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Sustainability, Volume 15, Issue 3 (February-1 2023) – 1106 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The United Nations 2030 Agenda urges signatory countries to localize its goals through National and Regional Sustainable Development Strategies (SDS). Covering a literature gap, the study opens a discussion on the relationship between SDS and the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of Plans and Programmes (P/P), and explores the SEA monitoring potential in mediating SDS’s objectives into P/P. Through a case study, the paper outlines practical inputs to update SEA monitoring guidelines and new paths to foster the mutual relationship between the SDS and SEA. View this paper
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16 pages, 3325 KiB  
Article
Research on the Construction Method of Double Prevention Mechanism in Chinese Heating Enterprises Based on Bidirectional Dynamic Risk-Hidden Danger Transmission
by Yejiao Liu, Ting Teng, Zeyu Duan, Mengyuan Cui, Wencai Wang, Yuhui Ren and Zhichao Tian
Sustainability 2023, 15(3), 2849; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15032849 - 3 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2448
Abstract
The heating industries are extremely dispersed in China, and most heating enterprises are small in scale, poor in foundation, and chaotic in safety management. The construction method of the double prevention mechanism of heating enterprises in China was analyzed and studied based on [...] Read more.
The heating industries are extremely dispersed in China, and most heating enterprises are small in scale, poor in foundation, and chaotic in safety management. The construction method of the double prevention mechanism of heating enterprises in China was analyzed and studied based on the PDCA cycle model and the improved risk assessment method for operating conditions. The analytic hierarchy process was used to determine the weight of dangerous and harmful factors and corresponding control measures for an accident type. The concept of “failure frequency” was introduced, and the calculation method of accident probability (L) was modified so that the accurate hierarchical control and dynamic risk assessment of accident risks can be realized. At the same time, the failure of control measures is defined as “hidden danger” in this paper. Finally, the bidirectional dynamic transmission mechanism of hidden danger investigation and treatment and risk hierarchical control was established. The main problems existing in the construction of double prevention mechanism of heating enterprises in China were discussed and some countermeasures and suggestions were put forward. According to the above methods and steps, the double prevention mechanism of heating enterprises can be reasonably established. Thus, the risks can be effectively identified, the hidden dangers can be controlled, and the safety production of heating enterprises can be guaranteed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Risk Assessment of Accidents for Sustainable Safety)
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18 pages, 291 KiB  
Article
Understanding College Students’ Engagement in Mobile Reading for Sustainability in Education: A Case Study from China
by Tingting Liu, Yingjie Li, Mengqin Feng, Yan Chen and Tianyi Zhang
Sustainability 2023, 15(3), 2848; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15032848 - 3 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3042
Abstract
Mobile reading is viewed as a promising pathway to reading with sustainable education goals. At present, there have been many studies on the mobile reading of young readers and their reading comprehension by testing their task-based comprehension, but not much attention has been [...] Read more.
Mobile reading is viewed as a promising pathway to reading with sustainable education goals. At present, there have been many studies on the mobile reading of young readers and their reading comprehension by testing their task-based comprehension, but not much attention has been paid to the mobile reading of college students in China and the factors of reading engagement from readers’ perspectives. With the aim to investigate the factors that affect college students’ engagement in mobile reading, this study used interviews with open-ended questions and followed a qualitative content analysis design with an inductive and exploratory approach. The participants of this study were thirty college students with diverse majors out of three universities in Shanghai, China. They were selected from a pre-questionnaire, and these students (N = 30) were chosen from those who read on mobile devices for less than 2 h on average per day (N = 276). The results revealed that the college students perceived a variety of factors affecting their engagement in mobile reading, including the following: four motivational needs (information needs, academic needs, social needs, emotional needs), reading experience, reading efficacy, and reading strategies. It has been assumed that the most common factor that leads to the engagement of college students in mobile reading is the intention to be entertained. The investigation of this study has different results. Even the students who spent the minimum average time mobile reading used it with diverse needs in mind. Nevertheless, students’ reading experience, reading self-efficacy, and reading strategies indicated that sometimes they had difficulties engaging in mobile reading. These difficulties resulted from an imbalance between their needs and their engagement: whether they obtained what they needed. Considering that mobile reading could be an effective way to assist college students’ independent learning and sustainable development in future, it is necessary to understand the factors of mobile reading and rethink how to avoid difficulties to improve the mobile reading engagement of college students. Full article
19 pages, 9370 KiB  
Article
Quality of Life Prediction in Driving Scenes on Thailand Roads Using Information Extraction from Deep Convolutional Neural Networks
by Kitsaphon Thitisiriwech, Teerapong Panboonyuen, Pittipol Kantavat, Boonserm Kijsirikul, Yuji Iwahori, Shinji Fukui and Yoshitsugu Hayashi
Sustainability 2023, 15(3), 2847; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15032847 - 3 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2457
Abstract
In the modern era, urban design and sustainable development are vital topics for megacities, as they are important for the wellbeing of its residents. One of the effective key performance indices (KPIs) measuring the city plan’s efficiency in quantity and quality factors is [...] Read more.
In the modern era, urban design and sustainable development are vital topics for megacities, as they are important for the wellbeing of its residents. One of the effective key performance indices (KPIs) measuring the city plan’s efficiency in quantity and quality factors is Quality of Life (QOL), an index that policymakers can use as a critical KPI to measure the quality of urbanscape design. In the traditional approach, the researchers conduct the questionnaire survey and then analyze the gathered data to acquire the QOL index. The conventional process is costly and time-consuming, but the result of the evaluation area is limited. Moreover, it is difficult to embed in an application or system; we proposed artificial intelligence (AI) approaches to solve the limitation of the traditional method in Bangkok as a case study. There are two steps for our proposed method. First, in the knowledge extraction step, we apply deep convolutional neural networks (DCNNs), including semantic segmentation and object detection, to extract helpful information images. Second, we use a linear regression model for inferring the QOL score. We conducted various state-of-the-art (SOTA) models and public datasets to evaluate the performance of our method. The experiment results show that our novel approach is practical and can be considered for use as an alternative QOL acquisition method. We also gain some understanding of drivers’ insights from the experiment result. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrating Sustainable Transport and Urban Design for Smart Cities)
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27 pages, 10658 KiB  
Article
Behaviour and Design of Innovative Connections of Prefabricated CFST Columns under Tension
by Md Kamrul Hassan, Swapan Saha and Payam Rahnamayiezekavat
Sustainability 2023, 15(3), 2846; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15032846 - 3 Feb 2023
Viewed by 2059
Abstract
This paper investigates the tensile behaviour of prefabricated concrete-filled steel tube (PCFST) columns with bolted connections. Innovative bolted column-column (BCC) connections are developed using standard structural bolts to simplify the construction process for the connection of two PCFST columns, especially for the corner, [...] Read more.
