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Sustainability, Volume 12, Issue 11 (June-1 2020) – 462 articles

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Cover Story (view full-size image) The objective of this research is to analyze the viability of applying circular economy techniques [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Dynamic Trends of Urban Flooding Mitigation Services in Shenzhen, China
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4799; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114799 - 11 Jun 2020
Viewed by 391
Abstract
Urbanization is characterized by population agglomeration and the expansion of impervious land surfaces. As a result of ongoing urbanization, rain and flood events have increasingly affected the well-being of residents in cities across the world. This should draw attention to the role of [...] Read more.
Urbanization is characterized by population agglomeration and the expansion of impervious land surfaces. As a result of ongoing urbanization, rain and flood events have increasingly affected the well-being of residents in cities across the world. This should draw attention to the role of urban ecosystems in providing runoff retention/flood mitigation services. Focusing on Shenzhen, a major city in southern China, we used a hydrologic model based on the Soil Conservation Service curve number (SCS-CN) model to evaluate this flood reduction ecosystem service and its dynamic trends based on long-term remote sensing data from 1980 to 2018. We find that Shenzhen’s capacity for flood reduction gradually decreased due to changes in land use. The spatial distribution showed strong reduction capacity in the eastern part of the city and weak capacity in the western part. Additionally, the city’s total flood reduction capacity decreased by over 1.88 × 108 m3 over the past two decades. This loss of ecosystem-based flood reduction capacity undermines Shenzhen’s resilience against extreme weather events. Due to climate change, Shenzhen should advance its plan to build a “Sponge City” rooted in the conservation, restoration, and construction of urban ecological spaces. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessReview
Recycling Organic Fraction of Municipal Solid Waste: Systematic Literature Review and Bibliometric Analysis of Research Trends
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4798; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114798 - 11 Jun 2020
Viewed by 391
Abstract
The organic fraction is usually the predominant fraction in municipal solid waste, so its recycling is a potential alternative to disposal in landfill sites, as well as helping to reach targets included in the European Circular Economy Package. The existing body of knowledge [...] Read more.
The organic fraction is usually the predominant fraction in municipal solid waste, so its recycling is a potential alternative to disposal in landfill sites, as well as helping to reach targets included in the European Circular Economy Package. The existing body of knowledge in this research field is very large, so a comprehensive review of the existing scientific literature has been considered of interest to provide researchers and professionals with a detailed understanding of the status quo and predict the dynamic directions of this field. A systematic literature review and bibliometric analysis have been performed to provide objective criteria for evaluating the work carried out by researchers and a macroscopic overview of the existing body of knowledge in this field. The analysis of 452 scientific articles published from 1980 to 2019 has shown that the application of composting technologies is relevant, especially since 2014, when policies aimed at reducing emissions to the atmosphere were increased and focused on the use of this waste fraction to produce biogas. Nevertheless, the scientific field is still evolving to impose a model of a circular economy; in fact, emerging studies are being conducted on the production of biomethane, contributing to the decarbonised energy system. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Right to Not Catch Up—Transitioning European Territorial Cohesion towards Spatial Justice for Sustainability
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4797; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114797 - 11 Jun 2020
Viewed by 334
Abstract
Recent EU environmental and spatial policies notably strive towards the development paradigm of green growth and economic competitiveness. However, operationalizing spatial policies through growth-driven GDP logics promotes an unequal race towards narrowly defined developmental ‘success’, while perpetuating social, economic and environmental inequalities. Meanwhile, [...] Read more.
Recent EU environmental and spatial policies notably strive towards the development paradigm of green growth and economic competitiveness. However, operationalizing spatial policies through growth-driven GDP logics promotes an unequal race towards narrowly defined developmental ‘success’, while perpetuating social, economic and environmental inequalities. Meanwhile, the EU’s territorial cohesion approach has remained a conceptual ‘black box’, its apparent inadequacy for notably mitigating territorial disparities leading to renewed questions about territorial policy’s relevance, delivery and evaluation. In this paper, we add to calls for redesigning territorial cohesion by proposing a turn towards spatial justice for territorial sustainability. Pointing out the need to refocus on regional capabilities and alternative development trajectories, we argue that the ‘right to not catch up’ enables a more locally meaningful and globally sustainable development. Drawing from regional statistics, policy analyses and an empirical case study of three European Territorial Cooperation programs in the heterogeneous Austrian-Czech-Slovak-Hungarian border region, we illustrate how current EU spatial policy approaches evolve in regional practice and why current policy aims fall short for sustainable transformations. Through interrogating development discourses and their alternatives, we contribute to emerging new perspectives on sustainable territorial development at the European as well as at regional levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Territorial Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Measurement of Executive Functioning and High Intellectual Ability in Childhood: A Comparative Meta-Analysis
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4796; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114796 - 11 Jun 2020
Viewed by 342
Abstract
From a neuroconstructivist approach and a developmental model of high intellectual ability (HIA), it is argued that the management of intellectual resources through executive functioning (EF) is one of the factors influencing the expression of high potential. The main objective is to determine [...] Read more.
