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Sustainability, Volume 9, Issue 1 (January 2017)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Green infrastructure is a unique combination of economic, social, and environmental goals and [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Positioning Nuclear Power in the Low-Carbon Electricity Transition
Sustainability 2017, 9(1), 163; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9010163
Received: 4 December 2016 / Revised: 15 January 2017 / Accepted: 18 January 2017 / Published: 23 January 2017
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1530 | PDF Full-text (1455 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Addressing climate change requires de-carbonizing future energy supplies in an increasingly energy-dependent world. The IEA and the IPCC (2014) mention the following as low-carbon energy supply options: ‘renewable energy, nuclear power and fossil fuels with carbon capture and storage’. Positioning nuclear power in
[...] Read more.
Addressing climate change requires de-carbonizing future energy supplies in an increasingly energy-dependent world. The IEA and the IPCC (2014) mention the following as low-carbon energy supply options: ‘renewable energy, nuclear power and fossil fuels with carbon capture and storage’. Positioning nuclear power in the decarbonization transition is a problematic issue and is overridden by ill-conceived axioms. Before probing these axioms, we provide an overview of five major, postwar energy-related legacies and some insight into who is engaged in nuclear activities. We check whether low-carbon nuclear power passes the full sustainability test and whether it is compatible with the unfettered deployment of variable renewable power sourced from the sun and from wind and water currents, which delivers two negative answers. We show that the best approach of the sustainable energy transition was Germany’s 2011 decision to phase out nuclear power for a fast development and full deployment of renewable power. This is the best approach for the sustainable energy transition. We offer five practical suggestions to strengthen and accelerate carbon- and nuclear-free transitions. They are related to institutional issues like the role of cost-benefit analysis and the mission of the International Atomic Energy Agency, to the costs of nuclear risks and catastrophes, and to the historical record of nuclear technology and business. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Nuclear Power)
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Open AccessArticle Decomposition of the Urban Water Footprint of Food Consumption: A Case Study of Xiamen City
Sustainability 2017, 9(1), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9010135
Received: 10 December 2016 / Revised: 8 January 2017 / Accepted: 10 January 2017 / Published: 23 January 2017
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1432 | PDF Full-text (1526 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Decomposition of the urban water footprint can provide insight for water management. In this paper, a new decomposition method based on the log-mean Divisia index model (LMDI) was developed to analyze the driving forces of water footprint changes, attributable to food consumption. Compared
[...] Read more.
Decomposition of the urban water footprint can provide insight for water management. In this paper, a new decomposition method based on the log-mean Divisia index model (LMDI) was developed to analyze the driving forces of water footprint changes, attributable to food consumption. Compared to previous studies, this new approach can distinguish between various factors relating to urban and rural residents. The water footprint of food consumption in Xiamen City, from 2001 to 2012, was calculated. Following this, the driving forces of water footprint change were broken down into considerations of the population, the structure of food consumption, the level of food consumption, water intensity, and the population rate. Research shows that between 2001 and 2012, the water footprint of food consumption in Xiamen increased by 675.53 Mm3, with a growth rate of 88.69%. Population effects were the leading contributors to this change, accounting for 87.97% of the total growth. The food consumption structure also had a considerable effect on this increase. Here, the urban area represented 94.96% of the water footprint increase, driven by the effect of the food consumption structure. Water intensity and the urban/rural population rate had a weak positive cumulative effect. The effects of the urban/rural population rate on the water footprint change in urban and rural areas, however, were individually significant. The level of food consumption was the only negative factor. In terms of food categories, meat and grain had the greatest effects during the study period. Controlling the urban population, promoting a healthy and less water-intensive diet, reducing food waste, and improving agriculture efficiency, are all elements of an effective approach for mitigating the growth of the water footprint. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Facilitation as a Governance Strategy: Unravelling Governments’ Facilitation Frames
Sustainability 2017, 9(1), 160; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9010160
Received: 28 October 2016 / Revised: 19 December 2016 / Accepted: 14 January 2017 / Published: 22 January 2017
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1309 | PDF Full-text (233 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Governments increasingly choose facilitation as a strategy to entice others to produce public goods and services, including in relation to the realisation of sustainable energy innovations. An important instrument to implement this governance strategy is discursive framing. To learn how public authorities use
[...] Read more.
Governments increasingly choose facilitation as a strategy to entice others to produce public goods and services, including in relation to the realisation of sustainable energy innovations. An important instrument to implement this governance strategy is discursive framing. To learn how public authorities use discursive framing to implement a facilitation strategy, we conducted a comparative case study on two Dutch examples in which the government aims to facilitate non-governmental actors to exploit public waterworks for the production of renewable energy. Using content analysis, we identify ten ‘facilitation frame’ elements. We find two configurations of elements: restrained facilitation and invitational facilitation, which both have their advantages, ambivalences and drawbacks. It is often unclear what governments want to achieve and what they have to offer in terms of facilitation. The (discursively) offered support, ranging from ‘giving space’ to ‘creating beneficial conditions’, is often elusive. We conclude that, to avoid deadlock, false expectations and the inactiveness of external actors, the government’s communication should both enthuse and inform these actors about what they can expect. If, however, the potential, non-governmental initiators just lack the necessary capacity to act, there is only so much discursive framing can do. Then authorities should reconsider their ‘facilitative’ role. Full article
Open AccessArticle Exploring the Effects of Sampling Locations for Calibrating the Huff Model Using Mobile Phone Location Data
Sustainability 2017, 9(1), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9010159
Received: 18 November 2016 / Revised: 14 January 2017 / Accepted: 16 January 2017 / Published: 22 January 2017
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Abstract
The introduction of the Huff model is of critical significance in many fields, including urban transport, optimal location planning, economics and business analysis. Moreover, parameters calibration is a crucial procedure before using the model. Previous studies have paid much attention to calibrating the
[...] Read more.