This paper investigates the tensile behaviour of prefabricated concrete-filled steel tube (PCFST) columns with bolted connections. Innovative bolted column-column (BCC) connections are developed using standard structural bolts to simplify the construction process for the connection of two PCFST columns, especially for the corner, edge, and interior columns. The behaviour of BCC connections in PCFST columns under tension has been investigated, adopting the finite element (FE) modelling approach. Parametric studies are carried out to understand the influence of bolt arrangements (TB = 4, 6, 7, 8), base plate thickness (tbp = 8, 10, 14, and 18 mm), bolt diameters (db = 16, 18, 20, 24 mm), vertical stiffeners (ths = 4, 6, 8, 10 mm), horizontal stiffeners (ths = 10, 12, 13, 15 mm), and yield strength of steel tube (fy,t = 380, 450, and 550 MPa) on the behaviour of PCFST columns with developed BCC connections. The results show that the PCFST columns with the developed BCC connections can attain sufficient tensile strength and satisfy the tensile strength requirements recommended in AS5100 and the robustness requirements in AS1170. The outcome of this paper will be useful to practising structural engineers to design prefabricated CFST columns with BCC connections under tension. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development in Prefabrication)
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17 pages, 2807 KiB  
Article
Predicting WEEE Generation Rates in Jordan Using Population Balance Model
by Feras Y. Fraige, Laila A. Al-Khatib and Mou’ath A. Al-Shaweesh
Sustainability 2023, 15(3), 2845; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15032845 - 3 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1756
Abstract
Waste generated from electric and electronic equipment (WEEE) is increasing rapidly due to the high demand for appliances, rapid product obsolescence, coupled with rapid economic growth, urbanization and technology advancement. Setting up a proper WEEE management system, which ensures better collection, treatment, recycling [...] Read more.
Waste generated from electric and electronic equipment (WEEE) is increasing rapidly due to the high demand for appliances, rapid product obsolescence, coupled with rapid economic growth, urbanization and technology advancement. Setting up a proper WEEE management system, which ensures better collection, treatment, recycling and control of transboundary movement of waste is crucial to increasing resource efficiency, improving sustainable production, use and consumption, and promoting the circular economy in Jordan. However, this system requires proper assessment of WEEE generation rates and reliable figures. Estimation of historical and future electric and electronic equipment put on market (EEE POM) and WEEE generation rates in Jordan have been achieved using the population balance model (PBM), logistic growth model (LGM) and Weibull distribution from 2000 to 2050. It is expected that the total disposal of appliances will reach about 1.6 million units (53 kt) in 2022, double this figure by 2044 and hit around 5 million units (175 kt) in 2050, with increasing WEEE generation rates. This is combined with the changing composition of WEEE with time. Thus, a rapid increase of WEEE in the near future is expected; this increase requires close monitoring and immediate response to tackle this hazardous waste. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electronic Waste Management and Sustainable Development)
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15 pages, 722 KiB  
Article
The Effects of Principals’ Instructional Leadership on Primary School Students’ Academic Achievement in China: Evidence from Serial Multiple Mediating Analysis
by Jiazhe Li, Philip Wing Keung Chan and Yongmei Hu
Sustainability 2023, 15(3), 2844; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15032844 - 3 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3519
Abstract
It is essential to reorient education in order to improve student learning outcomes and offer instruction in sustainable development. This reorientation should particularly focus on updating the educational concepts and behaviors of principals and teachers. It is a common practice to see principals’ [...] Read more.
It is essential to reorient education in order to improve student learning outcomes and offer instruction in sustainable development. This reorientation should particularly focus on updating the educational concepts and behaviors of principals and teachers. It is a common practice to see principals’ instructional leadership (PIL) as a crucial aspect that may facilitate the development of teaching and learning in a sustainable manner. This article identified the influence path of principals’ instructional leadership on students’ academic achievement (SAA) through teachers’ teaching practice. In 2016 and 2017, survey data were gathered from 60,419 students and parents, 2232 teachers, and 506 principals from all 231 primary schools in the capital city of a central province in China. This paper uses a structural equation model to examine serial, multiple, mediating effects based on a value-added model to identify effective teachers’ professional development (ETPD). The research findings show that ETPD in Chinese primary schools includes teacher cooperation and communication but not professional guidance, innovation, and individual teaching reflection. PIL does not have a significant direct positive effect on SAA, but teaching strategies (TS), rather than ETPD, can mediate between PIL and SAA. Finally, PIL influences TS through ETPD and ultimately influences SAA. This paper argues that for providing sustainable and high-quality education, not all TPDs are effective for Chinese primary school teachers. Principals can promote SAA by encouraging teacher cooperation and communication to improve teaching strategies. Chinese principals should shift their attention more from administrative matters to the sustainable development of teaching and learning. Full article
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20 pages, 5243 KiB  
Article
A Phosphonic Functionalized Biopolymer for the Sorption of Lanthanum (III) and Application in the Recovery of Rare Earth Elements
by Mohammed F. Hamza, Walid M. Abdellah, Doaa I. Zaki, Yuezhou Wei, Khalid Althumayri, Witold Brostow and Nora A. Hamad
Sustainability 2023, 15(3), 2843; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15032843 - 3 Feb 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2220
Abstract
Phosphonic acid functionalization of gellan gum and chitosan biopolymers was successfully performed. In the first step, the sorption was investigated using La(III) ions before testing for the recovery of rare earth elements (REEs) from pretreated industrial acidic leachate. The sorbent was characterized by [...] Read more.
Phosphonic acid functionalization of gellan gum and chitosan biopolymers was successfully performed. In the first step, the sorption was investigated using La(III) ions before testing for the recovery of rare earth elements (REEs) from pretreated industrial acidic leachate. The sorbent was characterized by Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR), scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray analysis (SEM-EDX), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET), and pH of zero charge (pHPZC) determination. FTIR and EDX results show efficient grafting of phosphoryl groups. The sorption was determined for the crude materials before functionalization (PGEG) and after phosphorylation (TBP-PGEG). More efficient sorption was seen for phosphorylated sorbent than for the crude composite. The sorption capacity is 0.226 mmol La g−1 for the PGEG while the value is 0.78 mmol La g−1 for the TBP-PGEG. We infer that phosphonate groups participate in the sorption. The most effective sorption is at pH = 4. The kinetic behavior was described using pseudo first-order equations (PFORE), pseudo second-order equations (PSORE), and resistance to intraparticle diffusion (RIDE). The sorption isotherms can be better represented by Langmuir and Sips equations than by the Freundlich equation. The sorbent shows high stability performance during reuse cycles with a limit on the decrease in the sorption performances and stability in the desorption performances. We have thus developed a good tool for the recovery of REEs with a selectivity higher than that of the non-functionalized components. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Waste Management for Sustainable Development)
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26 pages, 8193 KiB  
Article
Identification of Priority Areas for Ecological Restoration Based on Human Disturbance and Ecological Security Patterns: A Case Study of Fuzhou City, China
by Shan Ke, Hui Pan and Bowen Jin
Sustainability 2023, 15(3), 2842; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15032842 - 3 Feb 2023
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1918
Abstract
The rapid increase in urbanization has brought about a great deal of ecological problems, and thus the systematic protection of the environment is vital. Ecological security patterns are important for maintaining regional ecological stability and sustainable urban development. Human disturbance is a key [...] Read more.
