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Sustainability, Volume 9, Issue 10 (October 2017)

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Cover Story Post-occupancy evaluation (POE) of buildings is becoming increasingly important for evaluation and [...] Read more.
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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Sustainable Consumer Behaviour: A Collection of Empirical Studies
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1686; doi:10.3390/su9101686
Received: 18 September 2017 / Revised: 19 September 2017 / Accepted: 19 September 2017 / Published: 21 September 2017
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Abstract
We summarise the contributions in this special issue on sustainable consumer behaviour and place them in perspective. Several studies focus on macro- and meso-issues, and others on micro-issues of consumer behaviour. The studies employ a variety of methods, including surveys, field experiments, eye
[...] Read more.
We summarise the contributions in this special issue on sustainable consumer behaviour and place them in perspective. Several studies focus on macro- and meso-issues, and others on micro-issues of consumer behaviour. The studies employ a variety of methods, including surveys, field experiments, eye tracking, scale development, and contingent valuation. The 12 contributions from authors of 13 different countries show the wide and varied application of consumer research focused on sustainability issues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Consumer Behavior) Printed Edition available

Research

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Open AccessArticle Heuristic Optimization for the Energy Management and Race Strategy of a Solar Car
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1576; doi:10.3390/su9101576
Received: 7 July 2017 / Revised: 28 August 2017 / Accepted: 1 September 2017 / Published: 26 September 2017
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Abstract
Solar cars are known for their energy efficiency, and different races are designed to measure their performance under certain conditions. For these races, in addition to an efficient vehicle, a competition strategy is required to define the optimal speed, with the objective of
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Solar cars are known for their energy efficiency, and different races are designed to measure their performance under certain conditions. For these races, in addition to an efficient vehicle, a competition strategy is required to define the optimal speed, with the objective of finishing the race in the shortest possible time using the energy available. Two heuristic optimization methods are implemented to solve this problem, a convergence and performance comparison of both methods is presented. A computational model of the race is developed, including energy input, consumption and storage systems. Based on this model, the different optimization methods are tested on the optimization of the World Solar Challenge 2015 race strategy under two different environmental conditions. A suitable method for solar car racing strategy is developed with the vehicle specifications taken as an independent input to permit the simulation of different solar or electric vehicles. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Who Takes More Sustainability-Oriented Entrepreneurial Actions? The Role of Entrepreneurs’ Values, Beliefs and Orientations
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1636; doi:10.3390/su9101636
Received: 1 August 2017 / Revised: 7 September 2017 / Accepted: 9 September 2017 / Published: 25 September 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (461 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We examine the relationships between entrepreneurs’ values, beliefs and orientations with their firms’ engagement in sustainability-oriented entrepreneurial actions, using a sample of 352 newly established businesses from two Asian countries (Bangladesh and Iran). Our results reveal a dual role of entrepreneurs’ values, beliefs
[...] Read more.
We examine the relationships between entrepreneurs’ values, beliefs and orientations with their firms’ engagement in sustainability-oriented entrepreneurial actions, using a sample of 352 newly established businesses from two Asian countries (Bangladesh and Iran). Our results reveal a dual role of entrepreneurs’ values, beliefs and orientations when taking sustainability-oriented actions. We confirm that individual differences in the set of values, beliefs and orientations can foster or hinder the sustainability-oriented actions across organizations. Our paper contributes to the growing literature of sustainable entrepreneurship, by providing answers for recent calls for better understanding which entrepreneurial ventures engage more in sustainability-oriented actions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurial Sustainability: New Innovative Knowledge)
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Open AccessArticle Consumers’ Social Representations of Meat Safety in Two Selected Restaurants of Raymond Mhlaba Municipality in the Eastern Cape, South Africa
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1651; doi:10.3390/su9101651
Received: 22 July 2017 / Revised: 5 September 2017 / Accepted: 14 September 2017 / Published: 26 September 2017
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Abstract
This study was conducted at two different restaurants of Raymond Mhlaba Municipality (Alice), Eastern Cape, South Africa, to determine consumers’ social representations of meat safety. A total number of 251 people were interviewed in focus group discussions, each comprising 4–6 interviewees were conducted.
[...] Read more.
This study was conducted at two different restaurants of Raymond Mhlaba Municipality (Alice), Eastern Cape, South Africa, to determine consumers’ social representations of meat safety. A total number of 251 people were interviewed in focus group discussions, each comprising 4–6 interviewees were conducted. Each focus group consisted of university students and staff, and members of rural communities surrounding the town of Alice. A semi-structured questionnaire comprising both closed-ended and open-ended questions was used to collect data. Consumers were concerned about the hygiene at the place of purchase and the freshness of meat. Moreover, they revealed that they were always worried about the risk of food-borne diseases. Although food-borne diseases were not cited as a significant problem, related ideas such as “washing of hands before preparation of food to minimize food-borne diseases” were important to consumers. Consumers indicated that meat safety at the abattoirs should be thoroughly managed given that “hygiene during meat processing is important to prevent the occurrence of food-borne diseases”. Consumers in both retail outlets have shown to have a limited understanding of meat safety. Thus, consumers’ social representations, perceptions, and knowledge are complex and dynamic with respect to meat safety. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
Open AccessArticle Development of an Evapotranspiration Data Assimilation Technique for Streamflow Estimates: A Case Study in a Semi-Arid Region
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1658; doi:10.3390/su9101658
Received: 27 July 2017 / Revised: 26 August 2017 / Accepted: 13 September 2017 / Published: 21 September 2017
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Abstract
Streamflow estimates are substantially important as fresh water shortages increase in arid and semi-arid regions where evapotranspiration (ET) is a significant contribution to the water balance. In this regard, evapotranspiration data can be assimilated into a distributed hydrological model (SWAT, Soil and Water
[...] Read more.
Streamflow estimates are substantially important as fresh water shortages increase in arid and semi-arid regions where evapotranspiration (ET) is a significant contribution to the water balance. In this regard, evapotranspiration data can be assimilated into a distributed hydrological model (SWAT, Soil and Water Assessment Tool) for improving streamflow estimates. The SWAT model has been widely used for streamflow estimations, but the applications combining SWAT and ET products were rare. Thus, this study aims to develop a SWAT-based evapotranspiration data assimilation system. In particular, SWAT is gridded at Hydrologic Response Unit (HRU) level to incorporate gridded ET products acquired from the remote sensing-based ETMonitor model. In the modeling case, Gridded SWAT (GSWAT) shows a good agreement of streamflow modeling with the original SWAT. Such a scant margin between them is due to the modeling domain mismatch caused by different HRU delineations. In the ET assimilation case, we carry out a synthetic data experiment to illustrate the state augmentation Direct Insertion (DI) method and a real data experiment for the upper Heihe River Basin. The results demonstrate the benefits of the ET assimilation for improving hydrologic processes representations. In the future, more remotely sensed data can be assimilated into the data assimilation system to provide more reliable hydrological predictions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Study of Lightweight Door Hinges of Commercial Vehicles Using Aluminum Instead of Steel for Sustainable Transportation
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1661; doi:10.3390/su9101661
Received: 1 July 2017 / Revised: 6 September 2017 / Accepted: 15 September 2017 / Published: 25 September 2017
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Abstract
Recently, lightweight design concepts have come into prominence for vehicle industry, especially for economic and environmental sustainability. Vehicle manufacturers have investigated new material usage to reduce fuel consumption and air pollution as increasing concerns. On the other hand, new legal obligations and global
[...] Read more.
Recently, lightweight design concepts have come into prominence for vehicle industry, especially for economic and environmental sustainability. Vehicle manufacturers have investigated new material usage to reduce fuel consumption and air pollution as increasing concerns. On the other hand, new legal obligations and global competition have accelerated this research and development process. Designing components with low-density materials is one the most common methods for reducing CO2 emissions. Among these materials, aluminum alloys stand out due to their adequate mechanical properties and specific strength. In this work, the study of lightening door hinges of a commercial vehicle is presented. To reduce the weight of vehicle door hinge, three different aluminum alloys are tried out and compared with steel. Finite element analysis (FEA) and experiments are conducted to determine if the safety requirements are fulfilled or not. According to results with an Al7075-T73 alloy, the weight of door hinge can be reduced by approximately 65%. Stress and strain values are suitable for FMVSS0206 standards. Additionally, it passed the corrosion test. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Materials)
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Open AccessArticle Stability Control of Retained Goaf-Side Gateroad under Different Roof Conditions in Deep Underground Y Type Longwall Mining
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1671; doi:10.3390/su9101671
Received: 5 September 2017 / Revised: 19 September 2017 / Accepted: 19 September 2017 / Published: 21 September 2017
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Abstract
Stability of the retained goaf-side gateroad (RGSG) is influenced mainly by the movements of the roof strata near coal seam after coalface passes by. To make effective controlling technology for the stability of the RGSG, we analyze the roof structure over the RGSG
[...] Read more.
Stability of the retained goaf-side gateroad (RGSG) is influenced mainly by the movements of the roof strata near coal seam after coalface passes by. To make effective controlling technology for the stability of the RGSG, we analyze the roof structure over the RGSG to illustrate the mechanism causing the RGSG instability under different roof conditions. We then examine the dynamic evolution of the deformation and abutment stress in the rock surrounding the RGSG during coal seam mining, using the FLAC3D numerical software to reveal the instability characteristics of the RGSG under different roof conditions. Next, corresponding stability controlling technologies for the RGSGs are proposed and tested in three typical deep underground coalmines. Results show that: sink and rotation of the roof cantilever over the RGSG impose severer influence on the stability of the RGSG. The RGSG suffers disturbances three times during the coal-seam mining, and the deformation and abutment stress in the rock surrounding the RGSG increase significantly when the main roof becomes thicker and the immediate roof becomes thinner. Staged support technology involving grout cable bolts has better controlling results of the RGSG stability than that composed of conventional rock bolts, when the RGSG is beneath weak immediate roof with large thickness. Roof structure optimizing technology involving pre-split technology can improve the stability of the RGSG effectively when the RGSG is covered by hard main roof with large thickness directly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Data Quality Assessment of the Uncertainty Analysis Applied to the Greenhouse Gas Emissions of a Dairy Cow System
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1676; doi:10.3390/su9101676
Received: 1 August 2017 / Revised: 4 September 2017 / Accepted: 18 September 2017 / Published: 21 September 2017
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Abstract
The results of an uncertainty analysis are achieved by the statistical information (standard error, type of probability distributions, and range of minimum and maximum) of the selected input parameters. However, there are limitations in identifying sufficient data samples for the selected input parameters
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The results of an uncertainty analysis are achieved by the statistical information (standard error, type of probability distributions, and range of minimum and maximum) of the selected input parameters. However, there are limitations in identifying sufficient data samples for the selected input parameters for statistical information in the field of life cycle assessment (LCA). Therefore, there is a strong need for a consistent screening procedure to identify the input parameters for use in uncertainty analysis in the area of LCA. The conventional procedure for identifying input parameters for the uncertainty analysis method includes assessing the data quality using the pedigree method and the contribution analysis of the LCA results. This paper proposes a simplified procedure for ameliorating the existing data quality assessment method, which can lead to an efficient uncertainly analysis of LCA results. The proposed method has two salient features: (i) a simplified procedure based on contribution analysis followed by a data quality assessment for selecting the input parameters for the uncertainty analysis; and (ii) a quantitative data quality assessment method is proposed, based on the pedigree method, that adopts the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) method and quality function deployment (QFD). The effects of the uncertainty of the selected input parameters on the LCA results were assessed using the Monte Carlo simulation method. A case study of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from a dairy cow system was used to demonstrate the applicability of the proposed procedure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle Three-Fold Embedding: Farm Development in Relation to Its Socio-Material Context
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1677; doi:10.3390/su9101677
Received: 19 August 2017 / Revised: 3 September 2017 / Accepted: 16 September 2017 / Published: 21 September 2017
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Abstract
Understanding heterogeneity in farm development strategies is important in order to design effective policies and support programs to increase the sustainability of agriculture in relation to its socio-material context. Using a unique case study of 102 dairy farmers in The Netherlands, all operating
[...] Read more.
Understanding heterogeneity in farm development strategies is important in order to design effective policies and support programs to increase the sustainability of agriculture in relation to its socio-material context. Using a unique case study of 102 dairy farmers in The Netherlands, all operating in a highly similar socio-material context, this paper studies the differences in the relation of farms with the socio-material context. To this end, the concept of three-fold embedding is developed and tested using the ideal-typical characteristics of three patterns of farm development that were identified in the case study: (1) maximising total milk production; (2) optimising milk production using mainly on-farm resources; and (3) diversified on-farm production. Three-fold embedding was conceptualised in relation to the following dimensions: (1) value chain relations; (2) socio-cultural relations; and (3) natural resource relations, while using a scale ranging from a Close to a Stretched set of relations. The concept of three-fold embedding proves to be useful to identify in a non-normative and non-binary manner meaningful differences between patterns of farm development. These differences relate to differences in opportunity identification and strategic decision-making. The concept supports a relational perspective in studying farm strategy development using a sociology of entrepreneurship approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle Farmland Rental and Productivity of Wheat and Maize: An Empirical Study in Gansu, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1678; doi:10.3390/su9101678
Received: 12 August 2017 / Revised: 10 September 2017 / Accepted: 19 September 2017 / Published: 21 September 2017
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Abstract
The rapid growth of farmland rental markets in China raises questions about the association of farmland rental and agricultural productivity. Although this issue has been extensively studied, the majority of studies have focused on yields and technical efficiency, with input use and cost
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The rapid growth of farmland rental markets in China raises questions about the association of farmland rental and agricultural productivity. Although this issue has been extensively studied, the majority of studies have focused on yields and technical efficiency, with input use and cost efficiency receiving little attention. This study aimed to determine the statistical association of wheat and maize farmers’ farmland rental behaviors (renting land, not renting land and renting out land) and input use, and the consequent association of farmers’ farmland rental behaviors and cost efficiency. For this purpose, the linear regression model and stochastic frontier model were employed, based on a survey data of 419 wheat and maize farmers in 25 villages in five counties of Gansu Province, China. The study found that farmland rental enhanced productivity and sustainability of agriculture through transferring farmland from households with less productivity to those with high productivity, and it was also helpful to reducing the consumption of fertilizers and chemicals in agricultural production. The results suggest that replacing labor with machines is an important way to reduce production costs, and households specializing in agricultural production use more rational amounts of fertilizers and chemicals than those with low productivity. Thus, the machinery purchase policy in China should continue to give great benefit to farmers. In addition, the machinery purchase subsidization policy has achieved satisfactory results in China, and it could be a good reference for other developing countries. However, some efficiency loss was found in households that rented out their land, and policy makers need to pay some attention to these households. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle Entrepreneurial Activity in the EU: An Empirical Evaluation of Its Determinants
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1679; doi:10.3390/su9101679
Received: 31 July 2017 / Revised: 14 September 2017 / Accepted: 18 September 2017 / Published: 21 September 2017
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Abstract
Entrepreneurship plays a major role in national economies, being considered one of the main engines of economic growth, and an important contributor to creating new jobs and innovations. Identifying the main determinants of entrepreneurial activity is important for helping the decision makers in
[...] Read more.
Entrepreneurship plays a major role in national economies, being considered one of the main engines of economic growth, and an important contributor to creating new jobs and innovations. Identifying the main determinants of entrepreneurial activity is important for helping the decision makers in adopting adequate measures to support the creation and development of new businesses. The turbulent economic environment in recent years dominated by economic and financial crises, resulting in a reduction in economic growth but also in an increase in unemployment, has led decision makers to turn their attention again to the determinant factors of entrepreneurship. Starting from those stated above, through this paper we aim to investigate the impact of some macroeconomic, individual and business environment-related factors on the dynamics of entrepreneurial activity in 18 European Union (EU) countries for a period of 14 years (2002–2015). We use three regression models and we apply panel data fixed effect model approach. The results of our study highlight that inflation rate, foreign direct investments, access to finance and total tax rate are the main macroeconomic determinants of entrepreneurship. Also, we find that all individual business-related factors considered in the analysis have a significant impact on total entrepreneurship rate. Full article
Open AccessArticle Use of Household Survey Data as a Tool to Assess the Carbon Footprint of Rural Tourist Accommodation and Related Services in China: A Case Study of Mount Qingcheng
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1680; doi:10.3390/su9101680
Received: 28 July 2017 / Revised: 16 September 2017 / Accepted: 18 September 2017 / Published: 21 September 2017
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Abstract
The need to improve the accuracy of carbon emission measurements is a major issue which the tourism industry must resolve in order to reduce adverse impacts on climate change and the environment. This study established a detailed consumption list based on household survey
[...] Read more.
The need to improve the accuracy of carbon emission measurements is a major issue which the tourism industry must resolve in order to reduce adverse impacts on climate change and the environment. This study established a detailed consumption list based on household survey data and calculated the carbon emissions of accommodation and services of the rural tourism industry of Mount Qingcheng using the input–output and lifecycle methods. Further, it analysed the key factors affecting carbon emissions. The results indicate that within the surveyed area, carbon emissions from accommodation and services amounted to 30.27 kg CO2/per person per day; these emissions were primarily from indirect sources, which accounted for 74.99% of the total emissions. Emissions from construction and production of durable goods accounted for 13.08% and 21.58% of the total emissions. The omission of these sources of carbon emissions was the primary reason for the carbon emission levels of the tourism industry being underestimated previously. For each additional 10,000 yuan in revenue, accommodation and related services of the rural tourism industry emit an additional 1412.08 kg of CO2. This is higher than the level of carbon emissions of the agriculture industry, but lower than those of the processing and manufacturing industries. Tourist consumption behaviours and types of tourism operations are important factors affecting carbon emissions. Effective emission reduction strategies include guiding tourist consumption behavioural changes, optimizing tourism operation portfolios, and extending the service life of constructions and durable goods. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Does a Certain Rule Exist in the Long-Term Change of a City’s Livability? Evidence from New York, Tokyo, and Shanghai
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1681; doi:10.3390/su9101681
Received: 23 August 2017 / Revised: 19 September 2017 / Accepted: 19 September 2017 / Published: 21 September 2017
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Abstract
Livability is the ultimate goal of city development. However, the question of whether the changing pattern of a city’s livability follows a certain rule or not has seldom been argued. To address the question, three cities, including New York, Tokyo, and Shanghai are
[...] Read more.