From a neuroconstructivist approach and a developmental model of high intellectual ability (HIA), it is argued that the management of intellectual resources through executive functioning (EF) is one of the factors influencing the expression of high potential. The main objective is to determine the effectiveness of measures of executive functioning used comparing schoolchildren with HIA and those of average intelligence. A meta-analysis was carried out on a selection of 17 studies for a total sample of 1518 children with either HIA or an average level of intelligence. Pooled estimates of effect size revealed a significant difference favoring the HIA individuals in the two components of EF related with WM verbal (d = 1.015), and WM visual-spatial (d = 0.709). Other components did not show significant differences: inhibition (d = −0.014), flexibility (d = 0.068), and planification (d = −0.038). The empirical heterogeneity was very high. It is concluded that these instruments show a degree of measurement impurity, which condition their validity and reliability, and that schoolchildren with HIA display better executive functioning in the components of verbal and visual-spatial working memory. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High Abilities, Talent and Creativity)
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Open AccessArticle
Successional Variation in the Soil Microbial Community in Odaesan National Park, Korea
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4795; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114795 - 11 Jun 2020
Viewed by 275
Abstract
Succession is defined as variation in ecological communities caused by environmental changes. Environmental succession can be caused by rapid environmental changes, but in many cases, it is slowly caused by climate change or constant low-intensity disturbances. Odaesan National Park is a well-preserved forest [...] Read more.
Succession is defined as variation in ecological communities caused by environmental changes. Environmental succession can be caused by rapid environmental changes, but in many cases, it is slowly caused by climate change or constant low-intensity disturbances. Odaesan National Park is a well-preserved forest located in the Taebaek mountain range in South Korea. The forest in this national park is progressing from a mixed-wood forest to a broad-leaved forest. In this study, microbial community composition was investigated using 454 sequencing of soil samples collected from 13 different locations in Odaesan National Park. We assessed whether microbial communities are affected by changes in environmental factors such as water content (WC), nutrient availability (total carbon (TC) and total nitrogen (TN)) and pH caused by forest succession. WC, TC, TN and pH significantly differed between the successional stages of the forest. The WC, TC and TN of the forest soils tended to increase as succession progressed, while pH tended to decrease. In both successional stages, the bacterial genus Pseudolabrys was the most abundant, followed by Afipia and Bradyrhizobium. In addition, the fungal genus Saitozyma showed the highest abundance in the forest soils. Microbial community composition changed according to forest successional stage and soil properties (WC, TC, TN, and pH). Furthermore, network analysis of both bacterial and fungal taxa revealed strong relationships of the microbial community depending on the soil properties affected by forest succession. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Diversity and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Community Involvement and Compensation Money Utilization in Ethiopia: Case Studies from Bahir Dar and Debre Markos Peri-Urban Areas
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4794; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114794 - 11 Jun 2020
Viewed by 299
Abstract
In this study the involvement of the community during expropriation and the utilization of the compensation money of the expropriated farmers are investigated taking Bahir Dar and Debre Markos peri-urban areas as case studies. Survey research methods were applied for data collection. The [...] Read more.
In this study the involvement of the community during expropriation and the utilization of the compensation money of the expropriated farmers are investigated taking Bahir Dar and Debre Markos peri-urban areas as case studies. Survey research methods were applied for data collection. The data were analyzed by means of descriptive statistics. According to the results, there is high land tenure transformation in both study areas. Even though the majority of the expropriated farmers got compensation payments, most farmers did not use their compensation money to found alternative income generating businesses. Just payment of compensation shall not be an end by itself. Technical and administrative supports for farmers are essential for the proper utilization of the compensation money. Communities affected by expropriation should participate effectively in the processes of expropriation and compensation in order to reduce the externalities of the process. For this to happen, the public authorities should prepare open public consultation meetings prior to expropriation and must exercise smart democracy during the whole period of the process. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Sustainable Smart Cities and Villages)
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Open AccessArticle
Runoff and Water Quality in the Aspect of Environmental Impact Assessment of Experimental Area of Green Roofs in Lower Silesia
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4793; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114793 - 11 Jun 2020
Viewed by 274
Abstract
Green architecture, including green roofs, can limit the effects of urbanization. Green roofs soften the thermal effect in urban conditions, especially considering the significant increase in the European and global population and that a significant share of the age group, mainly the elderly [...] Read more.
Green architecture, including green roofs, can limit the effects of urbanization. Green roofs soften the thermal effect in urban conditions, especially considering the significant increase in the European and global population and that a significant share of the age group, mainly the elderly is exposed to diseases caused by high temperatures. We studied runoff and the quality of water from green roof systems in Lower Silesia, within the area of the Agro and Hydrometeorology Station Wrocław-Swojec, in the years 2012–2016. In the study, two systems with a vegetation layer based on light expanded clay aggregate and perlite were analyzed. The studies were based on the assessment of peak flow reduction, rainwater volume preservation and peak wave reduction. The calculated maximum retention performance indicator, relative to rainfall, for perlite surfaces was up to 65%, and in relation to the control surface up to 49%. In addition, the quality of water from runoff was estimated in the conditions of annual atmospheric deposition, taking into account such indicators as electrolytic conductivity; the content of N, NO3, NO2, NH4, P, PO4; and the content of metals, Cu, Zn, Pb and Cd. The load of total nitrogen exceeded the values of concentration in rainwater and amounted to 7.17 and 13.01 mg∙L−1 for leca and perlite, respectively. In the case of the metal content, significantly higher concentrations of copper and zinc from green surfaces were observed in relation to precipitation. For surfaces with perlite, these were 320 mg∙L−1 and 241 mg∙L−1, respectively, with rainwater concentrations of 50 and 31 mg∙L−1. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Microplastics as Vectors of Chromium and Lead during Dynamic Simulation of the Human Gastrointestinal Tract
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4792; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114792 - 11 Jun 2020
Viewed by 315
Abstract
The human body is exposed to the ingestion of microplastics that are often contaminated with other substances, which can be released into our body. In this work, a dynamic in-vitro simulator of the gastrointestinal tract based on a membrane reactor has been used [...] Read more.
