Special Issue "Environmental Impact Assessment and Sustainable Development"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Massimiliano Lega
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Engineering, University of Naples, 40, 80138 Napoli NA, Italy
Tel. +39 0815476582
Interests: water quality; environmental impact assessment; environmental analysis; environmental pollution; water treatment; water analysis; environmental monitoring; wastewater engineering; solid waste management; waste treatment; wastewater management; waste management; thermography; environmental forensics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Unsustainable lifestyles have radically transformed our planet in the last 70 years. In order to preserve a safe space for humanity, it is now mandatory to plan and manage any project in an informed way, understanding the existing alternatives and the generated environmental impacts. The environmental impact assessment (EIA) legislation defined a common background for such a purpose.

The Special Issue “Environmental Impact Assessment and Sustainable Development” is open to the submission of manuscripts aimed at reviewing the existing monitoring techniques and environmental indicators, which can combine and convert raw data into useful information. Meanwhile, it should create a platform for discussion about frontiers, novel approaches, and new ideas on how to apply EIA to improve the societal resilience, to promote cleaner production and consumption options, and to increase circular economy patterns.

A special attention is given to multi-parametric and multi-dimensional monitoring approaches, biomonitoring, integration of monitoring and environmental accounting, big data elaboration, potential use of Artificial Intelligence, and implementation of cleaner productions and circular economy options. Applications of such approaches to critical areas (e.g., wetlands and rivers, coastal/marine environment, natural/protected areas/parks, urban areas, mountains and forests, historical, cultural, archaeological landscapes) are especially welcome

Prof. Massimiliano Lega
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

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

  • Environmental impact assessment
  • Environmental monitoring
  • Environmental indicators
  • Environmental accounting
  • Sustainability
  • Cleaner production
  • Circular economy options
  • Big data