Livability is the ultimate goal of city development. However, the question of whether the changing pattern of a city’s livability follows a certain rule or not has seldom been argued. To address the question, three cities, including New York, Tokyo, and Shanghai are selected for case studies. Based on a proposed assessment framework, the long-term trend and determinants of three cities’ livability are quantified and investigated. The results suggest that the livability of three cities demonstrates a similar changing pattern during the last decades, with the level going through a three-staged N-curve development, increasing at the beginning, then declining in the mid-term, and rebounding afterward. It implies that the staged development rule should be followed when constructing a livable city. Efforts should be targeted towards the most underlying aspects in different periods. The empirical analysis of the three cities ascertains the existence of a development rule regarding livability, and suggests many potential uses for decision-making support. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle The European Native Seed Industry: Characterization and Perspectives in Grassland Restoration
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1682; doi:10.3390/su9101682
Received: 25 August 2017 / Revised: 11 September 2017 / Accepted: 16 September 2017 / Published: 21 September 2017
PDF Full-text (1274 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The European Union committed to restore 15% of degraded ecosystems by 2020, and to comply with this goal, native plant material, such as seeds, is needed in large quantities. The native seed production of herbaceous species plays a critical role in supplying seed
[...] Read more.
The European Union committed to restore 15% of degraded ecosystems by 2020, and to comply with this goal, native plant material, such as seeds, is needed in large quantities. The native seed production of herbaceous species plays a critical role in supplying seed for restoration of a key ecosystem: grasslands. The objective of this work is to provide for the first time a characterization of the sector at a multi-country European level together with key information about the community of native seed users via intensive web-based research and a direct survey of industry participants. Based on more than 1300 contacts and direct surveying of more than 200 stakeholders across Europe, responses indicated that: the European native seed industry consists primarily of small to medium enterprises; responding native seed users purchase annually an average of 3600 kg of seeds with an average expenditure of €17,600; the industry (suppliers and consumers) favours development of seed zones and would participate in a European network for knowledge sharing. This study provides framework principles that can guide decisions in this sector, critical for fulfilling the growing demand for native seed as a primary tool for large-scale restoration on the continent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle A Conceptual Framework for Agri-Food Tourism as an Eco-Innovation Strategy in Small Farms
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1683; doi:10.3390/su9101683
Received: 16 July 2017 / Revised: 21 August 2017 / Accepted: 21 August 2017 / Published: 21 September 2017
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Abstract
The proposed conceptual framework explores how small-scale farms can combine agricultural products and tourism into an eco-innovation strategy. This paper presents a case study conducted on a family-run farm within the territory of the Paiwan tribal community of the North Dawu Mountain situated
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The proposed conceptual framework explores how small-scale farms can combine agricultural products and tourism into an eco-innovation strategy. This paper presents a case study conducted on a family-run farm within the territory of the Paiwan tribal community of the North Dawu Mountain situated in the Central Mountain Range of Taiwan. The area has become an important coffee-farming region since the Japanese colonial period between 1895 and 1945. For many years, most of the indigenous farmers of the area have cultivated varieties of coffee plants using traditional, non-commercial methods, such as a single-sale channel. The small-scale farmer implements an integrated approach that systematically optimizes supply chain relationships to improve both the upstream and downstream sides of agri-food tourism services. The upstream element of agri-food tourism, for example, can be adjusted to employ organic or “natural” farming methods that allow small-scale farmers to secure an “organic” certification. Based on this approach, a small farm is gradually transformed into a type of educational institution that can demonstrate to customers the methods for farming high-quality organic coffee while also attracting tourists of various backgrounds to experience the downstream components of agri-food tourism in a recreational setting. This case study highlights how a particular small-scale farmer plays an important role in attracting other tribal farmers to engage in sustainable practices that help preserve cultural, social, and environmental systems while also presenting agri-food tourism as a brand identity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developing Tourism in Rural and Agricultural Regions)
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Open AccessArticle Adsorption of Arsenate by Nano Scaled Activated Carbon Modified by Iron and Manganese Oxides
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1684; doi:10.3390/su9101684
Received: 1 August 2017 / Revised: 10 September 2017 / Accepted: 11 September 2017 / Published: 21 September 2017
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Abstract
The presence of arsenic in water supplies is a major problem for public health and still concerns large parts of population in Southeast Asia, Latin America and Europe. Removal of arsenic is usually accomplished either by coagulation with iron salts or by adsorption
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The presence of arsenic in water supplies is a major problem for public health and still concerns large parts of population in Southeast Asia, Latin America and Europe. Removal of arsenic is usually accomplished either by coagulation with iron salts or by adsorption with iron oxides or activated alumina. However, these materials, although very efficient for arsenic, normally do not remove other undesirable constituents from waters, such as chlorine and organo-chlorine compounds, which are the results of water chlorination. Activated carbon has this affinity for organic compounds, but does not remove arsenic efficiently. Therefore, in the present study, iron modified activated carbons are investigated as alternative sorbents for the removal of arsenic(V) from aqueous solutions. In addition, modified activated carbons with magnetic properties can easily be separated from the solutions. In the present study, a simple and efficient method was used for the preparation of magnetic Fe3(Mn2+)O4 (M:Fe and/or Mn) activated carbons. Activated carbons were impregnated with magnetic precursor solutions and then calcinated at 400 °C. The obtained carbons were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), nitrogen adsorption isotherms, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM), Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometry (FTIR) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) measurements. Their adsorption performance for As(V) was evaluated. The iron impregnation presented an increase in As(V) maximum adsorption capacity (Qmax) from about 4 mg g−1 for the raw carbon to 11.05 mg g−1, while Mn incorporation further increased the adsorption capacity at 19.35 mg g−1. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Does Collaboration Lead to Sustainability? A Study of Public–Private Partnerships in the Swedish Mountains
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1685; doi:10.3390/su9101685
Received: 23 August 2017 / Revised: 18 September 2017 / Accepted: 20 September 2017 / Published: 21 September 2017
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Abstract
The conflicts that frequently manifest in the Swedish mountains often stem from the use and preservation of natural resources. Resistance against protected area proposals, protests concerning the management of large carnivores, the felling of old-growth forests, and disputes over who should be allowed
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The conflicts that frequently manifest in the Swedish mountains often stem from the use and preservation of natural resources. Resistance against protected area proposals, protests concerning the management of large carnivores, the felling of old-growth forests, and disputes over who should be allowed to hunt or fish are all commonplace. There are currently strong trends, both in national and international policy making, towards leaning on various forms of collaborative governance arrangements to deal with such policy failures. Consequently, various forms of partnerships have been initiated to promote more sustainable practices in the mountain regions of Sweden. To what extent has the creation of these collaborative partnerships in natural resource management improved policy output and sustainability outcomes? To examine the issue, data was extracted from 47 semi-structured interviews with 39 project leaders and eight county officials, with the sample randomly selected from a database of 245 public–private collaborative projects in the Swedish mountains. The results indicate that partnerships do lead to improved sustainability, especially when it comes to social outcomes. However, there is a need for more systematic follow-ups by practitioners, particularly on ecological outcomes, where the country administrative boards should take a leading role and facilitate such evaluations in the future. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Stormwater Treatment Evaluation of a Constructed Floating Wetland after Two Years Operation in an Urban Catchment
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1687; doi:10.3390/su9101687
Received: 6 September 2017 / Revised: 14 September 2017 / Accepted: 20 September 2017 / Published: 22 September 2017
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Abstract
Constructed Floating Wetlands (CFW) for stormwater treatment are increasingly used to treat urban runoff. However, studies of large-scale systems and the long-term evaluation of their treatment efficiency are scarce. This article presents the final results of a two-year study of the pollutant removal
[...] Read more.
Constructed Floating Wetlands (CFW) for stormwater treatment are increasingly used to treat urban runoff. However, studies of large-scale systems and the long-term evaluation of their treatment efficiency are scarce. This article presents the final results of a two-year study of the pollutant removal performance of a CFW in a stormwater pond capturing runoff from a low-residential catchment in South-East Queensland (Australia) under subtropical conditions. Although the CFW treatment area to catchment ratio was only 0.14%, the results demonstrated a significant removal of both Total Suspended Solids (TSS) and Total Phosphorus (TP) from the stormwater inflows by the CFW. The efficiency ratios for TSS and TP were 81% and 52%, respectively. While the removal rate for total nitrogen was not significant for the CFW evaluated in this study, the ER was still 17%. However, the ERs for nitrate and nitrogen oxide were both 47%. The study results suggest that it may be possible to increase the pollution removal performance of the CFW by upsizing the system and including intermittent re-aeration zones in the surrounding stormwater pond. The results of this research study clearly demonstrate that CFW can be an effective treatment solution for the removal of pollution from urban stormwater runoff. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Rural Tourism Accommodation Prices by Land Use-Based Hedonic Approach: First Results from the Case Study of the Self-Catering Cottages in Asturias
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1688; doi:10.3390/su9101688
Received: 2 August 2017 / Revised: 18 September 2017 / Accepted: 19 September 2017 / Published: 22 September 2017
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Abstract
This study analyses the impacts of environmental amenities associated with agricultural and silvicultural land use on the price of rural tourism accommodation in Asturias (Spain). A hedonic price model that relates the price of rural accommodation to environmental amenities as well as equipment,
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This study analyses the impacts of environmental amenities associated with agricultural and silvicultural land use on the price of rural tourism accommodation in Asturias (Spain). A hedonic price model that relates the price of rural accommodation to environmental amenities as well as equipment, services offered, and the locational characteristics of the accommodation is estimated. The rural accommodations in the study are the self-catering cottages, the intrinsic features of which promote the development of rural tourism sustainability. Geographic information systems (GIS) data are used to measure the location and the proximity to amenities of these self-catering cottages. The main results indicate that agricultural land use has an important impact on the price of accommodation in self-catering cottages. Specifically, a high percentage of grassland in the municipality where the self-catering cottage is sited has a positive effect on rental prices, while a high percentage of arable crops has the opposite effect. The analysis is interesting for decision-making in the context of environmental policies, land use conflict resolution, and rural tourism sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rural Tourism, Rural Development and Rural Resilience)
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Open AccessArticle The Expected Job Satisfaction Affecting Entrepreneurial Intention as Career Choice in the Cultural and Artistic Industry
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1689; doi:10.3390/su9101689
Received: 30 July 2017 / Revised: 12 September 2017 / Accepted: 18 September 2017 / Published: 22 September 2017
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Abstract
Artists have chosen a career between employment and self-employment. We studied the factors that influence career choices. We examined the effects of work conditions and employability on job satisfaction, and examined the effect of job satisfaction, outcome expectations and self-efficacy on entrepreneurial intentions.
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Artists have chosen a career between employment and self-employment. We studied the factors that influence career choices. We examined the effects of work conditions and employability on job satisfaction, and examined the effect of job satisfaction, outcome expectations and self-efficacy on entrepreneurial intentions. In addition, this study examined whether heuristic factors influence entrepreneurial intentions. Our findings suggest that perceived employability positively affected job satisfaction, while expectation gaps in working conditions negatively affected job satisfaction. Secondly, job satisfaction had a negative effect on entrepreneurial intention. In addition, self-efficacy and outcome expectations mediated between job satisfaction and entrepreneurial intention. Finally, overconfidence was positively influenced by job satisfaction and positively affected self-efficacy. This study contributed the study of the entrepreneurial intent to the field of culture and arts. It confirmed the effect of career choice and heuristic factors on entrepreneurial intention. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Towards Smarter Urban Mobility: Willingness to Pay for an Advanced Traveller Information System in Lyon
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1690; doi:10.3390/su9101690
Received: 4 August 2017 / Revised: 17 September 2017 / Accepted: 18 September 2017 / Published: 22 September 2017
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Abstract
Advanced traveller information systems (ATIS) are meant to assist people in their daily travel decisions as well as to prompt a shift from cars to alternative and more environmentally-friendly transport strategies. Not many comprehensive studies have been undertaken so far in order to
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Advanced traveller information systems (ATIS) are meant to assist people in their daily travel decisions as well as to prompt a shift from cars to alternative and more environmentally-friendly transport strategies. Not many comprehensive studies have been undertaken so far in order to assess the willingness to pay (WTP) for ATIS, despite a development of these tools during the last two decades. This paper aims at analysing the WTP for Optymod’Lyon, a smartphone application which plans your journey travels using real-time information about all available transport modes. To this end, a quali-quantitative approach was adopted, administering a questionnaire to participants and organising focus groups before and after the test of the application. A sample of 42 people living in the metropolitan area of Lyon was involved. Results showed four clusters of participants: idealists, pragmatics, the ambiguous and opportunists. A strong majority of idealists and pragmatics were unwilling to pay, mainly for economic reasons and the availability on the market of free information. They record a lower share of trips to work and a higher share for leisure, shopping and study purposes. Those willing to pay (of which 37.8% were opportunists) report a low monthly charge level (0.2–3 €/month) and are mainly highly-educated car users, travelling for work. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Wall Vegetation Characteristics of Urban and Sub-Urban Areas
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1691; doi:10.3390/su9101691
Received: 20 July 2017 / Revised: 18 September 2017 / Accepted: 18 September 2017 / Published: 22 September 2017
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Abstract
Unfortunately, we live in a greedy little world and horizontal areas are often too expensive to leave to nature on them. Therefore, creating gardens on vertical surfaces of urban areas has recently been very important to supporting sustainability because these surfaces are still
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Unfortunately, we live in a greedy little world and horizontal areas are often too expensive to leave to nature on them. Therefore, creating gardens on vertical surfaces of urban areas has recently been very important to supporting sustainability because these surfaces are still found to be commercially useless compared with green areas which are generally under pressure from commercial demands and politics. However, these artificial vertical green surfaces are still too far from being common, while too many ordinary walls are spontaneously covered with vegetation already. In this study, we try to address the dynamics of wall vegetation as it has a great potential to make the cities more sustainable. Totally 70 walls (35 in urban and 35 in sub-urban areas) in Trabzon city were examined regarding their ecological, physical and vegetation characteristics. Having identified 1540 plant samples collected from the walls during a year-round intensive field study, we performed statistical analyzes to enumerate the wall vegetation depending on the ecological characteristics; to evaluate if there are different wall vegetation compositions in urban and sub-urban areas; and finally to evaluate growth conditions and basic challenges for the wall vegetation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Assessment of the Tourism’s Potential as a Sustainable Development Instrument in Terms of Annual Stability: Application to Spanish Rural Destinations in Process of Consolidation
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1692; doi:10.3390/su9101692
Received: 12 September 2017 / Revised: 18 September 2017 / Accepted: 19 September 2017 / Published: 22 September 2017
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Abstract
Tourism has established itself as an instrument that supports the sustainable development of rural destinations and has both, negative and positive effects. The annual instability of the flow of visitors, known as tourist seasonality, contributes to the intensification of some of these negative
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Tourism has established itself as an instrument that supports the sustainable development of rural destinations and has both, negative and positive effects. The annual instability of the flow of visitors, known as tourist seasonality, contributes to the intensification of some of these negative effects. In this work, we perform an analysis on the evolution of the seasonality intensity during the process of consolidation of the Spanish rural destinations, designed to improve the knowledge about the tourist activity’s capacity to generate a sustainable development alternative steady throughout the year. To guarantee an accurate measurement, we propose the use of a synthetic indicator as a methodological innovation, such as the Method of Distance Pena DP2, that brings together the supply and demand variables. We can observe that tourist seasonality is restrained in smaller destinations that experience a growth in terms of tourists’ arrivals, so it is associated with the early stages of the consolidation process. However, the destinations with a lower seasonality level do not match with those that welcome a larger number of visitors. Those destinations with the potential to obtain more benefits because of their level of consolidation do not have the necessary annual stability to provide employment and income in a steady way throughout the year. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Land Uses and Rural Governance)
Open AccessArticle Development and Piloting of Sustainability Assessment Metrics for Arctic Process Industry in Finland—The Biorefinery Investment and Slag Processing Service Cases
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1693; doi:10.3390/su9101693
Received: 9 August 2017 / Revised: 12 September 2017 / Accepted: 18 September 2017 / Published: 22 September 2017
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Abstract
Regionally, there has been a lot of focus on the advancement of sustainable arctic industry and circular economy activities within process industry in the Finnish Lapland. In this study, collaboration between university and industry was established facilitated by regional development actors to develop
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Regionally, there has been a lot of focus on the advancement of sustainable arctic industry and circular economy activities within process industry in the Finnish Lapland. In this study, collaboration between university and industry was established facilitated by regional development actors to develop and pilot test a sustainability assessment approach taking into account previous work in this field. The industry partners in this study were a biorefinery investment in the first case and a slag processing service in the second case. As a result of the joint efforts, novel sets of environmental and economic sustainability assessment indicators and associated sub-indicators were developed and the existing set of social indicators was updated. Moreover, environmental and social sustainability assessments were implemented in the biorefinery case accompanied by a separate evaluation of regional economic impacts. In the slag processing case, environmental, economic and social sustainability were assessed. The results of the sustainability assessments indicated very good level of overall performance in both cases. However, specific elements that contributed to lower level of performance included lack of specific sustainability management and reporting approaches and need for better performance in supply chain sustainability, monitoring of greenhouse gas emissions, life cycle thinking and circular economy training. The expected effects of the planned investment on the regional economy were very positive based on the results of the evaluation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Does Nationality Matter in Eco-Behaviour?
