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Sustainability, Volume 12, Issue 2 (January-2 2020) – 309 articles

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Open AccessArticle
The Impact of Resource and Nutritional Resilience on the Global Food Supply System
Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 751; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020751 - 20 Jan 2020
Viewed by 182
Abstract
Pressure points in global food supply where resilience in supply chains can be limited or controlled are the equivalent of Critical Control Points in food safety systems. The approach of using critical control in supply chains can provide insights for nutritional improvement, sustainable [...] Read more.
Pressure points in global food supply where resilience in supply chains can be limited or controlled are the equivalent of Critical Control Points in food safety systems. The approach of using critical control in supply chains can provide insights for nutritional improvement, sustainable food trade and food waste reduction. The pressure points determine the provision of a secure and sustainable food system where the outcomes of reducing their criticality are identified in the UN Sustainable Development Goals and other international programmes. These seek to reduce climate change impact and improve public health provision. While policy makers are rightly focussed on these targets, the data analysis methods required to rank and associate resource flow pressure points with commercial food supply chains and nutritional goals remain untested. Here, we show how methodologies can identify where opportunities to tackle future criticality exist, and where they are currently being overlooked for food categories that have the greatest consumer and dietary protein demand. The analysis provides insights that identify where latent restrictions in resilience can occur, so that the future risk of food insecurity is reduced. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthy Sustainable Diets)
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Open AccessArticle
Drivers and Benefits of Integrating Climate Adaptation Measures into Urban Development: Experience from Coastal Cities of Indonesia
Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 750; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020750 - 20 Jan 2020
Viewed by 145
Abstract
Integrating climate adaptation measures into urban development has emerged as a holistic approach to minimize climate change impacts and to enhance urban resilience. Although there has been an initial implementation of the integrated strategy at the national level, the progress of its adoption [...] Read more.
Integrating climate adaptation measures into urban development has emerged as a holistic approach to minimize climate change impacts and to enhance urban resilience. Although there has been an initial implementation of the integrated strategy at the national level, the progress of its adoption at the local level is relatively less studied. The study aims to examine the integration development of climate adaptation measures into urban development strategies by looking at its drivers and benefits in two coastal cities of Indonesia, i.e., Semarang and Bandar Lampung. Both cities have experienced climate change impacts and the preliminary effort of the integration process. The study was depended on close-ended Likert-scale questions with key actors representing local authorities and relevant stakeholders. Then, a Weighted Average Index was applied to transform their perceptions. The assessment of their knowledge of related issues was conducted. Secondary data was obtained from a desk study. The study found out that the effort of the integration process had influenced stakeholder’s understanding of the issue of climate change and urban development, as well as its relationship. The level of stakeholder’s knowledge related to the issue was very high. The result also revealed that the most influencing driver of the integration process is related to the motivation and initiative of municipal officers. It significantly contributed local governments to adopt its integration strategy. There was a strong consensus regarding the benefits of the integration process. They believed that it could ensure sustainable urban development in the future. This empirical study distinguishes the significance of integration development based on the local perspective for the approach improvement. The results could be applied to encourage other local municipalities in other emerging coastal cities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Incidence of a Non-Sustainability Use of Technology on Students’ Reading Performance in Pisa
Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 749; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020749 - 20 Jan 2020
Viewed by 141
Abstract
This article describes an investigation that made a comparative analysis of the influence of the use of technology for non-academic activities on the reading performance of students in 21 countries within the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), as measured by the [...] Read more.
This article describes an investigation that made a comparative analysis of the influence of the use of technology for non-academic activities on the reading performance of students in 21 countries within the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), as measured by the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). To do this, we coded the SumIC001-008-010 variables (“Devices available at home” and “How often do you use digital devices for the following activities outside school”) in the PISA survey and quantified the effect by the proportion of variance explained of each variable in the model for each country. The results show that the reading score increases according to the variable for type and quantity of devices at home but falls drastically in all 21 countries when the “SumIC001” variable exceeds 15 points. Our research also found that the two activities that most negatively impacted reading performance if done on a regular basis were “playing online games via social networks” and “uploading your own created contents.” These results would seem to confirm that the non-sustainability and prolonged use of technology outside school is objectively negative for the development of reading competence in young people. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Encouraging Pro-Environmental Behaviors Through Children-Based Appeals: A Kin Selection Perspective
Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 748; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020748 - 20 Jan 2020
Viewed by 296
Abstract
Environmental problems are due to the fact of humans prioritizing their narrow personal interests over collective interests. How can pro-environmental behavior be promoted without requiring people to behave in ways that go against their selfish tendencies? Kin selection theory asserts that humans are [...] Read more.
Environmental problems are due to the fact of humans prioritizing their narrow personal interests over collective interests. How can pro-environmental behavior be promoted without requiring people to behave in ways that go against their selfish tendencies? Kin selection theory asserts that humans are predisposed to ensure the survival and replication of their genes which they share with their offspring. We hypothesized that appeals to the welfare of their children would foster pro-environmental decision-making through activating a parental care motivation. Four studies examined the impact of messages about the welfare of (potential) children on environmental intentions. Overall, the results show that children-based appeals indirectly fostered ecological intentions through an increased parental care motivation. Furthermore, meta-analyses triangulated these findings by showing that people with children show greater parental care and pro-environmental intentions. These results are discussed in light of the kin selection theory, and its implications for environmental policymaking are addressed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Psychology of Sustainability and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Tail Dependence between Sovereign Debt Distress and Bank Non-Performing Loans
Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 747; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020747 - 20 Jan 2020
Viewed by 146
Abstract
We investigate the tail dependence between sovereign debt distress and bank non-performing loans (NPLs) using a large sample of developed and emerging countries in recent decades. Considering the feedback loop of sovereign debt and bank loan distress, we use three copula models to [...] Read more.
