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Sustainability, Volume 7, Issue 9 (September 2015), Pages 11360-12973

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Open AccessArticle Risk Assessment of Regional Irrigation Water Demand and Supply in an Arid Inland River Basin of Northwestern China
Sustainability 2015, 7(9), 12958-12973; https://doi.org/10.3390/su70912958
Received: 10 August 2015 / Revised: 30 August 2015 / Accepted: 15 September 2015 / Published: 22 September 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1652 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Irrigation water demand accounts for more than 95% of the total water use in the Kaidu-kongqi River Basin. Determination of the spatial and temporal trends in irrigation water demand is important for making sustainable and wise water management strategies in this highly water
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Irrigation water demand accounts for more than 95% of the total water use in the Kaidu-kongqi River Basin. Determination of the spatial and temporal trends in irrigation water demand is important for making sustainable and wise water management strategies in this highly water deficit region. In this study, the spatial and temporal trends in irrigation water demand as well as net crop irrigation water requirements for nine major crops during 1985–2009 were analyzed by combining the Penman-Monteith equation recommended by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and GIS technology. The regional water stress was also evaluated based on the total irrigation water demand and river discharge at the annual and monthly scales. The results indicated that the annual irrigation water demand in this arid region showed a significant increasing trend during the past 25 years. Total irrigation water demand increased from 14.68 × 108 m3 in 1985 to 34.15 × 108 m3 in 2009. The spatial pattern of total irrigation water demand was significantly affected by the changes in cotton growing area. Due to differences in crop planting structure, the monthly average irrigation water demands in Korla City and Yuli County amounted to the peak in July, while those in other regions reached the maximum in June. Although the annual river runoff was much larger than the irrigation water demand, there was serious water deficit during the critical water use period in May and June in some dry years. The presented study provides important information for managers and planners on sustainable use of water resources in this arid region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Irrigation and Drainage)
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Open AccessArticle Adsorptive Removal of Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics Using Bamboo Biochar
Sustainability 2015, 7(9), 12947-12957; https://doi.org/10.3390/su70912947
Received: 28 July 2015 / Revised: 13 September 2015 / Accepted: 17 September 2015 / Published: 22 September 2015
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (745 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The occurrence of fluoroquinolone antibiotics in wastewater has drawn great attention. Adsorption of widely used fluoroquinolone antibiotics (enrofloxacin and ofloxacin) in wastewater using bamboo biochar was investigated. More than 99% of fluoroquinolone antibiotics were removed from the synthetic wastewater through adsorption. Adsorption capacities
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The occurrence of fluoroquinolone antibiotics in wastewater has drawn great attention. Adsorption of widely used fluoroquinolone antibiotics (enrofloxacin and ofloxacin) in wastewater using bamboo biochar was investigated. More than 99% of fluoroquinolone antibiotics were removed from the synthetic wastewater through adsorption. Adsorption capacities of bamboo biochar slightly changed when pH increased from 3.0 to 10.0. The adsorption capacity of bamboo biochar increased sharply when the initial concentration of enrofloxacin or ofloxacin increased from 1 to 200 mg L−1 and then began to plateau with further increases in initial concentration. The maximum adsorption capacity (45.88 ± 0.90 mg·g−1) was observed when the ratio of bamboo biochar to fluoroquinolone antibiotics was 10. The enrofloxacin adsorption capacity of bamboo biochar decreased from 19.91 ± 0.21 mg·g−1 to 14.30 ± 0.51 mg·g−1 while that of ofloxacin decreased from 19.82 ± 0.22 mg·g−1 to 13.31 ± 0.56 mg·g−1 when the NaCl concentrations increased from 0 to 30 g·L−1. The adsorptions of fluoroquinolone on bamboo biochar have isotherms that obeyed the Freundlich model (r2 values were in the range of 0.990–0.991). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Biochar)
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Open AccessArticle Energy Efficiency Evaluation and Economic Feasibility Analysis of a Geothermal Heating and Cooling System with a Vapor-Compression Chiller System
Sustainability 2015, 7(9), 12926-12946; https://doi.org/10.3390/su70912926
Received: 21 July 2015 / Revised: 12 September 2015 / Accepted: 15 September 2015 / Published: 22 September 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1255 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Increasing attention has been given to energy utilization in Turkey. In this report, we present an energy efficiency evaluation and economic feasibility analysis of a geothermal heating and cooling system (GSHP) and a mechanical compression water chiller system (ACHP) to improve the energy
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Increasing attention has been given to energy utilization in Turkey. In this report, we present an energy efficiency evaluation and economic feasibility analysis of a geothermal heating and cooling system (GSHP) and a mechanical compression water chiller system (ACHP) to improve the energy utilization efficiency and reduce the primary energy demand for industrial use. Analyses of a mechanical water chiller unit, GSW 180, and geothermal heating and cooling system, EAR 431 SK, were conducted in experimental working areas of the office buildings in a cigarette factory in Mersin, Turkey. The heating and cooling loads of the cigarette factory building were calculated, and actual thermal data were collected and analyzed. To calculate these loads, the cooling load temperature difference method was used. It was concluded that the geothermal heating and cooling system was more useful and productive and provides substantial economic benefits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Conversion System Analysis)
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Open AccessArticle Using a Coupled Human-Natural System to Assess the Vulnerability of the Karst Landform Region in China
Sustainability 2015, 7(9), 12910-12925; https://doi.org/10.3390/su70912910
Received: 5 July 2015 / Revised: 11 September 2015 / Accepted: 17 September 2015 / Published: 18 September 2015
PDF Full-text (1743 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Guizhou Plateau is a region in China that typically shows the contradictory human-earth system. A vulnerability assessment indicator system was constructed to explore the coupled human-natural system characteristic of the karst landform based on the grey correlation analysis mathematic model. The quantitative assessment
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Guizhou Plateau is a region in China that typically shows the contradictory human-earth system. A vulnerability assessment indicator system was constructed to explore the coupled human-natural system characteristic of the karst landform based on the grey correlation analysis mathematic model. The quantitative assessment results show that Qiandongnan and Tongren Districts belong to the slight degree of the sensitivity evaluation index. Bijie district belongs to the middle degree and the other districts of Guizhou Plateau belong to the light degree. In terms of the exposure and resilience evaluation index, only Guiyang City belongs to the slight degree and other districts are in the middle degree. Thus, Guizhou Plateau could be divided into three level zones based on the comprehensive vulnerability degree of the coupled human-natural system. The strong degree vulnerability zone includes Liupanshui City, Bijie City, Anshun City, and Qiannan District. The middle degree vulnerability zone includes the districts of Qiandongnan, Qianxinan, and Tongren and the city of Zunyi. The slight degree vulnerability zone only includes Guiyang City. The research results suggest that the coupled human-natural system in Guizhou Plateau has a high vulnerability. Full article
