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Sustainability, Volume 7, Issue 4 (April 2015), Pages 3515-4782

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Open AccessArticle Estimating the Total Economic Value of Cultivated Flower Land in Taiwan
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4764-4782; https://doi.org/10.3390/su7044764
Received: 10 November 2014 / Revised: 13 April 2015 / Accepted: 15 April 2015 / Published: 21 April 2015
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (797 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Many arable land areas have been converted to residential or business uses by Taiwan government authorities, because the low farmland value is associated with the low value of agricultural products. However, agriculture is multifunctional. This study investigates farmland value through Total Economic Value
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Many arable land areas have been converted to residential or business uses by Taiwan government authorities, because the low farmland value is associated with the low value of agricultural products. However, agriculture is multifunctional. This study investigates farmland value through Total Economic Value (TEV) for Tianwei Township, which is Taiwan’s largest floral farmland region. Direct use value measures the floral products’ output value and recreational benefit. Recreational benefit from visitors’ flower sightseeing was measured by the travel cost method (TCM). Option value and non-use value, including bequest value and existence value, measure the residents’ willingness to pay through the double-bounded dichotomous contingent valuation method (CVM). The results show that the total floral products’ output is NT$1.441 billion in 2007, recreational benefit is roughly NT$17.757 billion. The intangible value of option value and non-use values are approximately between NT$5 million to 15 million. Therefore, ignoring various values of farmland might lead to an underestimation of farmland value. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Ecological Footprints and Lifestyle Archetypes: Exploring Dimensions of Consumption and the Transformation Needed to Achieve Urban Sustainability
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4747-4763; https://doi.org/10.3390/su7044747
Received: 20 December 2014 / Revised: 15 March 2015 / Accepted: 8 April 2015 / Published: 21 April 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (695 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The global urban transition increasingly positions cities as important influencers in determining sustainability outcomes. Urban sustainability literature tends to focus on the built environment as a solution space for reducing energy and materials demand; however, equally important is the consumption characteristics of the
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The global urban transition increasingly positions cities as important influencers in determining sustainability outcomes. Urban sustainability literature tends to focus on the built environment as a solution space for reducing energy and materials demand; however, equally important is the consumption characteristics of the people who occupy the city. While size of dwelling and motor vehicle ownership are partially influenced by urban form, they are also influenced by cultural and socio-economic characteristics. Dietary choices and purchases of consumable goods are almost entirely driven by the latter. Using international field data that document urban ways of living, I develop lifestyle archetypes coupled with ecological footprint analysis to develop consumption benchmarks in the domains of: food, buildings, consumables, transportation, and water that correspond to various levels of demand on nature’s services. I also explore the dimensions of transformation that would be needed in each of these domains for the per capita consumption patterns of urban dwellers to achieve ecological sustainability. The dimensions of transformation needed commensurate with ecological carrying capacity include: a 73% reduction in household energy use, a 96% reduction in motor vehicle ownership, a 78% reduction in per capita vehicle kilometres travelled, and a 79% reduction in air kilometres travelled. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Urban Development)
Open AccessArticle The Establishment and Application of Environment Sustainability Evaluation Indicators for Ecotourism Environments
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4727-4746; https://doi.org/10.3390/su7044727
Received: 10 February 2015 / Revised: 2 April 2015 / Accepted: 15 April 2015 / Published: 21 April 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (772 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Kinmen National Park is the only battle memorial-themed natural resource conservation park in Taiwan. With the rapid growth in tourism, Kinmen National Park faces the challenge of managing with the resulting environmental impact. For this study, we adopted the tourism ecological footprint (TEF)
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Kinmen National Park is the only battle memorial-themed natural resource conservation park in Taiwan. With the rapid growth in tourism, Kinmen National Park faces the challenge of managing with the resulting environmental impact. For this study, we adopted the tourism ecological footprint (TEF) and tourism ecological capacity (TEC) to evaluate the ecological conditions of Kinmen National Park from 2002 to 2011. The empirical results indicated the following findings: (a) TEF increased by 8.03% over 10 years; (b) Regarding the environmental sustainability index (ESI), per capita tourism ecological deficit (PTED) yielded a deficit growth rate of 45.37%. In 2011, the ecological footprint index (EFI) was at Level 4 with 1.16, and the ESI was at Level 3 with 0.495. According to the aforementioned results, with the increased scale of tourism to Kinmen National Park, the pressure that ecological occupancy exerted on the national ecosystem exceeded its ecological capacity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Rescuing Food from the Organics Waste Stream to Feed the Food Insecure: An Economic and Environmental Assessment of Australian Food Rescue Operations Using Environmentally Extended Waste Input-Output Analysis
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4707-4726; https://doi.org/10.3390/su7044707
Received: 17 February 2015 / Revised: 8 April 2015 / Accepted: 14 April 2015 / Published: 21 April 2015
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (1504 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper we investigate the economic and environmental efficiency of charities and NGO’s “rescuing” food waste, using a 2008 case study of food rescue organisations in Australia. We quantify the tonnages, costs, and environmental impact of food rescued, and then compare food