The human body is exposed to the ingestion of microplastics that are often contaminated with other substances, which can be released into our body. In this work, a dynamic in-vitro simulator of the gastrointestinal tract based on a membrane reactor has been used for the first time to study the release, bioaccessibility, and bioavailability of chromium (Cr) and lead (Pb) from polyethylene and polypropylene microplastics previously contaminated in the laboratory. The results showed that 23.11% of the initial Cr and 23.17% of the initial Pb present in microplastics were able to cross the tubular membrane, simulating the intestinal absorption phase. The pH evolution during the gastric phase and the duodenal phase, the interaction mechanisms with physiological fluids, and the properties of the polymers, such as specific surface, porosity, and/or surface degradation, affected the kinetics of release from the microplastics and the behavior of both heavy metals. Cr was released very early in the gastric phase, but also began simultaneously to precipitate quite fast, while Pb was released slower and in less quantity than Cr, and did not precipitate until the beginning of the duodenal phase. This study shows, for the first time, how useful the dynamic gastrointestinal simulator is to study the behavior of microplastics and some problematic heavy metals along the human gastrointestinal tract, and can serve as a reference for future studies focused on the effects of these substances in the human body. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plastic Waste and Pollution)
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Open AccessArticle
Building Information Modelling Feasibility Study for Building Surveying
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4791; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114791 - 11 Jun 2020
Viewed by 281
Abstract
Despite the advancements in digital technologies, the current building design examination practice is 2D and paper-based, and a large number of 2D plans and drawings need to be collated and interpreted to examine if the proposed designs comply with building regulations. Subsequently, it [...] Read more.
Despite the advancements in digital technologies, the current building design examination practice is 2D and paper-based, and a large number of 2D plans and drawings need to be collated and interpreted to examine if the proposed designs comply with building regulations. Subsequently, it is prone to human errors that make sustainable and consistent design difficult. Although Building Information Modelling (BIM) is recognised as a means to transform the current practice into a more sustainable and productive practice, BIM has rarely been adopted in building design examination. This research aims to identify the reasons for the low uptake of BIM and to examine the feasibility of BIM for building design examination through a focus group interview and workshop. A lack of proper BIM training is identified as the most critical barrier to adopting BIM. Building design examiners indicate that BIM adoption requires consistent efforts with empirical errors, since the existing work processes are not flexible enough to embrace BIM instantly without proper BIM training. An average of three days can be saved by using BIM for a building regulations check. This research revealed that BIM is feasible for building regulation checking, and the low uptake is mainly caused by a lack of awareness of the BIM capabilities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Built Environment and Future Proof Innovations)
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Open AccessArticle
Affordability, Accessibility, and Awareness in the Adoption of Liquefied Petroleum Gas: A Case-Control Study in Rural India
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4790; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114790 - 11 Jun 2020
Viewed by 529
Abstract
Interventions in the clean cooking sector have focused on improved biomass stoves in a bid to address household air pollution (HAP) in low- and middle-income countries. These initiatives have not delivered adequate health and environmental benefits owing to the less than optimal performance [...] Read more.
Interventions in the clean cooking sector have focused on improved biomass stoves in a bid to address household air pollution (HAP) in low- and middle-income countries. These initiatives have not delivered adequate health and environmental benefits owing to the less than optimal performance of improved biomass stoves. There is an urgency to transition communities to cleaner cooking systems such as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to reduce the prevalence of HAP. Adoption of LPG also has challenges. This case-control cross-sectional study with 510 households examines how affordability, accessibility, and awareness (3As) are associated with LPG adoption in rural poor households of Andhra Pradesh, a state of India. Using binomial logistic regression analyses, the study examines the association of 3As with LPG adoption, adjusting for demographic predictors. Results show disparities in LPG adoption owing to affordability, accessibility, and awareness. Household income is positively associated with LPG adoption. Easy availability of biomass deters households from adopting LPG. Concerns for LPG safety reduces likelihood of LPG adoption. On the other hand, attending awareness campaigns on clean cooking benefits is strongly associated with LPG adoption. Awareness drives, primarily targeted marketing campaigns, could help expand LPG coverage among poorer households. This paper offers insights into the determinants of clean fuel adoption with implications for resource-poor settings across the world to advance energy justice and address energy poverty. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Cross-Docking: A Systematic Literature Review
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4789; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114789 - 11 Jun 2020
Viewed by 338
Abstract
This paper identifies the major research concepts, techniques, and models covered in the cross-docking literature. A systematic literature review is conducted using the BibExcel bibliometric analysis and Gephi network analysis tools. A research focus parallelship network (RFPN) analysis and keyword co-occurrence network (KCON) [...] Read more.
