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Sustainability, Volume 12, Issue 10 (May-2 2020) – 395 articles

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Cover Story (view full-size image) This study examines urban sprawl in Belgium over six decades, from 1950 to 2010. It highlights that [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Prioritizing Barriers to Be Solved to the Implementation of Reverse Logistics of E-Waste in Brazil under a Multicriteria Decision Aid Approach
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4337; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104337 - 25 May 2020
Viewed by 335
Abstract
This study aims to identify the main barriers to fully implement the reverse logistics of e-waste in Brazil and prioritize them under a Multicriteria Decision Aid approach (MCDA) according to the perceptions of small and medium-sized companies, consumers, and the Brazilian government. Hence, [...] Read more.
This study aims to identify the main barriers to fully implement the reverse logistics of e-waste in Brazil and prioritize them under a Multicriteria Decision Aid approach (MCDA) according to the perceptions of small and medium-sized companies, consumers, and the Brazilian government. Hence, the study was conducted in two steps: (i) Systematic literature review to identify the main barriers, with data collection carried out through a documental analysis, and (ii) MCDA application, through self-administered questionnaires. In order to deal with the uncertainty in subjective measures, the method of Composition of Probabilistic Preferences (CPP) was applied to analyze the results of each group of decision maker, opting for the progressive-pessimistic scenario to prioritize the barriers to be solved. As main results, a priority classification of the internal and external barriers considering each category of decision maker was obtained. Moreover, it was verified that the government and micro and small companies agreed that internal barriers with an organizational nature or related to infrastructure management are the main obstacles to the implementation of reverse logistics. On the other hand, consumers consider the managerial or organizational barriers as a priority. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sustainability Prediction Model for Capital City Relocation in Indonesia Based on Inclusive Wealth and System Dynamics
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4336; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104336 - 25 May 2020
Viewed by 328
Abstract
Based on inclusive wealth (IW), this paper evaluates the impact and sustainability of the Indonesian government’s decision to relocate the capital city from Jakarta to East Kalimantan in terms of economic, human, and environmental aspects. This paper develops an integrated prediction simulation model [...] Read more.
Based on inclusive wealth (IW), this paper evaluates the impact and sustainability of the Indonesian government’s decision to relocate the capital city from Jakarta to East Kalimantan in terms of economic, human, and environmental aspects. This paper develops an integrated prediction simulation model based on IW and system dynamics and sets three scenarios, depending on the expected population recovery in Jakarta and the increased immigration into the new capital city (NCC) from the nearby areas after the public sector relocates. The most reliable scenario projects benefit of USD 169 billion in IW in 2050, equivalent to 2.41% of the expected cumulative real gross domestic product (GDP) growth in Indonesia from 2021 to 2050. Regarding the sustainability of the relocation, the current investment plans are not sustainable, largely because of the negative impact on human capital, comprising the education and health capital caused by the income gap between Jakarta and the NCC, and due to depreciation of produced capital. This study makes a significant contribution to the integrated evaluation of capital city relocations for Indonesia and beyond, because no previous study of such relocations combines produced, human, and natural capital. This is the first policy evaluation to include the impact of migration on IW, which plays an important role in IW literature, because population is a key model factor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle
A Three Methods Proactive Improvement Model for Buildings Construction Processes
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4335; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104335 - 25 May 2020
Viewed by 253
Abstract
This paper proposes a proactive model to improve the overall performance of construction processes. The main advantage is that potential waste and associate impacts could be identified in the early stages of a project before the construction phase. To accomplish that, the model [...] Read more.
This paper proposes a proactive model to improve the overall performance of construction processes. The main advantage is that potential waste and associate impacts could be identified in the early stages of a project before the construction phase. To accomplish that, the model combines three methods; Lean-to identify waste, Green to assess environmental impact, and Six-Sigma to measure and improve process performance (LG6). The LG6 model helps in evaluating processes one step at a time, identifying consumed resources, analyzing the environmental performance of all steps as well as highlighting generated impacts, applying improving alternatives if needed, and measuring process performance for evaluation. The functionality of LG6 is illustrated through a case study of woodpiles installation. In this case study, the LG6 model identified four steps out of eight that are considered potential waste or (non-value-added steps) according to the Lean principles. As a result, the LG6 model helped in reducing impact by 9% and expenses by 1%. The LG6 model can help to improve the performance of construction processes and reduces unnecessary waste. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Construction and Building Materials for Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Activators of Airline Customers’ Sense of Moral Obligation to Engage in Pro-Social Behaviors: Impact of CSR in the Korean Marketplace
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4334; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104334 - 25 May 2020
Viewed by 233
Abstract
This study was designed to better comprehend airline customers’ purchase and pay intention formation by involving perceived airline corporate social responsibility (CSR), emotional factors, volitional factors, moral obligation, and brand involvement as key concepts. A survey methodology with quantitative data analysis was used. [...] Read more.
