Editor's Choice Articles

Editor’s Choice articles are based on recommendations by the scientific editors of MDPI journals from around the world. Editors select a small number of articles recently published in the journal that they believe will be particularly interesting to authors, or important in this field. The aim is to provide a snapshot of some of the most exciting work published in the various research areas of the journal.

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Editorial

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Editorial
Collaboration, Adaptation, and Scaling: Perspectives on Environmental Governance for Sustainability
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 679; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10030679 - 02 Mar 2018
Cited by 19
Abstract
In preview of the special issue on “Environmental Governance for Sustainability”, this manuscript examines three key themes on governance and sustainability. Governance for sustainability, by its nature, requires long-enduring institutional arrangements. Given the complex adaptive systems in which governance decision-making takes place, we [...] Read more.
In preview of the special issue on “Environmental Governance for Sustainability”, this manuscript examines three key themes on governance and sustainability. Governance for sustainability, by its nature, requires long-enduring institutional arrangements. Given the complex adaptive systems in which governance decision-making takes place, we explore three key characteristics of successful, long-term governance. The first of these is working across scale. This includes nested institutions as well as communication and coordination both horizontally and vertically between diverse governance groups. Second, we highlight the importance of collaboration. Building on the previous point, we draw on literature from collaborative governance and co-management to emphasize how collaboration can help to build more enduring governance structures. Third, we examine the importance of adaptation and evolution in the resolution of collective action dilemmas in complex systems filled with nonlinearities, unclear causal chains, and environments in which we have less than a full understanding of the ramifications of governance actions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Governance for Sustainability)

Research

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Article
Urban Structure in Troubled Times: The Evolution of Principal and Secondary Core/Periphery Gaps through the Prism of Residential Land Values
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5722; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13105722 - 20 May 2021
Abstract
The structure of modern cities is characterized by the uneven spatial distribution of people and activities. Contrary to economic theory, it is neither evenly distributed nor entirely monocentric. The observed reality is the result of various feedbacks in the context of the interactions [...] Read more.
The structure of modern cities is characterized by the uneven spatial distribution of people and activities. Contrary to economic theory, it is neither evenly distributed nor entirely monocentric. The observed reality is the result of various feedbacks in the context of the interactions of attraction and repulsion. Heretofore, there is no agreement concerning the means to measuring the dimensions of these interactions, nor the framework for explaining them. We propose a simple model and an associated method for testing the interactions using residential land values. We claim that land values reflect the attractiveness of each location, including its observable and unobservable characteristics. We extract land values from prices of residences by applying a dedicated hedonic model to extensive residential real estate transaction data at a detailed spatial level. The resulting land values reflect the attractiveness of each urban location and are an ideal candidate to measure the degree of centrality or peripherality of each location. Moreover, assessment of land values over time indicates ongoing centralization and peripheralization processes. Using the urban structure of a small and highly urbanized country as a test case, this paper illustrates how the dynamics of the gap between central and peripheral urban areas can be assessed. Full article
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Article
Spatial Heterogeneity and Complexity of the Impact of Extreme Climate on Vegetation in China
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5748; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13105748 - 20 May 2021
Abstract
The impact of extreme climate on natural ecosystems and socioeconomic systems is more serious than that of the climate’s mean state. Based on the data of 1698 meteorological stations in China from 2001 to 2018, this study calculated the 27 extreme climate indices [...] Read more.
The impact of extreme climate on natural ecosystems and socioeconomic systems is more serious than that of the climate’s mean state. Based on the data of 1698 meteorological stations in China from 2001 to 2018, this study calculated the 27 extreme climate indices of the Expert Team on Climate Change Detection and Indices (ETCCDI). Through correlation analysis and collinearity diagnostics, we selected two representative extreme temperature indices and three extreme precipitation indices. The spatial scale of the impact of extreme climate on Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) in China during the growing season from 2001 to 2018 was quantitatively analyzed, and the complexity of the dominant factors in different regions was discussed via clustering analysis. The research results show that extreme climate indices have a scale effect on vegetation. There are spatial heterogeneities in the impacts of different extreme climate indices on vegetation, and these impacts varied between the local, regional and national scales. The relationship between the maximum length of a dry spell (CDD) and NDVI was the most spatially nonstationary, and mostly occurred on the local scale, while the effect of annual total precipitation when the daily precipitation amount was more than the 95th percentile (R95pTOT) showed the greatest spatial stability, and mainly manifested at the national scale. Under the current extreme climate conditions, extreme precipitation promotes vegetation growth, while the influence of extreme temperature is more complicated. As regards intensity and range, the impact of extreme climate on NDVI in China over the past 18 years can be categorized into five types: the humidity-promoting type, the cold-promoting and drought-inhibiting compound type, the drought-inhibiting type, the heat-promoting and drought-inhibiting compound type, and the heat-promoting and humidity-promoting compound type. Drought is the greatest threat to vegetation associated with extreme climate in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Air, Climate Change and Sustainability)
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Article
Circular Cities: What Are the Benefits of Circular Development?
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5725; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13105725 - 20 May 2021
Abstract
If cities could become regenerative and adaptive urban ecosystems, in which resource loops were closed and waste was obsolete, their ecological footprint would diminish. In addition, urban resource security would increase, the health of urban populations would improve and urban greenhouse gas emissions [...] Read more.
If cities could become regenerative and adaptive urban ecosystems, in which resource loops were closed and waste was obsolete, their ecological footprint would diminish. In addition, urban resource security would increase, the health of urban populations would improve and urban greenhouse gas emissions would be reduced. These are the principle goals under-pinning the circular city. Circular cities emerge through the process of circular development. Circular development alters cities’ systems of provision to enable circular practices of inhabitants to develop. This manifests as circular food systems and construction, water and nutrient recycling; adaptive reuse of spaces and pop-up activities; bioremediation of contaminated sites and integration of blue-green infrastructure throughout cities. To transform our cities will require significant investment, political support and public engagement. If the benefits of adopting such an approach can be identified, this will begin to make the case for support. The research presented in this paper draws on an inductive and deductive content analysis of relevant literature and interviews with those implementing circular projects in European cities (London, Paris, Amsterdam and Stockholm). It provides a clear definition of the normative concept of circular development. It creates a framework of benefits which are likely to accrue from adopting this approach. It points to the synergistic benefits emerging from circular development. It also highlights problems around valuation of those benefits, the unintended consequences of circular development and the inequalities in accessing benefits across society. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Article
Urban Planning Policies to the Renewal of Riverfront Areas: The Lisbon Metropolis Case
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5665; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13105665 - 18 May 2021
Abstract
Urban planning offers various design possibilities to solve fundamental challenges faced in urban areas. These include the need to physically renew old industrial and harbour riverside areas into liveable, inclusive and sustainable living spaces. This paper investigates the way urban planning policies have [...] Read more.
Urban planning offers various design possibilities to solve fundamental challenges faced in urban areas. These include the need to physically renew old industrial and harbour riverside areas into liveable, inclusive and sustainable living spaces. This paper investigates the way urban planning policies have helped to renew the waterfront areas in the Lisbon metropolis in the past decades. For this purpose, the contribution of the European Union (EU) and national urban development plans over the past decades are analysed. The results demonstrate an intense renewal of the waterfront areas in the Lisbon metropolitan area (LMA), particularly in Lisbon over the past three decades into leisure, ecologic and touristic areas, vis-à-vis the previous industrial and harbour vocation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Legacies of the Late 20th Century)
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Article
Towns, High Streets and Resilience in Scotland: A Question for Policy?
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5631; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13105631 - 18 May 2021
Abstract
The “death of the high street” has become a common refrain, particularly in the United Kingdom, often accompanied by calls for action and demands for improved resilience in town centres and high streets. This paper considers the policy context for towns and town [...] Read more.
The “death of the high street” has become a common refrain, particularly in the United Kingdom, often accompanied by calls for action and demands for improved resilience in town centres and high streets. This paper considers the policy context for towns and town centres in Scotland and the recent review of the country’s approach to towns, town centres and places. With the adoption of National Outcomes linked to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the declaration of a Climate Emergency, the conclusion is drawn that a more fundamental and radical shift in policy is needed, if the resilience of town centres is to have any meaning, and that a clearer and more widely understood conceptualisation of resilience needs to be developed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Retail Systems: Vulnerability, Resilience and Sustainability)
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Article
Stakeholder Expectations of Future Policy Implementation Compared to Formal Policy Trajectories: Scenarios for Agricultural Food Systems in the Mekong Delta
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5534; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13105534 - 15 May 2021
Abstract
The development of a coherent and coordinated policy for the management of large socio-agricultural systems, such as the Mekong delta in southern Vietnam, is reliant on aligning the development, delivery, and implementation of policy on national to local scales. Effective decision making is [...] Read more.
The development of a coherent and coordinated policy for the management of large socio-agricultural systems, such as the Mekong delta in southern Vietnam, is reliant on aligning the development, delivery, and implementation of policy on national to local scales. Effective decision making is linked to a coherent, broadly-shared vision of the strategic management of socio-agricultural systems. However, when policies are ambiguous, and at worst contradictory, long-term management and planning can consequently suffer. These potential adverse impacts may be compounded if stakeholders have divergent visions of the current and future states of socio-agricultural systems. Herein we used a transferable, scenario-based methodology which uses a standard quadrant matrix in order to explore both anticipated and idealized future states. Our case study was the Mekong delta. The scenario matrix was based upon two key strategic choices (axis) for the delta, derived from analysis of policy documents, literature, stakeholder engagement, and land use models. These are: (i) who will run agriculture in the future, agri-business or the established commune system; and (ii) to what degree sustainability will be incorporated into production. During a workshop meeting, stakeholders identified that agri-business will dominate future agricultural production in the delta but showed a clear concern that sustainability might consequently be undermined despite policy claims of the contrary. As such, our study highlights an important gap between national expectations and regional perspectives. Our results suggest that the new development plans for the Mekong delta (which comprise a new Master Plan and a new 5-year socio-economic development plan), which emphasize agro-business development, should adopt approaches that address concerns of sustainability as well as a more streamlined policy formulation and implementation that accounts for stakeholder concerns at both provincial and national levels. Full article
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Article
Geo-Crowdsourced Sound Level Data in Support of the Community Facilities Planning. A Methodological Proposal
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5486; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13105486 - 14 May 2021
Abstract
To reduce environmental noise pollution and to safeguard people’s well-being, it is urgently necessary to move towards sustainable urban development and reconcile demographic and economic growth with the protection and restoration of the environment and the improvement of the quality of human lives. [...] Read more.
To reduce environmental noise pollution and to safeguard people’s well-being, it is urgently necessary to move towards sustainable urban development and reconcile demographic and economic growth with the protection and restoration of the environment and the improvement of the quality of human lives. This challenge should be a concern to policymakers, who must issue regulations and define the appropriate actions for noise monitoring and management, and citizens, who must be sensitive to the problem and act accordingly. Starting from an analysis of several crowdsourcing noise data collection tools, this paper focuses on the definition of a methodology for data analysis and mapping. The sound sensing system, indeed, enables mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, to become a low-cost data collection for monitoring environmental noise. For this study, the “NoiseCapture” application developed in France by CNRS and IFSTTAR has been utilized. The measurements acquired in 2018 and 2019 at the Fisciano Campus at the University of Salerno were integrated with the kernel density estimation. This is a spatial analysis technique that allows for the elaboration of sound level density maps, defined spatially and temporally. These maps, overlaid on a campus facilities map, can become tools to support the appropriate mitigation actions. Full article
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Article
Perceived Sensory Dimensions of Green Areas: An Experimental Study on Stress Recovery
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5419; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13105419 - 12 May 2021
Abstract
Natural environments have been shown to promote health, and are, therefore, important for achieving social sustainability in cities. As cities grow and become denser, it is important to develop knowledge about the characteristics of natural environments that work to promote health. Perceived Sensory [...] Read more.
Natural environments have been shown to promote health, and are, therefore, important for achieving social sustainability in cities. As cities grow and become denser, it is important to develop knowledge about the characteristics of natural environments that work to promote health. Perceived Sensory Dimensions (PSDs) is a tool that defines eight different cultural ecosystem services. They correspond to different human needs (rest, exercise, socialising, pleasure, or security) resulting in rehabilitation and health and well-being promotion. An experiment was conducted to study the potential of PSDs to restore people who experienced stressful accidents. One hundred and fifty-seven participants were recruited and asked first to watch a film clip of serious accidents, then to look at the pictures, depicting one particular type of PSDs, while listening to its respective audio recording. Their stress levels were measured before exposure to the stressor (baseline), after exposure to the stressor (pre-test), and after exposure to a particular type of PSDs (post-test). The results show that all eight PSDs effectively provide mental recovery, but there are statistical differences in their potentials. As such, it is proposed that the combined potential of the PSDs is needed, and should be used to increase the capacity and supply of health-promoting urban green areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscape Architecture Design to Promote Well-Being)
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Article
Transport Airships for Scheduled Supply and Emergency Response in the Arctic
Sustainability 2021, 13(9), 5301; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13095301 - 10 May 2021
Abstract
As climate change progresses, the Arctic Ocean creates opportunities for new resource development and navigation routes. Such economic opportunities are attractive, but carry with them an increased risk of accidents and oil spills. Existing methods of emergency response face enormous challenges in the [...] Read more.
As climate change progresses, the Arctic Ocean creates opportunities for new resource development and navigation routes. Such economic opportunities are attractive, but carry with them an increased risk of accidents and oil spills. Existing methods of emergency response face enormous challenges in the Arctic because of its lack of transportation infrastructure and support services. Cargo airships offer a practical solution. Many airship designs are proposed that can carry over 30 tons, travel long distances at 150 km per hour, and land close to the emergency site. However, it is difficult to justify the economics of having enough capacity waiting and available to be marshaled in response to infrequent events. One solution is to develop a synergy with a new civilian cargo airship industry that can serve the regular transport needs of remote communities and mining operations. Through contingency contracts with these civilian operations, the Government of Canada could stretch its budgets and have access to the latest airship models and trained crews at locations across the Arctic. This paper gives valuable insight into the development of cargo airships. Advances in technology that make cargo airships a practical option in the 21st century are reviewed, and five competing airship designs are discussed. A case study of an existing rare earth mine proposal is used to illustrate the cost comparison of roads versus airships that could provide contingency services. Full article
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Article
How to Sustain Sustainability Monitoring in Cities: Lessons from 49 Community Indicator Initiatives across 10 Latin American Countries
Sustainability 2021, 13(9), 5133; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13095133 - 04 May 2021
Abstract
Since the 1990s, many countries have witnessed the emergence of organizations publishing environmental, social, and quality-of-life indicators at a city level in order to promote public awareness, democratic participation, and sustainability policies. Many such initiatives are short-lived, however, and reasons for their success [...] Read more.
