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Sustainability, Volume 5, Issue 11 (November 2013), Pages 4523-4960

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Open AccessCommunication The Modern Phosphorus Sustainability Movement: A Profiling Experiment
Sustainability 2013, 5(11), 4523-4545; doi:10.3390/su5114523
Received: 31 May 2013 / Revised: 18 September 2013 / Accepted: 17 October 2013 / Published: 25 October 2013
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (1315 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Since the “peak phosphorus” concept emerged in 2007, concerns about the future availability of phosphate rock have funneled into a growing number of actions, often in the form of new and innovative platforms focusing on phosphorus sustainability. This trend seems to continue [...] Read more.
Since the “peak phosphorus” concept emerged in 2007, concerns about the future availability of phosphate rock have funneled into a growing number of actions, often in the form of new and innovative platforms focusing on phosphorus sustainability. This trend seems to continue on different levels and in different formats, which makes the landscape of activities increasingly blurred and complex. This article considers the emerging phase of the modern phosphorus sustainability movement. It provides a first profiling overview of platforms working towards more sustainable production, consumption, and reuse of phosphorus (P) within the frame of securing global food production and environmental quality. The aim is to gain a better understanding of the movement, pertinent literature, the problem sphere itself, and of forms of possible engagement. Major barriers and opportunities inherent in the various approaches are discussed. It is concluded that overarching coordination will be necessary to improve future planning and priority setting for sustainability strategies. Full article
Open AccessArticle Tackling the Downcycling Issue—A Revised Approach to Value-Corrected Substitution in Life Cycle Assessment of Aluminum (VCS 2.0)
Sustainability 2013, 5(11), 4546-4560; doi:10.3390/su5114546
Received: 24 June 2013 / Revised: 12 September 2013 / Accepted: 4 October 2013 / Published: 25 October 2013
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (668 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
For some metals, downcycling appears when scrap is polluted with undesirable elements or mixed with lower quality scrap grades in a way that the material displays a change in inherent properties when recycled. The article recommends the use of different scrap class [...] Read more.
For some metals, downcycling appears when scrap is polluted with undesirable elements or mixed with lower quality scrap grades in a way that the material displays a change in inherent properties when recycled. The article recommends the use of different scrap class prices instead of a solitary secondary alloy price to represent the level of downcycling inflicted on aluminum over a product’s life cycle. The price ratio between scrap price and primary aluminum price is shown to be stable across all available scrap classes for the years 2007–2010. While the revised approach to value-corrected substitution (VCS) puts a stronger emphasis on the creation of high-quality scrap by penalizing its pollution more than the original version, its key limitation is the correct identification of the appropriate point of substitution along the scrap value chain. If relevant sorting or pre-treatment steps are omitted, the substitution factor would be overcorrected, which is why it is crucial to establish the scrap value right before the scrap is either mixed with scraps from other product systems or right before it enters the remelting step. Full article
Open AccessArticle Increasing Energy-Saving Actions in Low Income Households to Achieve Sustainability
Sustainability 2013, 5(11), 4561-4577; doi:10.3390/su5114561
Received: 20 August 2013 / Revised: 8 October 2013 / Accepted: 22 October 2013 / Published: 25 October 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1077 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Residential energy consumption contributes up to one-fifth of total greenhouse gas emissions in Australia. Low-income households could benefit from energy efficiency behaviour change programs with anticipated “bridge sustainability” outcomes of environmental and financial benefits and increased well-being, but participation rates from this [...] Read more.