This study was designed to better comprehend airline customers’ purchase and pay intention formation by involving perceived airline corporate social responsibility (CSR), emotional factors, volitional factors, moral obligation, and brand involvement as key concepts. A survey methodology with quantitative data analysis was used. Our empirical results revealed that perceived CSR contributed to eliciting positive and negative emotions, brand attitude, and social norm. These variables significantly activated a sense of obligation to take pro-social actions. In addition, brand involvement acted as a significant moderator in the moral obligation and pay intention relationship. The adequateness of the higher-order structure of perceived CSR was verified. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Consumer Behavior and Corporate Marketing in the Tourism Sector)
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Open AccessArticle
Placetelling® as a Strategic Tool for Promoting Niche Tourism to Islands: The Case of Cape Verde
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4333; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104333 - 25 May 2020
Viewed by 235
Abstract
This paper reports on the experience of the first Placetelling® training course in Santo Antão and Santiago, Cape Verde, promoted by Società Geografica Italiana and Fondazione Lelio e Lisli Basso. Placetelling® is a particular type of storytelling of places that promotes [...] Read more.
This paper reports on the experience of the first Placetelling® training course in Santo Antão and Santiago, Cape Verde, promoted by Società Geografica Italiana and Fondazione Lelio e Lisli Basso. Placetelling® is a particular type of storytelling of places that promotes local development and helps to develop a sense of identity and belonging among the members of the community. Indeed, Placetelling® supports local communities to become directly engaged in the preservation of their common legacy in order to transmit it to coming generations. Tourism is the field where Placetelling® can best express its potential. This is particularly true for what concerns tourism to islands. The paper shows the first results of what we can define as a “maieutic reworking of local heritage” in Cape Verde, through the sharing of narrative and symbolic artifacts. Special attention will be dedicated to some crucial issues: The involvement of stakeholders through the lenses of empowerment, the discrepancies between how sense of identity is perceived by the locals and how it is communicated to tourists, and how and to what extent Placetelling® can change stakeholders’ awareness of their own cultural heritage. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluating Dominant Land Use/Land Cover Changes and Predicting Future Scenario in a Rural Region Using a Memoryless Stochastic Method
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4332; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104332 - 25 May 2020
Viewed by 203
Abstract
The present study used the official Portuguese land use/land cover (LULC) maps (Carta de Uso e Ocupação do Solo, COS) from 1995, 2007, 2010, 2015, and 2018 to quantify, visualize, and predict the spatiotemporal LULC transitions in the Beja district, a [...] Read more.
The present study used the official Portuguese land use/land cover (LULC) maps (Carta de Uso e Ocupação do Solo, COS) from 1995, 2007, 2010, 2015, and 2018 to quantify, visualize, and predict the spatiotemporal LULC transitions in the Beja district, a rural region in the southeast of Portugal, which is experiencing marked landscape changes. Here, we computed the conventional transition matrices for in-depth statistical analysis of the LULC changes that have occurred from 1995 to 2018, providing supplementary statistics regarding the vulnerability of inter-class transitions by focusing on the dominant signals of change. We also investigated how the LULC is going to move in the future (2040) based on matrices of current states using the Discrete-Time Markov Chain (DTMC) model. The results revealed that, between 1995 and 2018, about 28% of the Beja district landscape changed. Particularly, croplands remain the predominant LULC class in more than half of the Beja district (in 2018 about 64%). However, the behavior of the inter-class transitions was significantly different between periods, and explicitly revealed that arable land, pastures, and forest were the most dynamic LULC classes. Few dominant (systematic) signals of change during the 1995–2018 period were observed, highlighting the transition of arable land to permanent crops (5%) and to pastures (2.9%), and the transition of pastures to forest (3.5%) and to arable land (2.7%). Simulation results showed that about 25% of the territory is predicted to experience major LULC changes from arable land (−3.81%), permanent crops (+2.93%), and forests (+2.60%) by 2040. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Varying Effects of Urban Tree Canopies on Residential Property Values across Neighborhoods
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4331; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104331 - 25 May 2020
Viewed by 190
Abstract
As more land area than ever is covered with impermeable surfaces causing problems in the environment, urban trees are effective not only in mitigating environmental problems in the built environment and reducing buildings’ energy use, but also in increasing social and economic benefits. [...] Read more.
As more land area than ever is covered with impermeable surfaces causing problems in the environment, urban trees are effective not only in mitigating environmental problems in the built environment and reducing buildings’ energy use, but also in increasing social and economic benefits. However, the benefits urban trees provide are not evenly distributed but rather disproportionately distributed in high-income neighborhoods. The purpose of this study is to estimate the varying effects of urban trees based on a variety of factors that have influence on tree canopy coverage, including land constraints, new developments, financial capacity to maintain trees, and neighborhood characteristics. Using a unique dataset that includes 24,203 single-family residential sales from 2007 to 2015 merged with Urban Tree Canopy (UTC), this study utilizes spatial models to empirically evaluate the impact of UTC on residential property values in the housing market. Multi-Level Mixed (MLM) models are used to capture the varying effects of tree cover, based on land constraints, new development, financial capacity, and neighborhood characteristics. The findings show the effect of trees is positive and varies across neighborhoods, and implication of the results to best achieve specific desired outcomes in tree-related policies and urban development are apparent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Real Estate: Management, Assessment and Innovations)
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of the Level of Service of Unloading Zones Using Diversity Measures in a Multiplex Network
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4330; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104330 - 25 May 2020
Viewed by 198
Abstract
Unloading zones are a fundamental part of the infrastructure of urban freight transport. The location and accessibility of unloading zones to commercial establishments reduce the operating time and, consequently, the transportation costs. In general, unloading zones are located on-street and allocated by local [...] Read more.
