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Volume 12, October-2

Sustainability, Volume 12, Issue 21 (November-1 2020) – 549 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Tidal stream turbines can harness the kinetic energy of flood and ebb currents. Avoiding interactions of turbine wakes and rotors in tidal arrays may be difficult; hence, tidal array design aims at minimizing the resulting power losses. These interactions and power losses are thoroughly analyzed, for the first time, using Navier–Stokes computational fluid dynamics of two model array flume tank experiments using up to four turbines, obtaining overall good agreement of simulations and experiments. The study’s novel finding is that flow acceleration between the wakes of two adjacent turbines can increase the recovery rate of the wake shed by an upstream centrally located turbine and thus reduce power losses of a downstream centrally located turbine. It is also found that there exists an optimal lateral spacing of the two adjacent turbines, which maximizes the power of the downstream [...] Read more.
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Article
Indigenous Knowledge and Acceptability of Treated Effluent in Agriculture
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 9304; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12219304 - 09 Nov 2020
Viewed by 688
Abstract
The twin challenges of lack of access to improved sanitation and food insecurity remain critical, particularly in the global south. With cognizance of the nutrient potential of human excreta, there has been increasing interest in linking sanitation innovations with agriculture by using nutrients [...] Read more.
The twin challenges of lack of access to improved sanitation and food insecurity remain critical, particularly in the global south. With cognizance of the nutrient potential of human excreta, there has been increasing interest in linking sanitation innovations with agriculture by using nutrients recovered from human excreta for crop production, thus, closing the nutrient loop. While studies and field trials have explored and validated the technical feasibility of reusing nutrients recovered from human excreta in agriculture, there is still limited knowledge of its social acceptability. This study examined whether indigenous knowledge can be leveraged to increase the acceptability of human-excreta-derived plant nutrient sources such as treated effluent in agriculture. A qualitative research design comprising seven focus group interviews (five in rural areas and two in peri-urban areas) was conducted in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. Findings from the focus groups reveal a willingness to grow and consume food using treated effluent. Additionally, participants made references to indigenous practices that encourage recycling and reuse of human excreta. Given the potential to simultaneously address issues of food insecurity and sanitation that characterize many peri-urban and rural areas in South Africa, we recommend further studies in this area. Full article
Article
Earthworm Burrowing Activity and Its Effects on Soil Hydraulic Properties under Different Soil Moisture Conditions from the Loess Plateau, China
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 9303; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12219303 - 09 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 711
Abstract
Earthworm activity has become more important in the Loess Plateau, where hydrological processes are crucial for ecosystem sustainability. In this study, we conducted a laboratory microcosm experiment to determine the various burrowing activities of Eisenia fetida and their impact on the soil hydraulic [...] Read more.
Earthworm activity has become more important in the Loess Plateau, where hydrological processes are crucial for ecosystem sustainability. In this study, we conducted a laboratory microcosm experiment to determine the various burrowing activities of Eisenia fetida and their impact on the soil hydraulic properties in response to different levels of soil moisture (50%, 70%, 90% of field capacity) in two common soil types (loessial and Lou soil) obtained from the Loess Plateau. Burrowing activity of E. fetida increased with higher soil moisture and was greater in loessial than in Lou soil. Most burrowing activities occurred within the top 5 cm and decreased with increasing soil depth. Macropores and burrow branching, which are highly related to the earthworm burrowing, were more prevalent in wetter soil. Earthworms significantly altered the formation of large soil aggregates (AGL, diameter >2 mm) under different soil moistures and depths. Distinct earthworm burrowing activities, controlled by soil moisture, altered soil hydraulic properties. However, soil saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks) showed little differences between different treatments due to the horizontal and high–branched burrows of E. fetida, although higher burrowing activities were found in wetter soil. Soil field capacity was highest in drier soil due to the less macropores and burrowing activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Erosion and the Sustainable Management of the Landscape)
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Article
Using a General Ordered Logit Model to Explain the Influence of Hotel Facilities, General and Sustainability-Related, on Customer Ratings
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 9302; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12219302 - 09 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 772
Abstract
The hotel market has become extremely competitive over the past years. Hotels try to differentiate themselves through their services and facilities. To make the best choice when searching for accommodation, guests increasingly use rating systems of booking sites. Using an ordered logit model [...] Read more.
The hotel market has become extremely competitive over the past years. Hotels try to differentiate themselves through their services and facilities. To make the best choice when searching for accommodation, guests increasingly use rating systems of booking sites. Using an ordered logit model (OLM), we identify, in our study, a sample that comprises of 635 hotels from Romania. These are the hotel facilities that significantly influence customer review scores (as an expression of customer satisfaction) on booking.com, the most widespread rating system. We also identify whether their impact on intervals of satisfaction levels vary. Some explanatory variables invalidate the Brant test for proportional odds assumption. Thus, for the final estimates, we use a generalized ordered logit model (GOLOGIT). The results show that food-related facilities, restaurants, and complimentary breakfasts, are very significant for customer ratings. Relevant hotel common facilities are the pool and parking spaces, while for the room—the flat-screen TV. It is interesting to note the negative influence of pets, which seem to disturb other tourists. In the sustainability category, only facilities for disabled people and electric vehicle charging stations are relevant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marketing in Tourism and Sustainable Development)
Article
Unified Energy Agents for Combined District Heating and Electrical Network Simulation
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 9301; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12219301 - 09 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 602
Abstract
A sustainable and climate-friendly energy supply needs flexible and efficient distribution systems. Key factors to implement this kind of systems are intelligent coordination (smart grid approaches) and the integration of different energy sectors. This article introduces the unified energy agent as an agent-based [...] Read more.