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
Intrinsic Environmental Vulnerability as Shallow Landslide Susceptibility in Environmental Impact Assessment
Sustainability 2019, 11(22), 6285; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11226285 - 08 Nov 2019
Abstract
This work investigated the susceptibility factors that trigger shallow landslides. In particular, the objective of the research was the implementation of a method to determine the relevant factors that can trigger shallow landslide events. However, with respect to the existing methods, the integration [...] Read more.
This work investigated the susceptibility factors that trigger shallow landslides. In particular, the objective of the research was the implementation of a method to determine the relevant factors that can trigger shallow landslide events. However, with respect to the existing methods, the integration with historical datasets and the inclusion of spatial factors displaying dynamics in the same characteristic timescales were specific features of the developed tool. The study area included the watersheds of the Sessera and Strona rivers in the alpine area of the Province of Biella (Piedmont, NW Italy). The method was developed and tested from two sub-datasets derived from an integrated dataset that referred to an intense event, involving the same area, that occurred in 1968 (2–3 November). This allowed the implementation of an integrated representation of landslides’ predisposing factors and the identification and classification in different groups of the areas susceptible to geo-hydrological instability processes. The previously existing databases were verified and integrated into a geographic information system (GIS) environment, giving a potentially sharable source of information for planning purposes. The obtained maps represent a metric of one of the possible intrinsic environmental vulnerability factors for the area under study. Consequently, this method can represent a future instrument for determining the intrinsic environmental vulnerability dependent on landslides within an environmental impact assessment (EIA), as required by the most recent European regulation on EIA. Moreover, the shared information can be used to implement informed policy and planning processes, based on a bottom-up approach. In particular, the availability online of landslide susceptibility maps could support the generation of augmented information—useful for both local administrators and planners as well as for stakeholders willing to implement specific projects or infrastructure in vulnerable areas, such as mountains. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Impact Assessment and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle
A CBR–AHP Hybrid Method to Support the Decision-Making Process in the Selection of Environmental Management Actions
Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5649; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205649 - 14 Oct 2019
Abstract
This paper proposes a hybrid method integrating case-based reasoning (CBR) and analytic hierarchy process (AHP) methods to reinforce the sustainable performance of an environmental management system. The CBR–AHP method aims to support the decision-making process to select environmental management actions (EMAs) aimed at [...] Read more.
This paper proposes a hybrid method integrating case-based reasoning (CBR) and analytic hierarchy process (AHP) methods to reinforce the sustainable performance of an environmental management system. The CBR–AHP method aims to support the decision-making process to select environmental management actions (EMAs) aimed at reducing risky trends of the environmental state of a region. The CBR methods takes advantage of a set of situation–solution pairs called cases, which are stored in a memory and then retrieved as candidates to solve new problems. Situations in this work are represented by a set of risky trends of key environmental pathways (KEPs) related to CO2 emissions, air quality, loss of vegetation cover, water availability, and solid waste, the combination of which damage the environmental state quality of a region. Meanwhile, solutions are represented by a set of EMAs. Similar situations to a given current situation are retrieved from the memory of cases, and then their solutions are combined through an adaptation mechanism, until the solution of the current problem is obtained. The AHP method is used to assign weights to environmental variables and to alternative solutions represented by EMAs. We used risky trends derived from real data related to the environmental states of a Mexican region to test the proposed CBR–AHP hybrid method. The results obtained provided insights into the potential of the CBR–AHP hybrid method to support the decision-making process to select EMAs aimed at reducing risky trends of current environmental states. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Impact Assessment and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle
An Ecological Early Warning Indicator System for Environmental Protection of Scenic Areas
Sustainability 2019, 11(8), 2344; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11082344 - 18 Apr 2019
Abstract
The aim of this research is to build an ecological early warning indicator system. Several complex and interlinked factors contribute to changes in the environmental quality of scenic areas. If changes in these factors can be monitored and controlled, the environmental quality of [...] Read more.
The aim of this research is to build an ecological early warning indicator system. Several complex and interlinked factors contribute to changes in the environmental quality of scenic areas. If changes in these factors can be monitored and controlled, the environmental quality of scenic areas can also be controlled, achieving the purpose of protecting the ecological environment. This study utilizes ecological early warning indicators to enable environmental management. Twenty-six early warning indicators are first identified through a literature review, interviews, and survey pretesting. A fuzzy analytic hierarchy process is then used to calculate the weights of different levels/hierarchies. These early warning indicators can be used both to assess the environmental quality of scenic areas, and to provide a foundation for the construction of an ecological early warning indicator system in scenic areas. This approach represents a new perspective on scenic area environmental management and ecological protection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Impact Assessment and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessConcept Paper
Identifying Consumer Lifestyles through Their Energy Impacts: Transforming Social Science Data into Policy-Relevant Group-Level Knowledge
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 6162; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11216162 - 04 Nov 2019
Abstract
The analytical framework presented herein is based on the identification of social groups with distinct patterns in their energy-relevant behaviour. This was achieved by clustering individuals according to their primary energy demands in six main areas of life. Due to the close relationship [...] Read more.
The analytical framework presented herein is based on the identification of social groups with distinct patterns in their energy-relevant behaviour. This was achieved by clustering individuals according to their primary energy demands in six main areas of life. Due to the close relationship between energy-relevant behaviour and associated impacts, the suggested approach is considered better suited for the identification of groups with actual differences in their climate and energy-related behaviour than conventional approaches that cluster individuals based on their psychological or sociodemographic characteristics. Moreover, it is assumed that this focus on energy-relevant behaviour leads to a higher measuring equivalence in a country comparison or in a longitudinal setting. From an analytical point of view, the most significant benefit of the presented method over conventional lifestyle typologies is that all psychological, cultural and sociodemographic factors can be used as explanatory variables without resulting in circular reasoning. In terms of required data, the approach was designed around what could be collected by conventional survey methods. Variables such as energy use and emissions were calculated by the means of life cycle assessment (LCA) based on self-reported behaviour and equipment use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Impact Assessment and Sustainable Development)
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