Unloading zones are a fundamental part of the infrastructure of urban freight transport. The location and accessibility of unloading zones to commercial establishments reduce the operating time and, consequently, the transportation costs. In general, unloading zones are located on-street and allocated by local authorities. In this context, this paper aims to evaluate the level of service of unloading zones. The research approach uses the diversity measures in a multiplex network to identify the level of service and cargo accessibility of unloading zones. An analysis is developed for the central area of Belo Horizonte (Brazil). The results indicate that unloading zones located up to 25 m from the establishments have a high accessibility and low level of service. In contrast, unloading zones located up to 100 m from the establishments have a low accessibility and high level of service. These results allow us to conclude that the planning process of the location of unloading zones in Belo Horizonte is flawed. In addition, the maximum distance from unloading zones to establishments must be 75 m, so that there is a balance between the accessibility and level of service. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
How Does Board Gender Diversity Influence the Likelihood of Becoming a UN Global Compact Signatory? The Mediating Effect of the CSR Committee
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4329; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104329 - 25 May 2020
Viewed by 310
Abstract
The aim of this study was to improve the understanding of the factors determining a firm’s affiliation with the United Nations Global Compact (UN GC) as the largest voluntary corporate responsibility initiative worldwide. Drawing on the board perspective of the firm, this paper [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to improve the understanding of the factors determining a firm’s affiliation with the United Nations Global Compact (UN GC) as the largest voluntary corporate responsibility initiative worldwide. Drawing on the board perspective of the firm, this paper examines the effect of gender diversity and the mediating effect of the existence of a corporate social responsibility (CSR) committee. To test the paper’s objectives, the authors use an international sample of analysis of 29,951 firm-year observations from 2012 to 2018. The results suggest that female directors on the board significantly encourage the firm’s affiliation with the UN GC and support the mediating effect of the existence of a CSR committee. Therefore, the positive impact of female directors on UN GC signatories appears to be mediated by the existence of a CSR committee. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Corporate Governance and Strategic Management)
Open AccessArticle
A Proposal for Reform of EU Member States’ Corporate Governance Codes in Support of Sustainability
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4328; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104328 - 25 May 2020
Viewed by 190
Abstract
An overview of the European Union’s varying policies on the harmonisation of Member States’ company and securities laws dating back to the 1970s showcases the Commission’s averseness to deviate from the path dependence of the shareholder primacy norm and the existence of a [...] Read more.
An overview of the European Union’s varying policies on the harmonisation of Member States’ company and securities laws dating back to the 1970s showcases the Commission’s averseness to deviate from the path dependence of the shareholder primacy norm and the existence of a series of policies that superficially afford attention to ‘stakeholders’ rights’, ‘sustainability’ and ‘corporate social responsibility’. The article seeks to demonstrate that the ‘greenwashing’ attempts it identifies in several of the Commission’s documents and legislative initiatives have given rise to problematic outcomes, one of which is the subsequent whitewashing of recent initiatives that aim to provide real support to sustainability concerns. The question the article sets out to answer is whether, at this stage in time, the main sociolegal challenges in the form of tensions that the Commission was faced with, in an attempt to address corporate governance at European level in a uniform manner, can now be resolved so as to better support sustainability. If so, what ‘softer’ options are available to the legislator to signal a renewed approach to corporate governance and a deviation from the path dependence shareholder primacy norm? The argument that the article puts forward is that in order to better complement the latest, more positive attempts, that aim to support corporations’ sustainable practices, a reform of European Union Member States’ Corporate Governance Codes to include a robust stakeholder friendly provision may well constitute one pragmatic way forward. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Diversity of Trichoderma spp. in Marine Environments and Their Biological Potential for Sustainable Industrial Applications
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4327; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104327 - 25 May 2020
Viewed by 191
Abstract
Microorganisms are regarded as a sustainable source of biologically active molecules. Among them, Trichoderma spp. have been an attractive source of biological compounds. However, the study of marine-derived Trichoderma has developed slowly because of the difficulty in isolating the fungi. In our study, [...] Read more.
Microorganisms are regarded as a sustainable source of biologically active molecules. Among them, Trichoderma spp. have been an attractive source of biological compounds. However, the study of marine-derived Trichoderma has developed slowly because of the difficulty in isolating the fungi. In our study, 30 strains of marine-derived Trichoderma were identified through the translation elongation factor 1-alpha (EF1α) sequences, and their biological activities, such as antioxidant activity by ABTS and DPPH assays, antifungal activity against Asteromyces cruciatus and Lindra thalassiae, and tyrosinase inhibition activity, were investigated. As a result, the 30 marine Trichoderma species were classified into 21 taxa, including three new species candidates. Three strains of T. asperellum showed the highest ABTS radical scavenging activity and antifungal activity. T. bissettii SFC20170821-M05 and T. guizhouense SFC20180619-M23 showed notable DPPH radical scavenging activity and tyrosinase inhibition activity, respectively. This study showed the potential of marine-derived Trichoderma as a source of bioactive compounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Diversity and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Indicators of Low-Carbon Management in the Leisure Industry: Research Using Examples in Taiwan and China
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4326; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104326 - 25 May 2020
Viewed by 189
Abstract
This study aimed to establish indicators of low-carbon management in the leisure industries in Taiwan and China to meet the demands of saving energy, reducing carbon emissions and slowing global warming. The Pushin Ranch in Taiwan and Lishan Farm in China were targeted [...] Read more.