Since the 1990s, many countries have witnessed the emergence of organizations publishing environmental, social, and quality-of-life indicators at a city level in order to promote public awareness, democratic participation, and sustainability policies. Many such initiatives are short-lived, however, and reasons for their success and failure under-researched. Using interviews, surveys, and documental data, we explored the survival rates, obstacles, and achievements of 49 initiatives in 10 Latin American countries. Contrary to those in other world regions, most initiatives have civil society stakeholders (notably universities, media, and businesses), excluding governments. Implementing citizen perception surveys proved effective to gain public attention. Several initiatives obtained name recognition and policy influence, which are significant achievements in megacities such as Bogotá, São Paulo, and Lima, where numerous NGOs vie for attention. Frequent obstacles include a lack of finances. After a seven-year period (2014–2021), 55% of the sampled initiatives remained active, ranging from 90% in Colombia to none in other countries. Organizational continuity appeared to be associated with network membership and discontinuity with diverging obstacles, including political pressures in some countries (e.g., Mexico), data scarcity in poorer ones (e.g., Bolivia), and a lack of sustained interest in relatively richer ones (e.g., Chile). Recent increases in socio-economic inequalities are strengthening the potential of community indicators. Full article
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Article
Nature-Based Solutions and Sustainable Urban Planning in the European Environmental Policy Framework: Analysis of the State of the Art and Recommendations for Future Development
Sustainability 2021, 13(9), 5021; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13095021 - 29 Apr 2021
Abstract
Sustainable urban planning (SUP) is crucial in the development of sustainable cities, as also underlined by the New Urban Agenda. Nature-based solutions (NBS) are increasingly being recognized for their potential to offer multiple benefits that are necessary in order to cope with present [...] Read more.
Sustainable urban planning (SUP) is crucial in the development of sustainable cities, as also underlined by the New Urban Agenda. Nature-based solutions (NBS) are increasingly being recognized for their potential to offer multiple benefits that are necessary in order to cope with present and future urban challenges. The European policy framework, including the recently released European Green Deal, could strongly boost the role and recognition of NBS and SUP as drivers of sustainable and inclusive urban transition. Through a content analysis of current environmental European policies, strategies and agreements, this paper provides (i) an overview of the state of the art of the environmental European policy framework and the recognized role of NBS and SUP in reaching defined objectives, and (ii) insights on where NBS and SUP could play a larger role within this framework. On this basis, the paper identifies gaps and develops recommendations for a better integration of such concepts into the current framework. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards a Sustainable Urban Planning for the Green Deal Era)
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Article
Local and Application-Specific Geodemographics for Data-Led Urban Decision Making
Sustainability 2021, 13(9), 4873; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13094873 - 26 Apr 2021
Abstract
This work seeks to introduce improvements to the traditional variable selection procedures employed in the development of geodemographic classifications. It presents a proposal for shifting from a traditional approach for generating general-purpose one-size-fits-all geodemographic classifications to application-specific classifications. This proposal addresses the recent [...] Read more.
This work seeks to introduce improvements to the traditional variable selection procedures employed in the development of geodemographic classifications. It presents a proposal for shifting from a traditional approach for generating general-purpose one-size-fits-all geodemographic classifications to application-specific classifications. This proposal addresses the recent scepticism towards the utility of general-purpose applications by employing supervised machine learning techniques in order to identify contextually relevant input variables from which to develop geodemographic classifications with increased discriminatory power. A framework introducing such techniques in the variable selection phase of geodemographic classification development is presented via a practical use-case that is focused on generating a geodemographic classification with an increased capacity for discriminating the propensity for Library use in the UK city of Leeds. Two local classifications are generated for the city, one a general-purpose classification, and the other, an application-specific classification incorporating supervised Feature Selection methods in the selection of input variables. The discriminatory power of each classification is evaluated and compared, with the result successfully demonstrating the capacity for the application-specific approach to generate a more contextually relevant result, and thus underpins increasingly targeted public policy decision making, particularly in the context of urban planning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Modelling Tools to Support Urban and Regional Planning)
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Article
Public Norms in Practices of Transitional Planning—The Case of Energy Transition in The Netherlands
Sustainability 2021, 13(8), 4454; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13084454 - 16 Apr 2021
Abstract
The fallibility of intervening in complex realities is widely recognized in planning theory. The prevailing planning approaches of the last two decades may be summarized as attempts to make planning more responsive, corrective, and resilient, and also more sociocratic vis à vis the [...] Read more.
The fallibility of intervening in complex realities is widely recognized in planning theory. The prevailing planning approaches of the last two decades may be summarized as attempts to make planning more responsive, corrective, and resilient, and also more sociocratic vis à vis the traditional government-centric rationalization of planning. These adaptations make sense, yet keep planning within the pragmatic scope of purposive aspirations and pragmatic problem solving. The pivotal statement of the article is that purposive systems run down in complex societies when not adequately sustained by institutionalizing sets of public norms. Public norms fulfil a different function than goal orientation. They provide a normative compass in times of uncertainty and set conditions to social interaction rather than organizing the performance of objectives or solving problems. The article aims to highlight the interrelationships of public norms and pragmatic strategies of planning. Empirically, the article addresses the major turning points of Dutch climate policy concerning the transitions of the electricity market, the major municipal–entrepreneurial initiatives of city-heating, and the decentralization of climate policies. The method of analysis is based on policy analysis of legislation, policy documents, and published contributions to public debates. The results of the analysis highlight the differences between the high policy aspirations and the outcomes. The results give evidence of the wicked problems in the complex energy transition. The discussion questions the mischievousness of ‘good’ planning intentions in complex social figurations, and critically examines the institutionalization of the material norms and the norms of politico-ordinance. The conclusions suggest that the social normalization of public norms in Dutch climate policies is not yet adequately materialized to effectively cope with wicked problems. Full article
Article
Flood Hazard Assessment Mapping in Burned and Urban Areas
Sustainability 2021, 13(8), 4455; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13084455 - 16 Apr 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
This study proposes a simple method to produce a flood hazard assessment map in burned and urban areas, where primary data are scarce. The study area is a municipal unit of Nea Makri, a coastal part of the eastern Attica peninsula (central Greece), [...] Read more.
This study proposes a simple method to produce a flood hazard assessment map in burned and urban areas, where primary data are scarce. The study area is a municipal unit of Nea Makri, a coastal part of the eastern Attica peninsula (central Greece), which has been strongly urbanized and suffered damage from urban fires in 2018. Six factors were considered as the parameters most controlling runoff when it overdraws the drainage system’s capacity. The analytical hierarchy process (AHP) method and a geographical information system (GIS) were utilized to create the flood hazard assessment map. The outcome revealed that the areas with highest flood hazard are distributed in the eastern and southern parts of the study area, as a result of the combination of lowlands with gentle slopes, torrential behavior of the streams, streams covered by construction, increasing urbanization and burned areas. The uncertainty and the verification analyses demonstrate a robust behavior for the model predictions, as well as reliability and accuracy of the map. Comparing the existing urban fabric and road network to the potential flood hazard areas showed that 80% of the urban areas and 50% of the road network were situated within areas prone to flood. The method may be applied to land use planning projects, flood hazard mitigation and post-fire management. Full article
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Article
Human Dimensions of Urban Blue and Green Infrastructure during a Pandemic. Case Study of Moscow (Russia) and Perth (Australia)
Sustainability 2021, 13(8), 4148; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13084148 - 08 Apr 2021
Abstract
Significant challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted that features of a modern, sustainable and resilient city should not only relate to fulfilling economic and social urban strategies, but also to functional urban design, in particular, related to urban blue and green infrastructure (BGI). [...] Read more.
Significant challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted that features of a modern, sustainable and resilient city should not only relate to fulfilling economic and social urban strategies, but also to functional urban design, in particular, related to urban blue and green infrastructure (BGI). Using results from a web-based questionnaire survey conducted May–July 2020 in Moscow (Russia) and Perth (Australia), this paper provides insights regarding citizens’ needs for and values of urban BGI as well as their changes during and after the COVID-19 restrictions. Survey data collected during the lockdown period have captured information about people’s ability to access green and blue spaces within urban BGI, inequalities in access, feelings, and values as well as needs and perceived pathways of future development of urban natural environment. In both cities, lockdowns limited access of people to green spaces which affected their mental and physical health. Survey results revealed that the quality, functionality, and location of open green spaces illustrated a disparity in distribution, meaning that in many cases several communities from particular neighborhoods suffered from limited access to BGI. Furthermore, in addition to analyzing perceptions and values of urban nature during the COVID-19 pandemic, some suggestions for improvement of urban BGI based on the survey responses are provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Urban Water Landscapes and Blue-Green Infrastructure)
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Article
Applying PCA to Deep Learning Forecasting Models for Predicting PM2.5
Sustainability 2021, 13(7), 3726; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13073726 - 26 Mar 2021
Cited by 2
Abstract
Fine particulate matter (PM2.5) is one of the main air pollution problems that occur in major cities around the world. A country’s PM2.5 can be affected not only by country factors but also by the neighboring country’s air quality factors. [...] Read more.
Fine particulate matter (PM2.5) is one of the main air pollution problems that occur in major cities around the world. A country’s PM2.5 can be affected not only by country factors but also by the neighboring country’s air quality factors. Therefore, forecasting PM2.5 requires collecting data from outside the country as well as from within which is necessary for policies and plans. The data set of many variables with a relatively small number of observations can cause a dimensionality problem and limit the performance of the deep learning model. This study used daily data for five years in predicting PM2.5 concentrations in eight Korean cities through deep learning models. PM2.5 data of China were collected and used as input variables to solve the dimensionality problem using principal components analysis (PCA). The deep learning models used were a recurrent neural network (RNN), long short-term memory (LSTM), and bidirectional LSTM (BiLSTM). The performance of the models with and without PCA was compared using root-mean-square error (RMSE) and mean absolute error (MAE). As a result, the application of PCA in LSTM and BiLSTM, excluding the RNN, showed better performance: decreases of up to 16.6% and 33.3% in RMSE and MAE values. The results indicated that applying PCA in deep learning time series prediction can contribute to practical performance improvements, even with a small number of observations. It also provides a more accurate basis for the establishment of PM2.5 reduction policy in the country. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Sustainability and Applications)
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Article
Different Levels of Smart and Sustainable Cities Construction Using e-Participation Tools in European and Central Asian Countries
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3561; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063561 - 23 Mar 2021
Abstract
Cities are developing strategies to deal with the complex challenges of global change and sustainability. These initiatives have involved the implementation of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) as a good driver for achieving sustainability because digital transformation can boost sustainable development strategies, providing [...] Read more.
Cities are developing strategies to deal with the complex challenges of global change and sustainability. These initiatives have involved the implementation of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) as a good driver for achieving sustainability because digital transformation can boost sustainable development strategies, providing opportunities to accelerate transformation. Smart City (SC) models built on empowering people in making public decisions favor access to sustainable development solutions based on knowledge and innovation. Nonetheless, SC experiences around the world denote divergent conceptions of SCs which could lead to different SCs construction. It deserves a more thorough understanding of the nature of collaboration in different settings. Therefore, this paper contributes to the debate on the different uses of ICTs in SCs construction in developing vs. developed countries, by examining the use of ICTs for creating collaborative environments in a sample of SCs in different countries, depending on their economic level, and seeking to identify differences in the objectives pursued by city governments with the use of these technologies. To achieve this aim, e-participation platforms, apps or social media platforms (European and Central Asia SCs) are examined for identifying SCs construction differences between developed vs. developing countries. The findings of this paper put an emphasis on the need for taking into account the differences among SCs in developed vs. developing countries when raking or when performance measurement is designed, because the assessment should be tailored to the cities’ particular visions and priorities for achieving their objectives. Full article
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Article
The Unsustainable Use of Sand: Reporting on a Global Problem
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3356; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063356 - 18 Mar 2021
Abstract
Sand is considered one of the most consumed natural resource, being essential to many industries, including building construction, electronics, plastics, and water filtration. This paper assesses the environmental impact of sand extraction and the problems associated with its illegal exploitation. The analysis indicates [...] Read more.
Sand is considered one of the most consumed natural resource, being essential to many industries, including building construction, electronics, plastics, and water filtration. This paper assesses the environmental impact of sand extraction and the problems associated with its illegal exploitation. The analysis indicates that extracting sand at a greater rate than that at which it is naturally replenished has adverse consequences for fauna and flora. Further, illicit mining activities compound environmental damages and result in conflict, the loss of taxes/royalties, illegal work, and losses in the tourism industry. As sea-level rise associated with climate change threatens coastal areas, sand in coastal areas will play an increasingly greater role in determining the amount of damage from floods and erosion. The present analysis points to the need for swift action to regulate sand mining, monitoring, law enforcement, and international cooperation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Impact and Nature Conservation)
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Article
Verifying the Effectiveness of Sports Event Policies for a City’s Sustainable Growth: Focusing on the Multiple Effects
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3285; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063285 - 16 Mar 2021
Abstract
This article presents empirical evidence that suggests that there are multiple effects of local government sports event hosting policies. This study is predicated on the notion that the attraction of sports events is a feature of city-level policies. The empirical analysis used a [...] Read more.
This article presents empirical evidence that suggests that there are multiple effects of local government sports event hosting policies. This study is predicated on the notion that the attraction of sports events is a feature of city-level policies. The empirical analysis used a multiple effects model, and the research employed a dual model approach: (a) a sponsorship effect model and (b) a tourism effect model. A questionnaire was administered online, and 383 cases were used for data processing. Confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling were performed using SPSS 25.0 and AMOS 25.0. (a) In the “business model”, it was confirmed that event satisfaction affected sustainable purchase intention only through the sponsor’s social image. (b) The “tourism model” confirmed that event satisfaction affected the intention to engage in positive word of mouth to recommend the destination through both forming a psychological attachment and experiencing emotional satisfaction. Among the event satisfaction factors, service satisfaction was identified as more important than facility satisfaction. As shown by the above results, satisfaction with sports events had simultaneous effects on the persistence of the sponsorship effects model and the persistence of tourism effects. The study concluded that attractive sports events promoted sustainable urban growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Article
Sustainable Urban Greening and Cooling Strategies for Thermal Comfort at Pedestrian Level
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3138; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063138 - 12 Mar 2021
Cited by 2
Abstract
The increase of the urban warming phenomenon all over the world is gaining increasing attention from scientists as well as planners and policymakers due to its adverse effects on energy consumption, health, wellbeing, and air pollution. The protection of urban areas from the [...] Read more.