A sustainable and climate-friendly energy supply needs flexible and efficient distribution systems. Key factors to implement this kind of systems are intelligent coordination (smart grid approaches) and the integration of different energy sectors. This article introduces the unified energy agent as an agent-based approach for a comprehensive modelling and control of energy conversion systems. This approach enables both the simulation and optimization of coupled energy networks, and then in a next step, the development of corresponding smart grid solutions to be applied in the field. Its applicability for the simulation of coupled networks is presented by a real-world use-case of an innovative combined heat and electrical network, which was implemented for the city of Lemgo, Germany. Preliminary results from the project are discussed and an outlook on future work is given. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multi-Utility Energy System Optimization)
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Article
Small-Scale Hybrid Photovoltaic-Biomass Systems Feasibility Analysis for Higher Education Buildings
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 9300; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12219300 - 09 Nov 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 569
Abstract
Applications of renewable electricity in cities are mostly limited to photovoltaics, and they need other renewable sources, batteries, and the grid to guarantee reliability. This paper proposes a hybrid system, combining biomass and photovoltaics, to supply electricity to educational buildings. This system is [...] Read more.
Applications of renewable electricity in cities are mostly limited to photovoltaics, and they need other renewable sources, batteries, and the grid to guarantee reliability. This paper proposes a hybrid system, combining biomass and photovoltaics, to supply electricity to educational buildings. This system is reliable and provides at least 50% of electricity based on renewable sources. Buildings with small (<500 kW) installed power based on renewables, mainly biomass, are usually expensive. Besides, in urban areas, photovoltaic capacity is limited due to roof availability. This paper analyzes different configurations, meeting these constraints to obtain an economically feasible solution based on photovoltaic-biomass modelling of small size hybrid systems. The technology used for biomass energy valorization is a fluidized bed gasification power plant, which has been modelled with real data obtained from experimental tests and previous research projects. Thereby, real costs and electric efficiency are included in the model. The techno-economic feasibility analysis using HOMER software with metered real load curves from an educational building has been modelled. The results of the model show that hybrid renewable systems are very feasible in the scenario of 50% of electricity contribution, however, higher contribution (>70%) implies high electricity costs. Full article
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Article
A Macro Perspective on the Relationship between Farm Size and Agrochemicals Use in China
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 9299; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12219299 - 09 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 865
Abstract
Agrochemicals are overused in China. One strategy to reduce agrochemical use is to increase farm size because of the potential effect of economy of scale. Existing studies at a micro scale present mixed and often conflicting results on the relationship between agrochemical use [...] Read more.
Agrochemicals are overused in China. One strategy to reduce agrochemical use is to increase farm size because of the potential effect of economy of scale. Existing studies at a micro scale present mixed and often conflicting results on the relationship between agrochemical use and farm size. This study aimed to assess that relationship from a macro perspective using an aggregated panel dataset in 30 provinces in China from 2009 to 2016. The empirical results confirm the existence of both economy and diseconomy of scale effects on agrochemical use in China. The agrochemical application rates decreased as the proportion of farms between 0.667 and 2 ha increased. The diseconomy of scale existed when significantly larger farms, such as the farms larger than 3.34 ha, continued to emerge. Given the fact that 78.6% of farms are under 0.667 ha in China, our results suggest that the reduction strategy based on only expanding farm size might achieve some initial success in reducing agrochemical use, but the effect would fade away and be reversed as significantly large farms continue to emerge. These results have significant policy implications as China is proactively developing and implementing various policies and strategies to modernize its agriculture toward achieving its sustainability goals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture)
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Article
ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) Performance and Board Gender Diversity: The Moderating Role of CEO Duality
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 9298; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12219298 - 09 Nov 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1076
Abstract
According to the 2030 Agenda, gender equality plays a central role in achieving social development, expanding economic growth and improving business performance. From this perspective, many studies claim that a more balanced presence of women on Board of Directors (BoD) could have a [...] Read more.
According to the 2030 Agenda, gender equality plays a central role in achieving social development, expanding economic growth and improving business performance. From this perspective, many studies claim that a more balanced presence of women on Board of Directors (BoD) could have a positive impact on firms’ financial performance, but the effect of such diversity on sustainability performance is still underexplored. The purpose of this paper is to investigate how gender composition of BoD affects the corporate sustainability practices. In particular, we focused on the relationship between board gender composition and ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) performance, by verifying if and to what extent there is a moderation effect due to the presence of CEO duality. We used the ESG index, provided by Bloomberg Data Service, as a proxy of sustainability performance and the Blau index as a measure of gender diversity in the BoD. The empirical analysis was carried out on a sample of Italian non-financial companies listed on Mercato Telematico Azionario (MTA) and includes a total of 128 observations. Results has shown that a greater gender diversity on BoD has an overall positive influence on ESG performance, while CEO duality negatively moderates the foregoing relationship. Full article
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Communication
Sea Buckthorn and Grape Extract Might Be Helpful and Sustainable Phyto-Resources as Associated Hypolipidemic Agents—Preliminary Study
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 9297; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12219297 - 09 Nov 2020
Viewed by 546
Abstract
Phytotherapy can enhance the beneficial health outcomes in the prevention of obesity and is able to improve the function of the metabolic organs, like the liver and kidneys. Since sea buckthorn (SBT) and grape extracts are known as abundant sources of polyphenol, we [...] Read more.
