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Sustainability, Volume 12, Issue 19 (October-1 2020) – 455 articles

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Bioenergy supply chains are regionally embedded and need to be seen in a place-based context with [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Groundwater Resilience Assessment in a Communal Coastal Aquifer System. The Case of Manglaralto in Santa Elena, Ecuador
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8290; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198290 - 08 Oct 2020
Viewed by 653
Abstract
Resilience has several meanings, among them the ability to overcome difficulty and return to the state of providing service, even if the initial conditions change. Assessing resilience in an ecosystem, or any system, requires a concise methodology with standard variables and parameters. The [...] Read more.
Resilience has several meanings, among them the ability to overcome difficulty and return to the state of providing service, even if the initial conditions change. Assessing resilience in an ecosystem, or any system, requires a concise methodology with standard variables and parameters. The current challenge presented by coastal areas is focused on overcoming problems related to the water supply through correct management. This paper aims to evaluate the communal coastal aquifer system with a matrix for assessing water resilience based on indicators in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in a socio-hydrological framework and the four axes of development (political, social, environmental, and cultural), to promote the development of new strategies for water sustainability. The method is based on (i) political, economic, social, environmental, and even cultural aspects involved in sustainable water management and (ii) the groundwater resilience assessment method (GRAM) design. The GRAM is used for a quasi-quantitative assessment of the resilience in a communal coastal aquifer system. This method was applied to the Manglaralto community; the results show a highly resilient groundwater system (62.33/100 points). Representatives of the community have achieved appropriate use, management, and conservation of the water resource by applying water harvesting and other technical criteria. Hence, they have avoided aquifer overexploitation and provided water to the community. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Training New Professionals in Service Engineering: Towards a Transdisciplinary Curriculum for Sustainable Businesses
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8289; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198289 - 08 Oct 2020
Viewed by 356
Abstract
The service sector provides employment for more than 70% of the active population in developed countries, in areas as varied as tourism, commerce, logistics, finances, services, and personnel, amongst others. Despite the fact that society increasingly needs more professionals who are oriented towards [...] Read more.
The service sector provides employment for more than 70% of the active population in developed countries, in areas as varied as tourism, commerce, logistics, finances, services, and personnel, amongst others. Despite the fact that society increasingly needs more professionals who are oriented towards this sector, there are hardly any specific plans that will provide them with appropriate training. The appearance of service science, management, and engineering (SSME) has led to a significant advance as regards understanding the skills required by a service professional. It is a transdisciplinary field that integrates aspects of business management, along with information and communication technologies and engineering, and social sciences, in addition to providing the foundations for the growth of sustainable business. This paper presents a curriculum for the training of professionals in service engineering, which has been designed and taught at a Spanish public university. This curriculum, which the university created in collaboration with SSME experts and service sector companies, stands out for two reasons: the transdisciplinary approach employed, which is one of the features of this emerging and integrative knowledge discipline, and the fact that it is providing a response to the need for higher education curricula for sustainable business development. The paper describes the method followed to create the curriculum for the Bachelor’s Degree in Service Engineering, a comparative study with other related degrees, and the results of the deployment of the degree in terms of employability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Business and Management Education)
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Open AccessArticle
Sustainable Urban Street Comprising Permeable Pavement and Bioretention Facilities: A Practice
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8288; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198288 - 08 Oct 2020
Viewed by 354
Abstract
Roadside bioretention and permeable pavements have proven effectiveness in rainwater filtration and waterlogging mitigation, but conventional street design approach could not accommodate their work in conjunction. In this research, possible roadside facilities allowing water transmission from permeable pavements and bioretention to the pipe [...] Read more.
Roadside bioretention and permeable pavements have proven effectiveness in rainwater filtration and waterlogging mitigation, but conventional street design approach could not accommodate their work in conjunction. In this research, possible roadside facilities allowing water transmission from permeable pavements and bioretention to the pipe system are proposed. Hydraulic properties of the comprised elements were analyzed, including rainfall intensity, permeable pavements, soil layers and pipe systems. A transformation method was formulated to obtain a successive time-intensity formula from conventional design parameters to describe the rainfall behavior, and therefore the water retention capacity of the bioretention could be considered. A test section of 1.6 km combining permeable pavements and roadside bioretention was constructed, and its hydraulic performance was predicted based on the proposed design method and Storm Water Management Model (SWMM). The research results suggest that the bioretention facilities and permeable pavements cooperate well in the test section. In a light rain event, the proposed street has favorable performance in rainwater collection and filtration. In a relatively intense rainstorm event, the street collects and filters water in the initial stage, but will have similar hydraulic performance to a conventional street once the retention facilities are saturated. Thus, no reduction in diameters of drainage pipes from conventional designs is suggested in similar projects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Transport Infrastructures)
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Open AccessArticle
Exploring the Affective Level in Adolescents in Relation to Advertising with a Selected Emotional Appeal
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8287; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198287 - 08 Oct 2020
Viewed by 346
Abstract
The correlation and perception of advertising on adolescents have been shown to be a key factor in the survival of subjective emotional states. In this research, we map the affective level in relation to emotions in the context of assessing the marketing advertisement [...] Read more.
