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Sustainability, Volume 14, Issue 16 (August-2 2022) – 660 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): In this study, a hydrological analysis was used for the Saint Blaise Vallon area to indicate how the damage from natural disasters that may come in the future may be minimized. In addition, a hydrological analysis and a numerical simulation model were implemented to estimate runoff and runoff coefficients derived from a heavy rainfall event that caused serious damage through river flooding. A runoff sensitivity analysis was conducted according to the soil parameters. In particular, a method using the hydrological model and hydrological sensitivity analysis was applied to the target watershed, and the results of the peak outlet discharge were analyzed in time series so that they could be used for flood prediction and disaster management. View this paper
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Review
Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Life Cycle Assessment on the Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens L.)
Sustainability 2022, 14(16), 10456; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141610456 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 850
Abstract
The black soldier fly (BSF) is recognised as a valuable insect for mitigating feed and organic waste management challenges. Thus, concerted efforts are being directed toward the promotion of the BSF. Despite the numerous advantages of BSF larvae, there are several critical environmental [...] Read more.
The black soldier fly (BSF) is recognised as a valuable insect for mitigating feed and organic waste management challenges. Thus, concerted efforts are being directed toward the promotion of the BSF. Despite the numerous advantages of BSF larvae, there are several critical environmental aspects, particularly its global warming potential, that need to be considered before large-scale adoption due to the complexity of the insect’s value chain. The direct assessment of greenhouse gas (GHG) and ammonia emissions from BSF larvae biotreatment is crucial for conducting a life cycle assessment (LCA) to evaluate the insect products’ environmental performance. This article reviews the emissions of GHG from BSF larvae bioconversion activities based on different gas sensing techniques while highlighting the factors that influence these emissions. Generally, low gas emissions were reported. However, the influence of various factors influencing emissions remains unclear, especially for nitrous oxide. We also analysed LCA studies on BSFL products while emphasising the uncertainties and variabilities among the studies. The wide variation of impact scores reported in the studies suggests that standardised guidelines should be developed to streamline methodical approaches for impact assessments pertaining to system boundaries, functional units, allocation, and system expansion assumptions. We identified several aspects for future improvements to harmonise studies in order to enhance the comparative assessment of the BSFL products. Full article
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Article
Use of KROQI as a Level-2 Common Data Environment in the French Construction Industry
Sustainability 2022, 14(16), 10455; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141610455 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 403
Abstract
The implementation of a common data environment (CDE) in the construction industry appears to be crucial for organizing and managing the flow of important information within construction projects effectively. However, it is observed that the investments and the costs associated with setting up [...] Read more.
The implementation of a common data environment (CDE) in the construction industry appears to be crucial for organizing and managing the flow of important information within construction projects effectively. However, it is observed that the investments and the costs associated with setting up such environments are often dissuasive, particularly for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). By launching the Plan BIM 2022 in 2017, the French government aimed to combat the emerging digital divide between large and small construction companies. At the heart of this state-funded plan was the development of a CDE-like collaborative platform called KROQI. The work presented in this article proposes a three-level matrix to characterize common data environments based on computer-supported collaboration work theories. The paper demonstrates how KROQI can be characterized as a level-2 CDE solution. Based on a preliminary study, it explores the perception and satisfaction of practitioners with respect to the features proposed by KROQI. The results show that, among the large variety of features proposed, some are hardly ever used. Therefore, while KROQI appears to be an excellent industry-wide solution aimed at federating initiatives towards digital collaboration centered around BIM models, there is definitely room for improvement. Full article
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Article
Application of Glass Waste on Red Ceramic to Improve Sintering
Sustainability 2022, 14(16), 10454; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141610454 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 355
Abstract
Given the current huge generation of solid waste worldwide, alternative and innovative methodologies for incorporating these materials should be encouraged elsewhere. In this context, the objective of this research is to evaluate the use of glass waste as a substitute for sand as [...] Read more.
Given the current huge generation of solid waste worldwide, alternative and innovative methodologies for incorporating these materials should be encouraged elsewhere. In this context, the objective of this research is to evaluate the use of glass waste as a substitute for sand as raw material in ceramics. Formulations containing from 0% to 20% of glass waste were produced, thus replacing natural sand. Extruded and calcined specimens were produced at temperatures of 800, 900 and 1000 °C. The characterization results demonstrated the compatibility and their potential for the glass waste for improving the properties of ceramics. Results of density, water absorption and flexural strength improved when 20% of glass waste was added due to the porosity reduction, provided by the formation of a liquid phase and then by a sintering, promoted by the glass waste. This resulted in coherent properties with ceramic applications in the form of tiles and blocks, at a calcining temperature of 800 °C. On the contrary, results without glass did not reach the necessary parameters even at 1000 °C. In conclusion, the feasibility of using glass waste has been proven, which, in addition to improving the material’s properties, provides economy benefits for the ceramic industry, with the calcination process at milder temperatures. Full article
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Article
Application of Smart Agricultural Practices in Wheat Crop to Increase Yield and Mitigate Emission of Greenhouse Gases for Sustainable Ecofriendly Environment
Sustainability 2022, 14(16), 10453; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141610453 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 411
Abstract
The present study was based on the hypothesis that “the use of classical farming techniques is the cause of emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the study area, which can be mitigated by employing smart agricultural practices (SAPs)”. The study comprises experimental trials, [...] Read more.
