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Sustainability, Volume 3, Issue 1 (January 2011), Pages 1-321

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Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle Building Capacity for Disaster Resiliency in Six Disadvantaged Communities
Sustainability 2011, 3(1), 1-20; doi:10.3390/su3010001
Received: 26 November 2010 / Accepted: 10 December 2010 / Published: 23 December 2010
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (92 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Disaster plans almost always do not benefit from the knowledge and values of disadvantaged people who are frequently underrepresented in disaster planning processes. Consequently, the plans are inconsistent with the conditions, concerns, and capabilities of disadvantaged people. We present an approach to community-based
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Disaster plans almost always do not benefit from the knowledge and values of disadvantaged people who are frequently underrepresented in disaster planning processes. Consequently, the plans are inconsistent with the conditions, concerns, and capabilities of disadvantaged people. We present an approach to community-based participatory planning aimed at engaging marginalized and distrustful communities to build their capacity to be more disaster resilient. We review the experiences of six disadvantaged communities under the Emergency Preparedness Demonstration (EPD) project. The EPD effort revealed several critical implications: recruit a diverse set of participants for inclusive collaboration; provide analytical tools to co-develop information and empower people; employ coaches to organize and facilitate sustainable community change; design a bottom-up review process for selection of strategies that holds communities accountable; and build capacity for implementation of strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disaster Risk Reduction and Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle Effects of Population Growth and Climate Variability on Sustainable Groundwater in Mali, West Africa
Sustainability 2011, 3(1), 21-34; doi:10.3390/su3010021
Received: 5 November 2010 / Revised: 16 December 2010 / Accepted: 17 December 2010 / Published: 23 December 2010
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1412 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Groundwater is increasingly relied on as a source of potable water in developing countries, but factors such as population growth, development, and climate variability, pose potential challenges for ongoing sustainable supply. The effect of these factors on the groundwater system was considered in
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Groundwater is increasingly relied on as a source of potable water in developing countries, but factors such as population growth, development, and climate variability, pose potential challenges for ongoing sustainable supply. The effect of these factors on the groundwater system was considered in four scenarios using a numerical model to represent the Bani area of Mali, West Africa. By 2040, population growth, climate variability, and development as urbanization, agriculture, and industry creates scenarios in which groundwater extraction is an increasingly larger percentage of the groundwater system. Consumption from agriculture and industry increases extraction rates from less than 1 to 3.8% of mean annual precipitation, which will likely affect the groundwater system. For instance, concentrated pumping in local areas may result in water level declines. The results of this study contribute to an ongoing evaluation of sustainable groundwater resources in West Africa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Groundwater)
Open AccessArticle A Value Function for Assessing Sustainability: Application to Industrial Buildings
Sustainability 2011, 3(1), 35-50; doi:10.3390/su3010035
Received: 9 November 2010 / Revised: 13 December 2010 / Accepted: 16 December 2010 / Published: 24 December 2010
Cited by 26 | PDF Full-text (285 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Decision support tools based on multi-attribute analysis involve the use of different types of variables. These variables are aimed at providing a framework that allows preferences to be quantified. This is particularly useful in the field of sustainability, where variables with different units
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Decision support tools based on multi-attribute analysis involve the use of different types of variables. These variables are aimed at providing a framework that allows preferences to be quantified. This is particularly useful in the field of sustainability, where variables with different units are involved. One widely accepted framework for standardizing different units is the value function. Studies of value function are complex and frequently have limited physical meaning. In this context, this paper emphasizes the need to define a general equation that reflects the preferences of the decision maker in a clear and easily applied way. The paper proposes a new general equation that fulfils these requirements. By modifying certain parameters, this general equation represents the most commonly used relationships (linear, convex, concave and S-shaped). The proposed equation is finally applied to four variables used in the field of industrial buildings and sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Building)
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Open AccessArticle Education as Re-Embedding: Stroud Communiversity, Walking the Land and the Enduring Spell of the Sensuous
Sustainability 2011, 3(1), 51-68; doi:10.3390/su3010051
Received: 3 November 2010 / Revised: 11 December 2010 / Accepted: 15 December 2010 / Published: 24 December 2010
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (312 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
