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Sustainability, Volume 9, Issue 7 (July 2017)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) This paper presents, compares and discusses seven different cases of Collaborative Food Alliances, [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Land Development Suitability Evaluation of Pingtan Island Based on Scenario Analysis and Landscape Ecological Quality Evaluation
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1292; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9071292
Received: 31 May 2017 / Revised: 18 July 2017 / Accepted: 18 July 2017 / Published: 24 July 2017
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Abstract
With the acceleration of urbanization and industrialization, regional development is becoming increasingly disordered. Thus, how to balance economic development and ecological protection is a key question. To comprehensively evaluate land development suitability, an evaluation index system for construction land and farmland suitability was
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With the acceleration of urbanization and industrialization, regional development is becoming increasingly disordered. Thus, how to balance economic development and ecological protection is a key question. To comprehensively evaluate land development suitability, an evaluation index system for construction land and farmland suitability was established in this study based on natural and social-economic information. After selecting an island in China as the main case study in this work, the reference method was applied in grading and value assigning for all indices. In addition, the analytic hierarchy process and expert evaluation method were used to determine the index weighting. After scenario analysis was adopted in the study to analyze the impact of the policy orientation on the suitability evaluation, we finally evaluated the landscape ecological quality of different scenarios. Results showed the landscape ecological quality of a coordinated development scenario was the highest. The results indicated that coordinated development which takes the ecological protection and urban development into account may be a better choice for land planning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle An Explanatory Model Approach for the Spatial Distribution of Free-Floating Carsharing Bookings: A Case-Study of German Cities
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1290; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9071290
Received: 17 June 2017 / Revised: 10 July 2017 / Accepted: 14 July 2017 / Published: 24 July 2017
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Abstract
When the first free-floating carsharing operators launched their business, they did not know if it would be profitable. They often started in highly populated cities without performing extensive target group analysis, and were less concerned about fleet management. Usually, there are two main
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When the first free-floating carsharing operators launched their business, they did not know if it would be profitable. They often started in highly populated cities without performing extensive target group analysis, and were less concerned about fleet management. Usually, there are two main datasets that can be used to find areas that would have a high demand for free-floating carsharing: booking data, for measuring the actual demand; and land use and census data for describing the activities performed in different areas in a city. In this paper, we aim to use this information to help predict the demand of free-floating carsharing systems. We use booking data provided by DriveNow for Berlin in 2014 and contextual information about the type of activity each neighborhood has. Using Berlin as a case study, we apply a negative binomial statistical model to explain the number of bookings. From the results, we conclude that free-floating carsharing is predominantly successful in areas with more affluent citizens who are open to trying new and sustainable technologies. Other important determinants that result in a high number of carsharing bookings are the area’s centrality and parking lot availability. The statistical model for Berlin was then transferred to Munich and Cologne, two other cities in Germany with similar population sizes. A comparison between the estimated demand categories and actual bookings shows satisfying results, but also non-negligible local conditions influencing the spatial demand for bookings. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Investigating Citizen Behavior Intention on Mandatory and Voluntary Pro-Environmental Programs through a Pro-Environmental Planned Behavior Model
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1289; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9071289
Received: 12 May 2017 / Revised: 5 July 2017 / Accepted: 18 July 2017 / Published: 24 July 2017
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Abstract
The present study was aimed at measuring citizens’ behavior intention (BI) regarding mandatory and voluntary pro-environmental programs. Two pro-environmental activities, which consist of an environmental impact assessment (EIA) as a mandatory program and ecolabel products as a voluntary program, were predicted by a
[...] Read more.
The present study was aimed at measuring citizens’ behavior intention (BI) regarding mandatory and voluntary pro-environmental programs. Two pro-environmental activities, which consist of an environmental impact assessment (EIA) as a mandatory program and ecolabel products as a voluntary program, were predicted by a pro-environmental planned behavior (PEPB) model. A total of 240 questionnaire data on the EIA subject and 213 questionnaire data on the ecolabel subject were analyzed using structural equation modeling. The analysis results show that the PEPB model is able to describe 60% of BI regarding the EIA subject and 77% of citizen BI regarding the ecolabel product subject. Attitude (AT) was revealed to be the lowest direct influence factor of citizen BI regarding the EIA participation result. For the ecolabel products, AT was explored as the strongest factor. Practical suggestions described in this research can be used as a consideration for company management as well as for policy makers to formulate their efforts to improve citizen BI in order to support voluntary and mandatory pro-environmental programs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Parameter Estimation of the Farquhar—von Caemmerer—Berry Biochemical Model from Photosynthetic Carbon Dioxide Response Curves
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1288; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9071288
Received: 26 April 2017 / Revised: 15 July 2017 / Accepted: 19 July 2017 / Published: 24 July 2017
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Abstract
The Farquhar—von Caemmerer—Berry (FvCB) biochemical model of photosynthesis, commonly used to estimate CO2 assimilation at various spatial scales from leaf to global, has been used to assess the impacts of climate change on crop and ecosystem productivities. However, it is widely known
