this background, there has been much research on airport efficiency analysis, undesirable outputs, and on evaluating productivity with respect to environmental factors. In the efficiency analysis models with the undesirable outputs in the airports, there are two main types of production possibility frontiers. The first type is the frontier based on the Shephard technology, which involves a weak-disposability concept, using a single abatement factor. The second one is the frontier on the Lozano-Gutiérrez technology, which tries to take the weak disposability into account by regarding the undesirable outputs as input. However, they have limitations. Additionally, no study has provided how to apply weak disposability correctly. To find out the limitations and give standard to utilize weak disposability, we compare models with two issues that must be scrutinized. In this paper, we show that these two concepts have limitations in making the production possibility area. To overcome this limitation, we propose an undesirable-output model using multiple abatement factors based on weak disposability with the slack-based measure (SBM) approach. We analyze, comparatively, the different social efficiency performances according to two issues among the three approaches in estimating production possibility frontier, using the Shepard model, the Lozano-Gutierrez model, and our proposed model. To provide correct standard of measurement and apply characteristics of undesirable outputs, we study not only theoretically, but also empirically, with data from Korea’s 13 domestic airports. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Transportation)
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Open AccessArticle
Linking Prohibited Grazing Policy to Farmers’ Subjective Well-Being: A Case Study in Yanchi County, China
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 2180; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11072180
Received: 23 February 2019 / Revised: 27 March 2019 / Accepted: 9 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
Since the launch of a prohibited grazing policy (PGP) in 2002, the ecological environment in North China has improved markedly. The aims of PGP are to improve the ecological environment without reducing farmers’ well-being in rural areas. Hence, after the implementation of the [...] Read more.
Since the launch of a prohibited grazing policy (PGP) in 2002, the ecological environment in North China has improved markedly. The aims of PGP are to improve the ecological environment without reducing farmers’ well-being in rural areas. Hence, after the implementation of the policy for more than 16 years, the effect of this policy on farmers’ subjective well-being (SWB) has become a question that needs to be studied. In this paper, the survey data in Yanchi County was used to explore the relationship between the perception of the policy and farmers’ SWB using structural equation modelling (SEM). The results showed that there was a full mediation effect in the relationship between the perception of the PGP and farmers’ SWB through economic status, neuroticism, and extraversion. However, the mediation effect through the perception of the ecological environment was not significant. These findings suggest that it is important to continue to implement this policy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Geography and Social Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Application of Information Technology in Preschool Aesthetic Teaching from the Perspective of Sustainable Management
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 2179; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11072179
Received: 2 February 2019 / Revised: 19 March 2019 / Accepted: 20 March 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
The present study investigates the current status of aesthetic education as implemented in information technology by preschool teachers in New Taipei City. To that end, stratified random sampling of preschool teachers in New Taipei City was conducted, and the selected teachers, 235 in [...] Read more.
The present study investigates the current status of aesthetic education as implemented in information technology by preschool teachers in New Taipei City. To that end, stratified random sampling of preschool teachers in New Taipei City was conducted, and the selected teachers, 235 in total, then answered a questionnaire developed specifically for the study. The survey results indicated that “teacher” was the job title/position of most of the respondents, the largest percentage of whom were more than 41 years of age and had an education level consisting of a qualification received from a teacher’s college or university of education. Moreover, the results indicated that the teaching models employed by the majority of respondents focused on “thematic teaching.” In regards to their integration of information technology in their teaching of aesthetic education, the survey results indicated that the teachers obtained the highest average score for the “knowledge of information technology” dimension. Meanwhile, the dimension for which the respondents obtained the highest average score in terms of aesthetic teaching itself was the dimension pertaining to aesthetic cognition. Generally speaking, survey respondents from different backgrounds did not differ significantly in terms of their overall intentions regarding the use of aesthetic teaching, but there was a significant and positive relationship between those overall intentions and the current status of information technology integration into aesthetic education. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sport Spectator Consumption and Sustainable Management of Sport Event Tourism; Fan Motivation in High Performance Sport and Non-Elite Sport. A Case Study of Horseback Riding and Running: A Comparative Analysis
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 2178; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11072178
Received: 10 March 2019 / Revised: 3 April 2019 / Accepted: 9 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
Understanding the sociodemographic characteristics and motivations of participants in contemporary sports events is important for event organizers, host cities and tourist destinations who seek to acquire rights to organise sports events of various types. It is also important to know what functions sporting [...] Read more.
