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Sustainability, Volume 9, Issue 7 (July 2017)

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Cover Story This paper presents, compares and discusses seven different cases of Collaborative Food Alliances, [...] Read more.
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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review, Other

Open AccessEditorial Societal Relations to Nature in Times of Crisis—Social Ecology’s Contributions to Interdisciplinary Sustainability Studies
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1042; doi:10.3390/su9071042
Received: 8 February 2017 / Accepted: 15 February 2017 / Published: 26 June 2017
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Abstract
During the second half of the 20th century, the crisis of societal relations to nature emerged as the subject of an international scientific, political, and popular debate. Anthropogenic climate change, loss of biodiversity, resource peaks, or local air and water pollution are symptoms
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During the second half of the 20th century, the crisis of societal relations to nature emerged as the subject of an international scientific, political, and popular debate. Anthropogenic climate change, loss of biodiversity, resource peaks, or local air and water pollution are symptoms of this crisis. Social ecology provides an inter- and transdisciplinary take on sustainability research and is well-equipped to respond to the research challenges associated with this crisis. Social ecology comprises different schools of thought, of which two initiated this special issue on “State of the Art and Future Prospects” for the research field. The approaches to social ecology of the ISOE—Institute for Social-Ecological Research in Frankfurt, Germany, and the Institute of Social Ecology (SEC) in Vienna, Austria are based on a common understanding of the challenges posed by social-ecological crises. In how these social ecologies tackle their research questions, conceptual differences become evident. In this article, we provide an overview of social ecology research as it is conducted in Frankfurt and in Vienna. We discuss how this research responds to the ongoing crisis and conclude by identifying important future prospects for social ecology. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperEditorial A Review of Low-Carbon Transformation and Energy Innovation Issues in China
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1238; doi:10.3390/su9071238
Received: 9 July 2017 / Revised: 11 July 2017 / Accepted: 11 July 2017 / Published: 15 July 2017
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Abstract
Scale-oriented economic development in China has given rise to problems associated with high energy consumption and severe environmental pollution. Thus, the 7th China Annual Conference of Energy Economics and Management provides a platform for presenting ongoing research activities in order to exchange research
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Scale-oriented economic development in China has given rise to problems associated with high energy consumption and severe environmental pollution. Thus, the 7th China Annual Conference of Energy Economics and Management provides a platform for presenting ongoing research activities in order to exchange research ideas in the area of low-carbon economics and sustainable development for China. We thank Sustainability for providing this timely special issue. This editorial highlights the contents and methodologies of this conference special issue, presenting several important issues in energy economics and management. Full article

Research

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Open AccessArticle Social-Ecological Dynamics of Ecosystem Services: Livelihoods and the Functional Relation between Ecosystem Service Supply and Demand—Evidence from Socotra Archipelago, Yemen and the Sahel Region, West Africa
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1037; doi:10.3390/su9071037
Received: 27 January 2017 / Revised: 1 June 2017 / Accepted: 6 June 2017 / Published: 26 June 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (4434 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In aiming to halt global biodiversity loss, it is essential to address underlying societal processes. The concept of ecosystem services claims to bridge between biodiversity and society. At the same time there is a considerable research gap regarding how ecosystem services are provided,
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In aiming to halt global biodiversity loss, it is essential to address underlying societal processes. The concept of ecosystem services claims to bridge between biodiversity and society. At the same time there is a considerable research gap regarding how ecosystem services are provided, and how societal activities and dynamics influence the provision of ecosystem services. Interactions and dependencies between ecosystem services supply and demand come to the fore but context-specific dynamics have largely been neglected. This article is a critical reflection on the current research of ecosystem services supply and demand. We argue that there is a functional relation between the supply and demand for ecosystem services, with the two influencing each other. Scientific interest should focus on both the temporal and spatial dynamics of ecosystem services supply and demand. Presenting two studies from Socotra Archipelago, Yemen and the Sahel regions in Senegal and Mali, West Africa, we illustrate that the society behind the demand for ecosystem services is highly interrelated with ecosystem services supply. We thus advocate the adoption of a social-ecological perspective for current research on ecosystem services supply and demand in order to address these context-specific temporal and spatial dynamics. Full article
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Open AccessArticle More Than a Potential Hazard—Approaching Risks from a Social-Ecological Perspective
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1039; doi:10.3390/su9071039
Received: 30 January 2017 / Revised: 9 May 2017 / Accepted: 27 May 2017 / Published: 26 June 2017
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Abstract
Risks have been classically understood as a probability of damage or a potential hazard resulting in appropriate management strategies. However, research on environmental issues such as pollutants in the aquatic environment or the impacts of climate change have shown that classical management approaches
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Risks have been classically understood as a probability of damage or a potential hazard resulting in appropriate management strategies. However, research on environmental issues such as pollutants in the aquatic environment or the impacts of climate change have shown that classical management approaches do not sufficiently cover these interactions between society and nature. There have been several attempts to develop interdisciplinary approaches to risk that include natural as well as social science contributions. In this paper, the authors aim at developing a social-ecological perspective on risk by drawing on the concept of societal relations to nature and the model of provisioning systems. This perspective is used to analyze four cases, pharmaceuticals, microplastics, semicentralized water infrastructures and forest management, with regard to risk identification, assessment and management. Finally, the paper aims at developing a perspective on risks which takes into account non-intended side-effects, system interdependencies and uncertainty. Full article
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Open AccessArticle More Energy and Less Work, but New Crises: How the Societal Metabolism-Labour Nexus Changes from Agrarian to Industrial Societies
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1041; doi:10.3390/su9071041
Received: 30 January 2017 / Revised: 3 May 2017 / Accepted: 4 June 2017 / Published: 26 June 2017
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Abstract
The scientific finding that humanity is overburdening nature and thus risks further ecological crises is almost uncontroversial. Main reason for the crises is the drastic increase in the societal metabolism, which is accomplished through labour. In this article, we examine the societal metabolism-labour
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The scientific finding that humanity is overburdening nature and thus risks further ecological crises is almost uncontroversial. Main reason for the crises is the drastic increase in the societal metabolism, which is accomplished through labour. In this article, we examine the societal metabolism-labour nexus in two energy regimes: a valley in the Ethiopian highlands, typical of an agrarian society, and a village in Austria, typical of an industrial society. In the Ethiopian village, the supply of food demands almost the entire labour force, thus limiting the capacity to facilitate material flows beyond food provision. In the Austrian village, fewer working hours, lower workloads but 50 times higher useful energy allow to accumulate stocks like buildings 70 times higher than the Ethiopian case. With fossil energy, industrial societies decisively expand their energy supply and reduce labour hours at the cost of high carbon emissions, which are almost non-existent in the Ethiopian case. To overcome the resulting ecological crises, there is a call to drastically reduce fossil fuel consumption. Such an abandonment of fossil fuels might have as far reaching consequences for the societal metabolism-labour nexus and consequently human labour as the introduction of fossil fuels has had. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Challenges for Social-Ecological Transformations: Contributions from Social and Political Ecology
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1045; doi:10.3390/su9071045
Received: 6 February 2017 / Revised: 31 May 2017 / Accepted: 4 June 2017 / Published: 26 June 2017
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (294 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Transformation has become a major topic of sustainability research. This opens up new perspectives, but at the same time, runs the danger to convert into a new critical orthodoxy which narrows down analytical perspectives. Most research is committed towards a political-strategic approach towards
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Transformation has become a major topic of sustainability research. This opens up new perspectives, but at the same time, runs the danger to convert into a new critical orthodoxy which narrows down analytical perspectives. Most research is committed towards a political-strategic approach towards transformation. This focus, however, clashes with ongoing transformation processes towards un-sustainability. The paper presents cornerstones of an integrative approach to social-ecological transformations (SET), which builds upon empirical work and conceptual considerations from Social Ecology and Political Ecology. We argue that a critical understanding of the challenges for societal transformations can be advanced by focusing on the interdependencies between societies and the natural environment. This starting point provides a more realistic understanding of the societal and biophysical constraints of sustainability transformations by emphasising the crisis-driven and contested character of the appropriation of nature and the power relations involved. Moreover, it pursues a transdisciplinary mode of research, decisive for adequately understanding any strategy for transformations towards sustainability. Such a conceptual approach of SET is supposed to better integrate the analytical, normative and political-strategic dimension of transformation research. We use the examples of global land use patterns, neo-extractivism in Latin America and the global water crisis to clarify our approach. Full article
Open AccessArticle Extractive Economies in Material and Political Terms: Broadening the Analytical Scope
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1047; doi:10.3390/su9071047
Received: 3 February 2017 / Revised: 17 May 2017 / Accepted: 19 May 2017 / Published: 26 June 2017
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Abstract
In order to curb environmental impact, absolute resource use reductions are urgently needed. To reach this goal, multi-scalar synergies and trade-offs in global resource use must be effectively addressed. We propose that better understanding the role of extractive economies—economies that extract raw material
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In order to curb environmental impact, absolute resource use reductions are urgently needed. To reach this goal, multi-scalar synergies and trade-offs in global resource use must be effectively addressed. We propose that better understanding the role of extractive economies—economies that extract raw material for export—in global resource use patterns is a prerequisite to identifying such synergies and trade-offs. By combining a system-wide environmental accounting perspective with insights from political ecology and political economy research, we demonstrate that (1) the extractivist expansion may be the corollary of reduced immediate environmental impact in the industrialized countries; and (2) the material flow patterns on which this result is based do not suffice to identify the mechanisms underlying extractivist development and its role in global resource use. Our work on extractive economies illustrates that, in order to supply transformative knowledge for sustainability transformation, biophysical and socio-political conceptualizations of society-nature relations must be more strongly integrated within the interdisciplinary sustainability sciences in general and social ecology in particular. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Social Ecology as Critical, Transdisciplinary Science—Conceptualizing, Analyzing and Shaping Societal Relations to Nature
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1050; doi:10.3390/su9071050
Received: 31 January 2017 / Revised: 3 April 2017 / Accepted: 8 April 2017 / Published: 26 June 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (851 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The sustainability discourse is, essentially, centered on the question of how complex relations between nature and society can be conceptualized, analyzed and shaped. In this paper, we present a specific interpretation of social ecology as an attempt to address this question. For this
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The sustainability discourse is, essentially, centered on the question of how complex relations between nature and society can be conceptualized, analyzed and shaped. In this paper, we present a specific interpretation of social ecology as an attempt to address this question. For this purpose, we establish Frankfurt Social Ecology (FSE) as a formal research program, which is based on the concept of societal relations to nature (SRN). The basic idea of the SRN concept is to put the modern distinction between nature and society at the start of a critical analysis. Such an analysis, we argue, has to focus on the interplay between what we call patterns and modes of regulation. Whereas patterns of regulation stand for the material and symbolic aspects of the organization of the individual and societal satisfaction of needs, modes of regulation mirror the norms and power structures of a society. Using an approach that is based on reformulating social-ecological systems as provisioning systems, we show how this interplay can be analyzed empirically. Finally, we propose critical transdisciplinarity as the research mode of choice of FSE. To conclude, we discuss how FSE can contribute to the development of a research program for a sustainable Anthropocene. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Biological Treatment of Fish Processing Saline Wastewater for Reuse as Liquid Fertilizer
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1062; doi:10.3390/su9071062
Received: 19 April 2017 / Revised: 13 June 2017 / Accepted: 14 June 2017 / Published: 24 June 2017
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Abstract
The fish processing sector contributes serious organic pollution loads and high salinity to receiving waters. This research aimed to study the effect of salt (NaCl) concentration on the treatment efficiency of fish processing wastewater in a continuous flow system by natural biodegradation. This
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The fish processing sector contributes serious organic pollution loads and high salinity to receiving waters. This research aimed to study the effect of salt (NaCl) concentration on the treatment efficiency of fish processing wastewater in a continuous flow system by natural biodegradation. This research also focused on the use of a laboratory-scale bioreactor, which is operated in an aerobic continuous flow system with a 5-day cycle treatment of three different concentrations of diluted fish processing wastewater (30-, 50-, and 100-fold) with salt concentrations varying from 0% to 7% w/v NaCl. The evaluation of system performance at nine different operating hydraulic retention times (HRT) that range from 2–10 days indicated that the substrate removal rates increase with the increase in HRT along with the increasing wastewater concentration. The optimum biomass yield was found at the 8-day HRT, and the highest substrate removal was obtained at 10-day HRT. The study on 11 different salt contents in wastewater at the optimal HRTs of 10, nine, and eight days showed the existence of inhibition effects on biomass growth and substrate removal from 3.0% salt concentration. The treated wastewater without offensive odor is feasible for its reutilization as an environmental friendly liquid fertilizer. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Determination of the Height of the Water-Conducting Fractured Zone in Difficult Geological Structures: A Case Study in Zhao Gu No. 1 Coal Seam
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1077; doi:10.3390/su9071077
Received: 20 April 2017 / Revised: 15 June 2017 / Accepted: 15 June 2017 / Published: 22 June 2017
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Abstract
The method for determining the upper limit for safe mining with regard to water and sand collapse prevention under thick alluvium and thin bedrock layers is a critical parameter for ensuring the sustainable development of a mine. The height of the water-conducting fractured
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The method for determining the upper limit for safe mining with regard to water and sand collapse prevention under thick alluvium and thin bedrock layers is a critical parameter for ensuring the sustainable development of a mine. The height of the water-conducting fractured zone (HWCFZ) is an important index parameter in the prediction and prevention of water and sand collapse. This research was conducted based on the concrete geological condition of the Zhao Gu No. 1 coal mine. First, a field measurement method was used to observe the HWCFZ of a mined panel. The discrete element method was applied to establish a corresponding model, which was calibrated using the measurement data. Then, calculation models for different bedrock thicknesses were developed to analyze the evolution law of the water-conducting fractured zone at different bedrock thicknesses and mining heights. The safe mining upper limits for different bedrock thicknesses were obtained. The relationships between the developing HWCFZ and bedrock thickness/mining height were determined. Using the research results as the main indices, an industrial experiment was performed on the 11,191 panel. The partition limit mining height was implemented in the panel, and safe production was realized. On the basis of the research results, 40,199,336.3 t of coal resources were successfully released, increasing the resource recovery rate by 31.72% and extending the mine service life by 12.5 years. This study not only provided technical support for the sustainable development of the Zhao Gu No. 1 coal seam, but could also be used for safe and highly efficient mining in other coal mines under similar geological conditions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Application of Protection Motivation Theory to Investigate Sustainable Waste Management Behaviors
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1079; doi:10.3390/su9071079
Received: 8 May 2017 / Revised: 16 June 2017 / Accepted: 20 June 2017 / Published: 22 June 2017
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Abstract
The aim of this study is to explain individuals’ engagement in sustainable waste management behaviors (SWMBs) based on the application of protection motivation theory (PMT). SWMBs include waste avoidance, green purchasing, reuse and recycle, and waste disposal behaviors. Considering the amount of solid
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The aim of this study is to explain individuals’ engagement in sustainable waste management behaviors (SWMBs) based on the application of protection motivation theory (PMT). SWMBs include waste avoidance, green purchasing, reuse and recycle, and waste disposal behaviors. Considering the amount of solid waste generation per capita per day during the past 10 years, the statistical records from the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) illustrate the increasing trend of solid waste generation from 1.18 kg per capita per day in 2005 to 1.28 kg per capita per day 2015. Many scholars have asserted that human beings should alter their behaviors to successfully reduce their environmental impact. Several environmental problems (e.g., air pollution, water pollution, and odors) caused by waste disposal are consequences of human behaviors; therefore, citizens’ engagement in SWMBs should be widely promoted. This study applies PMT to explore how individuals’ SWMBs are influenced by their perceived threats caused by environmental contamination from waste disposal and their perceived coping capability. The Bangkok metropolitan area was selected as a case study because it has faced serious waste management problems, caused by increasing amounts of solid waste over the last ten years. Questionnaire surveys were administered to 193 public and private office workers residing in the city of Bangkok. Multiple linear regression analyses were performed to justify the effects of individual threat appraisal and coping appraisal on SWMB engagement. The results illustrated that respondents’ self-efficacy could explain all types of SWMBs. On the contrary, response efficacy was not a significant predictor of all behaviors. People’s perceived severity of adverse consequences caused by pollutants could significantly explain their waste disposal and reuse and recycle behaviors, and the perceived probability of being impacted by pollutants could explain only reuse and recycling behaviors. Thus, PMT may be well suited for explaining low-cost and simple SWMBs that require less effort. To promote people’s engagement in each type of SWMB, different communication campaigns should be established. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Variation of Land-Expropriated Farmers’ Willingness: A Perspective of Employment and Inhabitance
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1083; doi:10.3390/su9071083
Received: 4 April 2017 / Revised: 13 June 2017 / Accepted: 17 June 2017 / Published: 22 June 2017
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Abstract
Understanding land-expropriated farmers’ welfare change and the determinants of their willingness to change is very important for sustainable urbanization and social stability in developing countries. However, this issue has been seldom explored in previous studies, especially in China. This paper aims to enrich
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Understanding land-expropriated farmers’ welfare change and the determinants of their willingness to change is very important for sustainable urbanization and social stability in developing countries. However, this issue has been seldom explored in previous studies, especially in China. This paper aims to enrich this field by conducting an empirical study using a household survey in 2014 in Nanjing, a major city in the Yangtze River Delta. The impacts of land expropriation on the variation of land-expropriated farmers’ employment and inhabitance are explored, while the determinants of land-expropriated farmers’ willingness are estimated using ordered logistic regression. Results show that the land-expropriated farmers pay more attention to the changes of employment and inhabitance after land expropriation, rather than land expropriation itself. While employment aspects were key determinants of the farmers’ willingness in 1996, factors relating to inhabitance aspects have become more important nowadays. Moreover, it is necessary to grasp the changing rules of land-expropriated farmers’ interest appeals in order to adjust the compensation and resettlement policies according to local conditions. Thus, this will improve land-expropriated farmers’ willingness. Meanwhile, the government should create a better expectation of employment and inhabitance after land expropriation for farmers. Furthermore, the government should also build a land expropriation information sharing and feedback mechanism in addition to improve the employment and housing security system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle Conservation Farming and Changing Climate: More Beneficial than Conventional Methods for Degraded Ugandan Soils
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1084; doi:10.3390/su9071084
Received: 13 March 2017 / Revised: 7 June 2017 / Accepted: 14 June 2017 / Published: 30 June 2017
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Abstract
The extent of land affected by degradation in Uganda ranges from 20% in relatively flat and vegetation-covered areas to 90% in the eastern and southwestern highlands. Land degradation has adversely affected smallholder agro-ecosystems including direct damage and loss of critical ecosystem services such