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In this paper we investigate the economic and environmental efficiency of charities and NGO’s “rescuing” food waste, using a 2008 case study of food rescue organisations in Australia. We quantify the tonnages, costs, and environmental impact of food rescued, and then compare food rescue to other food waste disposal methods composting and landfill. To our knowledge this is the first manuscript to comprehend the psychical flows of charity within an Input-Output framework—treating the charity donations as a waste product. We found that 18,105 tonnes of food waste was rescued, and calculate that food rescue operations generate approximately six kilograms of food waste per tonne of food rescued, at a cost of US$222 per tonne of food rescued. This a lower cost than purchasing a tonne of comparable edible food at market value. We also found that per US dollar spent on food rescue, edible food to the value of US$5.71 (1863 calories) was rescued. Likewise, every US dollar spent on food rescue redirected food that represented 6.6 m3 of embodied water, 40.13 MJ of embodied energy, and 7.5 kilograms of embodied greenhouse gasses (CO2 equivalents) from being sent to landfill or composting, and into mouths of the food insecure. We find that food rescue—though more economically costly than landfill or composting—is a lower cost method of obtaining food for the food insecure than direct purchasing. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Role of Vegetation in Mitigating Urban Land Surface Temperatures: A Case Study of Munich, Germany during the Warm Season
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4689-4706; https://doi.org/10.3390/su7044689
Received: 18 December 2014 / Revised: 14 April 2015 / Accepted: 14 April 2015 / Published: 21 April 2015
Cited by 30 | PDF Full-text (2808 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The Urban Heat Island (UHI) is the phenomenon of altered increased temperatures in urban areas compared to their rural surroundings. UHIs grow and intensify under extreme hot periods, such as during heat waves, which can affect human health and also increase the demand
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The Urban Heat Island (UHI) is the phenomenon of altered increased temperatures in urban areas compared to their rural surroundings. UHIs grow and intensify under extreme hot periods, such as during heat waves, which can affect human health and also increase the demand for energy for cooling. This study applies remote sensing and land use/land cover (LULC) data to assess the cooling effect of varying urban vegetation cover, especially during extreme warm periods, in the city of Munich, Germany. To compute the relationship between Land Surface Temperature (LST) and Land Use Land Cover (LULC), MODIS eight-day interval LST data for the months of June, July and August from 2002 to 2012 and the Corine Land Cover (CLC) database were used. Due to similarities in the behavior of surface temperature of different CLCs, some classes were reclassified and combined to form two major, rather simplified, homogenized classes: one of built-up area and one of urban vegetation. The homogenized map was merged with the MODIS eight-day interval LST data to compute the relationship between them. The results revealed that (i) the cooling effect accrued from urban vegetation tended to be non-linear; and (ii) a remarkable and stronger cooling effect in terms of LST was identified in regions where the proportion of vegetation cover was between seventy and almost eighty percent per square kilometer. The results also demonstrated that LST within urban vegetation was affected by the temperature of the surrounding built-up and that during the well-known European 2003 heat wave, suburb areas were cooler from the core of the urbanized region. This study concluded that the optimum green space for obtaining the lowest temperature is a non-linear trend. This could support urban planning strategies to facilitate appropriate applications to mitigate heat-stress in urban area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle Habitat Mapping of the Leopard Cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) in South Korea Using GIS
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4668-4688; https://doi.org/10.3390/su7044668
Received: 22 January 2015 / Revised: 9 April 2015 / Accepted: 9 April 2015 / Published: 21 April 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2491 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to create maps of potentially sustainable leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) habitats for all of South Korea. The leopard cat, which is on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, is the only
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The purpose of this study was to create maps of potentially sustainable leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) habitats for all of South Korea. The leopard cat, which is on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, is the only member of the Felidae family in Korea. To create habitat potential maps, we selected various environmental factors potentially affecting the species’ distribution from a spatial database derived from geographic information system (GIS) data: elevation, slope, distance from a forest stand, road, or drainage, timber type, age, and land cover. We analyzed the spatial relationships between the distribution of the leopard cat and the environmental factors using a frequency ratio model and a logistic regression model. We then overlaid these relationships to produce a habitat potential map with a species potential index (SPI) value. Of the total number of known leopard cat locations, we used 50% for mapping and the remaining 50% for model validation. Our models were relatively successful and showed a high level of accuracy during model validation with existing locations (frequency ratio model 82.15%; logistic regression model 81.48%). The maps can be used to manage and monitor the habitat of mammal species and top predators. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle A Hybrid Inexact Optimization Method for Land-Use Allocation in Association with Environmental/Ecological Requirements at a Watershed Level
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4643-4667; https://doi.org/10.3390/su7044643
Received: 27 November 2014 / Revised: 8 April 2015 / Accepted: 9 April 2015 / Published: 20 April 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1193 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this study, an inexact stochastic fuzzy programming (ISFP) model is proposed for land-use allocation (LUA) and environmental/ecological planning at a watershed level, where uncertainties associated with land-use parameters, benefit functions, and environmental/ecological requirements are described as discrete intervals, probabilities and fuzzy sets.