The introduction of the Huff model is of critical significance in many fields, including urban transport, optimal location planning, economics and business analysis. Moreover, parameters calibration is a crucial procedure before using the model. Previous studies have paid much attention to calibrating the spatial interaction model for human mobility research. However, are whole sampling locations always the better solution for model calibration? We use active tracking data of over 16 million cell phones in Shenzhen, a metropolitan city in China, to evaluate the calibration accuracy of Huff model. Specifically, we choose five business areas in this city as destinations and then randomly select a fixed number of cell phone towers to calibrate the parameters in this spatial interaction model. We vary the selected number of cell phone towers by multipliers of 30 until we reach the total number of towers with flows to the five destinations. We apply the least square methods for model calibration. The distribution of the final sum of squared error between the observed flows and the estimated flows indicates that whole sampling locations are not always better for the outcomes of this spatial interaction model. Instead, fewer sampling locations with higher volume of trips could improve the calibration results. Finally, we discuss implications of this finding and suggest an approach to address the high-accuracy model calibration solution. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Government Subsidy for Remanufacturing or Carbon Tax Rebate: Which Is Better for Firms and a Low-Carbon Economy
Sustainability 2017, 9(1), 156; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9010156
Received: 25 September 2016 / Revised: 19 December 2016 / Accepted: 17 January 2017 / Published: 22 January 2017
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1590 | PDF Full-text (2123 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The government as a policy maker wishing to promote remanufacturing and proper disposal of hazardous old products which are harmful to environment has taken many actions, ranging from carbon regulation and financial incentives such as trade-in subsidy. However, carbon tax can result in
[...] Read more.
The government as a policy maker wishing to promote remanufacturing and proper disposal of hazardous old products which are harmful to environment has taken many actions, ranging from carbon regulation and financial incentives such as trade-in subsidy. However, carbon tax can result in loss of profit for firms to some degree, so the government has to give other subsidy to balance the profits and carbon emission. Thus, this article investigates two subsidy mechanisms: remanufacturing subsidy or tax rebate. The optimal pricing and production decision under these policies are examined. Our results show that carbon tax has a great impact on pricing strategies. Trade-in subsidy can encourage customers to replace their existing products with new and remanufactured products. Both remanufacture subsidy and tax rebate are beneficial to manufacturer and can further promote remanufacturing development. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Sustainability Evaluation of Railways in China Using a Two-Stage Network DEA Model with Undesirable Outputs and Shared Resources
Sustainability 2017, 9(1), 150; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9010150
Received: 17 November 2016 / Revised: 4 January 2017 / Accepted: 17 January 2017 / Published: 22 January 2017
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1163 | PDF Full-text (2876 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper constructs an additive two-stage network DEA (data envelopment analysis) model with consideration of undesirable outputs and shared inputs. Following the triple bottom line standard of sustainability, we calculate both the overall and sub-stage sustainability performance of railway transportation in China from
[...] Read more.
This paper constructs an additive two-stage network DEA (data envelopment analysis) model with consideration of undesirable outputs and shared inputs. Following the triple bottom line standard of sustainability, we calculate both the overall and sub-stage sustainability performance of railway transportation in China from 2002 to 2013, from the aspects of economy, environment and society. The results show that the overall sustainability of China’s railway presents a character of first declining, then rising and declining again. Moreover, the railway sustainability of China’s eastern areas are much better than that of the western and central areas, and the gap has become much larger since 2009. As for the sub-stage efficiency, neither the production stage nor the service stage of the railway is efficient in sustainability, and the efficiency of the production stage is lower than that of service stage and plays a greater impact on the overall sustainability. Therefore, in order to improve the overall sustainability of China’s railways, it is essential to improve the level of railway engineering construction and develop technological innovations in railway production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Prediction of Climate Change Induced Temperature & Precipitation: The Case of Iran
Sustainability 2017, 9(1), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9010146
Received: 17 November 2016 / Revised: 20 December 2016 / Accepted: 16 January 2017 / Published: 22 January 2017
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1812 | PDF Full-text (3708 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Concern about the effects of climatic change on numerous aspects of human life in general and on agricultural production in particular is growing. The utility of HadCM3 as a tool in climate change predictions in cross cultural studies is scarce. Therefore, this study
[...] Read more.
Concern about the effects of climatic change on numerous aspects of human life in general and on agricultural production in particular is growing. The utility of HadCM3 as a tool in climate change predictions in cross cultural studies is scarce. Therefore, this study sought to investigate and predict climate change induced temperature and precipitation in Iran. The calibration and validation using the HadCM3 was performed during 1961–2001, using daily temperatures and precipitation. The data on temperature and precipitation from 1961 to 1990 were used for calibration, and, for model validation, data from 1991 to 2001 were used. Moreover, in order to downscale general circulation models to station scales, SDSM version 4.2 was utilized. The least difference between observed data and simulation data during calibration and validation showed that the parameter was precisely modeled for most of the year. Simulation under the A2 scenario was performed for three time periods (2020, 2050, and 2080). According to our simulated model, precipitation showed a decreasing trend whereas temperature showed an increasing trend. The result of this research paper makes a significant contribution to climate smart agriculture in Iran. For example, rural development practitioners can devise effective policies and programs in order to reduce the vulnerability of local communities to climate change impacts. Moreover, the result of this study can be used as an optimal model for land allocation in agriculture. Moreover, a shortage of rainfall and decreased temperatures also have implications for agricultural land allocation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land and Food Policy)
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Open AccessArticle Costs, Benefits and Challenges of Sustainable Livestock Intensification in a Major Deforestation Frontier in the Brazilian Amazon
Sustainability 2017, 9(1), 158; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9010158
Received: 19 September 2016 / Revised: 16 January 2017 / Accepted: 17 January 2017 / Published: 21 January 2017
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2047 | PDF Full-text (1326 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Extensive livestock production is a major deforestation driver in the Brazilian Amazon. This study presents an assessment of the economic and environmental feasibility of sustainable livestock intensification in São Félix do Xingu municipality, a deforestation frontier with an area of more than 8.5
[...] Read more.