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Open AccessDiscussion Raising Competitiveness for Tourist Destinations through Information Technologies within the Newest Tourism Action Framework Proposed by the European Commission
Sustainability 2015, 7(9), 12891-12909; https://doi.org/10.3390/su70912891
Received: 28 June 2015 / Revised: 12 September 2015 / Accepted: 14 September 2015 / Published: 18 September 2015
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (812 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Several challenges regarding the European tourism industry were recently identified at EU level which the experts of the European Commission tried to meet, thus formulating several priorities within the newest Tourism Action Framework: Stimulate long-term competitiveness in the European tourism sector, promote the
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Several challenges regarding the European tourism industry were recently identified at EU level which the experts of the European Commission tried to meet, thus formulating several priorities within the newest Tourism Action Framework: Stimulate long-term competitiveness in the European tourism sector, promote the development of sustainable and high-quality tourism, and consolidate the image and promotion of European tourist destinations. Due to the new generational context, information and communications technology ICT and innovation became keywords within the most recent European Tourism Policy. Considering the symbiotic relationship that exists at the European tourism level between sustainable development, innovative ICT solutions, and long-term competitiveness, the decision-makers in European destinations should focus on identifying innovative ways to implement the new Tourism Action Framework adopted by the European Commission, through ICT applications, in order to support long-term competitiveness achievement. Two such authentic proposals are formulated within the present discussion paper: the creation of a decision support system for the management of sustainable European destinations and the development of a trip-planner for quality-sensitive tourists based on an umbrella European certification/labeling system for tourism quality. There is still a fertile field in these areas and, therefore, more innovative ICT tools to support the long-term competitiveness of European tourist destinations can be developed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Process for the Implementation of New Renewable Energy Systems in a Building by Considering Environmental and Economic Effect
Sustainability 2015, 7(9), 12870-12890; https://doi.org/10.3390/su70912870
Received: 3 March 2015 / Revised: 20 August 2015 / Accepted: 15 September 2015 / Published: 18 September 2015
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (1068 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The excessive use of fossil fuels has led to global warming and air pollution. To solve these problems, interest in new renewable energy system (NRE system) has increased in recent years. In particular, photovoltaic, solar thermal heating, fuel cell and ground source heating
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The excessive use of fossil fuels has led to global warming and air pollution. To solve these problems, interest in new renewable energy system (NRE system) has increased in recent years. In particular, photovoltaic, solar thermal heating, fuel cell and ground source heating system are actively implemented for achieving the zero energy building. Since the initial investment cost of the NRE system is quite expensive, it is necessary to conduct a feasibility study from the life cycle perspective. Therefore, this study aimed to develop the process for the implementation of NRE system in a building for the optimal design. This study was conducted with four steps: (i) establishing the basic information for the system installation; (ii) selecting key factors affecting system performances; (iii) making possible alternatives of the system installation; and (iv) selecting optimal system by considering environmental and economic effect. The proposed process could enable the final decision-maker to easily and accurately determine the optimal design of the NRE systems from the economic and environmental efficiency in the early design phase. The process could also be applied to any other NRE system and could be extended to any other country in the global environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Strategies to Adapt to Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle Evaluation of the Effects of Mitigation on Methane and Ammonia Production by Using Origanum vulgare L. and Rosmarinus officinalis L. Essential Oils on in Vitro Rumen Fermentation Systems
Sustainability 2015, 7(9), 12856-12869; https://doi.org/10.3390/su70912856
Received: 20 May 2015 / Revised: 1 September 2015 / Accepted: 16 September 2015 / Published: 18 September 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (760 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The effects of increasing concentrations of oregano (Origanum vulgare L.) and rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) essentials oil (EO) on ruminal gas emissions were tested in vitro using 50 mL serum bottles. Each bottle contained a 200 mg substrate (alfalfa hay and
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The effects of increasing concentrations of oregano (Origanum vulgare L.) and rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) essentials oil (EO) on ruminal gas emissions were tested in vitro using 50 mL serum bottles. Each bottle contained a 200 mg substrate (alfalfa hay and corn meal 1:1) and a 20 mL solution composed of a buffered medium and rumen fluid (1:2). The percentage of ruminal fermentation products was quantified by an infrared analyzer. The reduction of total gas production was 6% and 9% respectively when using the 1.5 and 2.0 g/L oregano EO measurements. The reduction of methane production was 55%, 72% and 71% respectively with regard to the 1.0, 1.5 and 2.0 g/L oregano EO doses, while rosemary EO (2.0 g/L) reduced the methane production by 9%. The production of ammonia was significantly reduced (59%–78%) by all treatments with the exception of rosemary EO at the lowest dose. Dry matter and neutral detergent fiber degradability was reduced by most of the treatments (respectively 4%–9% and 8%–24%). The total volatile fatty acids (VFA) concentration was markedly decreased by oregano EO and was not affected by rosemary EO. Both EOs mitigated rumen fermentations, but oregano EO gave rise to the highest reduction in methane and ammonia production. However, further research is needed to evaluate the use of these essential oils as dietary supplements by taking into account the negative effects on feed degradability. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Combining Low Price, Low Climate Impact and High Nutritional Value in One Shopping Basket through Diet Optimization by Linear Programming
Sustainability 2015, 7(9), 12837-12855; https://doi.org/10.3390/su70912837
Received: 5 June 2015 / Revised: 11 September 2015 / Accepted: 14 September 2015 / Published: 18 September 2015
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (982 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Background: This study aims to find diets with low price and low climate impact, yet fulfilling all nutritional requirements. Methods: Optimization by linear programming. The program constrains 33 nutrients to fulfill Dutch dietary requirements. In a second cycle, the upper boundary for climate
