Next Issue
Previous Issue

E-Mail Alert

Add your e-mail address to receive forthcoming issues of this journal:

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Table of Contents

Sustainability, Volume 9, Issue 12 (December 2017)

  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
Cover Story (view full-size image) This paper aims to define and characterise the socio-cultural phenomenon of tourism user-generated [...] Read more.
View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-226
Export citation of selected articles as:
Open AccessArticle The Role of Bioeconomy Sectors and Natural Resources in EU Economies: A Social Accounting Matrix-Based Analysis Approach
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2383; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9122383
Received: 30 November 2017 / Revised: 11 December 2017 / Accepted: 16 December 2017 / Published: 20 December 2017
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 971 | PDF Full-text (854 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The bio-based economy will be crucial in achieving a sustainable development, covering all ranges of natural resources. In this sense, it is very relevant to analyze the economic links between the bioeconomic sectors and the rest of the economy, determining their total and
[...] Read more.
The bio-based economy will be crucial in achieving a sustainable development, covering all ranges of natural resources. In this sense, it is very relevant to analyze the economic links between the bioeconomic sectors and the rest of the economy, determining their total and decomposed impact on economic growth. One of the major problems in carrying out this analysis is the lack of information and complete databases that allow analysis of the bioeconomy and its effects on other economic activities. To overcome this issue, disaggregated social accounting matrices have been obtained for the highly bio-based sectors of the 28 European Union member states. Using this complex database, a linear multiplier analysis shows the future key role of bio-based sectors in boosting economic development in the EU. Results show that the bioeconomy has not yet unleashed its full potential in terms of output and job creation. Thus, output and employment multipliers show that many sectors related to the bioeconomy are still underperforming compared to the EU average, particularly those with higher value added; although, they are still crucial sectors for the wealth creation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Resources Economics)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Cloud-Centric and Logically Isolated Virtual Network Environment Based on Software-Defined Wide Area Network
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2382; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9122382
Received: 15 November 2017 / Revised: 9 December 2017 / Accepted: 15 December 2017 / Published: 20 December 2017
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1050 | PDF Full-text (6768 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recent development of distributed cloud environments requires advanced network infrastructure in order to facilitate network automation, virtualization, high performance data transfer, and secured access of end-to-end resources across regional boundaries. In order to meet these innovative cloud networking requirements, software-defined wide area network
[...] Read more.
Recent development of distributed cloud environments requires advanced network infrastructure in order to facilitate network automation, virtualization, high performance data transfer, and secured access of end-to-end resources across regional boundaries. In order to meet these innovative cloud networking requirements, software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) is primarily demanded to converge distributed cloud resources (e.g., virtual machines (VMs)) in a programmable and intelligent manner over distant networks. Therefore, this paper proposes a logically isolated networking scheme designed to integrate distributed cloud resources to dynamic and on-demand virtual networking over SD-WAN. The performance evaluation and experimental results of the proposed scheme indicate that virtual network convergence time is minimized in two different network models such as: (1) an operating OpenFlow-oriented SD-WAN infrastructure (KREONET-S) which is deployed on the advanced national research network in Korea, and (2) Mininet-based experimental and emulated networks. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Advanced IT based Future Sustainable Computing)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle The Safety of Transnational Imported Second-Hand Cars: A Case Study on Vehicle-to-Vehicle Crashes in Romania
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2380; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9122380
Received: 19 November 2017 / Revised: 8 December 2017 / Accepted: 13 December 2017 / Published: 20 December 2017
Viewed by 994 | PDF Full-text (7932 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Certain features of imported second-hand cars (e.g., age, degree of wear and tear, technical design) can increase their likelihood for traffic crashes. Three official datasets which cover an eight year period (2008–2015) are used to test the connection between importation of second-hand cars
[...] Read more.
Certain features of imported second-hand cars (e.g., age, degree of wear and tear, technical design) can increase their likelihood for traffic crashes. Three official datasets which cover an eight year period (2008–2015) are used to test the connection between importation of second-hand cars and different types of traffic crashes. The traffic crashes database was provided by the Traffic Department of the General Inspectorate of Romanian Police (GIRPTD). The car registration database was provided by Driving-License and Vehicles-Registration Direction (DLVRD). Right-hand driving (RHD) cars database was provided by the Romanian Automotive Registry (RAR). A spatio-temporal visualization of data was performed using Geographic Information System (GIS) while for the statistical analysis we use regression models and Pearson-Correlation-coefficient. The analysis suggests that a significant part of the variation in the volume of traffic accidents can be explained by the volume of imported second-hand cars at the county level. Moreover, an even stronger direct relation exists between the number of imported second-hand cars and Severe Traffic Accidents but also in the case of RHD imported second-hand cars. The overall impact of imported second-hand cars on the traffic safety in Romania is significant but small in comparison to other types of car registration. Study results belong to the category of empirical evidence production which can improve the quality of existing traffic regulations focused both on organizing and ensuring traffic safety, and on the policy of sustainable transport infrastructure development. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Prediction of CO2 Emission in China’s Power Generation Industry with Gauss Optimized Cuckoo Search Algorithm and Wavelet Neural Network Based on STIRPAT model with Ridge Regression
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2377; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9122377
Received: 30 November 2017 / Revised: 14 December 2017 / Accepted: 18 December 2017 / Published: 20 December 2017
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1208 | PDF Full-text (1927 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Power generation industry is the key industry of carbon dioxide (CO2) emission in China. Assessing its future CO2 emissions is of great significance to the formulation and implementation of energy saving and emission reduction policies. Based on the Stochastic Impacts
[...] Read more.