Extensive livestock production is a major deforestation driver in the Brazilian Amazon. This study presents an assessment of the economic and environmental feasibility of sustainable livestock intensification in São Félix do Xingu municipality, a deforestation frontier with an area of more than 8.5 million hectares, and home to the largest cattle herd in Brazil. Proposed intensification was limited to approximately three animal units per hectare to avoid negative environmental impacts. Transition costs to sustainable cattle intensification were estimated for thirteen pilot farms taking into account adoption of good agriculture practices, pasture maintenance/restoration, and restoration of environmental liabilities. To move to sustainable intensification practices, a mean total annual investment of US$1335/ha ± US$619/ha would be necessary, varying from US$750 to US$2595/ha. Internal rate of return and net present value estimates indicated that the sustainable livestock intensification approach proposed was profitable in farms with more than 400 hectares of pastureland, but not in those where the pasture areas were smaller than 150 hectares. Livestock sustainable intensification also had the potential to promote social and environmental benefits, including a 54% increase in the number of contract workers, improvement of landowners’ managerial skills, and workers’ training, in addition to avoiding emission of 1.9 Mt CO2eq and sequestration of 0.36 Mt CO2eq. We conclude that the sustainable intensification of pasture areas has the potential to prevent further deforestation in the Amazon while generating social and other environmental benefits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Climate Change on Service Life of High Volume Fly Ash Concrete Subjected to Carbonation—A Korean Case Study
Sustainability 2017, 9(1), 157; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9010157
Received: 18 December 2016 / Revised: 12 January 2017 / Accepted: 18 January 2017 / Published: 21 January 2017
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1634 | PDF Full-text (2136 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The increase in CO2 concentrations and global warming will increase the carbonation depth of concrete. Furthermore, temperature rise will increase the rate of corrosion of steel rebar after carbonation. On the other hand, compared with normal concrete, high volume fly ash (HVFA)
[...] Read more.
The increase in CO2 concentrations and global warming will increase the carbonation depth of concrete. Furthermore, temperature rise will increase the rate of corrosion of steel rebar after carbonation. On the other hand, compared with normal concrete, high volume fly ash (HVFA) concrete is more vulnerable to carbonation-induced corrosion. Carbonation durability design with climate change is crucial to the rational use of HVFA concrete. This study presents a probabilistic approach that predicts the service life of HVFA concrete structures subjected to carbonation-induced corrosion resulting from increasing CO2 concentrations and temperatures. First, in the corrosion initiation stage, a hydration-carbonation integration model is used to evaluate the contents of the carbonatable material, porosity, and carbonation depth of HVFA concrete. The Monte Carlo method is adopted to determine the probability of corrosion initiation. Second, in the corrosion propagation stage, an updated model is proposed to evaluate the rate of corrosion, degree of corrosion for cover cracking of concrete, and probability of corrosion cracking. Third, the whole service life is determined considering both corrosion initiation stage and corrosion propagation stage. The analysis results show that climate change creates a significant impact on the service life of durable concrete. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Land Suitability Assessment for Camelina (Camelina sativa L.) Development in Chile
Sustainability 2017, 9(1), 154; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9010154
Received: 30 October 2016 / Revised: 16 January 2017 / Accepted: 16 January 2017 / Published: 21 January 2017
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Abstract
Camelina (Camelina sativa L.) is an oilseed with potential for use as a raw material in second-generation biofuels. Camelina has a seed yield of up to 2380 kg·ha−1 and contains around 45% fatty acids. Selection of a suitable site is critical
[...] Read more.
Camelina (Camelina sativa L.) is an oilseed with potential for use as a raw material in second-generation biofuels. Camelina has a seed yield of up to 2380 kg·ha−1 and contains around 45% fatty acids. Selection of a suitable site is critical for production optimization. The objective of this study was to determine Chilean agro-climatic suitability for establishing camelina as a productive alternative. Climate and soil requirements and geographical restraints were evaluated for the species, considering the climatological characteristics of its regions of origin, as well as regions where camelina is successfully grown in the rest of the world. The variables considered included factors (maximum temperatures of the warmest month, water deficits, and degree days) and limitations (altitude, geomorphology, and current land use), which permitted the evaluation of the national territory for a certain level of suitability. It was determined that 1.3% of the national territory (960,664 ha) has some degree of suitability for camelina adoption. Between the Biobío and Los Lagos regions, 49.0% of the land (471,203 ha) is in the category of no thermic restrictions, with mild water restrictions, and mild soil restrictions or without information, which can be used for camelina production. The Los Ríos region has 21.4% surface area (321,176 ha) with some level of suitability for camelina, the most suitable region to establish this crop in Chile. This research has provided valuable information applicable to new species and geographic areas which facilitate the adaptation of agricultural and forestry production to global changes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass Energy Conversion)
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Open AccessArticle The Allocation of Carbon Intensity Reduction Target by 2020 among Industrial Sectors in China
Sustainability 2017, 9(1), 148; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9010148
Received: 12 October 2016 / Revised: 28 December 2016 / Accepted: 16 January 2017 / Published: 21 January 2017
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 1478 | PDF Full-text (2369 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In order to realize the national carbon intensity reduction target, China has decided to establish a unified national carbon emissions trading market in 2017. At the initial stage, eight industrial sectors will be covered in the carbon market and the other industrial sectors
[...] Read more.