This paper identifies the major research concepts, techniques, and models covered in the cross-docking literature. A systematic literature review is conducted using the BibExcel bibliometric analysis and Gephi network analysis tools. A research focus parallelship network (RFPN) analysis and keyword co-occurrence network (KCON) analysis are used to identify the primary research themes. The RFPN results suggest that vehicle routing, inventory control, scheduling, warehousing, and distribution are most studied. Of the optimization and simulation techniques applied in cross-docking, linear and integer programming has received much attention. The paper informs researchers interested in investigating cross-docking through an integrated perspective of the research gaps in this domain. This paper systematically reviews the literature on cross-docking, identifies the major research areas, and provides a survey of the techniques and models adopted by researchers in the areas related to cross-docking. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sensitivity Analysis in Probabilistic Structural Design: A Comparison of Selected Techniques
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4788; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114788 - 11 Jun 2020
Viewed by 310
Abstract
Although more and more reliability-oriented sensitivity analysis (ROSA) techniques are now available, review and comparison articles of ROSA are absent. In civil engineering, many of the latest indices have never been used to analyse structural reliability for very small failure probability. This article [...] Read more.
Although more and more reliability-oriented sensitivity analysis (ROSA) techniques are now available, review and comparison articles of ROSA are absent. In civil engineering, many of the latest indices have never been used to analyse structural reliability for very small failure probability. This article aims to analyse and compare different sensitivity analysis (SA) techniques and discusses their strengths and weaknesses. For this purpose, eight selected sensitivity indices are first described and then applied in two different test cases. Four ROSA type indices are directly oriented on the failure probability or reliability index beta, and four other indices (of a different type) are oriented on the output of the limit state function. The case study and results correspond to cases under common engineering assumptions, where only two independent input variables with Gaussian distribution of the load action and the resistance are applied in the ultimate limit state. The last section of the article is dedicated to the analysis of the different results. Large differences between first-order sensitivity indices and very strong interaction effects obtained from ROSA are observed for very low values of failure probability. The obtained numerical results show that ROSA methods lack a common platform that clearly interprets the relationship of indices to their information value. This paper can help orientate in the selection of which sensitivity measure to use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Construction Engineering and Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Risk Factors in the Channels of Drug Distribution: Professional Perspectives
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4787; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114787 - 11 Jun 2020
Viewed by 281
Abstract
The subject of this paper is pharmaceutical companies and the risk factors that occur in the distribution of drugs. The paper will present guidelines for the risk management of changes in the environment of pharmaceutical distribution channels. To identify, analyse, and prioritise risks, [...] Read more.
The subject of this paper is pharmaceutical companies and the risk factors that occur in the distribution of drugs. The paper will present guidelines for the risk management of changes in the environment of pharmaceutical distribution channels. To identify, analyse, and prioritise risks, we used a systematic literature review and the Delphi method. Identification and assessment of important risk factors in drug distribution channels were conducted based on opinions of experts from 10 international pharmaceutical companies operating in Southeast Europe. The purpose of the research was to get opinions from experts about the impacts of the risk factors on the distribution of drugs, which was accomplished through interviews and questionnaires that were conducted. Our study demonstrated a total of 78 risk factors in the distribution channels of drugs and pharmaceutical services. The results of the research combined separate evaluations for risk factors in all categories for easier data analysis. After data were obtained, results were arranged to show which risk factors had the biggest influence upon the distribution of drugs and to determine the negative effects they can produce. The research of risks was done primarily to help the representatives of distribution channels gain better insight into drug distribution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
The Influence of Income and Social Capital on the Subjective Well-Being of Elderly Chinese People, Based on a Panel Survey
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4786; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114786 - 11 Jun 2020
Viewed by 276
Abstract
China has undergone many economic changes in the past four decades, and has seen an imbalance in economic development between rural and urban regions. Meanwhile, it also has an aging population. Using panel data on 3590 elderly residents aged between 60 and 95 [...] Read more.
China has undergone many economic changes in the past four decades, and has seen an imbalance in economic development between rural and urban regions. Meanwhile, it also has an aging population. Using panel data on 3590 elderly residents aged between 60 and 95 in 28 provinces in China in 2015, this study explored older adults’ subjective well-being in terms of income, relative income, and social capital. The ordinary least square (OLS) regression results showed that the effect of actual income on subjective well-being was weak, and relative income and social capital had a significant effect on the happiness of urban and rural residents; however, there were substantial differences between urban and rural areas associated with economic inequality, social context, social security, and demographic characteristics. Expanding income inequality is contributing to decreased happiness of the rural elderly, while higher social trust and social interaction mitigate this negative influence. This paper also verified that relative income has a mediating or moderating effect on income and the subjective well-being of urban and rural elderly people. The evidence indicates that the Chinese government should pay more attention to reducing the income gap between and within urban and rural groups, and take advantage of social capital to improve the subjective well-being of the elderly population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Psychology of Sustainability and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Walking among Mammoths. Remote Sensing and Virtual Reality Supporting the Study and Dissemination of Pleistocene Archaeological Sites: The Case of Fuente Nueva 3 in Orce, Spain
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4785; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114785 - 11 Jun 2020
Viewed by 462
Abstract
Remote sensing is a useful tool for the documentation of archaeological sites. The products derived from a photogrammetric project applied to archaeology such as orthophotos and three-dimensional virtual reconstruction (3DVR), allow for detailed study of the Fuente Nueva 3 site in Orce. In [...] Read more.