Understanding the sociodemographic characteristics and motivations of participants in contemporary sports events is important for event organizers, host cities and tourist destinations who seek to acquire rights to organise sports events of various types. It is also important to know what functions sporting events have for fans—their needs, thanks to passive sports consumption, are now being met. This research was conducted to broaden knowledge about fan motivation of participation in individual high-performance and non-elite sport and to analyse the differences between them. The case study was a running event of mass character (the 6th edition of half-marathon held in Poznań, Poland) and a horseback riding elite event (“Cavaliada”, held in Poznań, Poland). The empirical research among fans of these disciplines conducted during popular running and horseback riding Polish events allowed to characterise the sociodemographic profile of fans of individual mass and elite sports and the motivations of passive sports consumption. The motives were divided into four groups connected with social, experiential, factual and results orientation. We used a standardised interview technique and diagnostic survey method. 1328 sports fans participated in our study (510 fans of half-marathon [non-elite sport] and 818 fans of Cavaliada [high performance sport]). We developed a self-constructed questionnaire according to the motivation typology of Freyer and Gross. Research results indicate that supporters of individual mass and elite sports have thoroughly different motivations. On 14 examined motives, 13 statistically significant differences were found. Moreover, the article presents the division of motivation among female and male supporters, young people, elderly people, local (hosts) and sport tourist supporters. The research has shown what the sociopsychological impact of watching sports competition on fans of various categories is. For example, what is the motivation of sports tourists (N = 764) to participate in mass and elite sports events. We also investigated the influence of participation in sporting events in the level of life satisfaction and the impact of running and horse event in destination image (Poznań) in the opinion of supporters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tourism, Governance and Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle
Spatial and Temporal Variations in Grassland Production from 2006 to 2015 in Mongolia Along the China–Mongolia Railway
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 2177; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11072177
Received: 27 February 2019 / Revised: 3 April 2019 / Accepted: 7 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
Grassland biomass is the embodiment of grassland productivity, and the material basis for the maintenance of the grassland ecosystem. Grassland is the main vegetation type in the Mongolian Plateau. Grassland changes in the core region of the China–Mongolia–Russia Economic Corridor of the Belt [...] Read more.
Grassland biomass is the embodiment of grassland productivity, and the material basis for the maintenance of the grassland ecosystem. Grassland is the main vegetation type in the Mongolian Plateau. Grassland changes in the core region of the China–Mongolia–Russia Economic Corridor of the Belt and Road Initiative have an important impact on regional ecology, environmental conservation, and sustainable development. This study established three types of models for estimating grassland production through statistical analysis methods using NDVI, EVI, MSAVI, and PsnNet remote sensing indices retrieved from a Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) dataset. This was combined with ground-measured grassland data and meteorological data. Based on model evaluation, the spatial and temporal distribution and variation characteristics of grassland along the Mongolia part of the China–Mongolia Railway were obtained through inversion for the period from 2006 to 2015. The results showed that all the models had good simulation effects. The optimal model was an exponential model based on MSAVI—with its simulation accuracy reaching 78%. Grassland production in the study area has increased slightly in the past ten years, with little change in the first five years and a fluctuating increase in the next five years. The average grassland production (per unit production) in the past ten years was 3400.39 kg/ha and the average total production was 9707.88 × 104 t. Grassland production increased slightly in most areas along the railway, and in some areas it continued to decline. The regional spatial distribution of increased and decreased grassland production was significantly different. With better grassland resources in the northeastern part of the study area—the area around Chinggis City and the capital of Hentiy Province—had the most significant growth. However, the southern Gobi area—with its trend towards land degradation in the area where the southern Gobi and desert steppe transitions to steppe and dry steppe—had a significant decrease. This meant that the risk of grassland degradation still existed. There were also quantitative and spatial differences in the areas where grassland production decreased on both sides of the railway. The decrease in grassland production on the western side of the railway was more obvious than on the eastern side, and the reduction area was dispersed on the western side and relatively concentrated on the eastern side. In future research, the identification of key areas of grassland degradation along the China–Mongolia Railway as well as its driving forces should be investigated further. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle
Changes in Vegetation Greenness in the Upper and Middle Reaches of the Yellow River Basin over 2000–2015
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 2176; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11072176
Received: 6 March 2019 / Revised: 1 April 2019 / Accepted: 9 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
The Grain to Green Project (GTGP), a large ecological restoration project aiming to control soil erosion and improve the ecological environment, has been implemented since 1999 and has led to great land use changes with decreased farmland and increased forest and grass, and [...] Read more.