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In this study, an inexact stochastic fuzzy programming (ISFP) model is proposed for land-use allocation (LUA) and environmental/ecological planning at a watershed level, where uncertainties associated with land-use parameters, benefit functions, and environmental/ecological requirements are described as discrete intervals, probabilities and fuzzy sets. In this model, an interval stochastic fuzzy programming model is used to support quantitative optimization under uncertainty. Complexities in land-use planning systems can be systematically reflected, thus applicability of the modeling process can be highly enhanced. The proposed method is applied to planning land use/ecological balance in Poyang Lake watershed, China. The objective of the ISFP is maximizing net benefit from the LUA system and the constraints including economic constraints, social constraints, land suitability constraints, environmental constraints, ecological constraints and technical constraints. Modeling results indicate that the desired system benefit will be between [15.17, 18.29] × 1012 yuan under the minimum violating probabilities; the optimized areas of commercial land, industrial land, agricultural land, transportation land, residential land, water land, green land, landfill land and unused land will be optimized cultivated land, forest land, grass land, water land, urban land, unused land and landfill will be [228234, 237844] ha, [47228, 58451] ha, [20982, 23718] ha, [33897, 35280] ha, [15215, 15907] ha, [528, 879] ha and [1023, 1260] ha. These data can be used for generating decision alternatives under different scenarios and thus help decision makers identify desired policies under various system-reliability constraints of ecological requirement and environmental capacity. Tradeoffs between system benefits and constraint-violation risks can be tackled. They are helpful for supporting (a) decision of land-use allocation and government investment; (b) formulation of local policies regarding ecological protection, environment protection and economic development; (c) analysis of interactions among economic benefits, system reliability and ecological requirements. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Consumer Acceptance of Eco-Labeled Fish: A Mexican Case Study
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4625-4642; https://doi.org/10.3390/su7044625
Received: 25 February 2015 / Revised: 21 March 2015 / Accepted: 13 April 2015 / Published: 17 April 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (752 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Fish eco-labeling is a market-based incentive program for sustainable fisheries. This paper examines consumers’ acceptance of eco-labeled fish by using data from a pilot study conducted in a coastal area of northwestern Mexico. An ordered probit model was applied, using 364 observations. The
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Fish eco-labeling is a market-based incentive program for sustainable fisheries. This paper examines consumers’ acceptance of eco-labeled fish by using data from a pilot study conducted in a coastal area of northwestern Mexico. An ordered probit model was applied, using 364 observations. The results show that most respondents favor the idea of eco-labeled fish as a sustainable option and know that this is a costlier option. Income level, consumers’ occupation and frequency of fish consumption are factors taken into account in the buying decision. Price was not a statistically significant factor affecting purchase decision. The study suggests that employed consumers with knowledge of labels may prioritize their demand for eco-labeled fish. Thus, providing a clear definition of sustainability that increases consumer awareness might be a promising strategy in developing the market for eco-labeled fish. The results and their implications could be employed as an element for future development of consumer policies related to fish sustainability. Full article
Open AccessArticle Delivering a Multi-Functional and Resilient Urban Forest
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4600-4624; https://doi.org/10.3390/su7044600
Received: 9 March 2015 / Revised: 4 April 2015 / Accepted: 8 April 2015 / Published: 17 April 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1955 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Tree planting is widely advocated and applied in urban areas, with large-scale projects underway in cities globally. Numerous potential benefits are used to justify these planting campaigns. However, reports of poor tree survival raise questions about the ability of such projects to deliver
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Tree planting is widely advocated and applied in urban areas, with large-scale projects underway in cities globally. Numerous potential benefits are used to justify these planting campaigns. However, reports of poor tree survival raise questions about the ability of such projects to deliver on their promises over the long-term. Each potential benefit requires different supporting conditions—relating not only to the type and placement of the tree, but also to the broader urban system within which it is embedded. This set of supporting conditions may not always be mutually compatible and may not persist for the lifetime of the tree. Here, we demonstrate a systems-based approach that makes these dependencies, synergies, and tensions more explicit, allowing them to be used to test the decadal-scale resilience of urban street trees. Our analysis highlights social, environmental, and economic assumptions that are implicit within planting projects; notably that high levels of maintenance and public support for urban street trees will persist throughout their natural lifespan, and that the surrounding built form will remain largely unchanged. Whilst the vulnerability of each benefit may be highly context specific, we identify approaches that address some typical weaknesses, making a functional, resilient, urban forest more attainable. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Research on the Multi-Period Small-Signal Stability Probability of a Power System with Wind Farms Based on the Markov Chain
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4582-4599; https://doi.org/10.3390/su7044582
Received: 13 January 2015 / Revised: 7 April 2015 / Accepted: 9 April 2015 / Published: 17 April 2015
PDF Full-text (2001 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the traditional studies on small-signal stability probability of a power system with wind farms, the frequency of wind speed was often assumed to obey to some extent a particular probability distribution. The stability probability that is thus obtained, however, actually only reflects
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In the traditional studies on small-signal stability probability of a power system with wind farms, the frequency of wind speed was often assumed to obey to some extent a particular probability distribution. The stability probability that is thus obtained, however, actually only reflects the power system stability characteristics on long time scales. In fact, there is a direct correlation between the change of wind speed and the current state of wind speed, resulting in the system stability characteristics in different time periods having a great difference compared with that of long time scales. However, the dispatchers are more concerned about the probability that the power system remains stable in the next period or after several periods, namely the stability characteristics of the power system in a short period or multi-period. Therefore, research on multi-period small-signal stability probability of a power system with wind farms has important theoretical value and practical significance. Based on the Markov chain, this paper conducted in-depth research on this subject. Firstly, the basic principle of the Markov chain was introduced, based on which we studied the uncertainty of wind power by adopting the transition matrix and the wind speed−power output transformation model and established the probability distribution model of multi-period wind power. Then the boundary-based small-signal stability probability evaluation method was used to establish an evaluation model of multi-period small-signal stability probability of power system with wind farms. Finally, taking the power system with two wind farms as an example, we analyzed its small-signal stability probability and studied the influence of the initial states of wind speed and different periods on the probability of stability. This study provides a new method and support for analyzing the small-signal stability probability of a power system with wind farms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Electrical Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle Territorial Analysis of the Agricultural Terraced Landscapes of Tuscany (Italy): Preliminary Results
