Next Issue
Volume 12, September-2
Previous Issue
Volume 12, August-2

Sustainability, Volume 12, Issue 17 (September-1 2020) – 538 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Ageism has a tremendous negative impact on elderly persons and society. The COVID-19 pandemic has posed new social and health challenges regarding resource scarcity and shortfalls. Under these difficult circumstances, discourses excluding elderly people and discrimination against them are arising. This article gathers evidence on challenging experiences faced by older people who were hospitalized due to COVID-19 and also the positive experiences that overcame age discrimination; it argues in favor of social and health care for the elderly with positive outcomes for their health, for their relatives, and for society. Despite unethical and non-scientific-based guidelines and social discourses that reproduce multiple discrimination, biases, and inequalities in healthcare against elderly people, this paper proves that it is possible to progress towards quality health for all, even in times [...] Read more.
  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
Article
The Attractive Power of Rural Destinations and a Synergistic Community Cooperative Approach: A “Tourismability” Case
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 7233; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177233 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1060
Abstract
The recent climate change, food scandals, pollution and work-related stress, are affecting life in big cities and tourism is suffering changes expanding its typical boundaries. The past decades were characterized by the tourism choice of exotic destinations; nowadays, a route inversion would be [...] Read more.
The recent climate change, food scandals, pollution and work-related stress, are affecting life in big cities and tourism is suffering changes expanding its typical boundaries. The past decades were characterized by the tourism choice of exotic destinations; nowadays, a route inversion would be visible and remote and inner destinations are acquiring value and attractiveness. According to this perspective, administrators and event organizers are planning and structuring strategies ensuring memorable experiences for the tourists. In the sense of sustainable development, important aspects are cooperative approaches and capability to integrate traditions and expectations. The proposed research work focuses the attention on the analysis of 15 semi-structured interviews through SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) and perception analysis on an event called “Dream of a night…to that town” provided by the Municipality of Colobraro, Basilicata Region (Italy). The proposition of the research would focus the attention on a case study able to form not a top-down/bottom-up, but a horizontal strategy, a sharable best practice for the whole tourism sector in rural areas that would make truly effective the State decentralization, in which the small communities’ activism configures crucial source of competitiveness. The case proposed, contrasting modern lifestyles and common tourism choice, would be able to redirect the concept of attractiveness in privileging remote places that could offer memorable tourism experiences. So, a promotional “tourismability” strategy, integrating agricultural connotates of the territory with heritage, traditions, myths and legends, through a synergistic community cooperative approach, would be necessary to constitute an identitary, attractive, memorable and immersive tourism experience in rural areas. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Analysis of Contracts to Build Energy Infrastructures to Optimize the OPEX
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 7232; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177232 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 684
Abstract
The employer (owner) of the project wants to obtain the maximum profit for the money invested and the consultant (contractor) will try to give less for that money. The regulation of their relationship is based on the contractual agreement, which in the energy [...] Read more.
The employer (owner) of the project wants to obtain the maximum profit for the money invested and the consultant (contractor) will try to give less for that money. The regulation of their relationship is based on the contractual agreement, which in the energy sector is mainly based on the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) model. The objective of this work was to evaluate which factors should be included in the drafting of contracts, to minimize problems between the parties, and thus minimize execution costs and optimize operation and maintenance costs. Information and data on the integration of operability and maintainability criteria in contracts for 158 projects, with a total contract value of close to €40,000M, were analyzed. Several of those projects corresponded to wind, solar, and hydroelectric plants. The information collected the perception of the agents involved, and was classified according to the experience of the agents consulted in the operation and maintenance areas. Finally, the proposed criteria were prioritized. In general, the owner is willing to introduce these criteria in his contracts if they reduce the operation and maintenance cost by around 1–5%, while the contractor is interested in increasing his probability to be selected by 1–3%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Managing Risk and Opportunities in Complex Projects)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Multi-Criteria Decision Making Process in Metropolitan Transport Means Selection Based on the Sharing Mobility Idea
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 7231; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177231 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1055
Abstract
The article presents the idea of modeling the decision-making process in the field of the metropolitan areas transport system. Due to the increasing process of metropolization and urbanization, which is predicted to be 68.4% worldwide and 83.7% in Europe in 2050, the issue [...] Read more.
The article presents the idea of modeling the decision-making process in the field of the metropolitan areas transport system. Due to the increasing process of metropolization and urbanization, which is predicted to be 68.4% worldwide and 83.7% in Europe in 2050, the issue will be even more sophisticated. The problem of depletion of transport network capacity as well as the implementation of modern technology solutions forces metropolitan committees to apply tools for metropolitan passenger transport system optimization. Significantly, the policy and regulations on sustainable urban mobility management are based on the mobility demand predictions and understanding of the travel decision-making process of citizens. The scientific purpose of this article is to build a mathematical model, as a tool supporting the multi-criteria decision-making process regarding the choice of means of transport in a developing metropolis. The issue raised in this article considers the most important research areas of the metropolitan transport means selection, which includes transport safety, qualitative, financial, and ecological aspects. The model was implemented in Silesian Metropolis in Poland with a particular emphasis on sharing mobility transport means users. As a result, a ranking of sharing transport means was developed, which is a piece of significant information for planners and future investors in the development of the metropolitan transport system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Road Traffic Engineering and Sustainable Transportation)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Spatial Structure Characteristics of Slope Farmland Quality in Plateau Mountain Area: A Case Study of Yunnan Province, China
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 7230; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177230 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 658
Abstract
As an important part of farmland, the slope farmland is widely distributed in the central and western plateau mountain region in China. It is necessary to scientifically evaluate the slope farmland quality (SFQ) and analyze the spatial structure characteristics of SFQ to ensure [...] Read more.