Remote sensing is a useful tool for the documentation of archaeological sites. The products derived from a photogrammetric project applied to archaeology such as orthophotos and three-dimensional virtual reconstruction (3DVR), allow for detailed study of the Fuente Nueva 3 site in Orce. In our study of the Fuente Nueva 3 site in Orce, we used 3DVR intensively to map out the morphometric features of mammoth tusks exposed on the surface and a geological fault affecting the site’s deposits. To do so, we used imagery captured since 2017 in order to follow the evolution of ongoing excavations during each subsequent field season. We also integrated the 3DVR model in a videogame environment, to create a virtual reality (VR) that allows a VR navigation experience around the scenario using a head mounted display like Oculus Rift. The main features of this VR experience are: (1) It is ideal for the diffusion of archaeological contents since it permits an attractive presentation mode thanks to stereo visualization and realistic immersion sensations; (2) it provides a high level of detail all along the navigation experience, without incurring any damage to the archaeological remains; (3) it allows users to observe more details than they would in an in situ visit to the site; (4) it makes it possible to convert an archaeological site into portable heritage, opening up the possibility to extend visits to vulnerable groups: specifically those with reduced mobility. Our results show that using VR should permit enhancements to a visitor’s experience and contribute to the socio-economic development of the town of Orce, one of the Spanish municipalities with the lowest income. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Visitor Attractions and Heritage Interpretation)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Assessing the Preservation of Parks and Natural Protected Areas: A Review of Contingent Valuation Studies
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4784; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114784 - 11 Jun 2020
Viewed by 417
Abstract
The existence of parks is particularly important and offers many benefits both to the environment and to humans. Parks are recreational spaces, which contribute to the improvement of the microclimate, reduce atmospheric pollution and protect biodiversity. Their importance for the urban environment is [...] Read more.
The existence of parks is particularly important and offers many benefits both to the environment and to humans. Parks are recreational spaces, which contribute to the improvement of the microclimate, reduce atmospheric pollution and protect biodiversity. Their importance for the urban environment is even greater because they offer pure oxygen to the city and people feel close to nature in them. The aim of this study is to review studies which took place globally as well as in Greece, relying on the Contingent Valuation Method (CVM) for parks. The reason that this method is used is the valuation of non-market goods and services through the development of a hypothetical market. Additionally, a distinction is made among previous empirical studies depending on the nature of the parks and the country where the survey was conducted, while the disadvantages that must be considered from the use of Contingent Valuation Method are mentioned. According to the findings of the literature review, studies using Contingent Valuation in Greece, particularly in the case of urban parks, are limited. As far as we know, the valuation of existing urban parks has not yet been studied, so this could be a field for further research. The economic valuation of parks in a country like Greece, which suffered with the financial crisis, can lead to conclusions about the value that citizens attribute to parks and the identification of possible protest responses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Ecological Efficiency and Environmental Sustainability of the Minjiang-Source in China
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4783; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114783 - 11 Jun 2020
Viewed by 274
Abstract
Ecological sustainability is treated as a main reflection of the synergy among social development, economic growth and environmental protection, while ecological efficiency is an index used to reflect the sustainable development of the ecological environment. The super efficiency model with undesirable outputs (SE-SBM) [...] Read more.
Ecological sustainability is treated as a main reflection of the synergy among social development, economic growth and environmental protection, while ecological efficiency is an index used to reflect the sustainable development of the ecological environment. The super efficiency model with undesirable outputs (SE-SBM) model was applied to measure the eco-efficiency of the 12 counties in the Minjiang-Source, China, in 2005–2017. The spatial and temporal evolution and spatial differentiation of the eco-efficiency were analyzed. The results showed that the eco-efficiency of 67.7% of the 12 counties remains at a low level but with an increasing trend. A typical spatial aggregation effect was found with the characteristics of “high in the east and low in the west”. The Malmquist-Luenberger index shows a trend of fluctuation with the same trend between scale efficiency and technical efficiency changes. The results proved the positive effect of technological progress on local eco-efficiency. Environmental regulation has a positive impact on eco-efficiency in the short term and an inhibition effect in the long run. Hence, technological innovation and industrial adjustment will be an effective way to improve the eco-efficiency of the Minjiang-Source and promote its sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Ecosystem Efficiency)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
The Challenge of Initial Training for Early Childhood Teachers. A Cross Sectional Study of Their Digital Competences
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4782; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114782 - 11 Jun 2020
Viewed by 357
Abstract
The scarce presence of technologies at the early childhood education level today is a cause for worry. This study aims to provide information on the training of future early childhood education teachers and their relationship with technologies. The work is based on a [...] Read more.
The scarce presence of technologies at the early childhood education level today is a cause for worry. This study aims to provide information on the training of future early childhood education teachers and their relationship with technologies. The work is based on a pretest–posttest methodology through a cross sectional descriptive study. The sample is made up of 535 4th year students of the Degree in Early Childhood Education at the University of Seville. Descriptive and contrast analyses were performed as well as contrast statistics and effect size. The results show that the training received by the students was a key element to improve self-perception of digital competence. There were statistically significant changes between before and after receiving the training. The changes produced always meant an improvement in the students’ self-perception. In the study of their profiles, relevant changes were also identified. Whereas before training subjects were grouped into newcomer and explorer categories, after training they were grouped into the highest profiles: integrator, expert, and pioneer. For this reason, it is necessary to manage training plans to allow future teachers to position themselves at an expert level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue ICT and Sustainable Education)
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Open AccessArticle
Characterization of Profiles as Management Strategies Based on the Importance and Valuation That Users Give to the Elements of the Golf Courses
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4781; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114781 - 11 Jun 2020
Viewed by 272
Abstract
The main objective of this study was to characterize golfers’ profiles based on the importance and valuation that users give to the elements of golf courses, considering the segmentation as key to making strategic decisions. This was done using a priori segmentation of [...] Read more.