Power generation industry is the key industry of carbon dioxide (CO2) emission in China. Assessing its future CO2 emissions is of great significance to the formulation and implementation of energy saving and emission reduction policies. Based on the Stochastic Impacts by Regression on Population, Affluence and Technology model (STIRPAT), the influencing factors analysis model of CO2 emission of power generation industry is established. The ridge regression (RR) method is used to estimate the historical data. In addition, a wavelet neural network (WNN) prediction model based on Cuckoo Search algorithm optimized by Gauss (GCS) is put forward to predict the factors in the STIRPAT model. Then, the predicted values are substituted into the regression model, and the CO2 emission estimation values of the power generation industry in China are obtained. It’s concluded that population, per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP), standard coal consumption and thermal power specific gravity are the key factors affecting the CO2 emission from the power generation industry. Besides, the GCS-WNN prediction model has higher prediction accuracy, comparing with other models. Moreover, with the development of science and technology in the future, the CO2 emission growth in the power generation industry will gradually slow down according to the prediction results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmentally Sustainable Competitive Strategies)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Dynamic Evaluation of the Energy Efficiency of Environments in Brazilian University Classrooms Using DEA
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2373; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9122373
Received: 8 November 2017 / Revised: 14 December 2017 / Accepted: 14 December 2017 / Published: 20 December 2017
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 722 | PDF Full-text (589 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents an experience applied to a public university campus using Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) to evaluate and improve the energy efficiency of the indoor spaces of the buildings within the limits of the Federal University of Piauí, considering the lighting (installed
[...] Read more.
This paper presents an experience applied to a public university campus using Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) to evaluate and improve the energy efficiency of the indoor spaces of the buildings within the limits of the Federal University of Piauí, considering the lighting (installed power and luminous flux) and air conditioning (absorbed electric power and cooling capacity) input/output variables. Using Brazilian energy efficiency evaluation methods, a comparison was made between DEA and Brazilian standards, with the goal of examining DEA’s performance and feasibility in efficiency improvement. The results revealed that all of the analyzed university classrooms were inefficient, which is coherent with the classification obtained by applying Brazilian standards; the calculated efficiency scores for these rooms varied from 0.7182 to 0.8477, a 0.7848 average. The DEA model, while operating in lighting and air conditioning systems, achieved a reduction of installed power of 43.5% and 22.7%, respectively, totaling a decrease of 25.6%, being able to maintain the standard characteristics of the systems mentioned. According to the DEA models, it was found that the generated targets effectively improved the efficiency of lighting and air-conditioning systems, reducing excessive inputs such as air conditioners’ consumption and increasing deficient outputs such as luminous flux. It is possible to expand this successful application in the layout of the building in the whole campus area to concept small smart city projects; both have been achieved in the public buildings of the administrative body. Results from this paper revealed DEA’s potential in assessing and optimizing the energy efficiency of buildings, improving their sustainability indexes, acting as a tool to support decision-making and benchmarking. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Does Social Innovation Contribute to Sustainability? The Case of Italian Innovative Start-Ups
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2376; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9122376
Received: 16 October 2017 / Revised: 12 December 2017 / Accepted: 15 December 2017 / Published: 19 December 2017
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1143 | PDF Full-text (714 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Start-ups, among other enterprises, play a major role in the development and/or commercialization of new technologies and the development of national economies, given that firms are the innovation locus for an entire society. In Italy, a recent regulatory intervention has focused on start-ups
[...] Read more.
Start-ups, among other enterprises, play a major role in the development and/or commercialization of new technologies and the development of national economies, given that firms are the innovation locus for an entire society. In Italy, a recent regulatory intervention has focused on start-ups creating a framework where innovative start-ups are defined and regulated. Among innovative start-ups, those with a social vocation are of particular interest, since they are understudied in the literature. Indeed, the aim of this paper is twofold: to analyze the relationship between social innovation and sustainability in the latter businesses, and try to understand how sustainability could be fostered through them. Italian cases of innovative start-ups will be studied through content analysis applied to the Social Impact Assessment Document provided by firms. Results show that the Social Impact Assessment Document provided by innovative start-ups explicitly pays attention to social innovation and sustainability in different ways. However, the document does not show the link between social innovation and sustainability. Nonetheless, going through these documents, the link between social innovation and the three aspects of sustainability (economic, social and environmental) clearly emerge and therefore could be better managed. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Transforming Well-Being in Wuppertal—Conditions and Constraints
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2375; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9122375
Received: 9 November 2017 / Revised: 14 December 2017 / Accepted: 16 December 2017 / Published: 19 December 2017
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 998 | PDF Full-text (424 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Conventional welfare production is unsustainable. A societal emphasis on (green) economic growth may therefore be superseded by an extended concept of well-being. Taking a transformative approach, science may take part in catalysing this challenging transformation of both the understanding and the level of
[...] Read more.
Conventional welfare production is unsustainable. A societal emphasis on (green) economic growth may therefore be superseded by an extended concept of well-being. Taking a transformative approach, science may take part in catalysing this challenging transformation of both the understanding and the level of well-being. Instead of economic growth at the expense of sustainability, we aim to cooperatively refocus on integrating economic, social and ecological perspectives into a more holistic, sustainable approach to individual and municipal well-being in Wuppertal (Germany). Therefore, the research team investigates and develops concepts of local sustainable well-being production, e.g., by employing a new indicator system and the real-world laboratory approach. What are the conditions and constraints of transforming well-being in Wuppertal and most particularly of the role of scientists in this endeavour? Answering this research question with a comparative case study approach, we have analysed our resources, processes, contexts and normativity. The results show that the role of ‘transformative scientists’ in Wuppertal faces constraints of timing and funding, as well as challenges from the different demands of science and practice. Hampered co-design interacts with role conflicts. Open-minded stakeholders are crucial for local well-being transformation, as is the awareness that urban residential districts have bottomed out. However, the normative sustainability claims of the transformative research project are not fully shared by all of its stakeholders, which is both necessary and challenging for transformative research. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Monitoring the Different Types of Urban Construction Land Expansion (UCLE) in China’s Port City: A Case Study of Ningbo’s Central City
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2374; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9122374
Received: 29 November 2017 / Revised: 15 December 2017 / Accepted: 17 December 2017 / Published: 19 December 2017
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 953 | PDF Full-text (2909 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The internal structure of urban construction land expansion (UCLE) is closely related to urban sustainability, and the UCLE in China’s port city has a unique pattern. This study attempted to monitor the internal structure evolution of UCLE based on construction land transfer data
[...] Read more.