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4564-4581; https://doi.org/10.3390/su7044564
Received: 30 January 2015 / Revised: 2 April 2015 / Accepted: 10 April 2015 / Published: 16 April 2015
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (5972 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Terraced areas have existed in Italy since ancient times, and they continue to be characteristic elements of the cultural identity of the country. The progressive abandonment of rural areas and farmland that began in the 1960s has led to the disintegration and disappearance
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Terraced areas have existed in Italy since ancient times, and they continue to be characteristic elements of the cultural identity of the country. The progressive abandonment of rural areas and farmland that began in the 1960s has led to the disintegration and disappearance of many terraces, representing one of the problems connected with the deterioration of the historic Tuscan agricultural landscape. This research aims to provide a contribution to the territorial analysis of the agricultural terraced landscapes at a regional scale. The preliminary phase of the study involved setting up a working method in Geographic Information System (GIS) for the quantitative definition of the population. Afterwards, for the territorial analysis at a more detailed scale, a method was devised to identify the areas of greater significance in terms of a terracing intensity index. The final results concerned considerations on the distribution of the terraced landscapes and analyses related to land use and the main environmental parameters of the most representative terraced systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscape and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Sustainable Development Strategy for the Global City: A Case Study of Sydney
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4549-4563; https://doi.org/10.3390/su7044549
Received: 5 January 2015 / Revised: 3 April 2015 / Accepted: 13 April 2015 / Published: 16 April 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2932 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Global cities, the command and control centres of the integrated world economy, are facing a sustainability paradox of greater global competition and greater environmental pressure. This study explores the policy approaches to the sustainability paradox by integrating environmental sustainability and economic competitiveness into
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Global cities, the command and control centres of the integrated world economy, are facing a sustainability paradox of greater global competition and greater environmental pressure. This study explores the policy approaches to the sustainability paradox by integrating environmental sustainability and economic competitiveness into the development strategy for “the global city”, based on a case study of Sydney. Dissecting Sustainable Sydney 2030, the strategy to guide the City’s development in the early 21st century, reveals the approaches used to achieve the integration. The approaches include green economy, sustainable redevelopment, integrated transport and connectivity, development of attractive public space, urban design for sustainable and good-looking urban form, marketisation of sustainability for a competitive edge, and a relational planning approach. Altogether they target mutually supportive benefits of environmental sustainability and economic competitiveness. The findings point out new directions for the City’s strategic development, and suggest a useful reference for counterpart global cities to address the common sustainability paradox. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Determinants and Sustainability of House Prices: The Case of Shanghai, China
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4524-4548; https://doi.org/10.3390/su7044524
Received: 11 February 2015 / Revised: 29 March 2015 / Accepted: 9 April 2015 / Published: 16 April 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (867 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recent housing policies include measures for home purchase control and shanty town redevelopment. This study proposes sustainable pricing, in that the long-run equilibrium price is determined by the fundamentals of house prices. We argue that changes in CPI might have led to rapidly
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Recent housing policies include measures for home purchase control and shanty town redevelopment. This study proposes sustainable pricing, in that the long-run equilibrium price is determined by the fundamentals of house prices. We argue that changes in CPI might have led to rapidly growing house prices and rather high price levels. We investigate the long-run or short-run impacts of new commodity housing completions, transacted square meters of commodity housing, and CPI for house prices in Shanghai. We adopt monthly data for the period of 2005–2010. We test for unit roots using both the ADF and PP techniques and structural breaks using both the Zivot-Andrews (Model B) and Perron (Model C) methods. Considering Cheung-Lai and Reinsel–Ahn finite-sample corrections, the results suggest a long-run equilibrium. Housing completions negatively impact house prices in the short run. A positive volume-price relationship is suggested. Housing sales affect house prices in the short run but not vice versa. Hence, the empirical evidence supports the search model. In addition, CPI is strongly exogenous with respect to the long-run relationship and thus is a long-term determinant of house prices. CPI also positively and drastically influences house prices in the short run. Therefore, a reduction in inflation rate could stabilize house prices, increasing the chances of sustainable prices in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessCommunication Zero-Acreage Farming in the City of Berlin: An Aggregated Stakeholder Perspective on Potential Benefits and Challenges
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4511-4523; https://doi.org/10.3390/su7044511
Received: 10 February 2015 / Revised: 8 April 2015 / Accepted: 10 April 2015 / Published: 16 April 2015
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (1012 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
How can buildings be combined with agricultural production and what are the major potential benefits and challenges for the introduction of zero-acreage farming (ZFarming) in Berlin from the relevant stakeholders’ perspectives? These questions were explored through a series of interviews and stakeholder workshops