The correlation and perception of advertising on adolescents have been shown to be a key factor in the survival of subjective emotional states. In this research, we map the affective level in relation to emotions in the context of assessing the marketing advertisement “Man on the Moon” by John Lewis company. We assess how an emotional appeal affects adolescents in various areas of the Slovak Republic, following several crucial demographic features of respondents. We examined the affective level by means of a psychodiagnostic tool in the form of a standardized tool of the scale of subjective emotional habitual well-being. To measure the emotional component of subjective well-being, we used descriptive words that expressed experienced emotions and feelings. From the collected data, we determined the frequency of positive and negative mood and verified the dependence between the variable region and emotion. We used Pearson’s chi-square test. When evaluating the data, we found dependencies between the categorical variable region and emotion. We did not find a relationship between the variable gender and emotion. The geographical division within the national market has an impact on the experience of positive and negative emotions when looking at advertising with an emotional appeal to the story. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Marketing, Branding and CSR in the Digital Economy)
Open AccessArticle
Does Cultural Difference Matter on Social Media? An Examination of the Ethical Culture and Information Privacy Concerns
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8286; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198286 - 08 Oct 2020
Viewed by 336
Abstract
While social media has become a very popular tool for sharing information and news worldwide, the ethical culture of the users emerged as a significant issue in cyber space. This research investigates the role of perceived ethical culture and information privacy concerns on [...] Read more.
While social media has become a very popular tool for sharing information and news worldwide, the ethical culture of the users emerged as a significant issue in cyber space. This research investigates the role of perceived ethical culture and information privacy concerns on social media behaviors. More importantly, this study investigates the role of cultural difference in the relationship among those factors. Based on the study results of U.S. and Korean social media users, this study found ethical culture to be positively associated and information privacy concerns negatively associated with users’ information-sharing behavior on social media. In addition, the study results indicated that the size of the impact of the two facts are varied between the two countries. This study’s results direct that users’ perceived ethical culture and privacy concerns are important factors affecting social media users’ information sharing. However, these factors could have a different impact with cultural differences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle
Measurement of Polycentric County-Level Areas in a Rapid Urbanization Region from a Public Service Perspective
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8285; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198285 - 08 Oct 2020
Viewed by 300
Abstract
Despite various studies regarding polycentric development at metropolis or even larger spatial scales, there is little systematic analysis regarding the rapid urbanization area at the county-level scale. Therefore, this study explored polycentric development in 52 county-level administrative units in Zhejiang Province, China, from [...] Read more.
Despite various studies regarding polycentric development at metropolis or even larger spatial scales, there is little systematic analysis regarding the rapid urbanization area at the county-level scale. Therefore, this study explored polycentric development in 52 county-level administrative units in Zhejiang Province, China, from a public service perspective. Based on point-of-interest data, our analysis detected the intra-county urban centers and measured their polycentric characteristics. According to the number, scale, and equilibrium value of intra-county polycentricity, the 52 county-level units were classified into three types using a two-step cluster algorithm method. The empirical results suggest that polycentric characteristics vary in the rapid urbanization area, and the spatial distribution of typological units is characterized by agglomeration. Topographical condition, fixed assets investment, public transportation, and residential consumption ability are highly associated with the classification of polycentric urban areas. The conclusion of this study would help local governments initiate better urban development policies and provide potential research directions for further studies about the relationship of inter-county urban centers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Assessing Genetic Diversity and Population Structure of Kalmia latifolia L. in the Eastern United States: An Essential Step towards Breeding for Adaptability to Southeastern Environmental Conditions
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8284; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198284 - 08 Oct 2020
Viewed by 250
Abstract
Kalmia latifolia L. (mountain laurel), an attractive flowering shrub, is considered to be a high-value ornamental plant for the eastern United States. Limited information on the genetic diversity and structure of K. latifolia is available, which obstructs efficient germplasm utilization and breeding for [...] Read more.
Kalmia latifolia L. (mountain laurel), an attractive flowering shrub, is considered to be a high-value ornamental plant for the eastern United States. Limited information on the genetic diversity and structure of K. latifolia is available, which obstructs efficient germplasm utilization and breeding for adaptability to southeastern environmental conditions. In this study, the genetic diversity of 48 wild K. latifolia plants sampled from eight populations in the eastern U.S. was assessed using eight inter simple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers. A total of 116 bands were amplified, 90.52% of which (105) were polymorphic. A high level of genetic diversity at the species level was determined by Nei’s gene diversity (0.3089) and Shannon’s information index (0.4654), indicating that K. latifolia was able to adapt to environmental changes and thus was able to distribute over a wide latitudinal range. In terms of the distribution of genetic diversity, Nei’s genetic differentiation and analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) showed 38.09% and 29.54% of diversity existed among populations, respectively, elucidating a low-to-moderate level of among-population genetic differentiation. Although a relatively large proportion of diversity was attributed to within-population variation, low diversity within populations (mean genetic diversity within populations (HS) = 0.19) was observed. Both STRUCTURE and unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean (UPGMA) dendrograms exhibited the clustering of populations that inhabit the same geographic region, and four clusters correlated with four geographic regions, which might be attributed to insect pollination, small population size, and environmental conditions in different habitats. These results function as an essential step towards better conserving and utilizing wild K. latifolia resources, and hence promoting its genetic improvement and breeding for adaptability to southeastern environmental conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Horticultural Practices)
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Open AccessArticle
Immigrants’ “Role Shift” for Sustainable Urban Communities: A Case Study of Toronto’s Multiethnic Community Farm
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8283; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198283 - 08 Oct 2020
Viewed by 592
Abstract
As the ongoing health crisis has recently revealed, disparities and social exclusions experienced by immigrants in cities are now critical urban issues that can no longer be overlooked in the process of building sustainable urban communities. However, within the current practices aiming for [...] Read more.