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1694; doi:10.3390/su9101694
Received: 15 July 2017 / Revised: 2 September 2017 / Accepted: 18 September 2017 / Published: 22 September 2017
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Abstract
Although many authors agree on the role of personal values in explaining the main determinants of eco-behaviour, disagreement about the effects of socio-demographic features exists, particularly about the effect of nationality. In an attempt to fill this gap in the literature, this paper
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Although many authors agree on the role of personal values in explaining the main determinants of eco-behaviour, disagreement about the effects of socio-demographic features exists, particularly about the effect of nationality. In an attempt to fill this gap in the literature, this paper contributes to the debate surrounding the main determinants of eco-behaviour, based on a cross-country analysis. To test the role of nationality and personal values in eco-behaviour, a linear regression model involving 353 Chinese and 333 Italian subjects was performed. A stepwise analysis was then conducted to identify the main significant effects. The explorative and stepwise analyses confirmed that nationality is significant when explaining individual eco-behaviour, for both Italian and Chinese people. Moreover, the linear regression model, as a stepwise analysis, showed that regulatory focus and universalism are the main personal values influencing ecological behaviour. Differences emerging from the analysis show significant differences in terms of eco-behaviour and eco-awareness, for the two countries involved in the analysis, that might lead companies to adopt different marketing strategies when promoting eco-products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Consumer Behavior) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle Community Participation in the Decision-Making Process for Sustainable Tourism Development in Rural Areas of Hong Kong, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1695; doi:10.3390/su9101695
Received: 10 August 2017 / Revised: 11 September 2017 / Accepted: 19 September 2017 / Published: 22 September 2017
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Abstract
Examining the extent to which a community plays a role in the decision-making process in tourism planning can provide a better understanding of how tourism can benefit a community. Arnstein’s ladder of citizen participation (ALCP) has been adopted by tourism scholars to understand
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Examining the extent to which a community plays a role in the decision-making process in tourism planning can provide a better understanding of how tourism can benefit a community. Arnstein’s ladder of citizen participation (ALCP) has been adopted by tourism scholars to understand both the nature of the participation expected of the community and the community’s actual participation in tourism development. However, the literature on tourism development and community involvement is underdeveloped in the context of urban tourism, and few studies have attempted to identify the differences between the expected and actual participation of local residents. Identifying this gap reveals the reasons behind it and generates possible suggestions and solutions. The level of community participation of Tai O residents has been assessed by employing Arnstein’s framework. The results indicated the difference between the level of local residents’ expected and actual participation in tourism development. The reasons for the difference are identified, and suggestions for improvement are provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle Normative Beliefs, Attitudes, and Social Norms: People Reduce Waste as an Index of Social Relationships When Spending Leisure Time
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1696; doi:10.3390/su9101696
Received: 12 July 2017 / Revised: 7 September 2017 / Accepted: 20 September 2017 / Published: 22 September 2017
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Abstract
This study has adopted and refined Ajzen’s theory of planned behavior, theory of reasoned action, and the value–belief–norm theory by Stern et al. to investigate the effects of normative beliefs, attitudes, and social norms on pro-environmental behavioral intentions. A total of 391 valid
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This study has adopted and refined Ajzen’s theory of planned behavior, theory of reasoned action, and the value–belief–norm theory by Stern et al. to investigate the effects of normative beliefs, attitudes, and social norms on pro-environmental behavioral intentions. A total of 391 valid responses were collected from visitors to a theme park in Taiwan. A structure equation analysis indicated that the overall fit of the proposed model was supported. It was also found that both attitudes and social norms had positive and significant influence on waste reduction. While the results did not reveal any direct relation between normative beliefs and behavioral intentions, normative beliefs had positive direct influence on social norms and attitudes, which in turn had an impact on behavioral intentions. The findings provided further insights about pro-environmental behavioral intentions from an Asia perspective and highlighted important implications for environmental policies and education to reduce waste. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Waste, Space, and Place)
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Open AccessArticle Life Cycle Inventory Analysis of Prospective Insect Based Feed Production in West Africa
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1697; doi:10.3390/su9101697
Received: 20 August 2017 / Revised: 15 September 2017 / Accepted: 16 September 2017 / Published: 22 September 2017
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Abstract
While the concept of insect based feeds (IBFs) promises great potential, especially in developing countries, the sustainability performance of IBF production remains widely underexplored. Drawing on experimental data from rearing trials in West Africa, three different insect production systems were modelled ex-ante. The
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While the concept of insect based feeds (IBFs) promises great potential, especially in developing countries, the sustainability performance of IBF production remains widely underexplored. Drawing on experimental data from rearing trials in West Africa, three different insect production systems were modelled ex-ante. The generic models served as a basis to analyse and compare the process performances of different IBF production systems using Musca domestica and Hermetia illucens reared on different substrates. The results show that the input efficiency in the production of IBF is largely determined by the quality of rearing substrates, the larval development time and the employed inoculation practises, i.e., the method by which eggs or larvae are added to rearing substrates. The H. illucens system ranked highest for conversion efficiency (substrate input per IBF output), but showed substantially higher inputs in labour, fossil energy and output of wastewater. M. domestica systems operated at lower conversion efficiencies, which resulted in higher outputs of residue substrates, together with higher emissions, land requirements, built infrastructure and water. By offering full disclosure of generic inventory data, this study provides data and inspiration for prospect research and development activities and offers a reference to future life cycle assessments (LCAs) on IBF. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Reviewing the Progress in the Identification, Conservation and Management of China-Nationally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (China-NIAHS)
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1698; doi:10.3390/su9101698
Received: 11 August 2017 / Revised: 27 August 2017 / Accepted: 12 September 2017 / Published: 22 September 2017
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Abstract
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations launched a global partnership initiative for the conservation and adaptive management of Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) in 2002. China is one of the first countries that responded to the GIAHS initiative, witnessed by
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Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations launched a global partnership initiative for the conservation and adaptive management of Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) in 2002. China is one of the first countries that responded to the GIAHS initiative, witnessed by the designation of Qingtian Rice-Fish Culture by FAO in June 2005. It is also the first country that identifies and conserves agricultural heritage systems at the national level, demonstrated by the initiation of China-Nationally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (China-NIAHS) by Chinese Ministry of Agriculture in March 2012. In the past five years, progress on the identification, conservation and management of China-NIAHS has been widely achieved in China; however, challenges such as lack of adequate mastery of potential agricultural heritage systems, lack of local popularization of their concept and connotations, and lack of endogenous motives for their conservation and development are also in front of China. This paper reviewed the progress and discussed the challenges, aiming to help formulate suggestions for the future conservation and management of agricultural heritage systems and also to provide an opportunity for other countries to understand the nation’s efforts on the conservation and management of agricultural heritage systems. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Direct Impacts of an Urban Living Lab from the Participants’ Perspective: Livewell Yarra
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1699; doi:10.3390/su9101699
Received: 31 August 2017 / Revised: 16 September 2017 / Accepted: 18 September 2017 / Published: 22 September 2017
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Abstract
Urban living labs have emerged as transition arenas for undertaking process-oriented and reflexive experiments in the multi-stakeholder governance of sustainability. This paper evaluates Livewell Yarra, an urban living lab in Melbourne, Australia, that brought together academic researchers and community actors to engage in
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Urban living labs have emerged as transition arenas for undertaking process-oriented and reflexive experiments in the multi-stakeholder governance of sustainability. This paper evaluates Livewell Yarra, an urban living lab in Melbourne, Australia, that brought together academic researchers and community actors to engage in experiments for low-carbon living. This paper evaluates transition team experiments in governance of the lab itself and community experiments in carbon reduction that took place in people’s homes and small group settings known as decarb groups. This paper’s primary research question is: what are the direct impacts of urban living lab experiments from the participants’ perspective? The research methods utilised include action research, asset-based community development, participatory co-design and most significant change research. This paper evaluates experiments in low-carbon living through data collected via stories of change from participant interviews. The results indicate that experiments in urban living labs create opportunities for social learning and empowerment, but also raise issues of leadership and ownership of transition governance. The findings suggest that Livewell Yarra could have benefited from clearer agenda setting and continuous monitoring to feedback results. The paper concludes by suggesting future research directions that utilise the operational processes of transition management to support experiments in urban living labs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Urbanization Strategies in Developing Countries)
Open AccessArticle Impact of Urban Climate Landscape Patterns on Land Surface Temperature in Wuhan, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1700; doi:10.3390/su9101700
Received: 3 August 2017 / Revised: 11 September 2017 / Accepted: 18 September 2017 / Published: 22 September 2017
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Abstract
Facing urban warming, mitigation and adaptation strategies are not efficient enough to tackle excessive urban heat, especially at the local scale. The local climate zone (LCZ) classification scheme is employed to examine the diversity and complexity of the climate response within a city.
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Facing urban warming, mitigation and adaptation strategies are not efficient enough to tackle excessive urban heat, especially at the local scale. The local climate zone (LCZ) classification scheme is employed to examine the diversity and complexity of the climate response within a city. This study suggests that zonal practice could be an efficient way to bridge the knowledge gap between climate research and urban planning. Urban surfaces classified by LCZ are designated as urban climate landscapes, which extends the LCZ concept to urban planning applications. Selecting Wuhan as a case study, we attempt to explore the climatic effect of landscape patterns. Thermal effects are compared across the urban climate landscapes, and the relationships between patch metrics and land surface temperature (LST) are quantified. Results indicate that climate landscape layout is a considerable factor impacting local urban climate. For Wuhan, 500 m is an optimal scale for exploring landscape pattern-temperature relationships. Temperature contrast between surrounding landscape patches has a major influence on LST. Generally, fragmental landscape patches contribute to heat release. For most climate landscape types, patch metrics also have a significant effect on thermal response. When three metrics are included as predictive variables, 53.3% of the heating intensity variation can be explained for the Large Lowrise landscape, while 57.4% of the cooling intensity variation can be explained for the Water landscape. Therefore, this article claims that land-based layout optimization strategy at local scale, which conforms to planning manner, should be taken into account in terms of heat management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle Testing Consumers’ Preferences for Environmental Attributes of Pasta. Insights from an ABR Approach
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1701; doi:10.3390/su9101701
Received: 28 August 2017 / Revised: 18 September 2017 / Accepted: 21 September 2017 / Published: 22 September 2017
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Abstract
Consumer appreciation for food environmental attributes has recently gained in importance. The health-related attributes have received less attention in the literature, if organic farming products are excluded. We measure the consumer willingness to pay (WTP) for a traditional Italian product, pasta, when environmental
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Consumer appreciation for food environmental attributes has recently gained in importance. The health-related attributes have received less attention in the literature, if organic farming products are excluded. We measure the consumer willingness to pay (WTP) for a traditional Italian product, pasta, when environmental and healthy attributes are added to it in turn. Relying on the prospect theory and on the bundling/unbundling debate, attributes cannot be perceived by consumers in absolute values. Accordingly, we assess if the way in which attributes are presented to consumers influences their WTP by comparing an “unbundling” approach—informing consumers of all product attributes and then subtracting one of them, to a “bundling” approach, progressively adding further attributes to the product’s description. To do this, we administered a questionnaire to a sample of households in North-Central Italy. WTP is elicited using an attribute based referenda format, slightly modified in accordance with our research objectives. The results show that Italian consumers, with the exception of specific subgroups, tend to prefer a traditional pasta product, probably because of both their taste preferences and eating habits. Some evidence emerged of an endowment effect, consumers valuing environmental attributes more when they feel themselves entitled to them. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Evaluating Carbon Stock Changes in Forest and Related Uncertainty
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1702; doi:10.3390/su9101702
Received: 15 September 2017 / Revised: 15 September 2017 / Accepted: 19 September 2017 / Published: 22 September 2017
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Abstract
For the evaluation of changes in the carbon stock of living biomass, two methods are reported in the Good Practice Guidance for Land Use, Land-Use Change, and Forestry: (1) the default method, which requires the biomass carbon loss to be subtracted from the
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For the evaluation of changes in the carbon stock of living biomass, two methods are reported in the Good Practice Guidance for Land Use, Land-Use Change, and Forestry: (1) the default method, which requires the biomass carbon loss to be subtracted from the biomass carbon increment for the reporting year; and (2) the stock change method, which requires two consecutive biomass carbon stock inventories for a given forest area at two points in time. We used three methods to estimate above-ground biomass: (1) application of allometric equations, (2) constant BEF (biomass expansion factor), and (3) age-dependent BEF, following which we evaluated the changes in carbon stock and the related uncertainty. Our study was carried out in a Douglas fir plantation composed of plots with three different planting densities, monitored at three different ages (15, 25, and 40 years old). Results showed the highest uncertainty in the estimates based on the constant BEF, whereas the use of allometric equations led to the lowest uncertainty in the estimates. With a constant BEF, it is usually difficult to obtain a reliable value for the whole tree biomass because stem proportion increases with tree size at the expense of the other components. The age-dependent BEFs aim to reduce the bias representing the actual change in stock, thus we found a lower uncertainty in the estimates by using this method compared to the constant BEF. The default method had the highest uncertainty (35.5–48.1%) and gave an estimate higher by almost double compared to the stock change method, which had an uncertainty ranging from 2.9% (estimated by the allometric equation) to 3.4% (estimated by the constant BEF). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Green Building Pro-Environment Behaviors: Are Green Users Also Green Buyers?
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1703; doi:10.3390/su9101703
Received: 29 August 2017 / Revised: 14 September 2017 / Accepted: 22 September 2017 / Published: 22 September 2017
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Abstract
Pro-environment behaviors play a key role in advancing the development of green buildings. This study investigated the link between two green building pro-environment behaviors that require dissimilar resources: energy savings that do not require money in order to be more environmentally friendly and
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Pro-environment behaviors play a key role in advancing the development of green buildings. This study investigated the link between two green building pro-environment behaviors that require dissimilar resources: energy savings that do not require money in order to be more environmentally friendly and willingness to pay that involves economic resources including spending money in order to be more environmentally friendly. This study points out that the two pro-environment behaviors can be positively linked to each other. People who behave in an environmentally friendly manner at work would also be likely to pay an extra cost for a green building when buying a new home. The consistency of the two pro-environment behaviors can be explained by their common environmental beliefs: limits to growth and eco-crisis. The green building movement should prioritize pro-environmental behaviors and associated environmental beliefs to support green building policies, guidelines, and tools. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Disinfection in Wastewater Treatment Plants: Evaluation of Effectiveness and Acute Toxicity Effects
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1704; doi:10.3390/su9101704
Received: 10 July 2017 / Revised: 7 September 2017 / Accepted: 19 September 2017 / Published: 22 September 2017
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Abstract
In Italy, urban wastewater disinfection is regulated in the third part of Legislative Decree n. 152/2006, which states that wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) must include a disinfection unit, with a capacity exceeding 2000 Population Equivalent (PE). This treatment shall ensure microbial quality and
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In Italy, urban wastewater disinfection is regulated in the third part of Legislative Decree n. 152/2006, which states that wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) must include a disinfection unit, with a capacity exceeding 2000 Population Equivalent (PE). This treatment shall ensure microbial quality and health security. The legislation provides the following limits for wastewater: Escherichia coli (E. coli) concentration below 5000 CFU 100 mL−1 (recommended value), active chlorine concentration below 0.2 mg L−1 and lack of acute toxicity. The compliance with these conditions is shown by means of the study of correct disinfectant dosage, which also depends on wastewater characteristics. An investigation at the regional level (from 2013 to 2016) shows a correlation between acute toxicity discharge and disinfection treatment through chemical reagents (mainly with the use of chlorine compounds and peracetic acid). The experimental work concerns two active sludge WWTPs in northern Italy with small capacity (10,000–12,000 PE). The activities provide the assessment of microbiological quality and toxicity of WWTPs effluents in relation to the dosage of sodium hypochlorite and peracetic acid, by means of the use of batch tests. The results show that with similar disinfectant dosage and comparable initial E. coli concentration, peracetic acid exhibits the best performance in terms of microbial removal (with removal yields up to 99.99%). Moreover, the acute toxicity was evident at higher doses and therefore with higher residuals of peracetic acid (2.68 mg L−1) compared to the free residual chlorine (0.17 mg L−1). Full article
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Open AccessArticle Sustainable Post-Mining Land Use: Are Closed Metal Mines Abandoned or Re-Used Space?