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How can buildings be combined with agricultural production and what are the major potential benefits and challenges for the introduction of zero-acreage farming (ZFarming) in Berlin from the relevant stakeholders’ perspectives? These questions were explored through a series of interviews and stakeholder workshops held between 2011 and 2013. The aim was to identify the most suitable building-integrated farming model for the Berlin metropolitan area and to develop guidelines for the model’s successful and sustainable implementation through a stakeholder-driven approach. This paper provides an aggregated synthesis of the outcomes derived from the qualitative interviews and stakeholder workshops. As the results reveal, the stakeholders perceive potential benefits and challenges related to the issue of ZFarming in all dimensions (economic, social, environmental and political). They largely agreed on the importance of focusing on local resources, using energy-efficient production—including social and educational aspects—and developing new market structures when introducing ZFarming to the city of Berlin. The stakeholders identified urban rooftop greenhouses (RTG) as the most promising farming model for Berlin. In a joint collaboration of all stakeholders, a manual for RTG was developed within the participatory innovation process that addresses the identified problems and challenges associated with future implementation and governance of RTG in Berlin and beyond. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Assessing Green Development Efficiency of Municipalities and Provinces in China Integrating Models of Super-Efficiency DEA and Malmquist Index
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4492-4510; https://doi.org/10.3390/su7044492
Received: 31 October 2014 / Revised: 9 March 2015 / Accepted: 11 March 2015 / Published: 16 April 2015
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (1555 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In order to realize economic and social green development, to pave a pathway towards China’s green regional development and develop effective scientific policy to assist in building green cities and countries, it is necessary to put forward a relatively accurate, scientific and concise
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In order to realize economic and social green development, to pave a pathway towards China’s green regional development and develop effective scientific policy to assist in building green cities and countries, it is necessary to put forward a relatively accurate, scientific and concise green assessment method. The research uses the CCR (A. Charnes & W. W. Cooper & E. Rhodes) Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) model to obtain the green development frontier surface based on 31 regions’ annual cross-section data from 2008–2012. Furthermore, in order to classify the regions whereby assessment values equal to 1 in the CCR model, we chose the Super-Efficiency DEA model for further sorting. Meanwhile, according to the five-year panel data, the green development efficiency changes of 31 regions can be manifested by the Malmquist index. Finally, the study assesses the reasons for regional differences; while analyzing and discussing the results may allude to a superior green development pathway for China. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Research-Based Transformative Science/STEM/STES/STESEP Education for “Sustainability Thinking”: From Teaching to “Know” to Learning to “Think”
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4474-4491; https://doi.org/10.3390/su7044474
Received: 1 December 2014 / Revised: 7 April 2015 / Accepted: 8 April 2015 / Published: 16 April 2015
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (881 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainability is conceptualized, approached and acted upon differently by people, sectors, societies, nations and educational systems. Consequently, the “sustainability thinking”-related scientific, technological, environmental, societal, economic and policy/political components are expected to transform differently. The related necessary transformative paradigm shifts in science, technology, environment,
[...] Read more.
Sustainability is conceptualized, approached and acted upon differently by people, sectors, societies, nations and educational systems. Consequently, the “sustainability thinking”-related scientific, technological, environmental, societal, economic and policy/political components are expected to transform differently. The related necessary transformative paradigm shifts in science, technology, environment, society, economy and policy (STESEP)—education from the contemporary disciplinary science, technology and environmental teaching to “know”—to transdisciplinary learning to “think” are to be expected. The overriding purpose: ensuring “sustainability thinking” by responsible, capable “STESEP literate” citizens. Consequently, “sustainability thinking” in the STESEP interfaces contexts, requires (1) the development of students’ higher-order cognitive skills (HOCS) via a transformative/transdisciplinary “STESEP Education”; (2) a research-based shift from the conventional algorithmic lower-order cognitive skills (LOCS)-based teaching to “know”, to “HOCS learning” to “think”; and (3) a special focus on HOCS-promoting teaching, assessment and learning strategies in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, environment, society and education. A pre-post research design of system thinking, evaluative thinking, and decision making capabilities of 10 grade high school, undergraduate and graduate students, in Israel, are presented and discussed in the learning for “sustainability thinking” context. In conclusion: contemporary science education in secondary and tertiary levels is mainly, disciplinary (biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics) in science, technology and engineering courses. The LOCS-to-HOCS paradigm shift still constitutes a major issue of concern, with respect to ensuring a transformative science/STESEP education, targeting “sustainability thinking” in secondary and tertiary education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Approaches in Education)
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Open AccessArticle Gaetano Vinaccia’s (1881–1971) Theoretical Work on the Relationship between Microclimate and Urban Design
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4448-4473; https://doi.org/10.3390/su7044448
Received: 14 January 2015 / Revised: 7 April 2015 / Accepted: 8 April 2015 / Published: 15 April 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (7482 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Because of his classification as a minor architect, Gaetano Vinaccia’s (1881–1971) role in the history of architecture has not been studied in depth. Despite the fact that his impact on the debate about rational architecture was limited, the depth and scientific accuracy of
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Because of his classification as a minor architect, Gaetano Vinaccia’s (1881–1971) role in the history of architecture has not been studied in depth. Despite the fact that his impact on the debate about rational architecture was limited, the depth and scientific accuracy of his theoretical contribution to the field of microclimatology in relation to urban design issues deserve to be highlighted, especially today when environmental and bioclimatic questions arise strongly in architecture and planning. Thus, this work aims to reconsider this figure by describing the—unfavorable—context in which his work evolved, by bringing to light his most brilliant statements, by reading his scientific productions, and by starting to consider the validity of some of Vinaccia’s intuitions and their actual correspondence with contemporary research. The question of whether Vinaccia can be considered as an innovator (or not) largely derives from the point of view of architectural criticism and the fact that he did not have a well-defined discipline in which to be classified. Despite the fact that his The City of Tomorrow (1943–1952), which is the first complete treatise on the subject, reveals that he was an absolute pioneer, he has had no chance to influence architecture and urbanism until today. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Comparison Analysis and Evaluation of Urban Competitiveness in Chinese Urban Clusters
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4425-4447; https://doi.org/10.3390/su7044425
Received: 13 January 2015 / Revised: 6 April 2015 / Accepted: 8 April 2015 / Published: 15 April 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1031 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With accelerating urbanization, urban competitiveness has become a worldwide academic focus. Previous studies always focused on economic factors but ignored social elements when measuring urban competitiveness. In this paper, a city was considered as a whole containing different units such as departments, individuals