In order to realize the national carbon intensity reduction target, China has decided to establish a unified national carbon emissions trading market in 2017. At the initial stage, eight industrial sectors will be covered in the carbon market and the other industrial sectors will be included gradually. The aim of this paper is to study the issue of how to allocate the carbon emissions quotas among different industrial sectors fairly and effectively. We try to provide theoretical support for how to determine the coverage scope and access order of the carbon market. In this paper, we construct a comprehensive reduction index based on indicators of equity and efficiency principle. We adopt entropy method to get the objective weights of the three indicators. Then, an allocation model is developed to determine each sector’s reduction target for the year of 2020. The result shows that our allocation scheme based on entropy method is more reasonable, and our allocation method will promote the equity of carbon quotas allocation and the efficiency of carbon emissions. With consideration of China’s current economic situation and industrial background, we discuss some policy implications regarding the construction of carbon market. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Enhanced Nitrogen and Phosphorus Removal by Woody Plants with Deep-Planting Technique for the Potential Environmental Management of Carcass Burial Sites
Sustainability 2017, 9(1), 155; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9010155
Received: 30 November 2016 / Revised: 6 January 2017 / Accepted: 12 January 2017 / Published: 20 January 2017
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1377 | PDF Full-text (3086 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Phytoremediation is a promising technology to remediate carcass burial sites where deep soil layers are contaminated with nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and other potential contaminants by leachate. The current study was conducted to examine the remedial efficiency of two different woody plants, poplar
[...] Read more.
Phytoremediation is a promising technology to remediate carcass burial sites where deep soil layers are contaminated with nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and other potential contaminants by leachate. The current study was conducted to examine the remedial efficiency of two different woody plants, poplar (Populus euramericana) and willow (Salix alba), by employing the deep-planting technique for the enhanced removal of N and P for the soil affected by leachate. For this, pot trials to assess N and P removal efficiency of poplar and willow in liquid manure-applied soil, and pilot-scale column experiments to evaluate the suitability of the deep-planting technique for the enhanced phytoremediation of deep soil layer were conducted. The results of this study showed that poplar and willow removed N and P from soils effectively while surviving under deep-planting conditions. Notably, compared to the surface planted roots, the roots of the deep-planted poplar and willow could transfer significant amounts of N and P leachate from the deep soil layer to the rhizosphere, from where it can be absorbed by the plants. For the first time, the use of poplar or willow plants are recommended by employing the deep-planting technique for the successful remediation of carcass burial sites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Management of Post-Epidemic Mass Carcasses Burial Sites)
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Open AccessArticle An Emergy-Based Hybrid Method for Assessing Sustainability of the Resource-Dependent Region
Sustainability 2017, 9(1), 153; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9010153
Received: 6 November 2016 / Revised: 9 January 2017 / Accepted: 16 January 2017 / Published: 20 January 2017
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1119 | PDF Full-text (1926 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As the natural resources are getting exhausted, the concept of sustainable development of regions has received increasing attention, especially for resource-dependent cities. In this paper, an innovative method based on emergy analysis and the Human Impact Population Affluence Technology (IPAT) model is developed
[...] Read more.
As the natural resources are getting exhausted, the concept of sustainable development of regions has received increasing attention, especially for resource-dependent cities. In this paper, an innovative method based on emergy analysis and the Human Impact Population Affluence Technology (IPAT) model is developed to analyze the quantitative relationship of economic growth, energy consumption and its overall sustainability level. Taiyuan, a traditional, resource-dependent city in China, is selected as the case study region. The main results show that the total emergy of Taiyuan increased from 9.023 × 1023 sej in 2007 to 9.116 × 1023 sej in 2014, with a 38% decline in non-renewable emergy and an increase of imported emergy up to 125%. The regional emergy money ratio (EMB) was reduced by 48% from 5.31 × 1013 sej/$ in 2007 to 2.74 × 1013 sej/$ in 2014, indicating that the increasing speed of consuming resources and energy was faster than the increase of GDP, and that Taiyuan’s money purchasing power declined. The lower emergy sustainability index (ESI) indicates that Taiyuan was explored and produced large quantities of mineral resources, which puts more stress on the environment as a consequence, and that this is not sustainable in the long run. The IPAT analysis demonstrates that Taiyuan sticks to the efforts of energy conservation and environmental protection. In order to promote regional sustainable development, it is necessary to have an integrated effort. Policy insights suggest that resourceful regions should improve energy and resource efficiency, optimize energy and resourceful structure and carry out extensive public participation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Siting of Carsharing Stations Based on Spatial Multi-Criteria Evaluation: A Case Study of Shanghai EVCARD
Sustainability 2017, 9(1), 152; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9010152
Received: 25 November 2016 / Revised: 11 January 2017 / Accepted: 16 January 2017 / Published: 20 January 2017
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1783 | PDF Full-text (3895 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Carsharing is one of the effective ways to relieve the problems of traffic jams, parking difficulties, and air pollution. In recent years, the numbers of carsharing services and their members have remarkably increased around the world. The project of electric carsharing in Shanghai,
[...] Read more.
Carsharing is one of the effective ways to relieve the problems of traffic jams, parking difficulties, and air pollution. In recent years, the numbers of carsharing services and their members have remarkably increased around the world. The project of electric carsharing in Shanghai, called EVCARD, has also developed rapidly with very large demand and supply. Aiming to determine the optimal locations of future stations of the EVCARD, this research employs a novel method combining the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) and geographical information system (GIS) with big data. Potential users, potential travel demand, potential travel purposes, and distance from existing stations are selected as the decision criteria. A siting decision system is established, consisting of 15 evaluation indicators which are calculated from multi-source data on mobile phones, taxi trajectory, point of interests (POI), and the EVCARD operation. The method of the AHP is used to determine the indicator weights, and the “Spatial Analyst” tool of ArcGIS is adopted to generate the indicator values for every 1 km × 1 km decision unit. Finally, synthetic scores are calculated to evaluate the candidate sites of EVCARD stations. The results of the case study verify the effectiveness of the proposed method, which can provide a more scientific and feasible method for carsharing operators to site stations, avoiding aimless and random decisions. Full article
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Open AccessReview Characterisation of Nature-Based Solutions for the Built Environment
Sustainability 2017, 9(1), 149; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9010149
Received: 1 October 2016 / Revised: 7 January 2017 / Accepted: 16 January 2017 / Published: 20 January 2017
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3065 | PDF Full-text (1778 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Nature has provided humankind with food, fuel, and shelter throughout evolutionary history. However, in contemporary cities, many natural landscapes have become degraded and replaced with impermeable hard surfaces (e.g., roads, paving, car parks and buildings). The reversal of this trend is dynamic, complex
[...] Read more.