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1705; doi:10.3390/su9101705
Received: 1 August 2017 / Revised: 18 September 2017 / Accepted: 21 September 2017 / Published: 23 September 2017
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Abstract
Sustainable land use in post-mining areas has received more attention only recently. This study examined landscape characteristics and post-mining land use in 51 metal mining sites in Finland. Studied mines were closed during the period of 1924–2016, and over half of them had
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Sustainable land use in post-mining areas has received more attention only recently. This study examined landscape characteristics and post-mining land use in 51 metal mining sites in Finland. Studied mines were closed during the period of 1924–2016, and over half of them had been active more than 10 years. Mines were typically located in sparsely populated forest landscapes. Cultural and recreational functions were found in one third of the sites, especially in significant historical mining areas close to the population centers. Further, nearly one third of the post-mining sites included new activities related to industry and infrastructure. The diversity of post-mining functions was generally limited in small and isolated sites. Re-opening of five closed mines was planned or under development, and exploration permits (or claims) were applied or admitted for half of the post-mining areas. The results showed that every closed mine is unique and thus, sustainable post-mining land use requires careful evaluation of potentials and limitations (e.g., contamination and other hazards) of the sites. Increasing sizes of new mining projects calls for paying more attention on future post-mining landscapes in order to avoid degraded and underused areas from environmental, social and economic perspectives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Monitoring and Evaluation Framework for Spatial Plans: A Spanish Case Study
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1706; doi:10.3390/su9101706
Received: 26 July 2017 / Revised: 12 September 2017 / Accepted: 20 September 2017 / Published: 23 September 2017
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Abstract
Spatial planning, as a regional and subregional public policy, establishes a territorial integral vision implemented through spatial plans, aimed at achieving a balanced and sustainable spatial development and improving quality of life. To enhance the effectiveness of these plans, evaluation and monitoring are
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Spatial planning, as a regional and subregional public policy, establishes a territorial integral vision implemented through spatial plans, aimed at achieving a balanced and sustainable spatial development and improving quality of life. To enhance the effectiveness of these plans, evaluation and monitoring are needed. This paper critically analyses the monitoring and evaluation framework for spatial plans in Spain. Based on extensive literature, legislative, and document review, as well as in-depth interviews with key stakeholders, the paper describes the legal provisions of spatial plans and how they work in practice. One of the main conclusions is that, although many laws and spatial plans have been adopted in Spain, they do not include sufficient details and provisions regarding basic monitoring and evaluation procedures. This practice is in fact highly dependent on the political will of regional governments. The main progress on monitoring and evaluation of spatial plans is achieved thanks to the enforcement of environmental legislation. Finally, it is suggested that the role of specific bodies, public participation, territorial observatories, and indicator systems should be strengthened as key elements of the evaluation and monitoring procedures for spatial planning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle Urban Food Systems Strategies: A Promising Tool for Implementing the SDGs in Practice
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1707; doi:10.3390/su9101707
Received: 19 July 2017 / Revised: 18 September 2017 / Accepted: 19 September 2017 / Published: 23 September 2017
PDF Full-text (1088 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the transition from Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), heralds an important turn in global sustainability policy. With implementation now taking place in all countries, regardless of GDP, a key question is
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The UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the transition from Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), heralds an important turn in global sustainability policy. With implementation now taking place in all countries, regardless of GDP, a key question is how affluent governments in large metropolitan areas can effectively contribute to global sustainable development. This paper argues that urban food systems strategies—a relatively new tool in local policymaking in the Global North—have the potential to amplify and consolidate national and international efforts in this direction and facilitate a more synergistic approach to SDG implementation. An in-depth comparative analysis of the 2030 Agenda and the sustainable food systems strategies of five of the ten largest cities in North America—New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Toronto—helps to uncover key gaps and areas of convergence between goals, objectives, and evaluation frameworks. Goal- and indicator-level analyses cast light on promising areas for cross-jurisdictional cooperation and suggest that, while not without limitations, urban food systems strategies offer manifold pathways to streamline global, national, and local implementation efforts and effectively forward the 2030 Agenda over the next decade. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs))
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Open AccessArticle The Effect of Geometry Parameters on Energy and Thermal Performance of School Buildings in Cold Climates of China
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1708; doi:10.3390/su9101708
Received: 7 August 2017 / Revised: 16 September 2017 / Accepted: 20 September 2017 / Published: 24 September 2017
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Abstract
This paper discusses the role of geometry parameters including building shape, window to wall ratio, room depth, and orientation on the energy use and thermal comfort of school buildings in cold climates of China. The annual total energy demand and summer thermal discomfort
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This paper discusses the role of geometry parameters including building shape, window to wall ratio, room depth, and orientation on the energy use and thermal comfort of school buildings in cold climates of China. The annual total energy demand and summer thermal discomfort time were compared through computer simulations with DesignBuilder. Furthermore, a questionnaire was conducted that related to the students’ subjective preference for various building geometry parameters. Results showed that a maximum of 13.6% of energy savings and 3.8% of thermal comfort improvement when compared to the reference case could be achieved through variations in geometry parameters. The H shape performed the best when the building thermal performance and students’ preferences were considered, as well as the various design options for architects. Window to wall ratio, room depth, and orientation should also be carefully addressed in terms of different building types. The results of this study can serve as a reference for architects and school managers in the early design stages of schools in cold climates of China. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Exploring Sustainable Street Tree Planting Patterns to Be Resistant against Fine Particles (PM2.5)
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1709; doi:10.3390/su9101709
Received: 26 August 2017 / Revised: 21 September 2017 / Accepted: 21 September 2017 / Published: 24 September 2017
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Abstract
Recent health threats from fine particles of PM2.5 have been warned by various health organisations including the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other international governmental agencies. Due to the recognised threats of such particulate materials within urban areas, counter measures against PM
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Recent health threats from fine particles of PM2.5 have been warned by various health organisations including the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other international governmental agencies. Due to the recognised threats of such particulate materials within urban areas, counter measures against PM2.5 have been largely explored; however, the methods in the context of planting types and structures have been neglected. Therefore, this study investigated and analysed the concentration levels of PM2.5 in roads, planting areas, and residential zones within urban areas. Moreover, the study attempted to identify any meaningful factors influencing the reduction of PM2.5 and their efficiencies. After surveying PM2.5 in winter and spring season, there were serious reductions of PM2.5 concentrations within the areas of pedestrian paths, planting, and residential areas compared to other urban areas. In particular, a significant low level of PM2.5 concentrations was shown in the residential areas located behind planting bands as green buffer. This research also found that three-dimensional volumes and quantity of planting rows play a critical role in reducing PM2.5. A negative correlation was shown between the fluctuated concentration rate of PM2.5 and quantity of planting rows—single row of trees showed fluctuated concentration rate of PM2.5, 84.77%, followed by double rows of trees 79.49%, and triple rows of trees 75.02%. Especially, trees need to be planted at certain distance to allow wind to diffuse fine particles rather than dense planting. Finally, planting shrubs also significantly reduces the concentration level of PM2.5—the fluctuated concentration rate of the single layer showed 88.79%, while the double layer and the multi-layer showed 81.16% and 68.93%, respectively—since it increases three-dimensional volume of urban plantings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dust Events in the Environment)
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Open AccessArticle Study on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): Focus on Tax Avoidance and Financial Ratio Analysis
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1710; doi:10.3390/su9101710
Received: 7 August 2017 / Revised: 14 September 2017 / Accepted: 20 September 2017 / Published: 24 September 2017
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Abstract
This study is an attempt to find a causal relation between financial ratios and tax avoidance. Aside from direct financial responsibilities, we conjecture that firms that avoid taxes will also face indirect negative financial repercussions, such as degradation of their reputation in the
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This study is an attempt to find a causal relation between financial ratios and tax avoidance. Aside from direct financial responsibilities, we conjecture that firms that avoid taxes will also face indirect negative financial repercussions, such as degradation of their reputation in the investment market. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR: Corporate Social Responsibility) activities are reflected in the market as firms make a commitment to society, and investors perceive a positive value in an investment in such firms. Between the two contradictory drivers, tax avoidance and CSR activities, we seek to find their interplaying relation with financial ratios. From this study, tax authorities can regulate firms that engage in tax avoidance and encourage firms to conduct CSR activities. We summarize our findings as below: First, CSR activities deter tax avoidance, specifically in firms that are actively engaged in CSR. On the other hand, passive involvement in CSR does not have any influence on tax avoidance. Secondly, we find that current asset turnover, the labor-to-equipment ratio, the noncurrent liabilities ratio, and the net income-to-equity ratio all have a positive and significant influence on corporate tax avoidance. Conversely, common equity growth has been shown to be negatively related with corporate tax avoidance. From this empirical study, we contribute to the studies on tax avoidance by showing that there can be a voluntary method to reduce corporate tax avoidance in firms, which is by encouraging them to engage in CSR activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Optimum Insulation Thickness for Building Exterior Walls in 32 Regions of China to Save Energy and Reduce CO2 Emissions
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1711; doi:10.3390/su9101711
Received: 8 September 2017 / Revised: 19 September 2017 / Accepted: 22 September 2017 / Published: 24 September 2017
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Abstract
China accounts for approximately 30% of the CO2 emissions—one of the largest proportions from a single nation. Therefore, reducing the CO2 emissions in China will play a decisive role in global CO2 emissions reduction. This paper is a proposal of
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China accounts for approximately 30% of the CO2 emissions—one of the largest proportions from a single nation. Therefore, reducing the CO2 emissions in China will play a decisive role in global CO2 emissions reduction. This paper is a proposal of optimum insulation thickness (OIT) for the exterior walls of buildings in 32 regions of China to save energy and reduce CO2 emissions. The determination of the OIT for exterior walls its impact on the annual total energy cost and annual CO2 emissions per unit area of building exterior walls were calculated for 32 regions of China using the life-cycle cost analysis (LCCA) and degree-days (DD) method. The results indicate that the annual total energy cost decreases up to the OIT level, and increases beyond the OIT level. The annual CO2 emissions can be reduced by increasing the insulation thickness. It is predicted that the average total energy cost of 32 regions can potentially be decreased by about $5/m2-year (40%) and the average CO2 emissions of the 32 regions can potentially be reduced by about 27 kg/m2-year (63%) when the OIT is applied. It also shows it is more effective to apply the OIT for the exterior walls of buildings to save annual total energy cost and reduce annual CO2 emissions in the Severe Cold and Hot Summer & Cold Winter climatic zones rather than the other climatic zones of China. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Investment Strategy in a Closed Loop Supply Chain: The Case of a Market with Competition between Two Retailers
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1712; doi:10.3390/su9101712
Received: 11 August 2017 / Revised: 18 September 2017 / Accepted: 21 September 2017 / Published: 25 September 2017
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Abstract
To survive in the ceaseless cycle of competition, businesses have developed strategies to become sustainable. These strategies include reusing products, which can lead not only to the creation of economic benefits but also to improvements in a corporation’s social and environmental responsibility. Product
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To survive in the ceaseless cycle of competition, businesses have developed strategies to become sustainable. These strategies include reusing products, which can lead not only to the creation of economic benefits but also to improvements in a corporation’s social and environmental responsibility. Product reuse can also increase the profit earned on new products by compensating customers who bring in old products to buy new ones, as the ensuing remanufacturing process allows for the reuse of materials and thus drives down costs. As businesses have come to recognize these values, the marketing competition to retrieve used products from customers has intensified. This research focuses on identifying effective compensation strategies to determine the appropriate advertising investment and trade-in value in a market where two homogeneous retailers compete. Retailers advertise to secure more customers to trade in their used products and to generate more trade-in sales than competitors do. A retailer’s results may vary according to its competitor’s investment strategy, which makes it useful to employ information on past competitor investment patterns to plan future investment strategies. However, as competitors using one another’s information may intensify the competition, better investment results could be obtained by ignoring competitor investment information. Therefore, this study suggests four competition strategies that determine the advertisement costs and trade-in allowance spent by retailers and discusses the difference in the profits obtained by the retailers under each of the four strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reverse Logistics: An Interdisciplinary Approach)
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Open AccessArticle Marcellus Shale Fracking and Susquehanna River Stakeholder Attitudes: A Five-Year Update
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1713; doi:10.3390/su9101713
Received: 7 September 2017 / Revised: 7 September 2017 / Accepted: 20 September 2017 / Published: 25 September 2017
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Abstract
The attitudes of Susquehanna River stakeholders regarding natural gas hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in the Marcellus Shale region reflect differing concerns on economic, social, and environmental issues based on gender, education level, and income. The focus on the U.S. State of Pennsylvania section of
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The attitudes of Susquehanna River stakeholders regarding natural gas hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in the Marcellus Shale region reflect differing concerns on economic, social, and environmental issues based on gender, education level, and income. The focus on the U.S. State of Pennsylvania section of the Susquehanna River derives from the U.S. States of New York and Maryland, neighbors of Pennsylvania to the immediate north and south, respectively, enacting bans on fracking, while Pennsylvania has catapulted, through Marcellus fracking, to become the second largest natural gas producing state in the U.S. In this Pennsylvania survey, female and more highly educated stakeholders favor a moratorium on fracking, while males and lower income stakeholders support fracking. Of the four categories used to organize the survey, i.e. economic opportunity, health and safety, communities, and energy security, the category of health and safety ranked first in both the 2012 and 2017 survey. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Efficiency and Sustainability of CSR Projects
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1714; doi:10.3390/su9101714
Received: 12 August 2017 / Accepted: 3 September 2017 / Published: 25 September 2017
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Abstract
The progressive expansion of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has been accompanied by an increasing interest from regulators and market analysts. Governments and supra-national organisations have issued guidance rules on CSR, while market analysts have created a set of gatekeepers focused on its evaluation,
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The progressive expansion of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has been accompanied by an increasing interest from regulators and market analysts. Governments and supra-national organisations have issued guidance rules on CSR, while market analysts have created a set of gatekeepers focused on its evaluation, publishing rankings and comparative reports. The UN Global Compact and the sustainability indexes are two relevant examples. The complexity and some of the functions of this CSR infrastructure have common features with the financial system. Information is at the core of both. The distinction between information and noise is central for building up efficient financial markets. The aim of this paper is to analyse how information can be separated from noise in CSR. To this end, we develop a qualitative model that centres on the following variables: the CSR features of the project under consideration, its financial features, its relationship with corporate strategy, the performance metrics for its analysis, the different kinds of risk it involves, and its impact on value creation. This model relies on two common functions that we identify in the CSR infrastructure and the financial system: the defining function and the performance information function. The model is applied to Adidas’ CSR policy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Spatial Interactions between the Settlement Network, Natural Landscape and Zones of Economic Activities: A Case Study in a Greek Region
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1715; doi:10.3390/su9101715
Received: 3 August 2017 / Revised: 6 September 2017 / Accepted: 22 September 2017 / Published: 25 September 2017
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Abstract
The structure of a settlement network has been influenced historically by physical, geographical and socioeconomic factors. Theories of spatial development have focused on the interaction between urban areas and socioeconomic processes considering the natural surroundings as a steady parameter rather than a potentially
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The structure of a settlement network has been influenced historically by physical, geographical and socioeconomic factors. Theories of spatial development have focused on the interaction between urban areas and socioeconomic processes considering the natural surroundings as a steady parameter rather than a potentially varying element contributing to spatial development. Over the past 25 years in Greece, a number of socio-economic factors along with improvements in transport infrastructure led to crucial changes in the traditional settlement system. The development of new economic activities was often associated with the special characteristics of the natural landscape. In this way, natural landscape as a dynamic element interacts with the built environment and the economic activities of a place, leading to the formation of new clusters of relationships. Using the case study of the Region of Western Macedonia, a mountainous, border zone Greek region, and based on an interactive framework of analysis whereby human and natural systems are considered strongly interconnected, this paper examines the spatial interactions between the settlement network, as the basic representation of human activity, the natural landscape, as a crucial element of the natural system, and the dynamic zones of economic activities, as a parameter that encompasses crucial attributes of both human and natural systems. The paper proposes that the heterogeneity of these interactions and the way they affect the thresholds and resilience of a specific place are important for the understanding of spatial change and for an integrated spatial planning for sustainable development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle Targeting International Food Aid Programmes: The Case of Productive Safety Net Programme in Tigray, Ethiopia
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1716; doi:10.3390/su9101716
Received: 28 August 2017 / Revised: 15 September 2017 / Accepted: 20 September 2017 / Published: 25 September 2017
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Abstract
Ethiopia has experienced more than five major droughts in the past three decades, leading to high dependency on international food aids. Nevertheless, studies indicate that asset depletion has not been prevented; neither did food insecurity diminish. Since 2004/5, the Productive Safety Net Programme
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Ethiopia has experienced more than five major droughts in the past three decades, leading to high dependency on international food aids. Nevertheless, studies indicate that asset depletion has not been prevented; neither did food insecurity diminish. Since 2004/5, the Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP) has been implemented to improve food security in Tigray, Northern Ethiopia. Critics point out that the implementation of food aid programmes can have negative impacts as well as positive outcomes for local communities. Accordingly, this survey study aimed to analyse the distribution and allocation of food aids in the Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP) in Tigray. Results of 479 interviews revealed that targeting different households in the PSNP has been considerably linked to socio-demographic attributes among which age and size of family were decisive factors to receive food aids. Furthermore, older households with smaller family size received more direct support. Inequality between genders was another major finding of this study. When combined with the marital status, there was also a big difference in the percentage of married or unmarried women receiving food aids. These findings could provide fundamental information for policy intervention to correct food security programmes at household level and reduce hunger. Given that, socio-demographic factors can help to identify particular and usually different requirements, vulnerabilities and coping strategies of the members of the food aid programme, so that they can be much more addressed when an emergency happens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle Analysis of Environmental Accounting and Reporting Practices of Listed Banking Companies in Bangladesh
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1717; doi:10.3390/su9101717
Received: 9 August 2017 / Revised: 8 September 2017 / Accepted: 19 September 2017 / Published: 26 September 2017
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Abstract
“Bangladesh faces many ecological challenges, including air and water contamination, land degradation, and waste management”. Bangladesh faces many ecological challenges, including air and water contamination, land degradation, and waste management. This study was designed to investigate the extent and nature of environmental accounting
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“Bangladesh faces many ecological challenges, including air and water contamination, land degradation, and waste management”. Bangladesh faces many ecological challenges, including air and water contamination, land degradation, and waste management. This study was designed to investigate the extent and nature of environmental accounting and reporting of listed banks in Bangladesh in 12 major categories. Information was collected from the annual reports of 20 banks listed on the Dhaka Stock Exchange for the period 2010 to 2014. The results indicate that the banks examined significantly disclosed environmental information for the 12 categories. The study found that banks disclosed the most environmental information for green banking and renewable energy categories, whereas they disclosed the least for environmental recognition and waste management categories. Furthermore, yearly comparison reveals that disclosure of environmental information increased sharply from 16% in 2010 to 83% in 2014. In addition, Bangladesh Bank’s recent fruitful initiatives on environmental disclosures were reviewed, and the findings of the 12 categories have managerial implications for policy makers in corporations as well as the government. It is recommended that professional accounting bodies of Bangladesh, along with international and government policy makers develop a separate conceptual framework for environmental accounting and reporting for the financial and non-financial sectors of the country. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Becoming Urban: Exploring the Transformative Capacity for a Suburban-to-Urban Transition in Australia’s Low-Density Cities
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1718; doi:10.3390/su9101718
Received: 28 July 2017 / Revised: 18 September 2017 / Accepted: 21 September 2017 / Published: 25 September 2017
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Abstract