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With accelerating urbanization, urban competitiveness has become a worldwide academic focus. Previous studies always focused on economic factors but ignored social elements when measuring urban competitiveness. In this paper, a city was considered as a whole containing different units such as departments, individuals and economic activities, which interact with each other and affect its economic operation. Moreover, a city’s development was compared to an object’s movement, and the components were compared to different forces acting upon the object. With the analysis of the principle of object movement, this study has established a more scientific evaluation index system that involves 4 subsystems, 12 elements and 58 indexes. By using the TOPSIS method, the study has worked out the urban competitiveness of 141 cities from 28 Chinese urban clusters in 2009. According to the calculation results, these cities were divided into four levels: A, B, C, D. Furthermore, in order to analyze the competitiveness of cities and urban clusters, cities and urban clusters have been divided into four groups according to their distributive characteristics: the southeast, the northeast and Bohai Rim, the central region and the west. Suggestions and recommendations for each group are provided based on careful analysis. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Exergy, Economic and Environmental Analysis for Simple and Combined Heat and Power IC Engines
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4411-4424; https://doi.org/10.3390/su7044411
Received: 21 December 2014 / Revised: 8 March 2015 / Accepted: 11 March 2015 / Published: 14 April 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1468 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study reports the results of exergy, economic and environmental analyses of simple and combined heat and power internal combustion engines. Values of entropy production, second law efficiency are calculated, and an objective function, including initial, operation, maintenance and fuel costs, as well
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This study reports the results of exergy, economic and environmental analyses of simple and combined heat and power internal combustion engines. Values of entropy production, second law efficiency are calculated, and an objective function, including initial, operation, maintenance and fuel costs, as well as the external costs of environmental pollutants, such as CO2, CO and NOx, are presented for the flue gas of the internal combustion engine. The results show that entropy generation in the combined heat and power mode is 30% lower than that in the simple internal combustion engine. Also, by excessively increasing the air ratio, the system entropy generation decreases in both cases of simple and combined heat and power IC engines. The greatest portion of entropy generation is related to the combined heat and power internal combustion engine. The gas heat exchanger generates more entropy than the jacket heat exchanger. Lower values of electricity cost and external costs of air pollution are provided by higher values of molar air to fuel ratio. The environmental aspects depend on location of the system and time of engine operation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Influence of Agricultural Practices on Biotic Production Potential and Climate Regulation Potential. A Case Study for Life Cycle Assessment of Soybean (Glycine max) in Argentina
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4386-4410; https://doi.org/10.3390/su7044386
Received: 24 December 2014 / Revised: 6 April 2015 / Accepted: 8 April 2015 / Published: 14 April 2015
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Abstract
The aim of this study is to determine the impact potential of land use on biotic production and climate regulation in the agricultural phase of a product, taking into account the varied soil and crop management. Land occupation and transformation impacts of soybean
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The aim of this study is to determine the impact potential of land use on biotic production and climate regulation in the agricultural phase of a product, taking into account the varied soil and crop management. Land occupation and transformation impacts of soybean production in Argentina for different agricultural systems are evaluated. The results indicate that the magnitude of occupation and transformation impacts is considerably reduced by implementing no-tillage instead of conventional tillage. Nevertheless, the methodologies adopted are unable to show any of the expected differences between rainfed or irrigation systems, crop sequences and delays in seed-planting, due to failures in the specific characterization factors. On the other hand, an uncertainty is demonstrated by the results associated with the choice of regeneration time corresponding to the different ecoregions over which soybean cultivation extends across the country. One of the recommendations that comes to the fore is to consider in the characterization factors increments in the soil organic carbon stock and in the mineralization rates, associated with the presence of the preceding crop and the greater availability of water in the soil of irrigated systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Quantitative Assessment of Political Fragility Indices and Food Prices as Indicators of Food Riots in Countries
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4360-4385; https://doi.org/10.3390/su7044360
Received: 15 October 2014 / Revised: 9 March 2015 / Accepted: 1 April 2015 / Published: 14 April 2015
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (957 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The impact of resources on social unrest is of increasing interest to political leaders, business and civil society. Recent events have highlighted that (lack of) access to critical resources, including food, energy and water, can, in certain circumstances, lead to violent demonstrations. In
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The impact of resources on social unrest is of increasing interest to political leaders, business and civil society. Recent events have highlighted that (lack of) access to critical resources, including food, energy and water, can, in certain circumstances, lead to violent demonstrations. In this paper, we assess a number of political fragility indices to see whether they are good indicators of propensity to food riots. We found that the most accurate is the Political Instability and Absence of Violence Indicator of the Worldwide Governance Indicators by the World Bank. We compute a likelihood of experiencing a food riot for each quartile of this index. We found that the self-sufficiency of food does not seem to affect the likelihood of the occurrence of food riots, but that the level of political stability of a country does have a role. In addition, we identify a monthly and annual threshold for the Food and Agriculture Organisation Food Price Index, above which food riots in fragile states are more likely to occur. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Ranking Water Transparency of Dutch Stock-Listed Companies
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4341-4359; https://doi.org/10.3390/su7044341
Received: 22 January 2015 / Revised: 30 March 2015 / Accepted: 9 April 2015 / Published: 14 April 2015
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1368 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A growing world population, changing consumption patterns and climate change are affecting water demands, water scarcity and water quality worldwide, while at present, few companies are incorporating good water stewardship. In order to create awareness on this issue and provide an incentive for