The Grain to Green Project (GTGP), a large ecological restoration project aiming to control soil erosion and improve the ecological environment, has been implemented since 1999 and has led to great land use changes with decreased farmland and increased forest and grass, and significant vegetation variations. Understanding vegetation variations for different land use types is important for accessing the present vegetation development and providing scientific guidance for future ecological restoration design and regional sustainable development. With two land use maps and MODIS LAI data, trend analysis, fluctuation analysis, and R/S methods were applied to analyze the vegetation dynamic changes and sustainability for converted land use types from cropland and unconverted types over 2000–2015 in the upper and middle reaches of the Yellow River. The results obtained were as follows: (1) Vegetation greening was remarkable in the entire study region (0.036 yr−1). The increasing rate was higher in wetter conditions with AI < 3 (0.036–0.053 yr−1) than arid regions with AI > 3 (0.012–0.024 yr−1). (2) Vegetation improved faster for converted forestland, shrubland, and grassland than unconverted types under similar drying conditions. Converted shrubland and grassland had a larger relative change than converted forestland. (3) Converted land use types generally exhibited stronger fluctuation than unconverted types with small differences among types. (4) Vegetation exhibited a sustainable increasing trend in the future, which accounted for more than 73.1% of the region, mainly distributed in the middle reach of the Yellow River. Vegetation restoration exerted important influences on vegetation greening and the effect was stronger for converted types than unconverted types. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
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Open AccessArticle
Multi-Conflicts between the Government, the Non-Profit Organisation and the People after a Serious Landslide Disaster Based Upon Qualitative Analysis
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 2175; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11072175
Received: 3 March 2019 / Revised: 30 March 2019 / Accepted: 8 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
Due to the increasing number of intensified extreme events, post-recovery has become a serious challenge worldwide. The common issues faced during the recovery process are fragmentation and coordination problems, the lack of capacity and commitment and the variations in recovery. This study explores [...] Read more.
Due to the increasing number of intensified extreme events, post-recovery has become a serious challenge worldwide. The common issues faced during the recovery process are fragmentation and coordination problems, the lack of capacity and commitment and the variations in recovery. This study explores the conflicts between various stakeholders via NVivo, based upon the recovery process in Typhoon Morakot. A qualitative analysis was conducted with the software NVivo 10; the findings showed the following: the stakeholders include the government t, the non-profit organisations (NPOs) (mainly charity funds) and the people. For short-term sheltering and long-term settlement, the government plays the leading role in the rebuilding work, supported by NPOs. However, this study discovers that people are disappointed with the government’s rebuilding efforts. As a result, people opt to self-rescue management. Furthermore, the supplementary NPOs sometimes play leading roles in the rebuilding, resulting in conflicts between people. Overall, the government does not take quick and proper actions, resulting in the delay of the rebuilding progress and the dilemma of role misallocation of various stakeholders. As a whole, post-disaster recovery should take the local victims’ preferences into consideration and this might be helpful to speed up the recovery process. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Environmental Optimization of Precast Concrete Beams Using Fibre Reinforced Polymers
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 2174; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11072174
Received: 8 February 2019 / Revised: 28 March 2019 / Accepted: 5 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
Increasing importance is being attached to materials in the life-cycle of a building. In the Netherlands, material life-cycle assessments (LCA) are now mandatory for almost all new buildings, on which basis the building is then awarded a building environmental performance or MPG [Milieuprestatie [...] Read more.
Increasing importance is being attached to materials in the life-cycle of a building. In the Netherlands, material life-cycle assessments (LCA) are now mandatory for almost all new buildings, on which basis the building is then awarded a building environmental performance or MPG [Milieuprestatie Gebouwen] score. The objective of this study is to reduce the environmental–economic (shadow) costs of precast reinforced concrete (RC) beams in a conventional Dutch office building, thereby improving its MPG score. Two main optimizations are introduced: first, the amount of concrete is reduced, designing a cavity in the cross-section of the beam; second, part of the reinforcement is replaced with a fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) tube. The structural calculations draw from a combination of several codes and FRP recommendations. Hollow FRP-RC beams (with an elongated oval cavity), and flax, glass, and kenaf fibre tubes yielded the lowest shadow costs. In particular, the flax tube obtained shadow costs that were 39% lower than those of the hollow RC beam (with an elongated oval cavity); which also contributed to decreasing the shadow costs of other building components (e.g., facade), thereby reducing the MPG score of the building. However, this study also shows that it is important to select the right type of FRP as hemp fibre tubes resulted in a 98% increase in shadow costs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Comparison of Four Environmental Assessment Tools in Swedish Manufacturing: A Case Study
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 2173; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11072173
Received: 18 March 2019 / Revised: 1 April 2019 / Accepted: 4 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
To achieve sustainable development goals, it is essential to include the industrial system. There are sufficient numbers of tools and methods for measuring, assessing and improving the quality, productivity and efficiency of production, but the number of tools and methods for environmental initiatives [...] Read more.