The internal structure of urban construction land expansion (UCLE) is closely related to urban sustainability, and the UCLE in China’s port city has a unique pattern. This study attempted to monitor the internal structure evolution of UCLE based on construction land transfer data in Ningbo’s central city from 2002 to 2015. Equality fan analysis and kernel density analysis were applied to characterize the spatial–temporal dynamics of different types of UCLE and to summarize their evolution patterns. The results revealed that in the whole study area, the rank of the expansion size and intensity of construction land was: industrial land > traffic land > residential land > public land > commercial land. The dominant directions of all types of UCLE were the directions of the port zones. In the port zones, there were more apparent expansion trends and higher expansion intensities of industrial, traffic and public lands, which meant that the port had significant impact on UCLE, especially in terms of industrial land. Additionally, commercial and residential land expansions showed a circle-shaped gradient pattern; industrial land sprawl was in a leapfrog pattern; public and traffic land sprawl was illustrated in a bi-centric pattern. In the future, local government should encourage the development of residential and public land rather than industrial land, and shift the present industry structure which dominated by industry to a more balanced structure, in order to achieve sustainable development. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Production and Compression Strength of Mortars Containing Unprocessed Waste Powdered Steel Slag
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2372; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9122372
Received: 23 November 2017 / Revised: 12 December 2017 / Accepted: 17 December 2017 / Published: 19 December 2017
Viewed by 773 | PDF Full-text (1523 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper deals with the production of mortars prepared using a commercial CEMIIB-S 42.5N cement, a natural aggregate, steelmaking slag, a superplasticizer and water. The as-received unprocessed steel slag was milled by a hammer mill and then sieved to obtain batches with different
[...] Read more.
This paper deals with the production of mortars prepared using a commercial CEMIIB-S 42.5N cement, a natural aggregate, steelmaking slag, a superplasticizer and water. The as-received unprocessed steel slag was milled by a hammer mill and then sieved to obtain batches with different maximum particle size. Each batch was used, together with the other components, in the production of mortars which were tested, by compression and water absorption, after different aging times in order to evaluate their long term stability. Several slag-free samples were also prepared as reference materials. All mortars were prepared with fixed aggregate/cement ratio (6/1), superplasticizer/cement ratio (s/c) and water/cement ratio (w/c). It has been demonstrated that an adequate protocol for the preparation and the use of slag containing particles with 2500 µm maximum size lead to the production of materials with mechanical properties suitable for civil engineering applications after aging for 28, 90 and 180 days. However, samples containing slag particles with size equal or greater than 1000 µm display a decay of mechanical properties after longer aging in water or after accelerated aging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Buildings and Indoor Air Quality)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Spatial–Temporal Patterns and Driving Factors of Rapid Urban Land Development in Provincial China: A Case Study of Jiangsu
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2371; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9122371
Received: 18 October 2017 / Revised: 15 December 2017 / Accepted: 15 December 2017 / Published: 19 December 2017
Viewed by 911 | PDF Full-text (2389 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Since its economic reform and opening-up, China has undergone unprecedented urbanization, where massive areas of rural land have been converted into urban use. Urban land development plays an important role in dynamic urban economic development. This study aims to contribute to the understanding
[...] Read more.
Since its economic reform and opening-up, China has undergone unprecedented urbanization, where massive areas of rural land have been converted into urban use. Urban land development plays an important role in dynamic urban economic development. This study aims to contribute to the understanding of urban land development and its mechanisms in China. We conceptualized the mechanism of urban land development from multiple perspectives based on a case study in Jiangsu Province. We employed the methods of global and local spatial auto-correlation detection and spatial lag model to analyze the provincial land use conveyance and survey data from 2004 to 2008 and 2009 to 2012 to understand the dynamics of urban land development. The results show that urban land development varies significantly across different time periods, spatial scales, and regions in Jiangsu. Higher absolute urban land development mainly occurred in Sunan, expanding to Subei and Suzhong, while faster development occurred mainly in Subei, where the initial bases were lower but had strong economic growth potential. The regression analysis shows that market activities and administrative levels had played a more critical role in driving urban land development, which suggests that rapid urban land development has institutional and market foundations. Urban land development was not only a consequence of economic development but also a strategy of local governments to stimulate and govern the urban economy. This study enriches the literature on urban dynamics by providing an institutional understanding of rapid urban land development in a transitional economy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Assessment of Selected Parameters of the Automatic Scarification Device as an Example of a Device for Sustainable Forest Management
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2370; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9122370
Received: 7 November 2017 / Revised: 15 December 2017 / Accepted: 16 December 2017 / Published: 19 December 2017
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 917 | PDF Full-text (5449 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Due to technological progress in forestry, seedlings with covered root systems—especially those grown in container nurseries—have become increasingly important in forest nursery production. One the trees that is most commonly grown this way is the common oak (Quercus robur L.). For an
[...] Read more.
Due to technological progress in forestry, seedlings with covered root systems—especially those grown in container nurseries—have become increasingly important in forest nursery production. One the trees that is most commonly grown this way is the common oak (Quercus robur L.). For an acorn to be sown in a container, it is necessary to remove its upper part during mechanical scarification, and evaluate its sowing suitability. At present, this is mainly done manually and by visual assessment. The low effectiveness of this method of acorn preparation has encouraged a search for unconventional solutions. One of them is the use of an automated device that consists of a computer vision-based module. For economic reasons related to the cost of growing seedlings in container nurseries, it is beneficial to minimize the contribution of unhealthy seeds. The maximum accuracy, which is understood as the number of correct seed diagnoses relative to the total number of seeds being assessed, was adopted as a criterion for choosing a separation threshold. According to the method proposed, the intensity and red components of the images of scarified acorns facilitated the best results in terms of the materials examined during the experiment. On average, a 10% inaccuracy of separation was observed. A secondary outcome of the presented research is an evaluation of the ergonomic parameters of the user interface that is attached to the unit controlling the device when it is running in its autonomous operation mode. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Application of Source-Sink Landscape Influence Values to Commuter Traffic: A Case Study of Xiamen Island
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2366; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9122366
Received: 26 October 2017 / Revised: 5 December 2017 / Accepted: 9 December 2017 / Published: 19 December 2017
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 848 | PDF Full-text (1986 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Landscape patterns are closely related to ecological processes. Different spatial scales and research methods may lead to different results. Therefore, it is crucial to choose suitable research methods when studying different landscape patterns and ecological processes. In the present study, the methods of
[...] Read more.