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The Farquhar—von Caemmerer—Berry (FvCB) biochemical model of photosynthesis, commonly used to estimate CO2 assimilation at various spatial scales from leaf to global, has been used to assess the impacts of climate change on crop and ecosystem productivities. However, it is widely known that the parameters in the FvCB model are difficult to accurately estimate. The objective of this study was to assess the methods of Sharkey et al. and Gu et al., which are often used to estimate the parameters of the FvCB model. We generated An/Ci datasets with different data accuracies, numbers of data points, and data point distributions. The results showed that neither method accurately estimated the parameters; however, Gu et al.’s approach provided slightly better estimates. Using Gu et al.’s approach and datasets with measurement errors and the same accuracy as a typical open gas exchange system (i.e., Li-6400), the majority of the estimated parameters—Vcmax (maximal Rubisco carboxylation rate), Kco (effective Michaelis-Menten coefficient for CO2), gm (internal (mesophyll) conductance to CO2 transport) and Γ* (chloroplastic CO2 photocompensation point)—were underestimated, while the majority of Rd (day respiration) and α (the non-returned fraction of the glycolate carbon recycled in the photorespiratory cycle) were overestimated. The distributions of Tp (the rate of triose phosphate export from the chloroplast) were evenly dispersed around the 1:1 line using both approaches. This study revealed that a high accuracy of leaf gas exchange measurements and sufficient data points are required to correctly estimate the parameters for the biochemical model. The accurate estimation of these parameters can contribute to the enhancement of food security under climate change through accurate predictions of crop and ecosystem productivities. A further study is recommended to address the question of how the measurement accuracies can be improved. Full article
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Open AccessArticle An Analysis of the Global Applicability of Ostrom’s Design Principles to Diagnose the Functionality of Common-Pool Resource Institutions
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1287; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9071287
Received: 24 May 2017 / Revised: 5 July 2017 / Accepted: 13 July 2017 / Published: 24 July 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1160 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
There are a number of gaps in reviews relating Ostrom’s design principles (DPs) to common-pool resource (CPR) institutions. These include the geographical distribution of CPRs, the performance of young CPRs relative to the DPs, and the relationship between robustness and success in adherence
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There are a number of gaps in reviews relating Ostrom’s design principles (DPs) to common-pool resource (CPR) institutions. These include the geographical distribution of CPRs, the performance of young CPRs relative to the DPs, and the relationship between robustness and success in adherence to the DPs. to This research aims to: (i) explicitly analyze the geographical distribution of the case studies that have used the DPs, (ii) explore the relationship between the DPs and young CPR institutions, (iii) examine the relationship between robustness and success of CPR institutions based on the DPs, and (iv) identify additional factors contributing to the performance of CPR institutions. In relation to Ostrom’s DPs, the CPRs under review involve management only by the community, co-management between the community and the state, and co-management between the community and non-governmental organizations. The results show that: DPs have been applied in all the inhabited continents; the expression of the DPs is affected by the geographical settings; the DPs do not conclusively diagnose the functionality of young and viable CPR institutions, whereas they may do so for either the short-lived (failed) or the long-lasting institutions; the relationship between robustness and success appears weak; and there are additional factors that contribute to the outcomes of CPR management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Governance for Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Eco-Friendly Brands to Drive Sustainable Development: Replication and Extension of the Brand Experience Scale in a Cross-National Context
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1286; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9071286
Received: 12 June 2017 / Revised: 19 July 2017 / Accepted: 20 July 2017 / Published: 24 July 2017
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Abstract
The purpose of this study is to explore how consumers perceive eco-friendliness in their brand experiences and how this can be measured cross-nationally. This is a replication-extension study based on an existing brand experience scale. Data were collected in India and Finland from
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The purpose of this study is to explore how consumers perceive eco-friendliness in their brand experiences and how this can be measured cross-nationally. This is a replication-extension study based on an existing brand experience scale. Data were collected in India and Finland from smartphone users (N = 1008). The fitness of the brand experience model is validated cross-nationally with structural equation modeling. The empirical data consisting of consumers’ responses on the Apple, Samsung, and Nokia brands confirm that there is a unique dimension of eco-friendliness in the general brand experiences of consumers, and it is generalizable cross-nationally in India and Finland. The study presents a consumer-focused measure of sustainable development that could be used to track how consumers perceive the eco-friendliness of brands. The paper links consumer experiences that guide sustainable consumption behavior to the macro-level management of sustainable development. This paper extends previous research on brand experience measurement by testing cross-nationally a scale including a dimension for measuring eco-friendliness. The brand experience measurement scale could aid companies in tracking the success of their sustainable development initiatives on the brand level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Time-Spatial Convergence of Air Pollution and Regional Economic Growth in China
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1284; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9071284
Received: 28 June 2017 / Revised: 18 July 2017 / Accepted: 21 July 2017 / Published: 23 July 2017
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Abstract
The haze pollution caused by fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) emissions has become one of the most crucial topics of sustainable environmental governance in China. Using the average concentration of PM 2.5 in China’s key cities from 2000 to 2012, as measured by
[...] Read more.
The haze pollution caused by fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) emissions has become one of the most crucial topics of sustainable environmental governance in China. Using the average concentration of PM 2.5 in China’s key cities from 2000 to 2012, as measured by aerosol optical depth, this study tested the time-spatial convergence of fine particulate matter pollution in China. The results show that there is a trend of absolute convergence between timespan and China’s PM 2.5 emissions. At the same time, in the geographic areas divided by the east, middle and west zones, there is a significant difference in the convergence rate of PM 2.5. The growth rate of PM 2.5 in the middle and west zones is significantly higher than that of the east zone. The correlation test between regional economic growth and PM 2.5 emissions suggest a significant positive N-type Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) after considering spatial lag and spatial error effect. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Ancient Irrigation Canals Mapped from Corona Imageries and Their Implications in Juyan Oasis along the Silk Road
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1283; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9071283
Received: 30 May 2017 / Revised: 7 July 2017 / Accepted: 18 July 2017 / Published: 23 July 2017
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Abstract
Historical records and archaeological discoveries have shown that prosperous agricultural activities developed in the ancient Juyan Oasis of northwestern China, an important oasis that once flourished on the ancient Silk Road. However, how the irrigation canals were distributed in historical time was unknown.