Residential energy consumption contributes up to one-fifth of total greenhouse gas emissions in Australia. Low-income households could benefit from energy efficiency behaviour change programs with anticipated “bridge sustainability” outcomes of environmental and financial benefits and increased well-being, but participation rates from this demographic are often low. The EnergySavers energy behaviour change program was designed for Australian low-income households. A variety of information materials were delivered in structured discussions over a five month period in 2012, with 139 low-income participants in two Australian cities in different climate zones. This article identifies which energy-saving actions low income households are already undertaking and, after completing the program, which actions were most commonly adopted. Participants reported that their participation in the program increased their energy-saving actions, increased their control over energy consumption, and that they disseminated their new knowledge through their social networks. Findings identified the importance of group discussion within demographic groups for information uptake and adoption of new energy behaviours. The housing situation, home population and language background were found to have a significant influence on the uptake of new behaviours. The results also suggest that the program would benefit from amendments to the actions and assessment prior to national roll-out to ensure that effective and long term bridge sustainability can be achieved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Sustainability: Theory, Practice, Problems and Prospects)
Open AccessArticle On the Revitalized Waterfront: Creative Milieu for Creative Tourism
Sustainability 2013, 5(11), 4578-4593; doi:10.3390/su5114578
Received: 12 September 2013 / Accepted: 13 September 2013 / Published: 25 October 2013
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1366 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to discuss the role of revitalized historic urban waterfronts as potential creative milieus attracting creative tourists. Waterfront redevelopment raises issues concerning an extensive range of urban planning and management perspectives, extending from space design to economic, [...] Read more.
The purpose of this paper is to discuss the role of revitalized historic urban waterfronts as potential creative milieus attracting creative tourists. Waterfront redevelopment raises issues concerning an extensive range of urban planning and management perspectives, extending from space design to economic, environmental, cultural, and tourism considerations. The paper first reviews the ways in which the relationship between waterfronts and urban functions of port-cities has evolved over time, before turning to the examination of historic waterfronts’ redevelopment as creative milieus to host creative industries. The agglomeration of creative industries, cultural organizations and venues, and recreational facilities in urban spaces is widely recognized to generate a dynamic urban culture attracting a new wave of “creative tourists”, which do not fit to the mainstream cultural tourism behavior, and prefer to visit lively creative spaces based, not only on heritage, but also on contemporary culture. In this paper, the analysis focuses on how historic revitalized waterfronts can act as creative milieus, based on port-cities’ genius loci as cosmopolitan places of intercultural communication, offering a new alternative approach to urban cultural tourism and hopefully functioning as a spin wheel for the regeneration of the urban economy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cities and Waterfront Infrastructure)
Open AccessArticle Critical Omissions and New Directions for Sustainable Tourism: A Situated Macro–Micro Approach
Sustainability 2013, 5(11), 4594-4613; doi:10.3390/su5114594
Received: 29 July 2013 / Revised: 24 August 2013 / Accepted: 30 September 2013 / Published: 29 October 2013
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (988 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper traces the history and evolution of sustainable tourism and identifies some critical issues and omissions in this and related approaches such as responsible tourism, ecotourism and pro-poor tourism. The academic, institutional and practical intersections of sustainable tourism and responsible tourism [...] Read more.
This paper traces the history and evolution of sustainable tourism and identifies some critical issues and omissions in this and related approaches such as responsible tourism, ecotourism and pro-poor tourism. The academic, institutional and practical intersections of sustainable tourism and responsible tourism are examined. It reveals that important theoretical and practical considerations around well-being, inclusion, and sustainability have been omitted. A critical look at ecotourism reveals additional concerns, such as a cornucopia of guidelines and principles, without clear ethical justifications to support them. At the same time, academics in this domain have been slow to consider the modernist and neoliberal influences shaping ecotourism and sustainable tourism development, such as through the discourse of ecological modernization. We identify some key omissions, such as the missing ‘body’ in sustainable tourism discourse, lack of critical analysis of postcolonial and dependency issues, and propose re-situating ‘sustainable tourism’ within a micro–macro, local-global systems approach informed by a clear framework of justice and ethics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reframing Sustainable Tourism)
Open AccessArticle The Role of Transacademic Interface Managers in Transformational Sustainability Research and Education
Sustainability 2013, 5(11), 4614-4636; doi:10.3390/su5114614
Received: 16 September 2013 / Revised: 22 October 2013 / Accepted: 23 October 2013 / Published: 30 October 2013
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (682 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Working towards sustainable solutions requires involving professionals and stakeholders from all sectors of society into research and teaching. This often presents a challenge to scholars at universities, as they lack capacity and time needed for negotiating different agendas, languages, competencies, and cultures [...] Read more.
