Special Issue "Achieving Sustainable Village Development though Traditional and Innovative Approaches"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 October 2018).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Adrian Pitts
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Centre for Urban Design, Architecture and Sustainability, University of Huddersfield, Queensgate, Huddersfield HD1 3DH, UK
Interests: climate sensitive/bioclimatic design; planning and design strategies at neighbourhood and urban level; environmental assessment techniques; design for health, well-being and security
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Yun Gao
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Centre for Urban Design, Architecture and Sustainability, University of Huddersfield, Queensgate, Huddersfield HD1 3DH, UK
Interests: vernacular architecture development in South China; work based learning in practice; cross-culture design and education; planning and design strategies
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Much research activity and public attention is often focused on solving the sustainability issues associated with cities and the urbanisation process. This attitude neglects the billions of people who still live in villages around the world, and who will continue to reside there despite city expansion. They are mainly located in rural areas, but are sometimes hidden within larger conurbations.  This special issue will focus on rich and diverse craft and construction traditions, as well as innovative methods and solutions being developed in contemporary contexts that will support sustainable village development.  

Village sustainability is perhaps most obviously a problem for developing countries, as villages lose their most productive residents, leaving behind mainly women, the young, and the old. Developed countries can also find different issues impacting villages when their populations are made up of relatively prosperous commuters or second-home owners with little interaction at the local level.

Research is being carried out in response to these issues around the globe, and it is timely to provide a collective forum for publication. In particular, this special issue wishes to gather research that addresses how social, cultural, and technical opportunities using both traditional and innovative methods to support sustainability are being developed. It will also showcase reports on contemporary investigations to help identify barriers and the means to overcome them. Such research also links to developing national policies in some parts of the world where governments have recognised future risks.

“Social and Cultural issues” encompasses a range of themes: the historical setting and functions of the built environment; ethnic background and groupings within the village; approaches to understanding and solving sustainability issues within communities; and support to change cultures and develop skills to promote solutions. “Technical issues” include: technologies and techniques appropriate for village settings and scales; environmental skills required; use and understanding of local materials; solutions that are appropriate in terms of scale (e.g., for energy production); and design and construction of buildings and their surroundings to support self-sufficiency. Of course, the intersection of social, cultural, and technical issues can provide even greater potential to achieve success.

The Editors of this special issue of Sustainability therefore invite and welcome contributions, and would be pleased to provide further information and assistance to potential authors.

Prof. Dr. Adrian Pitts
Dr. Yun Gao
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • village development
  • innovation
  • tradition
  • technology and culture

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
Improving the Sustainability of Traditional Dwellings in Yunnan, China: Seismic Resistance Testing of Wood-frame and Earth-Built Wall Dwellings
Sustainability 2019, 11(4), 977; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11040977 - 14 Feb 2019
Abstract
The Southwest provinces of China are locations with a rich variety of different dwelling design typologies based on traditional cultures and ethnic groups. In this area, the Province of Yunnan has many such dwelling types, and it is also an area with most [...] Read more.
The Southwest provinces of China are locations with a rich variety of different dwelling design typologies based on traditional cultures and ethnic groups. In this area, the Province of Yunnan has many such dwelling types, and it is also an area with most frequent earthquakes in China. The seismic problems of housing structure must therefore be solved as part of the study on sustainable development of villages to provide relevant advice for future design options. This paper reports research, which evolved over a ten-year period that deals with the seismic capacity of residential buildings. Simulations using shaking table tests were carried out to assess the performance of traditional residential structures as well with the impacts of material modifications and the structural strengthening of common residential building components found in Yunnan. Relevant and pertinent construction technology solutions that could enhance the seismic capacity of residential buildings and act as innovative improvements for the sustainability of rural dwellings are suggested. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sustainable Mountain Village Construction Adapted to Livelihood, Topography, and Hydrology: A Case of Dong Villages in Southeast Guizhou, China
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4619; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124619 - 05 Dec 2018
Abstract
A sustainable environment needs the effort and experience from both urban and rural areas. Some villages have achieved sustainability utilizing the concept of ecological stability. This paper takes the Dong villages in the Duliujiang River Basin in the Southeastern Guizhou as an example. [...] Read more.