The main objective of this study was to characterize golfers’ profiles based on the importance and valuation that users give to the elements of golf courses, considering the segmentation as key to making strategic decisions. This was done using a priori segmentation of the traditional style against a post hoc segmentation based on the importance that users concede to variability of elements of golf courses. Moreover, the relationship between the quality attributed to the service dimensions and the golf course global performance was examined for each of the obtained segments. The results have established certain specific characteristics of the typical golf user and two large segments of golfers were identified from Cluster Analysis (Competitives and Socials), they were made up of the following subgroups: Regular-leisure and business and matures-familiar. The causal analysis of covariance structures for each segment revealed partially different interests. This study provides useful information for managers to design management strategies that address the different characteristics, interests, and priorities of their customers and potential customers in order to win them, keep them, satisfy them, and build their loyalty, ensuring the development and sustainability of the entity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strategic Planning of Sports Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Regional Development in Poland in Taxonomic Terms
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4780; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114780 - 11 Jun 2020
Viewed by 263
Abstract
Regional development is a complex economic category and a commonly used term today, yet it is vaguely defined and, therefore, interpreted implicitly and understood intuitively. From a statistical point of view, this concept, on account of its imprecision and ambiguity, is a kind [...] Read more.
Regional development is a complex economic category and a commonly used term today, yet it is vaguely defined and, therefore, interpreted implicitly and understood intuitively. From a statistical point of view, this concept, on account of its imprecision and ambiguity, is a kind of multidimensional characteristic which may be measured, though not conclusively. Due to the lack of a universal set of diagnostic variables adopted in taxonomic analyses, the quantitative approach to the examined research area, which is in most cases presented descriptively, poses the main problem. The objectives of the article are to rank the provinces of Poland in terms of regional development in the years 2006–2018 and to assess the similarity of results over time. The research study is based on linear ordering methods within the scope of multidimensional statistical analysis. The results of the conducted analyses allowed us to rank the provinces of Poland in terms of regional development in the years 2006–2018 and to assess the similarity of the results over time. The results of the analysis indicate a clear stabilization of high ranked positions during the examined period, last places are generally taken by the same regions. This situation may indicate an increase or at least strengthening of the disproportions between the most and least developed regions in Poland. Theoretical considerations presented in the article as well as the empirical results of our own research may provoke more detailed discussion on the subject. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Determinants and Aspects of Regional and Local Development in Poland)
Open AccessArticle
Tracing Paths from Research to Practice in Climate Change Education
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4779; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114779 - 11 Jun 2020
Viewed by 333
Abstract
The purpose of this qualitative study was to investigate the incorporation of climate change social science research into climate change education practice. Semi-structured interviews with 19 educators from five climate change related professional development programs and networks revealed a high level of awareness [...] Read more.
The purpose of this qualitative study was to investigate the incorporation of climate change social science research into climate change education practice. Semi-structured interviews with 19 educators from five climate change related professional development programs and networks revealed a high level of awareness of climate change social science research. Educators accessed research through a variety of means and reported both practice change and a sense of validation as a result of the research. They reported shifting toward programs that focused less on climate facts to programs that focused on solutions and that integrated their understanding of audiences’ values and identities. They also reported feeling a conflict between their practice knowledge and the knowledge they gained through professional development and accessing research. This work begins to fill a gap both in our understanding of how nonformal educators communicate about climate change and in how they use research in their practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Education and Approaches)
Open AccessArticle
Comparison of the Effects of the Kahoot Tool on Teacher Training and Computer Engineering Students for Sustainable Education
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4778; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114778 - 11 Jun 2020
Viewed by 278
Abstract
Gamification has proved to be a methodology that increases the likelihood of success and sustainability of educational institutions. This methodology has recently revealed itself as one of the most efficient teaching methodologies in the student body, proving useful at all educational levels. One [...] Read more.
Gamification has proved to be a methodology that increases the likelihood of success and sustainability of educational institutions. This methodology has recently revealed itself as one of the most efficient teaching methodologies in the student body, proving useful at all educational levels. One of the most frequently mentioned properties is its ability to “reset” the student’s attention clock: the key is collective learning, an attractive way of remembering new content. The experience described below has been developed in the context of a generalist university in two very different degrees: Degree in Teacher Training and Degree in Computer Engineering. To develop the theoretical sessions, the master class was combined with the use of the Kahoot tool. The observations made by the teachers in relation to the dynamics of the theoretical classes show that the use of Kahoot at the end of the theoretical sessions increased the students’ attendance at class, in addition to their involvement in the sessions and they kept their attention for longer. This study has also shown that there are significant differences in the level of satisfaction shown by the students of both degrees with these tools. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teacher Training in Active Methodologies for Ecosystem Learning)
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Open AccessArticle
Between Privileged and Oppressed? Immigrant Labor Trajectories in Norwegian Long-Term Care
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4777; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114777 - 11 Jun 2020
Viewed by 292
Abstract
An increase in older people coupled with growing life expectancy has created a higher demand for long-term care (LTC) services in the global North. Recruitment of staff with an immigrant background has been a solution to meet this demographic challenge. Research shows that [...] Read more.