The increase of the urban warming phenomenon all over the world is gaining increasing attention from scientists as well as planners and policymakers due to its adverse effects on energy consumption, health, wellbeing, and air pollution. The protection of urban areas from the outdoor warming phenomenon is one of the challenges that policy and governments have to tackle as soon as possible and in the best possible way. Among the urban heat island mitigation techniques, cool materials and urban greening are identified as the most effective solutions in reducing the urban warming phenomenon. The effects produced by the adoption of cool materials and urban forestation on the urban microclimate were investigated through a computational fluid-dynamic (CFD) model. The CFD model was calibrated and validated thanks to experimental surveys within the Catania University campus area. The urban microclimate thermal comfort analysis and assessment were carried out with the Klima–Michel Model (KMM) and Munich Energy Balance Model for Individuals (MEMI). In particular, three scenarios were performed: cool, low, and high levels of urban greening. The cool scenario, although it produces air temperature at around 1.00 °C, determines the worst condition of outdoor thermal comfort, especially at the pedestrian level. On the contrary, a high level of urban greening, obtained by the extensive green roofs together with an urban forestation, guarantees the wellbeing of pedestrians, showing more convenient values of PMV and PET. Full article
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Article
Hydrologic Performance of an Extensive Green Roof under Intensive Rain Events: Results from a Rain-Chamber Simulation
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3078; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063078 - 11 Mar 2021
Abstract
The water storage capacity of a green roof generates several benefits for the building conterminous environment. The hydrologic performance is conventionally expressed by the runoff coefficient, according to international standards and guidelines. The runoff coefficient is a dimensionless number and defines the water [...] Read more.
The water storage capacity of a green roof generates several benefits for the building conterminous environment. The hydrologic performance is conventionally expressed by the runoff coefficient, according to international standards and guidelines. The runoff coefficient is a dimensionless number and defines the water retention performance over a long period. At the scale of single rain events, characterized by varying intensity and duration, the reaction of the green roof is scarcely investigated. The purpose of this study is to highlight how an extensive green roof—having a supposed minimum water performance, compared to an intensive one—responds to real and repetitive rain events, simulated in a rain chamber with controlled rain and runoff data. The experiment provides, through cumulative curve graphs, the behavior of the green roof sample during four rainy days. The simulated rain events are based on a statistical study (summarized in the paper) of 25 years of rain data for a specific location in North Italy characterized by an average rain/year of 1100 mm. The results prove the active response of the substrate, although thin and mineral, and quick draining, in terms of water retention and detention during intense rain events. The study raises questions about how to better express the water performance of green roofs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Sustainability and Applications)
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Article
Adaptive Management of Malkumba-Coongie Lakes Ramsar Site in Arid Australia—A Free Flowing River and Wetland System
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3043; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063043 - 10 Mar 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
The Malkumba-Coongie Lakes Ramsar Site has extensive terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems (largest Ramsar Site in Oceania, 2,178,952 ha, designated in 1987), including freshwater and salt lakes, lignum swamps and river channels in central Australia. It is supplied by Cooper Creek, a free-flowing Lake [...] Read more.
The Malkumba-Coongie Lakes Ramsar Site has extensive terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems (largest Ramsar Site in Oceania, 2,178,952 ha, designated in 1987), including freshwater and salt lakes, lignum swamps and river channels in central Australia. It is supplied by Cooper Creek, a free-flowing Lake Eyre Basin river system. The area includes pastoral leases (97% of site grazed, including a regional conservation reserve (35%)) and a National Park (3%), with the largest oil and gas production field in Australia. We developed a Strategic Adaptive Management (SAM) Plan, linking science, monitoring and management of this social-ecological system, involving stakeholders and workshops. This involved developing a shared vision and hierarchy of objectives linked to management actions and identified outputs and outcomes. We exemplify this approach with explicit and measurable end-points (thresholds of potential concern) culminating from low level objectives for fish communities, particularly the alien sleepy cod Oxyeleotris lineolata. We describe this framework, highlighting the benefits in prioritizing management actions and monitoring in collaboration with a diverse range of stakeholders, driving adaptive feedback for learning. The whole approach is aimed at successfully achieving mutually agreed management objectives and the vision to maintain the ecological character of the Malkumba-Coongie Lakes Ramsar Site. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Durable Protections for Free-Flowing Rivers)
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Article
The Sustainability of Thailand’s Protected-Area System under Climate Change
Sustainability 2021, 13(5), 2868; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052868 - 06 Mar 2021
Abstract
Protected areas are the backbone of biodiversity conservation but vulnerable to climate change. Thailand has a large and well-planned protected area system, covering most remaining natural vegetation. A statistically derived global environmental stratification (GEnS) was used to predict changes in bioclimatic conditions across [...] Read more.
Protected areas are the backbone of biodiversity conservation but vulnerable to climate change. Thailand has a large and well-planned protected area system, covering most remaining natural vegetation. A statistically derived global environmental stratification (GEnS) was used to predict changes in bioclimatic conditions across the protected area system for 2050 and 2070, based on projections from three CMIP5 earth system models and two representative concentration pathways (RCPs). Five bioclimatic zones were identified composed of 28 strata. Substantial spatial reorganization of bioclimates is projected in the next 50 years, even under RCP2.6, while under RCP8.5 the average upward shift for all zones by 2070 is 328–483 m and the coolest zone disappears with two models. Overall, 7.9–31.0% of Thailand’s land area will change zone by 2070, and 31.7–90.2% will change stratum. The consequences for biodiversity are less clear, particularly in the lowlands where the existing vegetation mosaic is determined largely by factors other than climate. Increasing connectivity of protected areas along temperature and rainfall gradients would allow species to migrate in response to climate change, but this will be difficult in much of Thailand. For isolated protected areas and species that cannot move fast enough, more active, species-specific interventions may be necessary. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Air, Climate Change and Sustainability)
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Article
Sustainability Assessment of Intensified Forestry—Forest Bioenergy versus Forest Biodiversity Targeting Forest Birds
Sustainability 2021, 13(5), 2789; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052789 - 04 Mar 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
Intensified forestry can be seen as a solution to climate change mitigation and securing energy supply, increasing the production of forest bioenergy feedstock as a substitution for fossil fuels. However, it may come with detrimental impacts on forest biodiversity, especially related to older [...] Read more.
Intensified forestry can be seen as a solution to climate change mitigation and securing energy supply, increasing the production of forest bioenergy feedstock as a substitution for fossil fuels. However, it may come with detrimental impacts on forest biodiversity, especially related to older forests. The aim of this study was to assess the sustainability of intensified forestry from climate-energy and biodiversity perspectives, targeting forest bird species. For this purpose, we applied the Landscape simulation and Ecological Assessment (LEcA) tool to the study area of Lithuania, having high ambitions for renewables and high forest biodiversity. With LEcA, we simulated forest growth and management for 100 years with two forest management strategies: Business As Usual (BAU) and Intensive forestry (INT), the latter with the purpose to fulfil renewable energy goals. With both strategies, the biomass yields increased well above the yields of the reference year, while the biodiversity indicators related to forest bird habitat to different degrees show the opposite, with lower levels than for the reference year. Furthermore, Strategy INT resulted in small-to-no benefits in the long run concerning potential biomass harvesting, while substantially affecting the biodiversity indicators negatively. The model results have the potential to inform policy and forest management planning concerning several sustainability goals simultaneously. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Sustainability Assessment of Forest Bioenergy Options)
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Climate-Responsive Green-Space Design Inspired by Traditional Gardens: Microclimate and Human Thermal Comfort of Japanese Gardens
Sustainability 2021, 13(5), 2736; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052736 - 03 Mar 2021
Abstract
Urban green spaces can provide relaxation, exercise, social interaction, and many other benefits for their communities, towns, and cities. However, green spaces in hot and humid regions risk being underutilized by residents unless thermal environments are designed to be sufficiently comfortable. Understanding what [...] Read more.
Urban green spaces can provide relaxation, exercise, social interaction, and many other benefits for their communities, towns, and cities. However, green spaces in hot and humid regions risk being underutilized by residents unless thermal environments are designed to be sufficiently comfortable. Understanding what conditions are needed for comfortable outdoor spaces, particularly how people feel in regard to their thermal environment, is vital in designing spaces for public use. Traditional gardens are excellent examples of successful microclimate design from which we can learn, as they are developed over the generations through observation and modification. This study analyzed how Japanese gardens affect people’s thermal stress on extremely hot summer days. Meteorological data was collected in three Japanese gardens, and human thermal comfort was evaluated through physiological equivalent temperature (PET). Statistical analysis examined the relationship between spatial configurations of the gardens and thermal comfort. Our study revealed that Japanese gardens can efficiently ameliorate thermal stress. Spatial analysis showed that garden elements affect thermal comfort variously depending on time of the day and spatial distribution. Full article
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Article
Global Analysis of Durable Policies for Free-Flowing River Protections
Sustainability 2021, 13(4), 2347; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13042347 - 22 Feb 2021
Cited by 3
Abstract
Freshwater ecosystems are poorly represented in global networks of protected areas. This situation underscores an urgent need for the creation, application, and expansion of durable (long-term and enforceable) protection mechanisms for free-flowing rivers that go beyond conventional protected area planning. To address this [...] Read more.
Freshwater ecosystems are poorly represented in global networks of protected areas. This situation underscores an urgent need for the creation, application, and expansion of durable (long-term and enforceable) protection mechanisms for free-flowing rivers that go beyond conventional protected area planning. To address this need, we must first understand where and what types of protections exist that explicitly maintain the free-flowing integrity of rivers, as well as the efficacy of such policy types. Through policy analysis and an in-depth literature review, our study identifies three main policy mechanisms used for such protections: (1) River Conservation Systems; (2) Executive Decrees and Laws; and (3) Rights of Rivers. We found that globally only eight counties have national river conservation systems while seven countries have used executive decrees and similar policies to halt dam construction, and Rights of Rivers movements are quickly growing in importance, relative to other protection types. Despite the current extent of protection policies being insufficient to tackle the freshwater and biodiversity crises facing the world’s rivers, they do provide useful frameworks to guide the creation and expansion of protections. Ultimately, as countries act on global calls for protections, policy mechanisms must be tailored to their individual social and ecological geographies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Durable Protections for Free-Flowing Rivers)
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Article
Social Sustainability of Compact Neighbourhoods Evidence from London and Berlin
Sustainability 2021, 13(4), 2340; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13042340 - 22 Feb 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
This article revisits social sustainability of compact urban neighbourhoods based on first-hand evidence from four case studies in London and Berlin. It suggests a working definition for socially sustainable neighbourhoods, develops a tripartite integrative evaluation framework for measuring social sustainability of urban neighbourhoods, [...] Read more.
This article revisits social sustainability of compact urban neighbourhoods based on first-hand evidence from four case studies in London and Berlin. It suggests a working definition for socially sustainable neighbourhoods, develops a tripartite integrative evaluation framework for measuring social sustainability of urban neighbourhoods, and applies it to four case studies in London and Berlin. Findings of this research are in line with some dominant arguments made in favour of social sustainability of compact urban form, but challenges some others. Research findings suggest that compact urban form is not an urban orthodoxy, but has multiple and contrasting social meanings and perceptions in different contexts and places. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Sustainability and New Urban Residential Spaces)
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Article
Crop Wild Relatives (CWR) Priority in Italy: Distribution, Ecology, In Situ and Ex Situ Conservation and Expected Actions
Sustainability 2021, 13(4), 1682; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13041682 - 04 Feb 2021
Cited by 15
Abstract
The study presents an updated overview of the 14 non-endemic threatened crop wild relatives (CWR) in Italy: Aegilops biuncialis, Ae. uniaristata, Ae. ventricosa, Asparagus pastorianus, Beta macrocarpa, Brassica insularis, B. montana, Crambe hispanica subsp. hispanica, [...] Read more.
The study presents an updated overview of the 14 non-endemic threatened crop wild relatives (CWR) in Italy: Aegilops biuncialis, Ae. uniaristata, Ae. ventricosa, Asparagus pastorianus, Beta macrocarpa, Brassica insularis, B. montana, Crambe hispanica subsp. hispanica, C. tataria subsp. tataria, Ipomoea sagittata, Lathyrus amphicarpos, L. palustris, Vicia cusnae and V. serinica. Geographical distribution, ecology (with plant communities and habitat 92/43/EEC aspects), genetics (focused on gene pools), property, and in situ and ex situ conservation were analyzed. In addition, with the aim of their protection and valorization, specific actions are recommended. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity 2021: Agriculture, Environment and Wellbeing)
Article
Applying a Practice Lens to Local Government Climate Change Governance: Rethinking Community Engagement Practices
Sustainability 2021, 13(2), 995; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13020995 - 19 Jan 2021
Abstract
Governments commit substantial time and resources engaging individuals and households to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. These approaches, based largely upon behaviour change theories, have been criticised for their limited reach and effectiveness by practice theorists who have offered an alternative approach, broadening [...] Read more.
Governments commit substantial time and resources engaging individuals and households to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. These approaches, based largely upon behaviour change theories, have been criticised for their limited reach and effectiveness by practice theorists who have offered an alternative approach, broadening the focus beyond individuals. While practice theory has provided valuable insights into the energy consuming activities of households it has gained limited traction as a way to analyse and inform government practices and policy making. We address this by applying a practice lens to climate change community engagement practices performed by Australian local governments. Drawing on 29 interviews with practitioners and analysis of 37 Australian local government climate strategies, we examine the bundle of practices that constitute climate change community engagement: recruitment, engagement and evaluation. We consider how these practices are situated vis-a-vis other climate governance practices (regulation, service delivery, infrastructure provision and advocacy) as well as internal local government processes. Using a practice lens reveals the weaknesses in current engagement approaches which we contend are limiting efficacy. We draw upon Spurling et al.’s conceptualisation of re-crafting, re-integrating and substituting practices to consider how climate change community engagement practices might be reconfigured to improve their effectiveness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Air, Climate Change and Sustainability)
Article
Historical Ecology of Scandinavian Infield Systems
Sustainability 2021, 13(2), 817; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13020817 - 15 Jan 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
Infield systems originated during the early Iron Age and existed until the 19th century, although passing many transitions and changes. The core features of infield systems were enclosed infields with hay-meadows and crop fields, and unenclosed outland mainly used for livestock grazing. We [...] Read more.
Infield systems originated during the early Iron Age and existed until the 19th century, although passing many transitions and changes. The core features of infield systems were enclosed infields with hay-meadows and crop fields, and unenclosed outland mainly used for livestock grazing. We examine the transitions and changes of domesticated landscapes with infield systems using the framework of human niche construction, focusing on reciprocal causation affecting change in both culture and environment. A first major transition occurred during the early Middle Ages, as a combined effect of a growing elite society and an increased availability of iron promoted expansion of villages with partly communal infields. A second major transition occurred during the 18th and 19th centuries, due to a then recognized inefficiency of agricultural production, leading to land reforms. In outlands, there was a continuous expansion of management throughout the whole period. Even though external factors had significant impacts as well, human niche construction affected a range of cultural and environmental features regarding the management and structure of domesticated landscapes with infield systems. Thus, niche construction theory is a useful framework for understanding the historical ecology of infield systems. Full article
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Article
Customer Behavioral Reactions to Negative Experiences during the Product Return
Sustainability 2021, 13(2), 448; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13020448 - 06 Jan 2021
Cited by 10
Abstract
This paper takes a closer look at customer experience during product return and the customer’s ability to share information about it. The research process included the development of research tools such as questionnaires. Anonymous surveys were conducted by computer assisted web interview among [...] Read more.