A sustainable environment needs the effort and experience from both urban and rural areas. Some villages have achieved sustainability utilizing the concept of ecological stability. This paper takes the Dong villages in the Duliujiang River Basin in the Southeastern Guizhou as an example. Based on the anthropological “ethnographic text” and the morphological “village space information”, this paper analyzes the impact of the mountain rice livelihood model and different hydrological–topographic conditions on the spatial pattern of settlements, focusing on the sustainable construction wisdom. The findings are as follows: (1) Dong people’s migration follows the “River Valley–Mountain Valley–Mountain Slope” path, with maintenance of the rice livelihood model and, finally, derived from the “Mountain–Water–Forest–Paddy Field–Village” spatial pattern, the “Mountain–Water–(Pond)–Field–Forest–Village”, “Mountain–Water–Terrace–Forest–Village” settlement space patterns are formed. (2) The Dong’s settlements form a sustainable overall space. “Mountain–Water–Forest–Paddy Field” each play an ecological role and form an organic whole. Their management mechanism of utilizing limited natural resources has played an important management and supervision role. (3) The natural base of “Mountain–Water–Forest–Paddy Field–Village” is in accordance with their livelihood model and social culture, forming a unique ecosystem. It has become the basic environment for them to obtain survival sustenance, which still has prominent values today. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
One Village One Product (OVOP)—A Rural Development Strategy and the Early Adaption in Vietnam, the Case of Quang Ninh Province
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4485; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124485 - 28 Nov 2018
Abstract
Agriculture and rural development has continuously been a hot debate and received significant attention from literature. In this context, endogenous development is considered to be basic approach for rural development strategies in many countries of which the Japanese model namely One Village One [...] Read more.
Agriculture and rural development has continuously been a hot debate and received significant attention from literature. In this context, endogenous development is considered to be basic approach for rural development strategies in many countries of which the Japanese model namely One Village One Product (OVOP) is a successful one. This paper studies the OVOP movement and analyzes its early adaption in Vietnam, the so-called One Commune One Product (OCOP). This question is addressed by reviewing the existing literature on OVOP following by a case study in Quang Ninh province, Vietnam. The results, reveal, in practice, despite some criticism, OCOP strategy in general generate employment opportunities, incomes; enhance creativity and capability of local people. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Consumer Perceptions of the Commodification and Related Conservation of Traditional Indigenous Naxi Forest Products as Credence Goods (China)
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3801; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103801 - 20 Oct 2018
Abstract
Commodification of Traditional Knowledge (TK) has been posited as a possible, although contested, alternative for the conservation of indigenous resources. Here we examine the case of the Chinese Naxi minority, with particular reference to the practice of sacred “Dongba” papermaking. The commodification of [...] Read more.
Commodification of Traditional Knowledge (TK) has been posited as a possible, although contested, alternative for the conservation of indigenous resources. Here we examine the case of the Chinese Naxi minority, with particular reference to the practice of sacred “Dongba” papermaking. The commodification of TK is a complex process with many pitfalls and trade-offs between the environment, economy, and social empowerment. In the process of commodification, consumers have arisen as an important force in environmental politics. To date, little is known about the way domestic tourists, the main consumer base of indigenous products, perceive Dongba paper. In this context, we examined their knowledge of Naxi culture, their willingness to pay for sustainably produced paper, and their perceptions of the product’s authenticity. This socio-economic study is based on a survey (n = 415) in rural Southwest China. We found a significant potential to market Dongba paper as a sustainable indigenous product. Although knowledge about Naxi culture was circumscribed (3% could identify the plant used for papermaking), the majority of respondents (55%) was willing to pay for TK protection. Respondents also preferred third-party labelling. We posit that TK products could be seen as credence goods, necessitating certification to ensure product authenticity and establish consumer trust. Markedly, the survey also found that attitudes as to who should provide third-party assurance are contradictory. The Chinese government was preferred as the strongest assurance of genuineness, but paradoxically, commanded the least trust in its ability to manage and fund the conservation of TK. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Comparative Changes of Influence Factors of Rural Residential Area Based on Spatial Econometric Regression Model: A Case Study of Lishan Township, Hubei Province, China
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3403; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103403 - 25 Sep 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
The influencing factors of rural residential areas have always been a key research direction in addressing rural problems in China. By introducing a spatial regression model combined with Kernel Density Estimation and Buffer Analysis, this study made a comparative study on the quantification [...] Read more.