We investigate the tail dependence between sovereign debt distress and bank non-performing loans (NPLs) using a large sample of developed and emerging countries in recent decades. Considering the feedback loop of sovereign debt and bank loan distress, we use three copula models to analyze the asymmetry of tail dependence structure between sovereign debt exposure and bank NPLs. We use the Gaussian copula marginal regression to control the concurrent impact of other macroeconomic variables. We provide evidence that sovereign debt indicates an important determinant of NPLs. We also find that there is tail dependence between sovereign debt distress and bank NPLs, whereas the tail dependence coefficients vary across countries. Our findings shed light on the influence of fiscal distress on bank loan distress and provide immediate implications for the design of macro prudential and financial policy. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Optimization of the Product–Service System Configuration Based on a Multilayer Network
Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 746; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020746 - 20 Jan 2020
Viewed by 124
Abstract
Product–service systems (PSS) accelerate the transition of value creation patterns for manufacturing industries, from product design and production to the delivery of overall solution integrating products and services. Existing PSS configuration solutions provide customers with preferable product modules and service modules characterized by [...] Read more.
Product–service systems (PSS) accelerate the transition of value creation patterns for manufacturing industries, from product design and production to the delivery of overall solution integrating products and services. Existing PSS configuration solutions provide customers with preferable product modules and service modules characterized by the module granularity. Every service module is essentially a whole service flow. However, the performance of the PSS configuration solution is greatly influenced by service details. In summary, this paper studied the configuration optimization of product-oriented PSS using a fine-grained perspective. A multilayer network composed of (i) a product layer, (ii) a service layer, and (iii) a resource layer was constructed to represent the elements (product parts, service activities, resources) and relationships in PSS. Service activities selection and resource allocation were considered jointly to construct the mathematical model of PSS configuration optimization, thus enabling the calculation of optimizing objectives (time, cost, and reliability) under constraints closer to the actual implementation. The importance degree of service activity was considered to improve the performance of service activities with higher importance. Corresponding algorithms were improved and applied for obtaining the optimal solutions. The case study in the automotive industry shows the various advantages of the proposed method. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Complex Network Analysis of Transmission Mechanism for Sustainable Incentive Policies
Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 745; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020745 - 20 Jan 2020
Viewed by 127
Abstract
Existing research mainly focuses on the external impact of incentive policies of industrialized/manufactured construction (IMC). However, it is still unclear how the transmission mechanism among cities and regions of IMC incentive policies works in the process of formulation. To fill the knowledge gap, [...] Read more.
Existing research mainly focuses on the external impact of incentive policies of industrialized/manufactured construction (IMC). However, it is still unclear how the transmission mechanism among cities and regions of IMC incentive policies works in the process of formulation. To fill the knowledge gap, this study establishes a relationship matrix to propose the transmission-weighted complex network (TWCN). Degree distribution and clustering coefficient are used to calculate the transmission path and the transmission intensity of TWCN. The validation is based on data collected from 415 policy documents (2010–2018) and 2923 items from 181 nodes of the TWCN for IMC policies. The findings show that transmission path of IMC incentive policies is from the eastern coast of China to the central, western and northern regions. Fiscal and taxation incentives have the greatest intensity of spatial agglomeration in the transmission process. The results of the TWCN are consistent and conform to the scientific and rational expectations of research. Overall, the research outcomes are applicable to studies on sustainability policies in different fields, including sustainable construction, renewable energy, etc. Policy makers can implement the TWCN to recognize the performance and functions of different incentives and propose effective strategies to achieve sustainability. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Reflecting SDG 6.1 in Rural Water Supply Tariffs: Considering ‘Affordability’ Versus ‘Operations and Maintenance Costs’ in Malawi
Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 744; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020744 - 20 Jan 2020
Viewed by 282
Abstract
Local tariffs in the form of household contributions are the primary financial mechanism to fund the maintenance of rural water supplies in Malawi. An investigation was conducted into the tariffs set by rural service providers to sustain drilled boreholes equipped with Afridev handpumps. [...] Read more.