The present study was based on the hypothesis that “the use of classical farming techniques is the cause of emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the study area, which can be mitigated by employing smart agricultural practices (SAPs)”. The study comprises experimental trials, which were carried out over two consecutive years (2020–2021) on two experimental areas (site 1: Koel, site 2: Moel) in District Bhimber of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan. Wheat cv. Punjab-2018 was used in the experiment. The experiment was performed in a split-plot factorial arrangement with the main experimental plot bisected into two subplots. Within the two halves of the experimental plot, one side experienced the original tillage practice (PT––by ploughing at a depth of 4–6 cm; HT––by harrowing at 12–15 cm; NT––no tillage, of subsoil or soil ploughing). The subsoiling technique applied included subsoiling ploughing tillage (SPT), subsoiling harrow tillage (SHT), and subsoiling of no-tillage (SNT). Subsoiling was performed by means of ploughing land utilizing a vibrating subsoil trowel to a depth of 14 to 14.5 inches. As a result, each subplot was divided into three replicates. So, a total of six replicates, each 35 m in length and 4 m in width were chosen for the experiment. The results depicted that the influx of COx uptake increased in all subsoiling treatments: that is, SPT, SHT, and SNT. The uptake of COx was comparatively lower in HT, RT, and NT. In the same manner, GWP for NOx was recorded to increase when the soil was subjected to subsoiling, that is, HTS, RTS, and NTS. Along with this, the trend of soil temperature and soil content also fluctuated with R2 = 0.78 at p < 0.01 from February to April and R2 = 0.66 from December to January, which shows that SAP causes higher emission of NOx and more uptake of COx. Subsoiling maintains soil moisture content (SMC) and soil organic carbon (SOC), which allows limited release of NOx from soil, maintaining the soil nitrogen content. In the case of SOC and pH, it was found that higher pH causes reduced absorption of COx into soil and NOx emission from soil while higher SOC causes more absorption of COx into soil and more emission of NOx. The application of smart agriculture in the form of subsoiling leads to an increase in the yield of wheat crops and is recommended in agriculture in the context of climate change. Full article
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Article
COVID and ICT in Primary Education: Challenges Faced by Teachers in the Basque Country
Sustainability 2022, 14(16), 10452; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141610452 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 439
Abstract
This article focuses on the digital competency of primary school teachers in the Basque Country Autonomous Region (Spain) during the COVID-19 pandemic. The temporary closure of schools forced teachers to adapt face-to-face teaching-learning processes in order to operate remotely, making use of technology [...] Read more.
This article focuses on the digital competency of primary school teachers in the Basque Country Autonomous Region (Spain) during the COVID-19 pandemic. The temporary closure of schools forced teachers to adapt face-to-face teaching-learning processes in order to operate remotely, making use of technology infrastructure and digital resources. While several educational policies have been developed with the aim of incorporating Information and Communication Technologies into schools, including the “Escuela 2.0” programme, research has shown that there is a lack of Information and Communication Technology training for teachers. The main objective of this study is to further understand the challenges faced by primary school teachers in adapting to remote teaching due to the COVID-19 during stay-at-home lockdown restrictions. An ad hoc quantitative questionnaire was used, which was validated in a trial by eight experts. A total of 1069 primary school teachers participated in the survey. The main results show the participants’ emphasis on their effort to reorganise and redesign subjects and their willingness to make use of information and communication technology infrastructure and resources. However, a high percentage of teachers reported that either they lacked information and communication technology training or considered themselves self-taught in these skills, and expressed interest in lifelong learning programmes in Google Classroom, Google Sites and Google Meet applications, among others. Full article
Article
Phytochemical Analysis Using cLC-DAD, Nutritional Importance and Assessment of Antioxidant, Antidiabetic and Anticholinesterase Activities of Ruta tuberculata Forssk Organic Extracts
Sustainability 2022, 14(16), 10451; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141610451 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 425
Abstract
Among the Mediterranean aromatic plants, Ruta tuberculata Forssk. (Rutaceae) has been widely used as a traditional natural remedy against various disorders resulting from its divers’ pharmacological virtues. The aim of this study is to characterize for the first time the phenolic profile of [...] Read more.
Among the Mediterranean aromatic plants, Ruta tuberculata Forssk. (Rutaceae) has been widely used as a traditional natural remedy against various disorders resulting from its divers’ pharmacological virtues. The aim of this study is to characterize for the first time the phenolic profile of its ethyl acetate (EtOAcE) and acetonic (AcE) extracts and to screen their in vitro antioxidant, antidiabetic, and neuroprotective activities. Phenolic content was determined using spectrophotometric and cLC-DAD analysis. Pharmacologically, in vitro antioxidant power was evaluated using six different antioxidant methods. Moreover, the antidiabetic and neuroprotective capacities were assessed in vitro by determining the α-amylase, α-glucosidase, and acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activities. Phytochemically, the highest flavonoid content was found in EtOAcE where the major identified compounds were myrecetin, rutin, sylimarin, naringenin, and quercetin. In presence of other phenolic acids, gallic acid was exclusively detected in AcE. Furthermore, both R. tuberculata extracts showed significantly remarkable antioxidant activities, especially the EtOAcE. Interestingly, AcE strongly inhibited the acetylcholinesterase and α-glucosidase, with the respective IC50 values of 20.48 ± 0.2 and 104.5 ± 1.8 µg/mL. In this study, we also reported the nutritional quality associated with the identified phytocompounds. R. tuberculata organic extracts may offer exciting reserves to achieve new anti-diabetic and anti-Alzheimer drugs which have also antioxidant potential. Full article
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Article
Spatial Variations of Village-Level Environmental Variables from Satellite Big Data and Implications for Public Health–Related Sustainable Development Goals
Sustainability 2022, 14(16), 10450; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141610450 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 379
Abstract
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include 17 interlinked goals designed to be a blueprint for the world’s nations to achieve a better and more sustainable future, and the specific SDG 3 is a public health–related goal to ensure healthy living and [...] Read more.
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include 17 interlinked goals designed to be a blueprint for the world’s nations to achieve a better and more sustainable future, and the specific SDG 3 is a public health–related goal to ensure healthy living and promote well-being for all population groups. To facilitate SDG planning, implementation, and progress monitoring, many SDG indicators have been developed. Based on the United Nations General Assembly resolutions, SDG indicators need to be disaggregated by geographic locations and thematic environmental and socioeconomic characteristics for achieving the most accurate planning and progress assessment. High-resolution data such as those captured at the village level can provide comparatively more precise insights into the different socioeconomic and environmental factors relevant to SDGs, therefore enabling more effective sustainable development decision-making. Using India as our study area and the child malnutrition indicators stunting, underweight, and wasting as examples of public health–related SDG indicators, we have demonstrated a process to effectively derive environmental variables at the village level from satellite big datasets on a cloud platform for SDG research and applications. Spatial analysis of environmental variables regarding vegetation, climate, and terrain have shown spatial grouping patterns across the entire study area, with each village group having different statistics. Correlation analysis between these environmental variables and stunting, underweight, and wasting indicators show a meaningful relationship between these indicators and vegetation index, land surface temperature, rainfall, elevation, and slope. Identifying the spatial variation patterns of environmental variables at the village level and their correlations with child malnutrition indicators can be an invaluable tool to facilitate a clearer understanding of the causes of child malnutrition and to improve area-specific SDG 3 implementation planning. This analysis can also provide meaningful support in assessing and monitoring SDG implementation progress at the village level by spatially predicting SDG indicators using available socioeconomic and environmental independent variables. The methodology used in this study has the potential to be applied to other similar regions, especially low-to-middle income countries where a high number of children are severely affected by malnutrition, as well as to other environmentally related SDGs, such as Goal 1 (No Poverty) and Goal 2 (Zero Hunger). Full article
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Article
Organizational Factors Influencing the Sustainability Performance of Construction Organizations
Sustainability 2022, 14(16), 10449; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141610449 - 22 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 409
Abstract
Construction projects contribute significantly to the growth of countries in terms of GDP and employment opportunities. However, construction organizations are often criticized for not adopting sustainable practices in delivering their projects. Underpinned by the resource-based theory (RBT) this research aims to investigate the [...] Read more.