Metropolitan planning and development of Australia’s cities for much of the past 75 years has been strongly influenced by what could be termed the “North American model” of low-density, car-dependent suburban development on greenfield master-planned housing estates. The negative social, economic and environmental
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Metropolitan planning and development of Australia’s cities for much of the past 75 years has been strongly influenced by what could be termed the “North American model” of low-density, car-dependent suburban development on greenfield master-planned housing estates. The negative social, economic and environmental consequences associated with perpetuating this low-density greenfield model were becoming evident by the 1990s and “compact city” policies began to feature, albeit in piecemeal fashion, in the long-term metropolitan planning strategies of the major capital cities in Australia. This compact city transition, from “suburban” to “urban” (i.e., from a low-density urban form dominated by detached housing with its own surrounding private space to one where there is a significant presence of medium-density and apartment accommodation), remains a challenging work in progress, as reflected in a rapid succession of metropolitan planning strategies—and reviews—for cities such as Melbourne and Sydney since the beginning of this century. Urban infill targets of 70% for new housing construction in these cities now represents a major break with the past and a challenge to the major stakeholders involved in urban development in Australia: state and local government, the property development industry and residents of the established, ageing “greyfield” suburbs that are a focus for intensified redevelopment. This paper comprises four parts. The introduction identifies the multiple challenges confronting 21st-century urban development in Australia. The second part frames transitions required for a regenerative retrofitting of the established suburbs of its major cities, with particular focus on the greyfields. The third section extends transition management research into an examination of the transformative capacity of each of the four key stakeholder groups that are central to achieving such a regenerative transition. To date, the greatest resistance to more intensive redevelopment has come from urban residents. The final section of the paper focuses on this stakeholder group, and draws on data from a major household survey that examines the attitudes of resident property owners in the middle suburbs of Sydney and Melbourne to neighborhood change and medium-density housing development. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication Responsible Innovation: A Complementary View from Industry with Proposals for Bridging Different Perspectives
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1719; doi:10.3390/su9101719
Received: 28 June 2017 / Revised: 15 August 2017 / Accepted: 18 September 2017 / Published: 25 September 2017
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Abstract
This paper presents a consensus view on Responsible Innovation by a group of industry practitioners, each with high level management experience in driving innovation from within industrial companies operating in different sectors. The authors argue that, while a substantial body of academic research
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This paper presents a consensus view on Responsible Innovation by a group of industry practitioners, each with high level management experience in driving innovation from within industrial companies operating in different sectors. The authors argue that, while a substantial body of academic research on Responsible Research & Innovation (RRI) of potential interest now exists, it is failing to have impact in the industrial community, where it is understood to be partially targeted, because many of the concepts, tools and methodologies are not aligned with current industrial practices. This is leading to a misconception as to where industry stands on topics addressed by RRI and difficulties in forwarding a dialogue that is meaningful to both parties. The need to distinguish between processes relating to research and innovation is argued, together with the view that research into RRI should encompass more of the on-going work being carried out in related fields such as the role of companies in society, the debate around Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Corporate Shared Value (CSV), responsible digital innovation, the elements of ethical leadership, sustainable investment policies and work on establishing social impact factors as well as public concerns on innovation. Directions for an alignment of the terminology and concepts are also proposed. This paper is to be viewed as an attempt at bridging perspectives with the aim of finding common ground to develop the field of RRI further so that it provides effective concepts, tools and methodologies to guide industrial innovation towards better societal outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in Industry)
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Open AccessArticle Understanding User Satisfaction Evaluation in Low Occupancy Sustainable Workplaces
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1720; doi:10.3390/su9101720
Received: 21 August 2017 / Revised: 19 September 2017 / Accepted: 21 September 2017 / Published: 25 September 2017
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This paper presents the findings of a post-occupancy evaluation (POE) applied to a building in the UK. The design of the building was generated through an externally funded research project over two years from 2005 to 2007. The construction of the building was
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This paper presents the findings of a post-occupancy evaluation (POE) applied to a building in the UK. The design of the building was generated through an externally funded research project over two years from 2005 to 2007. The construction of the building was completed in 2010. After a period of occupancy, a POE of the building was carried out in 2015. The POE offered an opportunity to investigate the effect of occupant behaviour on the performance of the building and their level of comfort and satisfaction. We adopted a field survey method to evaluate the comfort and satisfaction of users by asking them a series of questions to analyse how they felt in different parts of the building throughout the course of the year. In our analysis, the users were prompted to provide a subjective measure of the building regarding a range of internal conditions such as air temperature, humidity, air movement, air quality, daylight, artificial light, and noise. The analysis supports the notion that in naturally-ventilated buildings some users may find the building to be hot in summer while cold in winter. The high level of control the users have over the operation of the building contributes to their comfort and satisfaction. The users demonstrated a tendency to be satisfied despite environmental factors and to forgive some aspects of the building which are not performing as they should. The paper offers a perspective on statistical user satisfaction in a low occupancy building and attempts to explain the role of workplace wellbeing on occupant perception of comfort in this case. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Post Occupancy Evaluation)
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Open AccessArticle Role of Human Knowledge and Communication on Operational Benefits Gained from Six Sigma
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1721; doi:10.3390/su9101721
Received: 9 August 2017 / Revised: 15 September 2017 / Accepted: 21 September 2017 / Published: 26 September 2017
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Abstract
Six Sigma (SS) is a production philosophy focused on human experiences and knowledge, aimed to minimize defects of products and services. The appropriate implementation of SS requires an education process, reliable data analysis, efficient didactic material, statistical techniques and human knowledge to improve
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Six Sigma (SS) is a production philosophy focused on human experiences and knowledge, aimed to minimize defects of products and services. The appropriate implementation of SS requires an education process, reliable data analysis, efficient didactic material, statistical techniques and human knowledge to improve communication and operational benefits. In this article, we present a structural equation model integrating those aspects as latent variables and relating them with ten hypotheses. Data for hypothesis validation were gathered among 301 manufacturing companies, and assessed using partial least squares (PLS) to estimate direct, indirect, and total effects. As results, we found that access to reliable information, trusted analysis and knowledgeable management are crucial for SS implementation at the problem definition stage. Likewise, to execute and control SS projects, it is important to be trained in statistical techniques through clear didactic materials. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Sustainability and Financial Performance of Companies in the Energy Sector in Romania
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1722; doi:10.3390/su9101722
Received: 29 August 2017 / Revised: 14 September 2017 / Accepted: 20 September 2017 / Published: 25 September 2017
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Abstract
In the article, we focus on the question of sustainability in the renewable energy sector of Romania. The aim of the current paper is to analyze the financial performance of the companies operating in the field. Our assumption is that the success of
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In the article, we focus on the question of sustainability in the renewable energy sector of Romania. The aim of the current paper is to analyze the financial performance of the companies operating in the field. Our assumption is that the success of the implementation of the energy switch from classic to renewables relies on the businesses operating in this industry. In our article, we have selected the most prominent players in the energy industry, comparing the performance of those that are producing renewable energy to the ones that are producing energy using fossil fuels. Our analysis has shown that, starting with 2013, the companies have encountered financial difficulties, which has led to a halt in investments and the questioning of the sustainability of entering the market. After analyzing the data, we have seen that the investments have been rather opportunistic, based on the commitment of the government to keep the subsidies introduced by the policy, and have not been based on the realistic long-term financial performance of the companies in this area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle A New Framework for Understanding Urban Social Vulnerability from a Network Perspective
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1723; doi:10.3390/su9101723
Received: 17 August 2017 / Revised: 21 September 2017 / Accepted: 24 September 2017 / Published: 26 September 2017
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Abstract
Rapid urbanization in China has strengthened the connection and cooperation among cities and has also led urban residents to be more vulnerable in adverse environmental conditions. Vulnerability research has been an important foundation in urban risk management. To make cities safe and resilient,
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Rapid urbanization in China has strengthened the connection and cooperation among cities and has also led urban residents to be more vulnerable in adverse environmental conditions. Vulnerability research has been an important foundation in urban risk management. To make cities safe and resilient, it is also necessary to integrate the connection among cities into a vulnerability assessment. Therefore, this paper proposed a new conceptual framework for urban social vulnerability assessment based on network theory, where a new dimension of social vulnerability (connectivity) was added into the framework. Using attribute data, the traditional social vulnerability index of a city (SVInode) was calculated via the projection pursuit cluster (PPC) model. With the relational data retrieved from the Baidu search index, a new dimension (connectivity) of social vulnerability (SVIconnectivity) was evaluated. Finally, an integrated social vulnerability index (SVIurban) was measured combined with SVInode and SVIconnectivity. This method was applied in the Yangtze River Delta region of China, where the top three high values of SVInode belonged to the cities of Taizhou (Z), Jiaxing, and Huzhou. The three lowest cities were Hangzhou, Nanjing, and Shanghai. For SVIurban, the social vulnerability of cities in different hierarchies behaved differently. For Hierarchies 2 and 3, when compared to SVInode, the SVIurban was significantly reduced. However, the variation between SVInode and SVIurban in Hierarchy 4 was slight. Furthermore, an increase for the city of Taizhou (J) in its social vulnerability was achieved after connecting to the network. Huzhou, in Hierarchy 5, increased its social vulnerability the most when adding connectivity in the social vulnerability assessment. Based on the results of our case study, a conclusion was drawn that network connectivity had an influence on social vulnerability. However, when connectivity was strong enough, it could help cities to mitigate their traditional social vulnerability, whereas a loose connection in the network aggregated their traditional social vulnerability. Hence, the latter should be emphasized in future urban risk management. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Application of Eco-Design and Life Cycle Assessment Standards for Environmental Impact Reduction of an Industrial Product
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1724; doi:10.3390/su9101724
Received: 5 August 2017 / Revised: 11 September 2017 / Accepted: 19 September 2017 / Published: 26 September 2017
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Abstract
Eco-design is included within the framework of the standard for “Environmental management systems—Guidelines for incorporating Eco-design” (ISO 14006:2011). Eco-design process, as defined in standard, has six steps: (i) Specify product functions; (ii) Environmental assessment of products; (iii) Strategies of improvement; (iv) Environmental objectives;
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Eco-design is included within the framework of the standard for “Environmental management systems—Guidelines for incorporating Eco-design” (ISO 14006:2011). Eco-design process, as defined in standard, has six steps: (i) Specify product functions; (ii) Environmental assessment of products; (iii) Strategies of improvement; (iv) Environmental objectives; (v) Product specification; and (vi) Technical solutions. Step (ii), determination of the stage or process of the product life cycle that has the highest environmental impact; this is perhaps the most controversial step because the standard does not specify which tool should be used. This lack of specification has generated some distrust with regard to eco-design, hindering its development. In order to make a trustworthy eco-design, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) should be applied as a tool for environmental impact quantification. The main objective of this work is to apply standardised eco-design methodology for the reduction of the environmental impact of an industrial product in Spain using LCA as a tool for the environmental product assessment. LCA standardised process (ISO 14040,14044:2006) is included in the eco-design process. A glass container intended for cough syrup delivery has been selected as an industrial product to be eco-designed. Following the methodology described, the overall normalised impact decreased 35.1% when a PET container substituted a glass container. Environmental impacts have been reduced following standardised eco-design and LCA methodologies, serving as an example to industry and administration regarding how to eco-design with the confidence of obtaining reliable results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eco-design and Green Chemistry)
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Open AccessArticle A Comparative Life Cycle Assessment between a Metered Dose Inhaler and Electric Nebulizer
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1725; doi:10.3390/su9101725
Received: 24 August 2017 / Revised: 19 September 2017 / Accepted: 24 September 2017 / Published: 26 September 2017
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Abstract
Life cycle assessment (LCA) evaluates the environmental impact of a product based on the materials and processes used to manufacture the item as well as the item’s use and disposal. The objective of this LCA was to evaluate and compare the environmental impact
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Life cycle assessment (LCA) evaluates the environmental impact of a product based on the materials and processes used to manufacture the item as well as the item’s use and disposal. The objective of this LCA was to evaluate and compare the environmental impact of a metered dose inhaler, specifically the Proventil® HFA inhaler (Merk & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA), and an electric nebulizer, specifically the DeVilbiss Pulmo-Aide® nebulizer (DeVilbiss, Port Washington, NY, USA). GaBi LCA software was used to model the global warming potential (GWP) of each product by using substantiated data and well-justified assumptions for the components, manufacturing, assembly, and use of both devices. The functional unit used to model each device was one dose of the active drug, albuterol sulfate. The inhaler’s GWP, 0.0972 kg CO2-eq, was greater than the nebulizer’s even when uncertain parameters were varied ±100×. During the use phase ofa the inhaler, which accounted for approximately 96% of the inhaler’s total GWP, HFA 134a is used as a propellant to deliver the drug. The total GWP for the electric nebulizer was 0.0294 kg CO2-eq assuming that the mouthpiece was cleaned in a dishwasher, while it was 0.0477 kg CO2-eq when the nebulizer mouthpiece was hand washed between uses. The GWP breakeven scenario between dishwashing and hand washing occurred when the mouthpiece accounted for 10% of the dishwasher load. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
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Open AccessArticle Infiltration and Soil Loss Changes during the Growing Season under Ploughing and Conservation Tillage
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1726; doi:10.3390/su9101726
Received: 7 September 2017 / Revised: 20 September 2017 / Accepted: 20 September 2017 / Published: 26 September 2017
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Abstract
Decreased water retention and increased runoff and soil loss are of special importance concerning soil degradation of hilly crop fields. In this study, plots under ploughing (conventional) tillage (PT) and conservation tillage (CT; 15 years) were compared. Rainfall simulation on 6 m2
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Decreased water retention and increased runoff and soil loss are of special importance concerning soil degradation of hilly crop fields. In this study, plots under ploughing (conventional) tillage (PT) and conservation tillage (CT; 15 years) were compared. Rainfall simulation on 6 m2 plots was applied to determine infiltration and soil loss during the growing season. Results were compared with those measured from 1200 m2 plots exposed to natural rainfalls in 2016. Infiltration was always higher under CT than PT, whereas the highest infiltration was measured under the cover crop condition. Infiltration under seedbed and stubble resulted in uncertainties, which suggests that natural pore formation can be more effective at improving soil drainage potential than can temporary improvements created by soil tillage operations. Soil erodibility was higher under PT for each soil status; however, the seedbed condition triggered the highest values. For CT, soil loss volume was only a function of runoff volume at both scales. Contrarily, on PT plots, some extreme precipitation events triggered extremely high soil loss owing to linear erosion, which meant no direct connection existed between the scales. Improved soil conditions due to conservation practice are more important for decreasing soil loss than the better surface conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Science in Conservation Agricultural Systems)
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Open AccessArticle Research on the Sustainable Development of an Economic-Energy-Environment (3E) System Based on System Dynamics (SD): A Case Study of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region in China
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1727; doi:10.3390/su9101727
Received: 19 August 2017 / Revised: 22 September 2017 / Accepted: 22 September 2017 / Published: 26 September 2017
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Abstract
The sustainable development of an economic-energy-environment (3E) system has received increasing attention by the government because it both determines national development and individuals’ health at the macro and micro level. In this paper, we synthetically consider various important factors based on analysis of
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The sustainable development of an economic-energy-environment (3E) system has received increasing attention by the government because it both determines national development and individuals’ health at the macro and micro level. In this paper, we synthetically consider various important factors based on analysis of the existing literature and use system dynamics (SD) to establish models of sustainable development of a 3E system. The model not only clearly shows the complex logical relationship between the factors but also reveals the process of the 3E system. In addition, the paper provides a case study of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region in China by using a scenario analysis method. The models proposed in this paper can facilitate an understanding of the sustainable development pattern of a 3E coordination system and help to provide references for policy-making institutions. The results show that the long-term development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region’s 3E system is not sustainable, but it can be changed through the adjustment of the energy structure and an increase in investment in environmental protection, which can improve the environmental quality and ensure continuous growth rather than excessive growth of energy consumption and the gross domestic product (GDP). Full article
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Open AccessArticle Drought Dynamics and Vegetation Productivity in Different Land Management Systems of Eastern Cape, South Africa—A Remote Sensing Perspective
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1728; doi:10.3390/su9101728
Received: 30 July 2017 / Revised: 14 September 2017 / Accepted: 18 September 2017 / Published: 26 September 2017
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Abstract
Eastern Cape Province in South Africa has experienced extreme drought events during the last decade. In South Africa, different land management systems exist belonging to two different land tenure classes: commercial large scale farming and communal small-scale subsistence farming. Communal lands are often
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Eastern Cape Province in South Africa has experienced extreme drought events during the last decade. In South Africa, different land management systems exist belonging to two different land tenure classes: commercial large scale farming and communal small-scale subsistence farming. Communal lands are often reported to be affected by land degradation and drought events among others considered as trigger for this process. Against this background, we analyzed vegetation response to drought in different land management and land tenure systems through assessing vegetation productivity trends and monitoring the intensity, frequency and distribution of the drought hazard in grasslands and communal and commercial croplands during drought and non-drought conditions. For the observation period 2000–2016, we used time series of 250 m Vegetation Condition Index (VCI) based on the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) and Climate Hazard Group InfraRed Precipitation with Station data (CHIRPS) precipitation data with 5 km resolution. For the assessment of vegetation dynamics, we: (1) analyzed vegetation productivity in Eastern Cape over the last 16 years with EVI; (2) analyzed the impact of drought events on vegetation productivity in grasslands as well as commercial and communal croplands; and (3) compared precipitation-vegetation dynamics between the drought season 2015/2016 and the non-drought season 2011/2012. Change in total annual vegetation productivity could detect drought years while drought dynamics during the season could be rather monitored by the VCI. Correlation of vegetation condition and precipitation indicated areas experiencing significant vegetation productivity trends showing low and even negative correlation coefficients indicating other drivers for productivity change and drought impact besides rainfall. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Assessment of Land Use and Land Cover)
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Open AccessArticle Spatial Association of Shrubs and Their Interrelation to Burrowing Site Preference of Subterranean Rodents on Dune Slope in the Otindag Sandy Land, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1729; doi:10.3390/su9101729
Received: 21 August 2017 / Revised: 18 September 2017 / Accepted: 20 September 2017 / Published: 26 September 2017
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Abstract
Rangelands worldwide have more shrubs now, and subterranean rangeland rodents show close interaction to shrubs when choosing a burrowing site. The study was conducted in Otindag Sandy Land in Inner Mongolia, China with the objective of determining the effects of slope position on
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Rangelands worldwide have more shrubs now, and subterranean rangeland rodents show close interaction to shrubs when choosing a burrowing site. The study was conducted in Otindag Sandy Land in Inner Mongolia, China with the objective of determining the effects of slope position on spatial pattern and interaction of shrubs; how rodents choose their habitat in different slope; and shrubs and rodents influence each other. To accomplish the objective set, we used three physiographic units: Plot 1 (upper slope), Plot 2 (middle slope), and Plot 3 (lower slope), and all individual woody plants and rodent holes in the three plots were mapped. The result of the study showed that: (1) two shrub species show a random distribution trend in all three plots except an aggregated trend only at the smaller scale on the upper slope; (2) the majority of subterranean rodents preferred to select their burrowing sites under the shrub crown, and these selected shrub individuals had generally larger crown length than those unselected individuals. At the same time, the majority of these burrowing sites were located on the lower right direction. (3) The distribution of rodents holes differ across the slopes in the study area. In the three samples, the relative locations of burrowing sites to shrubs are mostly distributed down slope of shrubs. From upper slope to lower slope, this trend gradually enhanced. Our conclusion is that the increase in shrubs represents a pioneer phase in the rehabilitation of degraded sandy land ecosystems, and colonization of subterranean rangeland rodents near the shrubs is a clear indicator of stabilization of sand dunes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Factors Affecting Transportation Sector CO2 Emissions Growth in China: An LMDI Decomposition Analysis
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1730; doi:10.3390/su9101730
Received: 2 August 2017 / Revised: 23 September 2017 / Accepted: 24 September 2017 / Published: 28 September 2017
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Abstract
China has now become the largest country in carbon emissions all over the world. Furthermore, with transportation accounting for an increasing proportion of CO2 emissions year by year, the transportation sector has turned out to be one of the main sectors which