Local tariffs in the form of household contributions are the primary financial mechanism to fund the maintenance of rural water supplies in Malawi. An investigation was conducted into the tariffs set by rural service providers to sustain drilled boreholes equipped with Afridev handpumps. A binary logistic regression analysis identified significant explanatory variables for the most common identified considerations when setting tariffs, ‘affordability’ and ‘operations and maintenance (O&M) costs’. The results demonstrate tariffs collected less frequently and usage above the design limit of the Afridev (300 users) had lower odds of considering affordability and higher odds of considering O&M costs, than those collected per month and within the design limit. The results further suggest a recognition by service providers of an increased maintenance challenge. High usage, acquiring spare parts, and the collection of tariffs when repairs are required indicate an increased likelihood of considering O&M costs, conversely to considering affordability. The balance of affordability and sustainable maintenance is a perpetual challenge under decentralised service delivery. Investment into ongoing support and supply chains is required for the financial and operational requirements of water supply, to ensure payments for services does not prevent access to clean water at the local level and to achieve the 2030 agenda. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle
Toward Sustainability of South African Small-Scale Fisheries Leveraging ICT Transformation Pathways
Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 743; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020743 - 20 Jan 2020
Viewed by 126
Abstract
Though Internet and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have been employed in small-scale fisheries (SSFs) globally, they are seldom systematically explored for the ways in which they facilitate equality, democracy and sustainability. Our study explored how ICTs in South African small-scale fisheries are leveraged towards [...] Read more.
Though Internet and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have been employed in small-scale fisheries (SSFs) globally, they are seldom systematically explored for the ways in which they facilitate equality, democracy and sustainability. Our study explored how ICTs in South African small-scale fisheries are leveraged towards value chain upgrading, collective action and institutional sustainability—key issues that influence small-scale fishery contributions to marine resource sustainability. We held a participatory workshop as part of ongoing research in the town of Lambert’s Bay, South Africa, in collaboration with small-scale fishers and the Abalobi ICT project. We mapped fisher value chain challenges and explored the role of ICT-driven transformation pathways, adopting Wright’s ‘Real Utopian’ framework as the lens through which to explore equality, democracy and institutional sustainability. We found Abalobi’s ICT platform had the potential to facilitate deeper meanings of democracy that incorporate socio-economic reform, collective action and institutional sustainability in South Africa’s small-scale fisheries. Where fishers are not engaged beyond passive generators of data, this had the potential to undermine the goals of increasing power parity between small-scale fisheries and other stakeholders. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Sustainability in 2019
Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 742; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020742 - 20 Jan 2020
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Abstract
The editorial team greatly appreciates the reviewers who have dedicated their considerable time and expertise to the journal’s rigorous editorial process over the past 12 months, regardless of whether the papers are finally published or not [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Outdoor Recreation Participation in Istanbul, Turkey: An Investigation of Frequency, Length, Travel Time and Activities
Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 741; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020741 - 20 Jan 2020
Viewed by 116
Abstract
Although outdoor recreation participation has been studied extensively, little research has come from less developed regions of the world. This paper examined outdoor recreation participation and its predictors in Istanbul, an increasingly urbanized and populated megacity, in Turkey. The results show that nearly [...] Read more.
Although outdoor recreation participation has been studied extensively, little research has come from less developed regions of the world. This paper examined outdoor recreation participation and its predictors in Istanbul, an increasingly urbanized and populated megacity, in Turkey. The results show that nearly half of the people interviewed in this study had claimed to visit a nature area at least once a week or more often, nearly three-quarters invested a travel time to these areas of between 30 min to 2 h, about two-thirds spent more than 2 h at the area, and about one-third was engaged in leisurely walking. The frequency of visits was almost the single predictor of travel time. Visit frequencies were predicted by the travel time and visit length. Activity type and traveling longer than 2 h predicted the length of visits. Recreational activity type was predicted by visit length and travel time. Socio-demographic variables were associated with only a few outdoor participation variables. The findings imply that the residents have limited contact with nature and limited opportunity to benefit from such interaction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dealing with Environmental Conflicts)
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Open AccessArticle
Citizen Action as a Driving Force of Change. The Meninas of Canido, Art in the Street as an Urban Dynamizer
Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 740; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020740 - 20 Jan 2020
Viewed by 174
Abstract
The austerity policies imposed by the government in the wake of the 2007 crisis have deteriorated the welfare state and limited neighborhood recovery. Considering the inability and inefficiency on the part of administrations to carry out improvement actions in neighborhoods, it is the [...] Read more.
The austerity policies imposed by the government in the wake of the 2007 crisis have deteriorated the welfare state and limited neighborhood recovery. Considering the inability and inefficiency on the part of administrations to carry out improvement actions in neighborhoods, it is the neighborhood action itself that has carried out a series of resilient social innovations to reverse the dynamics. In this article, we will analyze the Canido neighborhood in Ferrol, a city in north-western Spain. Canido is traditional neighborhood that was experiencing a high degree of physical and social deterioration, until a cultural initiative called “Meninas of Canido,” promoted by one of its artist neighbors, recovered its identity and revitalized it from a physical, social, and economic point of view. Currently, the Meninas of Canido has become one of the most important urban art events in Spain and has receives international recognition. The aim of this article is to evaluate the impact that this action has had in the neighborhood. For this, we conducted a series of semi-structured interviews with the local administration, neighborhood association, the precursors of this idea, merchants, and some residents in general, in order to perceive the reception and evolution of this action. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Spatiotemporal Characteristics of Near-Surface Wind in Shenzhen
Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 739; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020739 - 20 Jan 2020
Viewed by 143
Abstract
The spatiotemporal characteristics of near-surface wind in Shenzhen were investigated in this study by using hourly observations at 92 automatic weather stations (AWSs) from 2009 to 2018. The results show that during the past 10 years, most of the stations showed a decreasing [...] Read more.