This paper takes a closer look at customer experience during product return and the customer’s ability to share information about it. The research process included the development of research tools such as questionnaires. Anonymous surveys were conducted by computer assisted web interview among individual customers from Poland on a sample 327 respondents. Non-stratified random sampling was used, as we considered it to be the most effective in terms of the effort-benefit ratio of the survey. A contingency table was constructed from the responses, the observed values and expected values were compared, and the Pearson Chi-square and the p-value of Fisher’s exact test were calculated. The research process carried out as well as the analysis of the obtained results allowed us to respond to the research questions. As a result, it can be stated that the clients, both satisfied (80.1%) and dissatisfied (84,4%), tended to share their opinion about return experience with other potential clients. Moreover, 42.2% of the respondents declared that they would not buy again from a seller after an unsuccessful return operation. The presented conclusions enrich the theoretical understanding of customer behavior and their purchase intention. It also offers retailers a quantitative benchmark and new perspective on the design of return policy in order to improve customer satisfaction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Supply Chain Management for Sustainable Development)
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Article
How Does Consumers’ Care for Origin Shape Their Behavioural Gap for Environmentally Friendly Products?
Sustainability 2021, 13(1), 190; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13010190 - 28 Dec 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Climate change is threatening worldwide crop yields and varieties, and the desertification of Southern Europe and Mediterranean areas is endangering the cultivation of tomato, not only one of the most important cultivated crops, but also one of the main pillars of the global [...] Read more.
Climate change is threatening worldwide crop yields and varieties, and the desertification of Southern Europe and Mediterranean areas is endangering the cultivation of tomato, not only one of the most important cultivated crops, but also one of the main pillars of the global food industry. To minimize its environmental impact, current research efforts in Europe are selecting resilient tomato genotypes with reduced use of water and fertilizers. Still, its commercial acceptance depends on consumers’ reaction in terms of interests, attitudes, and willingness to buy and pay for this hypothetical resilient tomato. In our setting, a behavioural gap exists whenever despite an interest for the product, and regardless of a positive attitude towards it, consumers are not willing to pay a premium price for this tomato. This paper focuses on Italians, among the largest tomato consumers across the world, and for whom origin emerges as a relevant consumption driver. We carried out a web-survey, totalling 932 responses. We ran three different ordinal regressions, one for each level of involvement in the purchasing process, identifying the factors affecting consumers’ interest, attitude, and behaviour towards this hypothetical tomato. We prove the existence of a behavioural gap for Italian tomato consumers and observe that this gap widens as consumers’ preferences for origin increase. Hence, policies developing environmentally sustainable products should not forget how consumer preferences for non-strictly environmental attributes might ultimately affect their propensity to buy and pay. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agribusiness and Food Marketing)
Article
Healthy Diet Assistance for the Most Deprived in Post-Crisis Greece: An Evaluation of the State Food Provision Program
Sustainability 2021, 13(1), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13010099 - 24 Dec 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
In 2016, the European Union set up the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD) as its first structured food provision program to combat food insecurity. Computational analysis and a cross-sectional survey took place from January 2016 to June 2018 to [...] Read more.
In 2016, the European Union set up the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD) as its first structured food provision program to combat food insecurity. Computational analysis and a cross-sectional survey took place from January 2016 to June 2018 to calculate FEAD’s contribution to its beneficiaries’ diets and to collect beneficiary satisfaction data. Dairy, fresh meat, legumes, sugar, olive oil, and tomato concentrate were the most commonly procured items. The program’s contribution to vegetable, dairy, and grains intake was 3.4%, 6.1%, and 6.0%, respectively, as opposed to discretionary calories (12.2%) and fats/oils (24.5%). The program’s algorithm greatly favors (almost 3-fold) single-person applications, compared with applications with four or more people. Beneficiaries valued each food provision at 21.23 ± 23.4 euros, which, for 64.4% of them, translated to a high positive impact on the household budget. FEAD had a highly positive impact on feelings of anxiety and security, for 50.7% and 41.6% of its beneficiaries. Satisfaction with the foods provided was also high for ~70% of the beneficiaries. The program is met with high beneficiary satisfaction and is perceived as a substantial assistance. Increases in the amounts and variety of foods delivered, with a focus on fruit, vegetables, and fish, should be considered to further improve the program’s dietary impact. Full article
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Article
Modelling Attitude towards Consumption of Vegan Products
Sustainability 2021, 13(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13010009 - 22 Dec 2020
Abstract
This study proposes to understand the impact of personal (health awareness and social influence) and moral (environmental concerns and animal welfare) antecedents on attitudes towards veganism and their effects on engagement with vegan products, along with their impact on purchase intention and word [...] Read more.
This study proposes to understand the impact of personal (health awareness and social influence) and moral (environmental concerns and animal welfare) antecedents on attitudes towards veganism and their effects on engagement with vegan products, along with their impact on purchase intention and word of mouth. Idealism is presented as a moderator of these proposed relationships. The study uses a structured questionnaire to gather data from two cross-sectional samples of 224 Portuguese and 356 Brazilian vegans collected from Facebook groups of vegans. Structural equation modelling is used to test the seven proposed hypotheses and the moderation effects. This research compares the influence of personal and moral determinants on veganism using idealism as a specific context to investigate their relationships, comparing Brazilian and Portuguese respondents and the effects of national cultures. Results show that attitudes towards veganism do not depend on personal causes, but rather on moral concerns. Motivations to reduce animal consumption, protect nature, and respect animal life seem to be guided by ethical principles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Economics and Sustainable Food Consumption)
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Article
Climate Change and Ski Tourism Sustainability: An Integrated Model of the Adaptive Dynamics between Ski Area Operations and Skier Demand
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10617; https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410617 - 18 Dec 2020
Abstract
Climate change is an evolving business reality influencing the sustainability of ski tourism worldwide. A new integrated model of the co-evolution of supply (27 ski areas) and demand-side (skier behaviour) climate change adaptation in the ski tourism market of Ontario, Canada is presented. [...] Read more.
Climate change is an evolving business reality influencing the sustainability of ski tourism worldwide. A new integrated model of the co-evolution of supply (27 ski areas) and demand-side (skier behaviour) climate change adaptation in the ski tourism market of Ontario, Canada is presented. Ski area operations are modeled under a high-emission 2050s scenario, with skier responses to altered operations informed by a survey of 2429 skiers. These market adaptive dynamics reveal new insights into differential climate risk, capturing patterns not apparent when considering only operational conditions of ski resorts. A decoupling of ski season length and skier visitation was found at four ski areas, where, despite average season length losses, visitation increased as a result of reduced competition. Simulated skier visit losses were smaller than reductions in season length, contributing to an increase in crowding. Growing the market of skiers was also identified as a critical adaptation strategy that could offset skier visit losses from shortened seasons. Climate change challenges the future sustainability of ski areas in this market in several ways: profitability of ski areas with substantially shorter seasons, increased snowmaking costs, crowding impacts on visitor experience, and potential overtourism at the few most climate resilient destinations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Air, Climate Change and Sustainability)
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Article
Land Fragmentation, Technical Efficiency, and Adaptation to Climate Change by Farmers in the Gamo Highlands of Ethiopia
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10304; https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410304 - 10 Dec 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Although barley production is vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, households in the Gamo Highlands of Ethiopia rely on barley for their diet and allocate most of their highly-fragmented land to barley production. Moreover, farmers alter land management practices as a strategy [...] Read more.
Although barley production is vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, households in the Gamo Highlands of Ethiopia rely on barley for their diet and allocate most of their highly-fragmented land to barley production. Moreover, farmers alter land management practices as a strategy to adjust to climate change and variability. However, to what extent land fragmentation and land management jointly influence the technical efficiency of barley production is unknown. In addition, it is unidentified whether technical efficiency is uniform across multiple separated plots. In this study, we adapted two stochastic frontier panel models on plot-level cross-sectional data to investigate this. The model results indicate that fragmentation influences the effect of land management practices on efficiency. The study found that efficiency was not uniform across different plots and for different farmers and showed the existence of large yield gaps. To close these gaps, policies designed to address the specific components of inefficiency need to be implemented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Implications of Climate Change for Ecosystems and Society)
Article
Towards Sustainable Human Resources: How Generational Differences Impact Subjective Wellbeing in the Military?
Sustainability 2020, 12(23), 10016; https://doi.org/10.3390/su122310016 - 30 Nov 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
The article analyzes the generational (age cohorts) effect on subjective wellbeing at work. The main aim is to reveal generational differences that lead to subjective wellbeing at work and possible discrepancies between the generations. The article contributes to the literature by creating and [...] Read more.
The article analyzes the generational (age cohorts) effect on subjective wellbeing at work. The main aim is to reveal generational differences that lead to subjective wellbeing at work and possible discrepancies between the generations. The article contributes to the literature by creating and testing a theoretical model of subjective wellbeing at work as a composition of several dimensions that vary among generations, including physical experience, cognitive job performance, and appraisal, as well as social relationships and socio-emotional enablement at work. Using the military as an organization where daily routine creates similar conditions for different generations, we surveyed 890 army professionals representing three different generations: Gen Y, Gen X, and Gen Z. A structural equation modelling (SEM) technique is used to test the research model. The results support the hypothesis that generation has a strong moderating impact on the components of subjective wellbeing at work. Social relationship, as a socio-emotional experience, is the most important component of wellbeing at work for Gen Z, while socio-emotional enablement plays a central role in subjective wellbeing at work for Gen X and Gen Y. Full article
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Article
Academic Achievement and Failure in University Studies: Motivational and Emotional Factors
Sustainability 2020, 12(23), 9798; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12239798 - 24 Nov 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
Universities are committed to offering quality education; however, a high rate of academic failure is often observed in the first year of studies. Considering the impact that motivation and emotional aspects can have on students’ commitment to study and therefore on their academic [...] Read more.
Universities are committed to offering quality education; however, a high rate of academic failure is often observed in the first year of studies. Considering the impact that motivation and emotional aspects can have on students’ commitment to study and therefore on their academic performance, achievement, and well-being, this study aims to identify the factors associated with academic success or failure in 1071 students entering the National Polytechnic School (Quito, Ecuador). The data were compiled from the existing computer records of the university with the permission of the responsible administrative staff. A predictive model has been used and a binary logistic regression analysis was carried out through the step-forward regression procedure based on the Wald statistic to analyze the predictive capacity of the variables related to emotional intelligence, motivational and self- regulated socio-cognitive skills, goal orientation, and prior academic achievement (measured by university entrance marks and through a knowledge test carried out at the beginning of the university academic year). To determine the cut-off point for the best discriminatory power of each of the variables, a Receiver Operating Characteristics (ROC) curve analysis has been used. The results indicate that the variables that are significant in the prediction of academic success or failure are the two academic performance measures: the emotional attention variable, and the performance-approach goals and the motivational self-efficacy variable. Additionally, the highest predictive power is displayed by the prior academic performance measure obtained through the knowledge test conducted at the beginning of the university course. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Academic Motivation, Performance and Student Well-Being)
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Article
Social Isolation and Stress as Predictors of Productivity Perception and Remote Work Satisfaction during the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Role of Concern about the Virus in a Moderated Double Mediation
Sustainability 2020, 12(23), 9804; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12239804 - 24 Nov 2020
Cited by 8
Abstract
From mid-March to the end of May 2020, millions of Italians were forced to work from home because of the lockdown provisions imposed by the Italian government to contain the COVID-19 epidemic. As a result, many employees had to suddenly switch to remote [...] Read more.
From mid-March to the end of May 2020, millions of Italians were forced to work from home because of the lockdown provisions imposed by the Italian government to contain the COVID-19 epidemic. As a result, many employees had to suddenly switch to remote work, experiencing both troubles and opportunities. Social isolation from colleagues and the workplace represents a typical aspect of remote work which increased significantly during the social confinement imposed by the government. This study investigates the correlates of social isolation in terms of stress, perceived remote work productivity and remote work satisfaction, proposing the sequential mediation of stress and perceived remote work productivity, and the moderating role of concern about the new coronavirus. An online survey was conducted, and the responses of 265 employees showed the deleterious role of social isolation in stress, which leads to decreased perceived remote work productivity that, in turn, is related to remote work satisfaction. Furthermore, the results suggest that concern about the virus moderates the relationships between social isolation and remote work satisfaction, from one side, and remote work perceived productivity and remote work satisfaction from the other. This latter result suggests that the indirect sequential effect of social isolation on remote work satisfaction is conditional on concern about the virus. Some conclusions are drawn to support managers and HR officers in the choices to better manage employees’ work during the health emergency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Working during the COVID-19 Global Pandemic)
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Article
Academic Community in the Face of Emergency Situations: Sense of Responsible Togetherness and Sense of Belonging as Protective Factors against Academic Stress during COVID-19 Outbreak
Sustainability 2020, 12(22), 9718; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12229718 - 21 Nov 2020
Cited by 6
Abstract
In the face of emergency situations, such as a global pandemic, individuals rely on their personal resources, but also on community dimensions, to deal with the unprecedented changes and risks and to safeguard their well-being. The present study specifically addresses the role of [...] Read more.
In the face of emergency situations, such as a global pandemic, individuals rely on their personal resources, but also on community dimensions, to deal with the unprecedented changes and risks and to safeguard their well-being. The present study specifically addresses the role of individual resources and community dimensions with reference to academic communities facing COVID-19-related lockdowns and the changes that these have implied. An online questionnaire was administered to 1124 Italian University students. It detected their sense of belonging and of responsible togetherness with reference to their academic community through community dimensions, their student self-efficacy as an individual resource, and their academic stress—potentially stemming from studying in the middle of a pandemic. A multiple mediation model was been run with structural equation modeling. The results show that both the community dimensions associate with higher student self-efficacy and the sense of responsible togetherness, while also associating with lower academic stress. Moreover, student self-efficacy, in turn, associates with lower academic stress and mediates the relationships between both community dimensions and students’ academic stress levels. From these findings, the protective role that community dimensions can exert on an individual’s life becomes apparent. Building on this, further strategies should be implemented to reinforce personal and community resources in order to strengthen individuals against potentially stressful circumstances. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Academic Motivation, Performance and Student Well-Being)
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Article
Managerial Strategies for Long-Term Care Organization Professionals: COVID-19 Pandemic Impacts
Sustainability 2020, 12(22), 9682; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12229682 - 20 Nov 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
This paper aims to analyze the strategies that healthcare professionals have adopted during the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) in long-term care organizations in Rio de Janeiro city, Brazil, by investigating their competencies—mainly managerial ones. To reach its goals, this paper performs empirical research and [...] Read more.