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The extent of land affected by degradation in Uganda ranges from 20% in relatively flat and vegetation-covered areas to 90% in the eastern and southwestern highlands. Land degradation has adversely affected smallholder agro-ecosystems including direct damage and loss of critical ecosystem services such as agricultural land/soil and biodiversity. This study evaluated the extent of bare grounds in Nakasongola, one of the districts in the Cattle Corridor of Uganda and the yield responses of maize (Zea mays) and common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) to different tillage methods in the district. Bare ground was determined by a supervised multi-band satellite image classification using the Maximum Likelihood Classifier (MLC). Field trials on maize and bean grain yield responses to tillage practices used a randomized complete block design with three replications, evaluating conventional farmer practice (CFP); permanent planting basins (PPB); and rip lines, with or without fertilizer in maize and bean rotations. Bare ground coverage in the Nakasongola District was 187 km2 (11%) of the 1741 km2 of arable land due to extreme cases of soil compaction. All practices, whether conventional or the newly introduced conservation farming practices in combination with fertilizer increased bean and maize grain yields, albeit with minimal statistical significance in some cases. The newly introduced conservation farming tillage practices increased the bean grain yield relative to conventional practices by 41% in PPBs and 43% in rip lines. In maize, the newly introduced conservation farming tillage practices increased the grain yield by 78% on average, relative to conventional practices. Apparently, conservation farming tillage methods proved beneficial relative to conventional methods on degraded soils, with the short-term benefit of increasing land productivity leading to better harvests and food security. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agricultural and Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle Organizational Boundary Change in Industrial Symbiosis: Revisiting the Guitang Group in China
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1085; doi:10.3390/su9071085
Received: 28 March 2017 / Revised: 13 June 2017 / Accepted: 16 June 2017 / Published: 22 June 2017
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Abstract
This study revisits the Guitang Group, one of the best known industrial symbiosis cases in the sugar industry. Our goal is to offer an evolutionary understanding of industrial symbiosis at the Guitang Group. This article focuses on the organizational boundary change of the
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This study revisits the Guitang Group, one of the best known industrial symbiosis cases in the sugar industry. Our goal is to offer an evolutionary understanding of industrial symbiosis at the Guitang Group. This article focuses on the organizational boundary change of the Guitang Group over time, and acknowledges this process as one of the seven industrial symbiosis dynamics proposed by Boons et al. We offer a historical view of the critical forces behind Guitang’s industrial symbiosis evolution since the 1950s; particularly how these changes were influenced by broader economic and institutional contexts of importance in China. These insights include the role of institutionalized research and development (R&D) as well as technology-oriented leadership as driving forces for Guitang’s innovation, particularly since the 1990s, when greater efficiency and productivity were emphasized, leading to the establishment of further symbiotic relationships in the company’s evolutionary process. As a result, the Guitang Group grew from 2 internal to 11 internal and external symbiotic exchanges and is now a conglomeration with more than 3000 employees generating more than 1 billion RMB (150 million USD) in revenue annually. The driving forces of the Guitang Group’s industrial symbiosis evolution helped to create, disseminate and share information by continuously reinforcing the industrial symbiosis message as part of the Guitang Group’s business model and competitive strategy. In addition, state-level policies such as establishing the Guigang (the city where Guitang is located) Eco-Industrial Park enabled industrial symbiosis in Guitang. This study provides prospects for future research on the organizational boundary change dynamic of industrial symbiosis in the sugar manufacturing industry and beyond. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diverse Dynamics of Industrial Symbiosis: Emergence and Development)
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Open AccessArticle Sustainable Land-Use Planning to Improve the Coastal Resilience of the Social-Ecological Landscape
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1086; doi:10.3390/su9071086
Received: 8 May 2017 / Revised: 13 June 2017 / Accepted: 15 June 2017 / Published: 22 June 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3237 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The dynamics of land-use transitions decrease the coastal resilience of the social-ecological landscape (SEL), particularly in light of the fact that it is necessary to analyze the causal relationship between the two systems because operations of the social system and the ecological system
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The dynamics of land-use transitions decrease the coastal resilience of the social-ecological landscape (SEL), particularly in light of the fact that it is necessary to analyze the causal relationship between the two systems because operations of the social system and the ecological system are correlated. The purpose of this study is to analyze the dynamics of the coastal SEL and create a sustainable land-use planning (SLUP) strategy to enhance coastal resilience. The selected study site was Shindu-ri, South Korea, where land-use transitions are increasing and coastal resilience is therefore decreasing. Systems thinking was used to analyze the study, which was performed in four steps. First, the issues affecting the coastal area in Shindu-ri were defined as coastal landscape management, the agricultural structure, and the tourism industry structure. Second, the main variables for each issue were defined, and causal relationships between the main variables were created. Third, a holistic causal loop diagram was built based on both dynamic thinking and causal thinking. Fourth, five land-uses, including those of the coastal forest, the coastal grassland, the coastal dune, the agricultural area, and developed sites, were selected as leverage points for developing SLUP strategies to increase coastal resilience. The results show that “decrease in the size of the coastal forest”, “decrease in the size of the coastal dune”, and “increase in the size of the coastal grasslands” were considered parts of a land-use plan to enhance the resilience of the Shindu-ri SEL. This study developed integrated coastal land-use planning strategies that may provide effective solutions for complex and dynamic issues in the coastal SEL. Additionally, the results may be utilized as basic data to build and implement coastal land-use planning strategies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Study Informing Policy on Chinese Ancient Town Tourism Based on a Tourist Satisfaction Survey: A Case Study in the City of Chengdu
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1087; doi:10.3390/su9071087
Received: 6 April 2017 / Revised: 12 June 2017 / Accepted: 18 June 2017 / Published: 22 June 2017
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Abstract
This paper discusses the customer satisfaction of tourists in Chengdu and proposes corresponding countermeasures for tourism development of Chinese traditional areas. The Customer Satisfaction (CS) analysis method is applied to draw the following conclusions: visitors are satisfied with the historical landscapes—such as traditional
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This paper discusses the customer satisfaction of tourists in Chengdu and proposes corresponding countermeasures for tourism development of Chinese traditional areas. The Customer Satisfaction (CS) analysis method is applied to draw the following conclusions: visitors are satisfied with the historical landscapes—such as traditional historical streets, historical buildings as well as waterside landscapes, natural landscapes and infrastructures—which are the key points in the future development of tourism, and are essential to maintain. On the other hand, priority should be given to improving the current shortfalls, namely the protection and improvement of traditional culture, such as the spirit and experience of local life, as well as the experience of traditional culture. In this regard, it is recommended that direct measures are taken, such as preventing the loss of local residents and calling for a return of indigenous people to their hometowns to maintain local traditional cultures. What is fundamentally necessary is to help local residents understand tourists’ desperate demands for local traditional cultural resources. In parallel, it will be important to inspire local residents to value and celebrate their traditional cultural lives and resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cultural Tourism and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Distributed Optimisation Algorithm for Demand Side Management in a Grid-Connected Smart Microgrid
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1088; doi:10.3390/su9071088
Received: 21 April 2017 / Revised: 9 June 2017 / Accepted: 19 June 2017 / Published: 22 June 2017
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Abstract
The contributions of Distributed Energy Generation (DEG) and Distributed Energy Storage (DES) for Demand Side Management (DSM) purposes in a smart macrogrid or microgrid cannot be over-emphasised. However, standalone DEG and DES can lead to under-utilisation of energy generation by consumers and financial
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The contributions of Distributed Energy Generation (DEG) and Distributed Energy Storage (DES) for Demand Side Management (DSM) purposes in a smart macrogrid or microgrid cannot be over-emphasised. However, standalone DEG and DES can lead to under-utilisation of energy generation by consumers and financial investments; in grid-connection mode, though, DEG and DES can offer arbitrage opportunities for consumers and utility provider(s). A grid-connected smart microgrid comprising heterogeneous (active and passive) smart consumers, electric vehicles and a large-scale centralised energy storage is considered in this paper. Efficient energy management by each smart entity is carried out by the proposed Microgrid Energy Management Distributed Optimisation Algorithm (MEM-DOA) installed distributively within the network according to consumer type. Each smart consumer optimises its energy consumption and trading for comfort (demand satisfaction) and profit. The proposed model was observed to yield better consumer satisfaction, higher financial savings, and reduced Peak-to-Average-Ratio (PAR) demand on the utility grid. Other associated benefits of the model include reduced investment on peaker plants, grid reliability and environmental benefits. The MEM-DOA also offered participating smart consumers energy and tariff incentives so that passive smart consumers do not benefit more than active smart consumers, as was the case with some previous energy management algorithms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Grid)
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Open AccessArticle Hybrid and Cooperative Strategies Using Harmony Search and Artificial Immune Systems for Solving the Nurse Rostering Problem
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1090; doi:10.3390/su9071090
Received: 17 April 2017 / Revised: 15 June 2017 / Accepted: 20 June 2017 / Published: 22 June 2017
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Abstract
The nurse rostering problem is an important search problem that features many constraints. In a nurse rostering problem, these constraints are defined by processes such as maintaining work regulations, assigning nurse shifts, and considering nurse preferences. A number of approaches to address these
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The nurse rostering problem is an important search problem that features many constraints. In a nurse rostering problem, these constraints are defined by processes such as maintaining work regulations, assigning nurse shifts, and considering nurse preferences. A number of approaches to address these constraints, such as penalty function methods, have been investigated in the literature. We propose two types of hybrid metaheuristic approaches for solving the nurse rostering problem, which are based on combining harmony search techniques and artificial immune systems to balance local and global searches and prevent slow convergence speeds and prematurity. The proposed algorithms are evaluated against a benchmarking dataset of nurse rostering problems; the results show that they identify better or best known solutions compared to those identified in other studies for most instances. The results also show that the combination of harmony search and artificial immune systems is better suited than using single metaheuristic or other hybridization methods for finding upper-bound solutions for nurse rostering problems and discrete optimization problems. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Introducing Flexibility to Complex, Resilient Socio-Ecological Systems: A Comparative Analysis of Economics, Flexible Manufacturing Systems, Evolutionary Biology, and Supply Chain Management
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1091; doi:10.3390/su9071091
Received: 8 December 2016 / Revised: 15 June 2017 / Accepted: 19 June 2017 / Published: 22 June 2017
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Abstract
In this paper, a framework incorporating flexibility as a characteristic is proposed for designing complex, resilient socio-ecological systems. In an interconnected complex system, flexibility allows prompt deployment of resources where they are needed and is crucial for both innovation and robustness. A comparative
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In this paper, a framework incorporating flexibility as a characteristic is proposed for designing complex, resilient socio-ecological systems. In an interconnected complex system, flexibility allows prompt deployment of resources where they are needed and is crucial for both innovation and robustness. A comparative analysis of flexible manufacturing systems, economics, evolutionary biology, and supply chain management is conducted to identify the most important characteristics of flexibility. Evolutionary biology emphasises overlapping functions and multi-functionality, which allow a system with structurally different elements to perform the same function, enhancing resilience. In economics, marginal cost and marginal expected profit are factors that are considered to be important in incorporating flexibility while making changes to the system. In flexible manufacturing systems, the size of choice sets is important in creating flexibility, as initial actions preserve more options for future actions that will enhance resilience. Given the dynamic nature of flexibility, identifying the characteristics that can lead to flexibility will introduce a crucial dimension to designing resilient and sustainable socio-ecological systems with a long-term perspective in mind. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Green Growth—Magic Bullet or Damp Squib?
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1092; doi:10.3390/su9071092
Received: 27 April 2017 / Revised: 20 June 2017 / Accepted: 20 June 2017 / Published: 23 June 2017
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Abstract
The paper identifies various conceptualisations of green growth with a view to identify the causal mechanisms that can support a green growth policy agenda to investigate the implications of these conceptualisations for measuring progress towards green growth, to identify possible trade-offs and integrate
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The paper identifies various conceptualisations of green growth with a view to identify the causal mechanisms that can support a green growth policy agenda to investigate the implications of these conceptualisations for measuring progress towards green growth, to identify possible trade-offs and integrate measures, and to explore the governance challenges that a green growth agenda is likely to pose against the background that many environmental problems have a bearing on multiple levels of governance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Determinants of Immigration in Europe. The Relevance of Life Expectancy and Environmental Sustainability
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1093; doi:10.3390/su9071093
Received: 10 May 2017 / Revised: 19 June 2017 / Accepted: 20 June 2017 / Published: 23 June 2017
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Abstract
This research analyzes the main variables that determine immigration in Europe and includes aspects related to the economy, population, healthcare, and environmental sustainability. The empirical analysis consists of two sets of data: one made up of all EU member states (EU-28) and the
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This research analyzes the main variables that determine immigration in Europe and includes aspects related to the economy, population, healthcare, and environmental sustainability. The empirical analysis consists of two sets of data: one made up of all EU member states (EU-28) and the other containing countries that form a part of the Eurozone (EU-19), using the Generalized Method of Moments. The sample covers the period between 2000 and 2014, and the data are analyzed separately and comparatively in the most relevant stages during that time (economic prosperity, crisis, and recovery). The most notable results indicate that the variables related to GDP and public debt largely serve to justify the level of immigration since the crisis (2008–2014), while the life expectancy and levels of pollution are determining factors in all three stages examined here. The study concludes that countries in the Eurozone are more sensitive to variation in the variables studied compared to all the EU member states and thus the impact of immigration among the EU-19 countries is more notable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurial Sustainability: New Innovative Knowledge)
Open AccessArticle Corporate Philanthropy Affecting Consumer Patronage Behavior: The Effect of Reciprocity and the Moderating Roles of Vicarious Licensing and Strategic Fit
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1094; doi:10.3390/su9071094
Received: 18 April 2017 / Revised: 11 June 2017 / Accepted: 20 June 2017 / Published: 23 June 2017
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Abstract
This study investigates the manner in which corporate philanthropy affects consumer patronage toward a brand. In so doing, we propose reciprocity as a key mechanism, which manifests the effect of corporate philanthropy on patronage behavior, and examine how vicarious licensing and strategic fit
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This study investigates the manner in which corporate philanthropy affects consumer patronage toward a brand. In so doing, we propose reciprocity as a key mechanism, which manifests the effect of corporate philanthropy on patronage behavior, and examine how vicarious licensing and strategic fit would mitigate the relationship between reciprocity and patronage behavior. The results indicate that reciprocity significantly increases one’s intention to participate in the philanthropic activities that a company supports and the intention to purchase its products. Vicarious licensing is found to lessen the effects of reciprocity on participation intention and purchasing intention. Strategic fit strengthens the path from participation intention to purchasing intention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Quantitative Research on Regional Ecological Compensation from the Perspective of Carbon-Neutral: The Case of Hunan Province, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1095; doi:10.3390/su9071095
Received: 7 April 2017 / Revised: 13 June 2017 / Accepted: 19 June 2017 / Published: 23 June 2017
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Abstract
The reduction in CO2 emissions is very important, as highlighted by the issue of global climate warming. As a developing country, China has great differences in regional economic development, which makes it necessary to implement the ecological compensation of regional carbon emissions
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The reduction in CO2 emissions is very important, as highlighted by the issue of global climate warming. As a developing country, China has great differences in regional economic development, which makes it necessary to implement the ecological compensation of regional carbon emissions to coordinate the relationship between regional economic development and environmental protection. Using the ecological system in Hunan Province, China as the research object, this study analyzed and calculated the carbon emissions and carbon sequestration across different industries and different regions of Hunan using ArcGIS and theoretical model calculation methods. Quantitative research on region ecological compensation was undertaken by establishing the ecological compensation coefficient and ecological compensation model based on the carbon-neutral principal. The results showed that there were significant differences in carbon sources and carbon sequestration in the different cities. Out of all the cities investigated, Changsha had the highest carbon emissions and Huaihua had the largest carbon sequestration. In terms of per capita, Xiangtan had the highest carbon emissions and Zhangjiajie had the largest carbon sequestration. Through the quantification of carbon compensation in the cities of Hunan, we found that Changsha, Zhuzhou, Xiangtan, Hengyang, Yueyang, and Loudi were in a state of ecological deficit, and should pay an amount of ecological compensation, respectively. Meanwhile, the other eight cities (Shaoyang, Changde, Zhangjiajie, Yiyang, Chenzhou, Yongzhou, Huaihua, and Xiangxi) were in a state of ecological surplus; they could receive some ecological compensation, respectively. Our results will provide a reference for areal carbon trading and ecological compensation mechanisms as significant instruments and measures to realize payment for environmental resource services. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Spatiotemporal Fragmentation of Urban Residential Land Use: A Case Study from China
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1096; doi:10.3390/su9071096
Received: 23 March 2017 / Revised: 5 June 2017 / Accepted: 19 June 2017 / Published: 23 June 2017
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Abstract
Given the scarcity of land resources in most Chinese cities, the fragmentation of construction land use is a greater constraint than expansion for urban sustainability. Therefore, there is an urgent need to quantify the fragmentation level of construction land use for planning and
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Given the scarcity of land resources in most Chinese cities, the fragmentation of construction land use is a greater constraint than expansion for urban sustainability. Therefore, there is an urgent need to quantify the fragmentation level of construction land use for planning and managing practices. This study focuses on residential land use, which is one of the most important types of construction land use within built-up urban areas. Based on land use maps of the built-up areas, derived from master plans between 1994 and 2015, multi-spatiotemporal patterns of residential land use fragmentation are classified through a case study of Nantong, a rapidly urbanizing and industrializing city. The results show that the fragmentation of residential land use presented a slight descending trend from 1994 to 2002, and a sharp ascending trend from 2003 to 2015. Moreover, residential land use fragmentation in newly established zones witnessed the highest increase in fragmentation. Additionally, the analysis reveals that the fragmentation of residential land use reflects distinct variations across different urbanization stages, and the fragmentation level of residential land use is related to development density in Nantong city. Finally, socio-economic data was used to provide a quantitative insight into exploring the driving forces through multivariate linear regression. The results show that, triggered by land market reform, residential land use fragmentation in Nantong was mainly due to the rapid growth of the tertiary industry, and government policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Land Use in China)
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Open AccessArticle Energy Efficiency for Airtightness and Exterior Wall Insulation of Passive Houses in Hot Summer and Cold Winter Zone of China
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1097; doi:10.3390/su9071097
Received: 26 May 2017 / Revised: 19 June 2017 / Accepted: 19 June 2017 / Published: 23 June 2017
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Abstract
There exists huge differences in climatic conditions and occupant energy-consuming behavior between Berlin and the “hot summer and cold winter zone of China” (HSCW), which implies that the building energy consumption compositions of two regions are completely different. In this paper, dynamic energy
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There exists huge differences in climatic conditions and occupant energy-consuming behavior between Berlin and the “hot summer and cold winter zone of China” (HSCW), which implies that the building energy consumption compositions of two regions are completely different. In this paper, dynamic energy consumption simulation for passive houses with Design Builder software was performed. The results indicated that the improvement of building airtightness and exterior wall insulation can reduce annual heating and cooling load effectively, and more importantly the effect is much stronger on heating load than cooling load. Because of this, the paper proposed that the ratio of heating and cooling electricity consumption (r) should be adopted as an important index in energy efficiency evaluation of passive houses. It would contribute to the reasonable selection of ventilation modes and the exterior wall heat transfer coefficient, and benefit the healthy development of passive houses in HSCW. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