To achieve sustainable development goals, it is essential to include the industrial system. There are sufficient numbers of tools and methods for measuring, assessing and improving the quality, productivity and efficiency of production, but the number of tools and methods for environmental initiatives on the shop floor is rather low. Incorporating environmental considerations into production and performance management systems still generally involves a top-down approach aggregated for an entire manufacturing plant. Green lean studies have been attempting to fill this gap to some extent, but the lack of detailed methodologies and practical tools for environmental manufacturing improvement on the shop floor is still evident. This paper reports on the application of four environmental assessment tools commonly used among Swedish manufacturing companies—Green Performance Map (GPM), Environmental Value Stream Mapping (EVSM), Waste Flow Mapping (WFM), and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)—to help practitioners and scholars to understand the different features of each tool, so in turn the right tool(s) can be selected according to particular questions and the industrial settings. Because there are some overlap and differences between the tools and a given tool may be more appropriate to a situation depending on the question posed, a combination of tools is suggested to embrace different types of data collection and analysis to include different environmental impacts for better prioritization and decision-making. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Impact of Internal, External and Enterprise Risk Management on the Performance of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 2172; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11072172
Received: 14 December 2018 / Revised: 26 March 2019 / Accepted: 2 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
This paper aims to develop the role of internal factors, external factors, and risk management variables on MSMEs’ business performance. This research was conducted in underdeveloped regions of five provinces, which includes 14 cities in Indonesia—East Java, West Sumatra, North Sumatra, West Nusa [...] Read more.
This paper aims to develop the role of internal factors, external factors, and risk management variables on MSMEs’ business performance. This research was conducted in underdeveloped regions of five provinces, which includes 14 cities in Indonesia—East Java, West Sumatra, North Sumatra, West Nusa Tenggara, and East Nusa Tenggara. The Resource-based view and Market-based view methods were chosen to measure 1401 data of MSMEs. The data was collected using offline questionnaires then processed using SPSS. This paper demonstrates a remarkable outcome for MSMEs, showing the significant result of risk management factors that includes risk assessment of marketing and financial management. Other independent variables of internal, external, and risk management factors also show important outcomes on MSMEs performance. This paper offers additional value of the implementation of ERM in MSMEs, which are spread in underdeveloped regions in Indonesia. The findings shown that the activity of the enterprises in identifying and managing risk would bring up the significant effect on operational business performances. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and New Technology Challenges of Sustainable Business)
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Open AccessArticle
Exogenously Applied Bio-Stimulant and Synthetic Fertilizers to Improve the Growth, Yield and Fiber Quality of Cotton
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 2171; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11072171
Received: 18 February 2019 / Revised: 3 April 2019 / Accepted: 8 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
The effects of exogenously applied Moringa oleifera leaf extract (MLE), nitrogen and potassium were studied on the productivity and quality of two cotton cultivars (CIM-573) and transgenic Bt cotton (CIM-598). The Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) factorial experiment was conducted at Bahauddin Zakariya [...] Read more.
The effects of exogenously applied Moringa oleifera leaf extract (MLE), nitrogen and potassium were studied on the productivity and quality of two cotton cultivars (CIM-573) and transgenic Bt cotton (CIM-598). The Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) factorial experiment was conducted at Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, Pakistan (30.2639 °N, 71.5101 °E; 123 m asl), during 2016 and 2017, with three replications. The analysis of variance revealed the significance of cotton cultivars and foliar applications for the majority of traits studied, in both years. The CIM-573 had superiority for most of the traits studied in 2016 and 2017 trials, while the CIM-598 cultivar had significantly higher record for chlorophyll content, seed cotton yield, mean boll weight, and seed index in 2016 and sympodial branches per plant in 2017. Foliar application of Moringa Leaf Extract (MLE) and synthetic fertilizers showed significant differences for the traits studied compared to the distilled water. Exogenous application of MLE has a positive effect on photosynthetic and enzymatic activities that improve the efficiency of nutrients that are utilized, thereby improving the growth, seed cotton yield and quality of cotton cultivars tested. All the interaction effects had a significant influence on the traits studied, except ginning percentage in 2016. The interaction between the conventional cotton cultivar (CIM 573) and exogenous application of MLE + nitrogen + potassium had significantly higher effect on plant height, cotton yield, staple length, fiber maturity, and fiber strength for the 2017 trial and was superior for the quality parameters in 2017. The interaction of the Bt cotton cultivar (CIM 598) and the foliar application of MLE + nitrogen + potassium had superiority in cotton yield, yield components and the quality parameters in the 2017 trial. Both the CIM 573 and CIM 598 cotton cultivars had consistent expressions for all quality traits studied, although they did fluctuate in their expression to these agronomic traits between the field trials of 2016 and 2017. Additive gene effects could be the explanation for the unstable effects of yield and the related traits in the different environmental conditions of the field trials in the two years. Our results suggest that the exogenous application of MLE alone and in combination with nitrogen and potassium could be used to improve the productivity and the quality of these cotton cultivars. The correlation coefficients indicate strong associations between the agronomic and quality traits, indicating that one or more yield parameters could be used as selection criteria to improve the productivity and quality of cotton. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle
Eco-friendly Pressure Drop Dehumidifier: An Experimental and Numerical Analysis
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 2170; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11072170
Received: 20 February 2019 / Revised: 5 April 2019 / Accepted: 8 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
The northwest of Spain is defined by very high relative humidity values, with an average relative humidity of 85% throughout the year, which is considered too high by most standards and therefore can be related to various health problems and fungi growth. To [...] Read more.