Nature has provided humankind with food, fuel, and shelter throughout evolutionary history. However, in contemporary cities, many natural landscapes have become degraded and replaced with impermeable hard surfaces (e.g., roads, paving, car parks and buildings). The reversal of this trend is dynamic, complex and still in its infancy. There are many facets of urban greening initiatives involving multiple benefits, sensitivities and limitations. The aim of this paper is to develop a characterisation method of nature based solutions for designing and retrofitting in the built environment, and to facilitate knowledge transfer between disciplines and for design optimisation. Based on a review of the literature across disciplines, key characteristics could be organised into four groups: policy and community initiatives, multiple benefits assessment, topology, and design options. Challenges and opportunities for developing a characterisation framework to improve the use of nature based solutions in the built environment are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nature-Based Solutions for Urban Challenges)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle The Brookside Farm Wetland Ecosystem Treatment (WET) System: A Low-Energy Methodology for Sewage Purification, Biomass Production (Yield), Flood Resilience and Biodiversity Enhancement
Sustainability 2017, 9(1), 147; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9010147
Received: 1 August 2016 / Revised: 4 January 2017 / Accepted: 4 January 2017 / Published: 20 January 2017
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1657 | PDF Full-text (4929 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Wastewater from domestic developments, farms and agro-industrial processing can be sources of pollution in the environment; current wastewater management methods are usually machine-based, and thus energy consuming. When Permaculture Principles are used in the creation of water purification and harvesting systems, there can
[...] Read more.
Wastewater from domestic developments, farms and agro-industrial processing can be sources of pollution in the environment; current wastewater management methods are usually machine-based, and thus energy consuming. When Permaculture Principles are used in the creation of water purification and harvesting systems, there can be multiple environmental and economic benefits. In the context of energy descent, it may be considered desirable to treat wastewater using minimal energy. The constructed wetland design presented here is a low-entropy system in which wastewater is harvested and transformed into lush and productive wetland, eliminating the requirement for non-renewable energy in water purification, and also maximising benefits: biodiversity, flood resilience and yield. In permaculture design, the high concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorous compounds in sewage are viewed as valuable nutrients, resources to be harvested by a constructed wetland ecosystem and converted into useful yield. Similarly, rainwater runoff is not viewed as a problem which can cause flooding, but as a potential resource to be harvested to provide a yield. This paper presents a case study, with both water quality and productivity data, from Brookside Farm UK, where the use of Permaculture Design Principles has created a combined wastewater management and purification system, accepting all site water. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agroecology and Water Management)
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Open AccessArticle Potential of Vertical Hydroponic Agriculture in Mexico
Sustainability 2017, 9(1), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9010140
Received: 1 November 2016 / Revised: 11 January 2017 / Accepted: 13 January 2017 / Published: 20 January 2017
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2628 | PDF Full-text (3035 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In 2050, Mexico’s population will reach 150 million people, about 80% of whom will likely live in urban centers. This increase in population will necessitate increased food production in the country. The lands classified as drylands in Mexico occupy approximately 101.5 million hectares,
[...] Read more.
In 2050, Mexico’s population will reach 150 million people, about 80% of whom will likely live in urban centers. This increase in population will necessitate increased food production in the country. The lands classified as drylands in Mexico occupy approximately 101.5 million hectares, or just over half the territory, limiting the potential for agricultural expansion. In addition to the problem of arid conditions in Mexico, there are conditions in other parts of the country related to low to very low water availability, resulting in pressure on the water resources in almost two-thirds of the country. Currently, agriculture uses 77% of the water withdrawn, primarily for food production. This sector contributes 12% of the total greenhouse gas emission (GHG) production in the country. Given the conditions of pressure on water and land resources in Mexico and the need to reduce the carbon footprint, vertical farming technology could offer the possibility for sustainable food production in the urban areas of the country in the coming years. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agriculture and Development)
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Open AccessArticle Development and Application of a Low Impact Development (LID)-Based District Unit Planning Model
Sustainability 2017, 9(1), 145; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9010145
Received: 10 November 2016 / Revised: 4 January 2017 / Accepted: 13 January 2017 / Published: 19 January 2017
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Abstract
The purpose of this study was to develop a low impact development-based district unit planning (LID-DP) model and to verify the model by applying it to a test site. To develop the model, we identified various barriers to the urban planning process and
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The purpose of this study was to develop a low impact development-based district unit planning (LID-DP) model and to verify the model by applying it to a test site. To develop the model, we identified various barriers to the urban planning process and examined the advantages of various LID-related techniques to determine where in the urban development process LID would provide the greatest benefit. The resulting model provides (1) a set of district unit planning processes that consider LID standards and (2) a set of evaluation methods that measure the benefits of the LID-DP model over standard urban development practices. The developed LID-DP process is composed of status analysis, comprehensive analysis, basic plan, and sectoral plans. To determine whether the LID-DP model met the proposed LID targets, we applied the model to a test site in Cheongju City, Chungcheongbuk-do Province, Republic of Korea. The test simulation showed that the LID-DP plan reduced nonpoint source pollutants (total nitrogen, 113%; total phosphorous, 193%; and biological oxygen demand, 199%); reduced rainfall runoff (infiltration volume, 102%; surface runoff, 101%); and improved the conservation rate of the natural environment area (132%). The successful application of this model also lent support for the greater importance of non-structural techniques over structural techniques in urban planning when taking ecological factors into account. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A New Resilience Measure for Supply Chain Networks
Sustainability 2017, 9(1), 144; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9010144
Received: 29 July 2016 / Revised: 3 January 2017 / Accepted: 12 January 2017 / Published: 19 January 2017
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Abstract
Currently, supply chain networks can span the whole world, and any disruption of these networks may cause economic losses, decreases in sales and unsustainable supplies. Resilience, the ability of the system to withstand disruption and return to a normal state quickly, has become