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Historical records and archaeological discoveries have shown that prosperous agricultural activities developed in the ancient Juyan Oasis of northwestern China, an important oasis that once flourished on the ancient Silk Road. However, how the irrigation canals were distributed in historical time was unknown. Here, we identified and mapped the spatial distribution of ancient abandoned irrigation canals that were built using CORONA photographs and field inspections. This work found that ancient irrigation canals are large-scale and distributed throughout the desertified environment, with three hierarchical organization of first-, second-, and third-order irrigation canals (the total length of the first- and second-order-irrigation canals is dramatically more than 392 km). This study further indicates that ancient irrigation methods and modern irrigation systems in arid regions of China share the same basic irrigation design. New visual and fine-scale evidence and spatial distribution of irrigation canals are provided to illustrate the development of the ancient irrigated agriculture that occurred in the Juyan Oasis. This work is useful for readers who are interested in the construction and organization approaches of irrigation canals used in ancient irrigated agriculture in arid regions. It also has implications for how ancient people balance the relationships between human needs and the eco-environment using reasonable water management methods, especially for decision-making in the efficient usage of limited water resources in the arid inland river basin. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Estimating the Contribution of New Seed Cultivars to Increases in Crop Yields: A Case Study for Corn
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1282; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9071282
Received: 30 June 2017 / Revised: 11 July 2017 / Accepted: 18 July 2017 / Published: 22 July 2017
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Abstract
Sustainability in agricultural development relies on continuing seed (cultivar) development and adoption. Measuring the contribution made by new seed cultivars to yield increases nationwide is essential, but this process remains challenging for academics. This study develops a method to estimate the overall contribution
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Sustainability in agricultural development relies on continuing seed (cultivar) development and adoption. Measuring the contribution made by new seed cultivars to yield increases nationwide is essential, but this process remains challenging for academics. This study develops a method to estimate the overall contribution of new seed cultivars to crop yield increases by dividing the study period into several diffusion periods in terms of the replacement in major seed cultivars, and by defining a yield response model incorporating a series of dummy variables to capture net increases due to new cultivars’ diffusion in each period. According to this method, corn cultivars tested in the period from 1980 to 2013 in China can be divided into five periods. Significant increases in corn yields due to cultivar replacement were captured, and the contributions over the base period were calculated as 61.7%, 47.6%, 46.0%, and 48.9% for periods 2, 3, 4, and 5, respectively. Their respective contributions over the previous periods were therefore 61.7%, 34.6%, 26.7% and 56.7%. Estimation results indicate that the introduction of new corn seed cultivars significantly contributed to corn yield increase. This method is likely to have practical applications for other crops or livestock. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle Selecting Persuasive Strategies and Game Design Elements for Encouraging Energy Saving Behavior
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1281; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9071281
Received: 28 May 2017 / Revised: 14 July 2017 / Accepted: 19 July 2017 / Published: 21 July 2017
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Abstract
Design for sustainable behavior has become more important for product or service design considering environmental sustainability in the use stage. The goal of this work is to specifically help design for encouraging energy-saving behavior in selecting effective persuasive design strategies and game design
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Design for sustainable behavior has become more important for product or service design considering environmental sustainability in the use stage. The goal of this work is to specifically help design for encouraging energy-saving behavior in selecting effective persuasive design strategies and game design elements by considering users’ differences. The work begins with screening commonly employed persuasive strategies based on literature and the analysis of existing cases in design for energy-saving behavior. Secondly, a questionnaire survey is conducted to investigate the possible demographic differences on the persuasiveness of the selected persuasive strategies. Thirdly, the selected persuasive strategies are mapped to twenty-nine useful game design elements via an affinity diagram method. The results could help designers choose effective persuasive strategies and game design elements for different user groups. At the end, an illustrative example is presented to show the application potential in design for energy-saving behavior. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Analysis of Rainfall-Induced Landslide on Unsaturated Soil Slopes
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1280; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9071280
Received: 30 May 2017 / Revised: 14 July 2017 / Accepted: 20 July 2017 / Published: 21 July 2017
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Abstract
This paper investigates rainfall-induced landslides on partially saturated soil slopes using the 2011 Umyeonsan landslides at the center of Seoul, Korea. An integrated analysis of rainfall-induced landslide was carried out through laboratory tests, field tests, and numerical analysis. The results of comprehensive investigations
[...] Read more.