Construction projects contribute significantly to the growth of countries in terms of GDP and employment opportunities. However, construction organizations are often criticized for not adopting sustainable practices in delivering their projects. Underpinned by the resource-based theory (RBT) this research aims to investigate the organizational factors influencing the sustainability performance of construction organizations. This study used a mixed method approach in which the data was collected from the top management of Australian construction organizations. PLS-SEM was used to analyze the data. The findings revealed that, among the five key factors, business strategies, technological capabilities, and organizational culture are found to have a significant positive impact on the environmental sustainability performance of construction organizations. Also, it is found that the organizations’ social sustainability performance is positively influenced by their organizational culture and business strategies. The research findings have several practical implications, such as the construction companies could use the operationalized measurement items of each determinant (i.e., organizational resources and capabilities) to self-assess and improve their organizational practices, which will help them develop strategies for improved sustainability performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Management)
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Article
Does Environmental Regulation Improve Carbon Emission Efficiency? Inspection of Panel Data from Inter-Provincial Provinces in China
Sustainability 2022, 14(16), 10448; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141610448 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 400
Abstract
This study aims to analyze the nonlinear relationship between environmental regulation and carbon emission efficiency and provide scientific reference for achieving the goal for carbon neutrality at a lower cost. Taking 30 provinces in China, using dual carbon policy as the research objects, [...] Read more.
This study aims to analyze the nonlinear relationship between environmental regulation and carbon emission efficiency and provide scientific reference for achieving the goal for carbon neutrality at a lower cost. Taking 30 provinces in China, using dual carbon policy as the research objects, the slacks-based measure–Malmquist–Luenberger (SBM–ML) index method was used to measure the carbon emission efficiency from 2009 to 2019 and a panel threshold regression model was established to explore the nonlinear effects of environmental regulation and carbon emission efficiency in each province. The results show that: (1) during the sample period, there is geographical variability in CEE, with the eastern coastal provinces having the highest CEE, followed by the central and western provinces, and the resource-dependent provinces having the lowest CEE and their energy consumption and utilization efficiency being significantly lower than other provinces; (2) when the energy consumption intensity is used as a threshold variable, the relationship between environmental regulation and carbon emission rate is an inverted “U” shape; and (3) when green technology innovation is used as a threshold variable, the relationship between environmental regulation and carbon emission rate is a “U” shape. This study provides a new perspective for improving carbon emission efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development Trends of Environmental and Energy Economics)
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Article
Lake Level Evolution of the Largest Freshwater Lake on the Mediterranean Islands through Drought Analysis and Machine Learning
Sustainability 2022, 14(16), 10447; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141610447 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 410
Abstract
Vrana Lake on the karst island of Cres (Croatia) is the largest freshwater lake in the Mediterranean islands. The lake cryptodepression, filled with 220 million m3 of fresh drinking water, represents a specific karst phenomenon. To better understand the impact of water [...] Read more.
Vrana Lake on the karst island of Cres (Croatia) is the largest freshwater lake in the Mediterranean islands. The lake cryptodepression, filled with 220 million m3 of fresh drinking water, represents a specific karst phenomenon. To better understand the impact of water level change drivers, the occurrence of meteorological and hydrological droughts was analysed. Basic machine learning methods (ML) such as the multiple linear regression (MLR), multiple nonlinear regression (MNLR), and artificial neural network (ANN) were used to simulate water levels. Modelling was carried out considering annual inputs of precipitation, air temperature, and abstraction rate as well as their influential lags which were determined by auto-correlation and cross-correlation techniques. Hydrological droughts have been recorded since 1986, and after 2006 a series of mostly mild hot to moderate hot years was recorded. All three ML models have been trained to recognize extreme conditions in the form of less precipitation, high abstraction rate, and, consequently, low water levels in the testing (predicting) period. The best statistical indicators were achieved with the MNLR model. The methodologies applied in the study were found to be useful tools for the analysis of changes in water levels. Extended monitoring of water balance elements should precede any future increase in the abstraction rate. Full article
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Article
A Bi-Level Programming Model for the Integrated Problem of Low Carbon Supplier Selection and Transportation
Sustainability 2022, 14(16), 10446; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141610446 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 373
Abstract
In this paper, we investigate an integrated problem of low-carbon supplier selection and transportation. The supplier selection decision depends on the location and energy consumption level of batching plants at the manufacturing stage. Meanwhile, ready-mixed concrete is allocated and delivered to construction sites [...] Read more.
In this paper, we investigate an integrated problem of low-carbon supplier selection and transportation. The supplier selection decision depends on the location and energy consumption level of batching plants at the manufacturing stage. Meanwhile, ready-mixed concrete is allocated and delivered to construction sites by concrete mixer trucks at the transportation stage. A bi-level programming model for the integrated problem is established. The bi-level optimization problem is transformed into a single-level problem by KKT (Karush–Kuhn–Tucker) optimality conditions. In order to validate the proposed model, a case study is conducted based on real-world problems. Experimental results show that the proposed method efficiently solves the integrated problem and the model can not only reduce carbon emissions but also optimize transportation time. Full article
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Article
What Affects the Level of Rural Human Settlement? A Case Study of Tibet, China
Sustainability 2022, 14(16), 10445; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141610445 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 357
Abstract
Rural human settlement is an important factor in the sustainable development of the rural economy and society, and improving rural human settlement is an important task for China’s rural revitalization strategy. Based on the human settlement framework, this study constructed a comprehensive evaluation [...] Read more.