The spatiotemporal characteristics of near-surface wind in Shenzhen were investigated in this study by using hourly observations at 92 automatic weather stations (AWSs) from 2009 to 2018. The results show that during the past 10 years, most of the stations showed a decreasing trend in the annual mean of the 10 min average wind speed (avg-wind) and the mean of the 3 s average wind speed (gust wind). Over half of the decreasing trends at the stations were statistically significant (p < 0.05). Seasonally, the decrease in wind speed was the most severe in spring, followed by autumn, winter, and summer. The distribution of wind speed tends to be greater in the east and coastal areas for both avg-wind and gust wind. From September to March of the following year, the prevailing wind direction in Shenzhen was northerly, and from April to August, the prevailing wind direction was southerly. The seasonal wind speed distribution exhibited two different types, spring–summer type and autumn–winter type, which may be induced by their different prevailing wind directions. The analysis by the empirical orthogonal function (EOF) method confirmed the previous findings that the mean wind speed was decreasing in Shenzhen and that two different seasonal wind speed spatial distribution patterns existed. Such a study could provide references for wind forecasting and risk assessment in the study area. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Standalone Photovoltaic Direct Pumping in Urban Water Pressurized Networks with Energy Storage in Tanks or Batteries
Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 738; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020738 - 20 Jan 2020
Viewed by 177
Abstract
Photovoltaic energy production is nowadays one of the hottest topics in the water industry as this green energy source is becoming more and more workable in countries like Spain, with high values of irradiance. In water pressurized systems supplying urban areas, they distribute [...] Read more.
Photovoltaic energy production is nowadays one of the hottest topics in the water industry as this green energy source is becoming more and more workable in countries like Spain, with high values of irradiance. In water pressurized systems supplying urban areas, they distribute energy consumption in pumps throughout the day, and it is not possible to supply electromechanical devices without energy storages such as batteries. Additionally, it is not possible to manage energy demand for water consumption. Researchers and practitioners have proven batteries to be reliable energy storage systems, and are undertaking many efforts to increase their performance, capacity, and useful life. Water pressurized networks incorporate tanks as devices used for accumulating water during low consumption hours while releasing it in peak hours. The compensation tanks work here as a mass and energy source in water pressurized networks supplied with photovoltaic arrays (not electricity grids). This work intends to compare which of these two energy storage systems are better and how to choose between them considering that these two systems involve running the network as a standalone pumping system without being connected to electricity grids. This work also calculates the intermediate results, considering both photovoltaic arrays and electricity grids for supplying electricity to pumping systems. We then analyzed these three cases in a synthetic network (used in earlier research) considering the effect of irradiation and water consumption, as we did not state which should be the most unfavorable month given that higher irradiance coincides with higher water consumption (i.e., during summer). Results show that there is no universal solution as energy consumption depends on the network features and that energy production depends very much on latitude. We based the portfolio of alternatives on investments for purchasing different equipment at present (batteries, pipelines, etc.) based on economic criteria so that the payback period is the indicator used for finding the best alternative, which is the one with the lowest value. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photovoltaic Power)
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Open AccessArticle
Becoming Carbon Neutral in Costa Rica to Be More Sustainable: An AHP Approach
Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 737; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020737 - 20 Jan 2020
Viewed by 171
Abstract
We propose addressing an organization’s adoption of an environmental certification as a multicriteria problem considering environmental sustainability as well as economic and strategic aspects. Our methodological approach uses the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP), which we use in an empirical application to analyze the [...] Read more.
We propose addressing an organization’s adoption of an environmental certification as a multicriteria problem considering environmental sustainability as well as economic and strategic aspects. Our methodological approach uses the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP), which we use in an empirical application to analyze the adoption decision of several Costa Rican firms and institutions. Firstly, we select a set of economic, strategic, and environmental criteria that seem relevant for the organization’s direction. We select these criteria according to our literature review and a series of face-to-face interviews with scholars and companies’ managers. As an environmental certification, we focus on Carbon Neutral (CN), which is a domestic certification aimed at reducing or offsetting carbon emissions. For the sake of comparison, we also consider ISO 14001, which is a well-known international standard aimed at compliance with environmental norms. We conduct the AHP analysis using the answers given by 24 companies and institutions, which in aggregate terms, give CN a higher score than ISO 14001. This result is mainly due to the fact that CN ranks above ISO 14001 when attending to environmental sustainability, although ISO 14001 tends to be preferred in economic and strategic terms. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Uncertainty Contagion: Revealing the Interrelated, Cascading Uncertainties of Managed Retreat
Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 736; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020736 - 20 Jan 2020
Viewed by 130
Abstract
Managed retreat presents a dilemma for at-risk communities, and the planning practitioners and decisionmakers working to address natural hazard and climate change risks. The dilemma boils down to the countervailing imperatives of moving out of harm’s way versus retaining ties to community and [...] Read more.