This paper investigates rainfall-induced landslides on partially saturated soil slopes using the 2011 Umyeonsan landslides at the center of Seoul, Korea. An integrated analysis of rainfall-induced landslide was carried out through laboratory tests, field tests, and numerical analysis. The results of comprehensive investigations in the Umyeonsan region demonstrate that landslide activity is closely related primarily to rainfall and soil properties and slope geometry, and vegetation. Numerical analysis was also performed to confirm the effect of these factors on landslide occurrence. Special attention was given to rainfall penetration analysis to determine the wetting band depth for shallow and deep-seated slope failure in watershed-scale landslide. The simulated results agree closely with the investigation results, which indicates that the applied method is appropriate for use in the simulation of landslides in unsaturated soils. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Long Term Quantification of Climate and Land Cover Change Impacts on Streamflow in an Alpine River Catchment, Northwestern China
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1278; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9071278
Received: 11 April 2017 / Revised: 11 July 2017 / Accepted: 19 July 2017 / Published: 20 July 2017
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Abstract
Quantifying the long term impacts of climate and land cover change on streamflow is of great important for sustainable water resources management in inland river basins. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model was employed to simulate the streamflow in the upper
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Quantifying the long term impacts of climate and land cover change on streamflow is of great important for sustainable water resources management in inland river basins. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model was employed to simulate the streamflow in the upper reaches of Heihe River Basin, northwestern China, over the last half century. The Sequential Uncertainty Fitting algorithm (SUFI-2) was selected to calibrate and validate the SWAT model. The results showed that both Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE) and determination coefficient (R2) were over 0.93 for calibration and validation periods, the percent bias (PBIAS) of the two periods were—3.47% and 1.81%, respectively. The precipitation, average, maximum, and minimum air temperature were all showing increasing trends, with 14.87 mm/10 years, 0.30 °C/10 years, 0.27 °C/10 year, and 0.37 °C/10 years, respectively. Runoff coefficient has increased from 0.36 (averaged during 1964 to 1988) to 0.39 (averaged during 1989 to 2013). Based on the SWAT simulation, we quantified the contribution of climate and land cover change to streamflow change, indicated that the land cover change had a positive impact on river discharge by increasing 7.12% of the streamflow during 1964 to 1988, and climate change contributed 14.08% for the streamflow increasing over last 50 years. Meanwhile, the climate change impact was intensive after 2000s. The increasing of streamflow contributed to the increasing of total streamflow by 64.1% for cold season (November to following March) and 35.9% for warm season (April to October). The results provide some references for dealing with climate and land cover change in an inland river basin for water resource management and planning. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Spatial Variations and Determinants of Per Capita Household CO2 Emissions (PHCEs) in China
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1277; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9071277
Received: 19 June 2017 / Revised: 17 July 2017 / Accepted: 18 July 2017 / Published: 20 July 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (4160 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In China, household CO2 emissions (HCEs) are increasing due to economic development and accelerated urbanization. This paper details the spatial variations of per capita household CO2 emissions (PHCEs) in China and the factors impacting PHCEs using spatial statistical analysis and a
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In China, household CO2 emissions (HCEs) are increasing due to economic development and accelerated urbanization. This paper details the spatial variations of per capita household CO2 emissions (PHCEs) in China and the factors impacting PHCEs using spatial statistical analysis and a spatial panel data model for the period from 1997 to 2014. Our results indicate that (1) there has been high provincial variation in rates of change across China, with some provinces’ PHCEs increasing by an order of magnitude from 1997 to 2014; (2) the Global Moran’s I of PHCEs are above 0, and the spatial differences between PHCEs are caused by the High-High cluster and Low-Low cluster in China; (3) a 1% increase of per capita income, education level, and urbanization will result in increases in PHCEs of 0.6990%, 0.0149%, and 0.0044%, respectively, whilst a 1% increase in household size will result in a 0.0496% decrease in PHCEs. There are a large number of factors impacting CO2 emissions, while there is little specific guidance on the spatial variations and provincial characteristics of CO2 emissions from the perspective of household consumption. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Electrical Energy Storage Systems Feasibility; the Case of Terceira Island
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1276; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9071276
Received: 25 May 2017 / Revised: 23 June 2017 / Accepted: 7 July 2017 / Published: 20 July 2017
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Abstract
The Azores Regional Government, through the Sustainable Energy Action Plan for the Azorean Islands, assumed that by the year 2018, 60% of electricity would be generated from renewable energy sources. Nevertheless, by increasing renewable energy sources share in the electricity mix, peak energy
[...] Read more.
The Azores Regional Government, through the Sustainable Energy Action Plan for the Azorean Islands, assumed that by the year 2018, 60% of electricity would be generated from renewable energy sources. Nevertheless, by increasing renewable energy sources share in the electricity mix, peak energy that exceeds grid capacity cannot be used unless when considering energy storage systems. Therefore, this article aims at determining, among batteries and Pumped Hydro Systems, the most cost-effective energy storage system to deploy in Terceira Island, along with geothermal, wind, thermal and bio waste energy, while considering demand and supply constraints. It is concluded that a pumped hydro system sited in Serra do Morião-Nasce Água is the best option for storage of the excess generated energy when compared with batteries. However, further studies should analyze environmental constraints. It is demonstrated that by increasing the storage power capacity, a pumped hydro system improves its cost efficiency when compared with batteries. It is also demonstrated that, to ensure quality, economic feasibility, reliability and a reduction of external costs, it is preferable to replace fuel-oil by wind to generate electricity up to a conceivable technical limit, while building a pumped hydro system, or dumping the excess peak energy generated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Security and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Normative Alignment, Institutional Resilience and Shifts in Legal Governance of the Energy Transition
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1273; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9071273
Received: 30 April 2017 / Revised: 25 June 2017 / Accepted: 12 July 2017 / Published: 20 July 2017
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (2354 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In Europe, the energy transition by means of a governance shift through liberalization is followed by a transition and shift towards community energy initiatives, with a particular view of supporting the demand for greater energy sustainability. What institutional legal consequences, as constraints and
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In Europe, the energy transition by means of a governance shift through liberalization is followed by a transition and shift towards community energy initiatives, with a particular view of supporting the demand for greater energy sustainability. What institutional legal consequences, as constraints and opportunities for lawful behaviour, follow from a shift in legal governance towards facilitating resilient community energy services? This conceptual article looks for an answer to this question by combining governance theory with Ostrom’s IAD-framework and Institutional Legal Theory. A key aspect is understanding normative alignment (as institutional conduciveness and resilience) in relation to the possible shift from the current institutional environment of regulated energy market to that of a community energy network. The heuristic and analytical (design) relevance of the approach is illustrated with two policy examples contrasting the energy democratization and energy expansion frames, and discussed also in the perspective of energy governance experimentation with community energy initiatives in The Netherlands. Three scenarios of shifts in legal governance are identified. The key issue in legal governance design is the choice between these, particularly with respect to the integrity of institutional environments in terms of former frames to provide proper guidance to operational (experimental) activity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Curvilinear Relationship between Corporate Innovation and Environmental Sustainability
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1267; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9071267
Received: 7 June 2017 / Revised: 3 July 2017 / Accepted: 11 July 2017 / Published: 20 July 2017
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Abstract
This paper proposes and tests the impacts of firms’ innovation activities, such as patents, on their involvement in environmental sustainability, such as environmental performance. Combining resource allocation and eco-innovation perspectives assuming constant levels of trade-off costs, this study proposes diminishing trade-off costs between
[...] Read more.