The rapid increase in urbanization has brought about a great deal of ecological problems, and thus the systematic protection of the environment is vital. Ecological security patterns are important for maintaining regional ecological stability and sustainable urban development. Human disturbance is a key factor affecting the stability and sustainable development of ecosystems. This paper constructs an ecological security pattern and evaluates the degree of human disturbance in Fuzhou City. Through a comprehensive analysis of both of these factors, the ecological priority restoration areas in Fuzhou were identified. The study shows that (1) there are 40 ecological source areas in Fuzhou, with a total area of 4556.48 km2; 83 ecological corridors, with a total distance of 179.33 km; and 30 ecological nodes. (2) The human disturbance degree score in the study area is between 0 and 0.8. The degree of human disturbance forms two larger major cores in Cangshan District, Gulou District, and Fuqing City. (3) The scores for the degree of human disturbance with ecological sources range from 0 to 0.42. The high-priority areas in the study area are distributed at the edges of ecological sources and form two high-scoring aggregation areas in Fuqing City and Jinan District. These corridors have a high degree of human disturbance with scores between 0 and 0.56. The I and II priority areas are mostly found in longer corridors in Fuqing City and Cangshan District near coastal or urban centers, and the III priority areas are mainly distributed in ecological corridors near the inland. The human disturbance degree scores of the nodes range from 0.01 to 0.27, and the nodes with higher grades were mainly distributed in the northeast, southeast, northwest and southwest of the study area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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23 pages, 4885 KiB  
Article
Comprehensive Low Voltage Microgrid Planning Methodology for Rural Electrification
by Kimsrornn Khon, Chhith Chhlonh, Vannak Vai, Marie-Cecile Alvarez-Herault, Bertrand Raison and Long Bun
Sustainability 2023, 15(3), 2841; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15032841 - 3 Feb 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2914
Abstract
Recently, DC-powered devices such as loads (USB plugs, chargers, LED lighting) and distributed energy resources (solar photovoltaic and battery energy storage) have been increasingly used. Therefore, their connection to the grid requires AC/DC converters, which raises the question of operating part of the [...] Read more.
Recently, DC-powered devices such as loads (USB plugs, chargers, LED lighting) and distributed energy resources (solar photovoltaic and battery energy storage) have been increasingly used. Therefore, their connection to the grid requires AC/DC converters, which raises the question of operating part of the grid in DC in order to connect DC loads to DC producers and storage. In Cambodia, the electrification rate is only about 82% of the population in 2021 in rural areas. The objective of this work is to propose a low voltage microgrid comprehensive planning tool for electrification of developing countries. From the data collected on consumption needs, the objective is to find the optimal electrification scheme, i.e., AC or AC/DC distribution, optimal topology and distributed energy resources allocation and operation for both grid-connected and off-grid mode. A set of technical, economic, and environmental key performance indicators allows for comparison of solutions. The interest and efficiency of such a tool are illustrated on a real case study, an island area. Moreover, uncertainties on load consumption are also considered to assess the sensitivity and robustness of the proposed algorithm. The results show that, although the overall cost of the hybrid AC/DC microgrid is slightly higher than that of the AC microgrid, it allows a gradual electrification avoiding large initial investments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable, Resilient Evolving Microgrids)
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24 pages, 665 KiB  
Article
Can Digital Transformation Drive Green Transformation in Manufacturing Companies?—Based on Socio-Technical Systems Theory Perspective
by Xin Zhang, Felix Nutakor, Michael Kaku Minlah and Jinke Li
Sustainability 2023, 15(3), 2840; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15032840 - 3 Feb 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3660
Abstract
The current world’s green economy and digital economy collide at an accelerated pace, and the deep integration of digitalization and greening has become a new requirement for high-quality industrial transformation. Premised on a socio-technical system (STS)’s theoretical viewpoint from Chinese manufacturing firms, the [...] Read more.
The current world’s green economy and digital economy collide at an accelerated pace, and the deep integration of digitalization and greening has become a new requirement for high-quality industrial transformation. Premised on a socio-technical system (STS)’s theoretical viewpoint from Chinese manufacturing firms, the study examines the effects of the digital transformation (DT) of companies on green transformation (GT), as well as the function of channels and processes. This study uses 70 samples of A-share-listed Chinese manufacturing companies from 2013 to 2020; a combination of linear regression and fsQCA is used to empirically test the research model and analyze the equivalence path. It is found that (1) DT significantly drives the GT of manufacturing firms; (2) DT influences the GT of manufacturing firms by alleviating the information asymmetry problem; and (3) executive team heterogeneity plays a positive mechanism role in the relationship between DT and GT. The qualitative comparative analysis yields two types of paths: (1) the main constructs that shape high GT levels are high DT intensity, low information asymmetry, and high TMT gender heterogeneity, which mainly arise in the eastern region and play a more pronounced role in state-owned enterprises, heavy pollution, and high-tech industries; (2) for non-state-owned enterprises in traditional industries in the central and western regions with average digital development, high TMT gender heterogeneity is the key to GT. The study expands the application of related theories and has practical implications for how Chinese manufacturing enterprises can effectively promote GT. Full article
16 pages, 1567 KiB  
Article
Development of the Concept of Sustainable Agro-Tourism Destinations—Exploring the Motivations of Serbian Gastro-Tourists
by Dragan Vukolić, Tamara Gajić, Marko D. Petrović, Jovan Bugarčić, Ana Spasojević, Sonja Veljović, Nikola Vuksanović, Marina Bugarčić, Miloš Zrnić, Snežana Knežević, Sandra R. Rakić, Bojana D. Drašković and Tijana Petrović
Sustainability 2023, 15(3), 2839; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15032839 - 3 Feb 2023
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3472
Abstract
One of the key elements for the development of an agro-tourism destination can be specific gastronomy. In this context, research and understanding of the motivation of tourists who visit those destinations can influence the development of the concept of their sustainability, which was [...] Read more.
One of the key elements for the development of an agro-tourism destination can be specific gastronomy. In this context, research and understanding of the motivation of tourists who visit those destinations can influence the development of the concept of their sustainability, which was the goal of this research. The research was conducted during 2022 on a total sample of 607 respondents who stayed in agro-tourism destinations in the Republic of Serbia. The paper presents motivational factors that potentially influence the frequency of gastronomic tourists to try local gastronomic specialties and food in agro-tourism destinations. The results indicate that the cultural experience dimension, excitement dimension, interpersonal, relation dimension, and sensory appeal dimension show a significant influence on the visitation of agro-tourism destinations by gastronomic tourists, while the health concern dimension factor does not show statistical significance. The results undoubtedly indicate that certain socio-demographic characteristics of gastro-tourists have an impact on the development of an agro-tourism destination, in the direction that the more educated as well as women have more positive attitudes towards the influence of motivational factors on the development of an agro-tourism destination. Full article
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13 pages, 2766 KiB  
Article
Tea Culture Tourism Perception: A Study on the Harmony of Importance and Performance
by Quan Zhou, Kai Zhu, Ling Kang and Lóránt Dénes Dávid
Sustainability 2023, 15(3), 2838; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15032838 - 3 Feb 2023
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 5772
Abstract
Tea culture tourism is a product of the combination of agricultural tourism and ecotourism. After the COVID-19 period, this product is more and more popular. Tourism performance is an important index for measuring the development level of tourist destinations, and research on the [...] Read more.