Managed retreat presents a dilemma for at-risk communities, and the planning practitioners and decisionmakers working to address natural hazard and climate change risks. The dilemma boils down to the countervailing imperatives of moving out of harm’s way versus retaining ties to community and place. While there are growing calls for its use, managed retreat remains challenging in practice—across diverse settings. The approach has been tested with varied success in a number of countries, but significant uncertainties remain, such as regarding who ‘manages’ it, when and how it should occur, at whose cost, and to where? Drawing upon a case study of managed retreat in New Zealand, this research uncovers intersecting and compounding arenas of uncertainty regarding the approach, responsibilities, legality, funding, politics and logistics of managed retreat. Where uncertainty is present in one domain, it spreads into others creating a cascading series of political, personal and professional risks that impact trust in science and authority and affect people’s lives and risk exposure. In revealing these mutually dependent dimensions of uncertainty, we argue there is merit in refocusing attention away from policy deficits, barrier approaches or technical assessments as a means to provide ‘certainty’, to instead focus on the relations between forms of knowledge and coordinating interactions between the diverse arenas: scientific, governance, financial, political and socio-cultural; otherwise uncertainty can spread like a contagion, making inaction more likely. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Social Metabolism of Quiet Sustainability in the Faroe Islands
Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 735; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020735 - 20 Jan 2020
Viewed by 157
Abstract
This paper investigates the interrelations between social metabolism and socio-ecological sustainability in the Faroe Islands in a long-term perspective. It traces the trajectory and changes in socio-metabolic configurations from the time of settlement until today and shows how social metabolism has increased to [...] Read more.
This paper investigates the interrelations between social metabolism and socio-ecological sustainability in the Faroe Islands in a long-term perspective. It traces the trajectory and changes in socio-metabolic configurations from the time of settlement until today and shows how social metabolism has increased to very high per capita levels during the past century. The analysis departs from the recognition that a decrease in social metabolism, i.e., a net reduction in throughput of natural resources in human economies, is necessary in order to curb the impending ecological crisis. It is argued that parallel to the growth oriented formal Faroese economy, economic food-provisioning practices rooted in the traditional, and ecologically sustainable, land management system continue to be practiced by Faroese people. These practices can be conceptualized as practices of so-called “quiet sustainability” and their contribution is estimated in bio-physical metrics of weight. The analysis shows that practices of “quiet sustainability” contribute significant quantities of certain food items to the local population thereby enhancing food security and food sovereignty. Moreover, these practices are an integral element in the biocultural diversity, which has constituted the Faroe Islands for close to two millennia. Therefore, they should be considered real alternatives to import-based consumption and taken into account in sustainability discourse and policy to a higher degree than is currently the case. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Metabolism of Islands)
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Open AccessReview
Valorization of Lignin as a Sustainable Component of Structural Materials and Composites: Advances from 2011 to 2019
Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 734; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020734 - 20 Jan 2020
Viewed by 152
Abstract
Lignin is the most abundant aromatic biopolymer and is the sustainable feedstock most likely to supplant petroleum-derived aromatics and downstream products. Rich in functional groups, lignin is largely peerless in its potential for chemical modification towards attaining target properties. Lignin’s crosslinked network structure [...] Read more.
Lignin is the most abundant aromatic biopolymer and is the sustainable feedstock most likely to supplant petroleum-derived aromatics and downstream products. Rich in functional groups, lignin is largely peerless in its potential for chemical modification towards attaining target properties. Lignin’s crosslinked network structure can be exploited in composites to endow them with remarkable strength, as exemplified in timber and other structural elements of plants. Yet lignin may also be depolymerized, modified, or blended with other polymers. This review focuses on substituting petrochemicals with lignin derivatives, with a particular focus on applications more significant in terms of potential commercialization volume, including polyurethane, phenol-formaldehyde resins, lignin-based carbon fibers, and emergent melt-processable waste-derived materials. This review will illuminate advances from the last eight years in the prospective utilization of such lignin-derived products in a range of application such as adhesives, plastics, automotive components, construction materials, and composites. Particular technical issues associated with lignin processing and emerging alternatives for future developments are discussed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Monitoring and Analysis of Stress and Deformation Features of Boundary Part of Backfill in Metal Mine
Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 733; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020733 - 20 Jan 2020
Viewed by 137
Abstract
The backfill mining method is widely used in metal mines. A large and thick backfill body has formed in the No.2 zone of Jinchuan Nickel Mine, and its stability is critical for mining safety. In order to study the mechanical behavior of the [...] Read more.
The backfill mining method is widely used in metal mines. A large and thick backfill body has formed in the No.2 zone of Jinchuan Nickel Mine, and its stability is critical for mining safety. In order to study the mechanical behavior of the boundary part of backfill, ground subsidence monitoring, underground filed monitoring of displacement, and stress and numerical simulation were conducted to analyze stress distribution and deformation of backfill. According to underground monitoring, the bed separated displacement has the consistent trend with ground subsidence in the mine area. Based underground stress monitoring, both horizontal and vertical stress of the internal part of backfill is less than the stress boundary part of the backfill. The characteristic of backfill boundary outline is a step-profile. Contact interaction between the surrounding rock and backfill led to complex stress distribution. According to stress monitoring of the boundary points in a numerical model, the multi-peak value of stress development is the major feature of the boundary part of backfill. The multi-peak stress behavior of the boundary part of backfill was influenced by mining depth. The boundary part of backfill deformation influenced the local stability of mining. This article provided a scientific basis for strength design and the support choice of a metal mine by the method of backfill mining. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
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Open AccessArticle
An Operational Protocol for the Valorisation of Public Real Estate Assets in Italy
Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 732; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020732 - 19 Jan 2020
Viewed by 160
Abstract
The Italian Treasury Department reports that a quota of the country’s public real estate assets, with an estimated value of some 63 billion euros, consists of properties not directly utilised by the State Government and is therefore available for decommissioning alienation; in other [...] Read more.