This paper proposes and tests the impacts of firms’ innovation activities, such as patents, on their involvement in environmental sustainability, such as environmental performance. Combining resource allocation and eco-innovation perspectives assuming constant levels of trade-off costs, this study proposes diminishing trade-off costs between corporate innovation and environmental sustainability. Specifically, this research hypothesizes a U-shaped relationship, suggesting that a firm will suffer trade-off costs between innovation and environment-oriented activities up to a certain level, and that once a firm accumulates an adequate level of innovation, it may reduce trade-off costs, caring more for environmental issues. A proposed hypothesis is supported by empirical testing of a sample of 11,657 firm-year observations with 1564 firms, spanning from 1991 to 2010. We also found that corporate patenting activities are relevant to undesirable impacts on environmental performance overall, instead of satisfying outcomes. We suggest that firms and managers should care for environmental sustainability issues once they accumulate an adequate level of innovation assets through patenting activities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Determination of the Suitability of Some American Grapevine Rootstocks as a New Edible Landscape Component of Vertical Gardens
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1275; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9071275
Received: 18 April 2017 / Revised: 13 July 2017 / Accepted: 13 July 2017 / Published: 19 July 2017
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Abstract
In this study, grapevine was used as the research material. This plant which epitomizes the opinion that vertical gardens can have a positive influence on human psychology with their beautiful view, e.g., the hanging gardens of Babylon about 2500 years ago. The study
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In this study, grapevine was used as the research material. This plant which epitomizes the opinion that vertical gardens can have a positive influence on human psychology with their beautiful view, e.g., the hanging gardens of Babylon about 2500 years ago. The study in question was conducted in 2016 at Bingol University, Faculty of Agriculture, the Department of Garden Plants research and application area. The offshoot growth was measured in a fertilizer experiment that formed the control, first application (200 g/100 L water, leaf) and second application (100 g/100 L water + 20% leaf + root). Moreover, the plant’s footprint in the vertical area was determined. The average offshoot growth of 1103 P American grapevine rootstock in the first and second applications was measured as 61.5 cm and 39.5 cm respectively, and it was 43.0 cm and 51.0 for C American grapevine rootstock. The average growth of 1103 P and 1616 C American grapevine in the control group was determined as 30.6 cm and 32.1 cm. The average growth of both American grapevine rootstocks used in the experiment was determined to be higher for the first and second applications than the controls. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Spatial Modelling of Urban Physical Vulnerability to Explosion Hazards Using GIS and Fuzzy MCDA
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1274; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9071274
Received: 6 May 2017 / Revised: 15 July 2017 / Accepted: 17 July 2017 / Published: 19 July 2017
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Abstract
Most of the world’s population is concentrated in accumulated spaces in the form of cities, making the concept of urban planning a significant issue for consideration by decision makers. Urban vulnerability is a major issue which arises in urban management, and is simply
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Most of the world’s population is concentrated in accumulated spaces in the form of cities, making the concept of urban planning a significant issue for consideration by decision makers. Urban vulnerability is a major issue which arises in urban management, and is simply defined as how vulnerable various structures in a city are to different hazards. Reducing urban vulnerability and enhancing resilience are considered to be essential steps towards achieving urban sustainability. To date, a vast body of literature has focused on investigating urban systems’ vulnerabilities with regard to natural hazards. However, less attention has been paid to vulnerabilities resulting from man-made hazards. This study proposes to investigate the physical vulnerability of buildings in District 6 of Tehran, Iran, with respect to intentional explosion hazards. A total of 14 vulnerability criteria are identified according to the opinions of various experts, and standard maps for each of these criteria have been generated in a GIS environment. Ultimately, an ordered weighted averaging (OWA) technique was applied to generate vulnerability maps for different risk conditions. The results of the present study indicate that only about 25 percent of buildings in the study area have a low level of vulnerability under moderate risk conditions. Sensitivity analysis further illustrates the robustness of the results obtained. Finally, the paper concludes by arguing that local authorities must focus more on risk-reduction techniques in order to reduce physical vulnerability and achieve urban sustainability. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Metrics of Urban Sustainability: A Case Study of Changing Downtowns in Thunder Bay, Canada
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1272; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9071272
Received: 18 April 2017 / Revised: 10 July 2017 / Accepted: 11 July 2017 / Published: 19 July 2017
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Abstract
Thunder Bay, a medium-sized city in Northern Ontario, has a twin downtown core model, arising from the merging of two former cities in 1970. Its north core, designated as the City’s Entertainment District has received considerable investment, notably a major waterfront renewal project
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Thunder Bay, a medium-sized city in Northern Ontario, has a twin downtown core model, arising from the merging of two former cities in 1970. Its north core, designated as the City’s Entertainment District has received considerable investment, notably a major waterfront renewal project undertaken in 2009 as part of an overall strategy towards downtown revitalization. Greater diversity of commercial functions and increasing residential capacity in downtowns are considered positive steps towards sustainable urban development. It is hoped the leadership taken by the City in its downtown capital investments can stimulate others (corporations and individuals) to re-invest in both living and working in more central locations to the benefit of environmental sustainability indicators like journey-to-work (distance and mode selected) and residential density. This article tracks changes in business composition and residential capacity during a five year period via the development of an intensive database of business and institutional activities. Urban sustainability metrics developed include residential capacity and density, business vacancy rates and business composition and turnover, which complement an existing measure of land-use diversity developed in earlier research. While major capital investments in downtown revitalization (such as the waterfront project) have fairly long-term impact horizons, data suggest some positive trends in the developed metrics in the downtown north core since 2009. In particular, there have been notable investments in waterfront condos and downtown lofts and some diversification in the food retailing and restaurant sectors. However, overall trends in downtown commerce are currently flat, indicative of a struggling local economy and a continued suburbanization of key commercial sectors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Assessment of Land Use and Land Cover)