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Background: This study aims to find diets with low price and low climate impact, yet fulfilling all nutritional requirements. Methods: Optimization by linear programming. The program constrains 33 nutrients to fulfill Dutch dietary requirements. In a second cycle, the upper boundary for climate impact through greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE) is set to 1.6 kg carbon dioxide equivalents/day (CO2eq). In a third cycle, the costs are set on €2.50 as a constraint. The objective function of the optimization maximized the most consumed food products (n = 206) for male and female adults separately (age 31–50). Results: A diet of 63 popular and low priced basic products was found to deliver all required nutrients at an adequate level for both male and female adults. This plant-based, carbohydrate and fiber-rich diet consists mainly of wholegrain bread, potatoes, muesli, open-field vegetables and fruits. The climate impact of this diet is very low (1.59 kg CO2eq/day) compared to the average Dutch diet. By constraining costs, a low carbon diet of €2.59/day is possible. Conclusions: A two-person diet consisting of 63 products and costing €37 per week can simultaneously be healthy and yet have half the average climate impact. Linear programming is a promising tool to combine health and sustainability on both societal and individual levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle Trans-Boundary Infrastructure and Changes in Rural Livelihood Diversity in the Southwestern Amazon: Resilience and Inequality
Sustainability 2015, 7(9), 12807-12836; https://doi.org/10.3390/su70912807
Received: 16 July 2015 / Revised: 9 September 2015 / Accepted: 11 September 2015 / Published: 18 September 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1272 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Infrastructure has long been a priority in development policy, but there is debate over infrastructure impacts. Whereas economic studies show reductions in poverty, social research has documented growing income inequality. We suggest that a focus on livelihoods permits a bridge between the two
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Infrastructure has long been a priority in development policy, but there is debate over infrastructure impacts. Whereas economic studies show reductions in poverty, social research has documented growing income inequality. We suggest that a focus on livelihoods permits a bridge between the two literatures by highlighting decisions by households that may capture economic benefits but also yield social inequalities. We therefore take up two questions. First is whether new infrastructure allows households to diversify their livelihoods, where diversity begets resilience and thus affords livelihood sustainability. Second is whether households with more diverse livelihoods exhibit greater increases in livelihood diversity, which would widen livelihood inequalities. We take up the case of the Inter-Oceanic Highway, a trans-boundary infrastructure project in the southwestern Amazon. Findings from a rural household survey for the first question show a strong effect of accessibility on increasing livelihood diversity in areas receiving infrastructure upgrades, an indication that infrastructure fosters household resilience. However, results regarding the second question indicate that households with more diversified livelihoods also exhibit larger increments in diversity, which implies growing livelihood inequality. There remains a need to account for inequalities in livelihood diversity, since less diversified households benefit less from new infrastructure and remain more exposed to risks to their livelihoods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Social Ecology and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Optimal Sizing of a Hybrid Grid-Connected Photovoltaic–Wind–Biomass Power System
Sustainability 2015, 7(9), 12787-12806; https://doi.org/10.3390/su70912787
Received: 27 June 2015 / Revised: 30 August 2015 / Accepted: 14 September 2015 / Published: 18 September 2015
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (1115 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Hybrid renewable energy systems (HRES) are a trendy alternative to enhance the renewable energy deployment worldwide. They effectively take advantage of scalability and flexibility of these energy sources, since combining two or more allows counteracting the weaknesses of a stochastic renewable energy source
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Hybrid renewable energy systems (HRES) are a trendy alternative to enhance the renewable energy deployment worldwide. They effectively take advantage of scalability and flexibility of these energy sources, since combining two or more allows counteracting the weaknesses of a stochastic renewable energy source with the strengths of another or with the predictability of a non-renewable energy source. This work presents an optimization methodology for minimum life cycle cost of a HRES based on solar photovoltaic, wind and biomass power. Biomass power seeks to take advantage of locally available forest wood biomass in the form of wood chips to provide energy in periods when the PV and wind power generated are not enough to match the existing demand. The results show that a HRES combining the selected three sources of renewable energy could be installed in a rural township of about 1300 dwellings with an up-front investment of US $7.4 million, with a total life cycle cost of slightly more than US $30 million. Such a system would have benefits in terms of energy autonomy and environment quality improvement, as well as in term of job opportunity creation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Conversion System Analysis)
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Open AccessArticle Adaptation to the Impacts of Climate Extremes in Central Europe: A Case Study in a Rural Area in the Czech Republic
Sustainability 2015, 7(9), 12758-12786; https://doi.org/10.3390/su70912758
Received: 31 May 2015 / Revised: 23 August 2015 / Accepted: 8 September 2015 / Published: 17 September 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (674 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The primary objective of this paper is to analyse households’ adaptation measures to the impacts of repeated extreme weather events, specifically floods, which belong amongst the most serious manifestation of ongoing climate change in Europe. The case study focuses on a rural area
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The primary objective of this paper is to analyse households’ adaptation measures to the impacts of repeated extreme weather events, specifically floods, which belong amongst the most serious manifestation of ongoing climate change in Europe. The case study focuses on a rural area in the north-east part of the Czech Republic, in the catchment basin of the Bečva River. A total of 605 households were addressed within the framework of the questionnaire survey. On the basis of the conducted research, we determined that the total amount of adaptation measures adopted by those dwelling in residential homes within the investigated catchment area was relatively low. In contrast, however, one of the most important adaptation measures—house elevation—was applied by 46.94% of the houses (up to 1 m) and by 21.16% houses (elevated more than 1 m) respectively. We also found that the amount and scope of adaptation measures realized by households were influenced by certain socio-demographic factors of the inhabitants. The most statistically significant factors included households with more residents or families with more children living in the household, as well as those with a higher level of education. Flood experience, the level of damage, and individual flood risk perception also played an important role. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Strategies to Adapt to Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle Evaluating Romanian Eco-Innovation Performances in European Context
Sustainability 2015, 7(9), 12723-12757; https://doi.org/10.3390/su70912723
Received: 29 June 2015 / Revised: 31 August 2015 / Accepted: 2 September 2015 / Published: 17 September 2015