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A growing world population, changing consumption patterns and climate change are affecting water demands, water scarcity and water quality worldwide, while at present, few companies are incorporating good water stewardship. In order to create awareness on this issue and provide an incentive for companies to improve the water performance in their operations and supply chain, a method for ranking companies based on their water transparency has been developed. The method consists of a checklist that can be completed on the basis of information from annual reports, sustainability reports and websites of companies. This is the first time a ranking of companies regarding water transparency has been carried out. Results show that there are large differences in transparency between and within sectors and that companies are reporting more about their operations than their supply chain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Footprints and Sustainable Water Allocation)
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Open AccessArticle Exploration of the Intersectoral Relations Based on Input-Output Tables in the Inland River Basin of China
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4323-4340; https://doi.org/10.3390/su7044323
Received: 27 October 2014 / Revised: 27 March 2015 / Accepted: 9 April 2015 / Published: 14 April 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (845 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The conflict among natural resources, environment and economic development is one of the major problems to be solved in the current world. Sustainable development is a powerful tool on the way toward seeking for harmonious development. Due to a lack of resources and
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The conflict among natural resources, environment and economic development is one of the major problems to be solved in the current world. Sustainable development is a powerful tool on the way toward seeking for harmonious development. Due to a lack of resources and fragility in ecosystems, the Inland River Basin of China is facing a serious problem that needs to be solved. In this paper, northwest China is chosen as the study area. Based on the interregional input-output table of China for the years 2002 and 2007 and the provincial input-output table of 2007, the I-O table analysis method was adopted to calculate the influence coefficient and response coefficient of the five provinces in northwest China. Through the analysis of the results, the intersectoral relation has been investigated, which could lend some credence for seeking effective ways for sustainable development in western China. The research findings indicate that the tertiary industry and construction sector are capable of greatly driving the national economic development in northwest China and, thus, should be developed preferentially. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Evolution of the Coastal Economy: The Role of Working Waterfronts in the Alabama Gulf Coast
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4310-4322; https://doi.org/10.3390/su7044310
Received: 16 November 2014 / Revised: 2 April 2015 / Accepted: 2 April 2015 / Published: 14 April 2015
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Abstract
This article describes the evolution of the coastal economy in Alabama and examines the driving forces of the sustainable economy in a historical context. The input-output model was applied to assess the direct and secondary effects of output and employment in the coastal
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This article describes the evolution of the coastal economy in Alabama and examines the driving forces of the sustainable economy in a historical context. The input-output model was applied to assess the direct and secondary effects of output and employment in the coastal region. Results suggest that state industries are heavily dependent on waterfront-related activities in this area, which have fueled much of their rapid development in the past few decades. Tourism, ship building and repairing and transportation are the three dominating sources contributing to the coastal economy. There are a few general problems of working waterfronts in the coastal Alabama area, but there are also some unique problems (e.g., Hurricane Katrina, Deepwater Horizon oil spill). Policies for future sustainable development are proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Game Theoretic Analysis of Carbon Emission Abatement in Fashion Supply Chains Considering Vertical Incentives and Channel Structures
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4280-4309; https://doi.org/10.3390/su7044280
Received: 30 October 2014 / Revised: 3 March 2015 / Accepted: 4 March 2015 / Published: 14 April 2015
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (988 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We study an emission-dependent dyadic fashion supply chain made up of a supplier and a manufacturer, both of which can reduce their own component/product emissions to serve the carbon-footprint sensitive consumers. With Carbon Tax regulation, we consider four scenarios resulting from two ways
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We study an emission-dependent dyadic fashion supply chain made up of a supplier and a manufacturer, both of which can reduce their own component/product emissions to serve the carbon-footprint sensitive consumers. With Carbon Tax regulation, we consider four scenarios resulting from two ways in form of adopting transfer price contract and/or introducing third-party emission-reduction service (TPERS) to enhance the efficiency of systematic emission reductions. We refine four models from these corresponding scenarios, which in turn constitute a decision-making framework composed of determining vertical incentives and choosing supply chain structures. By exploiting Stackelberg games in all models, we compare their emission reduction efficiencies and profitability for each pair of settings. Theoretic analysis and numerical studies show that adopting vertical transfer payment schemes can definitely benefit channel carbon footprint reduction and Pareto improvement of supply chain profitability, regardless of whether the emission-reduction service exists or not. However, whether introducing TPERS or not is heavily depending on systematic parameters when the transfer payment incentive is adopted there. We also provide insights on the sensitivity of carbon tax parameters with respect to the supply chain performance, overall carbon emission reduction, vertical incentive and TPERS adopting decision-makings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Fashion Business Operations)
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Open AccessArticle Scenario Simulation and the Prediction of Land Use and Land Cover Change in Beijing, China
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4260-4279; https://doi.org/10.3390/su7044260
Received: 9 January 2015 / Revised: 3 April 2015 / Accepted: 7 April 2015 / Published: 13 April 2015
Cited by 27 | PDF Full-text (3916 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Land use and land cover (LULC) models are essential for analyzing LULC change and predicting land use requirements and are valuable for guiding reasonable land use planning and management. However, each LULC model has its own advantages and constraints. In this paper, we
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Land use and land cover (LULC) models are essential for analyzing LULC change and predicting land use requirements and are valuable for guiding reasonable land use planning and management. However, each LULC model has its own advantages and constraints. In this paper, we explore the characteristics of LULC change and simulate future land use demand by combining a CLUE-S model with a Markov model to deal with some shortcomings of existing LULC models. Using Beijing as a case study, we describe the related driving factors from land-adaptive variables, regional spatial variables and socio-economic variables and then simulate future land use scenarios from 2010 to 2020, which include a development scenario (natural development and rapid development) and protection scenarios (ecological and cultivated land protection). The results indicate good consistency between predicted results and actual land use situations according to a Kappa statistic. The conversion of cultivated land to urban built-up land will form the primary features of LULC change in the future. The prediction for land use demand shows the differences under different scenarios. At higher elevations, the geographical environment limits the expansion of urban built-up land, but the conversion of cultivated land to built-up land in mountainous areas will be more prevalent by 2020; Beijing, however, still faces the most pressure in terms of ecological and cultivated land protection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Land and Sustainable Development) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle Sustainable Water Distribution Strategy with Smart Water Grid