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Open AccessArticle Differences in Infiltration and Evaporation of Diesel and Gasoline Droplets Spilled onto Concrete Pavement
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1271; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9071271
Received: 15 June 2017 / Accepted: 13 July 2017 / Published: 19 July 2017
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Abstract
Pollution at gas stations due to small spills that occur during vehicle refueling have received little attention. We have performed laboratory experiments to assess evaporation and infiltration of fuel spilled onto concrete. Changes in the concrete mass after small amounts of diesel and
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Pollution at gas stations due to small spills that occur during vehicle refueling have received little attention. We have performed laboratory experiments to assess evaporation and infiltration of fuel spilled onto concrete. Changes in the concrete mass after small amounts of diesel and gasoline were spilled have been analyzed. Variation in humidity, among other parameters, clearly affects the measured mass since condensed water is constantly added to or released from the concrete. This mass experiences an about exponential decay in time. The difference in behavior between both fuel types is important as the percentage of evaporated mass is much larger for gasoline, while infiltration is more significant for diesel. A statistical analysis suggests that the initial spill amount does not significantly affect the fraction of infiltrated fuel over time. This finding is in agreement with pore-scale simulations that we performed. A significant amount of fuel could be seeping into soil and groundwater underneath concrete pavement at gas stations or could be released to the atmosphere. Possible solutions for pavement and groundwater pollution are considered. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication The Effects of Food Waste on Wildlife and Humans
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1269; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9071269
Received: 28 April 2017 / Revised: 29 June 2017 / Accepted: 7 July 2017 / Published: 19 July 2017
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Abstract
A reduction in the loss and waste of human food is a global issue for addressing poverty and hunger in poorer nations, and for reducing the environmental footprint of the agriculture sector. An emerging issue, however, is that food wasted by humans is
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A reduction in the loss and waste of human food is a global issue for addressing poverty and hunger in poorer nations, and for reducing the environmental footprint of the agriculture sector. An emerging issue, however, is that food wasted by humans is often accessible to wildlife, affecting wildlife ecology and behaviour, as well as ecological processes and community dynamics. Here we highlight the extent of such impacts, drawing on examples from mammalian predators and other taxonomic groups. We then develop two conceptual models. The first shows how wildlife access to food waste can exacerbate human-wildlife conflicts. The second highlights that when food waste is removed, the effects on wildlife and ecosystem processes should be monitored. The conceptual models are important when considering that large quantities of food waste are intentionally and unintentionally provided to wildlife around the world. We conclude there is an urgent need to change the way people currently manage the food we produce. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Half-Precast Concrete Slab System on Construction Productivity
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1268; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9071268
Received: 6 July 2017 / Revised: 14 July 2017 / Accepted: 17 July 2017 / Published: 19 July 2017
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Abstract
A half-precast concrete slab system (HPCSS) is reported to exhibit excellent structural performance when compared with traditional slab systems. However, there is a lack of extant research examining the construction issues of an HPCSS. Thus, in this study, we analyze the construction process
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A half-precast concrete slab system (HPCSS) is reported to exhibit excellent structural performance when compared with traditional slab systems. However, there is a lack of extant research examining the construction issues of an HPCSS. Thus, in this study, we analyze the construction process and productivity of applying an HPCSS by using a simulation method with the data collected from an actual construction case. The results indicate that (i) the construction productivity of HPCSS is 1.7 times that of a traditional slab system, (ii) the cost per productivity unit of HPCSS exceeds that of a traditional slab system, and (iii) critical resources affecting the HPCSS productivity include form crew and rebar crew. The results of this study suggest that it is possible to develop an optimal construction plan of a construction site in which an HPCSS is installed, and that the HPCSS can be actively applied in the future. Full article
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Open AccessReview Sustainable Retailing in the Fashion Industry: A Systematic Literature Review
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1266; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9071266
Received: 15 April 2017 / Revised: 12 July 2017 / Accepted: 17 July 2017 / Published: 19 July 2017
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Abstract
Although sustainability in the fashion industry has gained prominence from both business practices and academic research, retailing, a vital part of the supply chain, has not yet been fairly explored in academia. The interest in this area has increased lately, mainly due to