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Open AccessArticle “Sustainable Packaging Logistics”. The link between Sustainability and Competitiveness in Supply Chains
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1098; doi:10.3390/su9071098
Received: 11 May 2017 / Revised: 13 June 2017 / Accepted: 21 June 2017 / Published: 23 June 2017
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Abstract
Packaging is one element that can support and promote improvements and innovations in sustainable management of supply chains. This multifunctional vision has brought about the approach “sustainable packaging logistics” (SPL), which refers to the integration of packaging design, logistics management and new product
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Packaging is one element that can support and promote improvements and innovations in sustainable management of supply chains. This multifunctional vision has brought about the approach “sustainable packaging logistics” (SPL), which refers to the integration of packaging design, logistics management and new product development. The main aim of this paper is twofold. Firstly, to characterise the main aspects associated with SPL as a preliminary step towards constructing a conceptual model that can be validated in a quantitative way. Secondly, to carry out an exploratory study in the Spanish toy manufacturing sector in order to identify whether SPL deployment promotes changes and innovations in packaging that can lead to improved sustainability. The literature review was conducted via content analysis, and the methodology used to carry out empirical analysis was an electronic questionnaire dealing with aspects of SPL. The number of toy manufacturers participating in the study was 70. The results analysis indicates that further development of the main aspects of SPL actively contributes to better sustainable performance in almost all items considered in the study. The SPL approach is considered particularly innovative, because there is a scarcity of literature that deals jointly with packaging, logistics and sustainability from an empirical standpoint, rather than just the analysis of case studies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Study on a JWT-Based User Authentication and API Assessment Scheme Using IMEI in a Smart Home Environment
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1099; doi:10.3390/su9071099
Received: 28 March 2017 / Revised: 18 June 2017 / Accepted: 20 June 2017 / Published: 23 June 2017
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Abstract
The development of information and communication technology (ICT) has opened the era of the Internet of Things (IoT), in which many devices can connect to the Internet to communicate. Recently, various technologies, such as smart grids, connected cars, and smart farms, have emerged
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The development of information and communication technology (ICT) has opened the era of the Internet of Things (IoT), in which many devices can connect to the Internet to communicate. Recently, various technologies, such as smart grids, connected cars, and smart farms, have emerged based on IoT, and there is also the smart home, which is the fastest growing market. The smart home is where devices installed for various purposes connect to each other through the Internet so that users can use the service anytime and anywhere. However, while the smart home provides convenience to users, recently the smart home has been exposed to various security threats, such as vulnerability of session/cookies and the use of vulnerable OAuth. In addition, attacks on smart homes by hackers using these vulnerabilities are also increasing. Therefore, in this paper, we propose a user authentication method using the JSON Web Token (JWT) and International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) in the smart home, and solved the problem of unauthorized smart home device registration of hackers by the application of IMEI and JWT technology. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Advanced IT based Future Sustainable Computing)
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Open AccessArticle Exploring Suitable Technology for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) Based on a Hidden Markov Model Using Patent Information and Value Chain Analysis
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1100; doi:10.3390/su9071100
Received: 19 May 2017 / Revised: 16 June 2017 / Accepted: 19 June 2017 / Published: 23 June 2017
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Abstract
R&D cooperative efforts between large firms and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have been accelerated to develop innovative projects and deploy profitable businesses. In general, win-win alliances between large firms and SMEs for sustainable growth require the pre-evaluation of their capabilities to explore
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R&D cooperative efforts between large firms and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have been accelerated to develop innovative projects and deploy profitable businesses. In general, win-win alliances between large firms and SMEs for sustainable growth require the pre-evaluation of their capabilities to explore high potential partners for successful collaborations. Thus, this research proposes a systematic method that identifies SME-suitable technology where SMEs have a competitive edge in R&D collaborations. First, such technology fields are identified by various factors that influence successful R&D activities by applying the Hidden Markov Model (HMM) and using information on value chains of an industry. To identify these fields, innovation factors such as the current impact index and technology cycle time are composed using the bibliographic information of patents. Second, patent information is analyzed to obtain observation probability in terms of technical competitiveness, and value chain data is used to calculate transition probability in HMMs. Finally, the Viterbi algorithm is employed to formulate the aforementioned two types of probability as a tool for selecting appropriate fields for SMEs. This paper applies the proposed approach to the solar photovoltaic industry to explore SME-suitable technologies. This research can contribute to help develop successful R&D partnership between large firms and SMEs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Big Data and Predictive Analytics for Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Assessing Uncertainties of Well-To-Tank Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Hydrogen Supply Chains
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1101; doi:10.3390/su9071101
Received: 31 May 2017 / Revised: 16 June 2017 / Accepted: 21 June 2017 / Published: 23 June 2017
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Abstract
Hydrogen is a promising energy carrier in the clean energy systems currently being developed. However, its effectiveness in mitigating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions requires conducting a lifecycle analysis of the process by which hydrogen is produced and supplied. This study focuses on the
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Hydrogen is a promising energy carrier in the clean energy systems currently being developed. However, its effectiveness in mitigating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions requires conducting a lifecycle analysis of the process by which hydrogen is produced and supplied. This study focuses on the hydrogen for the transport sector, in particular renewable hydrogen that is produced from wind- or solar PV-powered electrolysis. A life cycle inventory analysis is conducted to evaluate the Well-to-Tank (WtT) GHG emissions from various renewable hydrogen supply chains. The stages of the supply chains include hydrogen being produced overseas, converted into a transportable hydrogen carrier (liquid hydrogen or methylcyclohexane), imported to Japan by sea, distributed to hydrogen filling stations, restored from the hydrogen carrier to hydrogen and filled into fuel cell vehicles. For comparison, an analysis is also carried out with hydrogen produced by steam reforming of natural gas. Foreground data related to the hydrogen supply chains are collected by literature surveys and the Japanese life cycle inventory database is used as the background data. The analysis results indicate that some of renewable hydrogen supply chains using liquid hydrogen exhibited significantly lower WtT GHG emissions than those of a supply chain of hydrogen produced by reforming of natural gas. A significant piece of the work is to consider the impacts of variations in the energy and material inputs by performing a probabilistic uncertainty analysis. This suggests that the production of renewable hydrogen, its liquefaction, the dehydrogenation of methylcyclohexane and the compression of hydrogen at the filling station are the GHG-intensive stages in the target supply chains. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrogen Economy: Technology and Social Issue)
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Open AccessArticle Use of Video and 3D Scenario Visualisation to Rate Vegetation Screens for Integrating Buildings into the Landscape
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1102; doi:10.3390/su9071102
Received: 20 April 2017 / Revised: 14 June 2017 / Accepted: 19 June 2017 / Published: 23 June 2017
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Abstract
Human actions in the natural environment create a visual impact. The main objective of this study was to examine the acceptance of vegetation screens for integrating buildings into the landscape using new techniques of visualization in three dimensions (3D), videos and public participation.
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Human actions in the natural environment create a visual impact. The main objective of this study was to examine the acceptance of vegetation screens for integrating buildings into the landscape using new techniques of visualization in three dimensions (3D), videos and public participation. The status quo of two study areas representative of the Mediterranean climate in Spain (one inland and one coastal) was modelled, placing vegetation screens around a building typical of the area and varying the density, species, and layout of plants. After establishing a series of scenarios, videos showing a simulation of outdoor tourism activities performed at varying speeds were created to analyse how movement affects the perception of the combination of a building and vegetation screen in the versions created. The 3D models generated were subjected to a survey for public participation and to allow respondents to rate their preferences of the videos created. The results show that adding vegetation always improves the integration of buildings into the landscape. The most highly rated vegetation screen placed around the buildings in the two scenarios was high density vegetation, irrespective of the layout or species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
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Open AccessArticle Development of the Korean Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment Tool (VESTAP)—Centered on Health Vulnerability to Heat Waves
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1103; doi:10.3390/su9071103
Received: 2 May 2017 / Revised: 2 June 2017 / Accepted: 19 June 2017 / Published: 24 June 2017
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Abstract
The purpose of this study was to develop a Korean climate change vulnerability assessment tool, the Vulnerability Assessment Tool to build Climate Change Adaptation Plan (VESTAP). Based on Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change methodology, VESTAP can be used to evaluate Korea’s vulnerability to
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The purpose of this study was to develop a Korean climate change vulnerability assessment tool, the Vulnerability Assessment Tool to build Climate Change Adaptation Plan (VESTAP). Based on Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change methodology, VESTAP can be used to evaluate Korea’s vulnerability to major climate impacts (including 32 conditions in 8 categories). VESTAP is based on RCP 4.5/8.5 scenarios and can provide evaluation results in 10-year intervals from the 2010s to 2040s. In addition, this paper presents the results of a case study using VESTAP for targeted assessment of health vulnerability to heat waves under the RCP 8.5 scenario for the 2040s. Through vulnerability assessment at the province level in South Korea, Daegu Metropolitan City was identified as the most vulnerable region. The municipality and submunicipality levels of Daegu were also assessed in separate stages. The results indicated that Pyeongni 3-Dong in Seo-Gu was most vulnerable. Through comprehensive analysis of the results, the climate exposure index was identified as the greatest contributor to health vulnerability in Korea. Regional differences in climate exposure can be moderated by social investment in improving sensitivity and adaptive capacity. This study is significant in presenting a quantitative assessment of vulnerability to climate change by the administrative unit in South Korea. The results of this study are expected to contribute to the efficient development and implementation of climate change adaptation policies in South Korea. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Impacts of Climate Changes: From Sustainability Perspectives)
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Open AccessArticle Assessment of China’s Mitigation Targets in an Effort-Sharing Framework
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1104; doi:10.3390/su9071104
Received: 24 April 2017 / Revised: 23 June 2017 / Accepted: 23 June 2017 / Published: 25 June 2017
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Abstract
Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) are a core component for post-2020 global climate agreements to achieve the 2 °C goal in addressing climate change. In the NDC, China has declared to lower carbon intensity by 60–65% from the 2005 level by 2030 and achieve
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Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) are a core component for post-2020 global climate agreements to achieve the 2 °C goal in addressing climate change. In the NDC, China has declared to lower carbon intensity by 60–65% from the 2005 level by 2030 and achieve the peak of CO2 emissions around 2030. In the context of the 2 °C goal, this study assesses China’s CO2 mitigation targets in the NDC using fair ranges of emissions allowances as calculated from an effort-sharing framework based on six equity principles (and cost-effectiveness). Results show that understanding the fairness of China’s NDC would rely heavily on selected equity principles. If the 65% target is implemented, China’s NDC would position within full ranges of emissions allowances and align with responsibility–capacity–need based on comparisons in 2030, and with responsibility–capacity–need and equal cumulative per capita emissions based on comparisons during 2011–2030. Implications of the NDC on China’s long-term CO2 mitigation targets beyond 2030 are also explored, which indicate that China’s energy system would need to realize carbon neutrality by 2070s at the latest in the scenarios in this study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Open AccessArticle Positioning and Priorities of Growth Management in Construction Industrialization: Chinese Firm-Level Empirical Research
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1105; doi:10.3390/su9071105
Received: 27 March 2017 / Revised: 14 June 2017 / Accepted: 20 June 2017 / Published: 25 June 2017
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Abstract
The purpose of this research is to quantitatively evaluate the growth phase, position, and priorities of the industrialization policy management of the construction industry at firm level. The goal is to integrate quantitative dynamics into the policy-making process for sustainable policy development in
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The purpose of this research is to quantitatively evaluate the growth phase, position, and priorities of the industrialization policy management of the construction industry at firm level. The goal is to integrate quantitative dynamics into the policy-making process for sustainable policy development in future China. This research proposes an integrated framework, including growth management model and industrial policy evaluation method, to identify the challenges of construction industrialization and policy management. The research applies the mixed system method, which includes entropy method and average score method, to analyze the growth stage and major impact indexes targeting 327 survey samples. The empirical results show that the proposed conceptual framework and policy evaluation method could effectively determine the growth position and directions of the construction industrialization. For verification purpose, the study uses the local industry data from Shaanxi Province, China. The calculation results substantiate that the construction industry is in the middle section of the third growth phase. The comparison of the results from statistical methods shows that the local construction industry still needs substantial effort in policy management to improve its sustainable industrialization level. As countermeasures, the policy priorities should concentrate on: (1) enhancing effective cooperation among universities, research institutions and enterprises; (2) improving actions towards technology transfer into productivity; and (3) encouraging market acceptance of construction industrialization. This research complements the existing literature of policy evaluation of construction industrialization. Moreover, it provides theoretical and operational steps on industry policy evaluation and growth management framework, with accurate and ample data analysis on firm-level survey. Researchers and policy makers can use this research for further extensions of policy management for construction industrialization. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Opportunities and Challenges in Public Health Data Collection in Southern Asia: Examples from Western India and Kathmandu Valley, Nepal
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1106; doi:10.3390/su9071106
Received: 24 May 2017 / Revised: 14 June 2017 / Accepted: 19 June 2017 / Published: 26 June 2017
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Abstract
Small-scale local data resources may serve to provide a highly resolved estimate of health effects, which can be spatially heterogeneous in highly populated urban centers in developing countries. We aim to highlight the challenges and opportunities of health data registries in a developing
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Small-scale local data resources may serve to provide a highly resolved estimate of health effects, which can be spatially heterogeneous in highly populated urban centers in developing countries. We aim to highlight the challenges and opportunities of health data registries in a developing world context. In western India, government-collected daily mortality registry data were obtained from five cities, along with daily hospital admissions data from three government hospitals in Ahmedabad. In Nepal, individual-level data on hospital admissions were collected from six major hospitals in Kathmandu Valley. Our process illustrates many challenges for researchers, governments, and record keepers inherent to data collection in developing countries: creating and maintaining a centralized record-keeping system; standardizing the data collected; obtaining data from some local agencies; assuring data completeness and availability of back-ups to the datasets; as well as translating, cleaning, and comparing data within and across localities. We suggest that these “small-data” resources may better serve the analysis of health outcomes than exposure-response functions extrapolated from data collected in other areas of the world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Impacts of Climate Changes: From Sustainability Perspectives)
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Open AccessArticle Ecosystem Services as a Boundary Concept: Arguments from Social Ecology
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1107; doi:10.3390/su9071107
Received: 4 February 2017 / Revised: 20 May 2017 / Accepted: 16 June 2017 / Published: 26 June 2017
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Abstract
Ecosystem services (ES) are defined as the interdependencies between society and nature. Despite several years of conceptual discussions, some challenges of the ES concept are far from being resolved. In particular, the usefulness of the concept for nature protection is questioned, and a
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Ecosystem services (ES) are defined as the interdependencies between society and nature. Despite several years of conceptual discussions, some challenges of the ES concept are far from being resolved. In particular, the usefulness of the concept for nature protection is questioned, and a strong critique is expressed concerning its contribution towards the neoliberal commodification of nature. This paper argues that these challenges can be addressed by dealing more carefully with ES as a boundary concept between different disciplines and between science and society. ES are neither about nature nor about human wellbeing, but about the mutual dependencies between nature and human wellbeing. These mutual interdependencies, however, create tensions and contradictions that manifest themselves in the boundary negotiations between different scientific disciplines and between science and society. This paper shows that approaches from Social Ecology can address these boundary negotiations and the power relations involved more explicitly. Finally, this implies the urgent need for more inter- and transdisciplinary collaboration in ES research. We conclude (1) that the social–ecological nature of ES must be elaborated more carefully while explicitly focussing on the interdependencies between nature and society; (2) to better implement inter- and transdisciplinary methods into ES research; and (3) that such ES research can—and to some extent already does—substantially enhance international research programmes such as Future Earth. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Manager’s Dilemma: Stockholders’ and Consumers’ Responses to Corporate Environmental Efforts
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1108; doi:10.3390/su9071108
Received: 23 May 2017 / Revised: 22 June 2017 / Accepted: 23 June 2017 / Published: 26 June 2017
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Abstract
This study aims to reveal that different stakeholders have different environmental preferences by demonstrating the managers’ dilemma of selecting an appropriate environmental strategy to achieve firms’ corporate goals. It analyzes the effects of firms’ efforts in environmental impact through actual environmental practices and
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This study aims to reveal that different stakeholders have different environmental preferences by demonstrating the managers’ dilemma of selecting an appropriate environmental strategy to achieve firms’ corporate goals. It analyzes the effects of firms’ efforts in environmental impact through actual environmental practices and environmental considerations in environmental management on stockholders’ and consumers’ responses by using the Newsweek Green Rankings 2012 for large US-based firms. The study uses the event study methodology and the ordinary least squares multivariate regression model conditioned with relevant firm and industry-specific characteristics. The results indicate that both stockholders and consumers appreciate corporate efforts in reducing environmental damage; however, consumers exhibit a significant and negative response against firms’ environmental management efforts. The conflicting results provide valuable insights into the alignment of environmental efforts for developing core competencies that lead firms toward sustainability. Further, this research makes a valuable contribution to the existing literature and provides guidelines for the formulation of public policies that encourage corporate environmental efforts to ensure simultaneous development of business and society. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle How the Social-Ecological Systems Concept Can Guide Transdisciplinary Research and Implementation: Addressing Water Challenges in Central Northern Namibia
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1109; doi:10.3390/su9071109
Received: 6 February 2017 / Revised: 13 June 2017 / Accepted: 16 June 2017 / Published: 26 June 2017
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Abstract
Research aimed at contributing to the further development of integrated water resources management needs to tackle complex challenges at the interface of nature and society. A case study in the Cuvelai-Etosha Basin in Namibia has shown how semi-arid conditions coinciding with high population