The Italian Treasury Department reports that a quota of the country’s public real estate assets, with an estimated value of some 63 billion euros, consists of properties not directly utilised by the State Government and is therefore available for decommissioning alienation; in other words, for adaptive reuse. Numerous legislative initiatives dedicated to this issue over the past 30 years have produced very few comforting results. A plausible explanation for these shortcomings can be traced to the gap between established regulatory principles and the possibilities/capacities of local institutions to apply them. Put another way, legislation and indications, many of interest, have not been supported by adequate economic, structural, and organisational resources. The underlying question is, what is the structure of the decision-making process behind the sale or redevelopment of real estate assets? Beginning with these premises, this paper proposes an operational Business Process Modelling protocol that develops three different indexes—urban values index (Ivu), use index (Iut), and technical-maintenance index (Itm)—which may suggest three hypothetical scenarios of valorisation and three lines of action. A test of this model using a selection of public buildings owned by the City of Pescara showed it to be prognostic of some of the choices subsequently made by the municipal administration. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Tourist Flow Management: Social Impact Evaluation through Social Network Analysis
Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 731; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020731 - 19 Jan 2020
Viewed by 139
Abstract
The present paper was prompted by the activity carried out within the scope of an EU-funded project (WARMEST). It calls to analyse the reasons for the degradation of the Patio de Los Leones, which attracts over 2 million tourists per year to Granada [...] Read more.
The present paper was prompted by the activity carried out within the scope of an EU-funded project (WARMEST). It calls to analyse the reasons for the degradation of the Patio de Los Leones, which attracts over 2 million tourists per year to Granada in Spain. We review here the most advanced studies and regulations on the assessment of the social impact of mass tourism and present a novel methodology to analyse its effects. We dug into the material available on social networks—especially feedback to posts published on major relevant sites—and got a comprehensive picture of the thoughts that were expressed there and a comprehensive assessment of the citizens’ opinion on the social impact of tourism in Granada. Thus, we obtained a new indicator called “C.1.2 index modified”, which measures the level of dissatisfaction of citizens with the tourists’ pressure; we propose to replace the existing ETIS index with C.1.2, which is mainly based on direct surveys that are often carried out with very limited resources. At the end of the research, we could point out topics that are especially important to the citizens, thus allowing us to define a strategic action plan with a bottom-up approach. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Examining the Impacts of Mega-Events on Urban Development Using Coupling Analysis: A Case Study of the Boao Forum for Asia
Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 730; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020730 - 19 Jan 2020
Viewed by 185
Abstract
Mega-events, as a strategic approach taken by entrepreneurial governments, have the ability to transform the image of a city. This study explores mega-events and their relationship to urban development by developing a coupling coordination degree model and using the official statistics of Qionghai, [...] Read more.
Mega-events, as a strategic approach taken by entrepreneurial governments, have the ability to transform the image of a city. This study explores mega-events and their relationship to urban development by developing a coupling coordination degree model and using the official statistics of Qionghai, China, from 2010 to 2015. The results of this study show that the dynamic of coordination between mega-events and urban development is a classical S-shaped growth curve. In the coupling system, this study also reveals that relevance index and the economy, as sub-indicators, make significant contributions to mega-events and urban development, respectively. Finally, the researchers concluded that the international large-scale events can significantly promote the urban development in host cities. This study reveals theoretical issues and practical implications for policy makers and event managers to achieve integrated and coordinated development between mega-events and urban development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Restaurant Sustainable Strategic Management (SSM))
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Open AccessArticle
University Students’ Perspectives on Reflective Learning: Psychometric Properties of the Eight-Cultural-Forces Scale
Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 729; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020729 - 19 Jan 2020
Viewed by 197
Abstract
This study emerges from the development of higher-order thinking skills recognised as influential attributes to be considered for quality of learning in preservice teachers; hence, this quantitative research is a systematic attempt to obtain metric-quality pieces of evidence for identifying university students’ perspectives [...] Read more.
This study emerges from the development of higher-order thinking skills recognised as influential attributes to be considered for quality of learning in preservice teachers; hence, this quantitative research is a systematic attempt to obtain metric-quality pieces of evidence for identifying university students’ perspectives on reflective learning standards throughout their initial training period utilising an adapted cultural-forces scale. The earlier mentioned tool is an adaptation of Ritchhart’s scale (2015) for the assessment of cultural forces from the model of the Culture of Thinking. The selected sample of preservice teachers encompasses 700 university students of education from 7 faculties of education in Spain. Research results reveal that the use of the scale displayed high reliability and suitability. Similarly, significant statistical differences were observed in the eight scales of cultural forces assessment, where the prime-valued by the students were interactions, expectations, environment, language and time. Apropos of statistics, research results manifest as relevant. Such significance reveals how classroom culture and practical strategies acquire meaning and show connections with learning purposes—likewise with the developmental encouragement of cognitive skills and dispositions towards reflective learning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reflective Learning in Higher Education)
Open AccessArticle
The Importance Given to Food Naturalness Attributes by Millennial University Students
Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 728; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020728 - 19 Jan 2020
Viewed by 150
Abstract
So-called natural food is one of the most significant current trends in the food business. Despite this trend, previous research on the measurement of naturalness has made no distinction between different groups of consumers. Therefore, the objective of this study is to explore [...] Read more.