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Although sustainability in the fashion industry has gained prominence from both business practices and academic research, retailing, a vital part of the supply chain, has not yet been fairly explored in academia. The interest in this area has increased lately, mainly due to the growing complexity within this dynamic context. Therefore, it is meaningful to conduct a systematic review of the relevant published literature in this field. This study aims to identify the main perspectives of research on sustainable retailing in the fashion industry. The content analysis results indicate that the most prominent areas in the field are sustainable retailing in disposable fashion, fast fashion, slow fashion, green branding and eco-labeling; retailing of secondhand fashion; reverse logistics in fashion retailing; and emerging retailing opportunities in e-commerce. The results from this review also indicate that there is a lack of research on sustainable retailing in the fashion industry in the developing market. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Issues in the Textile and Apparel Supply Chains)
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Open AccessArticle Predicting Energy Consumption and CO2 Emissions of Excavators in Earthwork Operations: An Artificial Neural Network Model
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1257; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9071257
Received: 17 May 2017 / Revised: 26 June 2017 / Accepted: 12 July 2017 / Published: 19 July 2017
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Abstract
Excavators are one of the most energy-intensive elements of earthwork operations. Predicting the energy consumption and CO2 emissions of excavators is therefore critical in order to mitigate the environmental impact of earthwork operations. However, there is a lack of method for estimating
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Excavators are one of the most energy-intensive elements of earthwork operations. Predicting the energy consumption and CO2 emissions of excavators is therefore critical in order to mitigate the environmental impact of earthwork operations. However, there is a lack of method for estimating such energy consumption and CO2 emissions, especially during the early planning stages of these activities. This research proposes a model using an artificial neural network (ANN) to predict an excavator’s hourly energy consumption and CO2 emissions under different site conditions. The proposed ANN model includes five input parameters: digging depth, cycle time, bucket payload, engine horsepower, and load factor. The Caterpillar handbook’s data, that included operational characteristics of twenty-five models of excavators, were used to develop the training and testing sets for the ANN model. The proposed ANN models were also designed to identify which factors from all the input parameters have the greatest impact on energy and emissions, based on partitioning weight analysis. The results showed that the proposed ANN models can provide an accurate estimating tool for the early planning stage to predict the energy consumption and CO2 emissions of excavators. Analyses have revealed that, within all the input parameters, cycle time has the greatest impact on energy consumption and CO2 emissions. The findings from the research enable the control of crucial factors which significantly impact on energy consumption and CO2 emissions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Entropy Analysis of the Coupled Human–Earth System: Implications for Sustainable Development
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1264; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9071264
Received: 24 April 2017 / Revised: 13 July 2017 / Accepted: 15 July 2017 / Published: 18 July 2017
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Abstract
Finding the basic physical foundation contributing to sustainable development is significantly useful in seeking ways to build an enduring human future. This paper introduces the dissipative structure theory to analyze the entropy budgets of the whole coupled human–Earth system and the key processes
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Finding the basic physical foundation contributing to sustainable development is significantly useful in seeking ways to build an enduring human future. This paper introduces the dissipative structure theory to analyze the entropy budgets of the whole coupled human–Earth system and the key processes of the subsystems, and then presents the formulas to calculate these entropy budgets. The results show that the total net negative entropy of the coupled human–Earth system from exchange with space is sufficient, but only about 0.0042% of it is available for sustaining the life activities of the whole coupled system and the quantity of this portion is also not more than sufficient compared with the requirement of human life activities. In addition, the rate of negative entropy consumption by human subsystem from fossil fuels for sustaining modern civilization is too large, nearly a half of the negative entropy rate obtained by photosynthesis on the Earth, which indicates that entirely substituting biomass fuels for fossil fuels may be infeasible. The strategies for sustaining human life activities and modern civilization are proposed in the study, which would provide valuable information for humans to realize sustainable development. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Considerations on Applying the Method for Assessing the Level of Safety at Work
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1263; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9071263
Received: 28 April 2017 / Revised: 10 July 2017 / Accepted: 14 July 2017 / Published: 18 July 2017
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Abstract
The application of the method for assessing the level of safety at work starts with a document that contains the cover page, the description of the company (name, location, core business, organizational chart etc.), description of the work system, a detailed list of
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The application of the method for assessing the level of safety at work starts with a document that contains the cover page, the description of the company (name, location, core business, organizational chart etc.), description of the work system, a detailed list of its components, and a brief description of the assessment method. It continues with a Microsoft Excel document, which represents the actual application of the method and, finally, there is another document presenting conclusions, proposals, and prioritizations, which leads to the execution of the Prevention and Protection Plan. The present paper approaches the issue of developing the Microsoft Excel document, an essential part of the method for assessing the level of safety at work. The document is divided into a variable number of worksheets, showing the risk categories of general, specific, and management. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Risk Assessment and Management)
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Open AccessArticle Whose Hydropower? From Conflictual Management into an Era of Reconciling Environmental Concerns; a Retake of Hydropower Governance towards Win-Win Solutions?