This study aimed to establish indicators of low-carbon management in the leisure industries in Taiwan and China to meet the demands of saving energy, reducing carbon emissions and slowing global warming. The Pushin Ranch in Taiwan and Lishan Farm in China were targeted as examples. Quantitative indicators were identified through interviews and questionnaire surveys with experts from the industrial, governmental and academic sectors, as well as data integration and statistical analysis using the Delphi method and a paired-samples t test. On the basis of 11 major sustainable tourism indicators proposed by the United Nations World Tourism Organization and the relevant literature, three dimensions were selected for investigation, namely organizational management and operation, ecotourism and social collaboration, along with five operational indicators and 42 assessment indicators. After the expert questionnaire and t test, a set of selection criteria was constructed based on the approval of more than 80% of the experts; 36 indicators were retained for Taiwan (Pushin Ranch met 17) and 29 were retained for China (Lishan Farm met 13). This allows industrial, governmental and academic units to establish management models and assessment indicators for the leisure industry to meet the demands of energy conservation and carbon reduction. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Predictive Analysis of China’s CO2 Emissions and OFDI with a Nonlinear Fractional-Order Grey Multivariable Model
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4325; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104325 - 25 May 2020
Viewed by 226
Abstract
Since the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative, China’s total amount of outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) has increased each year and this has caused its relationship with carbon emissions (CO2e) to receive great attention recently. Forecasting China’s CO2 [...] Read more.
Since the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative, China’s total amount of outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) has increased each year and this has caused its relationship with carbon emissions (CO2e) to receive great attention recently. Forecasting China’s CO2e accurately by considering the impact of OFDI is important since the government can use it to formulate an appropriate emissions plan to fulfill its carbon reduction commitments. Because the relationship between OFDI and CO2e has nonlinear characteristics, a nonlinear grey multivariable model with fractional-order accumulation (NFGM(1,N)) was proposed in this study. To enhance the prediction accuracy, an optimization process was used to determine the parameters. The outcomes of the variable fractional order showed that fractional-order accumulation can better extract the grey information hidden in the original data, which confirmed the principle of new information priority. The result of the power coefficient indicated a nonlinear relationship between the CO2e and OFDI. Based on the prediction performance, the prediction accuracy of the NFGM(1,N) model was proven to be superior to those of the ARMA model, linear regression model, the GM(1,1), GM(1,N), and FGM(1,N) models. The empirical results also revealed that OFDI increased the CO2e in China. The relationship between the CO2e and OFDI exhibits a U-shaped development based on further predictions for the 2018–2030 period. Finally, some suggestions for long-term CO2e reduction plans were provided in this paper. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Spatial Interaction Model for Healthcare Accessibility: What Scale Has to Do with It
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4324; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104324 - 25 May 2020
Viewed by 189
Abstract
This manuscript develops a theoretical spatial interaction model using the entropy approach to relax the assumption of the deterministic utility function. The spatial healthcare accessibility improves as the demand for healthcare increases or the opportunity cost of traveling to and from healthcare providers [...] Read more.
This manuscript develops a theoretical spatial interaction model using the entropy approach to relax the assumption of the deterministic utility function. The spatial healthcare accessibility improves as the demand for healthcare increases or the opportunity cost of traveling to and from healthcare providers decreases. The empirical application used different spatial econometric techniques and multilevel modeling to evaluate the spatial distribution of existing hospitals in Texas and their social and economic correlates. To control for spatial autocorrelation, spatial autoregressive regression models were estimated, and geographically weighted regression models examined potential spatial non-stationarity. The multilevel modeling controlled for spatial autocorrelation and also allowed local variation and spatial non-stationarity. The empirical analysis showed that healthcare accessibility was not stationary in Texas in 2015, with areas of poor accessibility in rural and peripheral areas in Texas, when using hospitals’ location and county data. The model of spatial interaction applied to healthcare accessibility can be used to evaluate policies aiming at the provision of health services, such as closures of hospitals and capacity increases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spatial Econometrics Analysis of Sustainability)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Towards a Pro-Silience Framework: A Literature Review on Quantitative Modelling of Resilient 3PL Supply Chain Network Designs
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4323; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104323 - 25 May 2020
Viewed by 221
Abstract
The increasingly dynamic and volatile market environment has elevated the importance of handling operational risks in supply chain networks. Also, black swan risks are constantly evolving and can strike from almost anywhere, including natural disaster, cyber risk, or viruses. As more companies are [...] Read more.
The increasingly dynamic and volatile market environment has elevated the importance of handling operational risks in supply chain networks. Also, black swan risks are constantly evolving and can strike from almost anywhere, including natural disaster, cyber risk, or viruses. As more companies are outsourcing their logistics to third-party logistics (3PL), at the same time, supply chain risks and uncertainties are also shifted to 3PLs. A 3PL’s supply chain network capability to assure continuity can be expressed in terms of resilience, i.e., the ability of sensing and responding to disturbances or threats. Operations research/management science (OR/MS) methods have been widely applied in supply chain management. The objective of this paper is to look into research regarding the development of resilient 3PL supply chain network designs through the utilization of OR/MS methods. After extensive literature review, a so called pro-silience framework is developed aiming at improving resilience from a 3PL perspective maintaining or increasing its competitive advantage during and after major disruptions, yet also maintain competitiveness under normal operating conditions. Additionally, the framework offers insights into topics for future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Supply Chain Risk Management)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Transforming Housing to Commercial Use: A Case Study on Commercial Gentrification in Yeon-nam District, Seoul
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4322; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104322 - 25 May 2020
Viewed by 231
Abstract
Commercial gentrification has had a significant impact on the urban environment, particularly in leading to the upscaling and expansion of food and beverage (F&B) commercial activities. F&B commercialization and proliferation has emerged from (a) the borders of newly provided urban open space and [...] Read more.