Working towards sustainable solutions requires involving professionals and stakeholders from all sectors of society into research and teaching. This often presents a challenge to scholars at universities, as they lack capacity and time needed for negotiating different agendas, languages, competencies, and cultures among faculty, students, and stakeholders. Management approaches and quality criteria have been developed to cope with this challenge, including concepts of boundary organizations, transdisciplinary research, transition management, and interface management. However, few of these concepts present comprehensive proposals how to facilitate research with stakeholder participation while creating educational opportunities along the lifecycle of a project. The article focuses on the position of a transacademic interface manager (TIM) supporting participatory sustainability research and education efforts. We conceptualize the task portfolio of a TIM; outline the capacities a TIM needs to possess in order to successfully operate; and propose an educational approach for how to train students in becoming a TIM. For this, we review the existing literature on TIMs and present insights from empirical sustainability research and educational projects that involved TIMs in different functions. The article provides practical guidance to universities on how to organize these critical endeavors more effectively and to offer students an additional career perspective. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Systematic Cycle Time Reduction Procedure for Enhancing the Competitiveness and Sustainability of a Semiconductor Manufacturer
Sustainability 2013, 5(11), 4637-4652; doi:10.3390/su5114637
Received: 14 October 2013 / Revised: 28 October 2013 / Accepted: 29 October 2013 / Published: 5 November 2013
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (569 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cycle time reduction plays an important role in improving the competitiveness and sustainability of a semiconductor manufacturer. However, in the past, cycle time reduction was usually unplanned owing to the lack of a systematic and quantitative procedure. To tackle this problem, a [...] Read more.
Cycle time reduction plays an important role in improving the competitiveness and sustainability of a semiconductor manufacturer. However, in the past, cycle time reduction was usually unplanned owing to the lack of a systematic and quantitative procedure. To tackle this problem, a systematic procedure was established in this study for planning cycle time reduction actions to enhance the competitiveness and sustainability of a semiconductor manufacturer. First, some controllable factors that are influential to the job cycle time are identified. Subsequently, the relationship between the controllable factors and the job cycle time is fitted with a back propagation network. Based on this relationship, actions to shorten the job cycle time can be planned. The feasibility and effectiveness of an action have to be assessed before it can be taken in practice. An example containing the real data of hundreds of jobs has been used to illustrate the applicability of the proposed methodology. In addition, the financial benefits of the cycle time reduction action were analyzed, which provided the evidence that the proposed methodology enabled the sustainable development of the semiconductor manufacturer, since capital adequacy is very important in the semiconductor manufacturing industry. Full article
Open AccessArticle Planning Cultures in Transition: Sustainability Management and Institutional Change in Spatial Planning
Sustainability 2013, 5(11), 4653-4673; doi:10.3390/su5114653
Received: 28 August 2013 / Revised: 12 October 2013 / Accepted: 29 October 2013 / Published: 5 November 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (602 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper aims to critically review current discussions on the “reinvention” of spatial planning, postulating an all-encompassing and unproblematic shift towards new rationales, scopes, actors and instruments in planning practice. Buzzwords are, among others, “governance”, “collaborative planning” and the “communicative turn”. To [...] Read more.
This paper aims to critically review current discussions on the “reinvention” of spatial planning, postulating an all-encompassing and unproblematic shift towards new rationales, scopes, actors and instruments in planning practice. Buzzwords are, among others, “governance”, “collaborative planning” and the “communicative turn”. To overcome the somehow normative bias of these terms, the term “planning culture” is introduced to define a complex, multi-dimensional and dynamic institutional matrix combining formal and informal institutional patterns. Used in an analytical sense, it can help to better understand institutional change in spatial planning. Referring to recent conceptual debates about institutional transformation, the paper presents a six-stage model for institutional change in spatial planning, supporting it with an example from the Cologne/Bonn metropolitan region in Germany. The latter serves as an example for illustrating the institutional dynamics, but also the rigidities of planning cultural change. The paper concludes that a more thorough, “fine-grained” and empirically-grounded investigation of institutional transformation in spatial planning is necessary. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Institutional Change)
Open AccessArticle The Water Demand of Energy: Implications for Sustainable Energy Policy Development
Sustainability 2013, 5(11), 4674-4687; doi:10.3390/su5114674
Received: 26 August 2013 / Revised: 23 October 2013 / Accepted: 24 October 2013 / Published: 5 November 2013
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (433 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With energy security, climate change mitigation, and sustainable development as three main motives, global energy policies have evolved, now asking for higher shares of renewable energies, shale oil and gas resources in the global energy supply portfolios. Yet, concerns have recently been [...] Read more.