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1262; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9071262
Received: 15 April 2017 / Revised: 26 June 2017 / Accepted: 27 June 2017 / Published: 18 July 2017
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Abstract
Hydropower has been core in the nation-building process of several countries. This includes Sweden in which it currently supplies around 50% of the electricity and particularly Norway where almost all electricity is generated from hydropower. In these countries, as well as many others,
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Hydropower has been core in the nation-building process of several countries. This includes Sweden in which it currently supplies around 50% of the electricity and particularly Norway where almost all electricity is generated from hydropower. In these countries, as well as many others, the provision of hydroelectricity enabled urban and rural development, industrialization and other core value-added activities. However, it was realized with significant environmental costs, particularly at the local level. Traditionally, there has been a divide in perceptions on hydropower production, in which stakeholders tend to box it either as an environmental hazard or as a socio-economic benefit. During the last century, these diverging perspectives have influenced political and regulatory approaches as well as the perceived role of hydropower at large. Different attempts to bridge this divide have been made. This is not least true in the present day, considering the role of hydropower as a low-carbon solution, and a balancing source to counter increased intermittency from new renewables into the energy system. These features of contributing to the global good of mitigating climate change need to be assessed against the potential negative environmental consequences on biological diversity, outdoor recreation and landscape perceptions at large. These concerns triggered social mobilization and even became instrumental in establishing environmental NGOs with the core focus of fighting hydropower projects. Contrasting and often conflicting opinions are still prevailing, as exemplified with the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD). However, there are current signs and new knowledge available suggesting that we are moving into a new era of hydropower governance. A potential reconciliation of contrasting perceptions is pending, but there is strong inertia to change. We argue that the understanding of past political modes and regulatory approaches are essential to develop more sustainable hydropower governance systems fit for future societal and environmental needs. We currently have the benefit of drawing on lessons learned. This provides an opportunity to shape new governance systems that are more balanced in a way not experienced before. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydropower and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Determined Slum Upgrading: A Challenge to Participatory Planning in Nanga Bulik, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1261; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9071261
Received: 19 June 2017 / Revised: 13 July 2017 / Accepted: 15 July 2017 / Published: 18 July 2017
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Abstract
Indonesia has committed to accomplish “cities without slum” target in 2019 through the national program of Action Planning for Preventing and Improving the Quality of Urban Slum Settlements (RP2KPKP) launched in 2015. Nanga Bulik town in Kabupaten (Regency) Lamandau of Central Kalimantan Province
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Indonesia has committed to accomplish “cities without slum” target in 2019 through the national program of Action Planning for Preventing and Improving the Quality of Urban Slum Settlements (RP2KPKP) launched in 2015. Nanga Bulik town in Kabupaten (Regency) Lamandau of Central Kalimantan Province is among those included in the program; the RP2KPKP of which has been completed in 2016. This paper focuses on how participatory approach has been applied in the planning process. The planning has employed mostly qualitative approach with documents study, field observation, and Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) involving all stakeholders, complemented with quantitative one especially in the aspects of urban and architectural design. The findings have suggested that the community participation in Nanga Bulik case has gone beyond the requirement commanded by the Indonesian laws on development planning and spatial management to ensure the target achievement in 2019. It is crucial because a higher level of the plan implementability would ensure more sustainability of the slum improvement. Essential lessons can be learned from this real participatory planning, which could be the beginning of the third generation of planning in Indonesia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle A Community Energy Transition Model for Urban Areas: The Energy Self-Reliant Village Program in Seoul, South Korea
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1260; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9071260
Received: 12 June 2017 / Revised: 2 July 2017 / Accepted: 13 July 2017 / Published: 18 July 2017
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Abstract
While community energy initiatives are on the rise, community actions for energy transition in Asian countries have rarely been studied. While it is difficult for community energy initiatives to develop spontaneously in Seoul, there are some success stories there. This study places these
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While community energy initiatives are on the rise, community actions for energy transition in Asian countries have rarely been studied. While it is difficult for community energy initiatives to develop spontaneously in Seoul, there are some success stories there. This study places these successes in context. It analyzes municipal documents, including unpublished materials from municipal meetings, in order to examine how the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) created enabling conditions for promoting community energy initiatives. This study also conducted interviews to explore unsolved issues related to the Energy Self-Reliant Village (ESV) program. The SMG encouraged collective action through financial, administrative, and informational support. Also, this study found that Seoul’s ESV program fostered communities by raising the sense of locality and responsibility and community spirit through various educational programs. The ESV program supported the continuity of community by providing guidelines that relieved the burden on community members. The SMG played a significant role in promoting community engagement in energy transition by affecting internal and external conditions. This study provides meaningful insights that other municipalities, especially large urban areas, can follow to foster community actions for energy transition. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Effects of Greenbelt Policies on Land Development: Evidence from the Deregulation of the Greenbelt in the Seoul Metropolitan Area
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1259; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9071259
Received: 5 June 2017 / Revised: 9 July 2017 / Accepted: 12 July 2017 / Published: 18 July 2017
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Abstract
Greenbelt policies are important urban containment policies. On the one hand, they can effectively control the disorderly growth of a city; on the other hand, they can cause other social problems because of their strict control over land development. This paper uses data
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Greenbelt policies are important urban containment policies. On the one hand, they can effectively control the disorderly growth of a city; on the other hand, they can cause other social problems because of their strict control over land development. This paper uses data from 2000 and 2010 and the difference-in-differences (DID) method to evaluate the effects of greenbelt deregulation policies on urban land development in the Seoul metropolitan area (SMA) through a quasi-natural experiment. The results show that first, the deregulation of the greenbelt has significantly furthered urban land development that was not caused by economic development or other factors. Second, the greenbelt deregulation had no significant effects on urban land development in the city centers, but has furthered urban land development near the boundary of Seoul City and greenbelt boundaries. Third, in terms of the effects on land development, the greenbelt deregulation has resulted in regional heterogeneity. Specifically, the greenbelt deregulation has had a significant impact on the urban land development in the southern section of the Han River, whereas the effects of the greenbelt deregulation in the northern area of the Han River are not as obvious. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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