The northwest of Spain is defined by very high relative humidity values, with an average relative humidity of 85% throughout the year, which is considered too high by most standards and therefore can be related to various health problems and fungi growth. To reduce the relative humidity level in the indoor environment, different dehumidification technologies are being employed. However, commonly employed cooling based dehumidification systems have a very high energy consumption, from 720 W in residential buildings to 3150 W in industrial buildings. This article aims to show a new method for indoor moist air dehumidification, based on a controlled adiabatic expansion of moist air, similar to the Foehn effect, by means of a nozzle–diffuser system. The main results, based on computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations and experimental tests in wind tunnels, show an initial working range of up to 80% relative humidity, with almost ten times reduction in energy consumption compared to the classical mechanical refrigeration dehumidifiers. Moreover, future improvements, such as a Peltier cooling system, which allows a reduction of the temperature in the nozzle throat, improving the condensation process, and a variable inlet area, could potentially improve the working range towards the required 30–60% relative humidity in buildings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in the Built Environment and Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle
Pollination Services from Insects in Homegardens in the Chengdu Plain will be Confronted with Crises
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 2169; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11072169
Received: 7 March 2019 / Revised: 30 March 2019 / Accepted: 8 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
Chengdu Plain is one of China’s most important agricultural production zones and has a large human population. Agricultural crops require insect pollination to increase yield and quality, which is especially important in plains areas where forest area is small. Homegardens are the main [...] Read more.
Chengdu Plain is one of China’s most important agricultural production zones and has a large human population. Agricultural crops require insect pollination to increase yield and quality, which is especially important in plains areas where forest area is small. Homegardens are the main habitat of pollinators. The present study identified the importance of insect pollination in homegardens in the Chengdu Plain through field investigations and comparative experiments and revealed the risk to pollination services caused by the decrease in diversity and population of managed and wild pollinators. The results showed that (1) prohibiting all insect pollination (treatment A) and prohibiting managed bee pollination (treatment B) significantly reduced the yield and seed number of rapeseed and significantly reduced the size, weight, and sweetness of peach fruit, but had no significant effects on plums; (2) the dependence on insect pollination and the economic values of insect pollination for rapeseed and peaches are 0.56 and $85.1 million and 0.44 and $31.0 million, respectively; (3) there were 23 flower-visiting pollinator species at the experimental sites including: four species of managed bees and 19 species of wild pollinators. The peak time for pollinators to visit flowers was 11:00 to 15:00, and the managed bees accounted for over 67.55% of these visits; (4) within a radius of 1000 m from the site, 58.06% of the bees were non-locally managed, and the bee population managed locally by farmers decreased; and (5) compared with 2008, the number of homegardens decreased by 17.24%, the managed bees within the homegardens decreased by 62.05%, and the disappearance and destruction of homegardens led to a significant reduction in wild pollinators. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Spatial Evolution of Geoeconomic Pattern among China and Neighboring Countries since the Reform and Opening-Up
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 2168; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11072168
Received: 31 January 2019 / Revised: 4 April 2019 / Accepted: 4 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
The rise of China has had a profound impact on the world and regional political and economic pattern since the reform and opening-up. This paper studies the impact of China’s development on the evolution of the surrounding geo-pattern from the perspective of geoeconomics. [...] Read more.