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Research aimed at contributing to the further development of integrated water resources management needs to tackle complex challenges at the interface of nature and society. A case study in the Cuvelai-Etosha Basin in Namibia has shown how semi-arid conditions coinciding with high population density and urbanisation present a risk to people’s livelihoods and ecosystem health. In order to increase water security and promote sustainable water management, there is a requirement for problem-oriented research approaches combined with a new way of thinking about water in order to generate evidence-based, adapted solutions. Transdisciplinary research in particular addresses this issue by focusing on the problems that arise when society interacts with nature. This article presents the implementation of a transdisciplinary research approach in the above-mentioned case study. The concept of social-ecological systems (SES) plays a key role in operationalising the transdisciplinary research process. Application of the SES concept helps to outline the problem by defining the epistemic object, as well as structure the research process itself in terms of formulating research questions and developing the research design. It is argued here that the SES concept is not merely useful, but also necessary for guiding transdisciplinary sustainability research and implementation. The study from Namibia clearly demonstrates that the introduction of technological innovations such as rainwater and floodwater harvesting plants requires a social-ecological perspective. In particular this means considering questions around knowledge, practices and institutions related to water resources management and includes various societal innovations alongside technologies on the agenda. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Study of Urban Energy Performance Assessment and Its Influencing Factors Based on Improved Stochastic Frontier Analysis: A Case Study of Provincial Capitals in China
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1110; doi:10.3390/su9071110
Received: 23 May 2017 / Revised: 18 June 2017 / Accepted: 21 June 2017 / Published: 26 June 2017
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Abstract
To improve energy-use sustainability in cities, we proposed a set of urban energy performance assessment indicators and influencing factors based on existing theory and literature. An urban energy performance assessment and influencing factor model was also constructed by the improved stochastic frontier analysis
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To improve energy-use sustainability in cities, we proposed a set of urban energy performance assessment indicators and influencing factors based on existing theory and literature. An urban energy performance assessment and influencing factor model was also constructed by the improved stochastic frontier analysis method, and panel data from provincial capitals in China from 2004 to 2013 were considered as an example to carry out an empirical study. Chosen from both endogenous and exogenous perspectives, the urban energy performance assessment indicators and influencing factors take into consideration the capital, labor, energy, urban economic output, urbanization level, population, area, urban climate, and travel selection. Because it considers both random errors and the inefficiency levels of urban productions, the urban energy performance assessment and influencing factor model could reduce the errors caused by two-stage performance assessment and factor analysis, quantify the effects of assessment indicators and influencing factors on urban energy performance, and reflect the actual performance of different cities. Empirical results show that the urban energy performance of provincial capitals in China has been increasing. Chinese provincial capitals also have great potential for energy saving. It was necessary to include energy input as an assessment indicator when evaluating urban energy performance. Population density and urban energy performance showed a negative correlation, but the urbanization rate, temperature index, and household car ownership were positively related to urban energy performance. The urban energy performance of Chinese provincial capitals gradually decreased from east to west. Based on these results, several policy suggestions on urban energy performance development are proposed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Vision Development towards a Sustainable North Rhine-Westphalia 2030 in a Science-Practice-Dialogue
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1111; doi:10.3390/su9071111
Received: 30 April 2017 / Revised: 9 June 2017 / Accepted: 18 June 2017 / Published: 26 June 2017
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Abstract
The paper presents the results of a participatory vision development process in the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) in Germany. The vision development was part of a scientific research project that accompanied the development of a sustainability strategy for NRW at state
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The paper presents the results of a participatory vision development process in the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) in Germany. The vision development was part of a scientific research project that accompanied the development of a sustainability strategy for NRW at state level. The Sustainability Strategy NRW was adopted in July 2016 and contains parts of the vision developed in the research project: Sentences from the narrative text vision and proposed targets and indicators that back-up the vision for a sustainable NRW in 2030 were used by the state of NRW. The vision was developed in iterative steps in three consecutive dialogue rounds with different stakeholders from science and practice. The paper presents the methodological approach and the results of the vision formulation process. The paper discusses the lessons learned from the vision development—from both practical and theoretical perspectives of transition management. The paper explores the relevance of setting ambitious targets for sustainable development as part of a state strategy by taking the proposed target of a “4 × 25% modal split” by 2030 as an example. The project demonstrated that a participatory approach for vision development is time and resource consuming, but worth the effort as it improves the quality and acceptance of a vision. Furthermore, the project demonstrated that transformative science contributes valuable inputs for sustainability transitions and for facilitating participatory vision development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 6th World Sustainability Forum - Selected Papers)
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Open AccessArticle Visitors’ Experience, Place Attachment and Sustainable Behaviour at Cultural Heritage Sites: A Conceptual Framework
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1112; doi:10.3390/su9071112
Received: 4 May 2017 / Revised: 14 June 2017 / Accepted: 21 June 2017 / Published: 26 June 2017
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Abstract
Sustainable tourism research has attracted wide interest from scholars and practitioners. While several heritage sites are mandated to provide optimum visitor satisfaction with increasing competition in the market, managers of heritage sites face growing challenges in striking a balance between consumption and conservation.
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Sustainable tourism research has attracted wide interest from scholars and practitioners. While several heritage sites are mandated to provide optimum visitor satisfaction with increasing competition in the market, managers of heritage sites face growing challenges in striking a balance between consumption and conservation. This calls for promoting more sustainable behaviours among consumers of heritage. This study proposes a conceptualization of sustainable behaviour for heritage consumers. Using the attitude–behaviour relationship underpinned by the Theory of Reasoned Action, it develops and proposes a conceptual framework that integrates visitors’ heritage experiences, their attachment to heritage sites, and their general and site-specific sustainable heritage behaviour and presents their interrelationships as proposed hypotheses. Theoretical contributions and practical implications for heritage site managers are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cultural Tourism and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle From Perceived Values to Shared Values: A Multi-Stakeholder Spatial Decision Analysis (M-SSDA) for Resilient Landscapes
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1113; doi:10.3390/su9071113
Received: 1 February 2017 / Revised: 14 June 2017 / Accepted: 14 June 2017 / Published: 26 June 2017
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Abstract
This paper puts forth a Multi-Stakeholder Spatial Decision Analysis (M-SSDA) which combines Multi-Stakeholders Decision Analysis (M-SDA) and GIS processing based on a collaborative, hybrid and adaptive evaluative approach to support the elaboration of enhancement strategies designed for resilient landscapes. This methodology has been
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This paper puts forth a Multi-Stakeholder Spatial Decision Analysis (M-SSDA) which combines Multi-Stakeholders Decision Analysis (M-SDA) and GIS processing based on a collaborative, hybrid and adaptive evaluative approach to support the elaboration of enhancement strategies designed for resilient landscapes. This methodology has been tested in the research project “Cilento Labscape: An integrated model for the activation of a Living Lab in the National Park of Cilento, Vallo di Diano and Alburni”, which was conducted in the Cilento National Park (Southern Italy). The aim of the methodology is to find alternative touristic routes for the promotion of the Park. The different steps in the process will be described, as will the employment of multiple tools/techniques (interviews, GIS tools, Semantic Analysis, and Geo-Statistical Analysis) to improve the reliability of the decision-making process. The most relevant results of the methodology will also be outlined in terms of the transition from the identification of the perceived landscape’s values to the acknowledgement of the shared values, and their consequent employment for the outlining of new thematic itineraries for the Park. To realise sustainable territorial strategies and preserve the landscape through bottom-up decision-making processes, the different local communities need to gain a new awareness of their identity shared values and make an active contribution towards promoting and managing their site-specific resources. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Predictions of the Potential Geographical Distribution and Quality of a Gynostemma pentaphyllum Base on the Fuzzy Matter Element Model in China
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1114; doi:10.3390/su9071114
Received: 26 April 2017 / Revised: 15 June 2017 / Accepted: 21 June 2017 / Published: 1 July 2017
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Abstract
Specific spatial information about medicinal plants is becoming an increasingly important part of their conservation. Gynostemma pentaphyllum (Thunb.) Makino is a traditional Chinese medical plant, and gypenosides is one of the main active components of G. pentaphyllum. In our research, many samples
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Specific spatial information about medicinal plants is becoming an increasingly important part of their conservation. Gynostemma pentaphyllum (Thunb.) Makino is a traditional Chinese medical plant, and gypenosides is one of the main active components of G. pentaphyllum. In our research, many samples of G. pentaphyllum and the data of gypenosides content in these samples were collected from 43 sampling sites, and based on the Fuzzy Matter Element model (FME), the relationships between gypenosides content and 19 environmental variables were established. Then, the maximum entropy model was used to determine the relative importance of each environmental variable, and thus determine the most limiting habitat criteria. Finally, the weighted average method was applied to determine the potential distribution of G. pentaphyllum in China, which was based on the content of gypenosides. The results showed that the areas of marginally suitable and suitable habitats for G. pentaphyllum in China were approximately 1.2 × 106 km2 and 0.3 × 106 km2, respectively. The suitable habitats were mainly located in southern China, including Hunan, Hubei, Chongqing, Anhui, Jiangxi, Zhejiang, Shaanxi, and other regions. In conclusion, the FME model could accurately evaluate the habitat suitability of G. pentaphyllum, quantify the area of a suitable habitat, and analyze the spatial distribution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle Monitoring, Human Health Risk Assessment and Optimized Management for Typical Pollutants in Indoor Air from Random Families of University Staff, Wuhan City, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1115; doi:10.3390/su9071115
Received: 15 May 2017 / Revised: 16 June 2017 / Accepted: 22 June 2017 / Published: 26 June 2017
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Abstract
In this study, 31 workers at a university were randomly selected for indoor environmental monitoring in Wuhan. Two indicators, formaldehyde and total volatile organic compounds (TVOC), and using 139 monitoring points, monitored the indoor environment (including home and workplace) as well as the
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In this study, 31 workers at a university were randomly selected for indoor environmental monitoring in Wuhan. Two indicators, formaldehyde and total volatile organic compounds (TVOC), and using 139 monitoring points, monitored the indoor environment (including home and workplace) as well as the interior space of the main furniture. This study carried out the environmental quality assessment for TVOC based on the dB index method and the health risk assessment of indoor formaldehyde for the university staff receptors and, then focused on health risk in home environment to carry out detailed environmental health management. The results showed that TVOC in the three types of home spaces exceeded about 80% of the national standard. The excessive formaldehyde ratios for kitchens (79%), bedrooms (77%) and living rooms (74%) were calculated. Formaldehyde health risks all exceeded the United States Environmental Protection Agency, (USEPA) acceptable risk threshold. The formaldehyde concentrations in workplaces were about 0.03 mg·m−3. While the risk contribution of the home environment to the total average health risk (0.0014, whether male and female) is about 96%. For the adapted and unadapted persons, 90% and 55% of the monitoring points were located within the long-term tolerable range of TVOC decibel application, respectively. Long-term exposure to such an environment can lead to the Sick Building Syndrome (SBS). On the other hand, through comparison of the concentration of pollutants in the interior spaces of furniture and home spaces, it was determined tentatively that the pollutants were mainly concentrated in rarely used furniture. In summary, the air pollution in the studied homes of university staff was much serious than that in workplaces, which showed a need to manage TVOC and formaldehyde pollution by the three means: the purchase of green products, removal of internal pollution from furniture, and creating a good indoor volatile diffusion environment to create a healthy home environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Risk Assessment and Management)
Open AccessArticle An Exploratory Analysis of Risks in Green Residential Building Construction Projects: The Case of Singapore
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1116; doi:10.3390/su9071116
Received: 23 May 2017 / Revised: 19 June 2017 / Accepted: 24 June 2017 / Published: 26 June 2017
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Abstract
Recently, an increasing number of green residential buildings have been developed worldwide owing to active promotion from the authorities and increasing interest from customers. However, in the same way as traditional residential buildings, the construction of green residential buildings faces various risks. The
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Recently, an increasing number of green residential buildings have been developed worldwide owing to active promotion from the authorities and increasing interest from customers. However, in the same way as traditional residential buildings, the construction of green residential buildings faces various risks. The aims of this study are to identify and assess the diverse risks in green residential building construction projects, compare their risk criticalities with those in traditional counterparts, and propose helpful risk mitigation measures. To achieve these goals, a comprehensive literature review was first conducted, and a questionnaire was then administered to 30 construction companies in Singapore. Survey results showed that “complex procedures to obtain approvals”, “overlooked high initial cost”, “unclear requirements of owners”, “employment constraint”, and “lack of availability of green materials and equipment” were the top five critical risks in green residential building construction projects. Survey results also showed that green residential building projects were facing risks at a more critical level than those traditional residential building projects. Additionally, this study proposed fourteen risk mitigation measures to tackle the risks in green residential building construction projects. This study has contributed to the body of knowledge by identifying and evaluating the critical risks and mitigation measures in green residential building construction projects. Meanwhile, the findings from this study can also provide an in-depth understanding of risk management in green residential building construction projects to practitioners and thus benefit the practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Management Strategies and Innovations for Sustainable Construction)
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Open AccessArticle Small Scale Hydroelectric Power Plants in Norway. Some Microeconomic and Environmental Considerations
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1117; doi:10.3390/su9071117
Received: 24 April 2017 / Revised: 13 June 2017 / Accepted: 20 June 2017 / Published: 27 June 2017
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Abstract
The development of small-scale hydroelectric power plants in Norway is determined by natural conditions, policies, attitudes and property rights. The owner of the river is the central decision maker. It is he/she who decides whether he/she will develop the power plant himself/herself, whether
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The development of small-scale hydroelectric power plants in Norway is determined by natural conditions, policies, attitudes and property rights. The owner of the river is the central decision maker. It is he/she who decides whether he/she will develop the power plant himself/herself, whether he/he wants to enter into a contract with an external investor and let him/her develop the power plant, whether he/she will sell his/her property rights or postpone the decisions. All available choices will involve risk. In order for him/her to make the best choice, he/she must find the certainty equivalent to each of the choices and choose the one with the highest certainty equivalent. To find the certainty equivalent, we use the utility theory of John von Neumann and Oskar Morgenstern. The owner of the river makes the decision that gives him/her the greatest utility when both economic and non-economic effects are assessed within the opportunity set made by the local and the central authorities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydropower and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle The Effect of Interior Design Elements and Lighting Layouts on Prospective Occupants’ Perceptions of Amenity and Efficiency in Living Rooms
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1119; doi:10.3390/su9071119
Received: 16 May 2017 / Revised: 17 June 2017 / Accepted: 19 June 2017 / Published: 27 June 2017
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Abstract
This study examines the effect of interior design elements on prospective occupants’ perceptions of amenity and efficiency in a residential space. Thirty-one prospective occupants participated in a survey using virtual reality environments that consist of various combinations of interior design elements. In this
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This study examines the effect of interior design elements on prospective occupants’ perceptions of amenity and efficiency in a residential space. Thirty-one prospective occupants participated in a survey using virtual reality environments that consist of various combinations of interior design elements. In this study, occupants’ perceptions were discussed in terms of affordance and satisfaction, and the relationship between them is interpreted statistically. The spatial factors affecting overall satisfaction at a detailed level were discussed. The causal relationship between the interior design elements and space were determined under the elaboration of perception processing. Multiple linear relationships between a limited number of spatial factors and virtually created space were analyzed. The perceived affordance of interior design elements was influenced by priming and concrete behaviors in a space. The materials, surfaces, and colors were weak contributors to clear perceptions about space. The occupants’ evaluative perception processing elaborations were not effectively activated in the assessment of spatial design adequacy (SDA) in terms of materials, surfaces, and colors in a space. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable and Resource–Efficient Homes and Communities)
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Open AccessArticle Comparative Analysis of Intelligent Transportation Systems for Sustainable Environment in Smart Cities
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1120; doi:10.3390/su9071120
Received: 30 April 2017 / Revised: 16 June 2017 / Accepted: 26 June 2017 / Published: 28 June 2017
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Abstract
In recent works on the Internet of Vehicles (IoV), “intelligent” and “sustainable” have been the buzzwords in the context of transportation. Maintaining sustainability in IoV is always a challenge. Sustainability in IoV can be achieved not only by the use of pollution-free vehicular
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In recent works on the Internet of Vehicles (IoV), “intelligent” and “sustainable” have been the buzzwords in the context of transportation. Maintaining sustainability in IoV is always a challenge. Sustainability in IoV can be achieved not only by the use of pollution-free vehicular systems, but also by maintenance of road traffic safety or prevention of accidents or collisions. With the aim of establishing an effective sustainable transportation planning system, this study performs a short analysis of existing sustainable transportation methods in the IoV. This study also analyzes various characteristics of sustainability and the advantages and disadvantages of existing transportation systems. Toward the end, this study provides a clear suggestion for effective sustainable transportation planning aimed at the maintenance of an eco-friendly environment and road traffic safety, which, in turn, would lead to a sustainable transportation system. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Integration of Sustainability into Architectural Education at Accredited Korean Universities
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1121; doi:10.3390/su9071121
Received: 21 April 2017 / Revised: 11 June 2017 / Accepted: 19 June 2017 / Published: 27 June 2017
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Abstract
This paper examines the integration of sustainability principles into architectural education programs at South Korean Universities that have been accredited by the Korea Architectural Accrediting Board (KAAB). Accreditation requires the successful implementation of 30 so-called Student Performance Criteria (SPCs). Similar to recent improvements
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This paper examines the integration of sustainability principles into architectural education programs at South Korean Universities that have been accredited by the Korea Architectural Accrediting Board (KAAB). Accreditation requires the successful implementation of 30 so-called Student Performance Criteria (SPCs). Similar to recent improvements to international architectural education, different principles of sustainability have been successfully implemented by the KAAB. This paper identifies eight sustainability-related SPCs that can be utilized to teach sustainability. The analysis of 48 accredited five-year architectural education program curricula in South Korea has revealed which sustainability-related SPCs are addressed each semester. Furthermore, the average number of credits per sustainability-related SPC in different course types, such as theory courses and design studios, has been identified. Theory courses with an emphasis on sustainability education have been defined as sustainability core courses. The results reveal that a majority of existing programs primarily address environmental aspects of sustainability. Furthermore, a sequential course structure analysis elucidates three main curriculum types, with different potential for integrated sustainability education in sustainability core courses and design studios: (i) sustainability core course preceding (high potential); (ii) sustainability core courses and design studio, accompanying (high potential); and (iii) sustainability core course following (low potential). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adult and Community Education for Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Study on Dynamic Response of Novel Masonry Structures Impacted by Debris Flow
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1122; doi:10.3390/su9071122
Received: 7 May 2017 / Revised: 20 June 2017 / Accepted: 23 June 2017 / Published: 27 June 2017
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Abstract
Debris flow is a very destructive natural disaster. This paper presents a novel masonry structure with strong resistance to debris flow—by using walls that are set with braces and filled with straw bricks. This structure was designed according to the concepts of sustainability.