As an important part of farmland, the slope farmland is widely distributed in the central and western plateau mountain region in China. It is necessary to scientifically evaluate the slope farmland quality (SFQ) and analyze the spatial structure characteristics of SFQ to ensure reasonable utilization and partition protection of slope farmland resources. This paper takes the typical plateau mountain region—Yunnan Province in China—as an example and systematically identifies the leading factors of SFQ. The sloping integrated fertility index (SIFI) is adopted to reflect the SFQ. The evaluation system is built to quantitatively evaluate the SFQ and the spatial structure characteristics of SFQ were analyzed by a geostatistical model, autocorrelation analysis and spatial cold–hot spot analysis. The results show that the SFQ indexes in Yunnan Province are between 0.36 and 0.81, with a mean of 0.59. The SFQ grade is based on sixth-class, fifth-class, seventh-class and fourth-class land. The SFQ indexes present a normal spatial distribution, and the Gaussian model fits well with the semi-variance function of the spatial distribution of SFQ indexes. Furthermore, the spatial distribution of SFQ indexes is moderately autocorrelated. The structural factors play a major role in the spatial heterogeneity of SFQ indexes, but the influence of random factors should not be ignored. The spatial distribution of SFQ grades has a significant spatial aggregation characteristic, and the types of local indicators of spatial association (LISA) are based on high–high (HH) aggregation and low–low (LL) aggregation. The cold spot and hot spot distributions of SFQ grades display the significant spatial difference. The hot spot area is mainly distributed in Central Yunnan and the Southern Fringe, while the cold spot area mainly distributes in the Northeastern Yunnan, Northwestern Yunnan and Southwestern Yunnan. This study could provide a scientific basis for SFQ management and ecological environment protection in the plateau mountain region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Land Tenure Systems on Land Use Sustainability)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Can a University Campus Work as a Public Space in the Metropolis of a Developing Country? The Case of Ain-Shams University, Cairo, Egypt
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 7229; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177229 - 03 Sep 2020
Viewed by 893
Abstract
Even though public open space has been taking more important roles in improving urban environments, most of the metropolises in developing countries suffer from lack of both quantity and quality of parks and green spaces. This research examined the possibility of opening the [...] Read more.
Even though public open space has been taking more important roles in improving urban environments, most of the metropolises in developing countries suffer from lack of both quantity and quality of parks and green spaces. This research examined the possibility of opening the university campus to the public in order to improve the public space service of the city, focusing on the case of the Ain-Sham University campus in Cairo, Egypt. The study is structured in three steps: (1) Analysis of open space distribution at the district level to find out how the university campus can contribute to improving urban public service, and if it works as an open space; (2) Survey of resident and student groups to find a perception of opening the campus for public use; and (3) Interview with government officials and university faculty members. The level of agreement on opening the campus was neutral from both resident and student groups. However, the result shows some significant acceptance of opening specific places for public use upon employing proper strategies. According to the result, it is not appropriate to fully open the controlled public space of universities in the context of Cairo, following exemplary cases of developed countries. Although sharing privatized open space with adjacent communities can be a good solution for the fast-growing metropolis, lack of proper public spaces, and insufficient resources, the process should be carefully designed with step-by-step implementation strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Toward Flood Resilience in Serbia: The Challenges of an (Un)Sustainable Policy
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 7228; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177228 - 03 Sep 2020
Viewed by 970
Abstract
In May 2014, Serbia was hit by a catastrophic flooding event. The Municipality of Obrenovac suffered severe consequences due to a number of reasons, mainly the poor conditions of flood protection infrastructure and outdated land use management. These problems have been triggered and/or [...] Read more.
In May 2014, Serbia was hit by a catastrophic flooding event. The Municipality of Obrenovac suffered severe consequences due to a number of reasons, mainly the poor conditions of flood protection infrastructure and outdated land use management. These problems have been triggered and/or affected by the post-socialist transition of Serbia, initiated during the 1990s. The ongoing period of socio-economic turbulences, also detected in other countries with a similar development background, caused a shift in both the planning paradigm and the economy (from a planned/centralized model to a market-oriented model), creating numerous problems related to the synchronization of legislation, governance, implementation and management. Considering the specificities of local context, as well as its similarities to other post-socialist countries, the main aims of the article are to establish a relationship between planning, legislation and flood resilience, identify its (un)sustainable elements and provide an insight into the dynamic of their causal links whose effectiveness could be improved in given conditions. The main findings indicate an absence of a sustainable policy which would guarantee efficient implementation (regarding both planning documents and laws). Simultaneously, there were other challenges—from the lack of risk assessment to outdated regulations and general unpreparedness which led to severe damage of urban systems and local economy, while many lives were lost. Consequently, the article provides guidelines for new planning documents, suggesting measures that would increase the resilience of flood protection (applicable in both local and regional context), as well as the overall sustainability of the analyzed area and its ecosystem. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Temperate Agroforestry Development: The Case of Québec and of France
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 7227; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177227 - 03 Sep 2020
Viewed by 662
Abstract
This study sought to shed light on the political and organizational dynamics favoring the deployment of agroforestry in temperate environments. Development paths of agroforestry practices in Québec (Canada) and France were analyzed regarding five different issues: political status and recognition, regulation and financing, [...] Read more.