With energy security, climate change mitigation, and sustainable development as three main motives, global energy policies have evolved, now asking for higher shares of renewable energies, shale oil and gas resources in the global energy supply portfolios. Yet, concerns have recently been raised about the environmental impacts of the renewable energy development, supported by many governments around the world. For example, governmental ethanol subsidies and mandates in the U.S. are aimed to increase the biofuel supply while the water footprint of this type of energy might be 70–400 times higher than the water footprint of conventional fossil energy sources. Hydrofracking, as another example, has been recognized as a high water-intensive procedure that impacts the surface and ground water in both quality and quantity. Hence, monitoring the water footprint of the energy mix is significantly important and could have implications for energy policy development. This paper estimates the water footprint of current and projected global energy policies, based on the energy production and consumption scenarios, developed by the International Energy Outlook of the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The outcomes reveal the amount of water required for total energy production in the world will increase by 37%–66% during the next two decades, requiring extensive improvements in water use efficiency of the existing energy production technologies, especially renewables. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Energy-Sustainability Nexus)
Open AccessArticle Governance and the Gulf of Mexico Coast: How Are Current Policies Contributing to Sustainability?
Sustainability 2013, 5(11), 4688-4705; doi:10.3390/su5114688
Received: 23 August 2013 / Revised: 23 October 2013 / Accepted: 30 October 2013 / Published: 7 November 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (348 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The quality of life and economies of coastal communities depend, to a great degree, on the ecological integrity of coastal ecosystems. Paradoxically, as more people are drawn to the coasts, these ecosystems and the services they provide are increasingly stressed by development [...] Read more.
The quality of life and economies of coastal communities depend, to a great degree, on the ecological integrity of coastal ecosystems. Paradoxically, as more people are drawn to the coasts, these ecosystems and the services they provide are increasingly stressed by development and human use. Employing the coastal Gulf of Mexico as an example, we explore through three case studies how government policies contribute to preventing, mitigating, or exacerbating the degradation of coastal ecosystems. We consider the effectiveness of the current systems, what alternate or additional policy solutions might be needed to ensure the sustainability of the region and its quality of life, and what this example can tell us about the sustainability of coastal systems globally. In our examples, among other aspects, policies that are proactive and networked governance structures are observed to favor sustainable outcomes, in contrast to reactive policies and hierarchical models of governance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Government Policy and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle On-Site Sewage Systems from Good to Bad to…? Swedish Experiences with Institutional Change and Technological Dependencies 1900 to 2010
Sustainability 2013, 5(11), 4706-4727; doi:10.3390/su5114706
Received: 8 July 2013 / Revised: 24 October 2013 / Accepted: 25 October 2013 / Published: 7 November 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (323 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Even though technological advances have occurred during recent decades today’s nutrient loading from Swedish on-site sewage systems (OSSs) is much higher than in the 1940s, despite a decreased rural population and the existence of potentially far better technologies than the existing inadequate [...] Read more.
Even though technological advances have occurred during recent decades today’s nutrient loading from Swedish on-site sewage systems (OSSs) is much higher than in the 1940s, despite a decreased rural population and the existence of potentially far better technologies than the existing inadequate installations. The objective of this paper is first, to explain this situation as the result of co-evolution of technology and institutions, which has resulted in a very stable conservation. Second, to properly understand how such stable configurations may change, the paper investigates how a power-distributional theory of incremental institutional change might complement the previous analysis and open up the thinking about how seemingly stable configurations may change endogenously. The analysis reveals how shifts in the distribution of power, i.e., public and private actors’ resources and tools to use in interaction with other actors, have influenced the direction of technological and institutional development. We conclude that the sequencing of events has been important; the series of choices made foremost between the 1950s and 1990s caused both institutional and technical lock-in effects that have been increasingly difficult to break out from. Despite parallel and later incremental developments, improvement in the environmental outcome is not yet seen on the large scale. Full article
Open AccessArticle Wild Food, Prices, Diets and Development: Sustainability and Food Security in Urban Cameroon
Sustainability 2013, 5(11), 4728-4759; doi:10.3390/su5114728
Received: 2 August 2013 / Revised: 15 October 2013 / Accepted: 25 October 2013 / Published: 7 November 2013
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (784 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article analyses wild food consumption in urban areas of Cameroon. Building upon findings from Cameroon’s Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis (CFSVA) this case study presents empirical data collected from 371 household and market surveys in Cameroonian cities. It employs the [...] Read more.