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Debris flow is a very destructive natural disaster. This paper presents a novel masonry structure with strong resistance to debris flow—by using walls that are set with braces and filled with straw bricks. This structure was designed according to the concepts of sustainability. In order to study the dynamic response of this novel masonry structure under debris flow, finite element models of different masonry structures were established by means of LS-DYNA software. The responses of this novel structure and other traditional structures were calculated and compared when the rock of debris flow hits the center of the wall. Results showed that the out-of-plane stiffness of the impacted wall with cross braces was enhanced in this novel structure, leading to an increased resistance to the impact of debris flow more effectively. Furthermore, braces were able to stop rocks in the debris flow and dissipate the corresponding energy through deformation. These braces also improved anti-collapse capabilities, leading to an increase in the safety of people’s lives and properties. This novel structure is a response to national policies and plans, which plays an active role in promoting sustainable development of society. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Energy Efficiency Gain of Cellular Base Stations with Large-Scale Antenna Systems for Green Information and Communication Technology
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1123; doi:10.3390/su9071123
Received: 26 May 2017 / Revised: 20 June 2017 / Accepted: 22 June 2017 / Published: 27 June 2017
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Abstract
Due to the ever-increasing data demand of end users, the number of information and communication technology (ICT)-related devices and equipment continues to increase. This induces large amounts of heat emissions, which can cause serious environmental pollution. In recent times, signal transmission systems such
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Due to the ever-increasing data demand of end users, the number of information and communication technology (ICT)-related devices and equipment continues to increase. This induces large amounts of heat emissions, which can cause serious environmental pollution. In recent times, signal transmission systems such as cellular base stations (BSs) have been constructed everywhere and these emit a large carbon footprint. Large-scale antenna systems (LSASs) that use a large amount of transmission antennas to serve a limited number of users can increase energy efficiency (EE) of BSs based on the beamforming effect, and thus can be a promising candidate to reduce the carbon footprint of the ICT field. In this paper, we discuss the necessary schemes to realize LSASs and show the expected EE gain of the LSAS with enough practicality. There are many obstacles to realize the high EE LSAS, and even though several studies have shown separate schemes to increase the EE and/or throughput (TP) of LSASs, few have shown combinations of schemes, and presented how much EE gain can be achieved by the schemes in the overall system. Based on the analysis in this paper, we believe more detailed work for the realization of high energy efficient BSs with LSASs is possible because this paper shows the necessary schemes and the maximum achievable energy efficiency gain as a reference. Extensive analysis and simulation results show that with proper implementation of the power amplifier/RF module and a robust channel estimation scheme, LSASs with 600 transmitter (TX) antennas can achieve 99.4 times more EE gain compared to the current systems, thereby resulting in significant reduction of carbon footprints. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Risk Assessment of Drought, Based on IDM-VFS in the Nanpan River Basin, Yunnan Province, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1124; doi:10.3390/su9071124
Received: 3 May 2017 / Revised: 10 June 2017 / Accepted: 20 June 2017 / Published: 27 June 2017
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Abstract
A new model for risk assessment of agricultural drought based on information diffusion method and variable fuzzy sets (IDM-VFS) was proposed. In addition, an integrated index system of agricultural drought risk was established. In the proposed model, IDM was employed to calculate the
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A new model for risk assessment of agricultural drought based on information diffusion method and variable fuzzy sets (IDM-VFS) was proposed. In addition, an integrated index system of agricultural drought risk was established. In the proposed model, IDM was employed to calculate the agricultural drought risk level classification standards, and then the VFS was adopted to assess the dangerousness, sensitivity, vulnerability, and comprehensive risk of agricultural droughts. In the present study, Nanpan River Basin was employed to assess the agricultural drought risk with the proposed model. The results showed that KaiYuan, ShiZong, QiuBei, and ZhanYi have higher dangerousness, due to water shortage. GuangNan have higher sensitivity and vulnerability because of lower drought resistance level and higher crop planting proportion. The comprehensive agricultural drought risk shows apparent regional characteristics: the central, western and northwestern counties have lower risk than the eastern counties. Moreover, most areas of the Nanpan River Basin are of moderate agricultural drought risk grade. The results are consistent with the actual situation of Nanpan River Basin and verify the model’s effectiveness. The study can provide a scientific reference in drought risk management for local governmental agencies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Evaluation and Application of the TRIZ Method for Increasing Eco-Innovative Levels in SMEs
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1125; doi:10.3390/su9071125
Received: 18 April 2017 / Revised: 21 June 2017 / Accepted: 22 June 2017 / Published: 27 June 2017
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Abstract
If in the past, the success of innovation was measured primarily in the economic sphere, recently the non-economic sphere has increasingly become more of a matter of corporate management and, therefore, of innovation management. Management’s acquisition of non-economic aspects has been strongly influenced
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If in the past, the success of innovation was measured primarily in the economic sphere, recently the non-economic sphere has increasingly become more of a matter of corporate management and, therefore, of innovation management. Management’s acquisition of non-economic aspects has been strongly influenced by the vision of sustainable development. Sustainability is a direction of action important for innovation as well, integrating economic, social, and environmental responsibility in the management of innovation, leading to sustainability-oriented innovation (SOI). Research on SOI approached innovation processes has been carried out in large companies, however in recent years the use of TRIZ (teoriya resheniya izobretatelskikh zadach) tools has been tried for SOI. The TRIZ-based approach is a valuable tool because it does not require an encyclopedic knowledge of field-specific technology and it enables the expansion of the scope of problem solutions beyond the skills of the team members. This paper discusses the concepts of sustainability, innovation, and risk management in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for the purpose of developing a flow chart for the implementation of the TRIZ method in SMEs and for evaluating the state of innovation in such companies. Through the use of the TRIZ method in the field of SMEs, fast and efficient processes, products, and sustainable services have been obtained. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Risk Assessment and Management)
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Open AccessArticle Energy Efficiency Drivers in Wastewater Treatment Plants: A Double Bootstrap DEA Analysis
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1126; doi:10.3390/su9071126
Received: 1 May 2017 / Revised: 14 June 2017 / Accepted: 21 June 2017 / Published: 27 June 2017
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Abstract
The relevance of wastewater treatment service has increased in recent years, since it has a significant impact on the natural environment. A treatment plant facilitates energy generation, the recovery of products from waste, and the reuse of wastewater for industrial and irrigation purposes.
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The relevance of wastewater treatment service has increased in recent years, since it has a significant impact on the natural environment. A treatment plant facilitates energy generation, the recovery of products from waste, and the reuse of wastewater for industrial and irrigation purposes. An indirect environmental effect is the high energy consumption for pumping water and for tank aeration. The objective of this research is to develop a tool for measuring the energy costs of wastewater treatment plants and identifying how they can be reduced. The method adopted is double-bootstrap data envelopment analysis. The results show that the variables with a significant influence on efficiency are the chemical oxygen demand concentration; plant capacity; rate of used capacity, which positively affects efficiency; weight of industrial customers, which exerts a negative impact; and aeration system, with a negative impact for turbines. This paper suggests the adoption of an effective control tool to monitor the costs drivers and energy expenditure of water utilities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Impact of Climate Variability on Flowering Phenology and Its Implications for the Schedule of Blossom Festivals
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1127; doi:10.3390/su9071127
Received: 24 May 2017 / Revised: 23 June 2017 / Accepted: 25 June 2017 / Published: 27 June 2017
PDF Full-text (3568 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Many tourism destinations characterized by spring blossom festivals (e.g., cherry blossom festival) became increasingly popular around the world. Usually, spring blossom festivals should be planned within the flowering period of specific ornamental plants. In the context of climate and phenological change, whether the
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Many tourism destinations characterized by spring blossom festivals (e.g., cherry blossom festival) became increasingly popular around the world. Usually, spring blossom festivals should be planned within the flowering period of specific ornamental plants. In the context of climate and phenological change, whether the administrators of tourism destinations had perceived and responded to the flowering phenological variability is still unknown. Using the data of climate, blossom festival dates (BFD) of three tourist attractions, and first flowering dates (FFD) of specific species in Beijing, China, we analyzed the flowering phenological response to temperature and the impact of FFDs on BFDs from 1989 to 2016. It was shown that the flowering time of ornamental plants varied significantly among years in response to temperature variability. The administrators of Beijing Botanical Garden and Yuyuantan Park determined peach BFD and cherry BFD based on their experience rather than FFD of corresponding plants. Therefore, the mismatch between BFD and FFD occurred frequently at these two locations. However, the administrator of Jingshan Park scheduled the peony BFD following the variance of FFD of tree peony. These results revealed the various perceptions of climate change impacts for stakeholders of blossom festivals. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Impact of Vegetative Slope on Water Flow and Pollutant Transport through Embankments
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1128; doi:10.3390/su9071128
Received: 22 May 2017 / Revised: 25 June 2017 / Accepted: 26 June 2017 / Published: 27 June 2017
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Abstract
Embankments are common structures along rivers or lakes in riparian zones in plain areas. They should have natural slopes instead of slopes covered by concrete or other hard materials, in order to rebuild sustainable ecosystems for riparian zones. This study was conducted to
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Embankments are common structures along rivers or lakes in riparian zones in plain areas. They should have natural slopes instead of slopes covered by concrete or other hard materials, in order to rebuild sustainable ecosystems for riparian zones. This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of vegetative slopes on water flow and pollutant transport through the embankments. Three embankments with different slope treatments (a bare slope, a slope covered in centipede grass, a slope covered in tall fescue) were examined, and three inflow applications of pollute water with different concentration of total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) used to simulate different agricultural non-point pollution levels. The results showed that the water flux rates of the three embankments were relatively stable under all inflow events, and almost all values were higher than 80%. The embankments with vegetative slopes had better nitrogen removal than the bare slope under all events, and the one with tall fescue slope was best, but the benefits of vegetative slopes decreased with increasing inflow concentration. Moreover, there were no significant differences between the embankments on phosphorus removal, for which the reductions were all high (above 90%) with most loads remaining in the front third of embankment bodies. Overall, the embankments with vegetative slopes had positive effects on water exchange and reducing non-point pollutant into lake or river water, which provides a quantitative scientific basis for the actual layout of lakeshores. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eutrophication and Sustainable Management of Water)
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Open AccessArticle Simulation on the Future Change of Soil Organic Carbon from Phaeozems under Different Management Practices in Northeast China
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1129; doi:10.3390/su9071129
Received: 28 March 2017 / Revised: 1 June 2017 / Accepted: 19 June 2017 / Published: 28 June 2017
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Abstract
The Phaeozem region is an important grain production base in China and soil fertility has declined under long-term cultivation. Studying soil organic carbon (SOC) change in the upland phaeozem of Northeast China under different tillage modes has great theoretical and practical significance for
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The Phaeozem region is an important grain production base in China and soil fertility has declined under long-term cultivation. Studying soil organic carbon (SOC) change in the upland phaeozem of Northeast China under different tillage modes has great theoretical and practical significance for reducing greenhouse gases emissions, increasing soil carbon stocks, and ensuring food security. This study applied the DAYCENT model to simulate six long-term experimental sites in the phaeozem region, and through calibration and validation analysis, it concluded that the DAYCENT model could effectively simulate the dynamic change of SOC in the upland phaeozems; hence, the relevant parameters of each site were determined. Under future climate scenarios (Representative Concentration Pathway 4.5, RCP 4.5), SOC change in agricultural soils (0–20 cm topsoil) of four different management scenarios (fertilizer application, manure amendment, straw return, no-tillage) was simulated. The overall simulated trend was no-tillage > straw return > manure amendment > fertilizer application. Fertilizer had no evident effect on increasing SOC, but the effect would be better if combined with manure; both straw return and no-tillage had the general effect of improving SOC and the simulated values rose rapidly with a large increasing rate within a short period; however, the increasing rate became gentle after 2050, reached a relatively stable level after 2080, then gradually reached carbon saturation. Untill 2100, the SOC content of each site reached a relatively higher level by adopting the no-tillage treatment, where the SOC contents of Harbin, Hailun, Nehe, Dehui, Gongzhuling and Lishu were 2.36 g/100 g, 2.81 g/100 g, 2.22 g/100 g, 2.38 g/100 g, 1.97 g/100 g and 2.01 g/100 g, respectively. The SOC contents increased by 52.47% when compared with the initial value, and the simulated average annual increase of SOC for 84 years was 0.0082 g/100 g. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Science in Conservation Agricultural Systems)
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Open AccessArticle Complementarity of Hydro, Photovoltaic, and Wind Power in Rio de Janeiro State
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1130; doi:10.3390/su9071130
Received: 20 May 2017 / Revised: 24 June 2017 / Accepted: 26 June 2017 / Published: 29 June 2017
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Abstract
Integrating renewable and intermittent energy sources into the electricity sector challenges traditional energy systems based on predictability and constant supply. Studies oncomplementarity between climate-related resources from different regions and countries are proving to be an efficient means to overcome the variability of single-source
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Integrating renewable and intermittent energy sources into the electricity sector challenges traditional energy systems based on predictability and constant supply. Studies oncomplementarity between climate-related resources from different regions and countries are proving to be an efficient means to overcome the variability of single-source use. Although Rio de Janeiro State (Brazil) has set goals of increasing its use of clean and low carbon energy, there is no study to support the expansion process. Given that, this work aims to assess the complementarity potential of small hydropower plants, wind farms, and photovoltaic panels in the state. Power output estimates have been based on wind speeds, solar radiation and river flow data and without generation technologies assumptions. The Pearson correlation coefficient and linear programming have been used to comprehend and optimize the renewable mix. Daily complementarity has been observed among the energy sources considered, especially between hydro and solar resources. The optimization process showed an improvement of 61% in the total power standard deviation, from the worst—100% hydro power—to the best case—62% of photovoltaic, 21% of wind, and 17% of hydro power. The results highlight the benefits of appropriately joining the three sources and suggest investing in photovoltaic generation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Impact of Biochar Formulation on the Release of Particulate Matter and on Short-Term Agronomic Performance
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1131; doi:10.3390/su9071131
Received: 8 May 2017 / Revised: 21 June 2017 / Accepted: 23 June 2017 / Published: 28 June 2017
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Abstract
When applied in agriculture, the solid carbonaceous residue of anoxic thermochemical conversion of biomass (biochar) has variable effects on soil, crop yields, and climate mitigation. Biochar can be added to soil as powder or as pellets. While powdered forms have demonstrated effects on
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When applied in agriculture, the solid carbonaceous residue of anoxic thermochemical conversion of biomass (biochar) has variable effects on soil, crop yields, and climate mitigation. Biochar can be added to soil as powder or as pellets. While powdered forms have demonstrated effects on crop yields, they may release coarse and fine particulate that can be transported into the atmosphere during production, packaging, storage, transport, and distribution. Biochar weathering and wind erosion may also cause the release of particles. Particulate matter (PM) released from biochar may have negative effects on human health and increase the atmospheric burden of shortwave absorbing black carbon aerosols with non-negligible effects on atmospheric radiative forcing. Pelletizing feedstock before the thermochemical conversion and moistening of biochar are expected to reduce the emission of PM in the processing and post-processing phases while also increasing the mean residence time of Carbon in soils. The impact of biochar formulation (pellet and non-pellet) on the release of coarse and fine particulate in wet and dry conditions was assessed in a laboratory experiment. In parallel, the effects of pellet and non-pellet formulations on growth and yield of processing tomato plants were tested in a pot experiment. Results show that pelletization and moistening substantially reduce the amount of fine particles released and are therefore practices that should be adopted to maximize the mitigation potential of biochar. A reduction of tomato yield was observed in pellet treatment, suggesting that the higher interface area of powdered biochar may boost productivity in the short term. This work points to the existence of a tradeoff between the short-term maximization of agronomic benefits and the minimization of harmful effects due to particulate release. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Non-Adaptive Behavior in the Face of Climate Change: First Insights from a Behavioral Perspective Based on a Case Study among Firm Managers in Alpine Austria
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1132; doi:10.3390/su9071132
Received: 1 May 2017 / Revised: 22 June 2017 / Accepted: 25 June 2017 / Published: 28 June 2017
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Abstract
Although climate change can induce large-scale impacts on industrial supply chain networks, first empirical studies suggest that adaptation to climate change is only slowly emerging as a management topic in firms. The present study examines why managers often do not engage their firms
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Although climate change can induce large-scale impacts on industrial supply chain networks, first empirical studies suggest that adaptation to climate change is only slowly emerging as a management topic in firms. The present study examines why managers often do not engage their firms in adaptations to climate change. Thereby the study focuses, in particular, on the lack of strategic adaptation, which we define as anticipatory and target-oriented action with the purpose of increasing resilience to climate change. In order to investigate causes of lacking strategic adaptation in firms, the study employs a behavioral perspective based on the reasoned action approach. Thus, the study examines how barriers and motivational factors jointly shape the non-adaptive behavior of firm managers. Such causes of non-adaptive behavior are examined by comparing different classes of non-adaptors based on a case study in the manufacturing industry of the Austrian state of Tyrol. The obtained results underline recent criticism on barrier-centered analyses of non-adaptation by demonstrating the importance of motivational factors. Moreover, results point to the changeable nature of the identified causes of non-adaptive behavior by clarifying interactions between them and by suggesting influences from background factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle A Hybrid Estimation of Distribution Algorithm for Multi-Objective Multi-Sourcing Intermodal Transportation Network Design Problem Considering Carbon Emissions
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1133; doi:10.3390/su9071133
Received: 18 April 2017 / Revised: 23 June 2017 / Accepted: 26 June 2017 / Published: 30 June 2017
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Abstract
The increasing concern on global warming is prompting transportation sector to take into account more sustainable operation strategies. Among them, intermodal transportation (IT) has already been regarded as one of the most effective measures on carbon reductions. This paper focuses on the model
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The increasing concern on global warming is prompting transportation sector to take into account more sustainable operation strategies. Among them, intermodal transportation (IT) has already been regarded as one of the most effective measures on carbon reductions. This paper focuses on the model and algorithm for a certain kind of IT, namely multi-objective multi-sourcing intermodal transportation network design problem (MO_MITNDP), in which carbon emission factors are specially considered. The MO_MITNDP is concerned with determining optimal transportation routes and modes for a series of freight provided by multiple sourcing places to find good balance between the total costs and time efficiencies. First, we establish a multi-objective integer programming model to formulate the MO_MITNDP with total cost (TTC) and maximum flow time (MFT) criteria. Specifically, carbon emission costs distinguished by the different transportation mode and route are included in the cost function. Second, to solve the MO_MITNDP, a hybrid estimation of distribution algorithm (HEDA) combined with a heterogeneous marginal distribution and a multi-objective local search is proposed, in which the from the Pareto dominance scenario. Finally, based on randomly generated data and a real-life case study of Jilin Petrochemical Company (JPC), China, simulation experiments and comparisons are carried out to demonstrate the effectiveness and application value of the proposed HEDA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Young Farmers’ Perceptions about Forest Management for Ecotourism as an Alternative for Development, in Puebla, Mexico