How we know, is at least as important as what we know: Before educationalists can begin to teach sustainability, we need to explore our own views of the world and how these are formed. The paper explores the ontological assumptions that underpin, usually
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How we know, is at least as important as what we know: Before educationalists can begin to teach sustainability, we need to explore our own views of the world and how these are formed. The paper explores the ontological assumptions that underpin, usually implicitly, the pedagogical relationship and opens up the question of how people know each other and the world they share. Using understandings based in a phenomenological approach and guided by social constructionism, it suggests that the most appropriate pedagogical method for teaching sustainability is one based on situated learning and reflexive practice. To support its ontological questioning, the paper highlights two alternative culture’s ways of understanding and recording the world: Those of the Inca who inhabited pre-Columbian Peru, which was based on the quipu system of knotted strings, and the complex social and religious system of the songlines of the original people of Australia. As an indication of the sorts of teaching experiences that an emancipatory and relational pedagogy might give rise to, the paper offers examples of two community learning experiences in the exemplar sustainable community of Stroud, Gloucestershire in the United Kingdom where the authors live. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Education)
Open AccessArticle Flooding Effect on Earth Walls
Sustainability 2011, 3(1), 69-81; doi:10.3390/su3010069
Received: 15 November 2010 / Revised: 13 December 2010 / Accepted: 16 December 2010 / Published: 27 December 2010
PDF Full-text (583 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Earth building is a sustainable, environmentally friendly and economical method of construction that has been used worldwide for many centuries. For the past three decades, earth has seen a revival as a building material for a modern construction method due to its benefits
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Earth building is a sustainable, environmentally friendly and economical method of construction that has been used worldwide for many centuries. For the past three decades, earth has seen a revival as a building material for a modern construction method due to its benefits in terms of low carbon content, low cost and energy involved during construction, as well as the fact that it is a sustainable technology of building. Climate change is influencing precipitation levels and patterns around the world, and as a consequence, flood risk is increasing rapidly. When flooding occurs, earth buildings are exposed to water by submersion, causing an increase in the degree of saturation of the earth structures and therefore a decrease of the suction between particles. This study investigated the effect of cycles of flooding (consecutive events of flooding followed by dry periods) on earth walls. A series of characterization tests were carried out to obtain the physical and mechanical properties of the studied earth material. In a second stage, Flooding Simulation Tests (FST) were performed to explore the earth walls’ response to repeated flooding events. The results obtained for the tested earth wall/samples with reinforced material (straw) reveal hydraulic hysteresis when wall/samples are subject to cycles of wetting and drying. Full article
Open AccessArticle Building Resilient Communities through Empowering Women with Information and Communication Technologies: A Pakistan Case Study
Sustainability 2011, 3(1), 82-96; doi:10.3390/su3010082
Received: 4 November 2010 / Revised: 16 December 2010 / Accepted: 31 December 2010 / Published: 4 January 2011
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (258 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the contemporary world, a revolution in digital technologies has changed our way of life—for better. The role of women is expanding in socio-economic, political and physical spaces; hence their empowerment will contribute toward resilience and capacity building that contributes to sustainability and
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In the contemporary world, a revolution in digital technologies has changed our way of life—for better. The role of women is expanding in socio-economic, political and physical spaces; hence their empowerment will contribute toward resilience and capacity building that contributes to sustainability and disaster risk reduction in the long run. In developing nations, especially in rural regions, women empowered with information and communication technologies can enhance their capacity to cope in diverse situations. This paper addresses the vital role of information and communication technologies intervention and resilient communities with the help of a case study carried out in Pakistan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disaster Risk Reduction and Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle Human Capital and Sustainability
Sustainability 2011, 3(1), 97-154; doi:10.3390/su3010097
Received: 9 November 2010 / Revised: 6 December 2010 / Accepted: 15 December 2010 / Published: 7 January 2011
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (1394 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A study of sustainability needs to consider the role of all forms of capital—natural, biological, social, technological, financial, cultural—and the complex ways in which they interact. All forms of capital derive their value, utility and application from human mental awareness, creativity and social