Tea culture tourism is a product of the combination of agricultural tourism and ecotourism. After the COVID-19 period, this product is more and more popular. Tourism performance is an important index for measuring the development level of tourist destinations, and research on the influencing factors of tourism performance is an important way to promote the high-quality development of tea culture tourism. Using the tea tourism town of Wushan as a case study, 452 valid questionnaires were used as research data, and exploratory factor analysis, paired sample t-test and IPA analysis were applied. The results indicate that: (1) tourism performance is mainly divided into 5 dimensions and 22 specific indicators, including service quality, resource environment, tourism transportation, tourism-supporting facilities and tea tourism products; (2) there is a significant difference between the degree of importance and performance of visitors to each indicator, and the overall tourism performance of the case sites at an average level; (3) convenient service, professional service, business management, park traffic, parking conditions, environmental design, shopping environment, tea quality, and tea culture characteristics are potential advantageous factors, and ‘service with a smile’, accessibility, trail layout, overall image, air quality, natural scenery, landscape vignettes, network communication, public toilets, sanitation facilities, tourist service centers, tea travel activities, and tourism souvenirs are areas in need of improvement. Full article
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17 pages, 3558 KiB  
Article
Advanced Forecasting Modeling to Early Predict Powdery Mildew First Appearance in Different Vines Cultivars
by Roberto Valori, Corrado Costa, Simone Figorilli, Luciano Ortenzi, Rossella Manganiello, Roberto Ciccoritti, Francesca Cecchini, Massimo Morassut, Noemi Bevilacqua, Giorgio Colatosti, Giovanni Pica, Daniele Cedroni and Francesca Antonucci
Sustainability 2023, 15(3), 2837; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15032837 - 3 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1722
Abstract
Eurasian grapevine is a widely cultivated horticultural plant worldwide, but it is more susceptible to powdery mildew. In recent years, the high cost and negative environmental impact of calendar-applied sulfur fungicides are leading research to find alternative remedies. In this study, the early [...] Read more.
Eurasian grapevine is a widely cultivated horticultural plant worldwide, but it is more susceptible to powdery mildew. In recent years, the high cost and negative environmental impact of calendar-applied sulfur fungicides are leading research to find alternative remedies. In this study, the early prediction (three days) of the first appearance of powdery mildew infection, on two different Italian grapevine cultivars, was detected through a partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLSDA). The treatment indications of the “PLSDA” models (treatments according to the predictive model) were compared with those of the “Standard” (treatments according to the established agricultural practice of the area). This allowed the early containment of the disease, preventing its subsequent propagation. The model was built based on weather-climate data and phytopathological information collected on the “Untreated” control cultivar to monitor the natural spread of the disease (three years of training and two of tests). For both the cultivars and the two test years (2021 and 2022), the “PLSDA” models early predicted the first appearance of fungal disease, reducing the treatment number (about four) with respect to “Standard”. In addition, analyses of key fruit quality parameters were conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment reduction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture)
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22 pages, 3912 KiB  
Article
Effects of Mineral-Based Potassium Humate on Cadmium Accumulation in Rice (Oryza sativa L.) under Three Levels of Cadmium-Contaminated Alkaline Soils
by Shuangshuang Li, Xianmin Huang, Guangxian Li, Ke Zhang, Liyong Bai, Huan He, Shibao Chen and Jiulan Dai
Sustainability 2023, 15(3), 2836; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15032836 - 3 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1964
Abstract
Humic acid amendments in the remediation of soils contaminated with heavy metals have received widespread attention. However, the impacts and related mechanisms of mineral-based humate substances on the remediation of alkaline paddy soils with different levels of cadmium (Cd) contamination are still unclear. [...] Read more.
Humic acid amendments in the remediation of soils contaminated with heavy metals have received widespread attention. However, the impacts and related mechanisms of mineral-based humate substances on the remediation of alkaline paddy soils with different levels of cadmium (Cd) contamination are still unclear. Pot trials with four mineral-based potassium humate (MBPH) doses (0, 0.25%, 0.5%, 1%, w/w) and three Cd rates (slightly, moderately, and highly, 1, 2, and 4 mg Cd kg−1) were conducted to evaluate the effects of MBPH on rice. Results showed that the application of MBPH effectively reduced brown rice Cd concentrations of all Cd rates by 46.82–65.04%, 44.02–59.21%, and 15.84–43.99%, such that Cd in brown rice fell within the safe edible standards in the highly contaminated soils with the 0.5% and 1% MBPH applications. The application of MBPH significantly alleviated Cd toxicity by increasing soil solution pH, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), and potassium (K) and decreasing free Cd and the bioavailability of rhizosphere soil Cd, as reflected by promoting rice plant growth, photosynthesis, Fv/Fm, and antioxidant enzymes activities. Additionally, high dose applications (0.5% and 1%) of MBPH significantly reduced the translocation factor of Cd from flag leaf to brown rice. Furthermore, the application of MBPH enhanced the accumulation of mineral elements (iron, manganese, copper, zinc, potassium) in brown rice. Stepwise regression analysis revealed that soil solution K at maturity stage and soil solution DOC at tillering and filling stages were the most important factors affecting Cd accumulation in brown rice under slightly, moderately, and highly Cd-contaminated soils, respectively. Therefore, MBPH application on slightly and moderately Cd-contaminated alkaline soils contributed to achieving rice grains rich with mineral elements but Cd free and Cd safe in highly Cd-contaminated soil. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Farmland Soil Pollution Control and Ecological Restoration)
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23 pages, 4952 KiB  
Article
Microgrid Robust Planning Model and Its Modification Strategy Based on Improved Grey Relational Theory
by Jiayin Xu, Xu Gui, Kun Li, Guifen Jiang, Tao Wang and Zhen Xu
Sustainability 2023, 15(3), 2835; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15032835 - 3 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1390
Abstract
A two-stage robust planning model is constructed in this paper, which can reduce the joint planning uncertainty of a wind-photovoltaic-energy storage system caused by the stochastic characteristics of renewable energy and ensure the sustainability of the power grid. Considering the life loss of [...] Read more.