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (1190 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The field of eco-innovation is included in the area of sustainable development being closely related with ecological planning. In this context, this paper aims to evaluate Romanian eco-innovation performance during the period 2003–2013 by constructing a composite index and to also identify the
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The field of eco-innovation is included in the area of sustainable development being closely related with ecological planning. In this context, this paper aims to evaluate Romanian eco-innovation performance during the period 2003–2013 by constructing a composite index and to also identify the main eco-innovation poles at the European level using multidimensional analysis techniques based on the eco-innovation specific indicators for the year 2013. This approach used the methodology of constructing composite indices proposed by Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 2008. The index measured the eco-innovation dimensions in 27 countries over the period 2003–2013. The empirical analysis revealed the conclusion that in Romania, the eco-innovation level is low compared with other countries, thus Romania cannot emphasize its eco-innovation performance. The empirical results of the study highlighted that eco-innovation represents a phenomenon leading to significant progress in achieving the objective of sustainable development in Romania, and also at the European level, only if the importance of this area is awarded and eco-innovation measures are enforced through adequate policies, leading to economic growth. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Towards Sustainable Tourism Development in Urban Areas: Case Study on Bucharest as Tourist Destination
Sustainability 2015, 7(9), 12709-12722; https://doi.org/10.3390/su70912709
Received: 30 July 2015 / Revised: 28 August 2015 / Accepted: 14 September 2015 / Published: 17 September 2015
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (757 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The issues of tourism sustainability and urban development have become major priorities for public policy makers across the globe. Today, maybe more than ever, there is a need for managing sustainable tourism development, and this cannot be attained without taking into account environmental
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The issues of tourism sustainability and urban development have become major priorities for public policy makers across the globe. Today, maybe more than ever, there is a need for managing sustainable tourism development, and this cannot be attained without taking into account environmental problems and their global dimension. Various problems and requirements of society and of the development of urban areas may be solved by transforming the cities into attractive tourist destinations. Therefore, this study explores how sustainable tourism development in urban areas can be basically achieved and managed. The paper discloses some success factors for managing sustainable tourism development in urban areas and emphasizes a case study regarding Bucharest, the capital of Romania, as a tourist destination. The originality and value of this study consist of identifying the main ways of developing sustainable tourism in Bucharest based upon empirical research conducted with the aid of a survey. The findings of this study may be helpful for upcoming research in the area of managing sustainable urban tourism development. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Small Wind Technology Diffusion in Suburban Areas of Sicily
Sustainability 2015, 7(9), 12693-12708; https://doi.org/10.3390/su70912693
Received: 19 May 2015 / Revised: 17 August 2015 / Accepted: 9 September 2015 / Published: 16 September 2015
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (2063 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Among renewable energy resources, wind energy became more attractive in the last decade. Wind farm installations dramatically increased in areas where climatic conditions, topography, and environment have allowed their development. The installation of wind turbines, usually carried out in remote areas, recently began
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Among renewable energy resources, wind energy became more attractive in the last decade. Wind farm installations dramatically increased in areas where climatic conditions, topography, and environment have allowed their development. The installation of wind turbines, usually carried out in remote areas, recently began to cover areas identified by a complex terrain such as urban and suburban zones. Although these new plant choices are characterized by lower productivity, there is increasing interest in wind energy production in both urban and suburban areas. In this work the authors have carried out an energy analysis developed from a sample of small wind turbines available on the market. This study shows how variable the energy production of a small wind turbine can be according to many design and context parameters: wind profiles, installation height, land use, and characteristics of the turbine. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Improvement of Air Quality and Thermal Environment in an Old City District by Constructing Wind Passages
Sustainability 2015, 7(9), 12672-12692; https://doi.org/10.3390/su70912672
Received: 9 May 2015 / Revised: 14 August 2015 / Accepted: 7 September 2015 / Published: 15 September 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (6532 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A case study in an old city district with hot-humid climatic conditions in Wuhan, China was conducted to explore the potential renewal strategies favorable to the local residents and pedestrians. For this purpose, a comprehensive mathematical model considering the parameters such as ambient
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A case study in an old city district with hot-humid climatic conditions in Wuhan, China was conducted to explore the potential renewal strategies favorable to the local residents and pedestrians. For this purpose, a comprehensive mathematical model considering the parameters such as ambient crosswind, solar radiation, natural convection, and a previously established heat transfer mechanism was employed to analyze the fluid flow and heat transfer characteristics of the study area. In addition, in the urban renewal process, five alternative renewal strategies, namely, Central Demolition (CD) Plan, Edge Demolition (ED) Plan, Wedge Shape Demolition (WSD) Plan, “L” Shape Demolition (LSD) Plan, and Cross Shape Demolition (CSD) Plan, were adopted to improve the thermal and ventilation environment of Wuhan old city district. Through simulation analysis, the temperature and velocity distributions of the original urban layout and five alternative renewal strategies were compared. It is found that the construction of an air passage within the old city district can improve the local air quality, air ventilation, and thermal environment to some extent. Among the five alternative strategies to construct air passages, CSD Plan is much better than the others. Accordingly, corresponding suggestions and strategies for urban renewal were presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Building)
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Open AccessArticle Moving towards Sustainability: Road Grades and On-Road Emissions of Heavy-Duty Vehicles—A Case Study
Sustainability 2015, 7(9), 12644-12671; https://doi.org/10.3390/su70912644
Received: 13 June 2015 / Revised: 7 September 2015 / Accepted: 7 September 2015 / Published: 15 September 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1332 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
On-road vehicle emissions are one of the major sources of transport emissions. As a key design factor, road grades (or road slopes) have significant effects on on-road vehicle emissions, particularly on Heavy-Duty Vehicles (HDVs). However, the research into the relationship between road grades
[...] Read more.