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A study of sustainability needs to consider the role of all forms of capital—natural, biological, social, technological, financial, cultural—and the complex ways in which they interact. All forms of capital derive their value, utility and application from human mental awareness, creativity and social innovation. This makes human capital, including social capital, the central determinant of resource productivity and sustainability. Humanity has entered the Anthropocene Epoch in which human changes have become the predominant factor in evolution. Humanity is itself evolving from animal physicality to social vitality to mental individuality. This transition has profound bearing on human productive capabilities, adaptability, creativity and values, the organization of economy, public policy, social awareness and life styles that determine sustainability. This article examines the linkages between population, economic development, employment, education, health, social equity, cultural values, energy intensity and sustainability in the context of evolving human consciousness. It concludes that development of human capital is the critical determinant of long-term sustainability and that efforts to accelerate the evolution of human consciousness and emergence of mentally self-conscious individuals will be the most effective approach for ensuring a sustainable future. Education is the primary lever. Human choice matters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Futures)
Open AccessArticle Optimizing Urban Material Flows and Waste Streams in Urban Development through Principles of Zero Waste and Sustainable Consumption
Sustainability 2011, 3(1), 155-183; doi:10.3390/su3010155
Received: 20 October 2010 / Revised: 3 December 2010 / Accepted: 14 December 2010 / Published: 11 January 2011
Cited by 18 | PDF Full-text (641 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Beyond energy efficiency, there are now urgent challenges around the supply of resources, materials, energy, food and water. After debating energy efficiency for the last decade, the focus has shifted to include further resources and material efficiency. In this context, urban farming has
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Beyond energy efficiency, there are now urgent challenges around the supply of resources, materials, energy, food and water. After debating energy efficiency for the last decade, the focus has shifted to include further resources and material efficiency. In this context, urban farming has emerged as a valid urban design strategy, where food is produced and consumed locally within city boundaries, turning disused sites and underutilized public space into productive urban landscapes and community gardens. Furthermore, such agricultural activities allow for effective composting of organic waste, returning nutrients to the soil and improving biodiversity in the urban environment. Urban farming and resource recovery will help to feed the 9 billion by 2050 (predicted population growth, UN-Habitat forecast 2009). This paper reports on best practice of urban design principles in regard to materials flow, material recovery, adaptive re-use of entire building elements and components (‘design for disassembly’; prefabrication of modular building components), and other relevant strategies to implement zero waste by avoiding waste creation, reducing wasteful consumption and changing behaviour in the design and construction sectors. The paper touches on two important issues in regard to the rapid depletion of the world’s natural resources: the built environment and the education of architects and designers (both topics of further research). The construction and demolition (C&D) sector: Prefabricated multi-story buildings for inner-city living can set new benchmarks for minimizing construction wastage and for modular on-site assembly. Today, the C&D sector is one of the main producers of waste; it does not engage enough with waste minimization, waste avoidance and recycling. Education and research: It’s still unclear how best to introduce a holistic understanding of these challenges and to better teach practical and affordable solutions to architects, urban designers, industrial designers, and so on. How must urban development and construction change and evolve to automatically embed sustainability in the way we design, build, operate, maintain and renew/recycle cities? One of the findings of this paper is that embedding zero-waste requires strong industry leadership, new policies and effective education curricula, as well as raising awareness (through research and education) and refocusing research agendas to bring about attitudinal change and the reduction of wasteful consumption. Full article
Open AccessArticle System Dynamics Modeling of Individual Transferable Quota Fisheries and Suggestions for Rebuilding Stocks
Sustainability 2011, 3(1), 184-215; doi:10.3390/su3010184
Received: 9 December 2010 / Accepted: 7 January 2011 / Published: 12 January 2011
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (328 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Correction | Supplementary Files
Abstract
This paper develops a system dynamics model of Individual Transferable Quota (ITQ) systems in order to differentiate ITQ from total allowable catch (TAC) effects and to identify areas where policy changes and management improvement may be most effective. ITQ systems provide incentives for
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This paper develops a system dynamics model of Individual Transferable Quota (ITQ) systems in order to differentiate ITQ from total allowable catch (TAC) effects and to identify areas where policy changes and management improvement may be most effective. ITQ systems provide incentives for long-term stewardship but when fisheries are managed “at the edge,” the incentives are inadequate for stock rebuilding. The free-market design of ITQ systems means that fishermen may be in conflict with the long-run, public sustainability goals of fishery management. An adaptive control scheme with a contingent public/private transfer payment is proposed to improve long-term results for both the local community and the general public. Full article
Open AccessArticle Agricultural Biodiversity Is Essential for a Sustainable Improvement in Food and Nutrition Security
Sustainability 2011, 3(1), 238-253; doi:10.3390/su3010238