Phytotherapy can enhance the beneficial health outcomes in the prevention of obesity and is able to improve the function of the metabolic organs, like the liver and kidneys. Since sea buckthorn (SBT) and grape extracts are known as abundant sources of polyphenol, we assumed that the extracts of these two plants might have a hypolipidemic effect and an improved metabolic function in obese rats treated with atorvastatin. One hundred and twelve white Wistar rats were divided equally into seven groups (G.I–VII) and orally treated as follows: G.I, atorvastatin 20 mg × kg·bw−1; G.II, atorvastatin 20 mg × kg·bw−1 + SBT 100 mg × kg·bw−1; G.III, atorvastatin 20 mg × kg·bw−1 + grape extract 100 mg × kg·bw−1; G.IV, grape extract 100 mg × kg·bw−1; G.V, SBT 100 mg × kg·bw−1; G.VI, high-fat diet (HFD); group VII was considered the control group. After two and six months of administration, the rats were sacrificed, and blood samples were taken for biochemical analyses. The statistical results (analysis of variance (ANOVA)) showed that a combination of SBT and grape extracts with atorvastatin significantly reduced (p ˂ 0.001) the lipid parameters. After six months, the liver and kidneys improved their functioning, showing a statistically significant change (p ˂ 0.001) in the grape and sea buckthorn groups compared to the other groups. In addition, grape extract and SBT combined with atorvastatin proved to be potent hypolipidemic agents, so associations with phytodietary supplements can be considered as a valuable means of combating hypolipidemia and decreasing risk factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Organic Agriculture for Developing Agribusiness Sector)
Article
A Systematic Review for Urban Regeneration Effects Analysis in Urban Cores
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 9296; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12219296 - 09 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 620
Abstract
In this article, we aim to promote a methodology to analyze the effects of urban regeneration in historical sites. Different case studies are observed in depth, and they allow us to understand certain aspects concerning ex-post and ex-ante assessments. This methodology, which is [...] Read more.
In this article, we aim to promote a methodology to analyze the effects of urban regeneration in historical sites. Different case studies are observed in depth, and they allow us to understand certain aspects concerning ex-post and ex-ante assessments. This methodology, which is supported by Geographic Information System (GIS) software and an online database, is based on different phases: the first is the quantification of the resources employed within the process, giving attention to the policies that are the basis for social and environmental changes. Then, the analysis moves to the effects of the interventions. In particular, the goal of the methodology was to understand how different urban operations can contribute to creating public value, and importance was given to the available tools for public bodies to develop partnerships and to capture that value. With the ex-post assessment, it was feasible to compare the situations before and after the realization of the projects, whereas, with the ex-ante assessment, it was viable to assess different possible development scenarios and compare them with the baseline of the current situation. The methodology was tested for the ex-post assessment case study of the city of Porto (PT) and for the ex-ante assessment case study of the city of Brescia (IT). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Review
Sustainable Utilization of Steel Slag from Traditional Industry and Agriculture to Catalysis
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 9295; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12219295 - 09 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 558
Abstract
Steel slag is a large amount of residual material produced in the process of steel manufacturing. With the requirements of sustainable development in China, the utilization of steel slag has become a hot issue. Through an in-depth study on steel slag, it is [...] Read more.
Steel slag is a large amount of residual material produced in the process of steel manufacturing. With the requirements of sustainable development in China, the utilization of steel slag has become a hot issue. Through an in-depth study on steel slag, it is apparent that it has been widely used in various fields in recent years. The resource utilization of steel slag is not only conducive to resource conservation, but also conducive to sustainable production and environmental protection. In this paper, the common ways of resource utilization of steel slag in construction, agriculture, industry, and catalysis are reviewed. Steel slag as a solid waste with great development potential and large output is expected to be widely developed into high value-added products such as catalytic material in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Waste Utilization and Resource Recovery)
Article
Finding the Links between Risk Management and Project Success: Evidence from International Development Projects in Colombia
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 9294; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12219294 - 09 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 822
Abstract
The aim of this research is to help improve the effectiveness of international development projects (IDPs) with a focus on enhancing their success. For this purpose, this work seeks to identify links between the management of risks among five projects executed in Cauca [...] Read more.
The aim of this research is to help improve the effectiveness of international development projects (IDPs) with a focus on enhancing their success. For this purpose, this work seeks to identify links between the management of risks among five projects executed in Cauca (Colombia) and the success of these projects in terms of project management and impacts on the beneficiary communities. An analysis of these projects reveals the most critical risks encountered and the relationships between the management of those risks and the success of the projects. The use of fuzzy logic through the fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) program is key to performing this difficult task. The results of a qualitative study reveal that the most important risks correspond to economic, cultural, and political factors. A quantitative analysis by fsQCA shows a direct relationship between the management of cultural differences and the positive impacts of IDPs on the beneficiary communities. Full article
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Article
Defining Smart Mobility Service Levels via Text Mining
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 9293; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12219293 - 09 Nov 2020
Viewed by 566
Abstract
The concept of smart mobility depends on a country’s or city’s visions and surroundings, such as traffic issues and available transportation modes. This study, therefore, proposes a clear and consistent set of definitions for smart mobility, in the context of past, present, and [...] Read more.