The rise of China has had a profound impact on the world and regional political and economic pattern since the reform and opening-up. This paper studies the impact of China’s development on the evolution of the surrounding geo-pattern from the perspective of geoeconomics. Based on the sensitivity and vulnerability of asymmetric interdependence, trade and investment indicators are selected to construct a quantitative model to measure the relative economic dependence between China and neighboring countries. This paper analyzes the degree, types and trends of relative economic dependence and the relationship between economic interdependence and political relations, and investigates the surrounding geoeconomic cooperation. The results are shown as follows: (1) Since 2010, all neighboring countries have had relative economic dependence on China. China’s geoeconomic position in the surrounding area has radically transformed. (2) Since the reform and opening-up, the relative economic dependence of neighboring countries on China has been rising, from negative to positive and from low to high. After 2003, the types of relative economic dependence have gradually shifted from dual low and trade-compensative dependence to dual high and trade-oriented dependence. (3) Trade was the dominant factor in the relative economic dependence of most neighboring countries on China, and it was also the main factor contributing to China’s economic advantages over great powers in the neighborhood. The majority of neighboring countries’ investment dependence on China increased faster than their trade dependence, and the growth of their relative economic dependence will gradually turn to investment in the future. (4) The improvement of political relations between China and neighboring countries provides a foundation for the development of economic relations, and economic relations have the “inertia” of resisting political risks. The deepening of economic ties is conducive to friendly and stable political relations. (5) China’s peripheral geoeconomic strategy focuses on cooperation rather than competition. One of the goals of geoeconomics is the pursuit of joint economic benefits. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Combined Distribution and Assignment Model: A New Solution Algorithm and Its Applications in Travel Demand Forecasting for Modern Urban Transportation
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 2167; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11072167
Received: 7 March 2019 / Revised: 28 March 2019 / Accepted: 9 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
With the development of the advanced Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) in modern cities, it is of great significance to upgrade the forecasting methods for travel demand with the impact of ITS. The widespread use of ITS clearly changes the urban travelers’ behavior at [...] Read more.
With the development of the advanced Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) in modern cities, it is of great significance to upgrade the forecasting methods for travel demand with the impact of ITS. The widespread use of ITS clearly changes the urban travelers’ behavior at present, in which case it is difficult for the conventional four-step travel demand forecasting model to have good performance. In this study, we apply the combined distribution and assignment (CDA) model to forecasting travel demand for modern urban transportation, in which travelers may choose the destination and path simultaneously. Furthermore, we present a new solution algorithm for solving the CDA model. With the network representation method that converts the CDA model into a standard traffic assignment problem (TAP), we develop a new path-based algorithm based on the gradient projection (GP) algorithm to solve the converted CDA model. The new solution algorithm is designed to find a more accurate solution compared with the widely used algorithm, the Evans’ two-stage algorithm. Two road networks, Sioux Falls and Chicago Sketch, are used to verify the performance of the new algorithm. Also, we conduct some experiments on the Sioux Falls network to illustrate several applications of the CDA model in consideration of the influences of ITS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable and Intelligent Transportation Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Mapping Methodology of Public Urban Green Spaces Using GIS: An Example of Nagpur City, India
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 2166; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11072166
Received: 27 February 2019 / Revised: 25 March 2019 / Accepted: 3 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
Faced with a lack of fine grain data availability, in rapidly emerging urban centers of developing nations, the study explored a mapping methodology to create thematic map of public urban green space (UGS). Using GIS, a thematic map of Nagpur city, India was [...] Read more.
Faced with a lack of fine grain data availability, in rapidly emerging urban centers of developing nations, the study explored a mapping methodology to create thematic map of public urban green space (UGS). Using GIS, a thematic map of Nagpur city, India was prepared. The objective was to prepare spatial data that are relevant for planners and policy makers, with detailed UGS typologies and to update the status of overall availability and distribution of hierarchical recreational green spaces in the city. The spatial and non-spatial data with added attributes gathered through fieldwork resulted in a holistic dataset, with high accuracy of thematic map (0.93 kappa coefficient). The recorded status of different typologies as well as the distribution of recreational UGS shows disparity in the distribution of UGS. The eastern part of the city grossly lacks UGS provisions, which is compensated by the western part with larger availability of natural green spaces. The mapping methodology is novel and effective for recording qualitative status, analyzing their spatial distribution and prioritizing the provisions of UGS. Future research integrating these spatial data with more qualitative research can provide a holistic view on benefits of UGS provisions and thus facilitate effective UGS governance aiming towards better green infrastructure and hence broader urban sustainability. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Investigation on the Possibility of Increasing the Environmental Safety and Fuel Efficiency of Vehicles by Means of Gasoline Nano-Additive
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 2165; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11072165
Received: 27 March 2019 / Revised: 9 April 2019 / Accepted: 10 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
Environmental safety problem originated from vehicles requires development and exploration of integrated and effective solutions, which considers the development level of technologies, the cost of their widespread use, the legislation requirements and other relevant aspects. One improvement method of the petroleum-derived fuels characteristics [...] Read more.