As the ongoing health crisis has recently revealed, disparities and social exclusions experienced by immigrants in cities are now critical urban issues that can no longer be overlooked in the process of building sustainable urban communities. However, within the current practices aiming for social inclusion of immigrants, there has been an underlying assumption that immigrants are permanent “recipients” of their host society’s support, rather than potential “hosts” with abilities to support others in their society in the long-term. To question that assumption, this paper aims to identify immigrants’ degree of involvement by taking a multiethnic community farm in Toronto, Canada, as a case study to discuss the scope of the long-term inclusion of immigrants. Conducting a set of 15 life story interviews with participants of the Black Creek Community Farm (BCCF), the study identified what roles immigrants played within the group using the longitudinal analysis of individuals’ role-taking processes between 2010–2018. The paper identified three types of roles—recipient, assistant, and facilitator—taken by the participants during their involvement. The timeline of individual role types by year showed that more than half of the immigrants at the BCCF underwent a “role shift” to take an assistant and facilitator role that required higher engagement. The findings suggest immigrants’ orientations towards the BCCF have shifted from being the ones to be included to the ones including others in the local community over time, which confirms our hypothesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Geography and Social Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
The Role of Public Governance in the Pursuit of Sustainable Development of the ILVA Steel Plant: An Interpretative Framework
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8282; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198282 - 08 Oct 2020
Viewed by 324
Abstract
The aim of this paper was to investigate the role of public institutions in the pursuit of sustainable development in a case study of international relevance: Taranto’s ILVA steel plant, which is one of the biggest steel and iron centres in Europe. The [...] Read more.
The aim of this paper was to investigate the role of public institutions in the pursuit of sustainable development in a case study of international relevance: Taranto’s ILVA steel plant, which is one of the biggest steel and iron centres in Europe. The case study was analysed through investigating the different aspects of sustainable development in the four phases of development of the steel plant, from public direct management to private management. The analysis, based on a series of unstructured data, was carried out by applying a triple bottom line approach and the total interpretative structuring model (TISM). Evidence shows how—in the absence of stable, coherent, strong and present public institutions, capable of reading the forces of the local and international context and of intervening with regulatory actions inspired by a planned and interiorized economic strategy—the market, left in the hands of the private entrepreneur only, is destined to fail, and the paths of multidimensional sustainable development stray away from the ambitions of modern states. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Country Evaluation for China’s Hydropower Investment in the Belt and Road Initiative Nations
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8281; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198281 - 08 Oct 2020
Viewed by 351
Abstract
With the implementation of China’s “Going Out” strategy and “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI) as well as the shortage of domestic hydropower market, the scale of hydropower investment along BRI by Chinese companies has expanded rapidly. However, these countries have great differences in [...] Read more.
With the implementation of China’s “Going Out” strategy and “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI) as well as the shortage of domestic hydropower market, the scale of hydropower investment along BRI by Chinese companies has expanded rapidly. However, these countries have great differences in politics, laws, economy, hydropower potential, social development and environmental constraints. Due to the inappropriate choice of countries for investment, many failure cases have also occurred. To specifically evaluate hydropower investment in these countries, this paper proposed a six-dimensional indicator system which can represents the characteristics of hydropower investment along BRI based on the analysis of the typical cases of overseas investment by Chinese enterprises. Furthermore, a fuzzy optimal model based on the Delphi-Entropy weight was constructed to evaluate the hydropower investment of 65 countries along BRI as well as a list of countries and corresponding investment grades are proposed. The result indicates that politics and hydropower industry factors are the key determinants of choosing the countries for conducting investment while legal, economic, social and environmental factors should also be covered. In conclusion, the optimal choices for China’s hydropower investment along BRI are Russia, Pakistan, Malaysia, Kazakhstan and Indonesia and the strategy has been given accordingly. Moreover the policy recommendations from the perspective of nation and enterprise level have also been proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Recurring Patterns and Blueprints of Industrial Symbioses as Structural Units for an IT Tool
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8280; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198280 - 08 Oct 2020
Viewed by 248
Abstract
Industrial Symbiosis (IS) deals with the set-up of advanced circular/cascading systems, in which the energy and material flows are prolonged for multiple material and energetic (re-)utilization within industrial systems. To facilitate the technology-enabling environment of IS systems, this work deals with the identification [...] Read more.
Industrial Symbiosis (IS) deals with the set-up of advanced circular/cascading systems, in which the energy and material flows are prolonged for multiple material and energetic (re-)utilization within industrial systems. To facilitate the technology-enabling environment of IS systems, this work deals with the identification of recurring patterns in IS systems of specific IS case studies and deduction of elementary blueprints and structural units, setting an initial cornerstone to pool and synthesize existing IS knowledge and to deploy this knowledge base in an Information Technology (IT)-supported IS tool, which would remarkably advance the scope of action and development of IS systems. An explorative cross-case analysis was conducted by investigating 80 IS case studies in depth in order to illuminate recurring (key) patterns in IS systems by generalizing and abstracting IS main structures, compositions, resource exchange activities and measures. It has been shown that similar IS sectoral partnerships and resource exchanges have recurrently formed in different regions and hence, generalizable patterns can be deduced. This study identified common IS compositions, sector clusters and key/core/anchor entities and synthesized a content basis for a database of an IS resource exchange catalog based on existing/available IS information, which can be used in an IT-supported IS tool. It contains information of specific IS resource exchanges, broken down by industrial sectors, differentiating providing and receiving sectors and which respective exchanged waste flows were processed into which secondary material/product. Once this fundamental information/data base is incorporated and applied in an IT-supported IS tool, it enables the facilitated recommendation of potential IS partners and IS actions to optimize existing IS cases or to initiate IS development. Especially, first IS germ cells of (key) entities can be derived and connected to each other considering individual circumstances and (geographical) business environments. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
From Silk to Digital Technologies: A Gateway to New Opportunities for Creative Industries, Traditional Crafts and Designers. The SILKNOW Case
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8279; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198279 - 08 Oct 2020
Viewed by 513
Abstract
Nowadays, cultural heritage is more than ever linked to the present. It links us to our cultural past through the conscious act of preserving and bequeathing to future generations, turning society into its custodian. The appreciation of cultural heritage happens not only because [...] Read more.