This study sought to shed light on the political and organizational dynamics favoring the deployment of agroforestry in temperate environments. Development paths of agroforestry practices in Québec (Canada) and France were analyzed regarding five different issues: political status and recognition, regulation and financing, knowledge acquisition, knowledge transfer and training, development actors and implementation in the field. Scientific studies and results continue to accumulate concerning temperate agroforestry and its environmental benefits. Political recognition of the field appears to be stronger in France (and the EU), which makes state financial aid conditional upon the adoption of the practices. In Québec, only the Ministry of Agriculture provides limited support. It financially assists research at a moderate level, as well as the installation and maintenance of trees by participating farmers to perform specific functions, i.e., erosion control, water quality, and biodiversity. A large number of actors are active in France, where efforts are being made to improve consultation and to reduce redundancy. Stakeholders in Québec are linked to the broader agri-environment field and act partially through agroforestry, according to varying degrees of competency, creating a disparity between regions. Recognition at the highest level, i.e., training for councillors and advisors, greater flexibility in obtaining assistance, inclusion of a greater diversity of systems, and a structure that ensures promotion and consultation, would favour the further development of agroforestry in the industrialized nations of the temperate zone. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture)
Article
Upcycling Potential of Industrial Waste in Soil Stabilization: Use of Kiln Dust and Fly Ash to Improve Weak Pavement Subgrades Encountered in Michigan, USA
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 7226; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177226 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 672
Abstract
The State of Michigan in the United States often encounters weak soil subgrades during its road construction and maintenance activities. Undercutting has been the usual solution, while a very few attempts of in-situ soil stabilization with cement or lime have been made. Compared [...] Read more.
The State of Michigan in the United States often encounters weak soil subgrades during its road construction and maintenance activities. Undercutting has been the usual solution, while a very few attempts of in-situ soil stabilization with cement or lime have been made. Compared to the large volume of weak soils that require improvement and the cost incurred on an annual basis, some locally available industrial byproducts present the potential to become effective soil subgrade stabilizers and a better solution from the sustainability perspective as well. The candidate industrial byproducts are Cement Kiln Dust (CKD), Lime Kiln Dust (LKD), and Fly Ash (FA), out of which only a fraction is currently used for any other secondary purposes while the rest is disposed of in Michigan landfills. This manuscript describes a laboratory investigation conducted on above industrial byproducts and/or their combinations to assess their suitability to be used as soil subgrade stabilizers in three selected weak soil types often found in Michigan. Results reveal that CKD or a combination of FA/LKD can be recommended for the long-term soil subgrade stabilization of all three soil types tested, while FA and LKD can be used in some soil types as a short-term soil stabilizer (for construction facilitation). A brief discussion is also presented at the end on the potential positive impact that can be made by the upcycling of CKD/LKD/FA on sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transitioning to a Circular Economy with Sustainable Waste Management)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Sinking Islands, Drowned Logic; Climate Change and Community-Based Adaptation Discourses in Solomon Islands
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 7225; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177225 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1935
Abstract
The saltwater people of Solomon Islands are often portrayed to be at the frontline of climate change. In media, policy, and development discourses, the erosion and abandonment of the small, man-made islands along the coast of Malaita is attributed to climate change induced [...] Read more.
The saltwater people of Solomon Islands are often portrayed to be at the frontline of climate change. In media, policy, and development discourses, the erosion and abandonment of the small, man-made islands along the coast of Malaita is attributed to climate change induced sea-level rise. This paper investigates this sinking islands narrative, and argues that a narrow focus on the projected impacts of climate change distracts attention and resources from more pressing environmental and development problems that are threatening rural livelihoods. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Environmental Impact Assessment of Potentially Toxic Elements in Soils Near the Runway at the International Airport in Central Europe
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 7224; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177224 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 775
Abstract
The environmental impacts of air transport and air transportation systems have become increasingly important and are heavily debated. The aim of the study was to determine the degree of soil contamination by the potentially toxic elements (Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn) in the [...] Read more.
The environmental impacts of air transport and air transportation systems have become increasingly important and are heavily debated. The aim of the study was to determine the degree of soil contamination by the potentially toxic elements (Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn) in the vicinity of the airport runway and to evaluate whether airport traffic has had factual toxic effects on airport vegetation. The overall assessment of soil contamination by means of the Nemerow integrated pollution index indicated slight pollution; evaluation by the geoaccumulation index evinced moderate contamination by Zn and nonexistent to moderate contamination by Cu, Ni, and Pb. A significant difference between the take-off and landing sections of the runway was not statistically confirmed. The vegetation risk assessment by means of the potential ecological risk index (RI) showed the low ecological risk, while the phytotoxicity test revealed an inhibition of up to 33.7%, with a slight inhibition of 16.7% on average, and thus low toxic effects of airport traffic on airport vegetation. The results of the linear regression model between phytotoxicity and RI manifested no relation between the two. The outcomes from other studies suggest that the range of elements and the extent of contamination can be highly variable at different airports and frequently affected by car traffic. Therefore, further research on this issue is needed for the more precise determination of the elements emitted by air traffic at airports. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toward Sustainability: Airport Risk Assessment)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Farm Differentiation Strategies and Sustainable Regional Development
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 7223; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177223 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 784
Abstract
The paper examines differentiation business strategies in food production in Braničevo-Podunavlje region (Serbia). The research methodology includes survey research focused on the producers engaged in the production of value-added agricultural products, which have a greater potential for differentiation and branding. A range of [...] Read more.