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Currently, supply chain networks can span the whole world, and any disruption of these networks may cause economic losses, decreases in sales and unsustainable supplies. Resilience, the ability of the system to withstand disruption and return to a normal state quickly, has become a new challenge during the supply chain network design. This paper defines a new resilience measure as the ratio of the integral of the normalized system performance within its maximum allowable recovery time after the disruption to the integral of the performance in the normal state. Using the maximum allowable recovery time of the system as the time interval under consideration, this measure allows the resilience of different systems to be compared on the same relative scale, and be used under both scenarios that the system can or cannot restore in the given time. Two specific resilience measures, the resilience based on the amount of product delivered and the resilience based on the average delivery distance, are provided for supply chain networks. To estimate the resilience of a given supply chain network, a resilience simulation method is proposed based on the Monte Carlo method. A four-layered hierarchial mobile phone supply chain network is used to illustrate the resilience quantification process and show how network structure affects the resilience of supply chain networks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Analysis and Potential Application of the Maturity of Growth Management in the Developing Construction Industry of a Province of China: A Case Study
Sustainability 2017, 9(1), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9010143
Received: 19 July 2016 / Revised: 10 January 2017 / Accepted: 11 January 2017 / Published: 19 January 2017
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Abstract
Construction industry is one of the major drivers of the economic sustainability of China’s provinces. An investigation of the status of the construction industry in China is needed to find out its maturity and health. The results of this investigation may help China
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Construction industry is one of the major drivers of the economic sustainability of China’s provinces. An investigation of the status of the construction industry in China is needed to find out its maturity and health. The results of this investigation may help China define the impact factors required in order to promote the growth level of its construction industry. This research assesses the growth level of the construction industry in Shaanxi Province, China. This study utilizes both the original average score method and the newer entropy method to analyze the growth level of the construction industry based on its growth management model and growth drivers. An empirical survey of this research includes 123 construction companies in Shaanxi Province. The results show that the entropy method is better than the average score method to use when analyzing the maturity status of a local industry for future development. The maturity level of Shaanxi’s construction industry lies on the second tier in a four-tier ranking system. The advanced professional skills of project management are critically needed for future growth. Brand building is the most important factor needed to drive up Shaanxi’s construction industry. Standardization, knowledge management through lessons learned, and cost management for budget control by using information systems are required for Shaanxi’s construction project management. The Excellent Project Management Model of China is often used in Chinese project knowledge management. After maturity analysis, China’s local industries would be able to develop a sustainable strategy for optimizing their outcomes by removing the hurdles preventing future growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Can High-Tech Ventures Benefit from Government Guanxi and Business Guanxi? The Moderating Effects of Environmental Turbulence
Sustainability 2017, 9(1), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9010142
Received: 20 October 2016 / Revised: 12 January 2017 / Accepted: 13 January 2017 / Published: 19 January 2017
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1465 | PDF Full-text (394 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The construct of guanxi has become an interesting topic for analyzing how to do business more effectively and successfully in China’s economic transition period. Drawing on the guanxi strategy theory, this study examines when government guanxi (guanxi with the government and its
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The construct of guanxi has become an interesting topic for analyzing how to do business more effectively and successfully in China’s economic transition period. Drawing on the guanxi strategy theory, this study examines when government guanxi (guanxi with the government and its officials) and business guanxi (guanxi with the business sectors) matter to new venture performance under two typical turbulent environments (institutional turbulence and market turbulence). According to empirical results using original data from 146 new ventures in clusters driven by China’s local governments, both government guanxi and business guanxi were positively related to new venture performance, and market turbulence was an important contextual factor influencing performance benefits of guanxi. However, the results reveal no moderating effects of institutional turbulence on direct relationships. Furthermore, the study provides a better conceptual and empirical understanding of why market turbulence is a double-edged sword for performance implications of guanxi in the rapidly changing business environment. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Consumers’ Perspective on Circular Economy Strategy for Reducing Food Waste
Sustainability 2017, 9(1), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9010141
Received: 7 November 2016 / Revised: 10 January 2017 / Accepted: 13 January 2017 / Published: 19 January 2017
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2413 | PDF Full-text (1200 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The current linear system of production and consumption is unsustainable. In the food sector, despite the fact that valuable natural resources are intensively used to produce and distribute food products, little is done to upcycle residues generated along the supply chain. Circular economy
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The current linear system of production and consumption is unsustainable. In the food sector, despite the fact that valuable natural resources are intensively used to produce and distribute food products, little is done to upcycle residues generated along the supply chain. Circular economy strategies are crucial for restructuring the take-make-dispose model through the active participation of all actors of supply chains. However, little is known about consumers’ willingness to participate in circular economy. A structured questionnaire was submitted to a representative sample of Italian households to assess the willingness of consumers to be actively involved in closed loops aiming at reducing food waste. Consumers are involved by returning their organic food waste to retailers in exchange for discounts on the purchase of animal products. The organic food waste returned enters in the production process of animal products. A choice experiment was designed to analyse alternative programs. Two scenarios were presented: one with a traditional technology (composting), and a second one with a radically innovative technology (insects as feed). Preferences and trade-offs, in monetary terms, among attributes were computed. Results depict a comprehensive portrait of the potential participation of consumers to closed loops inspired by the principles of circular economy. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Linkage Model of Supply Chain Operation and Financial Performance for Economic Sustainability of Firm
Sustainability 2017, 9(1), 139; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9010139
Received: 1 November 2016 / Revised: 10 January 2017 / Accepted: 11 January 2017 / Published: 19 January 2017