This article analyses wild food consumption in urban areas of Cameroon. Building upon findings from Cameroon’s Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis (CFSVA) this case study presents empirical data collected from 371 household and market surveys in Cameroonian cities. It employs the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food’s framework for understanding challenges related to the availability, accessibility, and adequacy of food. The survey data suggest that many wild/traditional foods are physically available in Cameroonian cities most of the time, including fruits, vegetables, spices, and insects. Cameroonians spend considerable sums of their food budget on wild foods. However, low wages and the high cost of city living constrain the social and economic access most people have to these foods. The data also suggest that imports of non-traditional staple foods, such as low cost rice, have increasingly priced potentially more nutritious or safe traditional local foods out of markets after the 2008 food price crisis. As a result, diets are changing in Cameroon as the resource-constrained population continues to resort to the coping strategy of eating cheaper imported foods such as refined rice or to eating less frequently. Cameroon’s nutrition transition continues to be driven by need and not necessarily by the preferences of Cameroonian consumers. The implications of this reality for sustainability are troubling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Food Chains)
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Open AccessArticle Communicating Climate Change through ICT-Based Visualization: Towards an Analytical Framework
Sustainability 2013, 5(11), 4760-4777; doi:10.3390/su5114760
Received: 1 July 2013 / Revised: 28 October 2013 / Accepted: 30 October 2013 / Published: 7 November 2013
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (341 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The difficulties in communicating climate change science to the general public are often highlighted as one of the hurdles for support of enhanced climate action. The advances of interactive visualization using information and communication technology (ICT) are claimed to be a game-changer [...] Read more.
The difficulties in communicating climate change science to the general public are often highlighted as one of the hurdles for support of enhanced climate action. The advances of interactive visualization using information and communication technology (ICT) are claimed to be a game-changer in our ability to communicate complex issues. However, new analytical frameworks are warranted to analyse the role of such technologies. This paper develops a novel framework for analyzing the content, form, context and relevance of ICT-based visualization of climate change, based on insights from literature on climate change communication. Thereafter, we exemplify the analytical framework by applying it to a pilot case of ICT-based climate visualization in a GeoDome. Possibilities to use affordable advanced ICT-based visualization devices in science and policy communication are rapidly expanding. We thus see wider implications and applications of the analytical framework not only for other ICT environments but also other issue areas in sustainability communication. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Communication for and about Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Do Local Food Networks Foster Socio-Ecological Transitions towards Food Sovereignty? Learning from Real Place Experiences
Sustainability 2013, 5(11), 4778-4796; doi:10.3390/su5114778
Received: 29 August 2013 / Revised: 21 October 2013 / Accepted: 31 October 2013 / Published: 7 November 2013
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (216 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Drawing on transition theory, we conceptualize local food networks as innovations that initially function and develop in local niches within a given food regime. As niche-innovations local food networks induce socio-ecological changes on the local level and they have the potential to [...] Read more.
Drawing on transition theory, we conceptualize local food networks as innovations that initially function and develop in local niches within a given food regime. As niche-innovations local food networks induce socio-ecological changes on the local level and they have the potential to foster wider transformations of the dominant food regime. Many local food networks adopt the concept of food sovereignty as a kind of “leitmotif”. At the core of this concept lies the question of how to create an agro-food system that, (i) allows for democratic participation and civic engagement in food production, and (ii) sets up new relationships that avoid social inequity and the exploitation of both humans and nature. In this paper we shed light on how the Austrian local food network “SpeiseLokal” addresses the challenge of operationalizing the concept of food sovereignty. The case study captures the strategies which local food networks embark on and depicts the difficulties they encounter. The paper aims to identify critical points of intersection that either strengthen or constrain local food networks from becoming established, operating, and up-scaling in the ways they wish; that is, in accordance with the principles and aims of food sovereignty, while avoiding a later assimilation into the dominant food regime. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Food Chains)
Open AccessArticle Environmental Worldviews: A Point of Common Contact, or Barrier?