The paper examines differentiation business strategies in food production in Braničevo-Podunavlje region (Serbia). The research methodology includes survey research focused on the producers engaged in the production of value-added agricultural products, which have a greater potential for differentiation and branding. A range of survey indicators enable farmers and entrepreneurs of differentiated products to emphasize key success factors, detect barriers, and generate business ideas and innovations. Survey research was conducted in the period December 2018–January 2019, among 67 farmers, legal entities, and unincorporated enterprises−producers of high-quality niche food products in Braničevo–Podunavlje region. Results of the research indicated vegetable and fruit processing, beekeeping, and milk processing as sectors of the most promising value-added food products, including those that form the region’s basket of products. The study’s findings should contribute to the development of differentiated business models in the food sector and strengthening their role in smart regional development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strategic Food Marketing and Sustainability)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Analysis of the Characteristics of Ecological Security Zoning and Its Dynamic Change Pattern: A Case Study of the Weibei Area
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 7222; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177222 - 03 Sep 2020
Viewed by 673
Abstract
The development pattern of agriculture and energy exploitation in the southern marginal area of the Loess Plateau is widespread in the northern part of China. As a typical example, the fragile ecological area in the Weibei region is greatly affected by human factors, [...] Read more.
The development pattern of agriculture and energy exploitation in the southern marginal area of the Loess Plateau is widespread in the northern part of China. As a typical example, the fragile ecological area in the Weibei region is greatly affected by human factors, which makes the local ecological environment and social sustainability disturbed to varying degrees. Taking the Weibei region as the study area, through the comprehensive analysis of social, economic, and climate data, an index system suitable for the ecological security assessment of the Weibei region was constructed. The ecological security of this region was quantitatively evaluated by spatial principal component analysis (SPCA), and its ecological security partition was divided and analyzed. There were five zones at different levels, and I to V represented the development of ecological security from a low level to a high level. The results showed that from 1997 to 2017, the ecological security of different districts and counties in the Weibei region showed different trends. For example, the ecological security index of Tongguan County, Chengcheng County, and Pucheng County continued to decrease, but the overall index value was still high, and the ecological security index of Dali County, Fuping County, and Hancheng County increased. During this period, the ecological security of regions I and II continued to increase, while regions IV and V first decreased and then increased. At the same time, the area of the ecological security buffer region increased year by year. This study can provide a feasible method for assessing ecological security of the current regional model of mixed agriculture and energy extraction industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Planning and Built Environment)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Development of Analytical Procedures for Chemical Characterization of Substrates for the Production of TRISO Coated Particles as Nuclear Fuel in High Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactors
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 7221; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177221 - 03 Sep 2020
Viewed by 639
Abstract
High temperature gas-cooled reactors have recently gained importance as a source of electricity and process heat. Nuclear fuel used in these reactors consists of TRISO (TRiple coated ISOtropic) coated particles, where spherical grains of UO2 or UC2 or UCO kernel are [...] Read more.
High temperature gas-cooled reactors have recently gained importance as a source of electricity and process heat. Nuclear fuel used in these reactors consists of TRISO (TRiple coated ISOtropic) coated particles, where spherical grains of UO2 or UC2 or UCO kernel are covered with four successive layers consisting of pyrolytic carbon and silicon carbide. Of great importance is the chemical purity of reagents and substances used for the production of TRISO coated fuel particles. Analytical techniques ensuring the determination of elements at trace levels are inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and neutron activation analysis (NAA). They were applied in this work for the chemical characterization of substrates used for TRISO fuel production. Two analytical procedures were developed: the first, where materials are analyzed using ICP-MS, and the second with the aid of NAA. Successive stages of these procedures are described with details. Results of quantitative chemical analysis of examined substances are reported as well as detection limits for the investigated elements. Moreover, the expanded uncertainties estimated for the determined elements while employing the devised analytical procedures are presented. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Assessing the Level of Inter-Sectoral Policy Integration for Governance in the Water–Energy Nexus: A Comparative Study of Los Angeles and Beijing
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 7220; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177220 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 732
Abstract
As concerns around water scarcity and energy security increase, so too has interest in the connections between these resources, through a concept called the water–energy nexus. Efforts to improve the integration of water and energy management and to understand their cross-sector relevance are [...] Read more.
As concerns around water scarcity and energy security increase, so too has interest in the connections between these resources, through a concept called the water–energy nexus. Efforts to improve the integration of water and energy management and to understand their cross-sector relevance are growing. In particular, this paper develops a better empirical understanding on the extent to which governance settings hinder and/or enable policy coherence between the water and energy sectors through a comparative analysis of two case studies, namely, Los Angeles County, California, the United States, and the city of Beijing, China. This paper examines the extent to which the institutional context enables policy coordination within (vertically) and between (horizontally) the water and energy sectors in Beijing and Los Angeles. To do so, we propose a framework for analyzing policy integration for the water energy nexus based on environmental policy integration (EPI). The results highlight the multiple and flexible approaches of EPI in nexus governance, not least with regards to horizontal and vertical policy integration, but also in terms of explicit (i.e., intended) and implicit (i.e., unintended) coordination. The level of nexus-focused policy integration is highly dependent on the motivation at the local context and the criteria to evaluate policy success in each sector. Full article
Article
Analysis of Cellulose Pulp Characteristics and Processing Parameters for Efficient Paper Production
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 7219; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177219 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 789
Abstract
For economic reasons, increasing the use of various fibrous pulps with high lignin contents—i.e., chemothermomechanical pulp (BCTMP and CTMP), thermomechanical pulp (TMP), and semichemical pulp—is desirable. The relatively good quality and increased efficiency of these pulps make them attractive paper semi-products. In particular, [...] Read more.