A two-stage robust planning model is constructed in this paper, which can reduce the joint planning uncertainty of a wind-photovoltaic-energy storage system caused by the stochastic characteristics of renewable energy and ensure the sustainability of the power grid. Considering the life loss of energy storage system comprehensively, the joint planning is realized in the worst scenario. Addressing the problem that subjective and uniform robustness parameters in robust optimization cannot cope with the differentiated characteristics of each uncertainty, a robust microgrid-planning model and its modification strategy based on improved grey relational theory are proposed. The idea of weight distribution and dynamic value of identification coefficients are introduced into grey relational theory, so as to enhance the weight of indicators that influence planning and the relational degree between them, which can avoid the locally relational tendency. According to the relation degree, the renewable energy’s robustness parameters are modified to improve the applicability and flexibility of the microgrid-planning results. Finally, the effectiveness and superiority of the proposed theory and method are verified using a case study approach. Full article
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19 pages, 2361 KiB  
Article
Community Development for Bote in Chitwan National Park, Nepal: A Political Ecology of Development Logic of Erasure
by Indra Mani Rai, Gavin Melles and Suresh Gautam
Sustainability 2023, 15(3), 2834; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15032834 - 3 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3049
Abstract
The conflict between development and conservation concerns is a perennial topic in sustainable development, and especially significant for marginalized social groups. In Nepal, fortress conservation in protected areas (PA) gave way to a community-based development and natural resource management (CBNRM) narrative of inclusion [...] Read more.
The conflict between development and conservation concerns is a perennial topic in sustainable development, and especially significant for marginalized social groups. In Nepal, fortress conservation in protected areas (PA) gave way to a community-based development and natural resource management (CBNRM) narrative of inclusion and participation in so-called buffer zone (BZ) initiatives around national parks. Studies to date show mixed outcomes of the community-based model for marginalized communities, especially for traditional indigenous river and forest dwellers. Academic and government reports of successes and failures of community-based projects in Nepal assume progress is based on traditional indigenous livelihood practices being abandoned and participation in state modernization initiatives in parks and reserves. Thus, despite promises of participation, evidence to date shows a de facto continuation of fortress conservation thinking and erasure of customary knowledge and livelihoods. Based on an ethnographic inquiry informed by political ecology conducted in two villages of Bote IPs (in the buffer zone area) of the Nawalparasi District of Chitwan National Park (CNP), we describe how state interventions and regulations under the guise of community-based participation actively ignore the moral ecology of traditional riverine livelihoods while pursuing a modernization project. Echoing calls by other scholars and stakeholders, we argue that a new approach to conservation and development that respects the environmental ethics of traditional livelihoods is long overdue in Nepal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainability in Geographic Science)
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19 pages, 4585 KiB  
Article
Prediction of Changes to the Suitable Distribution Area of Fritillaria przewalskii Maxim. in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau under Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs)
by Daoguang Song, Zhilian Li, Ting Wang, Yinglian Qi, Hongping Han and Zhi Chen
Sustainability 2023, 15(3), 2833; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15032833 - 3 Feb 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1487
Abstract
The Qinghai–Tibet Plateau has given birth to many indigenous highland plants due to its special geographical location and sensitivity to climate change. Relevantly, the impact of climate change on species distribution has been a hot issue for research in biogeography. Using the maximum [...] Read more.
The Qinghai–Tibet Plateau has given birth to many indigenous highland plants due to its special geographical location and sensitivity to climate change. Relevantly, the impact of climate change on species distribution has been a hot issue for research in biogeography. Using the maximum entropy (MaxEnt) model, the spatial distribution of habitat suitability for Fritillaria przewalskii Maxim. (FPM) on the Tibetan Plateau was predicted and ranked by combining ecological data and information on its actual current geographical distribution. The potential distribution and trends of FPM on the Tibetan Plateau from 2021 to 2040, 2041 to 2060, 2061 to 2080 and 2081 to 2100 under four current and future climate scenarios (SSP126, SSP245, SSP370 and SSP585) were also predicted. The predictions were found to be highly accurate with AUC values of 0.9645 and 0.9345 for the training and test sets, respectively. A number of conclusions could be drawn from the results. Firstly, the main ecological factors limiting the growth distribution of FPM were the Vegetation types, NPP (net primary production), Soil types, Bio7 (temperature annual range), Pop (population), Slope, GDP, Aspect, Bio1 (annual mean temperature) and Elevation, with a cumulative contribution of 97.6%. Secondly, in the recent past period of 1970–2000, the total suitable distribution area of FPM accounted for 5.55% of the plateau’s total area, which was about 14.11 × 104 km2, concentrated in its eastern and central regions. Thirdly, compared to the previous period, the aforementioned distribution area will, for the period spanning 2021–2040, increase by 14.48%, 16.23%, 16.99%, and 21.53% in the SSP126, SSP245, SSP370, and SSP585 scenarios, respectively. This comes with an overall expansion trend, and the areas predicted to be affected are concentrated in the eastern and central-western parts of the Tibetan Plateau. The other three future periods 2041–2060, 2061–2080, and 2081–2100 also show increases in these total areas to varying degrees. It is noteworthy that in the future periods 2061–2080 and 2081–2100, under the SSP370 and SSP585 scenarios, the area of high suitable distribution decreases or even disappears. Lastly, under the four climate scenarios, the FPM suitable distribution area will shift towards the western part of the Tibetan Plateau. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainability, Biodiversity and Conservation)
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17 pages, 3648 KiB  
Article
Sustainable Coupling Coordination and Influencing Factors of Sports Facilities Construction and Social Economy Development in China
by Lin-Hong Zheng, Nor Eeza Zainal Abidin, Mohammad Nazri Mohd Nor, Yue-Yun Xu and Xiao-Wei Feng
Sustainability 2023, 15(3), 2832; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15032832 - 3 Feb 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2125
Abstract
Sports facilities are a crucial physical safeguard and means of sustaining sporting activities. The steady and healthy development of sports facilities can promote the sustainable development of the social economy. In order to explore the coordination status and influencing factors between sports facilities [...] Read more.
Sports facilities are a crucial physical safeguard and means of sustaining sporting activities. The steady and healthy development of sports facilities can promote the sustainable development of the social economy. In order to explore the coordination status and influencing factors between sports facilities construction and the social economy, this paper built a coupling coordination evaluation index system and dynamic factor index system for the sports facilities construction and social economy development by using the entropy method, coupling coordination model and random effect model. This paper assessed the comprehensive level, coupling coordination relationship, and influencing factors of the sports facilities and social economy development of nine cities in the Fujian Province across China from 2016 to 2020. The results show the overall level of sports facilities construction in Fujian is better than the social economy development, and the two systems are interacting with each other. The level of coupling and coordination gradually changes from good coordination to quality sustainable coordination. The coupling coordinated relationship between the two systems is developing in a positive way. In addition, industrial development, the level of urban development, and environmental development as influencing factors have a clear positive effect on the degree of coupling coordination. This study provides several recommendations for cities to achieve sustainable coordinated development. This paper also may provide a direction and path for future research. Full article
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18 pages, 5663 KiB  
Article
Efficiency Improvement of Eco-Friendly Solar Heat Supply System as a Building Coating
by Orest Voznyak, Nadiia Spodyniuk, Ievgen Antypov, Edyta Dudkiewicz, Mariana Kasynets, Olena Savchenko and Svitlana Tarasenko
Sustainability 2023, 15(3), 2831; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15032831 - 3 Feb 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1443
Abstract
The background of this article is the potential energy savings of solar heat supply systems due to the use of the renewable energy of solar radiation. The motivation is to create a solar collector design that would combine the functions of both a [...] Read more.