The concept of smart mobility depends on a country’s or city’s visions and surroundings, such as traffic issues and available transportation modes. This study, therefore, proposes a clear and consistent set of definitions for smart mobility, in the context of past, present, and future, based on investigations of smart mobility practices in South Korea and overseas. In addition, smart mobility definitions are collected from various written sources and analyzed via text mining to define levels of smart mobility beyond the present service level. This study therefore defines smart mobility in six stages: level 0, base infrastructure; level 1, individual digitization; level 2, partial integration; level 3, full integration; level 4, personalized integration; and level 5, mobility transformation. The definition of each stage includes the scope of transportation modes to be integrated, required technology level, mobility operations, and user convenience. This definition of smart mobility by stage will be beneficial for setting the targeted levels of smart mobility services in projects and for setting goals not only in the present context but also for the future of smart mobility, which will be utilized as a roadmap for the implementation of smart mobility in many countries and cities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Transportation)
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Article
The Use of a Cooperative-Learning Activity with University Students: A Gender Experience
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 9292; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12219292 - 09 Nov 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 713
Abstract
The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) show how education is essential for creating values in students. In particular, SDG 4 (quality education) and SDG 5 (gender equality) indicate how co-education should be a sustainable benchmark. Co-educational methodologies have been studied for decades. Among [...] Read more.
The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) show how education is essential for creating values in students. In particular, SDG 4 (quality education) and SDG 5 (gender equality) indicate how co-education should be a sustainable benchmark. Co-educational methodologies have been studied for decades. Among them, cooperative learning is considered a valid technique for developing social relations and competences. This study aims to describe and characterize the gender differences between university students regarding their impressions and behaviors when working cooperatively. One hundred and seventy-seven university students (98 women and 79 men), from Physical Education and Primary Education degree courses, worked with Aronson’s Jigsaw technique. After its completion, they completed a questionnaire to analyze cooperative work in higher education (ACOES). The results are organized into seven dimensions. The main gender differences found show that women gave a higher evaluation to relating cooperative learning to future teaching roles (p = 0.017) and to understanding the need for cooperative tasks (p = 0.035). Additionally, female students prefer groups to be organized according to academic criteria and that they should remain stable throughout the academic period. Both genders value Aronson’s Jigsaw as a good method for developing social competences, although they are more neutral when considering it effective at improving academic performance. These findings help to generate a gender-cooperation profile that will enable future research to discuss results more accurately. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cooperative Learning for Sustainable Development and Education)
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Article
Improving Health Professionals’ Involvement Whilst Sustaining Work–Life Balance: Evidence from an Empirical Analysis
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 9291; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12219291 - 09 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 525
Abstract
Most sustainability studies applied to healthcare primarily focus on external viability. In particular, they look at the ability of healthcare institutions to establish an economic, environmental, social, and political consonance with their context. Conversely, limited attention has been paid to issues related to [...] Read more.
Most sustainability studies applied to healthcare primarily focus on external viability. In particular, they look at the ability of healthcare institutions to establish an economic, environmental, social, and political consonance with their context. Conversely, limited attention has been paid to issues related to internal sustainability. The article discusses health professionals’ involvement as a human resource management practice which contributes to the viability of healthcare organizations. A sequential mediation analysis was designed to shed light on the effects of employees’ involvement on work–life balance, which is an essential ingredient of the recipe for internal sustainability. The study findings suggest that health professionals’ involvement may determine an intensification and an extensification of work efforts, which undermine their work–life balance. Nevertheless, the implications of employees’ involvement on work–life balance are positively and significantly mediated by supportive relationships at work and positive organizational climate. From this standpoint, health professionals’ involvement may act as an effective strategy to enhance the internal sustainability of health care organizations if matched with better relationships with supervisors and improved organizational climate. Whilst calling for further research to enlighten issues and challenges related to internal sustainability, the article stresses that health professionals’ involvement should be paired with an improvement of the organizational climate to contribute to an increased viability of health care institutions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health and Sustainability)
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Article
Improving Cooperation among Farmers for Communal Land Conservation in Ethiopia: A Public Goods Experiment
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 9290; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12219290 - 09 Nov 2020
Viewed by 487
Abstract
Farmers in developing countries depend on communal natural resources, yet countries in Sub-Saharan Africa are facing the severe degradation of communal lands due to the so-called “tragedy of the commons”. For the sustainable management of common resources, policy interventions, such as farmer seminars, [...] Read more.
Farmers in developing countries depend on communal natural resources, yet countries in Sub-Saharan Africa are facing the severe degradation of communal lands due to the so-called “tragedy of the commons”. For the sustainable management of common resources, policy interventions, such as farmer seminars, are necessary to ensure high-level cooperation among farmers for land conservation. However, the effects of this type of information provision are not well known. The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of the dissemination of conservation information on collaborative communal forest management using an economic field experiment with 936 farmers selected by random sampling from 11 villages in the northern Ethiopian Highlands. We conducted a public goods game experiment using a framework of voluntary contribution to communal land conservation with an intervention to remind participants about the consequence of their behaviors. The results show that the volunteer contribution increased after the intervention, and thereafter the decay of the contribution was slow. The results indicate that providing information about the consequences leads to a higher contribution. The effects of information provision are heterogeneous in terms of social condition, such as access to an urban area and social capital, and individual characteristics, such as wealth. These findings imply that information provision effectively improves farmer collaboration toward natural resource conservation in developing countries. Full article
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Article
Envisaging Mitigation Action Can Induce Lower Discounting toward Future Environmental Gains and Promote Pro-Environmental Behavior
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 9289; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12219289 - 09 Nov 2020
Viewed by 555
Abstract
Low engagement with climate change may stem from the tendency to discount the distant benefits of mitigation action. Hence, a reduced tendency to discount the future should be associated with increased involvement in climate change mitigation. Prior research has demonstrated that episodic future [...] Read more.