On-road vehicle emissions are one of the major sources of transport emissions. As a key design factor, road grades (or road slopes) have significant effects on on-road vehicle emissions, particularly on Heavy-Duty Vehicles (HDVs). However, the research into the relationship between road grades and on-road vehicle emissions is very rare in China. Taking a road network in Taiyuan, China, as a study area, this paper explored the influences of road grades on carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbon (HC), and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions of HDVs. Combining emissions data collected by Portable Emission Measurement System (PEMS) with Vehicle Specific Power (VSP), we developed an emission rate model of HDVs. Then, we integrated it with the traffic simulation model VISSIM to attain the emissions of HDVs on nine scenarios differentiated by road grades. The results showed that the three emissions are found to be highly correlated to road grades, among which the CO emissions are most sensitive to the change of road grades and the HC emissions least. Compared to the emissions at 0% grade, the emissions at 4% grade will be boosted from 39.0% to 60.6%. The CO and NOx emissions increase with the road grades in all nine scenarios, while the variations of HC emissions in different scenarios were complicated. The findings of this research will provide insights for policy-makers, scholars, and practitioners into strategies for improving road design to reduce traffic emissions and develop sustainable transportation in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Planning, Development and Management of Sustainable Cities)
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Composting Parameters on the Power Performance of Solid Microbial Fuel Cells
Sustainability 2015, 7(9), 12634-12643; https://doi.org/10.3390/su70912634
Received: 31 May 2015 / Revised: 8 September 2015 / Accepted: 9 September 2015 / Published: 15 September 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1250 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Nowadays, solid organic waste is of major environmental concern and is reaching critical levels worldwide. Currently, a form of natural decomposition, known as composting technology, is widely used to deal with organic waste. This method is applied to enhance the performance of solid
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Nowadays, solid organic waste is of major environmental concern and is reaching critical levels worldwide. Currently, a form of natural decomposition, known as composting technology, is widely used to deal with organic waste. This method is applied to enhance the performance of solid microbial fuel cells (SMFCs) in this study. Operational composting parameters (carbon/nitrogen ratio, moisture content and pH value) are investigated to explore the optimal power performance of solid microbial fuel cells (SMFCs). Results indicate that the carbon/nitrogen ratio and the moisture content displayed the most significant impact on SMFCs. When the carbon/nitrogen ratio is 31.4 and moisture content is 60%, along with a pH value of 6–8, a better SMFC power performance would be obtained. These findings would provide positive information regarding the application of compost in SMFCs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Selecting Eco-Friendly Thermal Systems for the “Vittoriale Degli Italiani” Historic Museum Building
Sustainability 2015, 7(9), 12615-12633; https://doi.org/10.3390/su70912615
Received: 23 July 2015 / Revised: 6 September 2015 / Accepted: 10 September 2015 / Published: 15 September 2015
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (2526 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Thermal systems installed in museums should guarantee the maintenance of the optimal hygrothermal parameters ranges for the conservation of their collection materials. Considering the preservation of historic buildings, according to their historical and landscaping constraints, not all the thermal system typologies could be
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Thermal systems installed in museums should guarantee the maintenance of the optimal hygrothermal parameters ranges for the conservation of their collection materials. Considering the preservation of historic buildings, according to their historical and landscaping constraints, not all the thermal system typologies could be installed in these buildings’ typologies. Therefore, the main aim of this paper is to present some indications for the choice of the best thermal system solutions for a considered historic museum building, called Vittoriale degli Italiani, in the north of Italy, taking into account their installation feasibility and their related environmental impacts. The methodology includes a monitoring of the current hygrothermal parameters as well as the assessment of design heat and cooling loads related to the maintenance of the optimal hygrothermal parameters ranges for the conservation of collection materials. In addition, a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of each selected system typology is considered for highlighting the most eco-friendly solution among the suitable ones. The obtained results highlights the feasible thermal system solutions able to maintain the hygrothermal parameters between the optimal ranges with a lower environmental impact in the Vittoriale degli Italiani historic museum building. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Policy Instruments for Eco-Innovation in Asian Countries
Sustainability 2015, 7(9), 12586-12614; https://doi.org/10.3390/su70912586
Received: 5 June 2015 / Revised: 26 August 2015 / Accepted: 9 September 2015 / Published: 11 September 2015
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (1116 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Eco-innovation globally emerged as an effort to implement sustainable development. States and firms established and implemented policies and strategies for eco-innovation as one route to achieving sustainable development. Eco-innovation has been facilitated in developed countries, specifically OECD members and European countries, through action
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Eco-innovation globally emerged as an effort to implement sustainable development. States and firms established and implemented policies and strategies for eco-innovation as one route to achieving sustainable development. Eco-innovation has been facilitated in developed countries, specifically OECD members and European countries, through action plans. Recently, eco-innovation policies have emerged in developing countries. Thus, this study analyzes eco-innovation policies in Asian countries. Policies related to eco-innovation in 17 Asian countries were investigated using policy instrument categories. National policies for eco-innovation were interpreted and compared with development stage classifications. The results indicate that there are similar and different policy approaches to eco-innovation in Asian countries. Given the balance between a technology push (supply side) and a market pull (demand side) in policy instruments for eco-innovation, 17 countries were identified by four categories: leaders, followers, loungers, and laggards. The results provide insight for designing national strategies for eco-innovation in Asia’s developing countries. Therefore, this research contributes to facilitating and diffusing eco-innovation toward sustainability in Asia. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Factors Influencing the Behavioural Intention towards Full Electric Vehicles: An Empirical Study in Macau