An increase in older people coupled with growing life expectancy has created a higher demand for long-term care (LTC) services in the global North. Recruitment of staff with an immigrant background has been a solution to meet this demographic challenge. Research shows that linguistic barriers and cultural differences can influence immigrant carers’ abilities to offer adequate care, while less is known about workplace training and intra-collegial support. This article explores systems and practices of training offered to new employees with immigrant backgrounds, and how the qualification process unfolds in daily work in nursing homes in Norway through an intersectional perspective focusing on the interlocking of gender, class and migrancy. The article shows that organizational conditions together with incomplete training combined with attitudes of ‘willful ignorance’ maintain privilege and oppression in these workplaces. The increased immigrant participation and their labor trajectories indicate the emergence of a new immigrant niche in the lower tiers of the LTC sector. The article contributes to the literature of migration, gender, healthcare services and labor by exploring immigrants’ situated labor experiences within changing institutional conditions in LTC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Care: Facing Global Ageing More Effectively)
Open AccessArticle
Machine Learning Approach Using MLP and SVM Algorithms for the Fault Prediction of a Centrifugal Pump in the Oil and Gas Industry
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4776; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114776 - 11 Jun 2020
Viewed by 259
Abstract
The demand for cost-effective, reliable and safe machinery operation requires accurate fault detection and classification to achieve an efficient maintenance strategy and increase performance. Furthermore, in strategic sectors such as the oil and gas industry, fault prediction plays a key role to extend [...] Read more.
The demand for cost-effective, reliable and safe machinery operation requires accurate fault detection and classification to achieve an efficient maintenance strategy and increase performance. Furthermore, in strategic sectors such as the oil and gas industry, fault prediction plays a key role to extend component lifetime and reduce unplanned equipment thus preventing costly breakdowns and plant shutdowns. This paper presents the preliminary development of a simple and easy to implement machine learning (ML) model for early fault prediction of a centrifugal pump in the oil and gas industry. The data analysis is based on real-life historical data from process and equipment sensors mounted on the selected machinery. The raw sensor data, mainly from temperature, pressure and vibrations probes, are denoised, pre-processed and successively coded to train the model. To validate the learning capabilities of the ML model, two different algorithms—the Support Vector Machine (SVM) and the Multilayer Perceptron (MLP)—are implemented in KNIME platform. Based on these algorithms, potential faults are successfully recognized and classified ensuring good prediction accuracy. Indeed, results from this preliminary work show that the model allows us to properly detect the trends of system deviations from normal operation behavior and generate fault prediction alerts as a maintenance decision support system for operatives, aiming at avoiding possible incoming failures. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Impact of the Family Background on Students’ Entrepreneurial Intentions: An Empirical Analysis
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4775; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114775 - 11 Jun 2020
Viewed by 324
Abstract
In the current economic and social environment, a real challenge for youth is the acquisition and development of the relevant skills in entrepreneurship in order to consider entrepreneurship as a desirable employment choice. Given this aspect, the purpose of this paper is to [...] Read more.
In the current economic and social environment, a real challenge for youth is the acquisition and development of the relevant skills in entrepreneurship in order to consider entrepreneurship as a desirable employment choice. Given this aspect, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the main factors influencing students’ entrepreneurial intentions, paying particular attention to their entrepreneurial family background. Additionally, the paper aims to explore the effect of entrepreneurial family background on the relationship between effectiveness of entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial intention. We conducted a study where results were based on the outcomes of a survey among Romanian high school and university students in the final year (N = 617). Our four main hypotheses were tested through independent samples t-tests, correlation analysis, and hierarchical multiple regression analysis. The findings highlighted that the students with an entrepreneurial family background reported a higher entrepreneurial intention than those without such a background. The variables that positively influenced the entrepreneurial intentions of the students were entrepreneurial family background, effectiveness of entrepreneurship education, and entrepreneurial personality traits. Furthermore, this entrepreneurial family background negatively moderated the relationship between effectiveness of entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial intention. For this reason, emphasis should be placed on both formal and informal entrepreneurial education, which will increase the propensity of young people to choose an entrepreneurial career. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Correlates of the Intention to Reduce Meat Consumption
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4774; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114774 - 11 Jun 2020
Viewed by 267
Abstract
Meat consumption significantly contributes to environmental damage. Thus, a reduction in meat consumption can be regarded as sustainable behavior. Based on the assumptions of the theory of planned behavior, we examined the predictive power of individuals’ attitudes, their subjective norm, and perceived behavioral [...] Read more.
Meat consumption significantly contributes to environmental damage. Thus, a reduction in meat consumption can be regarded as sustainable behavior. Based on the assumptions of the theory of planned behavior, we examined the predictive power of individuals’ attitudes, their subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control for their intention to reduce domestic meat consumption. We assessed respective variables in a sample of 256 university students (2015) and 231 employees and university students (2017). Regression analyses revealed that the attitude toward reducing one’s own meat consumption was strongly related to the corresponding intention. Furthermore, the subjective norm predicted one’s intention to eat less meat, whereas perceived behavioral control did not. Results were similar across both samples (2015 and 2017). The findings imply that sustainable meat consumption is most likely to be achieved by a change in consumers’ attitudes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Psychology of Sustainability and Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle
Creativity and Emotions: A Descriptive Study of the Relationships between Creative Attitudes and Emotional Competencies of Primary School Students
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4773; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114773 - 11 Jun 2020
Viewed by 279
Abstract
This article presents the results of an exploratory study on the relationships between the emotional competencies and attitudes towards creativity in a sample of primary school students. This study is part of a wider project on the implementation of the curricular area “Emotional [...] Read more.