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China has now become the largest country in carbon emissions all over the world. Furthermore, with transportation accounting for an increasing proportion of CO2 emissions year by year, the transportation sector has turned out to be one of the main sectors which possesses a high growth speed in CO2 emissions. To accurately analyze potentially influencing factors which accelerate the process of CO2 emissions of transportation sector in China, based on carbon accounting by the checklists method of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC), in this paper, we propose a decomposition model using Logarithmic Mean Divisia Index (LMDI) decomposition analysis technology and modified fixed growth rate method. Then effects of six influencing factors including energy structure, energy efficiency, transport form, transportation development, economic development and population size from 2001 to 2014 were quantitatively analyzed. Consequently, the results indicate that: (1) economic development accounts most for driving CO2 emissions growth of the transportation sector, while energy efficiency accounts most for suppressing CO2 emissions growth; (2) the pulling effects of natural gas, electricity and other clean energy consumption on CO2 emissions growth offset the inhibitory effects of traditional fossil fuels, making energy structure play a significant role in promoting CO2 emissions growth; (3) the inhibitory effects of railways and highways lead to inhibitory effects of transport form on CO2 emissions growth; (4) transportation development plays an obvious role in promoting CO2 emissions, while the effects of population size is relatively weaker compared with those of transportation development. Furthermore, the decomposition model of CO2 emissions factors in transport industry constructed in this paper can also be applied to other countries so as to provide guidance and reference for CO2 emissions analysis of transportation industry. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Resolving Stack Effect Problems in a High-Rise Office Building by Mechanical Pressurization
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1731; doi:10.3390/su9101731
Received: 5 September 2017 / Revised: 19 September 2017 / Accepted: 22 September 2017 / Published: 26 September 2017
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Abstract
In high-rise buildings, the stack effect causes various problems, especially problems related to excessive pressure differences across main entrance doors and elevator doors, particularly in heating seasons. To reduce the stack effect, this study aims to find effective operation schemes for the HVAC
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In high-rise buildings, the stack effect causes various problems, especially problems related to excessive pressure differences across main entrance doors and elevator doors, particularly in heating seasons. To reduce the stack effect, this study aims to find effective operation schemes for the HVAC systems in a 60-story commercial building, located in Seoul, Korea. Field measurements were conducted to identify the problems related to the stack effect in the building. Computer simulations were conducted to examine the effectiveness of various HVAC operation schemes in reducing the stack effect. Then, an optimum and effective operation scheme was adopted from the computer simulation results and applied in the field. The adopted scheme was used to pressurize the upper zone of the building. Through field application and an adjustment process, a proper amount of air volume was found to effectively pressurize the upper zone of this building, solving the problems related to the stack effect. The required air volume for pressurization was maintained in the building by reducing the volume of the exhaust air (EA) while maintaining a constant volume of outdoor air (OA). Full article
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Open AccessArticle Adoption of Falsified Medical Products in a Low-Income Country: Empirical Evidence for Suriname
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1732; doi:10.3390/su9101732
Received: 10 August 2017 / Revised: 13 September 2017 / Accepted: 19 September 2017 / Published: 26 September 2017
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Abstract
Based on detailed shipping figures for Suriname’s main harbour in Paramaribo, we estimate the total shipments (in kilograms) of original and falsified medical products for 1996–2008 across five product categories. Using various time series techniques and diffusion models, we document that total cumulative
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Based on detailed shipping figures for Suriname’s main harbour in Paramaribo, we estimate the total shipments (in kilograms) of original and falsified medical products for 1996–2008 across five product categories. Using various time series techniques and diffusion models, we document that total cumulative shipments of falsified products make about 40% of total shipments. We observe that there are apparently two distinct sets of consumers for original and for falsified products. Subsequently, we survey more than 300 citizens of Suriname from various demographics and ask questions about their potential adoption of falsified medicines. We find that income, age, and family size have no correlation, while the way people are insured does. Hence, the two sets of consumers can roughly be identified and clear-cut policy suggestions are presented. “The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that up to 1% of medicines available in the developed world is likely to be counterfeited. This figure rises to 10% globally, although in some developing countries they estimate one third of medicines are counterfeit” (Various internet sites consulted January 2010 and the best estimate we have). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Risk Measures with Applications in Finance and Economics)
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Open AccessArticle Estimation and Healing of Coverage Hole in Hybrid Sensor Networks: A Simulation Approach
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1733; doi:10.3390/su9101733
Received: 27 July 2017 / Revised: 19 September 2017 / Accepted: 23 September 2017 / Published: 26 September 2017
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Abstract
Nowadays, wireless sensor network which consists of numerous tiny sensors has been widely used. One of the major challenges in such networks is how to cover the sensing area effectively and maintain longer network lifetime with limited energy simultaneously. In this paper, we
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Nowadays, wireless sensor network which consists of numerous tiny sensors has been widely used. One of the major challenges in such networks is how to cover the sensing area effectively and maintain longer network lifetime with limited energy simultaneously. In this paper, we study hybrid sensor network which contains both static and mobile sensors. We divide monitoring area into Delaunay Triangulation (DT) by using of Delaunay theory, estimate static sensors coverage holes, calculate the number of assistant mobile sensors and then work out the positions of assisted mobile nodes in each triangle. Next, mobile sensors will move to heal the coverage holes. Compared with the similarity methods, the algorithm HCHA we proposed is simpler, the advantages of our algorithm mainly represents in the following aspects. Firstly, it is relatively simple to estimate coverage hole based on Delaunay in our proposed algorithm. Secondly, we figure out the quantitative number range of assisted sensors those need to heal the coverage holes. Thirdly, we come up with a kind of deployment rule of assisted sensors. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Sustainability-Based Flood Hazard Mapping of the Swannanoa River Watershed
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1735; doi:10.3390/su9101735
Received: 31 August 2017 / Revised: 19 September 2017 / Accepted: 22 September 2017 / Published: 26 September 2017
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Abstract
An integrated framework is presented for sustainability-based flood hazard mapping of the Swannanoa River watershed in the state of North Carolina, U.S. The framework uses a hydrologic model for rainfall–runoff transformation, a two-dimensional unsteady hydraulic model flood simulation and a GIS-based multi-criteria decision-making
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An integrated framework is presented for sustainability-based flood hazard mapping of the Swannanoa River watershed in the state of North Carolina, U.S. The framework uses a hydrologic model for rainfall–runoff transformation, a two-dimensional unsteady hydraulic model flood simulation and a GIS-based multi-criteria decision-making technique for flood hazard mapping. Economic, social, and environmental flood hazards are taken into account. The importance of each hazard is quantified through a survey to the experts. Utilizing the proposed framework, sustainability-based flood hazard mapping is performed for the 100-year design event. As a result, the overall flood hazard is provided in each geographic location. The sensitivity of the overall hazard with respect to the weights of the three hazard components were also investigated. While the conventional flood management approach is to assess the environmental impacts of mitigation measures after a set of feasible options are selected, the presented framework incorporates the environmental impacts into the analysis concurrently with the economic and social influences. Thereby, it provides a more sustainable perspective of flood management and can greatly help the decision makers to make better-informed decisions by clearly understanding the impacts of flooding on economy, society and environment. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Does Operation Scheduling Make a Difference: Tapping the Potential of Optimized Design for Skipping-Stop Strategy in Reducing Bus Emissions
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1737; doi:10.3390/su9101737
Received: 4 August 2017 / Revised: 22 September 2017 / Accepted: 22 September 2017 / Published: 26 September 2017
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Abstract
The idea of corporate social responsibility has promoted bus operation agencies to rethink how to provide not only efficient but also environmentally friendly services for residents. A study on the potential of using an optimized design of skip-stop services, one of the essential
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The idea of corporate social responsibility has promoted bus operation agencies to rethink how to provide not only efficient but also environmentally friendly services for residents. A study on the potential of using an optimized design of skip-stop services, one of the essential operational strategies in practice, to reduce emissions is conducted in this paper. The underlying scheduling problem is formulated as a nonlinear programming problem with the primary objective of optimizing the total costs for both passengers and operating agencies, as well as with the secondary objective of minimizing bus emissions. A solution method is developed to solve the problem. A real-world case of Route 16 in Beijing is studied, in which the optimal scheduling strategy that maximizes the cost savings and environmental benefits is determined. The costs and emissions of the proposed scheduling strategy are compared with the optimal scheduling with skip-stop services without considering bus emissions. The results show that the proposed scheduling strategy outperforms the other operating strategy with respect to operational costs and bus emissions. A sensitivity study is then conducted to investigate the impact of the fleet size in operations and passenger demand on the effectiveness of the proposed stop-skipping strategy considering bus emissions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle In-Migration and Housing Choice in Ho Chi Minh City: Toward Sustainable Housing Development in Vietnam
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1738; doi:10.3390/su9101738
Received: 28 July 2017 / Revised: 18 September 2017 / Accepted: 22 September 2017 / Published: 27 September 2017
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Abstract
Since the initiation of Vietnam’s Doi Moi policy in 1986, the rate of urbanization has rapidly increased with a great influx of immigrants from rural areas. With such migration becoming a large acceleration factor for urban growth, the shortage of housing has become
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Since the initiation of Vietnam’s Doi Moi policy in 1986, the rate of urbanization has rapidly increased with a great influx of immigrants from rural areas. With such migration becoming a large acceleration factor for urban growth, the shortage of housing has become a critical problem in the cities. The Vietnamese government encouraged self-built housing and public–private partnerships to produce different types of housing stock. There are few available academic studies about housing choice in Vietnam to help understand movement dynamics and to foster sustainable housing development. The purpose of this study is to analyze housing choice and moving determinants in Ho Chi Minh City, and thereby establish recommendations for sustainable housing development in Vietnam. For an empirical study, a citizen questionnaire survey was conducted in HCMC and an in-depth analysis was carried out. The results indicate that the row house type for single-family housing is strongly preferred, but a preference for apartments is also observed for future planning. The factors influencing housing choice and movement are family income, housing ownership, housing typology, and commuting environment. These phenomena suggest that the government should prudently consider affordable housing development in many districts. The results of this study will help to establish policies for sustainable housing development in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Urbanization Strategies in Developing Countries)
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Open AccessArticle Freedom of Mass Communication in the Digital Age in the Case of the Internet: “Freedom House” and the USA Example
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1739; doi:10.3390/su9101739
Received: 28 August 2017 / Revised: 20 September 2017 / Accepted: 24 September 2017 / Published: 7 October 2017
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Abstract
Similar to various other disciplines, there have been significant changes and developments in the communication domain during the first quarter of the 21st century. The use of the Internet, which is considered as a vital communication tool in modern times, and often referred
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Similar to various other disciplines, there have been significant changes and developments in the communication domain during the first quarter of the 21st century. The use of the Internet, which is considered as a vital communication tool in modern times, and often referred to as the “digital information communication era/digital era”, has become increasingly popular and has experienced significant development and change. Such change has led to a transformation in the concept of “new media” and has extended its scope to include the concept of social media; thus, the Internet has become an essential aspect of life due to its characteristics of facilitating information access and socialization. The “Internet” can be interpreted in different ways, including an important mass communication tool that serves the purposes of globalization (within McLuhan’s Global Village Theory); or an important tool in the simulation universe (within Bourdieu’s Simulation Universe Theory); or a new public sphere (within Habermas’s Public Sphere Theory). However, in addition to its benefits, the “harm” has also become an issue that is subject to analysis as much as the legal responsibility dimension of the concept. From this perspective, various countries around the world have started to use different practices in relation to the access and use of terms in political and legal aspects. In particular, “the Internet censorship” has become vital in the determination of limits, since crossing such lines could damage the fundamental principles of human rights and democracy. The American organization, Freedom House, which conducts regular studies to identify the status of relevant limitations as well Internet freedoms and publishes reports accordingly, is a leading supervisory body when it comes to “the freedoms” on a global scale. Based on the independence of analysis conducted in various countries by Freedom House on the practices of those countries from an international political and economic perspective based on political rights and human rights; at the specific level, this study assesses the analysis of Freedom House conducted on the USA in different periods within the framework of decisions made by American courts and statements from politicians. In general, this study aims to discuss the possibility of Freedom House maintaining its activities in an independent structure. This study has a multi-disciplinary nature, with communication science focusing on the concept of the Internet as a basic communication tool; with the jurisprudence due to the assessment of legal arrangements used for internet censorship, given by other geographical example, with a particular focus on the example of the USA and related court decisions; and political science due to the regulation of the subject and the preparation of related laws by the government and interpretation of the matter by politicians. Additionally, pursuant to the data collected in relation with all disciplines, the status of Internet freedom in the USA, which is indicated in the reports of Freedom House to be one of the countries with the most freedom, and objectivity analysis of Freedom House will be performed through the content analysis (legal analysis and comparative analysis) method. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Reasons to Adopt ISO 50001 Energy Management System
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1740; doi:10.3390/su9101740
Received: 7 September 2017 / Revised: 21 September 2017 / Accepted: 25 September 2017 / Published: 27 September 2017
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Abstract
Purpose: The main aim of this paper is to analyze the relationships between the corporate motivations that lead organizations to establish the ISO 50001 Energy Management System (EnMS) standard, and the difficulties and benefits derived from its adoption. Design/methodology/approach: Three independent exploratory factor
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Purpose: The main aim of this paper is to analyze the relationships between the corporate motivations that lead organizations to establish the ISO 50001 Energy Management System (EnMS) standard, and the difficulties and benefits derived from its adoption. Design/methodology/approach: Three independent exploratory factor analyses (EFA) were conducted in order to identify (i) sources of motivation: social requirements, ecology drivers, and competitive advantage; (ii) the difficulties of an ISO 50001 adoption: operational difficulties and organizational difficulty; and (iii) types of benefits: ecological benefits and operational benefits. In a second step, an exploratory path analysis, performed through Structural Equation Modeling (SEM), was used to analyze the relations among motivation, difficulties, and benefits related to the adoption of the ISO 50001 standard. Findings: Social requirements explain operational difficulties, which in turn impacts on operational benefits. Ecology drivers are directly related to ecological benefits. Organizational difficulties have an inverse relationship with operational and ecological benefits. Operational difficulties are related to operational benefits and ecological benefits. Research limitations/implications: The questionnaire was disseminated to 87 Spanish companies with ISO 50001 certification. Managers and other practitioners such as consultants, auditing companies, and official organizations in charge of developing standards might find useful implications. Originality/value: The standard was published in 2011 by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). This paper contributes to assessment of the benefits of the standard by collecting information directly from the pioneer organizations that have adopted it, and provides clues on how to implement the standard and improve it in future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Evaluation of Integrated Air Pollution and Climate Change Policies: Case Study in the Thermal Power Sector in Chongqing City, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1741; doi:10.3390/su9101741
Received: 22 August 2017 / Revised: 24 September 2017 / Accepted: 24 September 2017 / Published: 27 September 2017
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Abstract
The cost of environmental degradation has already had a dramatic impact on the Chinese economy. In order to curb these trends, the government of China has introduced stricter regulations. With this in mind, it is important to quantify the potential co-benefits of introducing
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The cost of environmental degradation has already had a dramatic impact on the Chinese economy. In order to curb these trends, the government of China has introduced stricter regulations. With this in mind, it is important to quantify the potential co-benefits of introducing air pollution and climate change mitigation policies. This study proposes relevant scenarios ranging from the current trends (baseline) to the introduction of different policies in the thermal power sector, including different carbon tax rates, technology innovation promotion, and technology cost reduction methods. We aim to comparatively evaluate the impact of the proposed policies within the thermal sector and within the entire socio-economic system. To this end, we used a dynamic input–output (I-O) model, into which high-efficiency technologies were incorporated as new thermal power industries in order to estimate policy impact during the time period 2010–2025. The results of this study demonstrated that the introduction of one or more of the following policies: carbon taxes, subsidies, technology innovation, and technology cost reduction, has no notable impact on the environment or the economy without the implementation of environment regulations. In contrast, the strong support of a government subsidy coupled with strict environmental regulations will promote technological innovation, for example through the natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) and the integrated coal gasification combined cycle (IGCC). Our study also showed that the reduction of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions as well as energy consumption would curb economic development to a certain extent. Taking this into consideration, innovation must also be promoted in other economic sectors. This research provides a strong reference for policy-makers to identify effective polices under different types of environmental regulations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Decomposition Analysis of the Factors that Influence Energy Related Air Pollutant Emission Changes in China Using the SDA Method
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1742; doi:10.3390/su9101742
Received: 15 July 2017 / Revised: 25 August 2017 / Accepted: 24 September 2017 / Published: 27 September 2017
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Abstract
We decompose factors affecting China’s energy-related air pollutant (NOx, PM2.5, and SO2) emission changes into different effects using structural decomposition analysis (SDA). We find that, from 2005 to 2012, investment increased NOx, PM2.5,
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We decompose factors affecting China’s energy-related air pollutant (NOx, PM2.5, and SO2) emission changes into different effects using structural decomposition analysis (SDA). We find that, from 2005 to 2012, investment increased NOx, PM2.5, and SO2 emissions by 14.04, 7.82 and 15.59 Mt respectively, and consumption increased these emissions by 11.09, 7.98, and 12.09 Mt respectively. Export and import slightly increased the emissions on the whole, but the rate of the increase has slowed down, possibly reflecting the shift in China’s foreign trade structure. Energy intensity largely reduced NOx, PM2.5, and SO2 emissions by 12.49, 14.33 and 23.06 Mt respectively, followed by emission efficiency that reduces these emissions by 4.57, 9.08, and 17.25 Mt respectively. Input-output efficiency slightly reduces the emissions. At sectoral and sub-sectoral levels, consumption is a great driving factor in agriculture and commerce, whereas investment is a great driving factor in transport, construction, and some industrial subsectors such as iron and steel, nonferrous metals, building materials, coking, and power and heating supply. Energy intensity increases emissions in transport, chemical products and manufacturing, but decreases emissions in all other sectors and subsectors. Some policies arising from our study results are discussed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Visual Attention to Eco-Labels Predicts Consumer Preferences for Pollinator Friendly Plants
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1743; doi:10.3390/su9101743
Received: 4 August 2017 / Revised: 5 September 2017 / Accepted: 16 September 2017 / Published: 27 September 2017
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Abstract
Recent declines in pollinator populations have led to widespread concern due to their impact on food/crop production and the environment. Contrary to growing interest in the use of insecticides in urban landscapes, the relationship between pollinator-related eco-labels, visual attention, and preferences for plants
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Recent declines in pollinator populations have led to widespread concern due to their impact on food/crop production and the environment. Contrary to growing interest in the use of insecticides in urban landscapes, the relationship between pollinator-related eco-labels, visual attention, and preferences for plants is less understood. The present study combines eye tracking and stated preference experiments to examine the effects of pollinator-related labels on consumers’ preferences and willingness to pay. Results show that the pollinator-friendly attribute positively correlates with consumers’ purchasing decisions and visual attention supports that relationship. Implications of mandatory labeling of pesticide content for the horticultural industry are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle How to Measure Carbon Emission Reduction in China’s Public Building Sector: Retrospective Decomposition Analysis Based on STIRPAT Model in 2000–2015
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1744; doi:10.3390/su9101744
Received: 7 August 2017 / Revised: 18 September 2017 / Accepted: 25 September 2017 / Published: 27 September 2017
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Abstract
Productive building energy efficiency (BEE) work is an approved factor in the progress of sustainable urbanization in China, with the assessment of carbon emission reduction in China’s public buildings (CERCPB) being an essential element of this endeavor. Nevertheless, such evaluation has been hampered