Rural human settlement is an important factor in the sustainable development of the rural economy and society, and improving rural human settlement is an important task for China’s rural revitalization strategy. Based on the human settlement framework, this study constructed a comprehensive evaluation index system to evaluate the rural human settlement by calculating the rural human settlement index (RHSI) in Tibet. The results showed that: (1) The natural subsystem is extremely vulnerable. In recent years, the anti-interference ability and natural restoration ability of the ecosystem have gradually increased. Changes in population size, structure, and scale have made the level of the human subsystem lower. From the perspective of drinking water, communication and housing, the human settlement level of the residential subsystem was gradually improved. The construction of rural infrastructure was increasingly improved, driving the level of the supporting subsystem to improve. Furthermore, income and livelihood diversity were the key to improving the social subsystem; (2) From the perspective of the comprehensive index, the level of rural human settlement in Tibet showed a trend of significant improvement; (3) In terms of the explanatory power, the explanatory power of the five subsystems were quite different. The basic dimensions (natural subsystem, human subsystem, residential subsystem) lagged behind the development of the dominant dimensions (supporting subsystem, social subsystem). There were inconsistencies and mismatches. The recommended measures involve strengthening the top-level design of the planning of rural human settlement in farming and pastoral areas, and improving and strengthening the construction of rural infrastructure to improve the responsiveness of rural human settlement in Tibet. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Article
Exploring the Relationship between Data Analytics Capability and Competitive Advantage: The Mediating Roles of Supply Chain Resilience and Organization Flexibility
Sustainability 2022, 14(16), 10444; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141610444 - 22 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 450
Abstract
In today’s business environment, data analytics capability has gained popularity among organizations as a source of competitive advantage. Furthermore, due to the current business outsourcing, supply chain management is known to be an extremely challenging task. Most previous studies focused on the relationship [...] Read more.
In today’s business environment, data analytics capability has gained popularity among organizations as a source of competitive advantage. Furthermore, due to the current business outsourcing, supply chain management is known to be an extremely challenging task. Most previous studies focused on the relationship between data analytics capability and competitive advantage regardless of the role of organizational characteristics, particularly supply chain resilience. This paper aimed to assess the impact of data analytics capability on competitive advantage in the textile industry concerning the mediating role of supply chain resilience and organizational flexibility. To this end, a new conceptual model was developed to investigate the relationships and partial least squares–structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) was applied for analysis. The population of this study comprised 450 qualified persons and four well-known brands of sleep products. In addition, a pilot survey was conducted with 30 respondents before the questionnaire was used for the final survey. Based on the results, data analytics capability positively affected competitive advantage, supply chain resilience, and organizational flexibility. Additionally, supply chain resilience and organizational flexibility played mediating roles in the relationship between data analytics capability and competitive advantage. Finally, some management insights are presented that are of interest to top managers. However, the results of this study were limited to the area of the textile industry (sleeping goods manufacturers) in Iran in order to maintain the uniformity of the research constructs. Full article
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Article
Microstructure and Strength Properties of Sustainable Concrete Using Effective Microorganisms as a Self-Curing Agent
Sustainability 2022, 14(16), 10443; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141610443 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 324
Abstract
In practical applications, problems related to proper curing arise for inclined structural elements, especially in skyscrapers, wherein concrete is very thick. To overcome this problem, the implementation of self-curing technology using varieties of smart materials has become significant. Based on these factors, this [...] Read more.
In practical applications, problems related to proper curing arise for inclined structural elements, especially in skyscrapers, wherein concrete is very thick. To overcome this problem, the implementation of self-curing technology using varieties of smart materials has become significant. Based on these factors, this study determined the impact of effective microorganisms (EMs) as a new self-curing agent on the microstructures and strength properties of sustainable concrete. Five concrete mixtures were prepared with various EM content (5, 10, 15, 20, and 25%) as water replacement under air-curing condition. The workability of the concretes was found to increase with the increase in EM contents from 0 to 25%. In addition, concrete designed with 10% of EM achieved the highest compressive strength (42 MPa) after 28 days of aging as opposed to the control specimen (35 MPa). The microstructures of the concrete made with 10% of EM revealed very a compact network, fewer voids, and formulation of dense C-S-H gel. Based on the results, the proposed EM may be implemented as a self-curing agent to achieve high-performance sustainable concretes beneficial for the construction sectors. Full article
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Article
Unveiling the Direct Effects of Family Firm Heterogeneity on Environmental Performance
Sustainability 2022, 14(16), 10442; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141610442 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 367
Abstract
By combining agency theory and the resource- and capabilities-based view, this paper aims to unveil the influence of family firm heterogeneity on environmental performance. Previous results are inconsistent about how the specific features of this type of business contribute to better environmental protection [...] Read more.
By combining agency theory and the resource- and capabilities-based view, this paper aims to unveil the influence of family firm heterogeneity on environmental performance. Previous results are inconsistent about how the specific features of this type of business contribute to better environmental protection performance. We analyse a number of variables related to the management, ownership and corporate governance characteristics of the family business and their individual influence on environmental performance. We test our hypotheses using a database of 748 family firms in the Spanish tourism sector. This economic sector, which is mostly composed of family businesses, puts great pressure on the environment. As such, family firms must take an active role in the resolution of the environmental problems that afflict society. We find that the effects of a family-controlled ownership and management structure on environmental performance are negative. Family-founder firms with a high degree of family control also are shown to have a negative relationship with environmental performance. However, the existence of a formal management mechanism, such as a management committee, emerges as the most powerful structural factor in facilitating the achievement of environmental objectives. The conclusions drawn from this study allow us to outline future lines of research as well as recommendations for practitioners. Our study responds to the call made in the literature to delve deeper into the heterogeneity of the family business, and specifically to determine which of its characteristic features allow this type of business to achieve better environmental performance. Full article
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Article
Approach to an Equivalent Freight-Based Sustainable Joint-Quotation Strategy for Shipping Blockchain Alliance
Sustainability 2022, 14(16), 10441; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141610441 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 302
Abstract
To improve the sustainability of the shipping industry, a practice of establishing a new type of shipping alliance based on blockchain has been implemented. In this practice, the following question emerges: How will shipping lines achieve sustainable profit improvement? This paper focuses on [...] Read more.