Sustainability 2013, 5(11), 4825-4842; doi:10.3390/su5114825
Received: 19 September 2013 / Revised: 1 November 2013 / Accepted: 4 November 2013 / Published: 11 November 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (247 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Increasingly, scientists are reaching out to individuals and entities once considered “users” of scientific knowledge to engage them in the research process due to the increased need for contextualized knowledge. However, these increased interactions make apparent the boundaries that exist between the [...] Read more.
Increasingly, scientists are reaching out to individuals and entities once considered “users” of scientific knowledge to engage them in the research process due to the increased need for contextualized knowledge. However, these increased interactions make apparent the boundaries that exist between the parties interested in sustainability science. Divergent values and attitudes amongst researchers and between researchers and stakeholders may preclude effective communication and collaboration when individuals screen information due to their perceptions of those who generated the information. The current work contributes to the complexity of environmental communication in the decision making sphere, by considering whether expressions of personal value, such as environmental worldviews, may influence the processing of knowledge and information sharing across interdisciplinary research and researcher–stakeholder boundaries. This work includes a unique opportunity to consider not only empirical data, but interactions and implications within a research community and with the public. Full article
Open AccessArticle Sustainable Development Compromise[d] in the Planning of Metro Vancouver’s Agricultural Lands—the Jackson Farm Case
Sustainability 2013, 5(11), 4843-4869; doi:10.3390/su5114843
Received: 13 August 2013 / Revised: 24 September 2013 / Accepted: 28 October 2013 / Published: 12 November 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1520 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This research provides analysis of the case of the Jackson Farm development application, embedded within the particular dynamics of the municipal, regional, and provincial sustainability land use policy culture of the Metro Vancouver region, in Canada. Within a culture of appreciation of [...] Read more.
This research provides analysis of the case of the Jackson Farm development application, embedded within the particular dynamics of the municipal, regional, and provincial sustainability land use policy culture of the Metro Vancouver region, in Canada. Within a culture of appreciation of the increasing need for sustainability in land use policy, including the protection of agricultural lands at the provincial level through the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR), to urban intensification and protection of the green zone at the regional scale, lies a political conflict that comes into focus in individual land use decisions, within municipalities struggling for autonomy. This case is neither driven strictly by “the politics of the highest bidder” nor by policy failure; the case of the Jackson Farm is instead a case of the challenges of implementing inter-governmental coordination and collaborative governance in a context of both significant sustainability policy and urban growth. The process can be seen to follow an ecological modernization agenda, seeking “win–win” alternatives rather than recognizing that typical compromises, over time, may tip the direction of development away from sustainability policy goals. Understanding the twists, turns, and eventual compromise reached in the case of the Jackson Farm brings to light the implications of the shift in the regional planning culture which may necessitate a less flexible, more structured prioritization of competing goals within plans and policies in order to meet sustainability goals. We highlight this, and present an alternative implementation process within the existing policy regime with potential to aid the specific goal of agricultural land protection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cities)
Open AccessArticle Collecting Critical Data to Assess the Sustainability of Rural Infrastructure in Low-Income Countries
Sustainability 2013, 5(11), 4870-4888; doi:10.3390/su5114870
Received: 24 September 2013 / Revised: 25 October 2013 / Accepted: 4 November 2013 / Published: 12 November 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (552 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Rural water systems in low-income countries often fail to deliver potable water sustainably. Reasons include socio-economic, financial, and technical challenges that are specific to the community. Improved assessment methods are critical if decision makers want to provide sustainable solutions; however, to be [...] Read more.