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Productive building energy efficiency (BEE) work is an approved factor in the progress of sustainable urbanization in China, with the assessment of carbon emission reduction in China’s public buildings (CERCPB) being an essential element of this endeavor. Nevertheless, such evaluation has been hampered by inadequate and inefficient approaches; this is the first study to utilize the Logarithmic Mean Divisia Index Type I (LMDI-I) to decompose the equation of China’s public building carbon emissions (CPBCE) with the connected driving factors (population in China, floor areas of China’s existing public buildings, building service level index of China’s existing public buildings, and the comparable CPBCE intensity), and this equation was established by the Stochastic Impacts by Regression on Population, Affluence, and Technology (STIRPAT) model. The LMDI and STIRPAT approaches subsequently assessed the CERCPB values from 2001 to 2015. The results indicated that: (1) Only the contribution of the comparable CPBCE intensity to CPBCE was negative during 2001–2015; this represents the CERCPB value for the period. (2) The assessment results indicated that CERCPB has accumulated considerably with the swift progress of BEE work in China in 2001–2015. The CERCPB values in 2001–2005, 2006–2010, and 2011–2015 were 69.29, 158.53, and 277.86 million tons of carbon dioxide, respectively. (3) This study demonstrated that the positive effect of implementing public BEE work in China had led to significant results in 2001–2015, which can be regarded as a prerequisite for producing the considerable accumulation of CERCPB over this period. Overall, this study illustrated the feasibility of employing the LMDI and STIRPAT approaches for assessing the CERCPB value. Accordingly, we believe the results of this study are a significant driving force in the next phase of the development of the carbon emission control strategy of public buildings and sustainable urbanization in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Urbanization Strategies in Developing Countries)
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Open AccessArticle A Cost–Benefit Analysis to Assess the Effectiveness of Frontal Center Curtain Airbag
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1745; doi:10.3390/su9101745
Received: 3 August 2017 / Revised: 20 September 2017 / Accepted: 20 September 2017 / Published: 27 September 2017
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Abstract
Several new varieties of airbags are under consideration for development. However, their commercialization decision must be backed by a positive Cost–Benefit Analysis (CBA) outcome. In this study, we propose a CBA framework for the frontal center curtain airbag, a newly designed safety system
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Several new varieties of airbags are under consideration for development. However, their commercialization decision must be backed by a positive Cost–Benefit Analysis (CBA) outcome. In this study, we propose a CBA framework for the frontal center curtain airbag, a newly designed safety system intended to reduce the injury risk of rear-seat passengers. The proposed CBA covers not only economic benefits of the producer but also the effectiveness in sustainable reduction of the fatal and injury rate. In this context, with accumulated field data on road traffic accidents, a forecasting method reflecting the reduced casualties and the market share of vehicle sales associated with frontal center curtain airbag is utilized. Our results suggest that the use of frontal center curtain airbags helps to reduce the number of casualties with a Maximum Abbreviated Injury Scale (MAIS) of 3 or above by 87.4%. Furthermore, both the initial market penetration rate and price of the frontal center curtain airbag significantly influence its socioeconomic benefits. By evaluating the effectiveness of the frontal center curtain airbag, our study can contribute to the decision making for its commercialization. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Influence of Structural Conditions and Cultural Inertia on Water Usage and Landscape Decision-Making in a California Metropolitan Area
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1746; doi:10.3390/su9101746
Received: 29 July 2017 / Revised: 22 September 2017 / Accepted: 25 September 2017 / Published: 27 September 2017
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Abstract
Urban development and planning are increasingly centered on matters of sustainability, balancing economic development with ecosystem services and biological diversity within urban environments. In addition to these institutional and structural factors, the decision-making process within individual households must be understood to address rising
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Urban development and planning are increasingly centered on matters of sustainability, balancing economic development with ecosystem services and biological diversity within urban environments. In addition to these institutional and structural factors, the decision-making process within individual households must be understood to address rising concerns about water use. Therefore, individual characteristics and preferences that influence the use of water also warrant examination. In response to a survey of occupants of single-family residences in the Fresno Clovis Metropolitan Area of California, contextual interviews and focus group interviews with a homeowner sub-sample, we find evidence of an interplay of social—structural, institutional, and cultural factors involved in influencing individual water use behaviors and landscape decision-making. The complexity of residential behaviors and decision-making poses some potential issues with regards to the interactions between individual households and institutional actors in matters of water usage and landscaping, as residents surveyed indicate relatively little confidence in institutions and groups to make wise water policy decisions. We conclude that the promotion and implementation of sustainable water use practices will require not only environmental education for the citizenry, but also a tailoring of information for environmental educational initiatives that address the particularities of individual neighborhoods and communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in an Urbanizing World: The Role of People)
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Open AccessArticle Carbon Reduction Strategies Based on an NW Small-World Network with a Progressive Carbon Tax
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1747; doi:10.3390/su9101747
Received: 14 August 2017 / Revised: 22 September 2017 / Accepted: 26 September 2017 / Published: 28 September 2017
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Abstract
There is an increasingly urgent need to reduce carbon emissions. Devising effective carbon tax policies has become an important research topic. It is necessary to explore carbon reduction strategies based on the design of carbon tax elements. In this study, we explore the
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There is an increasingly urgent need to reduce carbon emissions. Devising effective carbon tax policies has become an important research topic. It is necessary to explore carbon reduction strategies based on the design of carbon tax elements. In this study, we explore the effect of a progressive carbon tax policy on carbon emission reductions using the logical deduction method. We apply experience-weighted attraction learning theory to construct an evolutionary game model for enterprises with different levels of energy consumption in an NW small-world network, and study their strategy choices when faced with a progressive carbon tax policy. The findings suggest that enterprises that adopt other energy consumption strategies gradually transform to a low energy consumption strategy, and that this trend eventually spreads to the entire system. With other conditions unchanged, the rate at which enterprises change to a low energy consumption strategy becomes faster as the discount coefficient, the network externality, and the expected adjustment factor increase. Conversely, the rate of change slows as the cost of converting to a low energy consumption strategy increases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Footprint: As an Environmental Sustainability Indicator)
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Open AccessArticle Sustainable Agriculture and Quality of Working Life: Analytical Perspectives and Confirmation from Research
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1749; doi:10.3390/su9101749
Received: 25 August 2017 / Revised: 25 September 2017 / Accepted: 26 September 2017 / Published: 28 September 2017
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Abstract
We begin by examining the multidimensional nature of sustainability, a concept we generally understand in terms of three overarching dimensions (environmental, social and economic), and propose that the concept of social sustainability be translated in terms of those aspects that we believe connote
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We begin by examining the multidimensional nature of sustainability, a concept we generally understand in terms of three overarching dimensions (environmental, social and economic), and propose that the concept of social sustainability be translated in terms of those aspects that we believe connote good working conditions. Stepping beyond a concept of sustainability that is dependent on the imposition of limits, we take as our starting point the concept of decent work adopted by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and argue that it is possible to conceive of, and even design, a sustainable job within a sustainable economy and society by thinking in terms of quality of working life. Subsequently, having introduced some of the changes we are witnessing in the world of work, and in the agricultural sector in particular, we provide a theoretical and methodological description of a model framework we propose for analysing quality of working life. In the concluding part of the essay, we include some of the results of a research project that investigated quality of working life among employees of farms and agricultural businesses in a province in northern Italy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
Open AccessArticle Sponsorship for the Sustainability of Historical-Architectural Heritage: Application of a Model’s Original Test Finalized to Maximize the Profitability of Private Investors
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1750; doi:10.3390/su9101750
Received: 29 July 2017 / Revised: 17 September 2017 / Accepted: 24 September 2017 / Published: 28 September 2017
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Abstract
This paper deals with private sponsorship as a tool for the redevelopment of Italy’s vast wealth of historical-architectural public heritage sites. Italian law provides for the stipulation of sponsorship agreements by and between public sector agencies or entities (which need financial resources to
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This paper deals with private sponsorship as a tool for the redevelopment of Italy’s vast wealth of historical-architectural public heritage sites. Italian law provides for the stipulation of sponsorship agreements by and between public sector agencies or entities (which need financial resources to restore or re-qualify property) and private sector investors (which guarantee the capital sought by the public sector in exchange for significant returns on their investments) raising various economic issues, particularly in connection with the profitability thresholds for private sector investors in return for the public sector’s use of their financial resources. In this paper, the authors focus on how private sector investors determine how much of their businesses turnover constitutes the optimal percentage level of overall income that may be invested in sponsorships to maximize business profitability. For this purpose, a model based on past works on the subject (Bucci et al., 2003) has been chosen by the authors. Such model gives a solution for verifying a sponsorship’s profitability. This model is static and is applicable to single-product companies that invest in sponsorships, under the theories of monopolistic competition and of Cobb-Douglas production function. Our objectives are to present this model, explaining in detail the mathematical steps, simplifying the model where possible in order to reduce the levels of complexity in its application, and finally to apply it to real case scenarios of cultural sponsorships. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Self-Evaluation System of Quality Planning for Tourist Attractions in Taiwan: An Integrated AHP-Delphi Approach from Career Professionals
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1751; doi:10.3390/su9101751
Received: 28 July 2017 / Revised: 19 September 2017 / Accepted: 25 September 2017 / Published: 28 September 2017
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Abstract
This study seeks to identify a set of key indicators along with weightings for tourist attractions in Taiwan, and develop a quality management self-evaluation mechanism for tourism businesses, using an advanced integrated Analytic Hierarchy Process and Delphi (AHP-Delphi) approach derived from the supply
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This study seeks to identify a set of key indicators along with weightings for tourist attractions in Taiwan, and develop a quality management self-evaluation mechanism for tourism businesses, using an advanced integrated Analytic Hierarchy Process and Delphi (AHP-Delphi) approach derived from the supply side perspective. This research study comprises two phases: (1) Delphi method analysis that involves 17 experts, providing confirmation about the evaluation criteria; and (2) Analytical Hierarchical Process (AHP) method which aims to allocate weightings to the evaluation criteria from the experts. Findings from the Delphi method analysis revealed the acceptance of two dimensions, six sub-dimensions and 17 indicators as key evaluation criteria. The AHP method analysis indicated that the most significant dimension was managing quality, with tourism services and public sector facilities being the most important sub-dimension and indicator respectively. The self-evaluation mechanism proposed in this planning perspectives can assist tourism businesses and national/regional Destination Management Organization to identify quality management problems and possible ways of enhancing quality tourism, so that tourism experience, and tourist’s satisfaction can be further improved effectively between the conflicting views by career professionals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tourism Planning and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle Outdoor Thermal Comfort in a Transitional Space of Canopy in Schools in the UK
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1753; doi:10.3390/su9101753
Received: 29 August 2017 / Revised: 22 September 2017 / Accepted: 24 September 2017 / Published: 28 September 2017
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Abstract
There has been a significant increase in opportunities to improve school environments in the UK. There has, however, been little study on the design of sheltered transitional spaces, despite growing architectural demand for this, examples of which can be easily found in most
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There has been a significant increase in opportunities to improve school environments in the UK. There has, however, been little study on the design of sheltered transitional spaces, despite growing architectural demand for this, examples of which can be easily found in most primary schools in the UK. Computer simulations (Rayman, Ecotect and Winair4) were performed to identify the influence of different parameters: that of having a canopy; the effect of the transmissivity of the canopy material (three transparencies 0%, 50% and 90% were considered); orientation (four orientations—north, east, south and west—were considered); and location (three cities: London, Manchester and Glasgow). The combined effects of canopy transparency and orientation were shown to be critical design considerations in affecting comfort conditions in outdoor spaces. It was found that outdoor comfort conditions in the transitional space can be enhanced by 41.5% in August by choosing a canopy of 0% transparency, compared with a canopy of 90% transparency in London. The fixed canopy with a higher transparency helped to increase outdoor thermal comfort in Glasgow, while one with a lower transparency showed better performance during summer in London. This research will help design environmentally sophisticated transitional spaces in schools. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Sustainable Scheduling of Cloth Production Processes by Multi-Objective Genetic Algorithm with Tabu-Enhanced Local Search
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1754; doi:10.3390/su9101754
Received: 10 September 2017 / Revised: 26 September 2017 / Accepted: 26 September 2017 / Published: 28 September 2017
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Abstract
The dyeing of textile materials is the most critical process in cloth production because of the strict technological requirements. In addition to the technical aspect, there have been increasing concerns over how to minimize the negative environmental impact of the dyeing industry. The
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The dyeing of textile materials is the most critical process in cloth production because of the strict technological requirements. In addition to the technical aspect, there have been increasing concerns over how to minimize the negative environmental impact of the dyeing industry. The emissions of pollutants are mainly caused by frequent cleaning operations which are necessary for initializing the dyeing equipment, as well as idled production capacity which leads to discharge of unconsumed chemicals. Motivated by these facts, we propose a methodology to reduce the pollutant emissions by means of systematic production scheduling. Firstly, we build a three-objective scheduling model that incorporates both the traditional tardiness objective and the environmentally-related objectives. A mixed-integer programming formulation is also provided to accurately define the problem. Then, we present a novel solution method for the sustainable scheduling problem, namely, a multi-objective genetic algorithm with tabu-enhanced iterated greedy local search strategy (MOGA-TIG). Finally, we conduct extensive computational experiments to investigate the actual performance of the MOGA-TIG. Based on a fair comparison with two state-of-the-art multi-objective optimizers, it is concluded that the MOGA-TIG is able to achieve satisfactory solution quality within tight computational time budget for the studied scheduling problem. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Revisiting Ecosystem Services: Assessment and Valuation as Starting Points for Environmental Politics
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1755; doi:10.3390/su9101755
Received: 21 August 2017 / Revised: 24 September 2017 / Accepted: 26 September 2017 / Published: 28 September 2017
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Abstract
The paradigm of ecosystem services (ES) and the methods of monetary valuation have become boundary objects, spanning disciplines and earning particular purchase in policy circles. However, the notion of ES and ES valuation have also been subjected to multiple critiques, ranging from their
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The paradigm of ecosystem services (ES) and the methods of monetary valuation have become boundary objects, spanning disciplines and earning particular purchase in policy circles. However, the notion of ES and ES valuation have also been subjected to multiple critiques, ranging from their varying precision to the potential for neoliberalization of nature. This paper does not attempt to refute such critiques but rather revisits the potentials of the ES paradigm and the specific method of benefit transfer valuation for their utility as a form of environmental politics and sustainability practice. We find they have particular relevance in contexts where “data” are not readily available or are not legible to policy makers as well as where the imperative of “development” remains ideological. We argue for ES assessment and, specifically, rapid ES valuation as a first-pass tactic to inform evaluation of potentially environmentally degrading projects or environmental management. We demonstrate this using a simple benefit transfer analysis to offer an initial evaluation of (wet) landscape ES in a lightly touched estuary in Karnataka, India, where a state-backed proposal to develop an industrial shipping port is gathering steam. While we recognize and do not categorically reject critiques of the ES paradigm, we nonetheless argue for valuation as a starting point for politics that highlight and make visible ES benefits and users implicated by “development” and other kinds of environmental change. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Corporate Environmental Responsibility and Environmental Non-Governmental Organizations in China
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1756; doi:10.3390/su9101756
Received: 25 August 2017 / Revised: 20 September 2017 / Accepted: 26 September 2017 / Published: 28 September 2017
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Abstract
In China, environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs) play an important supervisory role to address ecological issues together with government regulation and enterprise implementation. This study examines the effect of ENGO presence on corporate environmental responsibility (CER) performance, along with internal factors as covariate variables.
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In China, environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs) play an important supervisory role to address ecological issues together with government regulation and enterprise implementation. This study examines the effect of ENGO presence on corporate environmental responsibility (CER) performance, along with internal factors as covariate variables. With a sample of 677 enterprises, it operationalizes the independent variable in terms of the number of ENGOs within certain distances from each enterprise, and the dependent variable based on the corporate social responsibility report using the specific criteria in the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) sustainability reporting guidelines. The results of Tobit regression analyses indicate that ENGO presence is conducive to CER performance, and asset size, power concentration, and industry type also make differences. The findings suggest that ENGOs are helpful in solving environment issues by bridging the gap between private and public sectors. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Measuring the Performance of Industrial Green Development Using a Non-Radial Directional Distance Function Approach: A Case Study of Jiangxi Province in China
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1757; doi:10.3390/su9101757
Received: 30 August 2017 / Revised: 27 September 2017 / Accepted: 27 September 2017 / Published: 28 September 2017
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Abstract
The industrial sector is a major contributor to resource consumption and environmental pollution in China. The energy-intensive industrial development and energy structure are dominated by coal, which has produced an enormous amount of industrial pollutants in China, and put great pressure on the
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The industrial sector is a major contributor to resource consumption and environmental pollution in China. The energy-intensive industrial development and energy structure are dominated by coal, which has produced an enormous amount of industrial pollutants in China, and put great pressure on the ecological environment. Hence, improving the performance of industrial green development (PIGD) has become an urgent task of utmost importance. This study applies a global non-radial directional distance function to estimate the PIGD for Jiangxi Province during 2003–2015, and provides targeted policy suggestions. The empirical results show a rising trend in the PIGD in Jiangxi Province. At the city level, Nanchang and Fuzhou performed considerably better than other cities in regards to their PIGD. However, the poor environmental performance caused by the excessive discharge of industrial pollutants has also hindered its PIGD. Most cities in Jiangxi Province failed to efficiently use resources, especially energy and labor, in industrial production. The results of the influencing factor analysis show that the performance of industrial green development in Jiangxi could be improved through increasing per capita GDP, decreasing the share of coal consumption in the total industrial energy consumption, and decreasing the share of industrial GDP in the total GDP. Furthermore, a more efficient use of environmental management investment funds and timely transfer of the surplus industrial labor are needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Energy Development under Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle Implementation of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) Practices in Industry: Providing the Right Incentives
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1759; doi:10.3390/su9101759
Received: 1 July 2017 / Revised: 14 September 2017 / Accepted: 18 September 2017 / Published: 28 September 2017
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Abstract
Abstract: Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) is a term used by policy-makers and academics to refer to research and innovation that is ethically acceptable and socially desirable. Despite the fact that the vast majority of research and innovation (R&I) is funded and
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Abstract: Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) is a term used by policy-makers and academics to refer to research and innovation that is ethically acceptable and socially desirable. Despite the fact that the vast majority of research and innovation (R&I) is funded and produced by industry, companies tend to have no awareness or recognition of this concept. This is unfortunate, as the RRI paradigm could be mutually beneficial for both business and society: it could help businesses realise competitive opportunities while also leading to positive economic, societal and environmental impacts. This paper investigates how industry can be incentivised to engage in research and innovation following the approach of RRI. We propose a matrix of incentives for stimulating the adoption of RRI. We categorise incentives according to three dichotomies: external and internal, instrumental and non-instrumental, direct and indirect. The incentives are formalised in a causal loop diagram, which can be used to demonstrate the sound character of investing in RRI from a business perspective. We discuss examples of incentives, including corporate reputation and critical consumerism, certification, employee engagement, and governance. Lastly, to ensure effective implementation of RRI, we outline factors for the realisation of successful incentives for RRI in industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in Industry)
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Open AccessArticle Transport Emissions and Energy Consumption Impacts of Private Capital Investment in Public Transport
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1760; doi:10.3390/su9101760
Received: 30 July 2017 / Revised: 22 September 2017 / Accepted: 26 September 2017 / Published: 3 October 2017
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Abstract
Introducing private capital into the public transport system for its sustainable development has been increasing around the world. However, previous research ignores emissions and energy consumption impacts, which are important for private capital investment policy-making. To address this problem, the system dynamic (SD)
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Introducing private capital into the public transport system for its sustainable development has been increasing around the world. However, previous research ignores emissions and energy consumption impacts, which are important for private capital investment policy-making. To address this problem, the system dynamic (SD) approach was used to quantitatively analyze the cumulative effects of different private capital investment models in public transport from the environmental perspective. The SD model validity was verified in the case study of Jinan public traffic. Simulation results show that the fuel consumption and emission reductions are obvious when the private capital considering passenger value invests in public transport compared with the no private capital investment and traditional investment models. There are obvious cumulative reductions for fuel consumption, CO2, CO, SO2, and PM10 emissions for 100 months compared with no private capital investment. This research verifies the superiority of the passenger value investment model in public transport from the environmental point of view, and supplies a theoretical tool for administrators to evaluate the private capital investment effects systematically. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle A Governance and Management Framework for Green IT