For economic reasons, increasing the use of various fibrous pulps with high lignin contents—i.e., chemothermomechanical pulp (BCTMP and CTMP), thermomechanical pulp (TMP), and semichemical pulp—is desirable. The relatively good quality and increased efficiency of these pulps make them attractive paper semi-products. In particular, they could alleviate the severe shortage of paper semi-products. Although mechanical pulp and semichemical pulp are achieving increasing quality with substantially increased wood efficiency, their production is often characterised by high consumption of electricity to defibre chips or refine high-lignin-content fibrous pulps. Technological, environmental, and economic evaluations of the manufacture and application of increased efficiency cellulose pulps that take into account potential profits from increased cellulose pulp efficiency and losses due to energy costs and degradation in the properties of the resulting paper are relevant and essential to paper mills. This article reports such an analysis. The authors have analysed the usable properties of ten cellulose pulps with various degrees of digestion and identified the optimum pulp that yields the optimum product properties, considering the yield; pulp refining time, which determines the cost of paper manufacture; and strength properties of the obtained paper. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Sustainable Mobility in the Mobile Risk Society—Designing Innovative Mobility Solutions in Copenhagen
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 7218; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177218 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 921
Abstract
The issue of creating more sustainable mobility systems has been revisited during the past 50 years. So far, we are still waiting for an innovative systemic change that is not simply an iteration of existing technologies. This standstill is to a large degree [...] Read more.
The issue of creating more sustainable mobility systems has been revisited during the past 50 years. So far, we are still waiting for an innovative systemic change that is not simply an iteration of existing technologies. This standstill is to a large degree due to the hegemonic mobility paradigm, working under a “predict and provide”-driven approach, with little attention being paid to environmental and social externalities. This paper calls for a new understanding of mobility transition interlinked with the cultural values of modern societies, deeply rooted in the mobile risk society. To create sustainable mobility practices we need robust, socially coherent, and inclusive mobility systems that are more than just transportation systems and connections. The empirical starting point is a visionary workshop on designing “Sustainable Innovative Mobility Solutions” in three urban areas in Copenhagen. The workshop created a cross-disciplinary space for actors to meet across dominant silos and acknowledge the need for intervention framings to focus on innovation as a matter of interlinking sustainable mobilities practices within everyday living in a mobile risk society. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Automobilities in the Mobile Risk Society)
Article
Perception and Drivers of Financial Constraints for the Sustainable Development
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 7217; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177217 - 03 Sep 2020
Viewed by 639
Abstract
Financial market imperfections constrain firms’ ability to obtain funds. This is especially true for the former communist bloc countries. However, the restrictions on access to financing and the attitudes of management in these geographies remain overlooked by academic research and represent an important [...] Read more.
Financial market imperfections constrain firms’ ability to obtain funds. This is especially true for the former communist bloc countries. However, the restrictions on access to financing and the attitudes of management in these geographies remain overlooked by academic research and represent an important obstacle on the roadmap to sustainable development. The objective of this paper is to fill this gap by analyzing the impact of ownership structure, institutional environment development, and debt market profile on the perception of financial constraints by the representatives of corporate top management from 28 countries of the former communist bloc. Our analysis spans over the period 2002–2013. We apply the probit and Heckman models to investigate nonlinear and multicast effects of the considered factors. We evidence that during the crisis and post-crisis periods, foreign ownership alleviates the restrictions on access to financial resources. We also discuss the role of state ownership. We find that the volume of local currency bond market has a nonlinear U-shape relationship. Our results are useful for policy makers focused on sustainable development of the former communist economies by means of improving access of businesses to financing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bank Management, Finance and Sustainability)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Comparison of the Flow Rate and Speed of Vehicles on a Representative Road Section before and after the Implementation of Measures in Connection with COVID-19
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 7216; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177216 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 916
Abstract
Transport is an inseparable part of the life of all citizens. At the beginning of the year, the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world. Individual states have taken strict measures to prevent its spread among the population. Due to this fact, the government of [...] Read more.
Transport is an inseparable part of the life of all citizens. At the beginning of the year, the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world. Individual states have taken strict measures to prevent its spread among the population. Due to this fact, the government of the Slovak Republic has issued restrictions on the closure of public spaces (schools, shopping centres, restaurants, bars, etc.). These restrictions have had an impact not only on the economic activity of the population but also on their mobility in the form of reduced traffic. This is due to the drastically reduced mobility associated with the coronavirus, such as commuting trips and extremely limited leisure opportunities. Reduced mobility of the population (reduction of the number of vehicles in the traffic flow) can bring positive effects not only on overloaded road network (increased vehicle speed, lower flow) but also on the environment (reduction of noise, emissions, etc.). This article aims at finding out what effect the measures taken had on the quality of traffic flow. The quality of movement was examined in the form of the flow and speed of vehicles on one of the busiest first-class road sections. Descriptive statistics were used to examine the state of the restrictions. The results show that after the introduction of measures against the spread of coronavirus, the intensity and speed of vehicles in the measured section decreased. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Transportation)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Biofuels and Their Potential in South Korea
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 7215; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177215 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 772
Abstract
We investigated the biofuel potential of South Korea and the implications of the introduction of biofuels for the Korean fuel market. We approximated the upper-bound biomass potential from forestry residues, livestock manure, and staple crops and calculated the amount of fuel that could [...] Read more.