Rural water systems in low-income countries often fail to deliver potable water sustainably. Reasons include socio-economic, financial, and technical challenges that are specific to the community. Improved assessment methods are critical if decision makers want to provide sustainable solutions; however, to be useful, such methods require substantial data about the complex interaction between people, water, and infrastructure. Such interaction is affected by, and in turn, affects the behavior of community members regarding water usage, resources for infrastructure maintenance, and choice of assets. Unfortunately, much of these data are not readily available, in a large part because of the site-specific context associated with each rural community. Because of the difficulty and expense in obtaining site-specific data, it is important to identify the most critical needs for field studies versus the data that can be obtained from sources such as non-governmental organizations and the general literature. We examine this issue by first using an extensive data set from Malawi to identify the critical data needs. We then present several examples of field studies in Honduras and Uganda where we collected some of that critical data. Throughout, we discuss best practices for conducting and using focused field studies versus the general literature. Full article
Open AccessArticle Social Sustainability and Its Indicators through a Disability Studies and an Ability Studies Lens
Sustainability 2013, 5(11), 4889-4907; doi:10.3390/su5114889
Received: 1 September 2013 / Revised: 29 October 2013 / Accepted: 11 November 2013 / Published: 14 November 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (736 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The present journal recently stated in the call for a special issue on social sustainability, “[t]hough sustainable development is said to rest on ‘three pillars’, one of these—social sustainability—has received significantly less attention than its bio-physical environmental and economic counterparts”. The current [...] Read more.
The present journal recently stated in the call for a special issue on social sustainability, “[t]hough sustainable development is said to rest on ‘three pillars’, one of these—social sustainability—has received significantly less attention than its bio-physical environmental and economic counterparts”. The current issue promises to engage the concepts of “development sustainability”, “bridge sustainability” and “maintenance sustainability” and the tensions between these different aspects of social sustainability. The aim of the present study is to identify the visibility of disabled people in the academic social sustainability literature, to ascertain the impact and promises of social sustainability indicators put forward in the same literature and to engage especially with the concepts of “development sustainability”, “bridge sustainability” and “maintenance sustainability” through disability studies and ability studies lenses. We report that disabled people are barely covered in the academic social sustainability literature; of the 5165 academic articles investigated only 26 had content related to disabled people and social sustainability. We also conclude that social sustainability indicators evident in the 1909 academic articles with the phrase “social sustainability” in the abstract mostly focused on products and did not reflect yet the goals outlined in the “development sustainability” aspect of social sustainability proposed by Vallance such as basic needs, building social capital, justice and so on. We posit that if the focus within the social sustainability discourse shifts more toward the social that an active presence of disabled people in this discourse is essential to disabled people. We showcase the utility of an ability studies lens to further the development and application of the “development sustainability”, “bridge sustainability” and “maintenance sustainability” concepts. We outline how different ability expectations intrinsic to certain schools of thought of how to deal with human-nature relationships (for example anthropocentric versus bio/ecocentric) impact this relationship and “bridge sustainability”. As to “maintenance development”, we posit that no engagement has happened yet with the ability expectation conflicts between able-bodied and disabled people, or for that matter with the ability expectation differences between different able-bodied groups within social sustainability discourses; an analysis essential for the maintenance of development. In general, we argue that there is a need to generate ability expectation conflict maps and ability expectations conflict resolution mechanisms for all sustainable development discourses individually and for ability conflicts between sustainable development discourses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Sustainability: Theory, Practice, Problems and Prospects)
Open AccessCommunication History Made for Tomorrow: Hakka Tulou
Sustainability 2013, 5(11), 4908-4919; doi:10.3390/su5114908
Received: 12 September 2013 / Revised: 7 November 2013 / Accepted: 8 November 2013 / Published: 14 November 2013
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Abstract
The documentary film, History Made for Tomorrow: Hakka Tulou was an October 2010 release by History Channel International. This film is an in-depth study on the green building techniques and sustainable lifestyle of the Hakka people of Southern China with a focus [...] Read more.
The documentary film, History Made for Tomorrow: Hakka Tulou was an October 2010 release by History Channel International. This film is an in-depth study on the green building techniques and sustainable lifestyle of the Hakka people of Southern China with a focus on the ancient Tulou rammed earth structures. The television program follows West Virginia University research professor, Ruifeng Liang, as he initiates scientific studies to back claims that the rammed earth Tulou structures are “the greenest buildings in the world”, and Canadian architect, Jorg Ostrowski, of Autonomous Sustainable Housing Inc., who has been researching the ecological footprint of Hakka communities since August 2007, to promote them as “eco-villages” of best practices for planet Earth’s sustainability. The author is credited as Director, Writer, and Producer of this film. This paper is based on the script of the production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hakka Tulou and Sustainability: The Greenest Buildings in the World)
Open AccessArticle Delivering Social Sustainability Outcomes in New Communities: The Role of the Elected Councillor
Sustainability 2013, 5(11), 4920-4948; doi:10.3390/su5114920
Received: 12 September 2013 / Revised: 29 October 2013 / Accepted: 30 October 2013 / Published: 15 November 2013
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Abstract
A 2011 Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) report calculated that an additional 750,000 homes would be needed by 2025 to meet projected demand in the UK. If this is to be achieved, a significant number of new communities will be developed [...] Read more.