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1134; doi:10.3390/su9071134
Received: 16 April 2017 / Revised: 20 June 2017 / Accepted: 21 June 2017 / Published: 28 June 2017
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Abstract
The incorporation of young farmers’ perceptions about ecotourism is important for decision-making. This was an exploratory and descriptive research project aimed at understanding young farmers’ views of a community-based ecotourism (CBE) project. Q methodology was used on a population of young adult farmers,
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The incorporation of young farmers’ perceptions about ecotourism is important for decision-making. This was an exploratory and descriptive research project aimed at understanding young farmers’ views of a community-based ecotourism (CBE) project. Q methodology was used on a population of young adult farmers, of a small community in the state of Puebla. Three factors reflected their views: There was a group of people who wish to stay in Mexico to pursue the ecotourism project, but lack capabilities. A second group included young farmers who perceive ecotourism as a conservation project, but want to migrate to the United States. The third group was composed of people who envision ecotourism as a source of income for the community’s women. The analysis elicited an important inquiry in relation to environmental inter-generation: what kind of development are future generations pursuing? Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rural Tourism, Rural Development and Rural Resilience)
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Open AccessArticle The Impact of Greenhouse Gas Emissions on Corporate Social Responsibility in Korea
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1135; doi:10.3390/su9071135
Received: 26 February 2017 / Revised: 18 June 2017 / Accepted: 22 June 2017 / Published: 28 June 2017
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Abstract
This study investigates the relationship between corporate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and corporate social responsibility (CSR). Using GHG emissions data and the CSR index announced by the Korea Economic Justice Institute, we find that companies emitting more GHG are highly rated in the
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This study investigates the relationship between corporate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and corporate social responsibility (CSR). Using GHG emissions data and the CSR index announced by the Korea Economic Justice Institute, we find that companies emitting more GHG are highly rated in the CSR index. This relationship becomes stronger as the firm size increases. This result indicates that reducing GHG, especially for big firms, may not be an effective way to raise the firm’s CSR index as expected. We interpret this result as suggesting that other social contribution behaviours may be valued more than GHG reduction, despite its actual environmental influence. We therefore argue that the current CSR index possibly underestimates the importance of environmental factors, such as GHG reduction, and thus, the index needs to be improved. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Product Line Analysis for Eco-Designed Fashion Products: Evidence from an Outdoor Sportswear Brand
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1136; doi:10.3390/su9071136
Received: 21 May 2017 / Revised: 19 June 2017 / Accepted: 21 June 2017 / Published: 1 July 2017
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Abstract
With the increasing awareness of sustainability, eco-design has been an important trend in the fashion industry. Many fashion brands such as Nike, Adidas, and The North Face have developed sustainable fashion by incorporating eco-design elements. Eco-design is an important part of sustainable supply
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With the increasing awareness of sustainability, eco-design has been an important trend in the fashion industry. Many fashion brands such as Nike, Adidas, and The North Face have developed sustainable fashion by incorporating eco-design elements. Eco-design is an important part of sustainable supply chains. In this paper, we conducted a product line analysis of eco-designed products from a famous outdoor sportswear brand, Patagonia. We collected Patagonia’s 2017 Spring Season product line data and analyzed the data through descriptive analysis, factor analysis and correlation analysis. We found that Patagonia mainly uses organic, recycled, and traceable materials in their eco-product line development. We identified that the usage of eco-materials may significantly affect the number of color choices and product weight as well as gender difference, pattern design, product fit and online reviewers’ opinions at Patagonia. We argued that Patagonia should focus on functionality more than aesthetics in eco-design. We discussed how sustainable fashion firms should manage eco-design in the supply chain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Bioclimatic Classification of Northeast Asia Reflecting Social Factors: Development and Characterization
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1137; doi:10.3390/su9071137
Received: 30 April 2017 / Revised: 13 June 2017 / Accepted: 21 June 2017 / Published: 28 June 2017
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Abstract
Biodiversity is rapidly declining globally and efforts are needed to mitigate this continually increasing loss of species. Clustering of areas with similar habitats can be used to prioritize protected areas and distribute resources for the conservation of species, selection of representative sample areas
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Biodiversity is rapidly declining globally and efforts are needed to mitigate this continually increasing loss of species. Clustering of areas with similar habitats can be used to prioritize protected areas and distribute resources for the conservation of species, selection of representative sample areas for research, and evaluation of impacts due to environmental changes. In this study, Northeast Asia (NEA) was classified into 27 bioclimatic zones using statistical techniques, and it was re-clustered into 14 groups to identify the environmental characteristics of these zones. In particular, we added land cover variables into the clustering to reflect not only simple climate but also social factors influencing biological habitats. In total, 53 bioclimatic variables were constructed, and principal components were generated using correlation analysis and principal component analysis (PCA). The iterative self-organizing data analysis technique algorithm (ISODATA) was used to cluster the principal components and land cover variable. The constructed bioclimatic zones were assigned codes and descriptive names based on aridity, seasonality, and naturality, and their environmental characteristics were identified. This study is significant in that it improved the understanding of biological habitats of NEA and established a basis for monitoring the distribution of species and for efficient and systematic management of biodiversity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Making Marine Noise Pollution Impacts Heard: The Case of Cetaceans in the North Sea within Life Cycle Impact Assessment
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1138; doi:10.3390/su9071138
Received: 6 April 2017 / Revised: 18 June 2017 / Accepted: 26 June 2017 / Published: 28 June 2017
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Abstract
Oceans represent more than 95% of the world’s biosphere and are among the richest sources of biodiversity on Earth. However, human activities such as shipping and construction of marine infrastructure pose a threat to the quality of marine ecosystems. Due to the dependence
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Oceans represent more than 95% of the world’s biosphere and are among the richest sources of biodiversity on Earth. However, human activities such as shipping and construction of marine infrastructure pose a threat to the quality of marine ecosystems. Due to the dependence of most marine animals on sound for their communication, foraging, protection, and ultimately their survival, the effects of noise pollution from human activities are of growing concern. Life cycle assessment (LCA) can play a role in the understanding of how potential environmental impacts are related to industrial processes. However, noise pollution impacts on marine ecosystems have not yet been taken into account. This paper presents a first approach for the integration of noise impacts on marine ecosystems into the LCA framework by developing characterization factors (CF) for the North Sea. Noise pollution triggers a large variety of impact pathways, but as a starting point and proof-of-concept we assessed impacts on the avoidance behaviour of cetaceans due to pile-driving during the construction of offshore windfarms in the North Sea. Our approach regards the impact of avoidance behaviour as a temporary loss of habitat, and assumes a temporary loss of all individuals within that habitat from the total regional population. This was verified with an existing model that assessed the population-level effect of noise pollution on harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) in the North Sea. We expanded our CF to also include other cetacean species and tested it in a case study of the construction of an offshore windfarm (Prinses Amalia wind park). The total impact of noise pollution was in the same order of magnitude as impacts on other ecosystems from freshwater eutrophication, freshwater ecotoxicity, terrestrial acidification, and terrestrial ecotoxicity. Although there are still many improvements to be made to this approach, it provides a basis for the implementation of noise pollution impacts in an LCA framework, and has the potential to be expanded to other world regions and impact pathways. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
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Open AccessArticle Representations of Food Waste in Reality Food Television: An Exploratory Analysis of Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1139; doi:10.3390/su9071139
Received: 7 June 2017 / Revised: 21 June 2017 / Accepted: 25 June 2017 / Published: 28 June 2017
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Abstract
Food waste is a global issue with serious economic and environmental implications. Although a number of psychosocial and cultural factors have been identified, little attention has been paid to how food waste is culturally presented, circulated, and mediated. In this exploratory study, we
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Food waste is a global issue with serious economic and environmental implications. Although a number of psychosocial and cultural factors have been identified, little attention has been paid to how food waste is culturally presented, circulated, and mediated. In this exploratory study, we consider how food waste is presented in the thriving genre of reality food television. Specifically, we conducted a content and discourse analysis of UK television programme, Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares (RKN). We found that visual and discursive references to food waste are associated with business, food, and personal incompetency in RKN. Furthermore, food handling was constructed as a moral issue. In RKN, food waste is not resolved via specific educational interventions for food waste prevention, but through attention to broader personal, business, and food incompetencies, which are value-laden and morally relevant. We discuss the symbolic dimensions of the transformation of food into food waste by drawing on Mary Douglas’ ideas of matter out of place. We suggest that food waste research and behavior change could benefit from addressing personal, professional, and moral competencies which may not be directly related to food, but which may reduce food waste. Our analysis of food waste in a televised environment extends waste research in specific geographical locations and spatial contexts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Waste, Space, and Place)
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Open AccessArticle Comparing Performance of Biomass Gasifier Stoves: Influence of a Multi-Context Approach
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1140; doi:10.3390/su9071140
Received: 14 May 2017 / Revised: 21 June 2017 / Accepted: 25 June 2017 / Published: 29 June 2017
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Abstract
Millions of people worldwide die prematurely or suffer from severe health ailments due to cooking equipment that causes unhealthy doses of (household) air pollution. Many attempts to address this have fallen short because technology was not improved sufficiently or the way it was
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Millions of people worldwide die prematurely or suffer from severe health ailments due to cooking equipment that causes unhealthy doses of (household) air pollution. Many attempts to address this have fallen short because technology was not improved sufficiently or the way it was introduced constituted an ill fit with the broader “cooking eco-system”. In terms of technology, (biomass) gasifier stoves look promising on all three sustainability dimensions (people, planet, profit) but have not been adopted on a substantial scale across cultures and regions either. We therefore used a design approach that takes multiple contexts (target groups) into account and compared the performance of a gasifier stove that was developed following this multi-context approach with four previous gasifier versions. With the comparative assessment using criteria well beyond mere technological performance we found that it performed better than these versions as well as than what could be expected based on historical learning, while providing additional systemic advantages. These results encourage verification of the value of the multi-context approach in more settings while providing clues for refinement of the assessment method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
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Open AccessArticle Sources of Organizational Resilience for Sustainable Communities: An Institutional Collective Action Perspective
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1141; doi:10.3390/su9071141
Received: 23 March 2017 / Revised: 24 June 2017 / Accepted: 26 June 2017 / Published: 29 June 2017
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Abstract
Scholars in the field of sustainability have often argued that the purpose of establishing and maintaining interorganizational collaboration is to overcome internal limitations of organizations and to strengthen organizational capacity. To examine structural effects of inter-organizational collaboration regarding the ability of networked organizations
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Scholars in the field of sustainability have often argued that the purpose of establishing and maintaining interorganizational collaboration is to overcome internal limitations of organizations and to strengthen organizational capacity. To examine structural effects of inter-organizational collaboration regarding the ability of networked organizations to effectively manage disasters, this study uses an institutional collective action framework to design a critical lens to objectively analyze collective action issues in inter-organizational collaboration networks. Results, based on the Heckman selection model with two stages, provide evidence that networked organizations holding a central position between two other actors perceive a higher level of disaster resilience. The finding implies that local organizations with a bridging strategy can enhance their capacity to recover from a catastrophic event by securing access to critical resources and information through comprehensive emergency preparedness such as joint response and recovery planning. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Statistical Technology Analysis for Competitive Sustainability of Three Dimensional Printing
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1142; doi:10.3390/su9071142
Received: 21 April 2017 / Revised: 11 June 2017 / Accepted: 21 June 2017 / Published: 29 June 2017
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Abstract
The technology of three-dimensional (3D) printing was commercialized in the late 1980s. Since then, the development of this technology has been dramatically increasing. Moreover, 3D printing technology has been used in many different fields, such as electronics and medical appliances, because 3D printing
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The technology of three-dimensional (3D) printing was commercialized in the late 1980s. Since then, the development of this technology has been dramatically increasing. Moreover, 3D printing technology has been used in many different fields, such as electronics and medical appliances, because 3D printing is a technological convergence based on precision instruments, chemical materials, and electrical equipment. The technological impact of 3D printing is so powerful that we need to analyze 3D printing technology to understand the 3D printing industry. In addition, we want more analytical results for understanding the sustainability of 3D printing technology. Thus, we compare the technologies between 3D printing competitors to find their technological innovations and evolution from a technological sustainability. To analyze the 3D printing technology, we propose a new methodology of statistical technology analysis combing social network analysis with time series clustering. In our case study, we make a comparison between “3D Systems” and “Stratasys”, two major 3D printing companies, because they have been leading the sustainable technologies of 3D printing in the market. We illustrate how the proposed methodology can be applied to practical problems from the case study. This paper contributes to the sustainable technology management, and our research can expand to other competitors with diverse technological fields as well as 3D printing. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Comparative Performance of Various Disc-Type Furrow Openers in No-Till Paddy Field Conditions
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1143; doi:10.3390/su9071143
Received: 14 March 2017 / Revised: 28 May 2017 / Accepted: 22 June 2017 / Published: 29 June 2017
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Abstract
Different furrow openers are required to be evaluated for their suitability to manage rice straw for direct planting of wheat in paddy fields. This study was carried out to assess the straw-cutting ability and draft requirements of four different disc-type furrow openers (notched,
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Different furrow openers are required to be evaluated for their suitability to manage rice straw for direct planting of wheat in paddy fields. This study was carried out to assess the straw-cutting ability and draft requirements of four different disc-type furrow openers (notched, toothed, smooth-edge single disc, and double disc) in no-till paddy fields. The openers were attached to an in-field traction rig equipped with S-type load cells, and tested using three operating depths of 30, 60, and 90 mm, and three traveling speeds of 0.1, 0.2, and 0.3 m s−1. Vertical and horizontal forces acting on the openers were observed using LabVIEW software based data acquisition system. The results of this study indicated that the furrow opener type, operating depth, and speed significantly influenced the horizontal and vertical forces, as well as straw-cutting ability of the furrow openers. The highest draft and vertical force were noted for double disc-type furrow openers. The mean straw-cutting efficiency of notched, toothed, and smooth-edge single disc and double disc furrow openers were 12.4, 46.2, 11.4, and 78.5%, respectively. The double disc furrow opener (DD) produced the lowest level of hair-pinned straw and had the highest straw-cutting efficiency with a value of 88.6% at 90 mm operating depth, and therefore had the best performance in comparison with other furrow openers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Open AccessArticle Sustainability Implications of Deficit Irrigation in a Mature Water Economy: A Case Study in Southern Spain
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1144; doi:10.3390/su9071144
Received: 5 May 2017 / Revised: 8 June 2017 / Accepted: 26 June 2017 / Published: 29 June 2017
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Abstract
Deficit irrigation (DI) is an agricultural practice in which the volume of irrigation water applied during the crop cycle is below the irrigation requirements for maximum production, the aim of which is to increase irrigation water productivity. Most research on this technique has
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Deficit irrigation (DI) is an agricultural practice in which the volume of irrigation water applied during the crop cycle is below the irrigation requirements for maximum production, the aim of which is to increase irrigation water productivity. Most research on this technique has focused on agronomic strategies while the economic and environmental consequences have received little attention. This study aims to shed some light on this matter and presents preliminary results regarding the implications of DI with respect to the sustainable use of water resources. The analysis is based on the DPSIR analytical framework (Driving force/Pressure/State/Impact/Response) and the microeconomics of DI. The case study focuses on intensive olive groves in the Guadalquivir river basin in Southern Spain (where olive cultivation accounts for 50% of the total irrigated area). The analysis shows that the widespread use of DI practices, which is the farmers’ response to a decreasing net water supply and falling farm incomes (driving force) in the context of a mature water economy, may help to break the DPSIR chain of causality, provided that there are restrictions on any expansion in irrigated area. They can, thus, play a role in achieving sustainable water use. Conversely, demand and supply (regulator) responses involving raising the price of water would lead to higher pressures on the resource and represent a negative driving force in our DPSIR model. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Water Treatment Measures to Improve Ecological Value in Traditional Korean Villages: The Case of Oeam Village, Asan City, Korea
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1145; doi:10.3390/su9071145
Received: 2 May 2017 / Revised: 22 June 2017 / Accepted: 26 June 2017 / Published: 29 June 2017
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Abstract
Maintaining and improving the ecological soundness and value of Korea’s traditional villages can contribute to their role as tourism resources. This study examined water treatment measures intended to improve the ecological value of one of South Korea’s traditional villages by analyzing the efficiency
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Maintaining and improving the ecological soundness and value of Korea’s traditional villages can contribute to their role as tourism resources. This study examined water treatment measures intended to improve the ecological value of one of South Korea’s traditional villages by analyzing the efficiency of water treatment in a pond at the village’s entrance and changes in flora around the village pond. The results demonstrated a statistically significant reduction of non-point pollutant sources flowing from the pond into surrounding farmland. Treatment efficiencies of Total Nitrogen, Dissolved Oxygen, Biochemical Oxygen Demand, and Chemical Oxygen Demand and Total Phosphorus were 75.33, 30.02, 65.52, 59.12 and 78.85 percent respectively. Moreover, changes to the flora around the village pond were analyzed. Prior to the village pond being dug, the flora consisted of a single-species gramineous plant; however, after the village pond was constructed, nine types of aquatic plants were identified, including lotus plants. The flora diversity was increased, with the aquatic plants showing strong growth. This pond function influences the reduction of pollution load for streams outside the village, and distributes the treatment effects of pollution sources that occur inside the village. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Climate Change on Outdoor Skating in the Bei Hai Park of Beijing and Related Adaptive Strategies