Landscape patterns are closely related to ecological processes. Different spatial scales and research methods may lead to different results. Therefore, it is crucial to choose suitable research methods when studying different landscape patterns and ecological processes. In the present study, the methods of source-sink landscape theory were applied to the interactions between urban landscape characteristics and commuter traffic behavior around the arterial roads in Xiamen Island. After classification of land use types using remote sensing images from the IKONOS satellite and ArcGIS software (ESRI, Redlands, CA, USA), the landscape patterns of areas surrounding arterial roads (within 1 km) were evaluated using source-sink landscape influence (SLI). The results showed that Xiamen Island’s urban expressway had the highest SLI value (0.191), followed by the state highways (0.067), the provincial highways (0.030), and the county roads (0.025). When considering all road types, the correlation between a road’s SLI value and its commuter traffic flow was 0.684. This result was explained by three observations: (1) The contribution of the core area of each landscape pattern to traffic flow was positively correlated with the traffic flow. (2) Areas surrounding the urban expressway and the state highways had lower values for Shannon’s diversity index, indicating that these areas had a lower degree of landscape fragmentation. (3) The landscape patterns surrounding the urban expressway and the state highways were more concentrated and complex than those around other road types. The application of source-sink landscape pattern theory allows for researchers to integrate the relationships between landscape patterns surrounding roads and commuter traffic flow on those roads and to analyze the reasons for these relationships. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Landscape Optimization in a Highly Urbanized Tourism Destination: An Integrated Approach in Nanjing, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2364; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9122364
Received: 27 October 2017 / Revised: 6 December 2017 / Accepted: 15 December 2017 / Published: 19 December 2017
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1254 | PDF Full-text (6222 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Planning and developing urban tourism destinations must encompass landscape optimization to achieve healthy urban ecosystems, as well as for evolution sustainability. This study explored sustainable landscape planning by examining the optimization of landscape spatial distribution in an urban tourism destination–Nanjing, China—using an integrated
[...] Read more.
Planning and developing urban tourism destinations must encompass landscape optimization to achieve healthy urban ecosystems, as well as for evolution sustainability. This study explored sustainable landscape planning by examining the optimization of landscape spatial distribution in an urban tourism destination–Nanjing, China—using an integrated approach that included remote sensing (RS), geographic information system (GIS), and landscape metrics in the context of an urban tourism destination evolution model. Least-cost modeling in GIS was also used to optimize decision-making from an ecological perspective. The results indicated that landscapes were more homogenous, fragmented, and less connected. Except for the eastern area, the landscape evolution showed characteristics of both degeneration and growth. A complete greenway network including sources, greenways, and nodes were constructed, and an increase in natural landscapes was strongly recommended. The findings provide geographic insights for sustainable urban tourism planning and development via comprehensive methodological applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle The Role of University Campuses in Reconnecting Humans to the Biosphere
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2349; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9122349
Received: 13 November 2017 / Revised: 28 November 2017 / Accepted: 14 December 2017 / Published: 19 December 2017
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1202 | PDF Full-text (490 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, we explore the potential for integrating university campuses in a global sustainability agenda for a closer reconnection of urban residents to the biosphere. This calls for a socio-cultural transition that allows universities and colleges to reconnect to the biosphere and
[...] Read more.
In this paper, we explore the potential for integrating university campuses in a global sustainability agenda for a closer reconnection of urban residents to the biosphere. This calls for a socio-cultural transition that allows universities and colleges to reconnect to the biosphere and become active stewards of the Earth System. Recognizing their pivotal role of fostering coming generations of humans, university campuses represent a unique socio-cultural setting to promote sustainable development in practice. Among others, this involves the nurturing of biodiversity and ecosystem services in the Antropocene era, which is characterized by ongoing climate change and massive loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services. We explore the traditional campus setting, its role as a community for rejuvenating town planning and its role as a governance authority that may promote or retard sustainable development with an ecological focus. We explore the “sustainable” university and describe the campus as an ecosystem and how a resilient campus can be designed to meet the novel and critical challenges of the Anthropocene. We conclude by providing some policy recommendations for higher educational institutes to speed up their ambitions in the area of sustainable biosphere management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Assessing the Value of Housing Schemes through Sustainable Return on Investment: A Path towards Sustainability-Led Evaluations?
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2264; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9122264
Received: 15 October 2017 / Revised: 21 November 2017 / Accepted: 29 November 2017 / Published: 19 December 2017
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1068 | PDF Full-text (2304 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The 2016 United Nations (UN) New Urban Agenda clearly reaffirms the concept that sustainable cities require intertwined environmental and social sustainability. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11—“Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable”—sets (as a primary target) the provision of sufficient
[...] Read more.