Received: 26 November 2010 / Revised: 13 December 2010 / Accepted: 10 January 2011 / Published: 14 January 2011
Cited by 72 | PDF Full-text (146 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Agricultural biodiversity has hitherto been valued almost exclusively as a source of traits that can be used in scientific breeding programs to improve the productivity of crop varieties and livestock breeds. We argue that it can make a far greater contribution to increased
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Agricultural biodiversity has hitherto been valued almost exclusively as a source of traits that can be used in scientific breeding programs to improve the productivity of crop varieties and livestock breeds. We argue that it can make a far greater contribution to increased productivity. In particular, a wider deployment of agricultural biodiversity is an essential component in the sustainable delivery of a more secure food supply. Diversity of kingdoms, species and genepools can increase the productivity of farming systems in a range of growing conditions, and more diverse farming systems are also generally more resilient in the face of perturbations, thus enhancing food security. Diversity can maintain and increase soil fertility and mitigate the impact of pests and diseases. Diversity of diet, founded on diverse farming systems, delivers better nutrition and greater health, with additional benefits for human productivity and livelihoods. Agricultural biodiversity will also be absolutely essential to cope with the predicted impacts of climate change, not simply as a source of traits but as the underpinnings of more resilient farm ecosystems. Many of the benefits of agricultural biodiversity are manifested at different ecological and human scales, and cut across political divisions, requiring a cross-sectoral approach to reassess the role of agricultural biodiversity in sustainable and secure food production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Security and Environmental Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Reservoir Sedimentation and Flood Control: Using a Geographical Information System to Estimate Sediment Yield of the Songwe River Watershed in Malawi
Sustainability 2011, 3(1), 254-269; doi:10.3390/su3010254
Received: 8 November 2010 / Revised: 30 December 2010 / Accepted: 6 January 2011 / Published: 14 January 2011
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (477 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Severe watershed degradation continues to occur in the tropical regions of southern Africa. This has raised interest to harness and manipulate the potential of the watershed resources for human benefit as the populations grow. Songwe River is one such degrading watershed causing biennial
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Severe watershed degradation continues to occur in the tropical regions of southern Africa. This has raised interest to harness and manipulate the potential of the watershed resources for human benefit as the populations grow. Songwe River is one such degrading watershed causing biennial flooding among other problems. In this study, climatic, land use, topographic and physiographic properties were assembled for this watershed and used in a process-based Geographical Information System (GIS) with the aim of determining the hydrological sediment potential of Songwe River watershed and quantifying possibilities of reservoir sedimentation. The study further aimed at determining the critical sediment generating areas for prioritized conservation management and the relationship between the increasing flood events in the floodplains and the rainfall trends. Based on hydrological runoff processes using the Pan-European Soil Erosion Risk Assessment (PESERA) model, the estimated amount of sediment transported downstream is potentially huge. Most of the sediment generation was established to be occurring in the upper sub-basin and specifically from built up village and degraded natural land. These trends have not only caused the increased flooding events in the lower sub-basin, but also pose a great sustainability risk of sedimentation to the proposed reservoir. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Importance of Regulation-Induced Innovation for Sustainable Development
Sustainability 2011, 3(1), 270-292; doi:10.3390/su3010270
Received: 10 December 2010 / Accepted: 2 January 2011 / Published: 19 January 2011
Cited by 31 | PDF Full-text (398 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article explores the complex relationship between environmental regulation, innovation, and sustainable development within the context of an increasingly globalizing economy. The economic development, environment, and employment aspects of sustainable development are emphasized. We contend that the most crucial problem in achieving sustainability
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This article explores the complex relationship between environmental regulation, innovation, and sustainable development within the context of an increasingly globalizing economy. The economic development, environment, and employment aspects of sustainable development are emphasized. We contend that the most crucial problem in achieving sustainability is lock-in or path dependency due to (1) the failure to envision, design, and implement policies that achieve co-optimization, or the mutually reinforcing, of social goals, and (2) entrenched economic and political interests that gain from the present system and advancement of its current trends. The article argues that industrial policy, environmental law and policy, and trade initiatives must be ‘opened up’ by expanding the practice of multi-purpose policy design, and that these policies must be integrated as well. Sustainable development requires stimulating revolutionary technological innovation through environmental, health, safety, economic, and labor market regulation. Greater support for these changes must also be reinforced by ‘opening up the participatory and political space’ to enable new voices to contribute to integrated thinking and solutions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Laws and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle From Farm to Rural Hostel: New Opportunities and Challenges Associated with Tourism Expansion in Daxi, a Village in Anji County, Zhejiang, China
