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Volume 12, December-1

Sustainability, Volume 12, Issue 24 (December-2 2020) – 468 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Among the positive visions for cities and metropolitan areas for the third millennium, work on the dialectic between water and soil plays an increasingly important role in most landscape design activities. Soil, as a precious non-renewable resource, and water, between scarcity and excess, together represent a fundamental role in local and global balances, similar to the Chinese conception of shan-shui . With an ever-increasing recurrence, the interventions reflect the effects of this dialectic as a constitutive element, both in terms of morphologies and design approach, and of the reciprocal conditions of quality and resilience, combining ecosystem effects and cultural values. In some cases, this dyad has assumed the role of “raw material” in those design processes where they are called to specifically question the relationship between nature and human settlements. View this paper
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Review
Selenium: An Essential Micronutrient for Sustainable Dairy Cows Production
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10693; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su122410693 - 21 Dec 2020
Viewed by 812
Abstract
This review article discusses the importance and effects of Selenium (Se) in sustainable dairy cows’ production. The Se is an important micronutrient in dairy cows. It is one of the important feed derived antioxidants. It participates in important enzymes and enzyme reactions to [...] Read more.
This review article discusses the importance and effects of Selenium (Se) in sustainable dairy cows’ production. The Se is an important micronutrient in dairy cows. It is one of the important feed derived antioxidants. It participates in important enzymes and enzyme reactions to improve metabolism, growth, and the defense system of the body, which results in the improved health of animals, particularly that of the mammary gland and reproductive system, thereby improving productive and reproductive performance. The Se is usually deficient in soil due to current extensive farming strategies, so its supplementation is generally advised. Supplementation of Se in organic form is generally preferred over inorganic form due to its better incorporation and uptake, resulting in improved performance. Kidneys, liver, testis, and lungs are important sites for Se storage. The Se is excreted in urine, feces, exhaled breath, loss of skin, and hair cells. Although Se supplementation plays an important role in the profitability of dairy cows, its excess intake is toxic and should be avoided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Nutrition and Welfare in Sustainable Production Systems)
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Article
Comparative Assessment of Different Modelling Schemes and Their Applicability to Inland Small Reservoirs: A Central Europe Case Study
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10692; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su122410692 - 21 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 596
Abstract
Sustainable landscape management involve also water reservoir management. The demand of their reconstruction represents a good opportunity for redesigning hydrotechnical structures and their parameters using recent methods and models. The estimation of wind-driven waves on small water reservoirs and their effects on water [...] Read more.
Sustainable landscape management involve also water reservoir management. The demand of their reconstruction represents a good opportunity for redesigning hydrotechnical structures and their parameters using recent methods and models. The estimation of wind-driven waves on small water reservoirs and their effects on water reservoir structures rarely are applied, although it is an important part of the dam height calculation. The analysis of wave run-up on the upstream face of the dam was performed by means of the Slovak Technical Standard (STN), Coastal Engineering Manual (CEM), Shore Protection Manual (SPM) and model designed by American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE). The estimations of the wave characteristics differ depending on the model; wave height (H13%) within the range 0.32–0.56 m, wave period 1.32–2.11 s and run-up (R2%) 0.84–1.68 m under conditions of design wind speed 25 m·s−1. Results obtained by CEM, SPM models predict lower values than STN and ASABE models. Since the height difference between the dam crest and still water level in the reservoir is only 0.90 m, we can expect overtopping of the crest by waves after the critical wind speed is exceeded. Full article
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Article
How Green FinTech Can Alleviate the Impact of Climate Change—The Case of Switzerland
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10691; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su122410691 - 21 Dec 2020
Viewed by 1304
Abstract
The financial services industry is currently undergoing a major transformation, with digitization and sustainability being the core drivers. While both concepts have been researched in recent years, their intersection, often conceived as “green FinTech,” remains under-determined. Therefore, this paper contributes to this important [...] Read more.
The financial services industry is currently undergoing a major transformation, with digitization and sustainability being the core drivers. While both concepts have been researched in recent years, their intersection, often conceived as “green FinTech,” remains under-determined. Therefore, this paper contributes to this important discussion about green FinTech by, first, synthesizing the relevant literature systematically. Second, it shows the results of an empirical, in-depth analysis of the Swiss FinTech landscape both in terms of green FinTech startups as well as the services offered by the incumbents. The research results show that literature in this new domain has only emerged recently, is mostly characterized by a specific focus on isolated aspects of green FinTech and does not provide a comprehensive perspective on the topic yet. In addition, the results from the literature and the market analysis indicate that green FinTech has an impact along the whole value chain of financial services covering customer-to-customer (c2c), business-to-customer (b2c), and business-to-business (b2b) services. Today the field is predominantly captured by startup companies in contrast to the incumbents whose solutions are still rare. Full article
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Article
Mainstreaming Agricultural Biodiversity in Traditional Production Landscapes for Sustainable Development: The Indian Scenario
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10690; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su122410690 - 21 Dec 2020
Viewed by 1126
Abstract
Mainstreaming biodiversity in production landscapes ensures conservation and sustainable use of agricultural biodiversity, the key objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the projects supported by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) Global Environment Facility (GEF). Mainstreaming integrates biodiversity in existing [...] Read more.