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4240-4259; https://doi.org/10.3390/su7044240
Received: 15 January 2015 / Revised: 31 March 2015 / Accepted: 7 April 2015 / Published: 10 April 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (4520 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Many problems that are encountered in regards to water balance and resources management are related to challenges of economic development under limited resources and tough competition among various water uses. The development of major infrastructure like airports in remote areas that have limited
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Many problems that are encountered in regards to water balance and resources management are related to challenges of economic development under limited resources and tough competition among various water uses. The development of major infrastructure like airports in remote areas that have limited water resources is becoming a common problem. In order to overcome these difficulties, water management has to articulate and combine several resources in order to respond to various demands while preserving the ecological quality of the environment. The paper discusses the interest in implementing the Smart Water Grid concept on Yeongjongdo Island, which is the location of Korea’s main airport. This new concept is based on the connection of various water resources and their optimized management with new information technology solutions. The proposed system integrates water generated through rainfall, external water resources (i.e., metropolitan water distribution system), gray water and other types of alternative water resources. The paper analyses the feasibility of this approach and explores interest in the Smart Water Grid concept. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Estimating Energy Consumption of Transport Modes in China Using DEA
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4225-4239; https://doi.org/10.3390/su7044225
Received: 26 February 2015 / Revised: 2 April 2015 / Accepted: 3 April 2015 / Published: 10 April 2015
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (740 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The rapid growth of transport requirements in China will incur increasing transport energy demands and associated environmental pressures. In this paper, we employ a generalized data envelopment analysis (DEA) to evaluate the relative energy efficiency of rail, road, aviation and water transport from
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The rapid growth of transport requirements in China will incur increasing transport energy demands and associated environmental pressures. In this paper, we employ a generalized data envelopment analysis (DEA) to evaluate the relative energy efficiency of rail, road, aviation and water transport from 1971 to 2011 by considering the energy input and passenger-kilometers (PKM) and freight ton-kilometers (TKM) outputs. The results show that the optimal energy efficiencies observed in 2011 are for rail and water transport, with the opposite observed for the energy efficiencies of aviation and road transport. In addition, we extend the DEA model to estimate future transport energy consumption in China. If each transport mode in 2020 is optimized throughout the observed period, the national transport energy consumption in 2020 will reach 497,701 kilotons coal equivalent (ktce), whereas the annual growth rate from 2011 to 2020 will be 5.7%. Assuming that efficiency improvements occur in this period, the estimated national transport energy consumption in 2020 will be 443,126 ktce, whereas the annual growth rate from 2011 to 2020 will be 4.4%, which is still higher than that of the national total energy consumption (3.8%). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transportation and Sustainability)
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Open AccessReview Challenges of Sustainable and Commercial Aquaponics
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4199-4224; https://doi.org/10.3390/su7044199
Received: 9 February 2015 / Revised: 23 March 2015 / Accepted: 25 March 2015 / Published: 10 April 2015
Cited by 39 | PDF Full-text (940 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The world is facing a number of serious problems of which population rise, climate change, soil degradation, water scarcity and food security are among the most important. Aquaponics, as a closed loop system consisting of hydroponics and aquaculture elements, could contribute to addressing
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The world is facing a number of serious problems of which population rise, climate change, soil degradation, water scarcity and food security are among the most important. Aquaponics, as a closed loop system consisting of hydroponics and aquaculture elements, could contribute to addressing these problems. However, there is a lack of quantitative research to support the development of economically feasible aquaponics systems. Although many studies have addressed some scientific aspects, there has been limited focus on commercial implementation. In this review paper, opportunities that have the potential to fill the gap between research and implementation of commercial aquaponic systems have been identified. The analysis shows that aquaponics is capable of being an important driver for the development of integrated food production systems. Arid regions suffering from water stress will particularly benefit from this technology being operated in a commercial environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle Leadership in Romanian Small to Medium Enterprises
Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 4183-4198; https://doi.org/10.3390/su7044183
Received: 28 November 2014 / Revised: 11 March 2015 / Accepted: 20 March 2015 / Published: 10 April 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (729 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We have conducted a broad statistical research on Romanian small to medium enterprises (SMEs), with the goal of better understanding: (1) the incipient organizational culture of a recently-opened East European market; and (2) the role of leadership in increasing the competitiveness of SMEs.
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We have conducted a broad statistical research on Romanian small to medium enterprises (SMEs), with the goal of better understanding: (1) the incipient organizational culture of a recently-opened East European market; and (2) the role of leadership in increasing the competitiveness of SMEs. The paper studies the perceived characteristics of a leader and their influence on the organization’s results (as seen by employees), and it tries to reveal the subliminal inter-correlations among these characteristics. The method is factor analysis (implemented in SPSS), for a questionnaire with 23 items, answered by 930 subjects on a five-point Likert scale. The six factors identified by our analysis were: adaptability; cooperation; authority; charisma; confidence; motivation. By highlighting these basic components, our study aims both at increasing competitiveness in Romanian enterprises and at designing better training programs for managers and entrepreneurs acting on East European markets, adapted to the real characteristics of these young economic environments. Full article
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