We investigated the biofuel potential of South Korea and the implications of the introduction of biofuels for the Korean fuel market. We approximated the upper-bound biomass potential from forestry residues, livestock manure, and staple crops and calculated the amount of fuel that could be produced using these different biomass feedstocks. Our assessment suggests that biomass can be used to produce a significant portion of the fuel consumed annually in South Korea, with the most promising feedstock being forestry residues. Out of all the technologies considered, the production of cellulosic ethanol from forestry residues could potentially impact the fuel market the most. The key novelty of our study lies in that we considered a broad portfolio of biofuel technologies and carefully examined their potential economic and environmental implications for South Korea given its biomass availability (which we estimated). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Economics and Politics of Renewable Energy)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Mechanisms of Weak Governance in Grasslands and Wetlands of South America
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 7214; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177214 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 711
Abstract
Weak governance is a major threat to sustainable development, especially in rural contexts and within ecosystems of great social and economic value. To understand and compare its arrangement in the grasslands and wetlands of the Colombian Llanos and the Paraguayan Pantanal, we build [...] Read more.
Weak governance is a major threat to sustainable development, especially in rural contexts and within ecosystems of great social and economic value. To understand and compare its arrangement in the grasslands and wetlands of the Colombian Llanos and the Paraguayan Pantanal, we build upon the Institutional and Development Framework (IAD) as we explore the role of political, economic, and social institutions and combine components of the theory of common-pool resources (CPR) and new institutional economics (NIE). This hybrid conceptualization provides a synthesis of how top-down hierarchical and market-based systems of community-based and natural resource management negatively affect sustainable development in both study areas. Our findings suggest three underlying mechanisms causing a situation of weak governance: centralized (economic and political) power, the role of central and local governments, and social exclusion. Understanding these multidimensional contextual mechanisms improves the understanding that institutional structures supporting arrangements that handle grasslands and wetlands in a sustainable way are needed to protect the ecosystem’s social and economic values, especially in rural and marginalized contexts. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Mobile Access Hub Deployment for Urban Parcel Logistics
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 7213; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177213 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1140
Abstract
Last-mile logistics is an essential yet highly expensive component of city logistics responsible for many nuisances in urban areas. Mobile access hubs are flexible consolidation and transshipment points aiming at creating more sustainable city logistics systems by dynamically using urban space as logistics [...] Read more.
Last-mile logistics is an essential yet highly expensive component of city logistics responsible for many nuisances in urban areas. Mobile access hubs are flexible consolidation and transshipment points aiming at creating more sustainable city logistics systems by dynamically using urban space as logistics facilities. In this paper, we examine the potential of mobile access hub deployments for urban parcel logistics by identifying the impact of design parameters on economic and environmental performance. We propose a mathematical modeling framework and an integer program to assess the performance of mobile access hub deployments, and study the impact of a set of design parameters through synthetic cases and an illustrative case inspired from a large parcel express carrier’s operations. Results indicate design flexibility relative to the location of hubs and pronounced advantages in highly variable environments. The illustrative case shows significant savings potential in terms of cost and time efficiency as well as environmental sustainability. It emphasizes a trade-off between operational efficiency and environmental sustainability that can be balanced to achieve global sustainability goals while being economically sound. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable City Logistics and Innovation)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Research on Consumers’ Preferences for the Self-Service Mode of Express Cabinets in Stations Based on the Subway Distribution to Promote Sustainability
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 7212; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177212 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 676
Abstract
With the explosive growth in the express delivery business, last-mile delivery issues have come to the forefront in China. Subway-based distribution has been demonstrated and practiced. The self-service mode of express cabinets in stations based on the subway distribution can effectively reduce the [...] Read more.
With the explosive growth in the express delivery business, last-mile delivery issues have come to the forefront in China. Subway-based distribution has been demonstrated and practiced. The self-service mode of express cabinets in stations based on the subway distribution can effectively reduce the last-mile delivery costs, increase the utilization rate of public transportation resources, and reduce traffic congestion and carbon emissions. This paper designed self–service mode of express cabinets in stations and discussed the feasibility by investigating consumers’ preferences. The consumers’ preferences and influencing factors were examined by using the multicategorical logit model. The results show that consumers’ gender, education level and number of online purchases per month have an impact on consumers’ preferences. The majority of consumers are willing to actively engage in green consumer behavior. Meanwhile, consumers are more concerned about whether the express mode is convenient to conduct and the queuing of an express cabinet. Some suggestions and recommendations on promoting this self-service mode were put forward, such as pushing different advertisements for different groups of consumers, designing efficient and multi-function express cabinets, and adopting a reward system. This research provides guidance for decision making regarding the promotion of a new self–service mode based on the subway distribution, which can promote sustainable consumption and improve the efficient operation of urban last-mile delivery and the low-carbon development of urban transportation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Patterns in Consumer Behavior)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
The Implementation of Strategic Management in Greek Hospitality Businesses in Times of Crisis
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 7211; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177211 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1560
Abstract
The aim of this research was to explore the implementation of strategic management approaches in Greek tourism and hospitality businesses during economic crises, in order to further expand our current knowledge of operating in a turbulent environment and embracing novel aspects by linking [...] Read more.