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2065 | PDF Full-text (2130 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Although several studies have explored the relationship between the operation and performance of a supply chain (SC), a general SC model cannot deliver the expected financial results at a company-wide level. In this paper, we argue that this cannot guarantee the maximization of
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Although several studies have explored the relationship between the operation and performance of a supply chain (SC), a general SC model cannot deliver the expected financial results at a company-wide level. In this paper, we argue that this cannot guarantee the maximization of a firm’s overall value because short-term financial performance metrics do not reflect the risk to businesses and the invested capital. Owing to the varying natures of risk and the capital invested, firms with multiple divisions should assess each division separately, and the results can be compared for decisions concerning the allocation of the firm’s capital and resources to maximize the overall value of its businesses. We propose a linkage model to consider operational activities and financial performance simultaneously in a firm’s supply chain model. To exhibit the superiority of the proposed model that connects SC operation and financial indicators, we first compare the differences between models for maximizing profit and enterprise-wise economic value added (EVA) as objective functions. To examine uncertainty in the operational and financial parameters of the SC, the results of sensitivity analyses are then reported. Experimental results showed that our model, using the EVA approach, is more effective and superior in terms of maximizing the firm’s overall value from the long-term perspective while satisfying the target values for financial ratios set by the firm’s executives and shareholders for all periods, unlike the results of the general model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Supply Chain Management)
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Open AccessArticle Marginal Abatement Cost of CO2 in China Based on Directional Distance Function: An Industry Perspective
Sustainability 2017, 9(1), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9010138
Received: 15 November 2016 / Revised: 12 January 2017 / Accepted: 13 January 2017 / Published: 18 January 2017
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Abstract
Industrial sectors account for around 70% of the total energy-related CO2 emissions in China. It is of great importance to measure the potential for CO2 emissions reduction and calculate the carbon price in industrial sectors covered in the Emissions Trading Scheme
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Industrial sectors account for around 70% of the total energy-related CO2 emissions in China. It is of great importance to measure the potential for CO2 emissions reduction and calculate the carbon price in industrial sectors covered in the Emissions Trading Scheme and carbon tax. This paper employs the directional distance function to calculate the marginal abatement costs of CO2 emissions during 2005–2011 and makes a comparative analysis between our study and the relevant literature. Our empirical results show that the marginal abatement costs vary greatly from industry to industry: high marginal abatement costs occur in industries with low carbon intensity, and vice versa. In the application of the marginal abatement cost, the abatement distribution scheme with minimum cost is established under different abatement targets. The conclusions of abatement distribution scheme indicate that those heavy industries with low MACs and high carbon intensity should take more responsibility for emissions reduction and vice versa. Finally, the policy implications for marginal abatement cost are provided. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Assessing the Availability of Terrestrial Biotic Materials in Product Systems (BIRD)
Sustainability 2017, 9(1), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9010137
Received: 9 December 2016 / Revised: 4 January 2017 / Accepted: 9 January 2017 / Published: 18 January 2017
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1446 | PDF Full-text (1904 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Availability of abiotic resources has been a topic of concern in recent years, resulting in several approaches being published to determine their availability on country and product level. However, the availability of biotic materials has not been analyzed to this extent yet. Therefore,
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Availability of abiotic resources has been a topic of concern in recent years, resulting in several approaches being published to determine their availability on country and product level. However, the availability of biotic materials has not been analyzed to this extent yet. Therefore, an approach to determine possible limitations to availability of terrestrial biotic materials over the entire supply chain is introduced. The approach considers 24 categories overall as well as associated category indicators for the five dimensions: physical, socio-economic, abiotic, social and environmental constraints. This ensures a comprehensive availability assessment of bio-based product systems. The approach is applied to a case study comparing biodiesel produced from rapeseed and soy beans. The study shows that the determination of indicator values is feasible for most categories and their interpretation leads to meaningful conclusions. Thus, the approach leads to a more comprehensive assessment of availability aspects and supports better informed decision making in industry and policy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Exploring Multiple Motivations on Urban Residents’ Travel Mode Choices: An Empirical Study from Jiangsu Province in China
Sustainability 2017, 9(1), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9010136
Received: 2 December 2016 / Revised: 6 January 2017 / Accepted: 13 January 2017 / Published: 18 January 2017
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1029 | PDF Full-text (274 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
People’s actions are always accompanied with multiple motives. How to estimate the role of the pro-environment motivation under the interference of other motivations will help us to better interpret human environmental behaviors. On the basis of classical motivation theories and travel mode choice
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People’s actions are always accompanied with multiple motives. How to estimate the role of the pro-environment motivation under the interference of other motivations will help us to better interpret human environmental behaviors. On the basis of classical motivation theories and travel mode choice research backgrounds, the concepts of pro-environmental and self-interested motivation were defined. Then based on survey data on 1244 urban residents in the Jiangsu Province in China, the multinomial logistic regression model was constructed to examine the effects of multiple motivations, government measures, and demographic characteristics on residents’ travel mode choice behaviors. The result indicates that compared to car use, pro-environmental motivation certainly has a significant and positive role in promoting green travel mode choices (walking, bicycling, and using public transport), but this unstable green behavior is always dominated by self-interested motivations rather than the pro-environmental motivation. In addition, the effects of gender, age, income, vehicle ownership, travel distance, and government instruments show significant differences among travel mode choices. The findings suggest that pro-environmental motivation needs to be stressed and highlighted to ensure sustainable urban transportation. However, policies aimed to only increase the public awareness of environment protection are not enough; tailored policy interventions should be targeted to specific groups having different main motivations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle A Hybrid Fuzzy Inference System Based on Dispersion Model for Quantitative Environmental Health Impact Assessment of Urban Transportation Planning
Sustainability 2017, 9(1), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9010134