Sustainability 2015, 7(9), 12564-12585; https://doi.org/10.3390/su70912564
Received: 1 June 2015 / Revised: 5 September 2015 / Accepted: 7 September 2015 / Published: 11 September 2015
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (1228 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study examines the factors that influence individual intentions towards the adoption of full electric vehicles. A sample including 308 respondents was collected on the streets of Macau. The collected data were analysed by confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modelling. The results
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This study examines the factors that influence individual intentions towards the adoption of full electric vehicles. A sample including 308 respondents was collected on the streets of Macau. The collected data were analysed by confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modelling. The results demonstrate that environmental concerns and the perception of environmental policy are antecedent factors of the perception of full electric vehicles, which influences the behavioural intention to purchase full electric vehicles. This study also finds that the perception of economic benefit is one of the key factors influencing the adoption of full electric vehicles. Vehicle operators seek economic benefits from future long-term fuel savings, high energy efficiency, and cheap electricity. Thus, a government striving to promote low-carbon transportation needs to scale up its efforts to enhance citizens’ environmental concerns and to establish proper environmental policy as well as to provide long-term financial and strategic support for electric vehicles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon reduction strategies and methods in transportation)
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Open AccessArticle Sustainable Urban Development Calls for Responsibility through Life Cycle Management
Sustainability 2015, 7(9), 12539-12563; https://doi.org/10.3390/su70912539
Received: 19 August 2015 / Revised: 7 September 2015 / Accepted: 9 September 2015 / Published: 11 September 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1210 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Urban development bestows a great opportunity to increase sustainability in the built environment as cities are responsible for the majority of environmental impacts. However, the urban development process is fragmented and sub-optimization leads to unsustainable life cycle outcomes. The purpose of this study
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Urban development bestows a great opportunity to increase sustainability in the built environment as cities are responsible for the majority of environmental impacts. However, the urban development process is fragmented and sub-optimization leads to unsustainable life cycle outcomes. The purpose of this study is to examine the urban development process from a life cycle perspective and identify how different actors understand life cycle management. By utilizing an inductive qualitative research design, 38 in-depth thematic interviews were conducted within the Finnish urban development industry including a case study and independent interviews from different phases of the urban development life cycle. The theoretical perspective is a combination of the ecosystem construct and life cycle management. Results show that there is no clear responsible actor for life cycle management in urban development. All actors claim that there is value to be added, mostly in economic, but also environmental and social terms. This study reveals that investors should be the responsible actor in the urban development process. By claiming responsibility and focusing on life cycle leadership we can improve sustainability in urban development, and respond to the urban sustainability challenge, thus improving the quality of life and welfare in our urban society. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Leadership and Management)
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Open AccessArticle Application of a Decision Support Tool in Three Renovation Projects
Sustainability 2015, 7(9), 12521-12538; https://doi.org/10.3390/su70912521
Received: 26 June 2015 / Revised: 21 August 2015 / Accepted: 9 September 2015 / Published: 11 September 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (811 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Building owners are encouraged to reduce energy use in order to both contribute to national energy-saving goals and reduce the costs of heating and operation. It is important to choose the most optimal renovation measures available so as to achieve cost-effective energy use
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Building owners are encouraged to reduce energy use in order to both contribute to national energy-saving goals and reduce the costs of heating and operation. It is important to choose the most optimal renovation measures available so as to achieve cost-effective energy use while maintaining excellent indoor environments, without sacrificing architectural quality or negatively affecting the environment. Building owners and managers often have neither the time nor the expertise required to properly evaluate the available renovation options before making a final decision. Renovation measures are often calculated to repay investments in a short time, rather than taking into account life-cycle costs (LCC), despite the fact that a thoughtful, comprehensive renovation is often more cost-effective in the long run. This paper presents a systematic approach for evaluating different renovation alternatives based on a number of sustainability criteria. The methodology has been verified using three multi-family apartment buildings in Sweden. The benefit of using the proposed methodology is made clear through a comparison between the different renovation alternatives from a sustainability perspective, and will hopefully serve as encouragement to choose renovation measures which involve marginally increased investments but lead to significant environmental and social benefits in the long-term. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Customer Citizenship Behaviors of Food Blog Users
Sustainability 2015, 7(9), 12502-12520; https://doi.org/10.3390/su70912502
Received: 13 June 2015 / Revised: 5 August 2015 / Accepted: 8 September 2015 / Published: 11 September 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (729 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Compared with previous studies that have focused on customers’ behavioral intentions or the factors that influence purchase behaviors on blogs or discussion boards, in this study, we examine the factors of independent food blogs or discussion boards that influence users’ customer citizenship behaviors.