The influencing factors of rural residential areas have always been a key research direction in addressing rural problems in China. By introducing a spatial regression model combined with Kernel Density Estimation and Buffer Analysis, this study made a comparative study on the quantification of the influencing factors of rural residential areas in 2009, 2012, and 2015 in Lishan Township, Hubei Province, China. The results showed that the elevation and slope of Lishan Township have always played a decisive role in the distribution of rural residential areas, that the influence of the water system is abnormal, and that the influence of roads and townships has been strengthened based on the spatial statistical analysis. Then, based on spatial econometric regression analysis, the coefficients of “Topographic indices” (CTI) were 0.666, 0.719, and 0.439 in 2009, 2012, and 2015, respectively. The coefficients of Road (CR) were 0.170, 0.112, and 0.108, respectively. The coefficients of Town (CT) were 0.120, 0.127, and 0.166, respectively. The coefficients of Water system (CWS) were 0.166, 0.124, and 0.173, respectively. With the change of time, the influence of road decreased and the influence of town increased gradually. Furthermore, the influence of the water system and topography showed volatility. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Application of Sustainable Development in Indigenous People’s Revival: The History of an Indigenous Tribe’s Struggle in Taiwan
Sustainability 2018, 10(9), 3259; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10093259 - 12 Sep 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Community development is seen as a crucial factor to realize sustainable development and vice versa, and for indigenous peoples in particular due to their associations with nature and natural resources. However, historical exploitation of indigenous peoples has resulted in their underachievement worldwide. The [...] Read more.
Community development is seen as a crucial factor to realize sustainable development and vice versa, and for indigenous peoples in particular due to their associations with nature and natural resources. However, historical exploitation of indigenous peoples has resulted in their underachievement worldwide. The popularization of the concept of sustainable development followed a series of international treaties and conventions that shed light on indigenous peoples’ revival. Drawing upon Michel Foucault’s notion of the power-knowledge relationship, this article uses a case study of an indigenous tribe, the Smangus in Taiwan, to demonstrate how a politically, socially and economically disadvantaged community incorporates their traditional norms and customs into the notion of sustainable development and reinterprets it to adapt the community’s conditions. By re-uniting the community and establishing a cooperative organization, the community has revived cohesion in their community. The community’s conduct is investigated through the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals 2015–2030, and the article illustrates how it fulfils three Targets and the extent to which they are fulfilled. To conclude, Smangus’ case remind us of the importance of achieving sustainable development goals on micro- and local levels, and the value of empowering local communities to pursue their own sustainable development goals according to their circumstances. This article ends with suggestions for future research, and suggests that more studies using such a bottom-up approach to sustainable development would help to accumulate knowledge and experiences to establish a pattern of success to help other disadvantaged communities, draw focus to the need to bridge the policy gaps between the United Nations and local communities, and recall attention to the role of micro- and local communities to achieve sustainable development goals. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Design Methodology for Street-Oriented Block Housing Considering Daylight and Natural Ventilation
Sustainability 2018, 10(9), 3154; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10093154 - 04 Sep 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
This study presents a design methodology for street-oriented block housing, as a model for gradual small-scale block-unit development, that can secure two hours of continuous access to daylight on the winter solstice at azimuth angles of 0° and 60° in Seoul, South Korea, [...] Read more.
This study presents a design methodology for street-oriented block housing, as a model for gradual small-scale block-unit development, that can secure two hours of continuous access to daylight on the winter solstice at azimuth angles of 0° and 60° in Seoul, South Korea, and, in addition, developed a methodology for wind path planning for existing types of developed housing. The results of this study have confirmed the feasibility of a housing design that can secure two hours of continuous access to daylight along with no less than 200 percent of development density, achieved through the elimination of self-shadows by using distances between residential buildings and shadow characteristics according to azimuth angles. In addition, the study identified an air flow stagnation section by assessing the air flow of the exterior space of street-oriented block housing in consideration of day-lit environments, and examined a planning model that can enhance natural ventilation potential by activating the air flow of the exterior space. Wind path planning was conducted for 24 alternatives that were produced based on the developed design methodology, and the wind velocity ratio of street-oriented block housing ranged from 0.34 to 0.59. In terms of disadvantages of street-oriented block housing in securing wind paths, this study confirmed that air flow could be strengthened by adjusting the form of the lower-part opening, which is open in the direction of incoming wind, designing a staggered mass layout in high-rise masses, and combining building floor heights. The above findings of this study suggest that a performance-based approach is necessary for the improvement of environmental performance in street-oriented block housing, in consideration of azimuth angles and the prevailing wind direction from the initial phase of planning. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Evolution of Rural Livelihood Strategies in a Remote Sino-Mongolian Border Area: A Cross-Country Analysis
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 1011; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10041011 - 29 Mar 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
Ecologically sound natural resources management is still the backbone of rural livelihoods in many regions of the world. The Altai-Dzungarian region between China and Mongolia constitutes an ideal site to study how political, economic, infrastructural, and cultural differences affect rural livelihoods. Structured semi-quantitative [...] Read more.