Commercial gentrification has had a significant impact on the urban environment, particularly in leading to the upscaling and expansion of food and beverage (F&B) commercial activities. F&B commercialization and proliferation has emerged from (a) the borders of newly provided urban open space and (b) seed points where small-sized commercial areas had already been formed. However, few studies have simultaneously explored the commercialization process of these different contextual sub-regions over a relatively long time period. This study of Yeon-nam district, Seoul, aims to demonstrate empirically (1) how the F&B commercial stores have been distributed over the past decade and (2) which of the factors that are the spreading center of the F&B store is the critical factor. Using kernel density estimation, the study discovered that the old–residential district has been entirely transformed to an F&B commercial district since the Gyeong-ui Line Forest Park opened in the district. Furthermore, through the analysis of standard deviational ellipses, we empirically verified that F&B commercialization was more substantial in the seed region. Based on the findings, policy recommendations for urban planning and design, especially urban gentrification management and regeneration, are provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Livable Public Spaces and Sustainable Urban Regeneration)
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Open AccessArticle
The Success of Public Health Measures in Europe during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4321; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104321 - 25 May 2020
Viewed by 212
Abstract
SARS-CoV-2, a serious threat to sustainable development prospects, is spreading within countries at varying speeds, among other things depending on their population density, behavioural responses, cultural factors, personal hygiene practices and habits. This has led to significant variation in countries’ policy responses aimed [...] Read more.
SARS-CoV-2, a serious threat to sustainable development prospects, is spreading within countries at varying speeds, among other things depending on their population density, behavioural responses, cultural factors, personal hygiene practices and habits. This has led to significant variation in countries’ policy responses aimed at stemming the proliferation of the virus. Using crisp-set qualitative comparative analysis, we conducted a comparative study at the European level to study the performance of different combinations of COVID-19 containment measures along with the response speeds. A set of configurations for two different scenarios (above- and below-median death rates) helps to illustrate how specific containment measures in each examined European country are related to the number of deaths. The main observation arising from the analysis is that the speed of response along with the decision to suspend international flights might determine the epidemic outbreak’s impact on fatality. The results also imply that several different combinations of containment measures are associated with death rates across Europe. The outcome of this analysis can assist in identifying which set of containment measures in the event of an epidemic outbreak is beneficial/detrimental. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Aspects of Marketing in Dental Tourism—Factor of Sustainable Development in Romania
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4320; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104320 - 25 May 2020
Viewed by 206
Abstract
Dental tourism is a growing and emerging phenomenon that is becoming more attractive to patients due to its potential for decreased expenses, increased convenience, and immediacy of treatment. The necessity for travel is the primary motivation for seeking dental treatment due to the [...] Read more.
Dental tourism is a growing and emerging phenomenon that is becoming more attractive to patients due to its potential for decreased expenses, increased convenience, and immediacy of treatment. The necessity for travel is the primary motivation for seeking dental treatment due to the successful cooperation between tourism and healthcare. While dental tourism has been largely researched from the perspective of the patient, our research is the first research to apply a concomitant approach on dental clinics and tourism agencies. The aim of our study wasto provide comprehensive empirical evidence from the perspective of the dental clinics and tourism agencies in Romanian dental tourism. We used a representative sampling with an online questionnaire on 160 dental clinics and 32 tourism agencies. The results indicate that both entities have small amounts of information, but they are interested in investing, promoting, and creating a partnership to create a sustainable industry of dental tourism. Dental tourism could strongly contribute to the country’s image and help to prolong the seasonality of tourism activity by enhancing the strategic marketing of dental clinics and tourism agencies toward sustainable health tourism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marketing in Tourism and Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle
Consequences of Climate Change Impacts and Incidences of Extreme Weather Events in Relation to Crop Production in Bhutan
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4319; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104319 - 25 May 2020
Viewed by 310
Abstract
Being a country in the Himalayas, Bhutan is highly prone to the vagaries of weather events that affect agricultural production and the subsequent livelihood of the people. To identify the main issues that affect crop production and the decisions of farmers, a survey [...] Read more.
Being a country in the Himalayas, Bhutan is highly prone to the vagaries of weather events that affect agricultural production and the subsequent livelihood of the people. To identify the main issues that affect crop production and the decisions of farmers, a survey was conducted in three different agro-ecosystems in Bhutan. Our key findings indicate that farming and the decisions of farmers were largely affected by different climatic and non-climatic factors. These were in descending order of importance: irrigation availability > farm labour > crop seasonality > crop damage (climatic) > land holding > crop damage (wildlife) > crop damage (diseases and pests). The most important consequences of climate change impacts were the drying of irrigation sources (4.35) and crop losses due to weather events (4.10), whereas land fallowing, the occurrence of flood and soil erosion, weed pressure and changes in cropping pattern (with mean ratings of 2.53–3.03) experienced lesser consequences. The extreme weather events, such as untimely rains, drought and windstorms, were rated as the ‘most common’ to ‘common’ occurrences, thus inflicting a crop loss of 1–19%. These confirm our hearsay knowledge that extreme weather events have major consequences on irrigation water, which is said to be either drying or getting smaller in comparison to the past. Therefore, Bhutan must step up its on-ground farmer-support system towards improving the country’s food production, whilst embracing climate smart farm technologies for adapting to the impacts of change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Coastal Agriculture under Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle
Organizational Reliability Model Verification in the Crisis Escalation Phase Caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4318; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104318 - 25 May 2020
Viewed by 212
Abstract
This article concerns the Organizational Reliability Model (ORM) verification in the crisis escalation phase caused by critical conditions of organization functioning induced by the COVID-19 pandemic. ORM is constituted by three reliabilities, human resources, information technology, and management, which are mediators through which [...] Read more.