Low engagement with climate change may stem from the tendency to discount the distant benefits of mitigation action. Hence, a reduced tendency to discount the future should be associated with increased involvement in climate change mitigation. Prior research has demonstrated that episodic future thinking (EFT; i.e., envisioning future events that involve self-projection) can reduce discounting. In two laboratory studies, we showed that engaging in EFT about mitigation action was associated with a lower discounting tendency toward future environmental gains (Experiments 1 and 2) and a greater tendency to act pro-environmentally, as manifested by using air conditioning in an energy-saving manner (Experiment 1), choosing a meal with less environmental impact (Experiment 2), and willingness to participate in beach cleaning (Experiment 2). The present findings suggest that engagement in EFT about mitigation action may represent a promising strategy for improving personal involvement in climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Placing Climate Action)
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Article
Analysis of Longitudinal Timber Beam Joints Loaded with Simple Bending
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 9288; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12219288 - 09 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 510
Abstract
The joints in timber structures are often the decisive factor in determining the load-bearing capacity, rigidity, sustainability, and durability of timber structures. Compared with the fasteners used for steel and concrete structures, fasteners for timber structures generally have a lower load-bearing capacity and [...] Read more.
The joints in timber structures are often the decisive factor in determining the load-bearing capacity, rigidity, sustainability, and durability of timber structures. Compared with the fasteners used for steel and concrete structures, fasteners for timber structures generally have a lower load-bearing capacity and rigidity, with the exception of glued joints. Glued joints in timber structures constitute a diverse group of rigid joints which are distinguished by sudden failure when the joint’s load-bearing capacity is reached. In this contribution, the load-bearing capacity of a longitudinal joint for a beam under simple flexural stress is analyzed using glued, double-sided splices. Joints with double-sided splices and connecting screws were also tested to compare the load-bearing capacity and rigidity. A third series of tests was carried out on joints made using glued double-sided splices augmented with screws. The aim of this combined joint was to ensure greater ductility after the load-bearing capacity of the glued splice joint had been reached. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Civil Engineering as a Tool for Developing a Sustainable Society)
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Article
The Application of ICT and Smart Technologies in Polish Museums—Towards Smart Tourism
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 9287; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12219287 - 09 Nov 2020
Viewed by 886
Abstract
The concept of Smart Tourism is rapidly developing alongside Smart Cities, with increasing numbers of ICT solutions being applied for the convenience of travelers as well as for gathering information, which has become a valuable resource. The vast progress in the development of [...] Read more.
The concept of Smart Tourism is rapidly developing alongside Smart Cities, with increasing numbers of ICT solutions being applied for the convenience of travelers as well as for gathering information, which has become a valuable resource. The vast progress in the development of Information Technologies has also impacted the needs and expectations of tourists. However, various branches of tourism are adopting this concept at a different pace, and thus a growing development gap might emerge. Cases from all over the world show that museums are not immune to this, and it is important for their future to meet these expectations. Therefore, the main objective of this study was to investigate the use of modern technologies in Polish museums and assess their readiness for adopting Smart Tourism. For this purpose, a nationwide online survey was conducted with a sample size of 218 museums (from 500 unique entities in total). The results show that the issue of Smart Tourism in Polish museums is ambiguous. The results reveal that, currently, the status of Smart Tourism adoption in museums is quite low, and significant gaps in some areas are shown; at the same time, other areas revealed a high potential for the future application of Smart Tourism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Business Models in Tourism)
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Article
Identification of the Proper Criteria Set for Neighborhood Walkability Using the Fuzzy Analytic Hierarchy Process Model: A Case Study in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 9286; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12219286 - 09 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 531
Abstract
Identifying the appropriate criteria for neighborhood walkability is crucial to improve walkability. This paper aims to identify the proper criteria set for neighborhood walkability using the fuzzy analytic hierarchy process model (FAHP) for the case of Jeddah city, a fast-growing city in Saudi [...] Read more.
Identifying the appropriate criteria for neighborhood walkability is crucial to improve walkability. This paper aims to identify the proper criteria set for neighborhood walkability using the fuzzy analytic hierarchy process model (FAHP) for the case of Jeddah city, a fast-growing city in Saudi Arabia. This paper strives to highlight the criteria and factors that influence Jeddah’s walkability with its populations’ help. A survey questionnaire was used first to gather data regarding people’s reasons for walking and the elements that encourage them to walk. Then the criteria were derived using the fuzzy analytic hierarchy process (FAHP) method. Results indicate that mosques were the most visited destinations, with over a 30% rate. Eighty-six percent of the criteria that determine a walkable neighborhood in Jeddah were physical environments alone. It was also revealed that the residents regarded walking as a leisure activity rather than a utilitarian. The results show the proposed method’s capability in providing proper neighborhood walkability criteria related to Jeddah’s context. The FAHP proves its use in various urban studies fields in transportation and validation of the walkability index; this paper proves it can also help develop new criteria for walkability measures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Walkable living environments)
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Article
Effect of Underground-Type Ammunition Magazine Construction in Respect of Civil and Military Coexistence
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 9285; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12219285 - 09 Nov 2020
Viewed by 425
Abstract
Recently, rapid urban development and changes in the national defense environment have required civil–military coexistence plans. In particular, this is an urgent issue for ammunition magazines, which have the widest range of military protection zones among military facilities because of the safety distance [...] Read more.