Ecologically sound natural resources management is still the backbone of rural livelihoods in many regions of the world. The Altai-Dzungarian region between China and Mongolia constitutes an ideal site to study how political, economic, infrastructural, and cultural differences affect rural livelihoods. Structured semi-quantitative interviews were conducted with 483 households on both sides to characterise their current livelihood strategies and assess the importance of the various activities for the households’ current socio-economic situation by means of the categorical principal component and two-step cluster analysis. In total, four livelihood clusters were identified across both regions, whereby one cluster was only present in Mongolia. In general, all clusters mirrored the transition from almost pure pastoralist to agro-pastoralist livelihood strategies. While animal husbandry was more common in Mongolia and crop farming more common in China, most households in both countries pursued a rather mixed approach. The composition of the herds, as well as the richness and diversity of the livestock species, differed significantly between the countries and was generally higher in Mongolia. Supplementary feedstuff and pesticide and fertiliser use were higher in China, along with diversification of produces. Our analysis indicates that until very recently the livelihood strategies on both sides of the border were the same, manifesting in the fact that we can define three identical clusters across countries (environment factor) even though there are slight differences in land, livestock and asset endowment. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Perceptions and Attitudes Toward Eco-Toilet Systems in Rural Areas: A Case Study in the Philippines
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 521; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10020521 - 15 Feb 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Death due to diseases from poor sanitation is a serious global issue and it has become one of the priorities of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (i.e., SDG6). This SDG6 aims to provide adequate improved sanitation facilities to over 2.3 billion people [...] Read more.
Death due to diseases from poor sanitation is a serious global issue and it has become one of the priorities of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (i.e., SDG6). This SDG6 aims to provide adequate improved sanitation facilities to over 2.3 billion people around the world who have no or limited access to sanitation, wherein more than two-thirds of these un-served people live in rural areas. One of the strategies for addressing this global issue is through emerging sustainable sanitation technologies such as the Eco-Toilet System (ETS), which uses small amounts of water or is even waterless and recovers nutrients from human waste thereby promoting water-energy conservation, improved sanitation and supplement nutrients essential to plant growth. Social acceptance, however, remains a key barrier in deploying the ETS. A social perception study on the use of the ETS was conducted in a rural community in Mulanay, Philippines. The researchers analyzed the proposed combined technology acceptance model and theory of planned behavior (C-TAM-TPB) using multiple linear regression and the Mann-Whitney U-test to evaluate the perceptions and attitudes of a rural community towards the use of the ETS. The results showed that more than 50% of the respondents are aware of the nutrient value of human excreta and believe that it is usable as fertilizer; however, less than 25% prefer to utilize it for food production. Results also indicate that the behavior of the users is driven by their attitude (β = 0.420, p-value < 0.010). Moreover, the Mann-Whitney U-test results revealed that people who are knowledgeable of the nutrient value of human excreta and are willing to collect them have more positive attitude towards the ETS. Full article
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Open AccessCase Report
Social Sustainability and Redevelopment of Urban Villages in China: A Case Study of Guangzhou
Sustainability 2018, 10(7), 2116; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072116 - 21 Jun 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
Rapid economic development in China has generated substantial demand for urban land for development, resulting in an unprecedented urbanization process. The expansion of urbanized cities has started to engulf rural areas, making the urban–rural boundary less and less conspicuous in China. Urban encroachment [...] Read more.
Rapid economic development in China has generated substantial demand for urban land for development, resulting in an unprecedented urbanization process. The expansion of urbanized cities has started to engulf rural areas, making the urban–rural boundary less and less conspicuous in China. Urban encroachment has led to a rapid shrinkage of the rural territory as the rural–urban migration has increased due to better job opportunities and living standards in the urban cities. Urban villages, governed by a rural property rights mechanism, have started to emerge sporadically within urbanised areas. Various approaches, such as state-led, developer-led, or collective-led approaches, to redevelop these urban villages have been adopted with varying degrees of success. This paper uses a case-study framework to analyse the state–market interplay in two very different urban village redevelopment cases in Guangzhou. By an in-depth comparative analysis of the two regeneration cases in Guangzhou, which started within close proximity in terms of geographical location and timing, we are able to shed light on how completely different outcomes may result from different forms of state–market interplay. It is found that a neoliberal policy approach that aims at coordinating state resources with market forces rather than discarding the state’s role provides a more satisfactory outcome in urban village redevelopment when there are a lot of stakeholders involved each with different agendas. The state maintains a good balance of the power-play in the process with a clear and supportive policy and regulatory guidance, leaving the market to function more effectively and satisfactorily in effectuating capital flow for the project, which helps to achieve sustainable outcomes. Full article
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