The 2016 United Nations (UN) New Urban Agenda clearly reaffirms the concept that sustainable cities require intertwined environmental and social sustainability. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11—“Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable”—sets (as a primary target) the provision of sufficient affordable housing. Despite the central role that housing plays in ensuring sustainability and the importance of both environmental and social pillars in ensuring sustainable development, current evaluative methods that support decision making on social housing interventions fail to capture all of the socio-environmental value contained in the UN SDG 11. This paper addresses the issue by demonstrating how Sustainable Return on Investment can successfully describe and analyse a range of externalities related to the sustainable value generated by social housing regeneration schemes. To achieve this goal, a single case study strategy has been chosen. Two extant projects—a high-rise housing scheme and an environmental-led program developed by City West Housing Trust (a nonprofit housing association based in the Manchester area)—have been assessed in order to monetise their social and environmental value through different methods. The findings show that, historically, the environmental and social value of regeneration schemes have been largely disregarded because of a gap in the evaluation methods, and that there is room for significant improvement for future evaluation exercises. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview Forage Options for Dairy Farms with Reduced Water Availability in the Southern Murray Darling Basin of Australia
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2369; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9122369
Received: 26 October 2017 / Revised: 1 December 2017 / Accepted: 12 December 2017 / Published: 18 December 2017
Viewed by 909 | PDF Full-text (722 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The dairy industry in the southern Murray Darling Basin region of Australia is a major consumer of irrigation water because rainfall is low relative to evapotranspiration and the industrys relies heavily on irrigated temperate pastures and fodder crops. Water reforms, and potential climate
[...] Read more.
The dairy industry in the southern Murray Darling Basin region of Australia is a major consumer of irrigation water because rainfall is low relative to evapotranspiration and the industrys relies heavily on irrigated temperate pastures and fodder crops. Water reforms, and potential climate change scenarios for this region suggest that there will be an overall decline in rainfall and water available for irrigation in the future. For the irrigated dairy industry to remain economically viable, there is a need for dairy farmers to improve the water productivity (WP) of their forage systems and to be able to respond to year-to-year, and within year, variation in water availability. Researchers and dairy farmers are evaluating strategies to increase WP. These include: (i) selecting better-adapted species for current and predicted climatic conditions; (ii) using species that can survive and still be productive under reduced irrigation and then recover when full irrigation is restored; (iii) modifying irrigation strategies to reduce water use whilst maintaining WP; and (iv) grazing management strategies that facilitate the survival during, and recovery after, periods of moisture stress. This review will examine these strategies and discusses their potential to optimise forage production from irrigation water inputs so that the dairy industry in the southern Murray Darling Basin remains viable in the future. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Progress towards Sustainable Production: Environmental, Economic, and Social Assessments of the Cellulose Nanofiber Production Process
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2368; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9122368
Received: 24 November 2017 / Revised: 14 December 2017 / Accepted: 14 December 2017 / Published: 18 December 2017
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1167 | PDF Full-text (3796 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We assessed the environmental, economic, and social impacts of the process for producing cellulose nanofibers (CNFs), which are considered to be a valuable sustainable woody biomass feedstock. The greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with CNF production are greater than the emissions associated with
[...] Read more.
We assessed the environmental, economic, and social impacts of the process for producing cellulose nanofibers (CNFs), which are considered to be a valuable sustainable woody biomass feedstock. The greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with CNF production are greater than the emissions associated with producing most plastic materials used in vehicle components because the grinding process during CNF production generates significant GHG emissions. The cost of CNF production is also higher than the cost of producing comparable plastics for automotive use because of the high cost of the pulverization process. The sensitivity analysis in this study suggested that GHG emissions and manufacturing costs could be reduced by 19.1–76.4% and 3.6–12.2%, respectively, by improving the energy efficiency of CNF production by two to five times. We compared the potential social risks associated with CNF production between Japan and Vietnam using a product social impact life cycle assessment database. It is desirable to reduce the social risk on the fair salary and child labor, and to improve the safe and healthy living conditions in the local communities that import wood chips harvested in Vietnam. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Chemistry)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle A Novel Grey Wave Method for Predicting Total Chinese Trade Volume
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2367; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9122367
Received: 7 November 2017 / Revised: 13 December 2017 / Accepted: 15 December 2017 / Published: 18 December 2017
Viewed by 767 | PDF Full-text (4576 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The total trade volume of a country is an important way of appraising its international trade situation. A prediction based on trade volume will help enterprises arrange production efficiently and promote the sustainability of the international trade. Because the total Chinese trade volume
[...] Read more.
The total trade volume of a country is an important way of appraising its international trade situation. A prediction based on trade volume will help enterprises arrange production efficiently and promote the sustainability of the international trade. Because the total Chinese trade volume fluctuates over time, this paper proposes a Grey wave forecasting model with a Hodrick–Prescott filter (HP filter) to forecast it. This novel model first parses time series into long-term trend and short-term cycle. Second, the model uses a general GM (1,1) to predict the trend term and the Grey wave forecasting model to predict the cycle term. Empirical analysis shows that the improved Grey wave prediction method provides a much more accurate forecast than the basic Grey wave prediction method, achieving better prediction results than autoregressive moving average model (ARMA). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transition from China-Made to China-Innovation )
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Defining Organizational Context for Corporate Sustainability Assessment: Cross-Disciplinary Approach
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2365; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9122365
Received: 27 November 2017 / Revised: 15 December 2017 / Accepted: 16 December 2017 / Published: 18 December 2017
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 894 | PDF Full-text (965 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Extensive research has already been conducted on the technical aspects of a Sustainability Assessment (SA) at a company level, i.e., Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA). However, previous research paid little attention to the context in which an assessment takes place, i.e., the conditions within
[...] Read more.
Extensive research has already been conducted on the technical aspects of a Sustainability Assessment (SA) at a company level, i.e., Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA). However, previous research paid little attention to the context in which an assessment takes place, i.e., the conditions within the organization that facilitate or inhibit the effectiveness of CSA as a decision support tool. This study seeks to shed more light on the organizational context for CSA. Since the research in this topic is limited within the SA discipline, the knowledge from the Performance Measurement (PM) discipline is used. Using a cross-disciplinary approach, factors that define the organizational context for CSA were proposed. Furthermore, they were ranked by 104 sustainability professionals using online survey. The survey results revealed that the top five factors are “leadership commitment”, “sustainability strategy”, “data collection capabilities”, “understanding of purpose and benefits of SA” and “focus on continuous improvements”. The practical application of the result of this study was illustrated using a multiple case study, in which the readiness to implement CSA by four manufacturing companies was evaluated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle The Key Driving Forces for Geo-Economic Relationships between China and ASEAN Countries
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2363; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9122363
Received: 18 October 2017 / Revised: 14 December 2017 / Accepted: 14 December 2017 / Published: 18 December 2017
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1102 | PDF Full-text (1117 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With the rise of China and the implementation of the “21st Century Maritime Silk Road” strategy, research on geo-economics between China and ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries has become increasingly important. Current studies mainly focus on influencing factors, while there is
[...] Read more.