The background of this article is the potential energy savings of solar heat supply systems due to the use of the renewable energy of solar radiation. The motivation is to create a solar collector design that would combine the functions of both a building cover and a solar collector. It is necessary to investigate and compare different types of solar collector coatings (traditional and modern) and pipe diameters. The purpose of the article is to solve aspects of energy efficiency for new eco-friendly solar collectors. The most effective result occurred with the solar collector covered with the rubber–graphite composition of Grafplast PDA, and when using Prandelli/Tuborama pipes with a diameter of 0.016 m. Their efficiency increased by 8% compared to the second version of the collector made using a more traditional solution. The influence of the distance between the pipes and the flow rate of the heat carrier on the efficiency of the solar collectors was evaluated. Full article
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24 pages, 1713 KiB  
Article
Sustainability Assessment in Social Housing Environments: An Inclusive Indicators Selection in Colombian Post-Pandemic Cities
by Jhon Ricardo Escorcia Hernández, Sara Torabi Moghadam and Patrizia Lombardi
Sustainability 2023, 15(3), 2830; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15032830 - 3 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2058
Abstract
The use of indicators for sustainability assessment in the urban planning process is a widely used approach. With the definition of the Agenda 2030 and the role of cities in achieving sustainable development goals, much work has been devoted to the definition of [...] Read more.
The use of indicators for sustainability assessment in the urban planning process is a widely used approach. With the definition of the Agenda 2030 and the role of cities in achieving sustainable development goals, much work has been devoted to the definition of evaluation frameworks and indicators to assess policies and plans and support decision-making in the transition to sustainable urban environments. Therefore, there is currently a wide range of indicator frameworks for the sustainability assessment of human settlements. However, considering the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the urban sustainability paradigm, the need to reassess the relevance of existing assessment frameworks in the post-pandemic context has been highlighted. Thus, this article aims to illustrate a selection of indicators to evaluate urban sustainability in developing countries’ post-pandemic contexts, using Colombia as a case study. This work comprises the characterization of the post-pandemic relevance of a set of sustainability indicators through the participation of stakeholders associated with the development process of social housing in urban environments in Colombia. Within a Delphi process, the initial indicators were taken from local and international sustainability frameworks validated before the pandemic. Further, a final selection was made through the evaluation of a survey from a sample of 45 stakeholders, and different participatory mechanisms with experts. These results acknowledged the relevance of factors, such as atmospheric conditions, risk management, the performance of public transport systems, and the availability and accessibility to key services, in the achievement of urban sustainability. These results will support the sustainability assessment of the development of post-pandemic recovery policies in Colombia and serve as a reference for other contexts in developing countries. Full article
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15 pages, 3649 KiB  
Article
Impact of Anthropogenic Threats on Species Diversity: A Case Study of the Sub-Himalayan Tropical Dry Deciduous Forests of Pakistan
by Naveed Alam, Eve Bohnett, Muhammad Zafar, Hassan Sher, Bilal Ahmad, Mohamed Fawzy Ramadan, Mushtaq Ahmad, Zahid Ullah, Ahmad Ali, Shujaul Mulk Khan and Kashmala Syed
Sustainability 2023, 15(3), 2829; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15032829 - 3 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2440
Abstract
Effective forest conservation and management needs to consider ecological factors and the susceptibility of different tree species to anthropogenic activity. Dry deciduous forests in the tropics have been undervalued because of their low timber production compared to temperate and boreal forests. In order [...] Read more.
Effective forest conservation and management needs to consider ecological factors and the susceptibility of different tree species to anthropogenic activity. Dry deciduous forests in the tropics have been undervalued because of their low timber production compared to temperate and boreal forests. In order to quantify the current significance of Pakistan’s tropical dry deciduous forests in relation to ecological variables and anthropogenic threats, a broad phytosociological survey was conducted. In the study area, a total of 140 species of woody plants belonging to 52 families were identified. The cluster analysis depicts the distribution of nine plant communities in five clusters, in which Dodonaea viscosa-Acacia modesta-Dulbergia sissoo community was the most dominant community, showing cosmopolitan distribution in the study area. The results are further authenticated by DCA and CCA analyses, which indicate that altitude, precipitation, and temperature are the most important factors influencing the distribution and composition of tropical dry deciduous forests along the Himalayan foothills. In the study area, an annual fuelwood consumption of 270.38 tons was recorded. It was discovered that high-altitude forests were subject to extensive tree harvesting, overgrazing, browsing, and high fuelwood consumption. In addition, these forests have a low regeneration rate from 4.5 to 4.8 seedlings/quadrat, due to extensive human activities. Remarkable differences in the anthropogenic pressure and disturbances were found in the protected and unprotected forests. Based on our findings, we recommend that: (i) Immediate management intervention and an in-situ conservation strategy must be implemented in areas exposed to high levels of anthropogenic threats. (ii) Unsustainable grazing and fuelwood collection must be managed, and high-threat areas must be immediately prohibited. (iii) The local populace must be made aware of the grave consequences of anthropogenic disturbances, and a collaborative management strategy must be implemented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Forest Ecosystems)
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20 pages, 966 KiB  
Article
A Fuzzy-Set Configurational Examination of Governance Capability under Certainty and Uncertainty Conditions: Evidence from the Chinese Provincial Cases of Early COVID-19 Containing Practice
by Chao Yang and Xianyin Meng
Sustainability 2023, 15(3), 2828; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15032828 - 3 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1706
Abstract
It is a complex task for provincial governments to sustain the effectiveness of the governance system in containing the spread of COVID-19 in the early stages. This study aims to examine the complex causal combinations of certainty, uncertainty and governance capabilities leading to [...] Read more.
It is a complex task for provincial governments to sustain the effectiveness of the governance system in containing the spread of COVID-19 in the early stages. This study aims to examine the complex causal combinations of certainty, uncertainty and governance capabilities leading to high and low effectiveness of governance across 30 Chinese provincial administrative regions. The fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) shows that: (1) Two paths lead to a high level of governance effectiveness. One is condition-based, while the other is mainly based on the expertise of health directors and low-spreading control conditions. (2) Two paths lead to a low level of governance effectiveness. Because of a high level of spreading control difficulty, most provinces take the first path. (3) The SARS experience in 2003 may not be a necessary condition to improve the governance effectiveness of the COVID-19 outbreak. Provinces could achieve good governance effectiveness even if they had no prior SARS experience. The findings enhance the understanding of the emergency response to a public health crisis in a country with a strong government by clarifying various effective and ineffective configurations. It also reflects China’s existing public health emergency system to maintain sustainable governance under varying degrees of certainty and uncertainty. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health, Well-Being and Sustainability)
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31 pages, 1121 KiB  
Article
The Unraveling Loyalty Model of Traditional Retail to Suppliers for Business Sustainability in the Digital Transformation Era: Insight from MSMEs in Indonesia
by Mujianto Mujianto, Hartoyo Hartoyo, Rita Nurmalina and Eva Z. Yusuf
Sustainability 2023, 15(3), 2827; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15032827 - 3 Feb 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 4107
Abstract
The development of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCGs) retail has demonstrated an evolution of buyer–seller interactions. In the era of digital transformation, FMCGs and micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) can easily use website applications to shop for various products from suppliers, make payments, [...] Read more.