Nowadays, cultural heritage is more than ever linked to the present. It links us to our cultural past through the conscious act of preserving and bequeathing to future generations, turning society into its custodian. The appreciation of cultural heritage happens not only because of its communicative power, but also because of its economic power, through sustainable development and the promotion of creative industries. This paper presents SILKNOW, an EU-H2002 funded project and its application to cultural heritage, as well as to creative industries and design innovation. To this end, it presents the use of image recognition tools applied to cultural heritage, through the interoperability of data in the open-access registers of silk museums and its presentation, analysis and creative process carried out by the design students of EASD Valencia as a case study, in the branches of jewellery and fashion project, inspired by the heritage of silk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Silk Heritage in the Knowledge Society)
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Open AccessArticle
Communication on Sustainability in Spanish Universities: Analysis of Websites, Scientific Papers and Impact in Social Media
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8278; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198278 - 08 Oct 2020
Viewed by 302
Abstract
This study analyses how Spanish universities are communicating their commitment to sustainability to society. That entailed analysing the content of their websites and their scientific papers in sustainability science and technologies and measuring the impact of such research in social media. Results obtained [...] Read more.
This study analyses how Spanish universities are communicating their commitment to sustainability to society. That entailed analysing the content of their websites and their scientific papers in sustainability science and technologies and measuring the impact of such research in social media. Results obtained from bibliometric approaches and institutional document analysis attest to intensified interest in sustainability among Spanish universities in recent years. The findings revealed an increase in the number of universities using terms associated with sustainability to designate the governing bodies. The present study also uses an activity index to identify universities that devote high effort to research on sustainability and seven Spanish universities were identified with output greater than 3% of the total. Mentions in social media were observed to have grown significantly in the last 10 years, with 38% of the sustainability papers receiving such attention, compared to 21% in 2010. Publications in open access journals have had a greater impact on social media, especially on Twitter and Facebook. The analysis of university websites showed that only 30% had social media accounts and only 6% blogs specifically designed to disseminate their sustainability activities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Overview of Dynamic Facility Layout Planning as a Sustainability Strategy
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8277; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198277 - 08 Oct 2020
Viewed by 587
Abstract
The facility layout design problem is significantly relevant within the business operations strategies framework and has emerged as an alternate strategy towards supply chain sustainability. However, its wide coverage in the scientific literature has focused mainly on the static planning approach and disregarded [...] Read more.
The facility layout design problem is significantly relevant within the business operations strategies framework and has emerged as an alternate strategy towards supply chain sustainability. However, its wide coverage in the scientific literature has focused mainly on the static planning approach and disregarded the dynamic approach, which is very useful in real-world applications. In this context, the present article offers a literature review of the dynamic facility layout problem (DFLP). First, a taxonomy of the reviewed papers is proposed based on the problem formulation current trends (related to the problem type, planning phase, planning approach, number of facilities, number of floors, number of departments, space consideration, department shape, department dimensions, department area, and materials handling configuration); the mathematical modeling approach (regarding the type of model, type of objective function, type of constraints, nature of market demand, type of data, and distance metric), and the considered solution approach. Then, the extent to which recent research into DFLP has contributed to supply chain sustainability by addressing its three performance dimensions (economic, environmental, social) is described. Finally, some future research guidelines are provided. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Linking Organic Metabolites as Produced by Purpureocillium Lilacinum 6029 Cultured on Karanja Deoiled Cake Medium for the Sustainable Management of Root-Knot Nematodes
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8276; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198276 - 08 Oct 2020
Viewed by 320
Abstract
Root-knot nematodes pose a serious threat to agriculture and forest systems, causing significant losses of the crop worldwide. A wide range of chemical nematicides has traditionally been used to manage phyto-nematodes. However, due to their ill effects on the environment, biological control agents [...] Read more.
Root-knot nematodes pose a serious threat to agriculture and forest systems, causing significant losses of the crop worldwide. A wide range of chemical nematicides has traditionally been used to manage phyto-nematodes. However, due to their ill effects on the environment, biological control agents (BCAs) like Purpureocillium lilacinum that exhibit antagonistic effects on root-knot nematodes are preferred. The current study focused on identifying nematicidal metabolites produced by the fungus Purpureocillium lilacinum cultivated on akaranja deoiled cake-based liquid medium through bioactivity-guided fractionation against Meloidogyne incognita. Column chromatography of the ethyl acetate extract of fungal filtrate exhibited the most potent fraction (fraction 14–15), giving 94.6% egg mass hatching inhibition on the 5th day and a maximum nematicidal activity of 62% against second-stage juveniles after 48 h at 5000 mg/L. Gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis of this fraction revealed five major compounds, viz., 2-ethyl butyric acid, phenyl ethyl alcohol, benzoic acid, benzene acetic acid, and 3,5-Di-t-butylphenol. These biocompounds have potential biocontrol applications in agriculture, but further in vivo studies are warranted. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Unequal Impact of Natural Landscape Views on Housing Prices: Applying Visual Perception Model and Quantile Regression to Apartments in Seoul
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8275; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198275 - 08 Oct 2020
Viewed by 317
Abstract
Natural landscape views have positive sides, such as providing restorative effects to urban residents, and negative sides, such as deepening wealth inequality. Previous studies have mainly focused on the positives and rarely on the negatives. From this perspective, this study aimed to analyze [...] Read more.