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Compared with previous studies that have focused on customers’ behavioral intentions or the factors that influence purchase behaviors on blogs or discussion boards, in this study, we examine the factors of independent food blogs or discussion boards that influence users’ customer citizenship behaviors. Six food blogs were selected based on the flow rate and food diaries. 323 Subjects were chosen from the blog user population and then interviewed to develop the data needed for this study. The results indicate that psychological needs, customer satisfaction, and customer-company identification positively affect customer citizenship behaviors. High satisfaction of customer-orientation is a critical management strategy on food blogs. This study adapts physically existing organizational behavior theory through appropriate inference and modification for virtual community. Unlike past studies that focused on customer purchase intention, this study emphasizes customer value and social media of the virtual community. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessEditorial Soil Degradation: Will Humankind Ever Learn?
Sustainability 2015, 7(9), 12490-12501; https://doi.org/10.3390/su70912490
Received: 10 July 2015 / Revised: 26 August 2015 / Accepted: 3 September 2015 / Published: 11 September 2015
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (2115 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Soil degradation is a global problem caused by many factors including excessive tillage, inappropriate crop rotations, excessive grazing or crop residue removal, deforestation, mining, construction and urban sprawl. To meet the needs of an expanding global population, it is essential for humankind to
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Soil degradation is a global problem caused by many factors including excessive tillage, inappropriate crop rotations, excessive grazing or crop residue removal, deforestation, mining, construction and urban sprawl. To meet the needs of an expanding global population, it is essential for humankind to recognize and understand that improving soil health by adopting sustainable agricultural and land management practices is the best solution for mitigating and reversing current soil degradation trends. This research editorial is intended to provide an overview for this Special Issue of Sustainability that examines the global problem of soil degradation through reviews and recent research studies addressing soil health in Africa, Australia, China, Europe, India, North and South America, and Russia. Two common factors—soil erosion and depletion of soil organic matter (SOM)—emerge as consistent indicators of how “the thin layer covering the planet that stands between us and starvation” is being degraded. Soil degradation is not a new problem but failing to acknowledge, mitigate, and remediate the multiple factors leading to it is no longer a viable option for humankind. We optimistically conclude that the most promising strategies to mitigate soil degradation are to select appropriate land uses and improve soil management practices so that SOM is increased, soil biology is enhanced, and all forms of erosion are reduced. Collectively, these actions will enable humankind to “take care of the soil so it can take care of us”. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Performance Comparison of Reservation Based and Instant Access One-Way Car Sharing Service through Discrete Event Simulation
Sustainability 2015, 7(9), 12465-12489; https://doi.org/10.3390/su70912465
Received: 27 July 2015 / Revised: 27 August 2015 / Accepted: 6 September 2015 / Published: 11 September 2015
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (2685 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A car sharing service has been highlighted as a new urban transport alternative for an environmentally friendly economy. As the demand for the service from customers increases, car sharing operators need to introduce a new service such as a one-way option that will
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A car sharing service has been highlighted as a new urban transport alternative for an environmentally friendly economy. As the demand for the service from customers increases, car sharing operators need to introduce a new service such as a one-way option that will allow customers to return the car to different stations. Due to the complexity of the one-way system, it needs to be managed and optimized for real cases. This paper focuses on developing a simulation model in order to help operators evaluate the performance of the one-way service. In addition, this research demonstrates a strategy for an open one-way service that can increase revenue and customer satisfaction. A real case dataset is used for investigation to find the best result from the simulation. The result showed that the total number of cars, number of one-way reservations and station size have an impact on one-way performance. Thus, company profit and customer satisfaction can be maximized by optimizing these factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon reduction strategies and methods in transportation)
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Open AccessArticle Development of Environmentally Sustainable Methods for Treatment of Domestic Wastewater and Handling of Sewage Sludge on Yap Island
Sustainability 2015, 7(9), 12452-12464; https://doi.org/10.3390/su70912452
Received: 30 April 2015 / Revised: 2 September 2015 / Accepted: 4 September 2015 / Published: 11 September 2015
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Abstract
A survey was conducted of the wastewater treatment systems and related sludge handling practices on the island of Yap, in the Federated States of Micronesia, to assist in identifying areas where further work would be merited to improve on effectiveness and sustainability. A
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A survey was conducted of the wastewater treatment systems and related sludge handling practices on the island of Yap, in the Federated States of Micronesia, to assist in identifying areas where further work would be merited to improve on effectiveness and sustainability. A detailed inventory was made of communal septic tanks as found at health centers and schools. Though most of these septic tanks appeared to be functional, there were concerns due to some units being positioned within the tidal zone, covered over with vegetation, or out of reach of the pump truck. Furthermore, the centralized wastewater treatment plant on Yap provides only primary treatment consisting of a limited removal of suspended solids. Thus, only partially treated sewage is being discharged to the bay. Excess sludge is drawn from the treatment plant on a quarterly basis, which local farmers regularly make use of as fertilizer for crop application without adequate treatment. As an immediate target for further study and pilot testing, exploring the use of an attached-growth process as an inexpensive retrofit to enhance the effectiveness of the treatment plant is proposed. In addition, the benefits of implementing a composting program for recycle of waste sludge in a safe manner and developing a framework for management of septic tanks are discussed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Persistence of the Gender Gap and Low Employment of Female Workers in a Stratified Labor Market: Evidence from South Korea
Sustainability 2015, 7(9), 12425-12451; https://doi.org/10.3390/su70912425
Received: 29 July 2015 / Revised: 26 August 2015 / Accepted: 3 September 2015 / Published: 10 September 2015
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (943 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The gender gap in working conditions has barely improved in South Korea where various measures for gender equality have been in place for a relatively long time. Furthermore, the female employment rate is also the lowest in OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and