Recently, rapid urban development and changes in the national defense environment have required civil–military coexistence plans. In particular, this is an urgent issue for ammunition magazines, which have the widest range of military protection zones among military facilities because of the safety distance standard and their location at transportation hubs. In this study, fundamental research was conducted on underground-type ammunition magazines for the sake of the sustainable civil and military developments. First, the effects of reducing the safety distance for underground-type ammunition magazines, compared to that for ground-type ammunition magazines, were evaluated. Economic and environmental effects expected by substituting underground-type ammunition magazines for ground-type ammunition magazines were analyzed based on the results. Then, design methods of the underground-type ammunition magazine that effectively reduce the safety distance were suggested by performing numerical simulations. The installation of chambers at different depths and the application of technologies to reduce explosion pressure inside the chambers were discussed. Finally, an endowment and concession project method was analyzed based on the previous researches as the most efficient way of implementing the project of an underground-type ammunition magazine. It was concluded that research to specify design methods for underground-type ammunition magazines was urgently required to vitalize future underground-type ammunition magazine projects. Full article
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Article
Outdoor Thermal Comfort at a University Campus: Studies from Personal and Long-Term Thermal History Perspectives
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 9284; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12219284 - 09 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 529
Abstract
Thermally comfortable outdoor spaces have contributed to high-quality urban living. In order to provide a further understanding of the influences of gender and long-term thermal history on outdoor thermal comfort, this study conducted field surveys at a university campus in Shanghai, China by [...] Read more.
Thermally comfortable outdoor spaces have contributed to high-quality urban living. In order to provide a further understanding of the influences of gender and long-term thermal history on outdoor thermal comfort, this study conducted field surveys at a university campus in Shanghai, China by carrying out microclimatic monitoring and subjective questionnaires from May to October, 2019. The analysis of collected data found that, during our survey, 57% of the occupants felt comfortable overall and 40–60% of them perceived the microclimate variables (air temperature, humidity, solar radiation, and wind speed) as “neutral”. The universal thermal climate index (UTCI) provided a better correlation with occupant thermal sensation than the physiologically equivalent temperature (PET). Females were more sensitive to the outdoor thermal environment than males. Older age led to lower thermal sensation, but the thermal sensitivities for age groups of <20, 20–50, and >50 were similar. Occupants who had resided in Shanghai for a longer period showed higher overall comfort rating and lower thermal sensation. Interviewees who came from hot summer and cold winter climate regions were less effected by the change of UTCI than those from severe cold or cold climate regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Sustainable Urban Environmental Planning)
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Article
The Digitalization Sustainability Matrix: A Participatory Research Tool for Investigating Digitainability
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 9283; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12219283 - 09 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 904
Abstract
Rapidly increasing applications of Digitalization and Artificial Intelligence (D&AI) are already impacting our day-to-day life substantially, along with social and economic prospects worldwide. The accelerating utilization of D&AI has stirred the discussion concerning the responsible application of technologies for assisting the implementation of [...] Read more.
Rapidly increasing applications of Digitalization and Artificial Intelligence (D&AI) are already impacting our day-to-day life substantially, along with social and economic prospects worldwide. The accelerating utilization of D&AI has stirred the discussion concerning the responsible application of technologies for assisting the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). D&AI can raise productivity, lower costs, reduce resource intensity, and enable efficient public services. However, there are also risks and downsides that we all must identify and tackle to address any potential short-/long-term undesired impact. Notably, there exists a gap in knowledge about the mutual relationships between D&AI and the 17 SDGs. To address this gap and gather broader perspectives of experts on the potential uses and pitfalls of D&AI for SDGs and their respective indicators, we propose a participatory research approach: the Digitalization–Sustainability Matrix (DSM). The DSM serves as a means for collaborative methods, such as participatory action research (PAR), for the knowledge production process. We exercised the DSM in the Digitainable Thinkathon event, a gathering of experts from diverse sectors and backgrounds for capturing the action-oriented dialogues concerning the use of D&AI technologies for the indicators of SDGs 4 (Education) and 13 (Climate Action). As a tool, the DSM aided in the discussion by systematically capturing transdisciplinary knowledge generated on several aspects, such as: (1) the need for research–practice nexus action; (2) data-capturing efforts and social considerations; (3) collaborative planning for utilizing the power of D&AI; (4) lessons from the diverse community to encourage the purposeful use of technologies. Overall, the proposed approach effectively triggered a discussion on the crucial aspects that need to be considered for D&AI’s practices, a step towards deep-rooting the transdisciplinary perspectives for meaningful use of D&AI for SDGs. Full article
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Article
How Could Cooperatives Successfully Develop Their Social Responsibility: The Perspective of Life Cycle
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 9282; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12219282 - 09 Nov 2020
Viewed by 533
Abstract
Social responsibility is a natural obligation of cooperatives, and fulfilling social responsibility is of great meaning to the sustainable development of cooperatives and society. This article constructs a “life cycle-cooperative social responsibility framework (LC-CoopSRF)” and analyzes the framework with the case of Chongxin [...] Read more.