With the rise of China and the implementation of the “21st Century Maritime Silk Road” strategy, research on geo-economics between China and ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries has become increasingly important. Current studies mainly focus on influencing factors, while there is little consideration about how these influencing factors act on geo-economic relationships. Therefore, this paper explores the key driving forces for geo-economic relationships between China and ASEAN countries by use of the structural equation modeling based on Partial Lease Squares. There are three main findings: (1) Economic factors have the greatest impact on geo-economic relationships and the total path effect is 0.778. Geo-location, geopolitics and geo-culture act on geo-economic relationships directly and indirectly. Their total path effects are 0.731, 0.645 and 0.513, respectively. (2) Indirect effects of geo-location, geopolitics and geo-culture impacting geo-economic relationships are far greater than direct effects. Geo-culture, in particular, has a vital mediating effect on geo-economic relationships. (3) Economic drivers promote geo-economic relationships through market, industrial policy, technical, network and benefit-sharing mechanisms. Political drivers improve geo-economic relationships through cooperation, negotiation, coordination and institutional mechanisms. Cultural drivers enhance geo-economic relationships through transmission mechanism. Location drivers facilitate geo-economic relationships through selection mechanism. We provide new insights on the geo-economic relationships through quantitative analysis and enrich the existing literature by revealing the key driving forces and mechanisms for geo-economic relationships. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle China’s Land Resources Dilemma: Problems, Outcomes, and Options for Sustainable Land Restoration
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2362; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9122362
Received: 27 October 2017 / Revised: 5 December 2017 / Accepted: 16 December 2017 / Published: 18 December 2017
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 803 | PDF Full-text (1350 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Pressing issues such as water and food security, health, peace, and poverty are deeply linked to land degradation. We use China’s major land restoration programs as a case offering perspective on the existing problems in China’s major policies for improving degraded land and
[...] Read more.
Pressing issues such as water and food security, health, peace, and poverty are deeply linked to land degradation. We use China’s major land restoration programs as a case offering perspective on the existing problems in China’s major policies for improving degraded land and maintaining land resources in three dimensions. The shortcomings and outcomes in terms of biophysical consequences, socioeconomic benefits, and political goals are addressed, namely (i) non-integrated land resources management creates new problems while solving existing problems, (ii) non-participatory processes and “one-size-fits-all” measures compromise socioeconomic benefits, and (iii) implementation outcomes conflict with policy targets for sustainable land management and development. Based on discussions for more sustainable land management, we conclude that China needs to create a new mode of ‘economy and environment’ in plans and actions of restoring degraded land resources. Establishing multifunctional land-use systems based on formulating and balancing multiple benefits/services across socio-ecological sectors can be an option to achieve such a mode. At the end, recommendations are given for research and implementation that are not only vital for China but also relevant for other regions since the challenges of afforestation and sustainable land development faced in China are not unique. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Degradation and Sustainable Management of Land)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Promoting Profit Model Innovation in Animation Project in Northeast Asia: Case Study on Chinese Cultural and Creative Industry
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2361; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9122361
Received: 20 September 2017 / Revised: 5 December 2017 / Accepted: 7 December 2017 / Published: 18 December 2017
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 969 | PDF Full-text (312 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Building on a case study of three animation companies in the Chinese cultural and creative industry, this study aims to understand how profit model innovation is promoted. Due to the rapidly changing environments and resource scarcity, cultural and creative companies need to select
[...] Read more.
Building on a case study of three animation companies in the Chinese cultural and creative industry, this study aims to understand how profit model innovation is promoted. Due to the rapidly changing environments and resource scarcity, cultural and creative companies need to select the appropriate profit model according to their own key resources. The study uncovers two critical factors that promote profit model innovation in animation projects: the quantity of consumers and their consumption intention. According to these two dimensions, the authors’ analysis shows profit model innovation in animation projects can be divided into Fans mode, Popular mode, Placement mode, and Failure mode, respectively. This study provides an empirical basis for advocating profit model innovation and discusses the resource requirements of Fan mode, Popular model, and Placement mode in China’s cultural and creative industry. The authors’ research also has managerial implications that might help firms promote profit model innovation. Finally, learning and promoting the profit model of China’s animation industry in the Northeast Asia area will be conducive to Northeast Asia’s cooperation and sustainable development. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Coordinating a Two-Echelon Supply Chain under Carbon Tax
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2360; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9122360
Received: 23 November 2017 / Revised: 10 December 2017 / Accepted: 15 December 2017 / Published: 18 December 2017
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 601 | PDF Full-text (914 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, we study the impact of carbon tax on carbon emission and retail price in a two-echelon supply chain consisting of a manufacturer and a retailer. Specifically, by adopting two types of contracts, i.e., the modified wholesale price (MW) and the
[...] Read more.
In this paper, we study the impact of carbon tax on carbon emission and retail price in a two-echelon supply chain consisting of a manufacturer and a retailer. Specifically, by adopting two types of contracts, i.e., the modified wholesale price (MW) and the modified cost-sharing contract (MS), supply chain coordination is achieved, which promotes the supply chain efficiency. Our study shows that: (1) with the increase of carbon tax, both the optimal emission reduction level and the optimal retail price increase, and then keep unchanged; (2) neither MW nor MS benefits the manufacturer after the supply chain coordination; and (3) to effectively coordinate the supply chain, we propose an innovative supply chain contract that integrates the firms’ optimal decisions under MW or MS with a two part tariff contract (TPT) and a fixed fee the retailer can pay to ensure a win–win solution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Pricing Policies in Green Supply Chains with Vertical and Horizontal Competition
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2359; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9122359
Received: 20 November 2017 / Revised: 15 December 2017 / Accepted: 17 December 2017 / Published: 18 December 2017
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 568 | PDF Full-text (5306 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The paper explores the pricing policies and green strategies in a duopoly green supply chain with vertical and horizontal competition, which includes a green manufacturer, a traditional manufacturer and a common retailer. The purpose of the paper is to address the following research
[...] Read more.