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1147; doi:10.3390/su9071147
Received: 28 May 2017 / Revised: 20 June 2017 / Accepted: 21 June 2017 / Published: 30 June 2017
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Abstract
This paper reports findings derived from a study of the impacts of climate change on winter outdoor skating activities in the Chinese park of Bei Hai from 1989 to 2015. Based on field observation data and in-depth interviews, it was concluded that the
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This paper reports findings derived from a study of the impacts of climate change on winter outdoor skating activities in the Chinese park of Bei Hai from 1989 to 2015. Based on field observation data and in-depth interviews, it was concluded that the outdoor skating activities, with a history of more than 1000 years, are being threatened by the warming climate. The opening dates and duration times of skating over the last 26 years showed periodic variations over three-year cycles. Increases of temperatures by 1 °C in December were associated with a 3.80-day delay in the skating-field opening dates and a 4.49-day decrease in the operation duration times. In particular, climate change has resulted in a loss of the skating field area and a reduction in the operation duration times, and tourists are moving north for skating-related recreation or conducting alternative activities. The current adaptive strategies are not very effective. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Human-Scale Sustainability Assessment of Urban Intersections Based upon Multi-Source Big Data
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1148; doi:10.3390/su9071148
Received: 24 May 2017 / Revised: 23 June 2017 / Accepted: 26 June 2017 / Published: 2 July 2017
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Abstract
To evaluate the sustainability of an enormous number of urban intersections, a novel assessment model is proposed, along with an indicator system and corresponding methods to determine the indicators. Considering mainly the demands and feelings of the urban residents, the three aspects of
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To evaluate the sustainability of an enormous number of urban intersections, a novel assessment model is proposed, along with an indicator system and corresponding methods to determine the indicators. Considering mainly the demands and feelings of the urban residents, the three aspects of safety, functionality, and image perception are taken into account in the indicator system. Based on technologies such as street view picture crawling, image segmentation, and edge detection, GIS spatial data analysis, a rapid automated assessment method, and a corresponding multi-source database are built up to determine the indicators. The improved information entropy method is applied to obtain the entropy weights of each indicator. A case study shows the efficiency and applicability of the proposed assessment model, indicator system and algorithm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Big Data and Predictive Analytics for Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Relationship among Concentrations of Indoor Air Contaminants, Their Sources, and Different Mitigation Strategies on Indoor Air Quality
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1149; doi:10.3390/su9071149
Received: 5 April 2017 / Revised: 26 June 2017 / Accepted: 28 June 2017 / Published: 30 June 2017
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Abstract
To ensure that indoor air quality mitigation approaches, such as ventilation, are providing the desired indoor air quality, it is necessary to better understand the varied sources of indoor air contaminants and how different mitigation approaches will affect those sources. This article describes
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To ensure that indoor air quality mitigation approaches, such as ventilation, are providing the desired indoor air quality, it is necessary to better understand the varied sources of indoor air contaminants and how different mitigation approaches will affect those sources. This article describes a generalized model that describes the efficacy of different indoor air quality improvement strategies as a function of the primary source(s) of indoor air contaminants of concern. The model is then used as a framework to compare the impact of two different ventilation approaches (a continuous exhaust ventilation strategy compared to a runtime ventilation strategy) on two indoor air compounds (CO2 and formaldehyde) based on primary data gathered in 10 homes in Gainesville, FL. The findings from the Gainesville data suggest that the two approaches provided similar efficacy for reducing CO2 concentrations, but the continuous exhaust system was not as effective at decreasing interior concentrations of formaldehyde, as compared to the runtime ventilation strategy. The simplified, generalized model could be used as a framework to analyze and compare existing detailed modeling and experimental results to bring about a greater understanding of the relative efficacy and tradeoffs of different IAQ mitigation strategies in homes, as well as inform guidance or standards addressing indoor air quality in residential buildings and serve as a decision-making tool for building industry professionals responsible for specifying ventilation systems in homes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Relationships between Urban Form and Urban Commuting: An Empirical Study in China
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1150; doi:10.3390/su9071150
Received: 27 April 2017 / Revised: 28 June 2017 / Accepted: 29 June 2017 / Published: 1 July 2017
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Abstract
Urban sustainable development strategies are of great importance to rapidly urbanized countries such as China. One of the most challenging problems is how to coordinate urban spatial development with social efficiency and environmental protection, e.g., highly efficient low-carbon urban traffic. Despite broad research
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Urban sustainable development strategies are of great importance to rapidly urbanized countries such as China. One of the most challenging problems is how to coordinate urban spatial development with social efficiency and environmental protection, e.g., highly efficient low-carbon urban traffic. Despite broad research efforts with respect to the influence of urban form on travel patterns, questions persist as to the impact of compact urban form on travel distance and modes. In this study, we adopted urban form metrics to capture key dimensions of urban form with the aid of image processing and spatial analysis based on satellite images and statistical data from the cases of 35 cities. Combined with urban travel survey data, we empirically examined the relationships between urban form and travel patterns of local urban residents. The results showed that urban form and travel patterns have regionalized characteristics, e.g., the eastern cities are characterized by disperse urban development patterns and longer commuting times on average compared with western and central cities. We found that relatively smaller built-up areas, higher degrees of urban spatial agglomeration and more paved road area per person would decrease the commuting time of urban residents. We also found that the public transport choices of urban residents are positively associated with built-up areas and commuting times, which suggests the need for provision and promotion of facilities for a high-quality public transport system. The findings provide helpful suggestions for the planning of sustainable urban form and development of transportation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Perceived Attributes of Event Sustainability in the MICE Industry in Thailand: A Viewpoint from Governmental, Academic, Venue and Practitioner
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1151; doi:10.3390/su9071151
Received: 11 April 2017 / Revised: 15 June 2017 / Accepted: 27 June 2017 / Published: 1 July 2017
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Abstract
The environmental impacts of meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibitions (MICE, Event) industries are as far reaching as their economic reach. The travelers who attend events patronize a wide variety of businesses: airlines, car rental agencies, hotels, restaurants, performance venues, and tour operators. The
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The environmental impacts of meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibitions (MICE, Event) industries are as far reaching as their economic reach. The travelers who attend events patronize a wide variety of businesses: airlines, car rental agencies, hotels, restaurants, performance venues, and tour operators. The overall research objectives of this study fall on two aspects of sustainability in the event industry: the most prevalent practices that the industry employs and the relative importance of sustainability to convention consumers. This study implements mixed research methods in order to explore the perceptions of sustainable event development in the metropolitan area of Bangkok, Thailand. Empirical evidence on significant issues for event sustainability is provided. Based on the results, recommendations are made to improve sustainable event development in Thailand and offer guidance to the event industry so that it can develop its potential and gain greater prominence on the world MICE stage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environment, Tourism and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle Vulnerability of Ukrainian Forests to Climate Change
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1152; doi:10.3390/su9071152
Received: 8 May 2017 / Revised: 12 June 2017 / Accepted: 27 June 2017 / Published: 30 June 2017
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Abstract
Ukraine is a country of the Mid-Latitude ecotone—a transition zone between forest zone and forestless dry lands. Availability of water defines distribution of the country’s forests and decreases their productivity towards the south. Climate change generates a particular threat for Ukrainian forests and
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Ukraine is a country of the Mid-Latitude ecotone—a transition zone between forest zone and forestless dry lands. Availability of water defines distribution of the country’s forests and decreases their productivity towards the south. Climate change generates a particular threat for Ukrainian forests and stability of agroforestry landscapes. This paper considers the impacts of expected climate change on vulnerability of Ukrainian forests using ensembles of global and regional climatic models (RCM) based on Scenarios B1, A2, A1B of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change, and a “dry and warm” scenario A1B+T−P (increasing temperature and decreasing precipitation). The spatially explicit assessment was provided by RCM for the WMO standard period (1961–1990), “recent” (1991–2010) and three future periods: 2011–2030, 2031–2050 and 2081–2100. Forest-climate model by Vorobjov and model of amplitude of flora’s tolerance to climate change by Didukh, as well as a number of specialized climatic indicators, were used in the assessment. Different approaches lead to rather consistent conclusions. Water stress is the major limitation factor of distribution and resilience of flatland Ukrainian forests. Within Scenario A1B, the area with unsuitable growth conditions for major forest forming species will substantially increase by end of the century occupying major part of Ukraine. Scenario A1B+T−P projects even a more dramatic decline of the country’s forests. It is expected that the boundary of conditions that are favorable for forests will shift to north and northwest, and forests of the xeric belt will be the most vulnerable. Consistent policies of adaptation and mitigation might reduce climate-induced risks for Ukrainian forests. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Do National Cultural Traits Affect Comparative Advantage in Cultural Goods?
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1153; doi:10.3390/su9071153
Received: 30 May 2017 / Revised: 23 June 2017 / Accepted: 26 June 2017 / Published: 1 July 2017
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Abstract
Trade in cultural goods is making an increasingly significant contribution to international trade, but its flows are very uneven across regions, which has raised concerns over cultural homogenization. This paper considers various aspects of national culture as possible explanations for comparative advantage in
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Trade in cultural goods is making an increasingly significant contribution to international trade, but its flows are very uneven across regions, which has raised concerns over cultural homogenization. This paper considers various aspects of national culture as possible explanations for comparative advantage in cultural goods. Using data from 98 countries over the period 2004 to 2014, and employing Hofstede’s multidimensional approach to culture, we test the relationship between the dimensions of national culture and comparative advantage in cultural goods. We find that the cultural dimensions of individualism, masculinity, long-term orientation, and indulgence are positively associated, whereas the cultural dimensions of power distance and uncertainty avoidance are negatively associated with comparative advantage in cultural goods. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Recyclables Valorisation as the Best Strategy for Achieving Landfill CO2e Emissions Abatement from Domestic Waste: Game Theory
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1154; doi:10.3390/su9071154
Received: 19 May 2017 / Revised: 24 June 2017 / Accepted: 29 June 2017 / Published: 2 July 2017
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Abstract
Various nations in the world have developed technologies and strategies for appropriate waste disposal, and to abate waste generation and greenhouse gasses. Alternatives like recovering materials can help, but they require reliable information to improve planning and management. This study quantifies the Carbon
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Various nations in the world have developed technologies and strategies for appropriate waste disposal, and to abate waste generation and greenhouse gasses. Alternatives like recovering materials can help, but they require reliable information to improve planning and management. This study quantifies the Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions produced by the lack of valorisation of materials in a Mexican city. Two waste characterisations in a lower-class neighbourhood were carried out. For the CO2 emission estimation, two scenarios were considered. DEFRA emission factors for waste treatment processes were used. Waste generation was 0.64 kg/capita/day in the first study, and 0.50 kg/capita/day in the second. The CO2eq emissions of collected waste in the neighbourhood were estimated at 1824 kg for 2013 (0.20 kg/capita/day) and 1636 kg for 2015 (0.19 kg/capita/day). The behaviour of solid waste management in the city can be explained by the “prisoner’s dilemma” model, studied in game theory, which is ideally suited to analysing situations affected by multiple agents, but requires an accurate understanding of solid waste actors and social implications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
Open AccessArticle Fostering Sustainable Urban-Rural Linkages through Local Food Supply: A Transnational Analysis of Collaborative Food Alliances
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1155; doi:10.3390/su9071155
Received: 25 May 2017 / Revised: 21 June 2017 / Accepted: 28 June 2017 / Published: 2 July 2017
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Abstract
The mainstream system of food supply has been heavily criticized in the last years due to its social and environmental impacts. Direct food purchasing schemes have emerged in recent decades as a form of supply that may be more ecologically sound and socially
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The mainstream system of food supply has been heavily criticized in the last years due to its social and environmental impacts. Direct food purchasing schemes have emerged in recent decades as a form of supply that may be more ecologically sound and socially just, while allowing for a closer relationship between producers and consumers. The aim of this article is to show how a specific kind of direct supply, Collaborative Food Alliances, may help to foster sustainable urban–rural linkages. This paper presents, compares and discusses seven different cases, located in five different countries: Movimento de Integração Campo-Cidade (MICC) (Brazil), Canasta Comunitaria Utopía (Ecuador), GAS Testaccio Meticcio and Gasper (Italy), Grupo de Consumo Vera and Grupo de Consumo de Russafa (Spain), and De Groene Schuur at Zeist (The Netherlands). Analysis of the seven cases reveals that, through alliances between consumers and producers, solidarity and sustainable food supply are built. City dwellers benefit from such alliances by receiving organic products on a stable basis and at a fair price, while providing farmers with a stable income. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue City Region Foodscapes)
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Open AccessArticle A Systematic Literature Review on Integrative Lean and Sustainability Synergies over a Building’s Lifecycle
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1156; doi:10.3390/su9071156
Received: 14 May 2017 / Revised: 20 June 2017 / Accepted: 25 June 2017 / Published: 2 July 2017
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Abstract
The construction industry is increasingly moving towards the adoption of sustainable strategies and increased efficiency targets. Lean thinking (LT) aims at removing waste, increasing value, reducing costs, and improving the overall quality of products and processes. Sustainability, in turn, is concerned with the
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The construction industry is increasingly moving towards the adoption of sustainable strategies and increased efficiency targets. Lean thinking (LT) aims at removing waste, increasing value, reducing costs, and improving the overall quality of products and processes. Sustainability, in turn, is concerned with the environmental, social, and economic impacts made by the construction industry. Both philosophies share efficient resource usage concerns. A systematic literature review (SLR) was carried out to cover the existing primary research and characterize its evolution and setting; to discuss the available empirical evidence to identify the LT and sustainability benefits and trade-offs; and to provide a holistic setting to promote those synergies. To catalyze the synergies between LT and sustainability, this paper highlights the potential application of LT elements throughout a building’s lifecycle. Knowledge synthetized is helpful for decision-makers to understand and explore combinations of the performance-oriented LT philosophy for the provision of environmentally responsive buildings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Evaluation of Logistic Regression and Multivariate Adaptive Regression Spline Models for Groundwater Potential Mapping Using R and GIS
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1157; doi:10.3390/su9071157
Received: 7 June 2017 / Revised: 28 June 2017 / Accepted: 29 June 2017 / Published: 2 July 2017
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Abstract
This study mapped and analyzed groundwater potential using two different models, logistic regression (LR) and multivariate adaptive regression splines (MARS), and compared the results. A spatial database was constructed for groundwater well data and groundwater influence factors. Groundwater well data with a high
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This study mapped and analyzed groundwater potential using two different models, logistic regression (LR) and multivariate adaptive regression splines (MARS), and compared the results. A spatial database was constructed for groundwater well data and groundwater influence factors. Groundwater well data with a high potential yield of ≥70 m3/d were extracted, and 859 locations (70%) were used for model training, whereas the other 365 locations (30%) were used for model validation. We analyzed 16 groundwater influence factors including altitude, slope degree, slope aspect, plan curvature, profile curvature, topographic wetness index, stream power index, sediment transport index, distance from drainage, drainage density, lithology, distance from fault, fault density, distance from lineament, lineament density, and land cover. Groundwater potential maps (GPMs) were constructed using LR and MARS models and tested using a receiver operating characteristics curve. Based on this analysis, the area under the curve (AUC) for the success rate curve of GPMs created using the MARS and LR models was 0.867 and 0.838, and the AUC for the prediction rate curve was 0.836 and 0.801, respectively. This implies that the MARS model is useful and effective for groundwater potential analysis in the study area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
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Open AccessArticle Which Factors Affect Landless Peasants’ Intention for Entrepreneurship? A Case Study in the South of the Yangtze River Delta, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1158; doi:10.3390/su9071158
Received: 5 May 2017 / Revised: 24 June 2017 / Accepted: 27 June 2017 / Published: 3 July 2017
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Abstract
Landless peasants have been a great concern for both the government and academics in China. Entrepreneurship is promoted as one of the most important approaches to achieving civilization and urbanization. However, few studies have systematically examined the influencing factors of landless peasants’ entrepreneurial
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Landless peasants have been a great concern for both the government and academics in China. Entrepreneurship is promoted as one of the most important approaches to achieving civilization and urbanization. However, few studies have systematically examined the influencing factors of landless peasants’ entrepreneurial intention (EI). This research gap presents barriers for making effective policies to promote entrepreneurship among landless peasants. This study aims to examine the critical factors influencing the EI of landless peasants and their interrelationships. The critical factors of landless peasants’ EI are identified using logistic regression analysis. The logical and structural relationships among critical factors are mined by interpretative structural modeling. A chain of factors with an interrelated and clear hierarchy is built to clarify the explanatory structure of landless peasants’ EI. The results show that the EI of landless peasants is significantly influenced by five factors: gender, achievement motivation, innovation orientation, land expropriation scenario, and entrepreneurial experience. Entrepreneurial experience is a direct surface factor; innovation orientation is an indirect intermediate layer factor; and gender, achievement motivation, and land expropriation scenario are deeply rooted factors. The results provide a good reference for formulating effective entrepreneurship policies to address landless peasants’ employment and sustainable livelihoods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Open AccessArticle Macroeconomic Effects of Entrepreneurship from an International Perspective
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1159; doi:10.3390/su9071159
Received: 26 May 2017 / Revised: 25 June 2017 / Accepted: 25 June 2017 / Published: 3 July 2017
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Abstract
At the panel level, formed of 33 European economies based on resource efficiency enhancers or innovation-driven factors, the present study followed causal relationships between the conditions of economic efficiency ensuring framework and different macroeconomic effects of entrepreneurship, mediated by the entrepreneurial behavior, with
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At the panel level, formed of 33 European economies based on resource efficiency enhancers or innovation-driven factors, the present study followed causal relationships between the conditions of economic efficiency ensuring framework and different macroeconomic effects of entrepreneurship, mediated by the entrepreneurial behavior, with delays up to five years. Research findings highlighted that a national efficiency enhancing framework acts as stimulant for the entrepreneurial behavior of nascent entrepreneurs and new small and medium-sized business owners, while a superior level of entrepreneurial behavior generates simultaneous and/or medium-term favorable effects on the growth of gross domestic product, exports, imports and employment, therefore assuring, besides immediate growth, sustainable economic and social progress in the analyzed countries. The causal relationships identified are consistent with the results of other empirical studies in the field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Climate Change Mitigation Pathways for Southeast Asia: CO2 Emissions Reduction Policies for the Energy and Transport Sectors