This paper aims to analyze the strategies that healthcare professionals have adopted during the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) in long-term care organizations in Rio de Janeiro city, Brazil, by investigating their competencies—mainly managerial ones. To reach its goals, this paper performs empirical research and theoretical research. For the empirical research, the plans of professionals during COVID-19 pandemic in long-term care organizations are observed, and a questionnaire is applied to analyze observed data integrity. The data are analyzed through the Python and IBM SPSS Statistic programming languages, and descriptive analyses use descriptive statistic proportions, rates, minimum, maximum, mean, median, standard deviation, and coefficient of variation (CV). A non-parametric approach performs repeated measure comparisons using Wilcoxon’s test, while the McNemmar test is used to repeat the categorical variables. Statistical significance is assumed at the 5% level. For the theoretical research, a literature review is developed using scientific databases. The results show that for the searched period, the number of deaths and the number of people infected by COVID-19 in these organizations are low when compared to general statistics of Rio de Janeiro city. This paper concludes that these strategical adoptions have brought significant benefits to long-term care organizations, and it might motivate researchers to develop future studies related to long-term care organizations, helping to fill the literature gap on the subject. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Working during the COVID-19 Global Pandemic)
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How the Covid-19 Pandemic Is Changing Online Food Shopping Human Behaviour in Italy
Sustainability 2020, 12(22), 9594; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12229594 - 18 Nov 2020
Cited by 13
Abstract
The advent of the Internet has significantly changed consumption patterns and habits. Online grocery shopping is a way of purchasing food products using a web-based shopping service. The current COVID-19 pandemic is determining a rethinking of purchase choice elements and of consumers’ behavior. [...] Read more.
The advent of the Internet has significantly changed consumption patterns and habits. Online grocery shopping is a way of purchasing food products using a web-based shopping service. The current COVID-19 pandemic is determining a rethinking of purchase choice elements and of consumers’ behavior. This work aims to investigate which characteristics can affect the decision of online food shopping during the pandemic emergency in Italy. In particular, the work aims to analyze the effects of a set of explanatory variables on the level of satisfaction for the food online shopping experience. For achieving this aim, the proportional odds version of the cumulative logit model is carried out. Data derive from an anonymous on-line questionnaire administrated during the first months of the pandemic and filled by 248 respondents. The results of this work highlight that people having familiarity with buying food online, that have a higher educational level and consider food online channels easy to use, appear more satisfied for the food online shopping experience. These findings can be crucial for the future green global challenges as online shopping may help to reach competitive advantages for company sustainability. Full article
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Article
Validating the Pro-Environmental Behavior Task in a Japanese Sample
Sustainability 2020, 12(22), 9534; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12229534 - 16 Nov 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Controlled experimentation is critical for understanding the causal determinants of pro-environmental behavior. However, the potential of experimental pro-environmental behavior research is limited by the difficulty to observe pro-environmental behavior under controlled conditions. The Pro-Environmental Behavior Task (PEBT) was developed to address this limitation [...] Read more.
Controlled experimentation is critical for understanding the causal determinants of pro-environmental behavior. However, the potential of experimental pro-environmental behavior research is limited by the difficulty to observe pro-environmental behavior under controlled conditions. The Pro-Environmental Behavior Task (PEBT) was developed to address this limitation by facilitating the experimental analysis of pro-environmental behavior in the laboratory. Previous studies in Belgian samples have already supported the validity of the PEBT as a procedure for the study of actual pro-environmental behavior. Here, we aimed for a cross-cultural replication of this finding in a sample of N = 103 Japanese college students. Along the lines of previous studies, we found PEBT choice behavior to be sensitive to within-subject manipulations of its behavioral costs and environmental benefits. This implies that participants take these consequences into account when choosing between PEBT options. In addition, we showed, for the first time, that such consequence effects can also be detected in a less powerful between-subjects design. These results support the generality of consequence effects on PEBT choice behavior as well as the validity and utility of the PEBT for use in samples from different cultural backgrounds. Full article
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Article
Emotion Regulation and Employability: The Mediational Role of Ambition and a Protean Career among Unemployed People
Sustainability 2020, 12(22), 9347; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12229347 - 11 Nov 2020
Abstract
Literature on job searching suggests that emotion regulation has an impact on employability, but this relationship is far from being explained; furthermore, most of the studies have been conducted among students or workers. The aim of the current study was to investigate the [...] Read more.
Literature on job searching suggests that emotion regulation has an impact on employability, but this relationship is far from being explained; furthermore, most of the studies have been conducted among students or workers. The aim of the current study was to investigate the relationship between emotion regulation and employability among unemployed people, analyzing the role of ambition and protean career orientation as possible factors in such a relationship. Participants were 228 unemployed subjects who had requested individual counselling for job searching; data were collected by means of a self-report questionnaire. Results confirmed that emotion regulation is related to employability, both through a direct relationship and through an indirect effect of ambition and protean career orientation. Full article
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Article
The Complexity of Space Utilization and Environmental Pollution Control in the Main Corridor of Makassar City, South Sulawesi, Indonesia
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 9244; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12219244 - 06 Nov 2020
Cited by 6
Abstract
Population mobility, increasing demand for transportation, and the complexity of land use have an impact on environmental quality degradation and air quality pollution. This study aims to analyze (1) the effect of population mobility, increased traffic volume, and land use change on air [...] Read more.
Population mobility, increasing demand for transportation, and the complexity of land use have an impact on environmental quality degradation and air quality pollution. This study aims to analyze (1) the effect of population mobility, increased traffic volume, and land use change on air quality pollution, (2) direct and indirect effects of urban activities, transportation systems, and movement patterns on environmental quality degradation and air pollution index, and (3) air pollution strategy and sustainable urban environmental management. The research method used is a sequential explanation design. Data were obtained through observation, surveys, in-depth interviews, and documentation. The results of the study illustrate that the business center and Daya terminal with a value of 0.18 µgram/m3 is polluted, the power plant and Sermani industrial area with a value of 0.16 µgram/m3 is polluted, the Makassar industrial area with a value of 0.23 is heavily polluted, and the Hasanuddin International Airport area with a value of 0.04 µgram/m3 is not polluted. Population mobility, traffic volume, and land use changes have a significant effect on environmental quality degradation, with a determination coefficient of 94.1%. The direct effect of decreasing environmental quality on the air pollution index is 66.09%. This study recommends transportation management on the main road corridor of Makassar City, which is environmentally friendly with regard to sustainable environmental management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Transportation)
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Article
Differential Efficacy of an Intelligent Tutoring System for University Students: A Case Study with Learning Disabilities
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 9184; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12219184 - 04 Nov 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Computer-Based Learning Environments (CBLEs) have emerged as an almost limitless source of education, challenging not only students but also education providers; teaching and learning in these virtual environments requires greater self-regulation of learning. More research is needed in order to assess how self-regulation [...] Read more.
Computer-Based Learning Environments (CBLEs) have emerged as an almost limitless source of education, challenging not only students but also education providers; teaching and learning in these virtual environments requires greater self-regulation of learning. More research is needed in order to assess how self-regulation of learning strategies can contribute to better performance. This study aims to report how an Intelligent Tutoring System can help students both with and without learning difficulties to self-regulate their learning processes. A total of 119 university students with and without learning difficulties took part in an educational experiment; they spent 90 min learning in a CBLE specifically designed to assess and promote self-regulated learning strategies. Results show that as a consequence of the training, the experimental group applied more self-regulation strategies than the control group, not only as a response to a system prompt but also self-initiated. In addition, there were some differences in improvement of learning processes in students with and without learning difficulties. Our results show that when students with learning difficulties have tools that facilitate applying self-regulated learning strategies, they do so even more than students without learning difficulties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Academic Motivation, Performance and Student Well-Being)
Article
COVID-19: Risk Factors and Protective Role of Resilience and Coping Strategies for Emergency Stress and Secondary Trauma in Medical Staff and Emergency Workers—An Online-Based Inquiry
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 9004; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12219004 - 29 Oct 2020
Cited by 9
Abstract
The COVID-19 crisis has placed a heavy burden on medical staff and emergency workers, who may be at risk of developing psychological distress and secondary trauma. Coping and resilience to stress during a pandemic are protective factors that can mitigate the potential adverse [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 crisis has placed a heavy burden on medical staff and emergency workers, who may be at risk of developing psychological distress and secondary trauma. Coping and resilience to stress during a pandemic are protective factors that can mitigate the potential adverse psychological effects. Here, we investigated the direct and mediated effects of coping strategies and hardiness on secondary trauma among Italian medical staff (physicians and nurses, n = 140) and emergency workers (firefighters, civil protection, and ambulance personnel, n = 100) involved in the first phase of the pandemic. For this purpose, we collected data from participants through online questionnaires to measure emergency stress, coping strategies, hardiness, and secondary trauma. Other variables analyzed were age, sex, direct contact with COVID-19 patients, and use of personal protective equipment (PPE). We performed a correlational analysis, regressions, and a mediation analysis. The results show that nurses and physicians experienced higher levels of emergency stress than emergency workers. Direct contact with COVID-19 patients, female sex, unexpected events, and lack of PPE were risk factors for emergency stress, while resilience and coping strategies played a protective role. Mediation analysis shows that coping strategies and hardiness are protective factors and reduce the effect of stress on secondary trauma. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Working during the COVID-19 Global Pandemic)
Article
Social Safety of Society for Developing Countries to Meet Sustainable Development Standards: Indicators, Level, Strategic Benchmarks (with Calculations Based on the Case Study of Ukraine)
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 8953; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12218953 - 28 Oct 2020
Cited by 23
Abstract
The paper is devoted to identifying the level of social safety of society, taking into account the indicators of shadow economy, and developing its strategic scenarios as a component of sustainable development of Ukraine by 2030. The authors used the modern methods of [...] Read more.
The paper is devoted to identifying the level of social safety of society, taking into account the indicators of shadow economy, and developing its strategic scenarios as a component of sustainable development of Ukraine by 2030. The authors used the modern methods of normalisation, threshold vector determination, and dynamic weight coefficients in order to identify the level of social safety of society. The authors developed the structure and a list of indicators considering three components of social safety: The standard of living, the demographic component, and the quality of life. This method allows determining the list and severity of threats, comparing the dynamics of integral indices with integral thresholds in one scale, identifying the state of security, and defining strategic goals and strategies. The suggested approach is universal and can be used by any country, region, economic activity, or business to develop evidence-based medium-to-long-term sustainable development scenarios. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Management)
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Article
The Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on the Resilience of Sustainable Mobility in Sicily
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 8829; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12218829 - 23 Oct 2020
Cited by 32
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in unprecedented measures changing travel habits in many countries. Many users have started to prefer traveling by private cars, which is against the sustainability policies of the European cities. The necessity of gaining a deeper understanding of road [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in unprecedented measures changing travel habits in many countries. Many users have started to prefer traveling by private cars, which is against the sustainability policies of the European cities. The necessity of gaining a deeper understanding of road users’ travel habit changes, their feelings on public transport use, and their perceptions of using sustainable urban mobility modes has emerged for future transport planning. Considering these facts, the study in this paper aimed to investigate the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on road users’ perceptions, needs, and use of sustainable travel modes (i.e., public transport, walking, and cycling). An online survey was carried out during the period from March to May 2020 in the case study area, Sicily of Southern Italy. Regarding the population of the case study, the survey was representative, with 431 individuals. The survey included variables, namely gender, age, city of residence, private car ownership, walking and cycling frequency before and during the pandemic, public transport use frequency for leisure activities before and during the pandemic, need for remote working, and the stress and anxiety perception of using public transport during the pandemic. The analysis started with descriptive statistics and it was followed by correlation analysis in order to explore the characteristics of the dataset and relationship between variables. It was found that these were not statistically significantly correlated at a 95% confidence level. An ordinal regression model was applied for determining the predictions. The results suggested that women were less likely to walk during the pandemic than men. Participants were more likely to resume remote work even after the second phase in order to reduce their daily travel needs and keep their isolation. Participants have expressed a positive opinion on the use of micromobility during pandemic situations. These results can be considered as a basis for sustainable urban planning and a guide for decision-makers who aim to encourage the use of public transport, walking, cycling, and micromobility. Full article
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Article
Why Is Airline Food Always Dreadful? Analysis of Factors Influencing Passengers’ Food Wasting Behaviour
Sustainability 2020, 12(20), 8571; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208571 - 16 Oct 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Food waste is emerging as a global issue and has been recognised in the Sustainable Development Goals with a specific target to halve per capita global food waste at consumer levels and reduce food losses by 2030. Research on food waste has been [...] Read more.
Food waste is emerging as a global issue and has been recognised in the Sustainable Development Goals with a specific target to halve per capita global food waste at consumer levels and reduce food losses by 2030. Research on food waste has been neglected particularly in the aviation sector. The International Air Transport Association reported that 5.7 million tonnes of cabin waste was generated on airlines, up to 80.5% of which was leftover food and beverages. The exploration of passengers’ food wasting aims to provide insights for tackling the airline food waste problem. To address this issue, this research investigated the in-flight catering experience of 19 passengers from 21 full-service flights. Qualitative research techniques have been applied to analyse passengers’ food-wasting behaviour by collecting participant-produced photographs and completed questionnaires concerning food-related behaviour. This research identified key factors associated with passengers’ food wasting behaviour by adopting Design for Sustainable Behaviour approaches. Four types of factors were found to influence onboard passenger waste, these were normative, habitual, intentional and situational factors. This research indicates that behavioural change interventions need to incorporate the power of social norms to prevent food waste. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Meeting Sustainable Development Goals by Reducing Food Loss)
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Article
Future Climate Change Renders Unsuitable Conditions for Paramo Ecosystems in Colombia
Sustainability 2020, 12(20), 8373; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208373 - 12 Oct 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Paramo ecosystems are tropical alpine grasslands, located above 3000 m.a.s.l. in the Andean mountain range. Their unique vegetation and soil characteristics, in combination with low temperature and abundant precipitation, create the most advantageous conditions for regulating and storing surface and groundwater. However, increasing [...] Read more.
Paramo ecosystems are tropical alpine grasslands, located above 3000 m.a.s.l. in the Andean mountain range. Their unique vegetation and soil characteristics, in combination with low temperature and abundant precipitation, create the most advantageous conditions for regulating and storing surface and groundwater. However, increasing temperatures and changing patterns of precipitation due to greenhouse-gas-emission climate change are threatening these fragile environments. In this study, we used regional observations and downscaled data for precipitation and minimum and maximum temperature during the reference period 1960–1990 and simulations for the future period 2041–2060 to study the present and future extents of paramo ecosystems in the Chingaza National Park (CNP), nearby Colombia’s capital city, Bogotá. The historical data were used for establishing upper and lower precipitation and temperature boundaries to determine the locations where paramo ecosystems currently thrive. Our results found that increasing mean monthly temperatures and changing precipitation will render 39 to 52% of the current paramo extent in CNP unsuitable for these ecosystems during the dry season, and 13 to 34% during the wet season. The greatest loss of paramo area will occur during the dry season and for the representative concentration pathway (RCP) scenario 8.5, when both temperature and precipitation boundaries are more prone to be exceeded. Although our initial estimates show the future impact on paramos and the water security of Bogotá due to climate change, complex internal and external interactions in paramo ecosystems make it essential to study other influencing climatic parameters (e.g., soil, topography, wind, etc.) apart from temperature and precipitation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Watershed Modelling and Management for Sustainability)
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Article
Prevalence and Clustering Patterns of Pro-Environmental Behaviors among Canadian Households in the Era of Climate Change
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8218; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198218 - 06 Oct 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
This study examined the prevalence and clustering patterns of pro-environmental behaviors that are conducive to socially and environmentally sustainable living among Canadians. Cross-sectional data from the 2015 Households and the Environment Survey (HES) were used. Prevalence was calculated by province and each pro-environmental [...] Read more.