So-called natural food is one of the most significant current trends in the food business. Despite this trend, previous research on the measurement of naturalness has made no distinction between different groups of consumers. Therefore, the objective of this study is to explore the attributes important to millennial university students when evaluating food naturalness. The study is based on a questionnaire administered to a sample of 372 respondents. Using a partial least square (PLS) methodology, it performs a standard confirmatory factor analysis for measurement and validations. As a result, it identifies one attribute linked to how the food is grown and eight attributes associated to how it is produced and processed. These findings have several implications. Apart from testing previous scales in a millennial context, they confirm that market strategies must take different understandings of naturalness into account contingent upon the consumer group. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
Open AccessArticle
Application of Water Poverty Index (WPI) in Spatial Analysis of Water Stress in Koshi River Basin, Nepal
Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 727; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020727 - 19 Jan 2020
Viewed by 195
Abstract
Water and poverty interface is strongly interconnected and a robust assessment of water stress is crucial to identify needy areas and develop appropriate intervention for poverty reduction. Water Poverty Index (WPI) provides an interdisciplinary tool to assess water stress by linking physical estimates [...] Read more.
Water and poverty interface is strongly interconnected and a robust assessment of water stress is crucial to identify needy areas and develop appropriate intervention for poverty reduction. Water Poverty Index (WPI) provides an interdisciplinary tool to assess water stress by linking physical estimates of water availability with socio-economic drivers of poverty. This study presents an application of Water Poverty Index (WPI) to estimate and compare the level of water stress in 27 districts of Koshi River Basin in Nepal. Based on data availability, relevance to the study area and review of literatures, 12 indicators were selected under five key components outlined by WPI. The study result shows medium-low degree (WPI = 54.4) of water poverty in the Koshi River Basin in Nepal. The WPI score varies widely (from 49.75 to 69.29) along the districts and it was found that districts in Tarai regions and urban areas were more water stressed compared to the districts in mid-hill and high-hill regions. Priorities for intervention must be given to the districts in Tarai regions and urban areas with a low WPI score, explicitly on the sector regarding access to water and sanitation to address water poverty in the basin. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sustainable Traffic Management in an Urban Area: An Integrated Framework for Real-Time Traffic Control and Route Guidance Design
Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 726; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020726 - 19 Jan 2020
Viewed by 167
Abstract
This paper focuses on the presentation of an integrated framework based on two advanced strategies, aimed at mitigating the effect of traffic congestion in terms of performance and environmental impact. In particular, the paper investigates the “operational benefits” that can be derived from [...] Read more.
This paper focuses on the presentation of an integrated framework based on two advanced strategies, aimed at mitigating the effect of traffic congestion in terms of performance and environmental impact. In particular, the paper investigates the “operational benefits” that can be derived from the combination of traffic control (TC) and route guidance (RG) strategies. The framework is based on two modules and integrates a within-day traffic control method and a day-to-day behavioral route choice model. The former module consists of an enhanced traffic control model that can be applied to design traffic signal decision variables, suitable for real-time optimization. The latter designs the information consistently with predictive user reactions to the information itself. The proposed framework is implemented to a highly congested sub-network in the city center of Naples (Italy) and different scenarios are tested and compared. The “do nothing” scenario (current; DN) and the “modeled compliance” (MC) scenario, in which travelers’ reaction to the information (i.e., compliance) is explicitly represented. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed strategy and the modeling framework, the following analyses are carried out: (i) Network performance analysis; (ii) system convergence and stability analysis, as well as the compliance evolution over time; (iii) and emissions and fuel consumption impact analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Mobility: Social, Technological and Environmental Issues)
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Open AccessArticle
Contaminants of Emerging Concern Removal in an Effluent of Wastewater Treatment Plant under Biological and Continuous Mode Ultrafiltration Treatment
Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 725; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020725 - 19 Jan 2020
Viewed by 132
Abstract
This work presents a case study of a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP), located in Biscay (Spain), in which the removal of high-occurrence contaminants of emerging concern (CEC) was studied. The existing biological treatment in the WWTP was complemented with a continuous ultrafiltration (c-UF) [...] Read more.
This work presents a case study of a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP), located in Biscay (Spain), in which the removal of high-occurrence contaminants of emerging concern (CEC) was studied. The existing biological treatment in the WWTP was complemented with a continuous ultrafiltration (c-UF) pilot plant, as a tertiary treatment. Thus, the effect on CEC removal of both treatments could be analyzed globally and after each operation. A total of 39 CEC were monitored, including pharmaceutical products, industrial additives, food additives, herbicides and personal care products. For evaluation of the efficiencies, the removal rates of the biological and of the c-UF treatments, including their variability over a day and a week in relation to the ammonium content, were examined in the influent of the WWTP. In the biological treatment, a wide range of different removal rates was obtained due to the different CEC’s biodegradability and concentration. In UF, lower, but more constant removal rates, were achieved. In addition, the reduction of the general toxicity by the UF treatment in terms of the Microtox® toxicity assay was also evaluated. After UF, all of the samples yielded values of TU50 lower than 1, confirming this result the UF effectiveness for toxicity removal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Removal of Emerging Pollutants from Wastewater Effluent)
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Open AccessArticle
Cultural and Natural Resources in Tourism Island: Bibliometric Mapping
Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 724; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020724 - 19 Jan 2020
Viewed by 152
Abstract
Island ecosystems have very specific physical, economic and socio-cultural characteristics, which are shared by most of these ecosystems regardless of their geographical area. These characteristics include well defined geographical boundaries that lead to a greater degree of isolation, lack of economically exploitable resources, [...] Read more.