The development of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCGs) retail has demonstrated an evolution of buyer–seller interactions. In the era of digital transformation, FMCGs and micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) can easily use website applications to shop for various products from suppliers, make payments, and access a wider variety of products with more efficient delivery. However, empirical studies on loyalty drivers on B2B relationships for business sustainability in the retail industry have not received much attention. This research aimed to examine the factors that influence loyalty and analyze the mediating role of MSME loyalty by discussing a new conceptual framework designed based on the buyer–seller relationship theory and relational marketing. Data were collected from 500 owners or managers of FMCG retail stalls in various provinces in Indonesia and analyzed using structural equation modeling (SEM). The results showed that merchandising, website quality, commitment, and satisfaction have a positive effect on loyalty, as opposed to service quality and trust. There are also different roles in the mediating variables of trust, commitment, and satisfaction on retail store loyalty. These findings were useful for policymakers, managers, and practitioners to clarify the influence of service quality, merchandising website quality, and the role of relationship quality on loyalty in the era of digital transformation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Business Models: Implications for Consumer Marketing)
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19 pages, 6245 KiB  
Article
Research of the Luminance of Asphalt Pavements in Trafficked Areas
by Deimantė Lunkevičiūtė, Viktoras Vorobjovas, Pranciškus Vitta and Donatas Čygas
Sustainability 2023, 15(3), 2826; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15032826 - 3 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1697
Abstract
A key factor for safe and comfortable driving on roads are properly reflective and well visible pavement surfaces at night. The brightness of the road pavement surface depends on the amount of light falling on it and the reflection properties of the road [...] Read more.
A key factor for safe and comfortable driving on roads are properly reflective and well visible pavement surfaces at night. The brightness of the road pavement surface depends on the amount of light falling on it and the reflection properties of the road pavement surface at any point. The luminance of the pavement depends on its physical condition, age and type of pavement, direction of illumination, and observation conditions. Different pavements can have different reflection characteristics that depend on the surface texture, materials, and binder (type and quantity). Experimental research was carried out on the carriageways and bicycle paths of Vilnius city streets, which differ in color and age. The analysis of the research results showed differences between the surface reflectance characteristics of these pavements depending on the color of the pavement, surface conditions, and age. The reflection properties of red asphalt pavements are better than black ones when the pavement surface is wet or moist. The reduced luminance coefficients of the carriageway (asphalt pavement installed in 2021) are about 12% lower than those of the carriageway pavement installed 10 years ago and about 60% lower for wet and moist pavements. The results obtained from the research are significant for street designers when choosing the type of pavement and designing street lighting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Road Materials and Pavement Design)
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12 pages, 316 KiB  
Article
Association between Loneliness, Well-Being, and Life Satisfaction before and during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Cross-Sectional Study
by Mateja Lorber, Jožica Černe Kolarič, Sergej Kmetec and Barbara Kegl
Sustainability 2023, 15(3), 2825; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15032825 - 3 Feb 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3913
Abstract
Good psychological well-being contributes to a satisfying life, reduces loneliness, and enables a better quality of life. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people worldwide have faced various challenges, which manifest in mental health problems, dissatisfaction with life and increased loneliness. This study aimed [...] Read more.
Good psychological well-being contributes to a satisfying life, reduces loneliness, and enables a better quality of life. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people worldwide have faced various challenges, which manifest in mental health problems, dissatisfaction with life and increased loneliness. This study aimed to investigate the influence of loneliness on mental well-being and life satisfaction among the adult population during the COVID-19 pandemic. A cross-sectional study was conducted between October 2021 and January 2022. A total of 664 participants took part in the survey, of whom 484 (73%) were female and 180 (27%) were male. Our results show that loneliness can explain 48% of the total variability in mental well-being and 52% of the variability in life satisfaction. The results show a higher level of loneliness and use of information and communication technology and a lower level of contact with relatives and friends, life satisfaction, and well-being during COVID-19 than they considered before the time of COVID-19. Study findings can help improve loneliness and mental well-being, and, consequently, life satisfaction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact of COVID-19 on Public Health Behaviors)
38 pages, 25849 KiB  
Article
Recycling and Reuse of Building Materials in a Historical Landscape—Viminacium Natural Brick (Serbia)
by Emilija Nikolić, Ivana Delić-Nikolić, Mladen Jovičić, Ljiljana Miličić and Nevenka Mijatović
Sustainability 2023, 15(3), 2824; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15032824 - 3 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3250
Abstract
During the MoDeCo2000 scientific and research project on mortars used in the territory of the Roman Danube Limes in Serbia, the biggest challenge was the quest for the provenance of raw materials. The area where Viminacium, the largest city in the province of [...] Read more.
During the MoDeCo2000 scientific and research project on mortars used in the territory of the Roman Danube Limes in Serbia, the biggest challenge was the quest for the provenance of raw materials. The area where Viminacium, the largest city in the province of Moesia Superior developed, with millennial continuity of land use and settlement, was selected as research case study and is presented in this research. People throughout history have always used what they had at hand, and the building remains were not only reused but also recycled for new constructions. Thus, the building material of Roman Viminacium has survived in the landscape through the in situ preserved remains of Roman buildings, as well as in the structures from the later periods, up to today. To the best of our knowledge, the use of natural sediments baked during the self-combustion or combustion of underneath layers (coal in our case) for the purpose of construction was extremely rare in the Roman Empire. In this study, we follow the presence of this type of material precisely in Viminacium construction, naming it natural brick, while focusing on its potential use in lime mortars whose production was perfected in the Roman period and has never been surpassed afterward. Archaeological contexts in which this material was found have been studied, along with simultaneous work in the laboratory and in the field during the research and experimental use of the natural brick in lime mortars. We sought to determine whether this material could have been recognised by Romans in Viminacium as a potential valuable pozzolanic component of mortar, along with or instead of fired brick, being locally available and recyclable. The final confirmation of its pozzolanic features and later discussion open completely new directions for the future research of Viminacium lime mortars. Full article
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20 pages, 4494 KiB  
Article
Effects of COVID-19 on Residential Planning and Design: A Scientometric Analysis
by Qingchang Chen, Zhuoyang Sun and Wenjing Li
Sustainability 2023, 15(3), 2823; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15032823 - 3 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2136
Abstract
Coronavirus disease has caused city blockades, making people spend longer in residential areas than ever before. Human well-being and health are directly affected by the suppression of the epidemic through residential planning and design. In this regard, scholars from all over the world [...] Read more.