This study examined the prevalence and clustering patterns of pro-environmental behaviors that are conducive to socially and environmentally sustainable living among Canadians. Cross-sectional data from the 2015 Households and the Environment Survey (HES) were used. Prevalence was calculated by province and each pro-environmental behavior. Observed/expected prevalence ratios were computed to assess clustering patterns and logistic regression analyses were performed to examine the pairwise associations. Among 8816 Canadian households, prevalence of engaging in pro-environmental behaviors ranked as the following: engaging in green consumer behavior (88%), composting food/yard waste (84%), being active outdoors (82%), gardening (72%), and recycling electronics (45%). While only 14% engaged in ≤2 pro-environmental behaviors, 25.1% of Canadians engaged in all pro-environmental behaviors. By province, British Columbia was the greenest province (81%), followed by Ontario (77%) and Nova Scotia (76.9%) while the least green provinces were Newfoundland and Labrador (62.9%), Saskatchewan (69.2%), and New Brunswick (68%). The most apparent clustering of behaviors was found between recycling electronics and gardening (Observed/Expected: 3.65, 95% CI: 1.98–5.32). Pairwise associations between any two pro-environmental behaviors were statistically significant for all possible combinations (Odds ratios ranged 1.23–2.24). Prevalence of engaging in different sets of pro-environmental behaviors varied greatly by province. Sub-optimal clustering of pro-environmental behaviors and varying pairwise synergetic associations were observed in Canadian households. To promote more holistic, sustainable lifestyles and create sociocultural environments that are conducive to the environment in the era of climate change, future work should investigate barriers and opportunities in adopting more pro-environmental behaviors in Canadian households. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Social Ecology and Sustainability)
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Article
Agricultural Workforce Crisis in Light of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8212; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198212 - 05 Oct 2020
Cited by 11
Abstract
COVID-19 and the restrictive measures towards containing the spread of its infections have seriously affected the agricultural workforce and jeopardized food security. The present study aims at assessing the COVID-19 pandemic impacts on agricultural labor and suggesting strategies to mitigate them. To this [...] Read more.
COVID-19 and the restrictive measures towards containing the spread of its infections have seriously affected the agricultural workforce and jeopardized food security. The present study aims at assessing the COVID-19 pandemic impacts on agricultural labor and suggesting strategies to mitigate them. To this end, after an introduction to the pandemic background, the negative consequences on agriculture and the existing mitigation policies, risks to the agricultural workers were benchmarked across the United States’ Standard Occupational Classification system. The individual tasks associated with each occupation in agricultural production were evaluated on the basis of potential COVID-19 infection risk. As criteria, the most prevalent virus transmission mechanisms were considered, namely the possibility of touching contaminated surfaces and the close proximity of workers. The higher risk occupations within the sector were identified, which facilitates the allocation of worker protection resources to the occupations where they are most needed. In particular, the results demonstrated that 50% of the agricultural workforce and 54% of the workers’ annual income are at moderate to high risk. As a consequence, a series of control measures need to be adopted so as to enhance the resilience and sustainability of the sector as well as protect farmers including physical distancing, hygiene practices, and personal protection equipment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green, Closed Loop, Circular Bio-Economy)
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Article
Shifting to Shared Wheels: Factors Affecting Dockless Bike-Sharing Choice for Short and Long Trips
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8205; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198205 - 05 Oct 2020
Cited by 8
Abstract
In this paper, we explore users’ intentions to use bike-sharing systems (BSS) compared to traditional competitive transport modes—private car, bus and walking. Fueled by the increasingly rampant growth of shared economy and Information and Communication Technology (ICT), shared mobility is gaining increasing traction. [...] Read more.
In this paper, we explore users’ intentions to use bike-sharing systems (BSS) compared to traditional competitive transport modes—private car, bus and walking. Fueled by the increasingly rampant growth of shared economy and Information and Communication Technology (ICT), shared mobility is gaining increasing traction. The numbers of shared mobility schemes are rapidly growing worldwide and are accompanied by changes in the traditional vehicle ownership model. In order to pinpoint the factors that strongly affect the willingness to use BSS, a stated preference survey among car and bus users as well as pedestrians was designed and conducted. Binary logit models of the choice between the currently preferred transportation modes and BSSs were developed, for short and long-duration trips, respectively. The results highlight a distinctive set of factors and patterns affecting the willingness to adopt bike-sharing: choice is most sensitive to travel time and cost of the competitive travel options. In general, users are more willing to make the switch to a BSS, especially for short trip durations, when their typical mode of transport becomes more expensive. Bike-sharing also seems to be a more attractive option for certain user socio-demographic groups per mode and trip duration (age, education level, employment status, household income). Trip characteristics such as trip purpose and frequency were also found to affect the willingness to choose BSS. In general, BSS seem to mainly attract bus users and pedestrians, while car users may use BSS more sparingly, mainly for commuting purposes. Full article
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Article
Assessing the Impact of COVID-19 on Bike-Sharing Usage: The Case of Thessaloniki, Greece
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8215; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198215 - 05 Oct 2020
Cited by 24
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant effect in urban mobility, while essential changes are being observed in travelers’ behavior. Travelers in many cases shifted to other transport modes, especially walking and cycling, for minimizing the risk of infection. This study attempts to investigate [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant effect in urban mobility, while essential changes are being observed in travelers’ behavior. Travelers in many cases shifted to other transport modes, especially walking and cycling, for minimizing the risk of infection. This study attempts to investigate the impact that COVID-19 had on travelers’ perceptions towards bike-sharing systems and whether the pandemic could result in a greater or lesser share of trips that are being conducted through shared bikes. For that reason, a questionnaire survey was carried out in the city of Thessaloniki, Greece, and the responses of 223 people were analyzed statistically. The results of the analysis show that COVID-19 will not affect significantly the number of people using bike-sharing for their trips. However, for a proportion of people, bike-sharing is now more attractive. Moreover, the results indicate that bike-sharing is now more likely to become a more preferable mobility option for people who were previously commuting with private cars as passengers (not as drivers) and people who were already registered users in a bike-sharing system. The results also provide evidence about the importance of safety towards COVID-19 for engaging more users in bike-sharing, in order to provide them with a safe mobility option and contribute to the city’s resilience and sustainability. Full article
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Article
Impact of COVID-19 on Urban Mobility during Post-Epidemic Period in Megacities: From the Perspectives of Taxi Travel and Social Vitality
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 7954; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12197954 - 25 Sep 2020
Cited by 9
Abstract
The prevention and control of COVID-19 in megacities is under large pressure because of tens of millions and high-density populations. The majority of epidemic prevention and control policies implemented focused on travel restrictions, which severely affected urban mobility during the epidemic. Considering the [...] Read more.
The prevention and control of COVID-19 in megacities is under large pressure because of tens of millions and high-density populations. The majority of epidemic prevention and control policies implemented focused on travel restrictions, which severely affected urban mobility during the epidemic. Considering the impacts of epidemic and associated control policies, this study analyzes the relationship between COVID-19, travel of residents, Point of Interest (POI), and social activities from the perspective of taxi travel. First, changes in the characteristics of taxi trips at different periods were analyzed. Next, the relationship between POIs and taxi travels was established by the Geographic Information System (GIS) method, and the spatial lag model (SLM) was introduced to explore the changes in taxi travel driving force. Then, a social activities recovery level evaluation model was proposed based on the taxi travel datasets to evaluate the recovery of social activities. The results demonstrated that the number of taxi trips dropped sharply, and the travel speed, travel time, and spatial distribution of taxi trips had been significantly influenced during the epidemic period. The spatial correlation between taxi trips was gradually weakened after the outbreak of the epidemic, and the consumption travel demand of people significantly decreased while the travel demand for community life increased dramatically. The evaluation score of social activity is increased from 8.12 to 74.43 during the post-epidemic period, which may take 3–6 months to be fully recovered as a normal period. Results and models proposed in this study may provide references for the optimization of epidemic control policies and recovery of public transport in megacities during the post-epidemic period. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Transportation)
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Article
Technical Viability Analysis of Industrial Synergies—An Applied Framework Perspective
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7720; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12187720 - 18 Sep 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
To foster the implementation of Industrial Symbiosis, several support tools have been developed to facilitate the dissemination of Industrial Symbiosis (IS) and the engagement of stakeholders; the establishment of exchanges between companies, the so-called synergies; and the assessment of impacts and benefits. Despite [...] Read more.
To foster the implementation of Industrial Symbiosis, several support tools have been developed to facilitate the dissemination of Industrial Symbiosis (IS) and the engagement of stakeholders; the establishment of exchanges between companies, the so-called synergies; and the assessment of impacts and benefits. Despite this, it has been found that stakeholders still do not have a clear envisioning of the required steps to the technical implementation of synergies and there are no facilitating tools, such as methodologies, frameworks, modelling tools, and databases, among others, that aid to technically support decision-making of synergy implementation. Thus, the goal of this paper is to present a dedicated framework that provides a set of guidelines and defines a technical viability analysis to support the implementation of potential synergies, which can be used and replicated by any IS practitioner. It comprehends a methodological approach to assess the compliance of a given synergy opportunity; its characterization concerning the definition of the necessary intermediary steps for the technical implementation; and an assessment of the technical feasibility of the synergy. The implementation of the framework allowed the successful technical validation of the studied synergy opportunities, providing a final technical viability assessment that can support decision-making of technology selection and synergy implementation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Industrial Symbiosis and Sustainability)
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Article
How Does Integrated Reporting Change in Light of COVID-19? A Revisiting of the Content of the Integrated Reports
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7605; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12187605 - 15 Sep 2020
Cited by 11
Abstract
The crisis connected to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic represents an epochal event destined to generate strong economic and social consequences. The impact of the pandemic on business activities and business models also entails rethinking reporting practices. The pandemic has, in fact, [...] Read more.
The crisis connected to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic represents an epochal event destined to generate strong economic and social consequences. The impact of the pandemic on business activities and business models also entails rethinking reporting practices. The pandemic has, in fact, created an enormous need for investors and stakeholders in general for future-oriented information relating to the impacts of this event on organizations. Integrated reporting is an ideal tool to provide information related to the effects of the pandemic and provide a holistic view of the future prospects of organizations. This study, using legitimacy theory and based on a two-step methodology, highlighted a series of information that companies will need to have to include in integrated reports to maintain and defend legitimacy. The results provide a double perspective: the first based on content elements and the second based on capitals. The results represent an important guideline for companies for the preparation of future integrated reports. Full article
Article
Bankruptcy or Success? The Effective Prediction of a Company’s Financial Development Using LSTM
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7529; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12187529 - 12 Sep 2020
Cited by 8
Abstract
There is no doubt that the issue of making a good prediction about a company’s possible failure is very important, as well as complicated. A number of models have been created for this very purpose, of which one, the long short-term memory (LSTM) [...] Read more.
There is no doubt that the issue of making a good prediction about a company’s possible failure is very important, as well as complicated. A number of models have been created for this very purpose, of which one, the long short-term memory (LSTM) model, holds a unique position in that it generates very good results. The objective of this contribution is to create a methodology for the identification of a company failure (bankruptcy) using artificial neural networks (hereinafter referred to as “NN”) with at least one long short-term memory (LSTM) layer. A bankruptcy model was created using deep learning, for which at least one layer of LSTM was used for the construction of the NN. For the purposes of this contribution, Wolfram’s Mathematica 13 (Wolfram Research, Champaign, Illinois) software was used. The research results show that LSTM NN can be used as a tool for predicting company failure. The objective of the contribution was achieved, since the model of a NN was developed, which is able to predict the future development of a company operating in the manufacturing sector in the Czech Republic. It can be applied to small, medium-sized and manufacturing companies alike, as well as used by financial institutions, investors, or auditors as an alternative for evaluating the financial health of companies in a given field. The model is flexible and can therefore be trained according to a different dataset or environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Company Assessment: Basis of Its Sustainable Development)
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Article
Role of Seaweed in Diets of Samoa and Kiribati: Exploring Key Motivators for Consumption
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7356; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12187356 - 08 Sep 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Edible seaweeds have significant potential to contribute to sustainable diets that promote health of Pacific Islanders in ecologically, economically, and socially acceptable ways. No studies to date have investigated motivators for and the consumption of edible green seaweed from the genus Caulerpa (sea [...] Read more.
Edible seaweeds have significant potential to contribute to sustainable diets that promote health of Pacific Islanders in ecologically, economically, and socially acceptable ways. No studies to date have investigated motivators for and the consumption of edible green seaweed from the genus Caulerpa (sea grapes) in Samoa and Kiribati. An observational, cross-sectional study utilized an interviewer-administered questionnaire to explore consumption behaviors and the role of sea grapes in the current diets of individuals in Samoa and Kiribati. Of the total 145 participants (n = 79, 54.5% Samoa; n = 66, 45.5% Kiribati), half (n = 76, 52%) reported consuming sea grapes. A significantly greater proportion of Samoans (n = 56, 70.9%) reported consumption than I-Kiribati participants (n = 20, 30.3%). A greater proportion of consumers were male (n = 47, 61.8%). Samoan consumers reported consumption of sea grapes with a higher diversity of foods and being related to traditional events or ceremonies. Motivators for consumption varied between countries, with Samoan consumers reporting strong agreement for taste and value for money, and identified sea grapes as nutritious food, as influences on consumption. Easy access was a motivator in Kiribati only. The findings of this study are underpinned by the degree of food security and differences in culture in Samoa and Kiribati. Future public health efforts to integrate traditional fresh food into local food systems will need to work within the existing social parameters in each respective country. Full article
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Article
Impact on City Bus Transit Services of the COVID–19 Lockdown and Return to the New Normal: The Case of A Coruña (Spain)
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 7206; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177206 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 17
Abstract
The COVID–19 pandemic led to restrictions on activities and mobility in many parts of the world. After the main peak of the crisis, restrictions were gradually removed, returning to a new normal situation. This process has impacted urban mobility. The limited information on [...] Read more.