Natural landscape views have positive sides, such as providing restorative effects to urban residents, and negative sides, such as deepening wealth inequality. Previous studies have mainly focused on the positives and rarely on the negatives. From this perspective, this study aimed to analyze the unequal impact of natural landscape views on housing prices for apartments in Seoul. We proposed a visual perception model to analyze natural landscape views and, based on a hedonic price model, we used ordinary least squares and quantile regression to estimate the marginal impacts on housing prices. The results show that: (1) natural landscape views had positive impacts on housing prices, but their impacts did not reach the level of structural and locational characteristics such as apartment area and the distance to subway stations; (2) natural landscape views had different marginal impacts by housing price range and, in particular, had much higher value-added effects on higher-priced apartments, meaning that if old apartment complexes are redeveloped into high-rise ones, the improvement in natural landscape views generates great profit for apartment owners and intensifies wealth inequality; (3) the geographic information system-based visual perception model effectively quantified the natural landscape views of wide areas and is thus applicable for the rigorous analysis of various landscape views. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Real Estate: Management, Assessment and Innovations)
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Open AccessArticle
Sustainable Transport: An Efficient Transportation Network—Case Study
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8274; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198274 - 08 Oct 2020
Viewed by 389
Abstract
The article describes sustainable transport principles and guides that can lead cities towards a more efficient transportation network. The authors also show good practice used in different urban areas, such as London and Copenhagen. Furthermore, Vilnius was analyzed for its sustainable transport rules [...] Read more.
The article describes sustainable transport principles and guides that can lead cities towards a more efficient transportation network. The authors also show good practice used in different urban areas, such as London and Copenhagen. Furthermore, Vilnius was analyzed for its sustainable transport rules and mobility. The authors took into consideration components such as public transport indicators, car use and the number of trips made by bicycle and by pedestrians. Additionally, solutions such as shared space, developing cycle routes and public transportation networks, dividing different transport modes, reducing distance and the need to travel, policy shifts and technological innovation are proposed. Moreover, already taken actions are also verified. The article, additionally, shows guidance for Vilnius, so it could be possible to develop a sustainable traffic network in the city. All analyses and guidance were based on using geographic information system (GIS) tools which allowed the authors to obtain the most reliable results. The artefacts are presented by means of a combination of graph theory algorithms in order to obtain sustainable transport using the example of a part of Vilnius City. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Combining Environmental Footprint Models, Remote Sensing Data, and Certification Data towards an Integrated Sustainability Risk Analysis for Certification in the Case of Palm Oil
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8273; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198273 - 08 Oct 2020
Viewed by 390
Abstract
Monitoring the potential impacts of the growing Bioeconomy (BE) is a crucial precondition for the development of viable and sustainable strategies. Potential environmental consequences from resource production for the German Bioeconomy can be assessed with the concept of environmental footprint modelling. Furthermore, remote [...] Read more.
Monitoring the potential impacts of the growing Bioeconomy (BE) is a crucial precondition for the development of viable and sustainable strategies. Potential environmental consequences from resource production for the German Bioeconomy can be assessed with the concept of environmental footprint modelling. Furthermore, remote sensing and sustainability certification are tools that can support risk assessment and mitigation i.e., regarding land use (change), biodiversity, carbon stocks, and water consumption. Thus, they can complement the results of footprint models and produce assessment results with a much higher resolution. Among other things, this can enable the development of strategies for more sustainable production practices in high-risk areas and avoid potential bans of biomass imports from entire countries/regions. The conducted case study on palm oil in this paper shows intersections between indicators used in sustainability certification systems and in footprint modelling considering processes on plantation and mill levels. Local best practices for the sustainable production of biomass are identified through a literature review and are extended by a survey, which evaluates the feasibility and conditions of implementing the selected practices on plantations. The conceptual approach outlined in this paper can be seen as a first step towards an integrated sustainability risk analysis of processes and products used within the BE that might be further developed from this starting point. It takes into account footprint modelling data, the use of sustainability certification systems, and data and results from remote sensing analyses. This will enable low-risk producers of renewable resources, who are located in regions generally flagged as high-risk when using environmental footprint modelling, not to be excluded from market activities but to set best practice examples that can then be expanded into these regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Standardization)
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Open AccessArticle
College Students’ Entrepreneurial Mindset: Educational Experiences Override Gender and Major
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8272; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198272 - 08 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 396
Abstract
Entrepreneurship education has been popularly adopted in higher education contexts. Although evidence-based implementations of such education are widely acknowledged as beneficial, valid assessments of it are sparse. One possible outcome of entrepreneurship education is a change in students’ entrepreneurial mindset, which can be [...] Read more.