To improve the sustainability of the shipping industry, a practice of establishing a new type of shipping alliance based on blockchain has been implemented. In this practice, the following question emerges: How will shipping lines achieve sustainable profit improvement? This paper focuses on the freight decision-making problem by constructing a multi-round joint-quotation strategy. This paper also demonstrates the potential impact of a joint quotation strategy on the blockchain-based open freight market from a theoretical perspective. The numerical experiment results show that, compared with the initial state, the joint quotation strategy can help to stabilize shipping demands and reduce the fluctuation in overall demands. In this strategy, the freight level needs to be high to maximize profits. However, part of the demands will be sacrificed as a result. Moreover, the optimal equilibrium solution under the joint quotation strategy is relatively vulnerable to changes in the competitive relationship among the members of an alliance. In addition, the joint quotation may also be resolutely resisted by the shipper due to monopoly risk, resulting in a major risk of a sharp reduction in demand. The findings in this paper offer a decision-making reference for the sustainable development of the shipping industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Data Analytics and Blockchain in Transport Systems)
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Article
Effects of Sustainable Development of the Logistics Industry by Cloud Operational System
Sustainability 2022, 14(16), 10440; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141610440 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 335
Abstract
This study explores the relationship between cloud platforms, logistics operations, and sustainable development across organizational boundaries. In the past research of scholars, there is a blank area in research on the correlation between cloud platform systems, logistics services, and sustainable development. Therefore, we [...] Read more.
This study explores the relationship between cloud platforms, logistics operations, and sustainable development across organizational boundaries. In the past research of scholars, there is a blank area in research on the correlation between cloud platform systems, logistics services, and sustainable development. Therefore, we took international logistics as an example, selected the customers of a cloud logistics platform in the Taiwan business network as the research object, conducted a sample survey on customers in their partner transactions, and used a structured questionnaire to collect primary data through the Internet, sending out 620 questionnaires with a total of 271 valid samples recovered. The recovery rate of good models was 43.7%. This study used SPSS and AMOS tools to analyze and test the research hypotheses. Through the empirical research results, it was found that: (1) the cloud platform was highly correlated with sustainable enterprise development (0.254); (2) the cloud platform was positively associated with logistics operations (0.837); and (3) the cloud platform, logistics operations, and organizational sustainability highly correlated (0.666). According to an empirical analysis, environmental protection proved to be the most important, followed by economic benefits, and social harmony benefits were slightly less correlated but also positively correlated. Our research found that the research and analysis of cloud-platform-related data are conducive to reducing operational risks and increasing opportunities for innovative service models. Using the service model operated by the cloud logistics platform, it is easier for enterprises to establish and maintain stable cooperative relations with external partners. Supply chain information transactions are transparent, and novel ideas and needs can be easily and quickly obtained, improving managers’ decision-making and business performances, significantly improving customer service satisfaction, and gradually achieving sustainable development in the three dimensions of economy, society, and environment, as well as making critical academic contributions to application and integration in environmental and social fields. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Management and Application of E-Logistics)
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Article
Assessing the Impact of Fossil Fuel Prices on Renewable Energy in China Using the Novel Dynamic ARDL Simulations Approach
Sustainability 2022, 14(16), 10439; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141610439 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 412
Abstract
The past few decades have been marked by a gradual but steady increase in the reliance on renewable energy. In this study, we examined whether the prices of fossil fuels, namely, oil, coal, and natural gas, have affected renewable energy consumption in China [...] Read more.
The past few decades have been marked by a gradual but steady increase in the reliance on renewable energy. In this study, we examined whether the prices of fossil fuels, namely, oil, coal, and natural gas, have affected renewable energy consumption in China during the period 1980–2018. To this end, we employed the novel dynamic Autoregressive Distributed Lag simulations approach. In the light of the empirical investigation, some intriguing conclusions have been drawn. We found strong evidence of the cointegrating relationship between the prices of all fossil fuels and renewable energy consumption. Furthermore, rising oil, coal, and natural gas prices resulted in increased renewable energy consumption in the long run, confirming that renewable energy sources can substitute fossil fuel energy only in the long run. Nevertheless, there is no evidence of significant effects in the short run. When considering the presence of structural breaks, the findings confirm the robustness of the dynamic ARDL simulations, as we conclude that fossil fuel prices positively affect renewable energy consumption only in the long run. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Article
Permeability-Enhancing Technology through Liquid CO2 Fracturing and Its Application
Sustainability 2022, 14(16), 10438; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141610438 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 298
Abstract
Liquid carbon dioxide (CO2) phase change fracturing (LCPCF) is an innovative technique to improve the efficiency of gas drainage from low-permeability coal seams of high gas content. However, fracture sprouting, extension and displacement changes of coal under LCPCF need further study, [...] Read more.
Liquid carbon dioxide (CO2) phase change fracturing (LCPCF) is an innovative technique to improve the efficiency of gas drainage from low-permeability coal seams of high gas content. However, fracture sprouting, extension and displacement changes of coal under LCPCF need further study, and corresponding field tests are also lacking. Therefore, a mechanical model based on the thermodynamic theory of CO2 phase change is developed in this paper. Then, the pressure change characteristics, crack propagation and displacement change of coal subjected to LCPCF were analyzed through numerical simulation. In addition, the permeability-enhancing effect of the field LCPCF test was analyzed. The results obtained from the numerical simulation show that during the LCPCF process, the crack-generation process changes with pressure as follows: microfracture–numerous microfractures–major macrofracture–macrofractures. During the development of fractures, the stress is incompletely symmetrically distributed in coal centered on the fracturing borehole. The failure occurs stochastically in the coal in the vicinity of the fracturing borehole at first, and then it gradually propagates to the inner seam of coal as the gas pressure increases. The following result can be obtained from field experiments: the permeability coefficient of coal seams after increasing the permeability through LCPCF is 2.60~3.97 times that of coal seams without presplitting. The average concentration of gas extracted in coal seams within the zone having undergone an increase in permeability through liquid CO2 fracturing is 2.14 times greater than that within the zone without presplitting. The average pure amount of gas extracted within the zone having undergone an increase in permeability through LCPCF is 3.78 times greater than that within the zone without presplitting. By comparing coal seams before and after fracturing in the field test, it can be seen that the LCPCF presents a favorable effect in increasing the permeability of low-permeability coal seams. This provides an effective approach for increasing the permeability of coal seams in coal mines with similar geological conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Dynamic Hazards Prevention in Underground Mines)
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Article
A Modeling Study on Science Teachers’ Sustainable Development Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices
Sustainability 2022, 14(16), 10437; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141610437 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 349
Abstract
This study investigates possible predictors of science teachers’ education for sustainable development (ESD) practices by controlling their significant life experiences (SLE), knowledge and attitudes about sustainable development (SD), and schools’ environment. Fifty schools and 376 teachers participated in the study. A survey was [...] Read more.