The paper explores the pricing policies and green strategies in a duopoly green supply chain with vertical and horizontal competition, which includes a green manufacturer, a traditional manufacturer and a common retailer. The purpose of the paper is to address the following research problems: (1) How manufacturers’ market power influences the pricing policies and green strategies of supply chain members in a green supply chain? (2) What conditions do first-mover advantage and green competitive advantage be effective simultaneously? We establish the linear demand functions of the duopoly green supply chain and obtain the players’ optimal decisions under channel members’ different market power. Further, we conduct sensitivity analysis and numerical examples of players’ optimal decisions about consumer’s environmental awareness and greening cost effector. Based on the theoretical and numerical analysis, we find that green manufacturer would benefit from the increment of consumer’s environmental awareness but be depressed by the increase of greening cost, which is contrary to the traditional manufacturer. Additionally, correlations of retailer’ optimal decisions and profits between consumer’s environmental awareness and greening cost effector are related to the manufacturers’ market power structures. Furthermore, we find that the green competitive advantage is more effective than first-mover advantage while first-mover advantage does not always effective in the duopoly green supply chain. Specially, traditional manufacturer always prefers to be the follower competing with the green manufacturer, no matter with the variety of consumer’s environmental awareness and greening cost effector, while green manufacturer would like to be the leader only when the consumer’s environmental awareness is relatively high or the greening cost effector is relatively low. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Improved Precision and Efficiency of a Modified ORG0020 Dynamic Respiration Test Setup for Compost Stability Assessment
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2358; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9122358
Received: 21 November 2017 / Revised: 13 December 2017 / Accepted: 14 December 2017 / Published: 18 December 2017
Viewed by 1083 | PDF Full-text (1266 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The ORG0020 dynamic respiration test is effective at distinguishing source segregated organic waste derived composts across a wide range of stabilities when compared to other standard tests; however, using the original diaphragm pump and manifold setup, the test is affected by variability in
[...] Read more.
The ORG0020 dynamic respiration test is effective at distinguishing source segregated organic waste derived composts across a wide range of stabilities when compared to other standard tests; however, using the original diaphragm pump and manifold setup, the test is affected by variability in flow rate with time and across sample replicate vessels. Here, we demonstrate the use of a multichannel peristaltic pump to deliver a more consistent air flow to individual vessels. Using finished and unfinished industry compost samples from different sites with varying stabilities, we provide evidence of greater precision of the modified setup compared to the original. Furthermore, the reduced need for air flow adjustment resulted in improved running cost efficiency with less labour demand. Analysis of compost sample oxygen demand supports the current test air flow rate of 25–75 mL min−1, although the improved air flow control will enable future narrowing of the acceptable range for better inter-laboratory performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organic Waste Management)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Energy-Aware Cluster Reconfiguration Algorithm for the Big Data Analytics Platform Spark
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2357; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9122357
Received: 18 October 2017 / Revised: 11 December 2017 / Accepted: 14 December 2017 / Published: 18 December 2017
Viewed by 828 | PDF Full-text (1878 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The development of Cloud computing and data analytics technologies has made it possible to process big data faster. Distributed computing schemes, for instance, can help to reduce the time required for data analysis and thus enhance its efficiency. However, fewer researchers have paid
[...] Read more.
The development of Cloud computing and data analytics technologies has made it possible to process big data faster. Distributed computing schemes, for instance, can help to reduce the time required for data analysis and thus enhance its efficiency. However, fewer researchers have paid attention to the problem of the high-energy consumption of the cluster, placing a heavy burden on the environment, especially when the number of nodes is extremely large. As a consequence, the principle of sustainable development is violated. Considering this problem, this paper proposes an approach that can be applied to remove less-efficient nodes or to migrate over-utilized nodes of the cluster so as to adjust the load of the cluster properly and thereby achieve the goal of energy conservation. Furthermore, in order to testify the performance of the proposed methodology, we present the simulation results implemented by using CloudSim. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Ecosystem Services Value Assessment and Uneven Development of the Qingjiang River Basin in China
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2356; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9122356
Received: 11 August 2017 / Revised: 7 December 2017 / Accepted: 8 December 2017 / Published: 18 December 2017
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1217 | PDF Full-text (2998 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As an important ecological barrier in Southwest China, the Qingjiang river basin plays a vital role in shaping the mountainous terrain. This paper analyzes the Ecosystem Services Value (ESV) using a series of methods based on the data of changes in land use
[...] Read more.
As an important ecological barrier in Southwest China, the Qingjiang river basin plays a vital role in shaping the mountainous terrain. This paper analyzes the Ecosystem Services Value (ESV) using a series of methods based on the data of changes in land use from 2000 to 2015 and the statistical yearbook. The changes in land use between 2000 and 2015 were dominated by forest land, which accounted for 60.63% of the total area, followed by arable landwhich accounted for about 22.26%, while grassland and other land use contribution rates were the lowest, accounting for only about 17.11%. Environmental changes and economic development were uneven. The regional comprehensive strength of En’shi City, Changyang County, and Yidu City were among the highest, while Badong County, Hefeng County, and Wufeng County were among the lowest in the area under study. In addition, the ESV in 2035 was estimated to be 1.56 billion dollars, a decrease of 27.64% when compared with the year 2000. The ESV of Yidu City, Lichuan City, Jianshi County, and Hefeng County grew faster, at the rates of 94.76%, 65.12%, 96.96%, and 92.38%, respectively. However, the ESV of En’shi City, Badong County, Wufeng County and Xuan’en County showed a downward trend, at the rates of −32.53%, −487.80%, −368.07%, and −181.52%, respectively. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Consumer Acceptance Analysis of the Home Energy Management System
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2351; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9122351
Received: 17 November 2017 / Revised: 7 December 2017 / Accepted: 14 December 2017 / Published: 18 December 2017
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1057 | PDF Full-text (1041 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to study consumer acceptance of the Home Energy Management System, which is the next generation electronic management system that the Korean government plans to implement in households. The Home Energy Management System is a critical device in
[...] Read more.