This article concerns the Organizational Reliability Model (ORM) verification in the crisis escalation phase caused by critical conditions of organization functioning induced by the COVID-19 pandemic. ORM is constituted by three reliabilities, human resources, information technology, and management, which are mediators through which Type-1 and Type-2 reliability capabilities influence organizational reliability. Organizational reliability is a prerequisite for sustainability of contemporary organizations. The model was developed and verified for a variety of operating conditions. However, crisis induced by a Black Swan type of event creates conditions so critical that it calls for verification of known paradigms and models, as an element of crisis-state theory building. This is why this paper’s aim was to verify the ORM and explain the mechanisms of shaping organizational reliability in such conditions in order to contribute to both theory (verifying the organizational reliability paradigm among organizations in crisis) and practice (proposing mechanisms, potentially helping them survive). The ORM is empirically verified based on the sample of 115 employees from Italy operating under critical conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic (research carried out in the week of 18–22 March 2020). In order to verify the hypothesis, the path analysis was executed using SPSS AMOS. The results confirmed that in the extreme critical conditions causing crisis escalation for the organizations, there is a need to redefine the existing paradigms, including ORM. The results show that the HR reliability role in the ORM has drastically changed and the mechanism of its influence on organizational reliability is significantly different in crisis influenced by critical conditions of organization functioning. They also confirmed that IT together with HR is dependent on management to change the way of working and until that, its reliability may be counterproductive for the reliability of organizational as a whole. Therefore, obtaining sustainability in the crisis escalation phase requires redefining the mechanisms for securing organizational reliability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Configurations of Aromatic Networks for Power Distribution System
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4317; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104317 - 25 May 2020
Viewed by 212
Abstract
A distribution network is one of the main parts of a power system that distributes power to customers. While there are various types of power distribution networks, a recently introduced novel structure of an aromatic network could begin a new era in the [...] Read more.
A distribution network is one of the main parts of a power system that distributes power to customers. While there are various types of power distribution networks, a recently introduced novel structure of an aromatic network could begin a new era in the distribution levels of power systems and designs of microgrids or smart grids. In order to minimize blackout periods during natural disasters and provide sustainable energy, improve energy efficiency and maintain stability of a distribution network, it is essential to configure/reconfigure the network topology based on its geographical location and power demand, and also important to realize its self-healing function. In this paper, a strategy for reconfiguring aromatic networks based on structures of natural aromatic molecules is explained. Various network structures are designed, and simulations have been conducted to justify the performance of each configuration. It is found that an aromatic network does not need to be fixed in a specific configuration (i.e., a DDT structure), which provides flexibility in designing networks and demonstrates that the successful use of such structures will be a perfect solution for both distribution networks and microgrid systems in providing sustainable energy to the end users. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Energy Grid for Sustainable Cities and Societies)
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Open AccessArticle
The Primacy of Politics in Public Food Security Policies: The Case of Home Gardens
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4316; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104316 - 25 May 2020
Viewed by 243
Abstract
Home gardens are often conceived as a panacea to contribute to the problem of food insecurity in poor rural and urban households. However, systematic reviews indicate weak evidence of significant impacts on families. This way, there has been an intense discussion about their [...] Read more.
Home gardens are often conceived as a panacea to contribute to the problem of food insecurity in poor rural and urban households. However, systematic reviews indicate weak evidence of significant impacts on families. This way, there has been an intense discussion about their effectiveness. This research aims to generate knowledge about the relevance of assuming food production in home gardens as an alternative to the home consumption. Two questions drive this paper: what number of home gardens, supported by three different government programs, persists? Moreover, what factors explain their permanence? Our sample constituted 261 beneficiaries, and the collection of data was through face-to-face field surveys and in situ visits to the vegetable garden granted. We show that less than 7.5% of gardens remain in right conditions after two years of establishment. The pleasure and need to produce, family involvement, urban/rural location, and the technology provided are determining factors for permanence. The results support the argument that the high rate of home gardens that fail is related to the primacy of politics in considering the problem of food security as a “lack of assets” to produce. Thus, this suggests that there is a weak link between the problem, policies, and the politics. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
m-Banking Quality and Bank Reputation
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4315; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104315 - 25 May 2020
Viewed by 208
Abstract
m-Banking is developed to support the clients in using various banking services, by using their mobile phones, thus allowing them to overcome the barriers in terms of time and location. Clients are increasingly using m-banking, so for some of them, this is the [...] Read more.