Sustainability 2011, 3(1), 306-321; doi:10.3390/su3010306
Received: 25 October 2010 / Revised: 13 December 2010 / Accepted: 19 January 2011 / Published: 24 January 2011
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (451 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
China has become one of the leading international tourism destinations, ranking third at a world level. A fast expanding domestic tourism offers new development opportunities to rural areas. Our results from Daxi Village of Anji County, a popular tourist destination in East China,
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China has become one of the leading international tourism destinations, ranking third at a world level. A fast expanding domestic tourism offers new development opportunities to rural areas. Our results from Daxi Village of Anji County, a popular tourist destination in East China, show that farmers are seizing this opportunity that currently represents 27% of total household income. The better educated young generation is benefitting most, being particularly relevant for women that can develop off-farm activities around the family hostels (nongjiale) and tourist shops. Visitor’s general satisfaction is high, although there is some concern for environmental quality and overcrowding due to the very high number of tourists that come to the village. Our model suggests that tourism will keep growing at least for another decade, which will strain the area, posing potentially severe environmental problems and challenging the long term sustainability of the tourism development model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Tourism: Issues, Debates and Challenges)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Handling and Treatment of Poultry Hatchery Waste: A Review
Sustainability 2011, 3(1), 216-237; doi:10.3390/su3010216
Received: 15 December 2010 / Revised: 12 January 2011 / Accepted: 12 January 2011 / Published: 12 January 2011
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (224 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A literature review was undertaken to identify methods being used to handle and treat hatchery waste. Hatchery waste can be separated into solid waste and liquid waste by centrifuging or by using screens. Potential methods for treating hatchery waste on site include use
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A literature review was undertaken to identify methods being used to handle and treat hatchery waste. Hatchery waste can be separated into solid waste and liquid waste by centrifuging or by using screens. Potential methods for treating hatchery waste on site include use of a furnace to heat the waste to produce steam to run a turbine generator or to use an in line composter to stabilise the waste. There is also potential to use anaerobic digestion at hatcheries to produce methane and fertilisers. Hatcheries disposing wastewater into lagoons could establish a series of ponds where algae, zooplankton and fish utilise the nutrients using integrated aquaculture which cleans the water making it more suitable for irrigation. The ideal system to establish in a hatchery would be to incorporate separation and handling equipment to separate waste into its various components for further treatment. This would save disposal costs, produce biogas to reduce power costs at plants and produce a range of value added products. However the scale of operations at many hatcheries is too small and development of treatment systems may not be viable. Full article
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Open AccessReview Laterite Based Stabilized Products for Sustainable Building Applications in Tropical Countries: Review and Prospects for the Case of Cameroon
Sustainability 2011, 3(1), 293-305; doi:10.3390/su3010293
Received: 19 December 2010 / Accepted: 18 January 2011 / Published: 19 January 2011
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (502 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Lateritic soils are formed in the tropics through weathering processes that favor the formation of iron, aluminum, manganese and titanium oxides. These processes break down silicate minerals into clay minerals such as kaolinite and illite. Iron and aluminum oxides are prominent in lateritic
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Lateritic soils are formed in the tropics through weathering processes that favor the formation of iron, aluminum, manganese and titanium oxides. These processes break down silicate minerals into clay minerals such as kaolinite and illite. Iron and aluminum oxides are prominent in lateritic soils, and with the seasonal fluctuation of the water table, these oxides result in the reddish-brown color that is seen in lateritic soils. These soils have served for a long time as major and sub-base materials for the construction of most highways and walls of residential houses in tropical and sub-tropical countries of the world. Civil engineering applications of these lateritic soils are continually being developed with the use of different types of stabilizers. The stabilized soil-based products are as such viewed as environmentally-friendly and low-cost energy materials for sustainable building applications. This work aims at presenting a global view of what has been done in the field of lateritic soil improvement for construction purposes in tropical countries such as Cameroon. This shall be discussed through the presentation of the structure, composition and properties of lateritic soils, the various ways of improving their properties for construction purposes, the properties of products obtained and other prospects. Full article

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