Entrepreneurship education has been popularly adopted in higher education contexts. Although evidence-based implementations of such education are widely acknowledged as beneficial, valid assessments of it are sparse. One possible outcome of entrepreneurship education is a change in students’ entrepreneurial mindset, which can be measured by the recently validated College Students’ Entrepreneurial Mindset Scale (CS-EMS). However, this scale awaits evidence regarding measurement invariance. This study aims to (1) examine measurement invariance of the CS-EMS; (2) compare the latent and observed means across groups based on gender, major, and educational experiences; and (3) investigate the conditional effects of the three grouping variables. Using data from 317 Korean college students’ survey responses, we conducted sequential tests of factorial invariance and latent mean comparisons using multiple-group confirmatory factor analysis. Additionally, the conditional effects of the gender, major, and educational experiences were tested by structural equation modeling. The results indicate that strict invariance held for the groups compared by either gender or educational experiences, while scalar invariance held between the engineering and non-engineering groups. While the male, engineering, and educational experience groups generally scored higher on both the latent and observed sub-scales, the results of the conditional effects of grouping variables indicated that educational experiences mattered most. One practical implication for the educators is that the CS-EMS is a promising assessment tool for addressing the effectiveness of entrepreneurship education, especially when the targeted educational goals are any of its sub-constructs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Making the Unsustainable Sustainable: How Swedish Secondary School Teachers Deal with Sustainable Development in Their Teaching
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8271; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198271 - 08 Oct 2020
Viewed by 391
Abstract
The aim of this article is to investigate how Swedish teachers manage the uncertainty and complexity associated with sustainable development (SD) as a field of knowledge, in relation to the requirements in the school curriculum. Underlying the whole concept of sustainable development is [...] Read more.
The aim of this article is to investigate how Swedish teachers manage the uncertainty and complexity associated with sustainable development (SD) as a field of knowledge, in relation to the requirements in the school curriculum. Underlying the whole concept of sustainable development is the vision that there is a possible solution to the ecological, economic and social problems created by humans. However, it is not so clear what this solution actually means in practice. The article builds on an analysis of transcribed individual and group interviews with 40 teachers at Swedish lower and upper secondary schools, related to the topic of sustainable development as a field of knowledge. A thematic analysis was carried out by identifying four broad themes, including dominating discourses. The results indicate that there is a lack of vision among the teachers for a future sustainable society, while at the same time, it seems to be taboo to talk about what an unsustainable society might mean in the long run. Presentations of the problems and knowledge of what causes them must always be combined with instructions on how problems can be solved and how pupils can influence their own future and help create sustainable development. The starting point for such a solution-oriented approach to SD is based on an assumption that individual behaviour is essential to achieving sustainable development and thus that individual responsibility is crucial. This focus leads to individual consumer choices, behaviours and lifestyles at the heart of teaching, while progressive, alternative visions and critical perspectives are downplayed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Producing Knowledge and Expertise to Govern for a Sustainable Future)
Open AccessArticle
Esports Governance: Exploring Stakeholder Dynamics
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8270; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198270 - 08 Oct 2020
Viewed by 601
Abstract
Esports is a rapidly growing industry. However, the unidentifiable governance structure of the industry has contributed to a number of integrity-eroding activities. By exploring esports stakeholder dynamics, this paper answers the question, “Is the esports governance model sustainable?” Data were sourced from documentation, [...] Read more.
Esports is a rapidly growing industry. However, the unidentifiable governance structure of the industry has contributed to a number of integrity-eroding activities. By exploring esports stakeholder dynamics, this paper answers the question, “Is the esports governance model sustainable?” Data were sourced from documentation, focus groups (N = 3) and semi-structured interviews (N = 6). Thematic analysis was conducted using Nvivo. The findings suggest that (1) the current esports governance framework features some attributes of the “lead organisation-governed network”, with the power residing mainly in game publishers; (2) the rising power of other stakeholders in the network seeking to address integrity issues has caused fragmentation of the esports governance framework; (3) esports governance is evolving towards a network administration organisation (NAO) model. Such evolution has a few challenges—most notably, the compliance of game publishers. Given the social impact of the integrity issues, governments should play a main role in facilitating a NAO model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport Policy and Finance)
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Open AccessArticle
Land Consumption and Land Take: Enhancing Conceptual Clarity for Evaluating Spatial Governance in the EU Context
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8269; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198269 - 08 Oct 2020
Viewed by 576
Abstract
Rapid expansion of settlements and related infrastructures is a global trend that comes with severe environmental, economic, and social costs. Steering urbanization toward well-balanced compactness is thus acknowledged as an important strategic orientation in UN Sustainable Development Goal 11 (SDG-11) via the SDG-indicator [...] Read more.
Rapid expansion of settlements and related infrastructures is a global trend that comes with severe environmental, economic, and social costs. Steering urbanization toward well-balanced compactness is thus acknowledged as an important strategic orientation in UN Sustainable Development Goal 11 (SDG-11) via the SDG-indicator “Ratio of land consumption rate to population growth rate.” The EU’s simultaneous commitment to being “a frontrunner in implementing […] the SDGs” and to striving for “no net land take until 2050” calls for relating the concepts of land consumption and land take to each other. Drawing on an EU-centred questionnaire study, a focus group and a literature review, we scrutinize definitions of land consumption and land take, seeking to show how they are interrelated, and questioning the comparability of respective indicators. We argue that conceptual clarifications and a bridging of the two notions are much needed, and that the precision required for definitions and applications is context-dependent. While approximate understandings may suffice for general communication and dissemination objectives, accurate and consistent interpretations of the discussed concepts seem indispensable for monitoring and reporting purposes. We propose ways of addressing existing ambiguities and suggest prioritizing the term land take in the EU context. Thereby, we aim to enhance conceptual clarity around land consumption and land take—a precondition for solidly informing respective policies and decisions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Governance Mixes for Sustainable Peri-Urbanization)
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Open AccessArticle
On the Operational Flood Forecasting Practices Using Low-Quality Data Input of a Distributed Hydrological Model
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8268; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198268 - 08 Oct 2020
Viewed by 293
Abstract
Low-quality input data (such as sparse rainfall gauges, low spatial resolution soil type and land use maps) have limited the application of physically-based distributed hydrological models in operational practices in many data-sparse regions. It is necessary to quantify the uncertainty in the deterministic [...] Read more.