Environmental safety problem originated from vehicles requires development and exploration of integrated and effective solutions, which considers the development level of technologies, the cost of their widespread use, the legislation requirements and other relevant aspects. One improvement method of the petroleum-derived fuels characteristics is the use of additives that complement the refining methods and provide ample opportunities to influence the individual characteristics. The aim of this work is to study the influence of the developed multifunctional surface-active nano-additive on the gasoline characteristics and engine performance. The measurement results confirmed the effective reduction of the surface tension of gasoline at the boundary with air, improving the mixture formation in the engine. On the other hand, the saturated vapor pressure was significantly decreased, which dramatically reduces evaporation losses and air pollution by light hydrocarbons. The use of the additive, due to a combination of its surface-active and catalytic action, significantly increases the fuel efficiency of engines and reduces octane requirements, greenhouse gases emissions, as well as noise level during operation of vehicles, and the environmental safety of vehicle operation increases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Transportation and the Built Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Defying the Footprint Oracle: Implications of Country Resource Trends
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 2164; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11072164
Received: 1 February 2019 / Revised: 3 April 2019 / Accepted: 4 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
Mainstream competitiveness and international development analyses pay little attention to the significance of a country’s resource security for its economic performance. This paper challenges this neglect, examining the economic implications of countries resource dynamics, particularly for low-income countries. It explores typologies of resource [...] Read more.
Mainstream competitiveness and international development analyses pay little attention to the significance of a country’s resource security for its economic performance. This paper challenges this neglect, examining the economic implications of countries resource dynamics, particularly for low-income countries. It explores typologies of resource patterns in the context of those countries’ economic prospects. To begin, the paper explains why it uses Ecological Footprint and biocapacity accounting for its analysis. Data used for the analysis stem from Global Footprint Network’s 2018 edition of its National Footprint and Biocapacity Accounts. Ranging from 1961 to 2014, these accounts are computed from UN data sets. The accounts track, year by year, how much biologically productive space is occupied by people’s consumption and compare this with how much productive space is available. Both demand and availability are expressed in productivity-adjusted hectares, called global hectares. Using this biophysical accounting perspective, the paper predicts countries’ future socio-economic performance. This analysis is then contrasted with a financial assessment of those countries. The juxtaposition reveals a paradox: Financial assessments seem to contradict assessments based on biophysical trends. The paper offers a way to reconcile this paradox, which also elevates the significance of biophysical country assessments for shaping successful economic policies. Full article
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Open AccessReply
Reply to Flessa, K.W. et al., Comment on Manjarrez-Bringas, N. et al., Lessons for Sustainable Development: Marine mammal Conservation Policies and Its Social and Economic Effects. Sustainability 2018, 10, 2185—Holistic Socio-Ecological Approach to Promote Integral Public Policies to Preserve an Endangered Species: The Vaquita Marina
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 2163; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11072163
Received: 4 April 2019 / Accepted: 4 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
We really appreciate the valuable comments made by our scientific colleagues Flessa et al [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Actions and Sustainable Futures)
Open AccessArticle
Family Involvement in Management and Product Innovation: The Mediating Role of R&D Strategies
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 2162; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11072162
Received: 7 March 2019 / Revised: 3 April 2019 / Accepted: 4 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
Following calls to capture family firms’ innovative behavior and to specifically clarify how family firms manage product innovations to achieve sustainable economic development, this study empirically investigates the mediating role of Research & Development (R&D) strategies (i.e., intramural R&D investments, extramural R&D investments, [...] Read more.
Following calls to capture family firms’ innovative behavior and to specifically clarify how family firms manage product innovations to achieve sustainable economic development, this study empirically investigates the mediating role of Research & Development (R&D) strategies (i.e., intramural R&D investments, extramural R&D investments, and the combination of both intramural and extramural R&D investments) in the relationship between family involvement in the management and likelihood of obtaining product innovations. Carrying out a panel data analysis that is based on 7264 observations of Spanish manufacturing firms throughout the 2000–2015 period, our results suggest a negative effect of the level of family management on the likelihood of introducing product innovations. Moreover, we found that intramural R&D investments and the investment strategy consisting of both intramural and extramural R&D mediated the family involvement in management-likelihood of obtaining product innovations relationship. Our findings contribute important insights to the comprehension of which determinants instigate product innovation in family managed firms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessComment
Vaquita Face Extinction from Bycatch. Comment on Manjarrez-Bringas, N. et al., Lessons for Sustainable Development: Marine Mammal Conservation Policies and Its Social and Economic Effects. Sustainability 2018, 10, 2185
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 2161; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11072161
Received: 20 March 2019 / Accepted: 4 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
We are among the scientists who have documented the environmental and ecological changes to the Upper Gulf of California following the reduction in the Colorado River’s flow. We object to any suggestion that our research supports Manjarrez-Bringas et al.’s conclusion that the decline [...] Read more.