The purpose of this paper is to study consumer acceptance of the Home Energy Management System, which is the next generation electronic management system that the Korean government plans to implement in households. The Home Energy Management System is a critical device in maximizing the efficiency of electric energy consumption for each household by using a smart grid. Because it can visualize real-time price information on the electricity, households can easily monitor and control the amount of electricity consumption. With this feature, the Home Energy Management System can contribute to consumers’ total energy savings. This is a major reason why the Korean government wishes to implement it nationwide. Since the Home Energy Management System is a product that applies new technology that has not yet been directly encountered by consumers, there may be a difference in the level of public perception of the Home Energy Management System. Therefore, the impact of consumers’ awareness of the Home Energy Management System on their intention to use is important. To do this, the Technology Acceptance Model is utilized in this study. Traditional research on the Technology Acceptance Model includes awareness of usefulness and ease of use as well as intention to use. In contrast, in this research, an extended Technology Acceptance Model with four additional factors—economic benefit, social contribution, environmental responsibility, and innovativeness—that may affect the consumer’s awareness of usefulness and ease of use, is proposed. To collect the data, the survey was conducted with 287 respondents. As a result, the proposed model proved to be suitable in explaining the intention to use with a 70.3% explanation power. It is found that economic benefit (0.231) and innovativeness (0.259) impact on usefulness of the Home Energy Management System. Moreover, usefulness (0.551) has a bigger effect on intention to use than ease of use (0.338) does. Based on this, it is desirable for the Korean government to pursue a public relations strategy that emphasizes the economic benefits, social contributions, and environmental responsibility that will be gained when introducing the Home Energy Management System. It is effective to focus on consumers who are inclined to accept innovation. In addition, more effective results can be obtained by referring to the usefulness of the Home Energy Management System rather than referring to ease of use. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle The Driving Force Analysis of NDVI Dynamics in the Trans-Boundary Tumen River Basin between 2000 and 2015
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2350; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9122350
Received: 14 November 2017 / Revised: 11 December 2017 / Accepted: 12 December 2017 / Published: 18 December 2017
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1315 | PDF Full-text (15511 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Vegetation dynamics in relation to climatic changes and anthropogenic activities is critical for terrestrial ecosystem management. The objective of this study was to investigate spatiotemporal change of vegetation and their driving forces during growing seasons (between April and October and including the spring,
[...] Read more.
Vegetation dynamics in relation to climatic changes and anthropogenic activities is critical for terrestrial ecosystem management. The objective of this study was to investigate spatiotemporal change of vegetation and their driving forces during growing seasons (between April and October and including the spring, summer and autumn) in the Tumen River Basin (TRB) using Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and climate data spanning from 2000 to 2015. A linear regression, Pearson correlation coefficients and the residual trend (RESTREND) was applied for this study. Our results demonstrate that vegetation increased during different periods of the growing season in most of the areas of the TRB over 16 years. Our results demonstrate that vegetation increased during different periods of the growing season in most of the areas of the TRB over 16 years; those in growing season (spring, summer, and autumn) were characterized by the increase in rates by 0.0012/year, 0.0022/year, 0.0011/year, and 0.0019/year, respectively. Forested regions are characterized by the largest increase (0.0021/year) in NDVI compared with other vegetation types across the entire study area. The trends in NDVI across the study area were influenced by both climatic variations and human disturbances. The human activities such as reforestation and agricultural practices are the primary driver, greater than climatic factors, during growing season, including summer and autumn. Temperature and precipitation has had a significant influence on NDVI in a limited area (temp = 0.86%, p < 0.05 and precipitation = 1.93%, p < 0.05) during growing season. The significant role of precipitation on NDVI change throughout growing season and the summer is larger than that of temperature across the TRB, although the influence of the latter becomes most significant during the spring and autumn. The RESTREND method shows that human activity during the growing season, including the spring, summer, and autumn, have led to enhancements in NDVI across more than 70% of the TRB over the last 16 years, with the most significant improvements seen in forested land and farmland. At the same time, a significant reduction in residual (i.e., degraded areas) NDVI values for different growing seasons had characterized farmland and urban land at low altitudes. This study provides important background information regarding the influence of human activities on land degradation and provides a scientific foundation for the development of ecological restoration policies within the TRB. We found that the RESTREND method can be used to detect human drivers of vegetation in the regions with semi-humid and humid monsoon, where the significant correlation between NDVI and climatic factors exists. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview Disease Diagnosis in Smart Healthcare: Innovation, Technologies and Applications
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2309; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9122309
Received: 18 October 2017 / Revised: 7 December 2017 / Accepted: 8 December 2017 / Published: 18 December 2017
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1577 | PDF Full-text (518 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
To promote sustainable development, the smart city implies a global vision that merges artificial intelligence, big data, decision making, information and communication technology (ICT), and the internet-of-things (IoT). The ageing issue is an aspect that researchers, companies and government should devote efforts in
[...] Read more.
To promote sustainable development, the smart city implies a global vision that merges artificial intelligence, big data, decision making, information and communication technology (ICT), and the internet-of-things (IoT). The ageing issue is an aspect that researchers, companies and government should devote efforts in developing smart healthcare innovative technology and applications. In this paper, the topic of disease diagnosis in smart healthcare is reviewed. Typical emerging optimization algorithms and machine learning algorithms are summarized. Evolutionary optimization, stochastic optimization and combinatorial optimization are covered. Owning to the fact that there are plenty of applications in healthcare, four applications in the field of diseases diagnosis (which also list in the top 10 causes of global death in 2015), namely cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus, Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, and tuberculosis, are considered. In addition, challenges in the deployment of disease diagnosis in healthcare have been discussed. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Back to Top