Coronavirus disease has caused city blockades, making people spend longer in residential areas than ever before. Human well-being and health are directly affected by the suppression of the epidemic through residential planning and design. In this regard, scholars from all over the world have made significant efforts to explore the links between COVID-19 and residential planning and design, trying to adjust the states in time to cope with the effects of COVID-19 in the long run. This study is based on Bibliometrix to conduct a scientometric analysis of the literature on “Effects of COVID-19 on residential planning and design (ECRPD)” published in Web of Science and Scopus from 2019 to October 2022. The aim of this study is to comprehensively present the scientific knowledge of ECRPD research through general characteristics’ analysis, citation analysis, and horizontal conceptual structure analysis, and try to summarize how residential planning and design responds to COVID-19, so as to provide support and advice for urban planners, builders, and policy makers. According to the results, ECRPD research is growing significantly, and the scientific productivity of it has increased exponentially. The main effects and feedback are characterized by three aspects: residential environment, residential building space and planning space, and residential traffic and community management. Generally, ECRPD research has expanded beyond the disciplines of architecture and planning. Environmental and energy concerns have attracted the most attention, though practical research into residential building space is relatively limited. To fully deal with COVID-19’s multiple negative facets, it is imperative to promote cross-disciplinary and multi-field collaboration, implement new technologies and methods for traditional disciplines, develop bioclimatic buildings to cope with environmental changes, and strengthen practical research in residential building and planning to ensure that a sustainable and resilient living environment is created in the post-pandemic era. Full article
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20 pages, 3085 KiB  
Article
Conceptual Design of a Semi-Automatic Process Line for Recycling Photovoltaic Panels as a Way to Ecological Sustainable Production
by Mariusz Niekurzak, Wojciech Lewicki, Hasan Huseyin Coban and Agnieszka Brelik
Sustainability 2023, 15(3), 2822; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15032822 - 3 Feb 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2057
Abstract
The article presents the developed technology for the comprehensive recycling of depleted, used or damaged photovoltaic (PV) cells made of crystalline silicon. The developed concepts of technology and the results of research on recycling were presented on silicon photovoltaic cells and modules. The [...] Read more.
The article presents the developed technology for the comprehensive recycling of depleted, used or damaged photovoltaic (PV) cells made of crystalline silicon. The developed concepts of technology and the results of research on recycling were presented on silicon photovoltaic cells and modules. The sequence of steps and the type of procedures used are proposed. A thermal delamination method for used commercial photovoltaic modules has been developed to separate the materials. In addition, a recycling line was proposed along with the selection of machines and a holistic approach to project profitability based on a SWOT analysis. The presented semi-automatic installation enables recycling on a laboratory scale. The line was designed for the assumed capacity of 30 t/h. The total energy demand for the designed line was calculated, which showed that 16.49 kWh is needed to recycle 1 ton of photovoltaic laminates. Implementation of developed solutions on an industrial scale will allow to reduce production costs, mainly thanks to energy savings, which translates into less devastation of the natural environment and reduced material consumption. In addition, the implementation of the PV module recycling system will reduce and, consequently, eliminate a significant amount of used PV devices deposited in landfills. The content of the article gives a fresh and innovative look at the essence of photovoltaic panel recycling processes in terms of production benefits as well as financial and environmental benefits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frontiers in Solid Waste Recycling Related to PV Industry)
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24 pages, 8437 KiB  
Article
A Historical–Projected Analysis in Land Use/Land Cover in Developing Arid Region Using Spatial Differences and Its Relation to the Climate
by Nivin Abdelrahim Hasan, Dongkai Yang and Fayha Al-Shibli
Sustainability 2023, 15(3), 2821; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15032821 - 3 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1618
Abstract
Land resources are under relentless pressure from metropolitan regions, pollution, and climate shifts. The urge to monitor Land Use/Land Cover (LULC) and climate changes based on technology and sustainable management are addressed. This study analyzes the historical land cover maps to calculate growth [...] Read more.
Land resources are under relentless pressure from metropolitan regions, pollution, and climate shifts. The urge to monitor Land Use/Land Cover (LULC) and climate changes based on technology and sustainable management are addressed. This study analyzes the historical land cover maps to calculate growth patterns for the years 1985–2022 and uses Logistic Regression (LR) and Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) to project future dynamics forecasts for the years 2030–2040 in the Amman-Zarqa Basin (AZB). The state of the climate and the extreme indices projections of CMIP5 under RCP8.5 are linked to the corrected historical LULC maps and assessed. Given greater dry covering of large surface runoff, little rainfall, and high evapotranspiration rates, the state of the climate across the AZB notably showed instability in key climatic indices and a major exacerbation of warmth and drier soil in the basin. Both climate change and land use are contributing dynamics, but land-use alterations are much more dramatic changes than climate changes. Since the effects of climate alterations are mostly identifiable through land cover forms, land use practices put the phase that may be influenced by climate change. The results revealed that the daily extremes in 1992 are aligned with the corresponding increase of barren lands and diminished the half area of forest, cultivated, rainfed, and pasture lands in 1995. Rainfed regions were converted to agriculture or shrubland with an accuracy of 0.87, and urban encroachment caused the acreage of woodland, cultivated, rainfed, and grazing fields to decrease by almost half. Predicted land cover maps were created using LR in 2030 (Kappa = 0.99) and 2040 (Kappa = 0.90), in contrast to the ANN approach (Kappa = 0.99 for 2030 and 0.90 for 2040). By combining ANN and LR, decreasing bare soil was anticipated between 325 km2 and 344 km2. As a result, 20% of the total area of the major AZB cities’ urban areas will be doubled. More subjective analysis is required to study and predict drought in the future to improve the resilience of various LULC types. Full article
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20 pages, 704 KiB  
Review
Empowering and Disempowering Motivational Coaching Climate: A Scoping Review
by Caroline Birr, Antonio Hernandez-Mendo, Diogo Monteiro and Antonio Rosado
Sustainability 2023, 15(3), 2820; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15032820 - 3 Feb 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3334
Abstract
The multidimensional model of empowering and disempowering coach climates has great relevance within the scope of intervention in the context of Sport Psychology. This scoping review of studies summarizes the scientific production of the empowering and disempowering motivational climates. The search comprised the [...] Read more.
The multidimensional model of empowering and disempowering coach climates has great relevance within the scope of intervention in the context of Sport Psychology. This scoping review of studies summarizes the scientific production of the empowering and disempowering motivational climates. The search comprised the Web of Science, Scopus, Psycinfo, and Pubmed databases for English, Portuguese, and Spanish articles published between 2013 and 2022. A total of 44 articles were found, of which 22 were included in the present study: 16 concerned cross-sectional studies, four were psychometrics validation studies, one involved a transversal cohort study, and one included a qualitative study. The questionnaire EDMCQ-C (Coach-created Empowering and Disempowering Motivational Questionnaire) is the most used and with the necessary psychometric qualities when it comes to assessing the empowering and disempowering motivational climates and their various impacts. We describe results concerning the measurement, antecedents, and effects of empowering and disempowering coach climates. Future research should invest in the study of empirical evidence that could be added to the existing nomological framework, considering antecedents, development, direct and indirect effects, moderating effects, aggregated effects, and qualitative studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports Psychology and Performance)
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