We are among the scientists who have documented the environmental and ecological changes to the Upper Gulf of California following the reduction in the Colorado River’s flow. We object to any suggestion that our research supports Manjarrez-Bringas et al.’s conclusion that the decline in the Colorado River’s flow is the reason for the decline in the population of the endangered vaquita porpoise (Phocoena sinus). Manjarrez-Bringas et al.’s conclusions are incongruent with their own data, their logic is untenable, their analyses fail to consider current illegal fishing practices, and their recommendations are unjustified and misdirected. Vaquita face extinction because of bycatch, not because of the lack of river flow. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Actions and Sustainable Futures)
Open AccessArticle
Price Elasticity of Production Factors in Beijing’s Picking Gardens
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 2160; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11072160
Received: 6 March 2019 / Revised: 8 April 2019 / Accepted: 8 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
Picking agriculture is a form of leisure agriculture based on the concept of traditional garden. Due to their unique layout and construction style, picking gardens have different attractive elements, including sightseeing, leisure, entertainment, crop production, and crop picking. However, despite its increasing importance, [...] Read more.
Picking agriculture is a form of leisure agriculture based on the concept of traditional garden. Due to their unique layout and construction style, picking gardens have different attractive elements, including sightseeing, leisure, entertainment, crop production, and crop picking. However, despite its increasing importance, there is no systematic research on price elasticity or price substitution elasticity of production factors in picking gardens. To fill this gap, we surveyed 308 farmers in five districts of Beijing and employed a translog cost function to compare the impact of operation patterns on peach and cherry production cost by estimating elasticities of substitution between and among inputs. We found that own-price elasticity of all input factors was negative, while substitution relationships existed between labor and land, labor and fertilizer, fertilizer and manure, and manure and pesticide. This indicates that Beijing’s agricultural sector is labor intensive, while fertilizer and pesticide are scarcely used. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Spatial Characteristics of Population Activities in Suburban Villages Based on Cellphone Signaling Analysis
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 2159; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11072159
Received: 12 March 2019 / Revised: 4 April 2019 / Accepted: 8 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
There are frequent population flow and complex spatial structures in suburban villages. Understanding the spatial characteristics of population activities in suburban villages helps to coordinate the relationship between urban and rural areas and guide the development of suburban villages and the formulation of [...] Read more.
There are frequent population flow and complex spatial structures in suburban villages. Understanding the spatial characteristics of population activities in suburban villages helps to coordinate the relationship between urban and rural areas and guide the development of suburban villages and the formulation of sound policies. Taking the rural area of Qin and Han New City as the research object, this paper constructs a population time-space analysis framework of “population attribute-activity characteristics-spatial analysis” based on cellphone signaling data. According to the characteristics of the population activity curve, K-means clustering algorithm was used to classify rural space and analyze their characteristics. This study has shown that migrants, who are showed as young and energetic, account for 49.8% of the local registered population per day. Bidirectional flow of residents and commuters is generally presented in urban and rural areas. The urban-rural relation curve was characterized by “double peaks”. The changes in the population in each village and the intensity of urban-rural relation were affected by location, industry and land use. The village population activity curve was classified into three categories, and nine characteristic villages are formed combined with the activity function. The research results can provide a scientific basis for urban and rural planning, spatial planning, industrial guidance and the facility layout. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Success or Waste of Taxpayer Money? Impact Assessment of Rural Development Programs in Hungary
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 2158; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11072158
Received: 8 March 2019 / Revised: 2 April 2019 / Accepted: 5 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
The effectiveness of support directed to less developed regions is a timely question more than halfway through the 2014–2020 programming period. We present an analysis of the impact of rural development support on the well-being of Hungarian LAU1 regions between 2008 and 2013. [...] Read more.
The effectiveness of support directed to less developed regions is a timely question more than halfway through the 2014–2020 programming period. We present an analysis of the impact of rural development support on the well-being of Hungarian LAU1 regions between 2008 and 2013. The aim was to measure the overall impact of all of the Rural Development Funds, covering all measures within the program. Two indices of local well-being were used: the multi-dimensional, local-variables-based Regional Development Index that measures the overall level of regional development and a simple, migration-based index as a proxy for perceived quality of life. Generalized propensity score matching, and difference-in-differences estimation techniques were employed to evaluate the impact of subsidies. Irrespective of how the amount of support was calculated, the measure of local well-being, or the methodology employed, the impact was not significant, and was sometimes even negative. This casts doubt on the effectiveness of Rural Development Policy in Hungary. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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