A 2011 Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) report calculated that an additional 750,000 homes would be needed by 2025 to meet projected demand in the UK. If this is to be achieved, a significant number of new communities will be developed over the next decade. Local councillors have considerable potential in influencing the social sustainability of such new developments, particularly in the context of the current “Localism” agenda in the UK. However, this role of the local councilor is not well understood. The aim of this project was to explore the role of the local councillor in improving such outcomes. We selected two rural greenfield and two urban regeneration sites as case studies. Planning officers and local councillors were interviewed across the sites in order to identify factors that can lead to improved social sustainability. Emerging themes indicate the importance of the councillor’s role in community engagement and consultation, the changing nature of relationships, the importance of appropriate and timely infrastructure, and models of governance and accountability. These findings are discussed in terms of their implications for policy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Creative Solutions to Big Challenges)

Review

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Open AccessReview The Contribution of Forests and Trees to Sustainable Diets
Sustainability 2013, 5(11), 4797-4824; doi:10.3390/su5114797
Received: 10 September 2013 / Revised: 29 October 2013 / Accepted: 31 October 2013 / Published: 11 November 2013
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (1124 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With the growing demands from a population expected to reach 9 billion people by 2050, it is unclear how our current global food system will meet future food needs. Ensuring that all people have access to adequate and nutritious food produced in [...] Read more.
With the growing demands from a population expected to reach 9 billion people by 2050, it is unclear how our current global food system will meet future food needs. Ensuring that all people have access to adequate and nutritious food produced in an environmentally and socio-culturally sustainable manner is one of the greatest challenges of our time. “Sustainable diets” have been proposed as a multidimensional framework to address the need for nutritious and adequate food in the context of the many challenges facing the world today: reducing poverty and hunger, improving environmental health, enhancing human well-being and health, and strengthening local food networks, sustainable livelihoods and cultural heritage. This paper examines the contribution of forests and trees to sustainable diets, covering among others, nutritional, cultural, environmental and provisioning aspects. The literature reviewed highlight major opportunities to strengthen the contribution of forest and tree foods to sustainable diets. However, several constraints need to be removed. They relate to: cultural aspects, sustainable use of non-wood forest products, organization of forest food provisioning, limited knowledge of forest food composition, challenges in adapting management of forests and trees to account for forest foods, and in integrating forest biodiversity into complex landscapes managed for multiple benefits. Finally, the paper identifies research gaps and makes recommendations to enhance the contribution of forest foods to sustainable diets through increased awareness and better integration of information and knowledge on nutritious forest foods into national nutrition strategies and programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Food Chains)

Other

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Open AccessConcept Paper A Method for Estimating the Extent of Regional Food Self-Sufficiency and Dietary Ill Health in the Province of British Columbia, Canada
Sustainability 2013, 5(11), 4949-4960; doi:10.3390/su5114949
Received: 4 September 2013 / Accepted: 6 November 2013 / Published: 19 November 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (773 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We outline in this paper a suite of methods, and illustrate their use, to empirically determine food self-sufficiency at a relatively small (Local Health Areas) level of geography. Further we have, after identifying regions of lowest food self-sufficiency in British Columbia (BC) [...] Read more.
We outline in this paper a suite of methods, and illustrate their use, to empirically determine food self-sufficiency at a relatively small (Local Health Areas) level of geography. Further we have, after identifying regions of lowest food self-sufficiency in British Columbia (BC) superimposed these on regions whose populations have relatively poor dietary ill health. Approximately one third of Local Health Areas in BC have both poor local food self-sufficiency and populations suffering from poor dietary health. These are located mainly (but not entirely) in poor under-developed rural regions of the province regions which require attention from health and food planners to improve local food security. Finally, we have demonstrated a methodological way forward to empirically determine regions in the province of BC most at risk for food insecurity. This information should be of interest to health and food planners within the province. These methods may also be useful for researchers and planners in other jurisdictions. Full article

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