The aim of this research was to explore the implementation of strategic management approaches in Greek tourism and hospitality businesses during economic crises, in order to further expand our current knowledge of operating in a turbulent environment and embracing novel aspects by linking economic crises with the current literature on the COVID-19 pandemic. This research emphasizes the connection between the strategic management approaches of 131 tourism organizations and hospitality business performance by analyzing entrepreneurs’ opinions and hospitality business markets. The results reveal that a significant percentage of the participants understand and use some strategic management procedures, and some strategy in general, but there is a lack of a concrete strategy for managing the turbulent environment caused by an economic crisis. However, a large percentage of small tourism businesses are completely unaware of strategic management approaches, and their knowledge of implementing a strategy during an economic crisis is limited. The practical implications of this research can act as a navigator of the economic consequences caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strategic Planning and Management of Tourist Destinations)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Are Cooperatives an Employment Option? A Job Preference Study of Millennial University Students
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 7210; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177210 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 899
Abstract
Millennials represent the most important group among the working age population. Destined to be the leaders of the future, their professional and personal profiles differ considerably from previous generations. Despite being considered as the most successful generation, millennials face a societal transformation and [...] Read more.
Millennials represent the most important group among the working age population. Destined to be the leaders of the future, their professional and personal profiles differ considerably from previous generations. Despite being considered as the most successful generation, millennials face a societal transformation and a labor reality marked by high levels of unemployment and underemployment that shape their career choice. Although millennials’ and university students’ job preferences have long been debated in the literature, some research gaps remain. Studies rarely consider the interplay between individuals’ profiles and the institutional form of business, particularly cooperative versus non cooperative options. To predict the compatibility between Millennials’ profiles and the cooperative job preference, a multinomial logit model is developed based on a survey of millennial business college students. Our key findings showed that some extrinsic issues are related to cooperative job preference, however the factor that has the most significant impact is the cooperative knowledge. This has important implications for the cooperative movement and for policy makers in charge of cooperative development. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Value Relevance of Corporate Environmental Performance: A Comprehensive Analysis of Performance Indicators Using Korean Data
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 7209; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177209 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 628
Abstract
This paper examines the value relevance of corporate environmental performance (CEP) using individual environmental performance indicators and multidimensional constructs derived from Trumpp et al. (2015). Accounting information can be described as ‘value-relevant’ when the information in financial statements has the ability to explain [...] Read more.
This paper examines the value relevance of corporate environmental performance (CEP) using individual environmental performance indicators and multidimensional constructs derived from Trumpp et al. (2015). Accounting information can be described as ‘value-relevant’ when the information in financial statements has the ability to explain firm value. In recent years, stakeholders such as governments, public institutions, firms, customers, and local communities have recognized the importance of corporate environmental performance. Thus, one of the main research questions is whether corporate environmental performance is value relevant. The empirical results in this paper indicate that only a few individual environmental performance indicator variables are value relevant, while most environmental performance constructs have a significant impact on firm value. Our findings suggest that firm value significantly increases with improved environmental management or operational performance. In addition, environmental performance indicators and environmental performance constructs have a significant impact on firms in environmentally sensitive industries, confirming the notion of higher value relevance of environmental information for firms in these industries. This study contributes to prior literature by carrying out a comprehensive analysis on the multidimensional nature of corporate environmental performance and its impact on value relevance. This paper also reconciles extant literature on the construct validity of environmental performance indicators and environmental performance constructs by formulating standardized composite measures of CEP following Larker et al. (2007). Full article
Article
Performance and Intrusiveness of Crowdshipping Systems: An Experiment with Commuting Cyclists in The Netherlands
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 7208; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177208 - 03 Sep 2020
Viewed by 758
Abstract
Crowdshipping systems are receiving increasing attention in both industry and academia. Different aspects of crowdshipping (summarized as platform, supply, and demand) are investigated in research. To date, the mutual influence of crowdshipping platform design and its supply side (with participating crowdshippers) has not [...] Read more.
Crowdshipping systems are receiving increasing attention in both industry and academia. Different aspects of crowdshipping (summarized as platform, supply, and demand) are investigated in research. To date, the mutual influence of crowdshipping platform design and its supply side (with participating crowdshippers) has not yet been thoroughly investigated. This paper addresses this mutual influence by investigating the relations between shipping performance and intrusiveness to daily trips of commuters who voluntarily act as cycle couriers. In an experiment in The Hague, cyclists were asked to transport small parcels during a simulated daily commuting routine. The grid of commuting trips acted as a relay network to move parcels to their individual destinations. All the movements of the parcels were recorded by GPS trackers. The analysis indicates that a higher degree of complexity of rules in crowdshipping systems can lead to better system performance. Meanwhile, it also imposes higher intrusiveness, as participants need to deviate more from their routines of daily, uninterrupted trips. The case also suggests that a well-designed crowdshipping system can increase system performance without having to ask too much from crowdshippers. This study provides reference to better design such systems, and opens up directions for further research that can be used to provide thorough guidelines for the implementation of crowdshipping platforms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable City Logistics and Innovation)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Sustainability Analysis of Active Packaging for the Fresh Cut Vegetable Industry by Means of Attributional & Consequential Life Cycle Assessment
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 7207; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177207 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 766
Abstract
In order to enlarge the shelf life and avoid the waste of fresh-cut (FC) products, novel packaging techniques with antimicrobial properties have been proposed. In this work, we analyzed the potential environmental benefits of using films reinforced with bactericidal ZnO nanoparticles (NP) for [...] Read more.