This study investigates possible predictors of science teachers’ education for sustainable development (ESD) practices by controlling their significant life experiences (SLE), knowledge and attitudes about sustainable development (SD), and schools’ environment. Fifty schools and 376 teachers participated in the study. A survey was conducted investigating teachers’ demographic information and their knowledge and attitude about SD and ESD practices. Their schools were examined as ESD facilitators. Teachers’ SLE was a significant predictor of their knowledge and attitude about SD and their ESD practices. Besides, teachers’ knowledge about SD predicted their attitude towards SD. Their attitude towards SD and SLE predicted their ESD practices. Also, schools’ physical environment was not a significant predictor of any teacher-related variables. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Education for Sustainable Development)
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Article
Understanding Employability in Changing Labor Market Contexts: The Case of an Emerging Market Economy of Thailand
Sustainability 2022, 14(16), 10436; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141610436 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 322
Abstract
This paper qualitatively reexamines the definitions, components, and sub-components of employability under the changing labor market contexts of the under-researched country of Thailand, an emerging market economy (EME). Semi-structured interviews among chief human resources (HR) officers, HR experts, HR academics, HR consultants, and [...] Read more.
This paper qualitatively reexamines the definitions, components, and sub-components of employability under the changing labor market contexts of the under-researched country of Thailand, an emerging market economy (EME). Semi-structured interviews among chief human resources (HR) officers, HR experts, HR academics, HR consultants, and top HR executives in various well-recognized private firms across industries in Thailand, virtual field visits to each company located in Bangkok and other provinces in Thailand, nonparticipant observation, and a review of archival documents and web-based resources were conducted. This paper proposes that Thailand’s institutional context, specifically the labor market context, plays an important role in shaping employability among workers needed by firms within that context. Several challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, aging societies, technological disruption, the growth of the cryptocurrency market, and the changing patterns of work, affect Thailand’s institutional context, specifically the labor market context, and worsen the problem regarding the shortage of job candidates or graduates who are readily employable. Here, employability among workers refers to the strong potential that helps job candidates obtain suitable jobs and readies them for work and to survive in the real word. It consists of three main components: (1) career ability, (2) resiliency, and (3) attitudes and personal attributes. Each component consists of several sub-components (25 sub-components in total). All of the components and sub-components of employability are necessary for job candidates or young graduates in the context of the Thai labor market. However, there are sub-components of employability that are necessary for job candidates who are working in EMEs with several abovementioned challenges that affect the labor market context. Full article
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Review
Health Tourism Evolution: A Review Based on Bibliometric Analysis and the China National Knowledge Infrastructure Database
Sustainability 2022, 14(16), 10435; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141610435 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 381
Abstract
To systematically understand the evolution of health tourism in China, the present study visually analyzes the theme evolution and frontiers of Chinese health tourism research on the basis of the China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) database through bibliometric analysis. The findings reflect the [...] Read more.
To systematically understand the evolution of health tourism in China, the present study visually analyzes the theme evolution and frontiers of Chinese health tourism research on the basis of the China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) database through bibliometric analysis. The findings reflect the existence of diverse clustering themes in health tourism research, and the formation time of each theme is different. The findings also indicate that the change in the theme is led by government policy. Theoretically, the findings of the present study can, on the one hand, contribute to the health tourism literature by comprehensively exploring and summarizing the themes and topics of health tourism development in China since its appearance (i.e., 1981), and, on the other hand, provide references for future health tourism exploration directions. Findings of the present study can provide references for effective future development directions of the health tourism industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Culture, Tourism and Leisure Behavior)
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Article
Spatiotemporal Evolution and Influencing Factors of Economic Resilience: Evidence from Resource-Based Cities in China
Sustainability 2022, 14(16), 10434; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141610434 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 338
Abstract
In the context of sustainable development, economic resilience provides a new research perspective for resource-based cities to resist external shocks and risks. The purpose of this study is to explore the characteristics and determinants of resource-based cities’ economic resilience in China, and to [...] Read more.
In the context of sustainable development, economic resilience provides a new research perspective for resource-based cities to resist external shocks and risks. The purpose of this study is to explore the characteristics and determinants of resource-based cities’ economic resilience in China, and to provide effective policy recommendations. This paper constructs an index system to measure the economic resilience of 114 resource-based cities in China from 2005 to 2019. This paper uses spatial analysis methods and the Theil index to reveal spatiotemporal evolution and regional disparities. Then, it uses the spatial Durbin model to reveal influencing factors from the perspective of spatial spillover effects. The conclusions are as follows: Firstly, the economic resilience of resource-based cities in China shows a growth trend. The spatial polarization of economic resilience in resource-based cities has intensified, showing a distribution pattern of high in the east and low in the west and northeast, with the cold spot of economic resilience moving from the southwest to the northeast. Secondly, the distribution of economic resilience in the eight economic regions is spatially heterogeneous. Inter-regional disparity is the main source of different economic resilience in the eight major economic regions. Thirdly, market potential and talent development potential are the direct drivers of economic resilience in resource-based cities. Nationalization, industrial specialization, and fiscal risk inhibit the development of economic resilience. Resource dependence not only hinders local innovation and transformation ability, but also negatively impacts the economic resilience of surrounding cities. Therefore, resource-based cities need to promote the diversification of industrial structures, and ensure resource allocation through the combination of the market and the government. At the same time, the government should build a new mechanism for coordinated regional development and open up the enclave economic model. Full article
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Article
A Comparative Study on the Efficiency of R&D Activities of Universities in China by Region Using DEA–Malmquist
Sustainability 2022, 14(16), 10433; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141610433 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 339
Abstract
This paper analyzes the efficiency of the input and output of R&D activity and the status of its development and management in universities in each region of China and proposes suggestions for improvement. The DEA–Malmquist model was used to analyze the static and [...] Read more.