m-Banking is developed to support the clients in using various banking services, by using their mobile phones, thus allowing them to overcome the barriers in terms of time and location. Clients are increasingly using m-banking, so for some of them, this is the most used way of communication with the bank and doing banking transactions. Therefore, high-quality m-banking services significantly impact trust towards the bank, and it can influence bank reputation. Given the influence of m-banking, as well as the importance of its perceived quality, the paper aims to investigate the elements of m-banking quality, and to analyze the relation between m-banking quality and bank reputation. We investigate several dimensions of m-banking (safety, simplicity, and variety of m-banking services), and their impact on perceived m-banking quality. Besides, we examine the effect of perceived m-banking quality to bank reputation. For the analysis of these relationships, we use structural equation modeling, based on the survey results on a sample of clients of major banks in Croatia. Results of empirical research indicate that safety, simplicity, and a variety of m-banking services have a significant impact on the perceived m-banking quality, which, in turn, has a positive impact on the bank’s reputation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Methane Emission Characteristics of Naturally Ventilated Cattle Buildings
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4314; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104314 - 25 May 2020
Viewed by 186
Abstract
The mandate to limit global temperature rise calls for a reliable quantification of gaseous pollutant emissions as a basis for effective mitigation. Methane emissions from ruminant fermentation are of particular relevance in the context of greenhouse gas mitigation. The emission dynamics are so [...] Read more.
The mandate to limit global temperature rise calls for a reliable quantification of gaseous pollutant emissions as a basis for effective mitigation. Methane emissions from ruminant fermentation are of particular relevance in the context of greenhouse gas mitigation. The emission dynamics are so far insufficiently understood. We analyzed hourly methane emission data collected during contrasting seasons from two naturally ventilated dairy cattle buildings with concrete floor and performed a second order polynomial regression. We found a parabolic temperature dependence of the methane emissions irrespective of the measurement site and setup. The position of the parabola vertex varied when considering different hours of the day. The circadian rhythm of methane emissions was represented by the pattern of the fitted values of the constant term of the polynomial and could be well explained by feeding management and air flow conditions. We found barn specific emission minima at ambient temperatures around 10 °C to 15 °C. As this identified temperature optimum coincides with the welfare temperature of dairy cows, we concluded that temperature regulation of dairy cow buildings with concrete floor should be considered and further investigated as an emission mitigation measure. Our results further indicated that empirical modeling of methane emissions from the considered type of buildings with a second order polynomial for the independent variable air temperature can increase the accuracy of predicted long-term emission values for regions with pronounced seasonal temperature fluctuations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sustainability Assessment of Using Recycled Aggregates in Concrete Block Pavements
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4313; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104313 - 25 May 2020
Viewed by 288
Abstract
The mechanistic design of a concrete block pavement (CBP) can be very complicated and often requires the use of computer programs. This paper presents a new mechanistic-empirical method, which is implemented in a computer program (DesignPave) that calculates base course/sub-base thicknesses for a [...] Read more.
The mechanistic design of a concrete block pavement (CBP) can be very complicated and often requires the use of computer programs. This paper presents a new mechanistic-empirical method, which is implemented in a computer program (DesignPave) that calculates base course/sub-base thicknesses for a range of design inputs such as traffic load, interlocking properties, and material stiffness. A range of virgin and recycled unbound granular materials were also experimentally tested to characterize them for possible use as base course or sub-base materials. Combining the new mechanistic-empirical method and the range of base course/sub-base course materials (virgin and recycled aggregates), it was found that while a CBP containing recycled aggregates did not offer a significant direct financial benefit based on the characteristics or material costs, the associated environmental benefits were very high. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Sustainability: Pavement Design, Construction and Environment)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Biophobia and Urban Restorativeness
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4312; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104312 - 25 May 2020
Viewed by 221
Abstract
Natural areas are now known to be important resources for the health and wellbeing of urban dwellers, through, for example, the opportunities they provide for cognitive and emotional restoration. However, urban populations have also been found not to engage with these spaces and [...] Read more.
Natural areas are now known to be important resources for the health and wellbeing of urban dwellers, through, for example, the opportunities they provide for cognitive and emotional restoration. However, urban populations have also been found not to engage with these spaces and to display some form of biophobia which may hinder them from perceiving any of these benefits. This concept of biophobia is thought to entail both our innate physiological responses to the perceived danger from non-human threats such as spiders and snakes and our cultural attachment to material comfort. The word is often used with derogatory connotations, even if it is part of an evolutionary mechanism honed over thousands of years to keep humans alive. This review presents the current state of knowledge on urban biophobia as well as evidence of instances in which built and mixed urban environments were found to be more restorative than natural ones for the urban population, in order to assess any connection within the two. A series of recommendations for further research but also for the practical implementation of natural areas in cities capable of attracting a wide variety of people regardless of their fears or preferences are also formulated. Only by investigating the psychological and physiological responses of urban dwellers to their daily environments can we hope to design interventions which will remain relevant for the modern world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Urban Development)
Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of CLDAS and GLDAS Datasets for Near-Surface Air Temperature over Major Land Areas of China
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4311; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104311 - 25 May 2020
Viewed by 205
Abstract
As one of the most principal meteorological factors to affect global climate change and human sustainable development, temperature plays an important role in biogeochemical and hydrosphere cycle. To date, there are a wide range of temperature data sources and only a detailed understanding [...] Read more.