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1160; doi:10.3390/su9071160
Received: 8 May 2017 / Revised: 19 June 2017 / Accepted: 25 June 2017 / Published: 3 July 2017
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Abstract
As of June 2017, 150 countries have ratified the Paris Climate Agreement. This agreement calls for, among other things, strong reductions in CO2 emissions by 2030 and beyond. This paper reviews the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDCs) plans of six Association of Southeast
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As of June 2017, 150 countries have ratified the Paris Climate Agreement. This agreement calls for, among other things, strong reductions in CO2 emissions by 2030 and beyond. This paper reviews the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDCs) plans of six Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries and compares their current and projected future CO2 levels across sectors, and their stated targets in the context of their economic and demographic situations. This comparison reveals wide variations in the types of targets, with the “ambition” level changing as the perspective changes from total CO2 to CO2/capita and per unit gross domestic product (GDP). We also review national plans as stated in NDCs and find that while there are many types of policies listed, few are quantified and no attempts are made to score individual or groups of policies for their likelihood in achieving stated targets. We conclude that more analysis is needed to better understand the possible impacts of current policies and plans on CO2 emissions, and whether current plans are adequate to hit targets. Considerations on better aligning targets are also provided. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Carbon Reduction Potential of Resource-Dependent Regions Based on Simulated Annealing Programming Algorithm
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1161; doi:10.3390/su9071161
Received: 18 May 2017 / Revised: 28 June 2017 / Accepted: 30 June 2017 / Published: 3 July 2017
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Abstract
In recent years, developing countries, especially resource-dependent regions, have been facing the paradox of ensuring both emissions reduction and economic development. Thus, there is a strong political desire to forecast carbon emissions reduction potential and the best way to achieve it. This study
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In recent years, developing countries, especially resource-dependent regions, have been facing the paradox of ensuring both emissions reduction and economic development. Thus, there is a strong political desire to forecast carbon emissions reduction potential and the best way to achieve it. This study constructs a methodology to assess carbon reduction potential in a resource-dependent region. The Simulated Annealing Programming algorithm and the Genetic algorithm were introduced to create a prediction model and an optimized regional carbon intensity model, respectively. Shanxi Province in China, a typical resource-dependent area, is selected for the empirical study. Regional statistical data are collected from 1990 to 2015. The results show that the carbon intensity of Shanxi Province could drop 18.78% by 2020. This potential exceeds the 18% expectation of the Chinese Government in its ‘13th Five-Year Work Plan’ for Controlling Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Moreover, the carbon intensity of the province could be further reduced by 0.97 t per 10,000 yuan GDP. The study suggests that the carbon emissions of a resource-dependent region can be reduced in the following ways; promoting economic restructuring, upgrading coal supply-side reform, perfecting the self-regulation of coal prices, accelerating the technical innovation of the coal industry, and establishing a flexible mechanism for reducing emissions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle An Analysis on Crops Choice and Its Driving Factors in Agricultural Heritage Systems—A Case of Honghe Hani Rice Terraces System
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1162; doi:10.3390/su9071162
Received: 28 April 2017 / Revised: 27 May 2017 / Accepted: 30 June 2017 / Published: 3 July 2017
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Abstract
The Honghe Hani Rice Terraces System (HHRTS) is one of the Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) sites approved by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 2010. In recent years, with the development of modern agriculture and tourism, cultivation practices for high yield
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The Honghe Hani Rice Terraces System (HHRTS) is one of the Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) sites approved by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 2010. In recent years, with the development of modern agriculture and tourism, cultivation practices for high yield and uniform variety cropping, has threatened the stability of the system of forest-village-paddy-rivers in the Hani terraces. From the viewpoint of farming behavior, we carried out our surveys to learn about the local rural households’ planting situations and the factors that influence their planting choices. A Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) was used for gaining information in Yuanyang County, Yunnan Province. Seemingly Unrelated Regression (SUR) were used to test the theoretical result at the individual rural household level. Then, this paper summarized the status quo of crop cultivation structures and analyzed their driving factors in HHRTS. The results showed as follows: ① In the 41.23 hm2 available farmland referred in survey, the crops grown, ordered by total cultivated area, are hybrid rice, corn, and fruit, which rank as the top three for all crops. As the regional traditional crop, the cultivated area of red rice is only 12.04% of total available farmland referred to in the survey. ② According to the actual plantation, the rural household is divided into two categories and marked as “the red-rice-plantation-oriented household (RR household)” and “the hybrid-rice-plantation-oriented household (HR household)”. The result of the SUR model showed that the driving factors to plant hybrid rice and red rice varied greatly with different categories of the rural household. ③ Consistent with the results of correlation analyses and factor analyses, significant driving factors of red rice planting included the ethnicity of the household, the average altitude of the farmland, and the labor productivity of red rice. Significant restraint factors included the total number of family members and the yield of red rice per unit area. Thereupon, in order to realize the dynamic protection of HHRTS, we established an encouragement mechanism for improving the proportion of red rice plantings in relation to aspects of the rural household, the community, and the local government. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Assessing the Role of Policies on Land-Use/Cover Change from 1965 to 2015 in the Mu Us Sandy Land, Northern China
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1164; doi:10.3390/su9071164
Received: 16 May 2017 / Revised: 20 June 2017 / Accepted: 21 June 2017 / Published: 3 July 2017
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Abstract
Policy has long been considered one of the major driving forces for land-use/cover change. However, research on the interactions between land-use/cover change (LUCC) and relevant policies remains limited. The agropastoral ecotone is a typical area of policy implementation and LUCC. Therefore, this study
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Policy has long been considered one of the major driving forces for land-use/cover change. However, research on the interactions between land-use/cover change (LUCC) and relevant policies remains limited. The agropastoral ecotone is a typical area of policy implementation and LUCC. Therefore, this study integrates the use of multisource and multiresolution remote sensing and topographic and field-based datasets for the case of the Mu Us Sandy Land (MUSL) in northern China. The research aim was to quantify LUCC from 1965 to 2015 and describe the relationship between policy changes and land-use types during three stages: the stage of the Great Cultural Revolution, the stage of the modernization of the economy, and the stage of the Great Ecological Project. The results indicated that land use was affected by different national policies because of the national approach to land use during different periods. In the stage of the Great Cultural Revolution, the amount of cultivated land increased, and the environment deteriorated under the influence of leftists. In the stage of the modernization of the economy, vegetation coverage improved after the initial damage, and cultivated and artificial surfaces also increased. In the stage of the Great Ecological Project, cultivated land and unused land decreased, and woodland and sparse vegetation increased with the implementation of the Grain for Green Project (GGP). However, cultivated land increased but wood land and sparse vegetation decreased significantly by the end of the GGP. The coverage of artificial surfaces increased and grasslands decreased due to the encroachment of artificial surfaces into grasslands. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Geography and Environmental Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle An Evolutionary Game Study of an Ecological Industry Chain Based on Multi-Agent Simulation: A Case Study of the Poyang Lake Eco-Economic Zone
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1165; doi:10.3390/su9071165
Received: 7 April 2017 / Revised: 29 June 2017 / Accepted: 1 July 2017 / Published: 4 July 2017
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Abstract
With rapid economic growth, the ecological environment is subject to a huge test. The environment has become a bottleneck restricting the further development of the economy. Built on waste recycling, ecological industry chain is an important way to realize the sustainable development of
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With rapid economic growth, the ecological environment is subject to a huge test. The environment has become a bottleneck restricting the further development of the economy. Built on waste recycling, ecological industry chain is an important way to realize the sustainable development of economy and society. This paper establishes a three stage evolutionary game model of ecological industry chain. By mathematically analyzing the equilibrium points of replicator dynamics equations, we get the evolutionary stable strategies. By studying the evolutionary rules and taking the bottom-up modeling method, this paper constructs a multi-agent computational experimental model to analyze the evolutionary paths and trend of each subject. Besides, the case of Poyang Lake ecological economic zone is applied to verify the evolutionary game model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Nonadditive Grey Prediction Using Functional-Link Net for Energy Demand Forecasting
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1166; doi:10.3390/su9071166
Received: 2 June 2017 / Revised: 26 June 2017 / Accepted: 27 June 2017 / Published: 3 July 2017
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Abstract
Energy demand prediction plays an important role in sustainable development. The GM(1,1) model has drawn our attention to energy demand forecasting because it only needs a few data points to construct a time series model without statistical assumptions. Residual modification is often considered
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Energy demand prediction plays an important role in sustainable development. The GM(1,1) model has drawn our attention to energy demand forecasting because it only needs a few data points to construct a time series model without statistical assumptions. Residual modification is often considered as well to improve the accuracy of predictions. Several residual modification models have been proposed, but they focused on residual sign estimation, whereas the FLNGM(1,1) model using functional-link net (FLN) can estimate the sign as well as the modification range for each predicted residual. However, in the original FLN, an activation function with an inner product assumes that criteria are independent of each other, so additivity might influence the forecasting performance of FLNGM(1,1). Therefore, in this study, we employ the FLN with a fuzzy integral instead of an inner product to propose a nonadditive FLNGM(1,1). Experimental results based on real energy demand cases demonstrate that the proposed grey prediction model performs well compared with other grey residual modification models that use sign estimation and the additive FLNGM(1,1). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Toward a Theoretical Framework for Studying Climate Change Policies: Insights from the Case Study of Singapore
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1167; doi:10.3390/su9071167
Received: 30 April 2017 / Revised: 26 June 2017 / Accepted: 28 June 2017 / Published: 4 July 2017
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Abstract
The world decided in December 2015 to take actions to reduce global warming. To contribute toward this goal, this research examines possible policy levers for inclusion in the climate change ratification plan. A case study of the measures taken by the Republic of
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The world decided in December 2015 to take actions to reduce global warming. To contribute toward this goal, this research examines possible policy levers for inclusion in the climate change ratification plan. A case study of the measures taken by the Republic of Singapore, a low-lying 719.2 km2 island without natural resources in Asia, is conducted. Being vulnerable to climate change impact and yet having to balance her people’s needs and economic progress with limited resources, the measures taken by this small country could offer policy insights for small states and states without access to alternative energy sources. This research analyzes the online policy documents posted by eleven organizations to answer the main research question of identifying policy levers as theoretical constructs to form a framework that can be used to study climate change policies. A qualitative data analysis software, QSR NVivo 10, is used to classify the proposed nodes developed by the researchers using a system perspective integrating the insights from the key international climate change frameworks with the theoretical concepts from the model of pro-environmental behavior. The findings can offer insights toward developing a new contextual influence framework, which can help strengthen policy development and outcome measurement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 6th World Sustainability Forum - Selected Papers)
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Open AccessArticle The Location Matters: Determinants for “Deepening” and “Broadening” Diversification Strategies in Ruhr Metropolis’ Urban Farming
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1168; doi:10.3390/su9071168
Received: 10 April 2017 / Revised: 16 June 2017 / Accepted: 28 June 2017 / Published: 4 July 2017
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Abstract
Consumer-oriented diversification activities, such as direct sale (“deepening”) as well as tourism services and care farming (“broadening”), are common business strategies of farms within urban areas. This empirical study investigates determinants of urban farming’s diversification decisions by analyzing a dataset of 123 farmers
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Consumer-oriented diversification activities, such as direct sale (“deepening”) as well as tourism services and care farming (“broadening”), are common business strategies of farms within urban areas. This empirical study investigates determinants of urban farming’s diversification decisions by analyzing a dataset of 123 farmers in German Ruhr Metropolis. Binary logit models are used here as econometric method to determine characteristics influencing the decision to diversify. Farm characteristics, which encourage the implementation of “deepening” strategies, are: larger farm sizes, high-value production, organic farming, and livestock production. By contrast, the consumer-oriented “broadening” strategies tourism services and care farming prevail on smaller farms and on farms with horses and higher grassland shares. Agricultural extension services increase the odds to diversify. The results of the conducted binary logistic regressions show increasing odds and predicted probabilities for “deepening” and “broadening” activities when approaching the city. Farms’ location advantages close to cities can be used best when applying consumer-oriented “deepening” or “broadening” strategies; namely, direct sale or other short supply chains, tourism services, and care farming. Viable business strategies of urban farming support a forward-looking integration into urban economy, society, and decision-making. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue City Region Foodscapes)
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Open AccessArticle On the Annual Cycle of Meteorological and Geographical Potential of Wind Energy: A Case Study from Southwest Germany
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1169; doi:10.3390/su9071169
Received: 1 June 2017 / Revised: 22 June 2017 / Accepted: 29 June 2017 / Published: 4 July 2017
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Abstract
Wind energy in Germany has experienced high growth rates over the last few years. The set political target in the German federal state of Baden-Wuerttemberg is to raise the share of wind energy in the overall electricity supply to 10% by 2020. To
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Wind energy in Germany has experienced high growth rates over the last few years. The set political target in the German federal state of Baden-Wuerttemberg is to raise the share of wind energy in the overall electricity supply to 10% by 2020. To achieve this goal, detailed information on wind energy potential in Baden-Wuerttemberg is necessary. This study assesses the geographical wind energy potential (GP) in Baden-Wuerttemberg giving a guideline to identify suitable locations for wind energy utilization. The focus of this investigation lies in assessing GP for the mean annual meteorological wind energy potential (MP) as well as for the mean MP in December and August providing information on the seasonal behavior of wind power availability. A GIS-based approach is employed to identify sites without geographical restrictions and with sufficient MP at hub heights of 100 m, 140 m, and 200 m. The study finds that (1) the number of possible sites for wind energy utilization is strongly limited by geographical restrictions, (2) GP is highly dependent on MP and, therefore, (3) GP varies highly throughout a year since MP depends on the seasonal pattern of wind speed in Central Europe, showing high values in winter and low values in summer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Residents’ Attitude toward Tourism Development: A Sociocultural Perspective
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1170; doi:10.3390/su9071170
Received: 27 April 2017 / Revised: 14 June 2017 / Accepted: 21 June 2017 / Published: 7 July 2017
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Abstract
Host population support for tourism development has attracted the attention of researchers in tourism studies. Given the importance of understanding local community support for tourism development, limitations in understanding their priority and lack of a socio-cultural model of support for tourism, this study
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Host population support for tourism development has attracted the attention of researchers in tourism studies. Given the importance of understanding local community support for tourism development, limitations in understanding their priority and lack of a socio-cultural model of support for tourism, this study attempted to model locals’ support for tourism development based on socio-cultural factors in Malaysian Homestay program. Using extensive literature review, a tourism support model was proposed including several hypothesized paths. The proposed socio-cultural research framework predicted the impact of Islamic religiosity, locals’ knowledge about tourism, intrinsic motivation factors and community attachment on locals support for tourism development through mediating variables of perceived socio-cultural benefits and costs in Malaysian Homestays. , the model and paths were tested using structural equation modelling and partial least square algorithm (PLS-SEM) with the aid of SmartPLS software. Findings reveal that locals’ support for tourism development in Homestay program is a function of perceived socio-cultural benefits and costs perceived by local community and four independent variables of Islamic religiosity, knowledge about tourism, intrinsic motivations, and community attachment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tourism Planning and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle Social Vulnerability Assessment by Mapping Population Density and Pressure on Cropland in Shandong Province in China during the 17th–20th Century
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1171; doi:10.3390/su9071171
Received: 31 May 2017 / Revised: 27 June 2017 / Accepted: 30 June 2017 / Published: 5 July 2017
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Abstract
Cropland area per capita and pressure index on cropland are important parameters for measuring the social vulnerability and sustainability from the perspective of food security in a certain region in China during the historical periods. This study reconstructed the change in spatial distribution
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Cropland area per capita and pressure index on cropland are important parameters for measuring the social vulnerability and sustainability from the perspective of food security in a certain region in China during the historical periods. This study reconstructed the change in spatial distribution of cropland area per labor/household and pressure index on cropland during the 17th–20th century by using historical documents, regression analysis, pressure index model, and GIS (geographic information system). Following this, we analyzed the impacting process of climate change and sustainability of cropland use during the different periods. The conclusions of this study are as follows: (i) there was an obvious spatial difference of labor/household density, as there was higher density in three agricultural areas, which had the same pattern as cropland distribution during the same periods; (ii) Cropland area per capita was relatively higher during the 17th–18th century, which were above 0.4 ha/person in the majority of counties and were distributed homogenously. Until the 19th century and the beginning of 20th century, cropland area per capita in a considerable proportion of regions decreased below 0.2 ha/person, which embodies the increase in social vulnerability and unsustainability at that time; (iii) The pressure index on cropland also showed a spatial pattern similar to cropland area per capita, which presented as having a lower threshold than nowadays. During the 17th–18th century, there was no pressure on cropland. In comparison, in the 19th century and at the beginning of 20th century, two high-value centers of pressure index on cropland appeared in the Middle Shandong and the Jiaodong region. As a result, pressure on cropland use increased and a food crisis was likely to have been created; (iv) A higher extent of sustainable cropland use corresponded to the cold period, while a lower extent of sustainable cropland use corresponded to the warm period in Shandong over the past 300 years. The turning point of the 1680s from dry to wet was not distinctively attributed to the decrease in the extent of sustainable cropland use in Shandong. Since the beginning of the 20th century, the increasing pressure on the sustainability of cropland use finally intensified the social conflict and increased the probability of social revolts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agricultural and Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle Estimation of the Virtual Water Content of Main Crops on the Korean Peninsula Using Multiple Regional Climate Models and Evapotranspiration Methods
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1172; doi:10.3390/su9071172
Received: 20 April 2017 / Revised: 28 June 2017 / Accepted: 1 July 2017 / Published: 4 July 2017
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