This paper analyzes the efficiency of the input and output of R&D activity and the status of its development and management in universities in each region of China and proposes suggestions for improvement. The DEA–Malmquist model was used to analyze the static and dynamic science and technology statistics for universities in each region during 2006–2019 to reveal changes in the input and output of R&D activity. The overall efficiency of the R&D activity of universities in all regions of China was low. Among the 27 regions studied, DEA revealed effective efficiency in 20 regions in 2006, accounting for 74.07%, and in 19 regions in 2019, accounting for 70.37%. The Malmquist index was greater than 1 in 17 regions in 2006–2019, with an average value of 1.023 during 2006–2019. The technological progress of R&D activity in universities in each region plays a major role in the improvement of the overall efficiency. Conclusions: The efficiency of the R&D activity of Chinese universities in all regions is low in general, with large disparities between regions. The R&D activity of Chinese universities lacks scientific management. It is necessary to optimize the allocation of research resources, construct an evaluation system for the efficiency of R&D activity, and offer incentives for research to improve the output and promote the transformation of results in Chinese universities. Full article
Article
Gender Dimensions of Climate Change Adaptation Needs for Smallholder Farmers in the Upper East Region of Ghana
Sustainability 2022, 14(16), 10432; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141610432 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 333
Abstract
Gender-specific perceptions and needs are critical to better understanding climate change adaptation capacities of local smallholder communities in Africa and elsewhere. As many rural agricultural practices are heavily impacted by male-centered traditional customs and mores, gender dimensions can determine the level of success [...] Read more.
Gender-specific perceptions and needs are critical to better understanding climate change adaptation capacities of local smallholder communities in Africa and elsewhere. As many rural agricultural practices are heavily impacted by male-centered traditional customs and mores, gender dimensions can determine the level of success for policy interventions. To better understand how and what gender dimensions can be important factors for farmer’s climate change adaptations, this study attempts to examine smallholder farmers’ adaptation needs and perspectives in Ghana’s Upper East Region. A focus group discussion and a questionnaire survey were conducted among 200 smallholder farmers. We found that the female respondents, who mostly belonged to low/middle-income groups, emphasized their urgent need for financial support to improve their income. They needed more farmland as 94% of them had only less than 5 acres to farm. In addition, 91% of the female respondents expressed the importance of being connected to farmers’ mutual-help groups to share information about common farming needs. We also found gender-specific needs for extension services, farm inputs, climate information, mechanization, and infrastructure. Regarding access to resources, the women respondents had little interest in investing more in farming as the land they borrowed could be taken away by male owners. The study recommends the need for gender-specific support initiatives that prioritize social protection and gender equality. Full article
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Article
Wagner’s Law vs. Keynesian Hypothesis: Dynamic Impacts
Sustainability 2022, 14(16), 10431; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141610431 - 22 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 649
Abstract
This study analyzes the dynamics between public expenditure and economic growth in Peru for 1980Q1–2021Q4. We used quarterly time series of real GDP, public consumption expenditure, public expenditure, and the share of public expenditure to output. The variables were transformed into natural logarithms, [...] Read more.
This study analyzes the dynamics between public expenditure and economic growth in Peru for 1980Q1–2021Q4. We used quarterly time series of real GDP, public consumption expenditure, public expenditure, and the share of public expenditure to output. The variables were transformed into natural logarithms, wherein only the logarithm of public expenditure to output ratio is stationary and the others are non-stationary I1. The study of stationary time series assesses whether Wagner’s law, the Keynesian hypothesis, the feedback hypothesis, or the neutrality hypothesis is valid for the Peruvian case according to Granger causality. We found cointegration between real GDP and public expenditure, and public consumption expenditure and real GDP. Estimating error correction and autoregressive distributed lag models, we concluded that Wagner’s law and the Keynesian hypothesis are valid in the Peruvian case, expressed as dynamic processes that allow us to obtain short-run and long-run impacts, permitting the mutual sustainability of economic growth and public expenditure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Incentives for Sustainable Economic Growth and Societal Wellbeing)
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Article
Flash Flood Assessment and Management for Sustainable Development Using Geospatial Technology and WMS Models in Abha City, Aseer Region, Saudi Arabia
Sustainability 2022, 14(16), 10430; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141610430 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 380
Abstract
Abha city is distinguished by urbanization, infrastructure, deepening watercourses, and changes in runoff flow which encourage flash floods in the urban zones of many villages in the region. AlMahalah village is prone to flash flooding due to its geographic location near the outlet [...] Read more.
Abha city is distinguished by urbanization, infrastructure, deepening watercourses, and changes in runoff flow which encourage flash floods in the urban zones of many villages in the region. AlMahalah village is prone to flash flooding due to its geographic location near the outlet of convergence streams of significant flow. The Geographic Information System (GIS), Remote Sensing (RS), Water Modeling System (WMS), and Hydrologic Engineering Center-Hydrologic Modeling System (HEC-HMS) were used to assess the effects of flash floods on AlMahala village. Precipitation data from 1978 to 2020 was statistically processed and analysed to provide more information about flash flood hazards. With a 3-h lag time in both watersheds, the higher peak discharge in Wadi Abha than in Wadi Al Akkas indicates that flooding was a primary concern in Wadi Abha. With an average yearly rainfall of 520 mm, the hydrograph simulation from 1 to 5 April 2020 would contribute to the junction (outlet) point of AlMahala village with a peak discharge rate of 474.14 m3/s. The vegetation cover increased by 243 km2 in 2020 compared to 2016. The HEC-RAS model was used to calculate the water depth, velocity, and elevation of the water surface with and without dam installation. The study provides the administration with practical and reasonable procedures for avoiding flash flood destruction in urban areas. Full article
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Article
Does Particle Size in Nanofluid Synthesis Affect Their Performance as Heat Transfer Fluid in Flat Plate Collectors?—An Energy and Exergy Analysis
Sustainability 2022, 14(16), 10429; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141610429 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 343
Abstract
A flat-plate collector is one of the most common solar collector systems due to its comparatively lower cost and maintenance. However, the performance of this type of collector is low; thus, research studies in the past decades have focused on improving its efficiency [...] Read more.