The COVID–19 pandemic led to restrictions on activities and mobility in many parts of the world. After the main peak of the crisis, restrictions were gradually removed, returning to a new normal situation. This process has impacted urban mobility. The limited information on the new normal situation shows changes that can be permanent or reversible. The impact on the diverse urban transport modes varies. This study analyzes the changes in transit ridership by line, the use of stops, the main origin–destination flows, changes in transit supply, operation time, and reliability of the city bus network of A Coruña. It is based on data from automatic vehicle location, bus stop boarding, and smart card use. Data from the first half of 2020 were compared to similar data in 2017–2019, defining suitable baselines for each analysis to avoid seasonal and day of week effects. The impact on transit ridership during the lockdown process was more significant than that on general traffic. In the new normal situation, the general traffic and the shared bike system recovered a higher percentage of their previous use than the bus system. These impacts are not uniform across the bus network. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Transportation)
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Article
Multi-Criteria Decision Making Process in Metropolitan Transport Means Selection Based on the Sharing Mobility Idea
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 7231; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177231 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 11
Abstract
The article presents the idea of modeling the decision-making process in the field of the metropolitan areas transport system. Due to the increasing process of metropolization and urbanization, which is predicted to be 68.4% worldwide and 83.7% in Europe in 2050, the issue [...] Read more.
The article presents the idea of modeling the decision-making process in the field of the metropolitan areas transport system. Due to the increasing process of metropolization and urbanization, which is predicted to be 68.4% worldwide and 83.7% in Europe in 2050, the issue will be even more sophisticated. The problem of depletion of transport network capacity as well as the implementation of modern technology solutions forces metropolitan committees to apply tools for metropolitan passenger transport system optimization. Significantly, the policy and regulations on sustainable urban mobility management are based on the mobility demand predictions and understanding of the travel decision-making process of citizens. The scientific purpose of this article is to build a mathematical model, as a tool supporting the multi-criteria decision-making process regarding the choice of means of transport in a developing metropolis. The issue raised in this article considers the most important research areas of the metropolitan transport means selection, which includes transport safety, qualitative, financial, and ecological aspects. The model was implemented in Silesian Metropolis in Poland with a particular emphasis on sharing mobility transport means users. As a result, a ranking of sharing transport means was developed, which is a piece of significant information for planners and future investors in the development of the metropolitan transport system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Road Traffic Engineering and Sustainable Transportation)
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Article
Impact Assessment of Additive Manufacturing on Sustainable Business Models in Industry 4.0 Context
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 7066; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177066 - 30 Aug 2020
Cited by 11
Abstract
Additive manufacturing has the potential to make a longstanding impact on the manufacturing world and is a core element of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Additive manufacturing signifies a new disruptive path on how we will produce parts and products. Several studies suggest this [...] Read more.
Additive manufacturing has the potential to make a longstanding impact on the manufacturing world and is a core element of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Additive manufacturing signifies a new disruptive path on how we will produce parts and products. Several studies suggest this technology could foster sustainability into manufacturing systems based on its potential of optimizing material consumption, creating new shapes, customizing designs and shortening production times that, all combined, will greatly transform some of the existing business models. Although it requires reaching a certain level of design maturity to completely insert this technology in an industrial setting, additive manufacturing has the potential to favorably impact the manufacturing sector by reducing costs in production, logistics, inventories, and in the development and industrialization of a new product. The transformation of the industry and the acceleration of the adopting rate of new technologies is driving organizational strategy. Thus, through the lenses of Industry 4.0 and its technological concepts, this paper aims to contribute to the knowledge about the impacts of additive manufacturing technology on sustainable business models. This aim is accomplished through a proposed framework, as well as the models and scales that can be used to determine these impacts. The effects are assessed by taking into account the social, environmental and economic impacts of additive manufacturing on business models and for all these three dimensions a balanced scorecard structure is proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Product Development and Life-Cycle Management)
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Article
Informal Seed Traders: The Backbone of Seed Business and African Smallholder Seed Supply
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 7074; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177074 - 30 Aug 2020
Cited by 5
Abstract
To work well and be sustainable, seed systems have to offer a range of crops and varieties of good quality seed and these products have to reach farmers, no matter how remote or poor they may be. Formal seed sector interventions alone are [...] Read more.
To work well and be sustainable, seed systems have to offer a range of crops and varieties of good quality seed and these products have to reach farmers, no matter how remote or poor they may be. Formal seed sector interventions alone are not delivering the crop portfolio or achieving the social and geographic breadth needed, and the paper argues for focus on informal seed channels and particularly on traders who move ‘potential seed’ (informal or local seed) even to high stress areas. This paper provides the first in-depth analysis on potential seed trader types and actions, drawing on data collected on 287 traders working in 10 African countries. The research delves into four themes: the types and hierarchies of traders; the technical ways traders manage seed using 11 core practices; the price differential of +50% of potential (local) seed over grain, and the pivotal roles which traders play in remote and crisis contexts. Traders are the backbone of smallholder seed security and need to be engaged, not ignored, in development and relief efforts. An action framework for leveraging seed trader skills is presented, with the paper addressing possible legal and donor constraints for engaging such market actors more fully. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Weed Control in the Agroecosystems)
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Article
Dynamic Development of the Global Organic Food Market and Opportunities for Ukraine
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 6963; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12176963 - 26 Aug 2020
Cited by 8
Abstract
Considering the insufficient usage of natural resources, ecological crisis, rising population and limitations of the traditional food system in the 21st century, it is extremely important to search for methods to achieve sustainable development. In this context, the search for alternative methods of [...] Read more.
Considering the insufficient usage of natural resources, ecological crisis, rising population and limitations of the traditional food system in the 21st century, it is extremely important to search for methods to achieve sustainable development. In this context, the search for alternative methods of farming and the transformation of typical food consumption is relevant; the organic market and its features are of particular interest. Based on the above, this article is dedicated to understanding what the development opportunities for the production and export of Ukrainian organic products within the global market are. To achieve this objective, it became necessary to study the specificities of the dynamic growth of the global organic food market, which includes identifying the dominant factors of its development, peculiarities of its regulation, evaluation of the current state, main trends and prospects. The study provides the characteristics of the top competitors in the global market, consumer segmentation and experience of the implementation of global and national organic sector development and support programs. As a result of the study, it was found that Ukraine has unrealized export potential that can be realized using a combination of practices used abroad (the active use of marketing tools, state support for the organic sector and increasing organic production by uniting producers into clusters and creating cooperatives). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture)
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Article
Best–Worst Method for Modelling Mobility Choice after COVID-19: Evidence from Italy
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 6824; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12176824 - 22 Aug 2020
Cited by 21
Abstract
All countries have suffered from the COVID-19 crisis; the pandemic has adversely impacted all sectors. In this study, we examine the transport sector with a specific focus on the problem of commuting mode choice and propose a new decision-making approach for the alternative [...] Read more.
All countries have suffered from the COVID-19 crisis; the pandemic has adversely impacted all sectors. In this study, we examine the transport sector with a specific focus on the problem of commuting mode choice and propose a new decision-making approach for the alternative modes after synthesizing expert opinions. As a methodology, a customized model of the recently developed best–worst method (BWM) is used to evaluate mobility choice alternatives. The survey reflects citizens’ opinions toward mobility choices in two Italian cities, Palermo and Catania, before and during the pandemic. BWM is a useful tool for examining mobility choice in big cities. The adopted model is easy to apply and capable of providing effective solutions for sustainable mode choice. The urban context is analyzed considering the importance of transport choices, evaluating the variation of resilience to the changing opinions of users. Full article
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Article
Influence of Individual Perceptions on the Decision to Adopt Automated Bus Services
Sustainability 2020, 12(16), 6484; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166484 - 11 Aug 2020
Cited by 5
Abstract
The rapid development of automated buses holds great potential for the development of transportation systems. As research into innovative forms of automated transportation systems gains momentum, it is important to understand the public’s perceptions of such public transport systems. Previous studies have contributed [...] Read more.
The rapid development of automated buses holds great potential for the development of transportation systems. As research into innovative forms of automated transportation systems gains momentum, it is important to understand the public’s perceptions of such public transport systems. Previous studies have contributed based on hypothetical scenarios, but not based on real observations. Based on an online survey in Stockholm in March 2019, the current research addresses this gap by investigating the public’s perceptions from a real, fully operational, automated public transportation service operated in a mixed traffic environment on public roads. The respondents were selected along the automated bus line in Barkabystaden, Stockholm. Our findings indicate that (1) The presence of onboard operators has a positive impact on respondents’ perceived safety, (2) People who have not taken automated buses before have a more negative perception of driving speed of the bus service than people who have taken the buses before, (3) Attitudinal factors, such as public perceptions of safety, driving speed, reliability, and convenience, have a significant influence on the acceptance of the new bus system, (4) As an emerging and innovative transportation mode, automated buses are expected to attract a high share of regular public transportation mode users and the younger generations in the future, (5) Social-demographic characteristics such as gender and income had no significant impacts on the adoption of the new technology. The results provide the characteristics of early bus adopters and their travel behavior and help to prioritize possible investments and allow the policymakers and private industries to identify the special needs of users. Full article
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Article
Regional Development in Russia: An Ecosystem Approach to Territorial Sustainability Assessment
Sustainability 2020, 12(16), 6424; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166424 - 10 Aug 2020
Cited by 7
Abstract
The current crisis has indicated the need to review the policy of economic growth and globalization towards the search for new sustainable models of the internal territory development able to resist external shocks and threats. To achieve this goal, it is required both [...] Read more.
The current crisis has indicated the need to review the policy of economic growth and globalization towards the search for new sustainable models of the internal territory development able to resist external shocks and threats. To achieve this goal, it is required both to implement sustainability strategies, and to assess the obtained results towards sustainable development. Despite an abundance of literature on sustainability assessment, there is a lack of understanding of the application of sustainability assessment in regional/local contexts. The purpose of the article is to improve theoretical and methodological aspects of the formation of territorial (regional) ecosystems by developing a new approach to assessing its sustainability. We believe that territorial ecosystem sustainability assessment is possible through the entropy of a complex system composed of the entropies of its constituent ecosystems or the entropies of different types of territorial capital (human, production, natural). An application of the entropy approach allows to understand specific features of a particular ecosystem characteristics. We demonstrate our methodology with two empirical case studies of territorial ecosystems of Penza and Vladimir regions. As a result of the analysis, it was found that ecosystem’s sustainability is achieved, primarily, due to the natural capital of the territory. The methodology proposed in our study aims at ensuring comprehensiveness and robustness of the evaluation supporting the decision-making process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability)
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Article
Circular Economy. A Review and Bibliometric Analysis
Sustainability 2020, 12(16), 6381; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166381 - 07 Aug 2020
Cited by 13
Abstract
The aim of the study is mapping the thematic structure of the circular economy research by mapping research outputs related to it. The methodology consists of developing a bibliometric study based on data obtained from the Web of Science and the Scimago Journal [...] Read more.
The aim of the study is mapping the thematic structure of the circular economy research by mapping research outputs related to it. The methodology consists of developing a bibliometric study based on data obtained from the Web of Science and the Scimago Journal & Country Rank from 2016 to 2019. Some descriptive and bibliographic maps and strategic diagrams are shown; they are generated by SciMAT and VOSViewer. In addition, there is also a bibliometric analysis using alternative metrics. The analysis highlights a new perspective on the subject, analysing the concept from the business administration perspective and not only from the traditional viewpoint of the environmental sciences and industrial production. Finally, the analysis identifies future implications of the circular economy linked to the field of business management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Circular Economy and Sustainable Firm Management)
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Article
“Mobility as a Service” Platforms: A Critical Path towards Increasing the Sustainability of Transportation Systems
Sustainability 2020, 12(16), 6368; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166368 - 07 Aug 2020
Cited by 6
Abstract
Urban mobility is experiencing a profound change. Mobility patterns are becoming more complex, and typical home–work–home travel is no longer the rule, as journeys tend to connect multiple points in a rather inconstant pattern. This has changed the approach to transport planning. Existing [...] Read more.
Urban mobility is experiencing a profound change. Mobility patterns are becoming more complex, and typical home–work–home travel is no longer the rule, as journeys tend to connect multiple points in a rather inconstant pattern. This has changed the approach to transport planning. Existing transportation planning and operation approaches have been focussed on the ability to identify and forecast typical home–work/school–home travel and subsequently plan the transport system accordingly. The traditional approach has been: Forecast - > plan - > deliver. New mobility patterns and mobility solutions are characterised by greater flexibility, taking advantage of the “sharing concept” and simultaneously providing solutions that have lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. These dynamics and an evolving environment raise several new challenges at different levels, fostering the development of Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS). This system transforms the physical transportation system into a commodity and takes advantage of the internet of things (IoT). However, the onset of MaaS solutions is anything but linear. Several business models have emerged, with different partners originating from different industries (e.g., technological, transport operators, infrastructure managers, etc.) developing their own solutions, often in competition with others. It is not unusual to find different MaaS solutions in the same city, which integrate different solutions. This paper intends to provide an analysis on the main challenges affecting mobility in general, and MaaS in particular, as well as the main business models used for delivering MaaS solutions. The paper uses a case study in Lisbon to illustrate some of the challenges. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Sustainable Transportation Models and Applications)
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Article
Drought Stress Alleviation by ACC Deaminase Producing Achromobacter xylosoxidans and Enterobacter cloacae, with and without Timber Waste Biochar in Maize
Sustainability 2020, 12(15), 6286; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12156286 - 04 Aug 2020
Cited by 14
Abstract
The high consumption of water in industries, domestic areas and increasing earth temperature are major hurdles for the optimization of maize yield. Being the third most widely cultivated cereal crop, improvement in maize yield is a big challenge under the limited availability of [...] Read more.
The high consumption of water in industries, domestic areas and increasing earth temperature are major hurdles for the optimization of maize yield. Being the third most widely cultivated cereal crop, improvement in maize yield is a big challenge under the limited availability of irrigation. As the water requirement for maize cultivation is high, it is time to introduce technologies that can mitigate drought stress and are environmentally friendly. The inoculation of rhizobacteria with ‘1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate deaminase’ (ACCD) can play an imperative role in that regard by decreasing stress ethylene in plants. Biochar (BC) can also alleviate drought stress. Therefore, a field study was conducted, to examine the single and combined application of drought-tolerant plant-growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPRs) Achromobacter xylosoxidans and Enterobacter cloacae, with 15 Mg ha−1 of timber waste biochar (TWBC) at normal irrigation = 16 irrigations, mild drought = 14 irrigations and severe drought = 12 irrigation for maize cultivation. A significant improvement in shoot dry weight (28%), 1000-grains weight (19%), grain yield (27%), concentrations of N (43%), P (92%) and K (71%) in grains, rate of photosynthesis (33%), transpiration rate (55%), stomatal conductance (104%), chlorophyll A (33%), chlorophyll B (62%) and total chlorophyll (45%) of maize was noted under drought stress where E. cloacae + TWBC was applied. Likewise, the application of A. xylosoxidans + TWBC also significantly enhanced the plant height (24%) and cob length (9%) of maize under drought stress. In conclusion, E. cloacae is more effective than A. xylosoxidans, with 15 Mg ha−1 TWBC to increase maize yield under drought stress, due to the potential of higher ‘1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate’ (ACC)-deaminase synthesis, better nutrient solubilization and indole acetic acid (IAA) production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Soil Health Management)
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Article
Sustainability in Tourism as an Innovation Driver: An Analysis of Family Business Reality
Sustainability 2020, 12(15), 6149; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12156149 - 30 Jul 2020
Cited by 17
Abstract
Sustainable tourism can be the motivation to manage resources to satisfy environmental, social and economic needs through cultural integrity, biological diversity, ecological processes, social and economic equity, and general enrichment. Based on a systematic literature review conducted on research papers published between 2015 [...] Read more.