Island ecosystems have very specific physical, economic and socio-cultural characteristics, which are shared by most of these ecosystems regardless of their geographical area. These characteristics include well defined geographical boundaries that lead to a greater degree of isolation, lack of economically exploitable resources, great external dependence for consumption, cultural and natural heritage with a high uniqueness level and a high concentration of endemic plant and animal species. All of them are responsible for the high development dependence level linked to the tourism activity of these ecosystems. Thus, island ecosystems are currently an important international tourism destination, where a great diversity of very attractive natural and cultural resources and of great heritage value are concentrated. This fact allows for the development of tourism activities of great heterogeneity among countries or regions of the world that host these island ecosystems. The aim of this research was to identify and analyze, through a bibliometric and bibliographic analysis, the scientific production indexed in the international Scopus database, which addresses the subject of use of cultural and natural resources by tourism in island ecosystems. This scientific mapping allows us to observe the evolution of scientific production in this field of study. The results show that this is a new subject (a large number of transient authors), predominantly affiliated with the United States and Spain. The most followed research lines to date are destination management followed very far by responsible environmental behavior and the impacts of sustainable development. However, the keywords with the highest co-occurrence show that the hot topics are tourism exploitation in the ecotourism field and sustainable tourism development. This research is considered the first bibliometric study carried out which is related to this thematic approach, providing a clear in-depth analysis for researchers and thereby facilitating the approach of future research work. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Tourism Perspectives for Islands)
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Open AccessArticle
Research on Sensor Placement for Disaster Prevention in Water Distribution Networks for Important Users
Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 723; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020723 - 19 Jan 2020
Viewed by 120
Abstract
Sensor placement for disaster prevention for important users in urban water distribution networks is essential for post-earthquake monitoring and repair. Herein, we proposed a sensor placement approach for disaster prevention monitoring for important users, to (a) improve the fault diagnosis ability of the [...] Read more.
Sensor placement for disaster prevention for important users in urban water distribution networks is essential for post-earthquake monitoring and repair. Herein, we proposed a sensor placement approach for disaster prevention monitoring for important users, to (a) improve the fault diagnosis ability of the water distribution network and to (b) guarantee the function of emergency services for key nodes after an earthquake. First, an evaluation system of node users’ disaster prevention impact factors was presented to evaluate the node influence degree from three aspects: post-earthquake leakage, emergency support and topology structure; and the weight values of node users’ disaster prevention impact factors were obtained. Second, a post-earthquake hydraulic analysis model based on the pressure-driven demand was used to calculate the water shortage ratio of nodes. Third, using the three-way clustering integration method, the results of four clustering techniques were integrated to divide the monitoring domain in the water distribution network based on sensitivity analysis. Finally, on basis of the sensitivity matrix, the division of the monitoring area and the impact factors of node users’ disaster prevention were combined to place sensors for post-earthquake disaster prevention in the water distribution network. Detailed computational experiments for a real urban water network in China were performed and compared with the results of other traditional techniques to evaluate the performance of the proposed approach. The results show that the approach is better than traditional methods. It not only considers the actual hydraulic information of the water distribution network, but also the important user nodes after an earthquake, and is of great significance for emergency command and rescue and disaster relief after an earthquake in the city. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Water Resources Management for Disaster Risk Reduction)
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Open AccessArticle
Evolution of Carbon Shadow Prices in China’s Industrial Sector during 2003–2017: A By-Production Approach
Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 722; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020722 - 19 Jan 2020
Viewed by 145
Abstract
Global warming and the rapid growth of carbon emissions have attracted the attention of governments and academia throughout the world. In 2006, China surpassed the United States as the emitter of the greatest volume of carbon, the largest contribution of which is derived [...] Read more.
Global warming and the rapid growth of carbon emissions have attracted the attention of governments and academia throughout the world. In 2006, China surpassed the United States as the emitter of the greatest volume of carbon, the largest contribution of which is derived from China’s industrial sector. This study investigated the evolution of industrial carbon shadow prices (CSPs) in China at the provincial level to assess the opportunity costs in terms of value added foregone owing to decreasing carbon emissions. A dual formulation of the by-production data envelopment analysis (DEA) model was applied to estimate the industrial carbon abatement costs in China during 2003–2017. This study represents the first attempt to apply the dual by-production DEA model for this purpose. Empirical results showed that industrial CSP increased by 3.83% annually and that the average provincial CSP was approximately $562.43 USD/ton. A significant upturn in the CSP occurred after 2006. Furthermore, disparities of changes in industrial CSP over time were checked using the test of sigma convergence. Regional divergence was observed for the period 2011–2017. Policy implications were derived from the empirical results in terms of improvements regarding carbon abatement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Assessment)
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