A flat-plate collector is one of the most common solar collector systems due to its comparatively lower cost and maintenance. However, the performance of this type of collector is low; thus, research studies in the past decades have focused on improving its efficiency through various plate configurations and efficient working fluids. This study recognizes the research gap regarding the influence of nanoparticle shapes and their effects on improving the heat transfer properties in flat-plate collectors. In this study, fly ash nanofluid at 0.5% (with a range of nanoparticle sizes) was used as a working fluid to investigate the performance of a flat-plate collector. This study analyzed the behavior of the collector system via a range of Reynolds numbers in its laminar regime, between 800 and 2000. The results measured in this study showed that the maximum energy efficiency measured was 73.8%, which was recorded for the fly ash nanofluid at a nanoparticle size of 11.5 nm. At a Reynolds number of 2000, the fly ash nanofluid with a nanoparticle size of 11.5 nm showed a top heat loss coefficient of 4.78 W/m2K, while the top heat loss coefficient of a nanoparticle size (NPS) of 114 nm was 5.17 W/m2K. This study provides a framework for the significance of the nanoparticle size in the synthesis of nanofluids in both mono and hybrid composites and application in solar collector systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transition to a Sustainable and Efficient Energy Future)
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Article
The Impact of Economic Policy Uncertainty on Industrial Output: The Regulatory Role of Technological Progress
Sustainability 2022, 14(16), 10428; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141610428 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 355
Abstract
Since the 2008 financial crisis, EPU has become an important issue for the stable and healthy development of the economy and society. The existing research has not analyzed the nonlinear impact of economic policy uncertainty (EPU) on output at the industrial level, and [...] Read more.
Since the 2008 financial crisis, EPU has become an important issue for the stable and healthy development of the economy and society. The existing research has not analyzed the nonlinear impact of economic policy uncertainty (EPU) on output at the industrial level, and it has also ignored the regulatory role of technological progress in the impact of EPU on economic growth. Based on panel data of China’s industry from 2005 to 2017, this paper makes an empirical analysis on the nonlinear impact of EPU on industry output. The results show that: (1) Different from the existing research, this paper finds that EPU has a significant inverted “U”-type nonlinear effect on industrial output, and when the EPU index is close to 221, this is best for output growth. This paper firstly finds that technological progress has a positive regulatory effect in the impact of EPU on industrial output. Technological progress can promote industrial output when EPU is low, and it can reduce the adverse impact of economic policy fluctuations when the EPU index is high. (2) The regulatory effect of technological progress only exists in the industries dominated by state-owned enterprises, and the impact of EPU on the output of non-state-owned enterprises’ leading industries is greater than that of state-owned enterprises. (3) The impact of EPU on the output of cyclical industries shows a significant inverted “U” shape, but there is no regulatory effect of technological progress. Its impact on the output of noncyclical industries is not significant, but it will work together with technological progress. (4) The influence of EPU on the output of the tertiary industry is characterized by an inverted “U” shape, in which technological progress can play a positive regulatory role. However, its impact on the output of primary and secondary industries is not significant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability)
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Article
Spatiotemporal Differentiation Characteristics of Land Ecological Quality and Its Obstacle Factors in the Typical Compound Area of Mine Agriculture Urban
Sustainability 2022, 14(16), 10427; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141610427 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 359
Abstract
Mining activity combines industrialization, urbanization, and urban-rural integration in the compound area of mine agriculture urban. The land ecological environment has become a major hidden problem, restricting the sustainable development and ecological security of the region. It is imminent to understand the spatiotemporal [...] Read more.
Mining activity combines industrialization, urbanization, and urban-rural integration in the compound area of mine agriculture urban. The land ecological environment has become a major hidden problem, restricting the sustainable development and ecological security of the region. It is imminent to understand the spatiotemporal differentiation characteristics of land ecological quality and its obstacle factors to scientifically carry out land ecological restoration. Here, the Macun coal area in Jiaozuo City, Central China, was selected for the case study, and an evaluation index system including four criteria layers of ecological foundation, structure, benefit, and stress was established. The multiperiod evaluation index data were acquired by utilizing remote sensing and geographic information system (GIS) technology. Based on the multi-objective comprehensive evaluation method, a comprehensive evaluation of land ecological quality was conducted, and the spatiotemporal differentiation characteristics of land ecological quality were explored. Moreover, an obstacle factor diagnosis model was constructed to confirm the spatiotemporal differentiation characteristics of obstacle factors affecting the change of the land ecological quality in the study zone. The results showed the following: (1) From 1980 to 2020, the land ecological quality index in the study zone showed a downward trend, and the proportion of the regional area with general and poor land ecological quality increased from 6.55% to 35.02%. (2) The areas with lower land ecological quality in each period of the study zone were mainly distributed in the mining areas with long mining history in the west and the areas with continuous urbanization and industrialization in the south. In contrast, the compound area of mine agriculture urban with short mining history in the east and southeast had higher land ecological quality. The aggregation of the land ecological quality index also showed similar spatial distribution characteristics. (3) The diagnosis results of obstacle factors showed that, due to the poor land ecological foundation and interference of mining activities, the land ecological quality of the mountain area in the north and west of the study area has been low. It is suggested that the land ecological quality of the area should be improved through measures such as terrain regulation, soil reconstruction, afforestation, and forest land conservation. Under the influence of mining activities and the continuous promotion of urbanization in the south of the study area, the regional ecological quality has been reduced. It is suggested that the regional land ecological quality should be improved by building ecological agriculture and ecological communities. The northeast of the study area is still in the mining area, and the ecological quality of the land tends to deteriorate. The ecological restoration in this area should be conducted by the combination of pre-mining planning, while-mining control, and post-mining restoration. The methodology of this study can provide reference for the identification and restoration of land ecological problems in the compound area of mine agriculture urban. Full article
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