In order to enlarge the shelf life and avoid the waste of fresh-cut (FC) products, novel packaging techniques with antimicrobial properties have been proposed. In this work, we analyzed the potential environmental benefits of using films reinforced with bactericidal ZnO nanoparticles (NP) for FC produce packaging, when compared to the traditional polypropylene (PP) films. A biodegradable, polylactic acid (PLA) package and a non-biodegradable, polypropylene package, both coated with ZnO NP, were considered as novel technologies. The eco-profile of the considered alternatives was assessed via two life cycle assessments (LCAs). Firstly, an attributional LCA was performed in order to compare the materials in terms of their production and end of life (EOL) processes, allowing us to extend the conclusions to different food products. Secondly, a consequential LCA was performed taking into account the whole life cycle of the fresh vegetable, with special attention to the environmental implications of the produce losses among the chain. The uncertainties of the models were assessed via Monte Carlo approach. In both cases, the scenarios concerning the PLA and PP active packages with ZnO NP showed a better profile than the traditional techniques, specifically when considering the full supply chain of the FC vegetables in the consequential LCA. As agricultural production is the main contributor to the environmental impact of the cycle, the avoidance of wastes by extending the shelf life through the novel packages leads to the impact reduction of FC products. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Impact on City Bus Transit Services of the COVID–19 Lockdown and Return to the New Normal: The Case of A Coruña (Spain)
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 7206; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177206 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 1857
Abstract
The COVID–19 pandemic led to restrictions on activities and mobility in many parts of the world. After the main peak of the crisis, restrictions were gradually removed, returning to a new normal situation. This process has impacted urban mobility. The limited information on [...] Read more.
The COVID–19 pandemic led to restrictions on activities and mobility in many parts of the world. After the main peak of the crisis, restrictions were gradually removed, returning to a new normal situation. This process has impacted urban mobility. The limited information on the new normal situation shows changes that can be permanent or reversible. The impact on the diverse urban transport modes varies. This study analyzes the changes in transit ridership by line, the use of stops, the main origin–destination flows, changes in transit supply, operation time, and reliability of the city bus network of A Coruña. It is based on data from automatic vehicle location, bus stop boarding, and smart card use. Data from the first half of 2020 were compared to similar data in 2017–2019, defining suitable baselines for each analysis to avoid seasonal and day of week effects. The impact on transit ridership during the lockdown process was more significant than that on general traffic. In the new normal situation, the general traffic and the shared bike system recovered a higher percentage of their previous use than the bus system. These impacts are not uniform across the bus network. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Transportation)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Microorganisms and Enzymes Used in the Biological Pretreatment of the Substrate to Enhance Biogas Production: A Review
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 7205; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177205 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 921
Abstract
The pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass (LC biomass) prior to the anaerobic digestion (AD) process is a mandatory step to improve feedstock biodegradability and biogas production. An important potential is provided by lignocellulosic materials since lignocellulose represents a major source for biogas production, thus [...] Read more.
The pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass (LC biomass) prior to the anaerobic digestion (AD) process is a mandatory step to improve feedstock biodegradability and biogas production. An important potential is provided by lignocellulosic materials since lignocellulose represents a major source for biogas production, thus contributing to the environmental sustainability. The main limitation of LC biomass for use is its resistant structure. Lately, biological pretreatment (BP) gained popularity because they are eco-friendly methods that do not require chemical or energy input. A large number of bacteria and fungi possess great ability to convert high molecular weight compounds from the substrate into lower mass compounds due to the synthesis of microbial extracellular enzymes. Microbial strains isolated from various sources are used singly or in combination to break down the recalcitrant polymeric structures and thus increase biogasgeneration. Enzymatic treatment of LC biomass depends mainly on enzymes like hemicellulases and cellulases generated by microorganisms. The articles main purpose is to provide an overview regarding the enzymatic/biological pretreatment as one of the most potent techniques for enhancing biogas production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Environment and Renewable Energy Studies)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Perceived Quality of Urban Wetland Parks: A Second-Order Factor Structure Equation Modeling
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 7204; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177204 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 798
Abstract
Wetland in the urban or peri-urban areas has been recognized as an important component of urban ecosystems and provides ecological and environmental services. Wetland park emerged as a kind of restoration of natural wetlands in the context of increasing pressure on land and [...] Read more.
Wetland in the urban or peri-urban areas has been recognized as an important component of urban ecosystems and provides ecological and environmental services. Wetland park emerged as a kind of restoration of natural wetlands in the context of increasing pressure on land and eco-environment caused by urban sprawl, which has played an essential role in providing recreational spaces/opportunities and improving social interactions. However, little research has been conducted on the theoretical formulation elaborating individuals’ perceived quality of wetland parks when people are engaging in activities therein. This study is an attempt to develop a method to measure the quality of wetland parks based on individuals’ various perceptions and attitudes. From the view of human-nature interaction, the perceived quality is hypothetically conceptualized as a composite of two dimensions, such as comfort perception and environmental satisfaction. A series of questionnaire-based surveys were conducted among respondents (N = 936) in Yanghu wetland park in Changsha, China. Based on the measured items from on-site surveys, second-order factor structural equation modeling is applied to estimate the hypothesis of a hierarchical structure for elaborating how the quality of wetland park is perceived by individual respondents. The results test the hypothesis that the quality of wetland park as a second-order theoretical construct can be conceptualized by two first-order theoretical constructs, individuals’ comfort (loading = 0.749), and environmental satisfaction (loading = 0.828). In addition, a significant influence of attitudes toward green space on the perceived quality of wetland park has been identified. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Planning and Built Environment)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Previous Issue
Back to TopTop