Low-quality input data (such as sparse rainfall gauges, low spatial resolution soil type and land use maps) have limited the application of physically-based distributed hydrological models in operational practices in many data-sparse regions. It is necessary to quantify the uncertainty in the deterministic forecast results of distributed models. In this paper, the TOPographic Kinematic Approximation and Integration (TOPKAPI) distributed model was used for deterministic forecasts with low-quality input data, and then the Hydrologic Uncertainty Processor (HUP) was used to provide the probabilistic forecast results for operational practices. Results showed that the deterministic forecasts by TOPKAPI performed poorly in some flood seasons, such as the years 1997, 2001 and 2008, despite which the overall accuracy of the whole study period 1996–2008 could be acceptable and generally reproduced the hydrological behaviors of the catchment (Lushi basin, China). The HUP model can not only provide probabilistic forecasts (e.g., 90% predictive uncertainty bounds), but also provides deterministic forecasts in terms of 50% percentiles. The 50% percentiles obviously improved the forecast accuracy of selected flood events at the leading time of one hour. Besides, the HUP performance decayed with the leading time increasing (6, 12 h). This work revealed that deterministic model outputs had large uncertainties in flood forecasts, and the HUP model may provide an alternative for operational flood forecasting practices in those areas with low-quality data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrometeorological Hazards and Disasters)
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Open AccessArticle
Implementation of SDGs in University Teaching: A Course for Professional Development of Teachers in Education for Sustainability for a Transformative Action
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8267; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198267 - 08 Oct 2020
Viewed by 324
Abstract
The University Jaume I of Castellon (Spain) launched the “ImpSDGup” course in 2017. The aim of this training course on professional education for sustainable development (ESD) skills and competences for higher education teachers is to help academics in reorienting their subjects’ [...] Read more.
The University Jaume I of Castellon (Spain) launched the “ImpSDGup” course in 2017. The aim of this training course on professional education for sustainable development (ESD) skills and competences for higher education teachers is to help academics in reorienting their subjects’ curricula in order to contribute to the sustainable development goals of the United Nations’ Agenda 2030. The “ImpSDGup” course is based on the Training Model in Transformative Action for Sustainability (TMTAS) model that is structured in three main areas: the content on sustainability, the theoretical approaches, and the ESD teaching and learning methodologies. In this paper, we describe the design and the contents of the training course and we investigate the changes that participants of the course implemented in the design of their subject programs. The methodology of the study was based on content analysis. The main results show that most of the 55 university teachers that undertook the course in its three editions succeeded in transforming course objectives and that they incorporated some of the SDGs and several ESD active learning methodologies in their teaching. As a consequence of this, we consider that the course helps in enhancing university teachers’ ESD professional competences. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The 2030 Challenge in the Quality of Higher Education: Metacognitive, Motivational and Structural Factors, Predictive of Written Argumentation, for the Dissemination of Sustainable Knowledge
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8266; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198266 - 08 Oct 2020
Viewed by 301
Abstract
The United Nations 2030 agenda includes quality university education, highlighting the importance of writing competence, as a basic skill for the dissemination of sustainable knowledge. However, there is little evidence of the factors that predict effective written communication to support such quality. Among [...] Read more.
The United Nations 2030 agenda includes quality university education, highlighting the importance of writing competence, as a basic skill for the dissemination of sustainable knowledge. However, there is little evidence of the factors that predict effective written communication to support such quality. Among these factors, the literature highlights motivation and writing metacognition, as well as the adequate structuring of the academic and/or scientific genre. The main novelty of the present research is the study of the relationships between the mentioned factors, measured with validated instruments. To this end, content analysis is first applied to determine the rhetorical moves of argumentative essays written by a sample of 72 university students. Secondly, the correlations between each of the rhetorical moves, metacognition and argumentative writing self-efficacy are calculated. The relationships are studied in depth, applying step-by-step linear regression models. Finally, the dependence of the results, observed with respect to unmeasured factors, is contrasted by means of a confirmatory analysis based on structural equations. The analyses show that it is the practical ability to express rhetorical moves—Conclusion and Bibliographic References—which predicts a students’ writing metacognition. Moreover, the minor relationship that argumentative self-efficacy shows with the expression of rhetorical moves, compared to writing metacognition, point to the need to consider another motivational dimension that is driving the learning of the argumentative essay at university level, a hypothesis that is confirmed with the structural equations model. These, and other findings, allow for the establishment of a series of educational quality criteria for the empowerment of written argumentation in academic and scientific contexts. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Driving Forces of Changing Environmental Pressures from Consumption in the European Food System
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8265; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198265 - 08 Oct 2020
Viewed by 386
Abstract
The paper provides an integrated assessment of environmental and socio-economic effects arising from final consumption of food products by European households. Direct and indirect effects accumulated along the global supply chain are assessed by applying environmentally extended input–output analysis (EE-IOA). EXIOBASE 3.4 database [...] Read more.
The paper provides an integrated assessment of environmental and socio-economic effects arising from final consumption of food products by European households. Direct and indirect effects accumulated along the global supply chain are assessed by applying environmentally extended input–output analysis (EE-IOA). EXIOBASE 3.4 database is used as a source of detailed information on environmental pressures and world input–output transactions of intermediate and final goods and services. An original methodology to produce detailed allocation matrices to link IO data with household expenditure data is presented and applied. The results show a relative decoupling between environmental pressures and consumption over time and shows that European food consumption generates relatively less environmental pressures outside Europe (due to imports) than average European consumption. A methodological framework is defined to analyze the main driving forces by means of a structural decomposition analysis (SDA). The results of the SDA highlight that while technological developments and changes in the mix of consumed food products result in reductions in environmental pressures, this is offset by growth in consumption. The results highlight the importance of directing specific research and policy efforts towards food consumption to support the transition to a more sustainable food system in line with the objectives of the EU Farm to Fork Strategy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Food Production and Consumption)
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Psychometric Properties of the Quality and Satisfaction Questionnaire Focused on Sustainability in Higher Education
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8264; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198264 - 08 Oct 2020
Viewed by 310
Abstract
The aim of this research was to develop and validate a questionnaire to assess the quality of education, from a sustainability perspective, in higher education institutions of Naples (Italy), and determine whether differences exist between the groups (families, teachers and, students) with respect [...] Read more.