Social responsibility is a natural obligation of cooperatives, and fulfilling social responsibility is of great meaning to the sustainable development of cooperatives and society. This article constructs a “life cycle-cooperative social responsibility framework (LC-CoopSRF)” and analyzes the framework with the case of Chongxin Apiculture Specialized Cooperative of Sichuan Province, China. The research results show that cooperatives should respect the law of life cycle, consider conditions such as operational capabilities and ethical expectations, and fulfill social responsibility in a reasonable manner. The successful cooperative highlights the bottom-line responsibility in the establishment phase, internal responsibility in the growth phase, system responsibility in the maturity phase, and the differentiation phase is the phase of system responsibility. Full article
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Article
Comparative Analysis of Data Detection Techniques for 5G Massive MIMO Systems
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 9281; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12219281 - 09 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 561
Abstract
Massive multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) is a backbone technology in the fifth-generation (5G) and beyond 5G (B5G) networks. It enhances performance gain, energy efficiency, and spectral efficiency. Unfortunately, a massive number of antennas need sophisticated processing to detect the transmitted signal. Although a detector [...] Read more.
Massive multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) is a backbone technology in the fifth-generation (5G) and beyond 5G (B5G) networks. It enhances performance gain, energy efficiency, and spectral efficiency. Unfortunately, a massive number of antennas need sophisticated processing to detect the transmitted signal. Although a detector based on the maximum likelihood (ML) is optimal, it incurs a high computational complexity, and hence, it is not hardware-friendly. In addition, the conventional linear detectors, such as the minimum mean square error (MMSE), include a matrix inversion, which causes a high computational complexity. As an alternative solution, approximate message passing (AMP) algorithm is proposed for data detection in massive MIMO uplink (UL) detectors. Although the AMP algorithm is converging extremely fast, the convergence is not guaranteed. A good initialization influences the convergence rate and affects the performance substantially together and the complexity. In this paper, we exploit several free-matrix-inversion methods, namely, the successive over-relaxation (SOR), the Gauss–Seidel (GS), and the Jacobi (JA), to initialize the AMP-based massive MIMO UL detector. In other words, hybrid detectors are proposed based on AMP, JA, SOR, and GS with an efficient initialization. Numerical results show that proposed detectors achieve a significant performance enhancement and a large reduction in the computational complexity. Full article
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Review
The First Two Decades of Smart City Research from a Risk Perspective
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 9280; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12219280 - 09 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 842
Abstract
Although they offer major advantages, smart cities present unprecedented risks and challenges. There are abundant discrete studies on risks related to smart cities; however, such risks have not been thoroughly understood to date. This paper is a systematic review that aims to identify [...] Read more.
Although they offer major advantages, smart cities present unprecedented risks and challenges. There are abundant discrete studies on risks related to smart cities; however, such risks have not been thoroughly understood to date. This paper is a systematic review that aims to identify the origin, trends, and categories of risks from previous studies on smart cities. This review includes 85 related articles published between 2000 and 2019. Through a thematic analysis, smart city risks were categorized into three main themes: organizational, social, and technological. The risks within the intersections of these themes were also grouped into (1) digital transformation, (2) socio-technical, and (3) corporate social responsibility. The results revealed that risk is a comparatively new topic in smart-city research and that little focus has been given to social risks. The findings indicated that studies from countries with a long history of smart cities tend to place greater emphasis on social risks. This study highlights the significance of smart city risks for researchers and practitioners, providing a solid direction for future smart-city research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Article
Sustainable Reciprocity Mechanism of Social Initiatives in Sport: The Mediating Effect of Gratitude
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 9279; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12219279 - 09 Nov 2020
Viewed by 569
Abstract
The study aims to explore a conceptual model for the sustainable reciprocity relationships in sport-based initiatives and empirically test the model and its underlying mechanism in the context of a real sport-based national initiative. Adapting a seminal work from social work literature as [...] Read more.
The study aims to explore a conceptual model for the sustainable reciprocity relationships in sport-based initiatives and empirically test the model and its underlying mechanism in the context of a real sport-based national initiative. Adapting a seminal work from social work literature as a theoretical framework and the following measurement for the social impact of sport from sport management literature, a conceptual model addressing sport participation, gratitude, social benefits, and prosocial behaviors is presented. Two separate surveys were conducted through face-to-face interviews with independent and random samples representing the Singaporean residents in October 2014 for Study 1 (n = 500) and February 2015 for Study 2 (n = 501). The results demonstrate that the frequency of participation in a range of daily sport activities of a national sport initiative positively influences the perceived value of social capital and health literacy through the mediation effect of gratitude. The study also demonstrates that participation in sport activities positively influences prosocial behavioral intention through the serial mediation effect of gratitude and social capital. The findings implies how we better understand and utilize the dynamic power of gratitude to sustain the win–win relationships to multi-stakeholders in the contexts of sport-based initiatives based on the nature of reciprocity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Physical Activity, Sport and Active Recreation)
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Article
Business Model as a Base for Building Firms’ Competitiveness
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 9278; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12219278 - 09 Nov 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 651
Abstract
Designing and creating a business model is crucial for a successful firm’s operation in today’s market in a complex and changing environment. A business model is the factor that differentiates one firm from another—it defines the distinctions of the firm, how the firm [...] Read more.