Received: 27 November 2016 / Revised: 3 January 2017 / Accepted: 13 January 2017 / Published: 18 January 2017
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Abstract
Characterizing the spatial variation of traffic-related air pollution has been and is a long-standing challenge in quantitative environmental health impact assessment of urban transportation planning. Advanced approaches are required for modeling complex relationships among traffic, air pollution, and adverse health outcomes by considering
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Characterizing the spatial variation of traffic-related air pollution has been and is a long-standing challenge in quantitative environmental health impact assessment of urban transportation planning. Advanced approaches are required for modeling complex relationships among traffic, air pollution, and adverse health outcomes by considering uncertainties in the available data. A new hybrid fuzzy model is developed and implemented through hierarchical fuzzy inference system (HFIS). This model is integrated with a dispersion model in order to model the effect of transportation system on the PM2.5 concentration. An improved health metric is developed as well based on a HFIS to model the impact of traffic-related PM2.5 on health. Two solutions are applied to improve the performance of both the models: the topologies of HFISs are selected according to the problem and used variables, membership functions, and rule set are determined through learning in a simultaneous manner. The capabilities of this proposed approach is examined by assessing the impacts of three traffic scenarios involved in air pollution in the city of Isfahan, Iran, and the model accuracy compared to the results of available models from literature. The advantages here are modeling the spatial variation of PM2.5 with high resolution, appropriate processing requirements, and considering the interaction between emissions and meteorological processes. These models are capable of using the available qualitative and uncertain data. These models are of appropriate accuracy, and can provide better understanding of the phenomena in addition to assess the impact of each parameter for the planners. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Comprehensive Evaluation on Employee Satisfaction of Mine Occupational Health and Safety Management System Based on Improved AHP and 2-Tuple Linguistic Information
Sustainability 2017, 9(1), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9010133
Received: 5 October 2016 / Revised: 11 January 2017 / Accepted: 12 January 2017 / Published: 18 January 2017
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1188 | PDF Full-text (409 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In order to comprehensively evaluate the employee satisfaction of mine occupational health and safety management system, an analytic method based on fuzzy analytic hierarchy process and 2-tuple linguistic model was established. Based on the establishment of 5 first-grade indicators and 20 second-grade ones,
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In order to comprehensively evaluate the employee satisfaction of mine occupational health and safety management system, an analytic method based on fuzzy analytic hierarchy process and 2-tuple linguistic model was established. Based on the establishment of 5 first-grade indicators and 20 second-grade ones, method of improved AHP and the time-ordered Weighted Averaging Operator (T-OWA) model is constructed. The results demonstrate that the employee satisfaction of the mine occupational health and safety management system is of the ‘general’ rank. The method including the evaluation of employee satisfaction and the quantitative analysis of language evaluation information ensures the authenticity of the language evaluation information. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Assessment of Ammonia Volatilization Losses and Nitrogen Utilization during the Rice Growing Season in Alkaline Salt-Affected Soils
Sustainability 2017, 9(1), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9010132
Received: 2 November 2016 / Revised: 12 December 2016 / Accepted: 11 January 2017 / Published: 18 January 2017
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1295 | PDF Full-text (1220 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The objectives of this study were to evaluate the effects of different fertilizer types and application rates on ammonia volatilization loss and to explore nitrogen distribution and nitrogen use efficiency using the 15N isotope tracing technique in different alkaline salt-affected conditions in
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The objectives of this study were to evaluate the effects of different fertilizer types and application rates on ammonia volatilization loss and to explore nitrogen distribution and nitrogen use efficiency using the 15N isotope tracing technique in different alkaline salt-affected conditions in the Songnen Plain, Northeast China. The results showed a decreasing trend in ammonia volatilization loss from ammonium nitrate and ammonium sulfate, but not that from urea, as the electrical conductivity gradient increased, whereas the reverse trend was found as the pH gradient increased. Ammonia volatilization loss increased in moderately salt-affected soil compared with that in slightly salt-affected soil, particularly during the tillering stage, regardless of the N fertilizer rate. The percentage of N absorbed by rice plants increased from urea but decreased from the soil as the amount of nitrogen was increased. Interestingly, the N retention rate in soil decreased and rice grain yield and nitrogen agronomic efficiency increased as the amount of nitrogen increased in both salt-affected soil conditions. The nitrogen application amount of highest N physiological efficiency was 225 kg·N/ha. Considering high rice production and a minimal environmental threat, we should fully consider controlling ammonia volatilization losses by adjusting the fertilizer type and the crop stage when the fertilizer is applied. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle The Indirect Roles of Roads in Soil Erosion Evolution in Jiangxi Province, China: A Large Scale Perspective
Sustainability 2017, 9(1), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9010129
Received: 21 October 2016 / Revised: 4 January 2017 / Accepted: 12 January 2017 / Published: 18 January 2017
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1354 | PDF Full-text (3945 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As elicitors of terrestrial system change (e.g., land use transformation) through the introduction of anthropogenic causes, the spatial patterns and levels of roads might be more detrimental to the long-term health of ecosystems at a large scale than the road paving itself. This
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As elicitors of terrestrial system change (e.g., land use transformation) through the introduction of anthropogenic causes, the spatial patterns and levels of roads might be more detrimental to the long-term health of ecosystems at a large scale than the road paving itself. This paper reveals the relationship between soil erosion and roads from a large-scale perspective in Jiangxi Province, China. Temporal and spatial distribution characteristics of artificial and natural drive factors of soil erosion alongside roads were addressed. It was found that, from 1990 to 2010, Jiangxi Province experienced an obvious reduction in soil erosion (the mean annual soil erosion rate decreased from 930.8 t·km−2·a−1 to 522.0 t·km−2·a−1), which was positively correlated with road density (p < 0.01). The maximum soil erosion reduction occurred at a distance of 0–1 km from the village roads. The order of soil erosion effects of the four levels of roads is: Village road > county road > provincial/national road. We emphasize that studying the indirect roles of roads in soil erosion is strongly dependent on a comprehensive consideration of historical policy and the economic development stage in a study area. This paper highlights the indirect role of village roads in soil erosion evolution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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