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The gender gap in working conditions has barely improved in South Korea where various measures for gender equality have been in place for a relatively long time. Furthermore, the female employment rate is also the lowest in OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries. This study will evaluate the stratified structure of the labor market to identify the causes and will analyze changes in the gender employment distribution and mobility. This study conducted an empirical analysis of gender distribution and labor mobility in the South Korean labor market, utilizing long-term data (2005–2014) from the supplementary survey by employment type on the Economically Active Population of the Korea National Statistical Office. From the analysis, women showed a relatively smaller increase than men in the primary labor market, classified as the large and standard employment market, in 2014 compared with 2005, but showed a relatively greater increase than men in the secondary labor market, comprising the small–medium and non-standard employment market. Thus, gender skewness in employment distribution was greater in the stratified labor market. On the other hand, the non-economically active population more than doubled for women compared to men. From the analysis of labor mobility by gender, a higher proportion of women were employed in the peripheral labor market than in the core labor market and women were also more likely to be employed in the relatively weak peripheral labor market. These results imply that dichotomous gender equality policies for resolving the gender gap have a certain limitation in the stratified labor market. Thus, what is needed is a holistic approach that takes into account the labor market structure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bridging the Labor Market Gender Gap: Towards a Holistic Paradigm)
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Open AccessArticle Visualization of a City Sustainability Index (CSI): Towards Transdisciplinary Approaches Involving Multiple Stakeholders
Sustainability 2015, 7(9), 12402-12424; https://doi.org/10.3390/su70912402
Received: 31 March 2015 / Revised: 26 August 2015 / Accepted: 27 August 2015 / Published: 10 September 2015
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (1560 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We have developed a visualized 3-D model of a City Sustainability Index (CSI) based on our original concept of city sustainability in which a sustainable city is defined as one that maximizes socio-economic benefits while meeting constraint conditions of the environment and socio-economic
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We have developed a visualized 3-D model of a City Sustainability Index (CSI) based on our original concept of city sustainability in which a sustainable city is defined as one that maximizes socio-economic benefits while meeting constraint conditions of the environment and socio-economic equity on a permanent basis. The CSI is based on constraint and maximization indicators. Constraint indicators assess whether a city meets the necessary minimum conditions for city sustainability. Maximization indicators measure the benefits that a city generates in socio-economic aspects. When used in the policy-making process, the choice of constraint indicators should be implemented using a top-down approach. In contrast, a bottom-up approach is more suitable for defining maximization indicators because this technique involves multiple stakeholders (in a transdisciplinary approach). Using different materials of various colors, shapes, sizes, we designed and constructed the visualized physical model of the CSI to help people evaluate and compare the performance of different cities in terms of sustainability. The visualized model of the CSI can convey complicated information in a simple and straightforward manner to diverse stakeholders so that the sustainability analysis can be understood intuitively by ordinary citizens as well as experts. Thus, the CSI model helps stakeholders to develop critical thinking about city sustainability and enables policymakers to make informed decisions for sustainability through a transdisciplinary approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Planning, Development and Management of Sustainable Cities)
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Open AccessArticle Experiential Knowledge Complements an LCA-Based Decision Support Framework
Sustainability 2015, 7(9), 12386-12401; https://doi.org/10.3390/su70912386
Received: 30 July 2015 / Revised: 7 September 2015 / Accepted: 7 September 2015 / Published: 10 September 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2003 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A shrimp farmer in Taiwan practices innovation through trial-and-error for better income and a better environment, but such farmer-based innovation sometimes fails because the biological mechanism is unclear. Systematic field experimentation and laboratory research are often too costly, and simulating ground conditions is
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A shrimp farmer in Taiwan practices innovation through trial-and-error for better income and a better environment, but such farmer-based innovation sometimes fails because the biological mechanism is unclear. Systematic field experimentation and laboratory research are often too costly, and simulating ground conditions is often too challenging. To solve this dilemma, we propose a decision support framework that explicitly utilizes farmer experiential knowledge through a participatory approach to alternatively estimate prospective change in shrimp farming productivity, and to co-design options for improvement. Data obtained from the farmer enable us to quantitatively analyze the production cost and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission with a life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology. We used semi-quantitative graphical representations of indifference curves and mixing triangles to compare and show better options for the farmer. Our results empower the farmer to make decisions more systematically and reliably based on the frequency of heterotrophic bacteria application and the revision of feed input. We argue that experiential knowledge may be less accurate due to its dependence on varying levels of farmer experience, but this knowledge is a reasonable alternative for immediate decision-making. More importantly, our developed framework advances the scope of LCA application to support practically important yet scientifically uncertain cases. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Using Multiple Tools to Analyze Resource Exchange in China
Sustainability 2015, 7(9), 12372-12385; https://doi.org/10.3390/su70912372
Received: 19 June 2015 / Revised: 6 August 2015 / Accepted: 21 August 2015 / Published: 10 September 2015
PDF Full-text (1262 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
With the rapid development of globalization, the function of international physical resource exchange is becoming increasingly important in economic growth through resource optimization. However, most existing ecological economy studies use physical trade balance (PTB) directly or use physical imports and exports individually to
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With the rapid development of globalization, the function of international physical resource exchange is becoming increasingly important in economic growth through resource optimization. However, most existing ecological economy studies use physical trade balance (PTB) directly or use physical imports and exports individually to analyze national material metabolization. Neither the individual analysis of physical imports and exports nor the direct analysis of PTB is capable of portraying the comprehensive contributions of a certain product to total physical trade. This study introduced an indicator, i.e., the physical contribution to the trade balance (PCB), which evolved from the traditional index of contribution to the trade balance (CB). In addition, trade balance (TB), PTB, CB, and PCB were systematically related and combined. An analysis was conducted using the four tools to obtain overall trade trends in China. This study discovered that both physical trade value and quantity exhibited different characteristics when China joined the World Trade Organization in 2002 and experienced the global economic crisis in 2009. Finally, the advantages of a supporting policy decision by applying multiple analytical tools to physical trade were discussed. Full article
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