As one of the most principal meteorological factors to affect global climate change and human sustainable development, temperature plays an important role in biogeochemical and hydrosphere cycle. To date, there are a wide range of temperature data sources and only a detailed understanding of the reliability of these datasets can help us carry out related research. In this study, the hourly and daily near-surface air temperature observations collected at national automatic weather stations (NAWS) in China were used to compare with the China Meteorological Administration (CMA) Land Data Assimilation System (CLDAS) and the Global Land Data Assimilation System (GLDAS), both of which were developed by using the advanced multi-source data fusion technology. Results are as follows. (1) The spatial and temporal variations of the near-surface air temperature agree well between CLDAS and GLDAS over major land of China, except that spatial details in high mountainous areas were not sufficiently displayed in GLDAS; (2) The near-surface air temperature of CLDAS were more significantly correlated with observations than that of GLDAS, but more caution is necessary when using the data in mountain areas as the accuracy of the datasets gradually decreases with increasing altitude; (3) CLDAS can better illustrate the distribution of areas of daily maximum above 35 °C and help to monitor high temperature weather. The main conclusion of this study is that CLDAS near-surface air temperature has a higher reliability in China, which is very important for the study of climate change and sustainable development in East Asia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle
Climate Change Policy Implications of Sustainable Development Pathways in Korea at Sub-National Scale
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4310; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104310 - 25 May 2020
Viewed by 186
Abstract
Climate action is goal 13 of UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Future impacts of climate change depend on climatic changes, the level of climate change policy, both mitigation and adaptation, and socio-economic status and development pathways. To investigate the climate change policy [...] Read more.
Climate action is goal 13 of UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Future impacts of climate change depend on climatic changes, the level of climate change policy, both mitigation and adaptation, and socio-economic status and development pathways. To investigate the climate change policy impact of socio-economic development pathways, we develop three pathways. Climate change affects socio-economic development in many ways. We interpret global storylines into South Korean contexts: Shared Socio-economic Pathway 1 (SSP1), SSP2, and SSP3 for population, economy, and land use. SSP elements and proxies were identified and elaborated through stakeholder participatory workshops, demand survey on potential users, past trends, and recent national projections of major proxies. Twenty-nine proxies were quantified using sector-specific models and downscaled where possible. Socio-economic and climate scenarios matrixes enable one to quantify the contribution of climate, population, economic development, and land-use change in future climate change impacts. Economic damage between climate scenarios is different in SSPs, and it highlights that SSPs are one of the key components for future climate change impacts. Achieving SDGs generates additional incentives for local and national governments as it can reduce mitigation and adaptation policy burden. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Investor Happiness and Predictability of the Realized Volatility of Oil Price
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4309; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104309 - 25 May 2020
Viewed by 196
Abstract
We use the the heterogeneous autoregressive realized volatility (HAR-RV) model to analyze both in sample and out-of-sample whether a measure of investor happiness predicts the daily realized volatility of oil-price returns, where we use high-frequency intraday data to measure realized volatility. Full-sample estimates [...] Read more.
We use the the heterogeneous autoregressive realized volatility (HAR-RV) model to analyze both in sample and out-of-sample whether a measure of investor happiness predicts the daily realized volatility of oil-price returns, where we use high-frequency intraday data to measure realized volatility. Full-sample estimates reveal that realized volatility is significantly negatively linked to investor happiness at a short forecast horizon. Similarly, out-of-sample results indicate that investor happiness significantly improves the accuracy of forecasts of realized volatility at a short forecast horizon. Results for a medium and a long forecast horizon are insignificant. We argue that our results shed light on the role played by speculation in oil products and the potential function of oil-related products as a hedge against risks in traditional financial assets. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Understanding Adaptation Finance Allocation: Which Factors Enable or Constrain Vulnerable Countries to Access Funding?
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4308; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104308 - 25 May 2020
Viewed by 239
Abstract
The most vulnerable countries often face a double burden in relation to climate change—they are at high risk to the impacts and are least equipped to cope and adapt. Global climate policy since the Convention in 1992, until most recently with the global [...] Read more.
The most vulnerable countries often face a double burden in relation to climate change—they are at high risk to the impacts and are least equipped to cope and adapt. Global climate policy since the Convention in 1992, until most recently with the global goal on adaptation in the Paris Agreement, has manifested the importance of prioritizing adaptation support to the most vulnerable countries. The main objective of this study is to understand the enabling and constraining factors that play a role in the process of allocating and accessing global adaptation assistance. We adopted a mixed-methods approach combining two major streams of analysis. First, this paper aims to track bilateral adaptation finance to all so-called developing countries, as bilateral support has been the largest share of international adaptation finance. Second, the paper draws on semi-structured expert interviews and looks at the country level to identify the factors beyond vulnerability that play a role in the distribution of adaptation finance from a recipient’s and a donor’s perspective, using India and Germany as examples. The analysis yields three main findings. First, countries’ vulnerability as measured by standard metrics does not seem to be the prime factor explaining the distribution of available bilateral adaptation assistance. This is in contrast to the political narrative in the emerging climate finance architecture. Second, interview data identified other factors beyond vulnerability that play a role from a donor perspective, such as the perceived capacity to manage and implement projects, the commitment given to climate change and other political priorities. Third, from a recipient perspective, rather than its vulnerability level in a global comparison, strong institutional capacity played a prominent role in attracting adaptation finance. Looking out into the future, the findings underscore the practical and political challenges in relation to a vulnerability-oriented prioritization of funding and they point towards the need to increase countries’ capacities to attract and manage international adaptation support. The findings also raise questions on how to overcome the vexing conflict in the emerging adaptation finance architecture between accommodating for donors’ requirements of high fiduciary standards and enabling access by the most vulnerable countries, which are often short of resources and institutional capacities. Full article
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