Sustainable tourism can be the motivation to manage resources to satisfy environmental, social and economic needs through cultural integrity, biological diversity, ecological processes, social and economic equity, and general enrichment. Based on a systematic literature review conducted on research papers published between 2015 and 2020, and on the case studies contained within them (19 papers), this analysis focuses on the innovation drivers and sustainability drivers identified within family businesses in tourism. This desk-based research has made it possible to highlight how variable sustainability is present, albeit in a limited fashion, within family businesses in tourism; at the same time, it also shows how innovative strategies contribute to sustainable development. From the analysis, the correlations between family businesses, family dynamics, sustainability practices, innovation drivers and case studies were analyzed. The results show the poor implementation of innovative strategies, and at the same time, the presence of other variables that guarantee the adoption of sustainable practices. Important research gaps are identified, and future research priorities are suggested. Furthermore, the article is based on a collection of non-exhaustive literary sources. The implications for both family businesses and sustainable development are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurship and Co-Evolution in Hospitality)
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Article
Impact Evaluation of Bike-Sharing on Bicycling Accessibility
Sustainability 2020, 12(15), 6124; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12156124 - 30 Jul 2020
Cited by 7
Abstract
The presence of bike-sharing has a significant influence on the ease of trips by bike, which is one critical aspect of bicycling accessibility (BAcc). The existing measurements of BAcc rarely consider the factor of ownership of bikes, which means that no distinction is [...] Read more.
The presence of bike-sharing has a significant influence on the ease of trips by bike, which is one critical aspect of bicycling accessibility (BAcc). The existing measurements of BAcc rarely consider the factor of ownership of bikes, which means that no distinction is made between private-bikes and shared bikes. To measure BAcc more fully, this paper proposes a method to evaluate the influences of bike-sharing on BAcc and to perform the method on a real-world case study in Beijing. It is found that bike-sharing has a boosting effect on BAcc, and the increased rate of BAcc is significantly affected by bicycling frequency and shared-bike availability. A case study in Beijing utilizing geo-location data collected from two major bike-sharing companies (OFO and Mo-bike) illustrates the significance of the impact of bike-sharing on BAcc and the necessity to include bike-sharing in the measurement of BAcc. Besides, the case study shows BAcc around the transit station is better than that over the whole area. Given that bicycling feeds transit, this research lays the foundation for analyzing the combination of bike-sharing and transit from the perspective of accessibility and can further support transportation planning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Transportation)
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Article
A Structural Analysis for the Categorization of the Negative Externalities of Transport and the Hierarchical Organization of Sustainable Mobility’s Strategies
Sustainability 2020, 12(15), 6011; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12156011 - 27 Jul 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
Transport systems are capable of contributing to the economic robustness of a geographic area and the well-being of its inhabitants via the supply of the necessary assets for the mobility of people and goods. However, transport projects have the capacity to produce several [...] Read more.
Transport systems are capable of contributing to the economic robustness of a geographic area and the well-being of its inhabitants via the supply of the necessary assets for the mobility of people and goods. However, transport projects have the capacity to produce several negative externalities such as water pollution, air pollution, barrier effects, noise, and ecological impact, which affect the quality of people’s life. Considering these facts, the main purpose of this study is to indicate methodologically how the negative externalities of transport are interlinked, so that to promote sustainable mobility development. This paper reveals via the method of structural analysis, the interrelations between the negative externalities of transport, firstly to organize them hierarchically and secondly to evaluate the potential of sustainable mobility strategies concerning the co-benefits generated by their implementation for society. The results show that the negative externalities of transport are not isolated phenomena; on the contrary, they are interlinked and can be organised hierarchically according to the relationships between them so that certain public policies can be prioritized and the negative impacts of transport can be tackled more effectively. The most critical negative externalities are the invasion of public space for the construction of more roads, along with road accidents, congestion, and local air pollution. On the other hand, the most important group of strategies for sustainable mobility are the ones oriented to urban design, and more specifically to transit-oriented development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Sustainability in Urban Transportation Planning)
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Article
Does Audit Improve the Quality of ESG Scores? Evidence from Corporate Misconduct
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5670; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145670 - 15 Jul 2020
Cited by 8
Abstract
One of the main controversial aspects of sustainability metrics relies on the accuracy, transparency, and reliability of the information at the basis of environmental, social and governance (ESG) scores. This paper investigates whether firms that have their ESG reporting audited by independent firms [...] Read more.
One of the main controversial aspects of sustainability metrics relies on the accuracy, transparency, and reliability of the information at the basis of environmental, social and governance (ESG) scores. This paper investigates whether firms that have their ESG reporting audited by independent firms exhibit a higher quality of ESG scores. We performed an analysis investigating the change in ESG scores following the unveiling of a corporate misconduct. We documented that, overall, no significant ESG score adjustment occurs after the scandal becomes public, thus, implying that rating agencies provide an accurate interpretation of the firm’s sustainability. However, our results differed when we distinguished between audited and unaudited reports. Firms whose reports are audited by third parties did not exhibit significant changes in their scores after a scandal, whereas for companies whose reports are not audited, we detected a worsening of the ESG scores that are statistically significant. Our findings were also confirmed in a multivariate analysis. Overall, our results suggest that the reliability of ESG scores can benefit from the auditing of sustainability reporting by third parties, which has an assurance effect on the quality of the company’s ESG information. Full article
Article
Anthropogenic and Inherent Effects on Soil Organic Carbon across the U.S
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5695; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145695 - 15 Jul 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
Soil organic carbon (SOC) influences several soil functions, making it one of the most important soil health indicators. Its quantity is determined by anthropogenic and inherent factors that must be understood to improve SOC management and interpretation. Topsoil (≤15 cm) SOC response to [...] Read more.
Soil organic carbon (SOC) influences several soil functions, making it one of the most important soil health indicators. Its quantity is determined by anthropogenic and inherent factors that must be understood to improve SOC management and interpretation. Topsoil (≤15 cm) SOC response to tillage depth and intensity, cover crops, stover removal, manure addition, and various cropping systems was assessed using 7610 observations from eight U.S. regions. Overall, including cover crops, reducing tillage depth and intensity increased SOC. The positive effects of cover crops were more noticeable in South Central, Northwest, and Midwest regions. Removing high rates (>65%) of crop residue decreased SOC in Midwestern and Southeastern soils. Depending on region, applying manure increased SOC by 21 to 41%, compared to non-manured soils. Diversified cropping systems (e.g., those utilizing small mixed vegetables, perennials, or dairy-based systems) had the highest topsoil SOC content, while more intensive annual row crops and large-scale single vegetable production systems, had the lowest. Among inherent factors, SOC increased as precipitation increased, but decreased as mean annual temperature increased. Texture influenced SOC, showing higher values in fine-texture than coarse-texture soils. Finally, this assessment confirmed that SOC can be a sensitive soil health indicator for evaluating conservation practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Soil Health Management)
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Article
A Multi-Criteria Structure for Sustainable Implementation of Urban Distribution Centers in Historical Cities
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5538; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145538 - 09 Jul 2020
Cited by 6
Abstract
This paper proposes a structure for sustainable implementation of urban distribution centers (UDCs) in historical cities, considering the opinion of the main stakeholders involved in the urban distribution of goods and a set of additional criteria. Based on a survey that was conducted [...] Read more.
This paper proposes a structure for sustainable implementation of urban distribution centers (UDCs) in historical cities, considering the opinion of the main stakeholders involved in the urban distribution of goods and a set of additional criteria. Based on a survey that was conducted among carriers, traffic wardens, and retailers, a decision hierarchy structure, consisting of the relevant criteria evaluated by various statistical techniques, will be used for sustainable implementation of UDCs. The methodology uses a database collected in the historical center of Ouro Preto, a Brazilian city which contains common characteristics of other Latin American and some European cities that are included in the World Heritage List. This structure is unique, as it is based on a survey among the main stakeholders, and can be applied by logistics operators and local authorities for implementing UDCs to address urban distribution issues, especially in historical cities. However, without loss of generality, the proposed methodology can be adopted for different cities using the appropriate criteria according to the characteristics of the cities. Full article
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Article
An Actor-Oriented Multi-Criteria Assessment Framework to Support a Transition towards Sustainable Agricultural Systems Based on Crop Diversification
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5434; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135434 - 06 Jul 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
Crop diversification represents a key lever to support the development of sustainable agri-food systems. Knowledge on trade-offs and carry over effects from different crop diversification strategies is essential to inform agricultural stakeholders of potential costs and benefits. This knowledge is limited by existing [...] Read more.
Crop diversification represents a key lever to support the development of sustainable agri-food systems. Knowledge on trade-offs and carry over effects from different crop diversification strategies is essential to inform agricultural stakeholders of potential costs and benefits. This knowledge is limited by existing data and performance measures predominantly focused on single crops, rather than complete rotations. Moreover, sustainability performance indicators are often used for assessment purposes, rather than supporting stakeholder learning and actions. A new set of 32 indicators was developed to address these needs, and used to evaluate the environmental, economic and social sustainability of the diversified agricultural systems highlighted in the case studies, which are often characterized by data availability constraints. This approach was tested in France, Germany and Italy to determine a critical ex-post diagnosis of the existing systems, and for the assessment of ex-ante innovative scenarios. The results will be used to support these case studies in the identification and design of more sustainable agricultural systems. Although the framework is based on feasible and proxy indicators, the assessment outcomes have allowed local actors to reflect on the effects generated by the implemented crop diversification strategies. Key issues include trade-offs occurring between optimizing economic and environmental performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity 2020: Agriculture, Environment and Wellbeing)
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Article
Socio-Economic Transformations in Ukraine towards the Sustainable Development of Agriculture
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5441; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135441 - 06 Jul 2020
Cited by 9
Abstract
The social and economic conditions of all market participants are incentives and constraining factors influencing the levels of food, social, economic and ecologic security. The purpose of the article lies in the presentation of the author’s concept of the social and economic conditions [...] Read more.
The social and economic conditions of all market participants are incentives and constraining factors influencing the levels of food, social, economic and ecologic security. The purpose of the article lies in the presentation of the author’s concept of the social and economic conditions where the transformation of economic relations between agrofood market participants is happening—in particular, the livestock products market of Ukraine—and the assessment of the state of food security of the country, as well as a comparison, by the same criteria, of the conditions of agrofood market participants in Ukraine and in four European countries: Germany, France, Italy, and Poland. This research was based on the application of empirical knowledge methods: observation, comparison, description, measurement, statistic methods, etc. So far, the participant functioning conditions in the agricultural market in Ukraine are unfavorable for the sustainable development of agriculture, especially the livestock industry. The debt burden of external creditors is growing, the amount of direct investments from the countries of the world decreases, and the growth of capital investment in terms of calculation per one employee is slowing down. The food security of Ukraine is unstable. The “market” itself is not capable of remedying all the negative phenomena. Therefore, it is necessary to apply the weighted power of the state. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture)
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Article
Addressing Inequality: The First Step Beyond COVID-19 and Towards Sustainability
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5404; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135404 - 03 Jul 2020
Cited by 17
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted billions of lives across the world and has revealed and worsened the social and economic inequalities that have emerged over the past several decades. As governments consider public health and economic strategies to respond to the crisis, it [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted billions of lives across the world and has revealed and worsened the social and economic inequalities that have emerged over the past several decades. As governments consider public health and economic strategies to respond to the crisis, it is critical they also address the weaknesses of their economic and social systems that inhibited their ability to respond comprehensively to the pandemic. These same weaknesses have also undermined efforts to advance equality and sustainability. This paper explores over 30 interventions across the following nine categories of change that hold the potential to address inequality, provide all citizens with access to essential goods and services, and advance progress towards sustainability: (1) Income and wealth transfers to facilitate an equitable increase in purchasing power/disposable income; (2) broadening worker and citizen ownership of the means of production and supply of services, allowing corporate profit-taking to be more equitably distributed; (3) changes in the supply of essential goods and services for more citizens; (4) changes in the demand for more sustainable goods and services desired by people; (5) stabilizing and securing employment and the workforce; (6) reducing the disproportionate power of corporations and the very wealthy on the market and political system through the expansion and enforcement of antitrust law such that the dominance of a few firms in critical sectors no longer prevails; (7) government provision of essential goods and services such as education, healthcare, housing, food, and mobility; (8) a reallocation of government spending between military operations and domestic social needs; and (9) suspending or restructuring debt from emerging and developing countries. Any interventions that focus on growing the economy must also be accompanied by those that offset the resulting compromises to health, safety, and the environment from increasing unsustainable consumption. This paper compares and identifies the interventions that should be considered as an important foundational first step in moving beyond the COVID-19 pandemic and towards sustainability. In this regard, it provides a comprehensive set of strategies that could advance progress towards a component of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 10 to reduce inequality within countries. However, the candidate interventions are also contrasted with all 17 SDGs to reveal potential problem areas/tradeoffs that may need careful attention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability)
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Article
Evaluation of Aircraft Boarding Scenarios Considering Reduced Transmissions Risks
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5329; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135329 - 01 Jul 2020
Cited by 11
Abstract
Air travel appears as particularly hazardous in a pandemic situation, since infected people can travel worldwide and could cause new breakouts in remote locations. The confined space conditions in the aircraft cabin necessitate a small physical distance between passengers and hence may boost [...] Read more.
Air travel appears as particularly hazardous in a pandemic situation, since infected people can travel worldwide and could cause new breakouts in remote locations. The confined space conditions in the aircraft cabin necessitate a small physical distance between passengers and hence may boost virus transmissions. In our contribution, we implemented a transmission model in a virtual aircraft environment to evaluate the individual interactions between passengers during aircraft boarding and deboarding. Since no data for the transmission is currently available, we reasonably calibrated our model using a sample case from 2003. The simulation results show that standard boarding procedures create a substantial number of possible transmissions if a contagious passenger is present. The introduction of physical distances between passengers decreases the number of possible transmissions by approx. 75% for random boarding sequences, and could further decreased by more strict reduction of hand luggage items (less time for storage, compartment space is always available). If a second door is used for boarding and deboarding, the standard boarding times could be reached. Individual boarding strategies (by seat) could reduce the transmission potential to a minimum, but demand for complex pre-sorting of passengers. Our results also exhibit that deboarding consists of the highest transmission potential and only minor benefits from distance rules and hand luggage regulations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Technologies and Innovations for Sustainable Air Transportation)
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Article
Sustainability of Railway Undertaking Services with Lean Philosophy in Risk Management—Case Study