The aim of this research was to develop and validate a questionnaire to assess the quality of education, from a sustainability perspective, in higher education institutions of Naples (Italy), and determine whether differences exist between the groups (families, teachers and, students) with respect to their level of satisfaction concerning that quality, since it is important that education policies promote that assessment from an economic, social, environmental, and organisational dimension. The questionnaire was validated using a quantitative, quasi experimental, cross sectional method. A multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was conducted on a sample of n = 1091 subjects to study the differences between the groups and their level of satisfaction. The results show a good reliability and validity. In this MANOVA, significant differences and large effect sizes were found. Families and teachers consider that quality management in higher education is adequate. The three groups are very satisfied with teaching management, and the teachers’ group has the higher level of satisfaction with teaching planning. It is concluded that this validated questionnaire provides information on the opinions about the quality of education from a sustainability perspective and that the self-assessment of those responsible for teaching is essential to achieve continuous improvement. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Growth Performance of Jatropha curcas Cultivated on Local Abandoned Bauxite Mine Soil
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8263; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198263 - 08 Oct 2020
Viewed by 327
Abstract
Lack of regulation in bauxite mining has caused land contamination in Malaysia. Land rehabilitation requires plants with excellent adaptability to adverse conditions. Inedible, economical viable crops with environmental co-benefits, like phytoremediation, are preferred. In this study, Jatropha curcas was evaluated for its growth [...] Read more.
Lack of regulation in bauxite mining has caused land contamination in Malaysia. Land rehabilitation requires plants with excellent adaptability to adverse conditions. Inedible, economical viable crops with environmental co-benefits, like phytoremediation, are preferred. In this study, Jatropha curcas was evaluated for its growth performance in bauxite mine soil. Topsoil and exposed subsoil were sampled from a bauxite mine at Bukit Goh, Kuantan and used for growing J. curcas for 90 days under greenhouse conditions. The soil physicochemical properties, plant growth parameters (increase in number of leaves, plant height, and basal diameter), and oil yield were determined. The findings showed that the mine soils had lower nutrient status than unmined soil as reflected by the total C, N, P, and K values. Al, Fe, and Pb were relatively high in topsoil and subsoil. Plants grown in both mine soils recorded significantly lower increases in plant height and basal diameter but higher increases in number of leaves than that of nursery soil. Oil yield was significantly different between the plants grown in subsoil (46.54%) and topsoil (41.65%). The study demonstrated that J. curcas has the potential to be cultivated as an alternative crop in bauxite mine soil. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Indicators for Post-Disaster Search and Rescue Efficiency Developed Using Progressive Death Tolls
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8262; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198262 - 08 Oct 2020
Viewed by 337
Abstract
Search and rescue (SAR) is often the focus during the post-disaster response phase. It is operated under the principle of the “golden 72 h”; however, the actual efficiency of each operation lacks a standard for review. On the basis of continuously updated death [...] Read more.
Search and rescue (SAR) is often the focus during the post-disaster response phase. It is operated under the principle of the “golden 72 h”; however, the actual efficiency of each operation lacks a standard for review. On the basis of continuously updated death toll data during the SAR cases of 51 earthquakes and 10 rainfall-induced disasters, this study developed indicators corresponding to various death tolls for reviewing the time costs and the progress of different stages of SAR. Through analysis of the established indicators, the results showed that said indicators are capable of evaluating the efficiency of SAR. These indicators also revealed that earthquake cases, with or without serious secondary disasters (e.g., tsunamis), significantly affected SAR efficiency. The regression results showed that the SAR efficiency of rainfall-induced disasters is much lower than that of earthquake disasters. Additionally, it was shown that the first casualty reports are typically late and that SAR works last a long time, highlighting the difficulty and possible delay of SAR works during rainfall-induced disasters. Previous studies and analyses might have been able to make subjective descriptions of each SAR operation; however, this study quantitatively indicates the difference between actual and expected efficiency under specific death tolls. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Urbanization and the Urban–Rural Income Gap in China: A Continuous Wavelet Coherency Analysis
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8261; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198261 - 08 Oct 2020
Viewed by 371
Abstract
This study applies wavelet analysis to examine the relationship between the urbanization and the urban–rural income gap in 31 provinces in China over the period 1978–2019. We find three patterns of causality between urbanization and the urban–rural income gap. Empirical results show that [...] Read more.
This study applies wavelet analysis to examine the relationship between the urbanization and the urban–rural income gap in 31 provinces in China over the period 1978–2019. We find three patterns of causality between urbanization and the urban–rural income gap. Empirical results show that urbanization does Granger-cause an urban–rural income gap, the urban–rural income gap does Granger-cause urbanization, and there exists a two-way causality between the urban–rural income gap and urbanization. Furthermore, these relationships mainly exist at high frequencies (short term). The results obtained by considering the resident population are more significant than those by the registered population. These results could help local governments develop fair policies for urban and rural income distribution in the process of urbanization of different provinces, promoting the coordinated development between urban and rural areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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