This article presents the results of an exploratory study on the relationships between the emotional competencies and attitudes towards creativity in a sample of primary school students. This study is part of a wider project on the implementation of the curricular area “Emotional Education and Creativity,” a far-reaching innovation in the educational system of the Canary Islands, Spain. A validated questionnaire for the evaluation of emotional and creative variables from the teachers’ perspectives was used. The questionnaire was given to 230 primary school teachers, who used it to assess the emotional and creative competencies of 2540 schoolchildren. A bivariate correlation was carried out to establish the relationship between these competencies, and a multiple regression analysis was used to understand the influence of emotional skills on creativity. The results obtained confirmed the close relationship between the emotional dimension and the creative construct. Specifically, it was observed that emotional awareness was the competence with the closest relationship, together with the responsibility for one’s own emotions, and the one that had the greatest weight in explaining creative competences. This result emphasizes that emotional and creative competencies complement each other and highlights the importance of working on these competencies together. We are committed to continuing with this line of research that supports an emotional conception of creativity. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Taipei and Seoul’s Modern Urbanization under Japanese Colonial Rule: A Comparative Study from the Present-Day Context
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4772; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114772 - 11 Jun 2020
Viewed by 264
Abstract
Both Taipei and Seoul underwent a process of colonization and modern urbanization during the early part of the 20th century, under Japanese rule. In both countries, urban-planning projects from the colonial period have had a great impact on recent urban changes. This comparative [...] Read more.
Both Taipei and Seoul underwent a process of colonization and modern urbanization during the early part of the 20th century, under Japanese rule. In both countries, urban-planning projects from the colonial period have had a great impact on recent urban changes. This comparative analysis aims to identify the characteristics of modern cities with Japanese colonial histories, focusing on the following three aspects: (1) Urban structure based on spatial distribution by ethnic group; (2) Japanese colonial urban planning; and (3) modern boulevards that convey the power and spectacle of a colonial city. Taipei and Seoul have multi-cores because the Japanese and Taiwanese/Korean areas were not clearly separated spatially. Secondly, Japanese colonial urban planning was influenced by Japanese settlements and government facilities. Thirdly, the main boulevards in each city, created through modern urban planning, combine modern streetscapes with imperial spectacle. These boulevards took on an important political meaning after liberation. Comparative studies of Taipei and Seoul can illuminate the difference between modern cities with a Japanese colonial history and colonial cities under European rule. Such comparisons make it possible to analyze the meaning, value, and relevance of colonial remnants, including urban structure and artifacts, for each city’s sustainable future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Urbanism and Architecture)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessing the Vulnerability of Agriculture Systems to Climate Change in Coastal Areas: A Novel Index
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4771; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114771 - 11 Jun 2020
Viewed by 442
Abstract
This study proposes a novel index to evaluate agricultural vulnerability to climate change in coastal areas, using the case of Andhra Pradesh, the state with the second longest coastline in India. Field data was collected from more than 1000 farmers (involved in [...] Read more.
This study proposes a novel index to evaluate agricultural vulnerability to climate change in coastal areas, using the case of Andhra Pradesh, the state with the second longest coastline in India. Field data was collected from more than 1000 farmers (involved in over 50 varieties of crops) in 22 riverine and coastal case study areas. Data was collected through site visits, surveys and five workshops conducted between November 2018 and June 2019. Based on the collected data sets, a new Agricultural Coastal Vulnerability Index (AGCVI) was developed and applied to the 22 sites located in two districts (Krishna and Guntur) of Coastal Andhra Pradesh. The analysis revealed that the areas with three crop seasons (Kharif, Rabi and Zaid) per year are highly vulnerable to climate change. On the other hand, sites with one crop season (Kharif) per annum are the least vulnerable to climate change. Moreover, grains (particularly rice), flowers and fruit crops are more susceptible to climate change and its induced impacts. Rice is no longer a profitable crop in the case study areas partly as a result of unfavourable weather conditions, inadequate insurance provision and lack of government support for farmers. Cumulatively, all these circumstances impact farmers’ incomes and socio-cultural practices: this is leading to a marriage crisis, with a reduction in the desirability of matrimony to farmers. These findings provide valuable information that can support climate and agriculture policies, as well as sustainable cropping patterns among farmers’ communities in coastal areas of India in the future. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Push and Pull Travel Motivation: Segmentation of the Greek Market for Social Media Marketing in Tourism
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4770; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114770 - 11 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 391
Abstract
The intense competition in the tourism sector increasingly pushes tourism destination marketers to seek more effective promotional practices, so that they remain competitive and attract more visitors. The fast expansion of the Internet and social media provides the opportunity for destination marketers to [...] Read more.
The intense competition in the tourism sector increasingly pushes tourism destination marketers to seek more effective promotional practices, so that they remain competitive and attract more visitors. The fast expansion of the Internet and social media provides the opportunity for destination marketers to approach potential tourists in a simple and cost-effective way. While managing the official pages of destinations on social media, the basic question that arises is the configuration of the content, and how attractive this content could be for potential tourists. The purpose of this study is to investigate what elements of a destination, when displayed on social media, could be attractive factors for tourists. Through the analysis of push and pull tourism motivation factors in particular, this study focuses on the segmentation of the Greek market for those traveling abroad and the emergence of the basic elements that could attract each segment through social media. The respondents have been classified into four segments, according to the motives that more greatly influence their desire to travel. This analysis also shows the important relationships between these segments and the pull motivation factors on social media. The study concludes with findings and suggestions that can contribute to the planning of an effective social media marketing plan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Web 2.0 in Tourism and Hospitality Industries)
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