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1761; doi:10.3390/su9101761
Received: 20 July 2017 / Revised: 21 September 2017 / Accepted: 27 September 2017 / Published: 29 September 2017
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Abstract
In recent years, Green Information Technology (IT) has grown enormously, and has become an increasingly important and essential area, providing multiple benefits to the organizations that focus on it. It is for this reason that there is an increasing number of organizations embracing
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In recent years, Green Information Technology (IT) has grown enormously, and has become an increasingly important and essential area, providing multiple benefits to the organizations that focus on it. It is for this reason that there is an increasing number of organizations embracing the idea of Green IT. However, Green IT is a very young field and each organization implements it according to its own criteria. That is why it is extremely important to develop the bases or best practices of governance and management that allow organizations to implement Green IT practices correctly and standardize them. In this article, we propose the “Governance and Management Framework for Green IT”, establishing the characteristics needed to carry out the governance and management of Green IT in an organization, and perform audits in this area. This framework is based on COBIT 5, which is a general framework for the control and audit of different areas related to IT. The results obtained through different validations demonstrate the validity and usefulness of the framework developed in the field of Green IT, providing a complete guide to the organizations in their efforts to implement, control and/or improve the practices of Green IT in their processes and day-to-day operations. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Advanced IT based Future Sustainable Computing)
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Open AccessArticle Risk Measurement and Risk Modelling Using Applications of Vine Copulas
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1762; doi:10.3390/su9101762
Received: 8 August 2017 / Revised: 10 September 2017 / Accepted: 13 September 2017 / Published: 29 September 2017
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Abstract
This paper features an application of Regular Vine copulas which are a novel and recently developed statistical and mathematical tool which can be applied in the assessment of composite financial risk. Copula-based dependence modelling is a popular tool in financial applications, but is
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This paper features an application of Regular Vine copulas which are a novel and recently developed statistical and mathematical tool which can be applied in the assessment of composite financial risk. Copula-based dependence modelling is a popular tool in financial applications, but is usually applied to pairs of securities. By contrast, Vine copulas provide greater flexibility and permit the modelling of complex dependency patterns using the rich variety of bivariate copulas which may be arranged and analysed in a tree structure to explore multiple dependencies. The paper features the use of Regular Vine copulas in an analysis of the co-dependencies of 10 major European Stock Markets, as represented by individual market indices and the composite STOXX 50 index. The sample runs from 2005 to the end of 2013 to permit an exploration of how correlations change indifferent economic circumstances using three different sample periods: pre-GFC (January 2005–July 2007), GFC (July 2007– September 2009), and post-GFC periods (September 2009–December 2013). The empirical results suggest that the dependencies change in a complex manner, and are subject to change in different economic circumstances. One of the attractions of this approach to risk modelling is the flexibility in the choice of distributions used to model co-dependencies. The practical application of Regular Vine metrics is demonstrated via an example of the calculation of the VaR of a portfolio made up of the indices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Risk Measures with Applications in Finance and Economics)
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Open AccessArticle Attitudes of the Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability Segment in Hungary
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1763; doi:10.3390/su9101763
Received: 7 September 2017 / Revised: 22 September 2017 / Accepted: 25 September 2017 / Published: 29 September 2017
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Abstract
The aim of the research was to define the size of the Hungarian LOHAS (Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability) consumer group by analyzing its lifestyle based on sustainable values. To achieve this goal, a representative questionnaire-based survey was carried out involving 1000 individuals
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The aim of the research was to define the size of the Hungarian LOHAS (Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability) consumer group by analyzing its lifestyle based on sustainable values. To achieve this goal, a representative questionnaire-based survey was carried out involving 1000 individuals in Hungary. During the value-orientated research, 25 lifestyle statements were drawn up. According to the results, five value-based segments could be distinguished. The largest cluster, the young trend followers group, reflects the characteristics of the LOHAS consumers’ lifestyle to the greatest extent. However, this segment cannot entirely be regarded as a consumer group devoted to LOHAS values, which is why a further segmentation of this group was necessary. As a result of this further segmentation, the third sub-cluster, which emphasizes the ethical (competence) statements the most, can be identified with the LOHAS consumer group, which makes up 8.7% of the Hungarian population. Further research is necessary to find out whether the situation regarding value orientation in Hungary is similar to that in other Eastern European countries whose social and cultural backgrounds are very similar. Revealing the values of the Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability segment contributes to the extension of the literature. Full article
Open AccessArticle Heterogeneous Value of Water: Empirical Evidence in South Korea
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1764; doi:10.3390/su9101764
Received: 6 September 2017 / Revised: 24 September 2017 / Accepted: 26 September 2017 / Published: 29 September 2017
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Abstract
Anthropogenic pressures have exacerbated self-sustaining river services, and growing concerns over sustaining river system become global problematic issues that lead us to implement river restoration projects. Of those projects, governing diverse needs and desires from stakeholders for those who have various water values
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Anthropogenic pressures have exacerbated self-sustaining river services, and growing concerns over sustaining river system become global problematic issues that lead us to implement river restoration projects. Of those projects, governing diverse needs and desires from stakeholders for those who have various water values are key elements of identifying the success of the project. In fact, the Korean government has had concern over restoring the rivers which brings to construct 16 weirs in four major rivers and may fail to achieve main goal of the project, which is to ameliorate water quality. In this study, principle component analysis and multinomial logit model were executed to investigate major socioeconomic variables to influence water values in terms of sustainability in Korea. Evitable evidences have been found that age, income, education level, and city dwelling are the most effective variables to estimate water values. In addition, a monotonous water development project and a myopic view could cause major dejection across the nation and may lead to the failure of water governance. Unfortunately, the latter may be observed in Korea as one of the reasons for the recent amplification of major conflicts. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Investigating Online Destination Images Using a Topic-Based Sentiment Analysis Approach
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1765; doi:10.3390/su9101765
Received: 17 July 2017 / Revised: 22 September 2017 / Accepted: 25 September 2017 / Published: 29 September 2017
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Abstract
With the development of Web 2.0, many studies have tried to analyze tourist behavior utilizing user-generated contents. The primary purpose of this study is to propose a topic-based sentiment analysis approach, including a polarity classification and an emotion classification. We use the Latent
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With the development of Web 2.0, many studies have tried to analyze tourist behavior utilizing user-generated contents. The primary purpose of this study is to propose a topic-based sentiment analysis approach, including a polarity classification and an emotion classification. We use the Latent Dirichlet Allocation model to extract topics from online travel review data and analyze the sentiments and emotions for each topic with our proposed approach. The top frequent words are extracted for each topic from online reviews on Ctrip.com. By comparing the relative importance of each topic, we conclude that many tourists prefer to provide “suggestion” reviews. In particular, we propose a new approach to classify the emotions of online reviews at the topic level utilizing an emotion lexicon, focusing on specific emotions to analyze customer complaints. The results reveal that attraction “management” obtains most complaints. These findings may provide useful insights for the development of attractions and the measurement of online destination image. Our proposed method can be used to analyze reviews from many online platforms and domains. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mobile Technology and Smart Tourism Development)
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Open AccessArticle How Urbanization Economies Impact TFP of R&D Performers: Evidence from China
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1766; doi:10.3390/su9101766
Received: 31 July 2017 / Revised: 12 September 2017 / Accepted: 20 September 2017 / Published: 29 September 2017
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Abstract
There have been extensive studies exploring the relationship between agglomeration economies and economic growth. However, far less attention is paid to the nonlinear relationship of urbanization economies–firm productivity nexus, especially in developing countries. This paper aims to explore how urbanization economies impact the
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There have been extensive studies exploring the relationship between agglomeration economies and economic growth. However, far less attention is paid to the nonlinear relationship of urbanization economies–firm productivity nexus, especially in developing countries. This paper aims to explore how urbanization economies impact the total factor productivity (TFP) of research and development (R&D) performers using a large sample of Chinese manufacturing firms. The generalized propensity score matching methodology is employed to not only address the selection-bias and endogenous issues, but also quantitatively investigate how firm TFP responds to urbanization economies at each urbanization level. Based on the full data sample, our results show that there exists an S-shaped relationship between urbanization economies and TFP of Chinese R&D performers. Importantly, there is an optimal interval in which urbanization economies’ impact on firm TFP can be maximized. There is also a threshold value, only beyond which a further increase in urbanization economies improves firm TFP, and a saturation point, beyond which a further increase in urbanization economies does not increase and even decrease firm TFP. The relationship between urbanization economies and TFP of Chinese R&D performers presents a consistent pattern for firms in high- and medium–low-technology industries, as well as in Eastern and North East China. However, for firms in Central and Western China, there is a much smaller and even no range of optimal interval of urbanization economies, respectively. Our research helps provide insights into policy makers to maximize urbanization economies’ positive impact on firm TFP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Urbanization Strategies in Developing Countries)
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Open AccessArticle The Revival and Restructuring of a Traditional Folk Festival: Cultural Landscape and Memory in Guangzhou, South China
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1767; doi:10.3390/su9101767
Received: 27 July 2017 / Revised: 20 September 2017 / Accepted: 23 September 2017 / Published: 6 October 2017
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Abstract
Landscape is an important object for research on local culture from a cultural geographical perspective. It is the spatial nature of memory that has seen the integrative study of memory and landscape receive increased attention from human geographers. The Qiqiao Festival is a
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Landscape is an important object for research on local culture from a cultural geographical perspective. It is the spatial nature of memory that has seen the integrative study of memory and landscape receive increased attention from human geographers. The Qiqiao Festival is a traditional folk festival in the Lingnan region of Southern China. After half a century of suppression, the Qiqiao Festival in Zhucun was publically revitalized as the Guangzhou Qiqiao Cultural Festival, which coincided with the changing structure and significance of the landscape. This paper selected Zhucun, a typical urban village, as its case study and constructed an index system of festival landscapes. Through in-depth interviews, this paper studied the revival and restructure process of the Qiqiao Festival, and the role that landscapes play in the formation mechanism of memory on the part of subjects with different identities. The results showed that the elite and the local government selectively restructure festival landscapes, replacing authentic landscapes with “official” ones. The selection and production of a festival landscape constructed different memories among the subjects, where the festival memory of grassroots villagers was self-constructed and mostly came from traditional festival landscape elements while top-down interventions in the festival landscape constructed a different “official” memory for citizens and migrants to those of the villagers. The contemporary festival deviates from the original, which has weakened the conscious degree of cultural evolution and has had a reaction on the authenticity of memory. This research serves a reference for approaches in planning and conserving intangible cultural heritage in historic villages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Local Heritage and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle An Analysis of Decision Factors on the Price of South Korea’s Certified Emission Reductions in Use of Vector Error Correction Model
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1768; doi:10.3390/su9101768
Received: 16 August 2017 / Revised: 25 September 2017 / Accepted: 27 September 2017 / Published: 29 September 2017
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Abstract
This study analyzes factors affecting the price of South Korea’s Certified Emission Reduction (CER) using statistical methods. CER refers to the transaction price for the amount of carbon emitted. Analysis of results found a co-integration relationship among the price of South Korea’s CER,
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This study analyzes factors affecting the price of South Korea’s Certified Emission Reduction (CER) using statistical methods. CER refers to the transaction price for the amount of carbon emitted. Analysis of results found a co-integration relationship among the price of South Korea’s CER, oil price (WTI), and South Korea’s maximum electric power demand, which means that there is a long-term relationship among the three variables. Based on this result, VECM (vector error correction model) analysis, impulse response function, and variance decomposition were performed. As the oil price (WTI) increases, the demand for gas in power generation in Korea declines while the demand for coal increases. This leads to increased greenhouse gas (GHG; e.g., CO2) emissions and increased price of South Korea’s CERs. In addition, rising oil prices (WTI) cause a decline in demand for oil products such as kerosene, which results in an increase in South Korea’s maximum power demand. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Mathematical Modeling and a Hybrid NSGA-II Algorithm for Process Planning Problem Considering Machining Cost and Carbon Emission
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1769; doi:10.3390/su9101769
Received: 30 August 2017 / Revised: 27 September 2017 / Accepted: 28 September 2017 / Published: 29 September 2017
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Abstract
Process planning is an important function in a manufacturing system; it specifies the manufacturing requirements and details for the shop floor to convert a part from raw material to the finished form. However, considering only economical criterion with technological constraints is not enough
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Process planning is an important function in a manufacturing system; it specifies the manufacturing requirements and details for the shop floor to convert a part from raw material to the finished form. However, considering only economical criterion with technological constraints is not enough in sustainable manufacturing practice; formerly, criteria about low carbon emission awareness have seldom been taken into account in process planning optimization. In this paper, a mathematical model that considers both machining costs reduction as well as carbon emission reduction is established for the process planning problem. However, due to various flexibilities together with complex precedence constraints between operations, the process planning problem is a non-deterministic polynomial-time (NP) hard problem. Aiming at the distinctive feature of the multi-objectives process planning optimization, we then developed a hybrid non-dominated sorting genetic algorithm (NSGA)-II to tackle this problem. A local search method that considers both the total cost criterion and the carbon emission criterion are introduced into the proposed algorithm to avoid being trapped into local optima. Moreover, the technique for order preference by similarity to an ideal solution (TOPSIS) method is also adopted to determine the best solution from the Pareto front. Experiments have been conducted using Kim’s benchmark. Computational results show that process plan schemes with low carbon emission can be captured, and, more importantly, the proposed hybrid NSGA-II algorithm can obtain more promising optimal Pareto front than the plain NSGA-II algorithm. Meanwhile, according to the computational results of Kim’s benchmark, we find that both of the total machining cost and carbon emission are roughly proportional to the number of operations, and a process plan with less operation may be more satisfactory. This study will draw references for the further research on green manufacturing in the process planning level. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Task-Oriented and Relationship-Building Communications between Air Traffic Controllers and Pilots
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1770; doi:10.3390/su9101770
Received: 3 September 2017 / Revised: 23 September 2017 / Accepted: 25 September 2017 / Published: 29 September 2017
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Abstract
By questioning the lopsided attention on task-oriented factors in air traffic controller-pilot communication, the current study places an equal weighting on both task-oriented and relationship-building communications, and investigates how each type of communication influences sustainable performance in airline operation team. Results show that
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By questioning the lopsided attention on task-oriented factors in air traffic controller-pilot communication, the current study places an equal weighting on both task-oriented and relationship-building communications, and investigates how each type of communication influences sustainable performance in airline operation team. Results show that both task-oriented and relationship-building communications in terms of sustainability of team process predicted greater communication satisfaction at work. Also, both task interdependence and shared leadership influenced both types of air traffic controller-pilot communication. However, only relationship-building communication had a direct influence on perceived work performance whereas task-oriented communication had not. Along with task-oriented factors, this study raises the relationship-oriented factors as important resources for the sustainable team performance in airline industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle The Environmental Mitigation Potential of Photovoltaic-Powered Irrigation in the Production of South African Maize
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1772; doi:10.3390/su9101772
Received: 14 August 2017 / Revised: 21 September 2017 / Accepted: 22 September 2017 / Published: 30 September 2017
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Abstract
Agriculture is under pressure to reduce its environmental impact. The use of renewable energy sources has potential to decrease these impacts. Maize is one of the most significant crops in South Africa and approximately 241,000 hectares are irrigated. This irrigation is most commonly
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Agriculture is under pressure to reduce its environmental impact. The use of renewable energy sources has potential to decrease these impacts. Maize is one of the most significant crops in South Africa and approximately 241,000 hectares are irrigated. This irrigation is most commonly powered by grid electricity generated using coal. However, South Africa has high solar irradiation, which could be used to generate photovoltaic electricity. The aim of this study was to determine the environmental mitigation potential of replacing grid-powered irrigation in South African maize production with photovoltaic irrigation systems using Life Cycle Assessment. The study included the value chain of maize production from cultivation to storage. Replacing grid electricity with photovoltaic-generated electricity leads to a 34% reduction in the global warming potential of maize produced under irrigation, and—applied at a national level—could potentially reduce South Africa’s greenhouse gas emissions by 536,000 t CO2-eq. per year. Non-renewable energy demand, freshwater eutrophication, acidification, and particulate matter emissions are also significantly lowered. Replacing grid electricity with renewable energy in irrigation has been shown to be an effective means of reducing the environmental impacts associated with South African maize production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 6th World Sustainability Forum - Selected Papers)
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Open AccessArticle The Environmental Costs of Photovoltaic Power Plants in South Korea: A Choice Experiment Study
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1773; doi:10.3390/su9101773
Received: 31 August 2017 / Revised: 23 September 2017 / Accepted: 25 September 2017 / Published: 30 September 2017
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Abstract
The photovoltaic (PV) power supplies renewable and sustainable electricity without greenhouse gases and air pollutants emissions. However, the potential environmental impacts caused by PV power plants can negatively affect both the ecosystem and human life. Thus, the environmental costs arising from the PV
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The photovoltaic (PV) power supplies renewable and sustainable electricity without greenhouse gases and air pollutants emissions. However, the potential environmental impacts caused by PV power plants can negatively affect both the ecosystem and human life. Thus, the environmental costs arising from the PV power plants should be measured and the efforts to reduce them should be made. To this end, this article seeks to assess the environmental costs of PV power plants using a choice experiment (CE). Four attributes chosen for this purpose are habitat loss, landscape destruction, hazardous materials, and light pollution. The trade-offs between each attribute and price were successfully assessed in the CE survey of 1000 South Korean respondents. The environmental costs of a one percentage point increase in habitat loss, landscape destruction, hazardous materials, and light pollution caused by PV power plants are estimated to be KRW 135 (USD 0.12), 53 (0.05), 122 (0.11), and 158 (0.14), respectively, per household per month. The findings can provide policymakers with useful information for both evaluating and planning the PV power plant-related policies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Built Environment, Travel Attitudes and Travel Behaviour: Quasi-Longitudinal Analysis of Links in the Case of Greeks Relocating from US to Greece
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1774; doi:10.3390/su9101774
Received: 19 July 2017 / Revised: 4 September 2017 / Accepted: 24 September 2017 / Published: 30 September 2017
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Abstract
In this study, the possible causal links between the built environment, travel attitudes and travel behaviour of people that have moved between totally different urban and transportation contexts were investigated. A quasi-longitudinal design was developed to collect data about the perceived neighbourhood characteristics,
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In this study, the possible causal links between the built environment, travel attitudes and travel behaviour of people that have moved between totally different urban and transportation contexts were investigated. A quasi-longitudinal design was developed to collect data about the perceived neighbourhood characteristics, neighbourhood preferences, travel attitudes and changes in car, walking and bicycle usage of 51 Greeks who relocated from the US to Greece. Variable reduction techniques were applied prior to developing our models because of the small sample size. The results of this study offer support for a causal relationship between the built environment and travel behaviour identified in the existing literature. For instance, longer travel time to city center was associated with higher car use, higher density neighbourhoods and increased accessibility to local amenities were associated with increased bike use and better access to a district shopping center was associated with more walking after relocation. Our results also showed that in contexts like Greece, where transport infrastructures are not adequately developed, lack of safe bike conditions and easy access to public transportation are important determinants of bicycle use and walking. Thus, according to our results, promoting sustainable mobility in contexts like Greece would require not only enhancing accessibility through relocation of activities, but also by improving infrastructures for public transport, bicycle and walking. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle Analysing the Impacts of Various Environmental Parameters on the Biodiversity Status of Major Habitats
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1775; doi:10.3390/su9101775
Received: 27 July 2017 / Revised: 21 September 2017 / Accepted: 26 September 2017 / Published: 30 September 2017
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Abstract
Background: Anthropogenic impacts on the environment often result in loss of biodiversity. However, the effects of different parameters (s