Designing and creating a business model is crucial for a successful firm’s operation in today’s market in a complex and changing environment. A business model is the factor that differentiates one firm from another—it defines the distinctions of the firm, how the firm deals with the competition, the firms’ partnerships, and customer relations. This paper explores the role of the business model in the creation of sustainable competitive advantage. The empirical part of the paper presents the business model of three small companies from the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry in Croatia using the Business Model Canvas. Additionally, business model components were also analyzed using a framework for evaluating a business model. The results of the analysis point to a few crucial components of the business model, on which small ICT firms in Croatia build their competitive advantage by creating significant distinctions of those components. These distinctions are essential for their longevity and sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability)
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Article
Sustainable Ambient Environment to Prevent Future Outbreaks: How Ambient Environment Relates to COVID-19 Local Transmission in Lima, Peru
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 9277; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12219277 - 08 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 838
Abstract
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), universally recognized as COVID-19, is currently is a global issue. Our study uses multivariate regression for determining the relationship between the ambient environment and COVID-19 cases in Lima. We also forecast the pattern trajectory of COVID-19 [...] Read more.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), universally recognized as COVID-19, is currently is a global issue. Our study uses multivariate regression for determining the relationship between the ambient environment and COVID-19 cases in Lima. We also forecast the pattern trajectory of COVID-19 cases with variables using an Auto-Regressive Integrated Moving Average Model (ARIMA). There is a significant association between ambient temperature and PM10 and COVID-19 cases, while no significant correlation has been seen for PM2.5. All variables in the multivariate regression model have R2 = 0.788, which describes a significant exposure to COVID-19 cases in Lima. ARIMA (1,1,1), during observation time of PM2.5, PM10, and average temperature, is found to be suitable for forecasting COVID-19 cases in Lima. This result indicates that the expected high particle concentration and low ambient temperature in the coming season will further facilitate the transmission of the coronavirus if there is no other policy intervention. A suggested sustainable policy related to ambient environment and the lessons learned from different countries to prevent future outbreaks are also discussed in this study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Environmental Health and Safety)
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Article
Prediction of Plant Phenological Shift under Climate Change in South Korea
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 9276; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12219276 - 08 Nov 2020
Viewed by 728
Abstract
Information on the phenological shift of plants can be used to detect climate change and predict changes in the ecosystem. In this study, the changes in first flowering dates (FFDs) of the plum tree (Prunus mume), Korean forsythia (Forsythia koreana [...] Read more.
Information on the phenological shift of plants can be used to detect climate change and predict changes in the ecosystem. In this study, the changes in first flowering dates (FFDs) of the plum tree (Prunus mume), Korean forsythia (Forsythia koreana), Korean rosebay (Rhododendron mucronulatum), cherry tree (Prunus yedoensis), and peach tree (Prunus persica) in Korea during 1920–2019 were investigated. In addition, the changes in the climatic factors (temperature and precipitation) and their relationship with the FFDs were analyzed. The changes in the temperature and precipitation during the January–February–March period and the phenological shifts of all research species during 1920–2019 indicate that warm and dry spring weather advances the FFDs. Moreover, the temperature has a greater impact on this phenological shift than precipitation. Earlier flowering species are more likely to advance their FFDs than later flowering species. Hence, the temporal asynchrony among plant species will become worse with climate change. In addition, the FFDs in 2100 were predicted based on representative concentration pathway (RCP) scenarios. The difference between the predicted FFDs of the RCP 4.5 and RCP 6.0 for 2100 was significant; the effectiveness of greenhouse gas policies will presumably determine the degree of the plant phenological shift in the future. Furthermore, we presented the predicted FFDs for 2100. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ambidextrous Open Innovation for Sustainability)
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Article
A Model to Evaluate the Flooding Opportunity and Sustainable Use of Former Open-Pits
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 9275; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12219275 - 08 Nov 2020
Viewed by 707
Abstract
As a result of open-pit mining exploitations, impressive size gaps occur in the landscape. Their flooding leads to the occurrence of so-called open-pit lakes and represents an interesting way to reclaim and use sustainably the degraded land. In the literature, there are numerous [...] Read more.
As a result of open-pit mining exploitations, impressive size gaps occur in the landscape. Their flooding leads to the occurrence of so-called open-pit lakes and represents an interesting way to reclaim and use sustainably the degraded land. In the literature, there are numerous plans, strategies, and guidelines for mine closure and open-pit recovery, but these are usually developed at the regional or national level and offer general suggestions, which must be evaluated and approached case-by-case. Because there is still no way to evaluate the opportunity of flooding the open-pits, a methodology for assessing this opportunity was developed to identify the open-pits that are suitable for flooding, this being the main objective of the paper. The paper is novel because of the multicriteria evaluation of open-pits and their remaining gaps, the logical succession of the criteria, and the proposed concept, methods, models, and equations that allow a complex assessment of the flooding opportunity. The methodology also aims to ensure maximum safety conditions in the former mining perimeter, the socio-economic and cultural requirements of local communities, the harmonization of the land in accordance with adjacent ecosystems, and the sustainable development of the region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Environmental Reclamation: Landscape Planning and Design)
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