Mainstreaming biodiversity in production landscapes ensures conservation and sustainable use of agricultural biodiversity, the key objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the projects supported by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) Global Environment Facility (GEF). Mainstreaming integrates biodiversity in existing or new programs and policies, both cross-sectoral and sector-specific. The conventional model of agricultural production with limited diversity in production systems and use of high chemical input has taught us a valuable lesson as it is adversely impacting the environment, the essential ecosystem services, the soil health and the long term sustainability of our food systems. Using a qualitative participant observation approach, our study investigated four distinct traditional Indian production landscapes to gage (i) the farming communities’ response to institutional policies, programs and agricultural biodiversity-related activities in traditional Indian production landscapes and (ii) opportunities and challenges for sustainable development in smallholder traditional Indian farming systems. Results indicate that the top-down decision-making regime is the least effective towards achieving sustainable development in traditional Indian farming landscapes and that farmers’ experiential knowledge on participatory biodiversity management, maintenance and use for sustainable development are of critical importance to India’s agriculture and economy. Reclaiming agriculture’s spiritual roots through organic farming and locally grown food emerged as key, including the need for designing and implementing a more sovereign food system. Revisiting traditional smallholder farming under the COVID-19 pandemic and lessons learned for repurposing India’s agricultural policy are also highlighted. Full article
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Article
Towards Decision-Making for the Assessment and Prioritization of Green Projects: An Integration between System Dynamics and Participatory Modeling
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10689; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su122410689 - 21 Dec 2020
Viewed by 724
Abstract
This research article presents the integration of participatory modeling and system dynamics as a novel methodology for the consolidation of social dynamic models for the subsequent evaluation and prioritization of green projects in Colombian post-conflict communities. First, through participatory work carried out with [...] Read more.
This research article presents the integration of participatory modeling and system dynamics as a novel methodology for the consolidation of social dynamic models for the subsequent evaluation and prioritization of green projects in Colombian post-conflict communities. First, through participatory work carried out with a community, the citizen factors were identified, evaluated, and systematized in relation to the problems and needs of the region. Second, based on the results obtained, a simulation model based on system dynamics—which facilitates decision-making with regard to the evaluation of green projects—was calibrated. The proposed methodology lead to the conclusion that, with the participation of the community, and with a model based on the dynamics of the variables—such as supply and demand—for natural water and land resources, it is possible to warn decision-makers about variables that can lead to the maximization of investments, and thus to prioritize and select the most appropriate environmental, social, or economic initiatives that meet the needs or expectations of the involved community. In the future, the model could be used to facilitate the management, administration, and control of water and land resources by creating alerts called reserve margins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental and Social Sustainability in Rural Areas)
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Article
CSR, Co-Creation and Green Consumer Loyalty: Are Green Banking Initiatives Important? A Moderated Mediation Approach from an Emerging Economy
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10688; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su122410688 - 21 Dec 2020
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 1023
Abstract
The homogenization of the banking segment has made it difficult for banking institutions to practice the quality of services that are needed in order to retain consumers. Thus, these days, finding ways to increase consumer loyalty—especially green loyalty—has become a challenge for the [...] Read more.
The homogenization of the banking segment has made it difficult for banking institutions to practice the quality of services that are needed in order to retain consumers. Thus, these days, finding ways to increase consumer loyalty—especially green loyalty—has become a challenge for the banking industry around the planet. Research has long acknowledged that corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a strategic concern that could help organizations to increase consumer loyalty. However, the impact of CSR practices on green consumer loyalty is rarely addressed in the extant literature. Hence, the present research investigated the impact of CSR on green consumer loyalty with the mediating effect of co-creation in the banking industry of Pakistan. The study also introduced green banking initiatives as a moderator between the mediated relation of CSR and green consumer loyalty, with the intention that such a moderator would strengthen this indirect relationship. The structural equation modeling technique was used for the data analysis. The results confirm that CSR enhances consumer loyalty, and that co-creation partially mediates this relationship. Furthermore, green banking initiatives further strengthen this relation. The results of the current survey could help banking institutions learn how they can develop core strategic considerations based on the integration of CSR co-creation and green banking initiatives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and CSR Reporting)
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Article
Asymmetric Dependence between Oil Prices and Maritime Freight Rates: A Time-Varying Copula Approach
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10687; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su122410687 - 21 Dec 2020
Viewed by 617
Abstract
Changes in crude oil price affect the shipping freight market via three different channels. This study explores the dependence structure between oil prices and maritime freight rates to identify the effective channel. Therefore, it investigates the relationship between oil prices and three major [...] Read more.
Changes in crude oil price affect the shipping freight market via three different channels. This study explores the dependence structure between oil prices and maritime freight rates to identify the effective channel. Therefore, it investigates the relationship between oil prices and three major maritime freight rates; the Baltic Dry Index (BDI), the Baltic Dirty Tanker Index (BDTI), and the Baltic Clean Tanker Index (BCTI). We employ the decomposition method, not studied in the existing literature, and the copula approach which can identify the time-varying effects and asymmetry in the tail dependence structure between oil prices and freight rates. The main results of this analysis are as follows: the decomposed components display different conditional dependence patterns, and asymmetry is revealed in the upper and lower tail dependence. In the long-run, we find more dependence in extreme periods like the financial crises. In short-run fluctuations, we find the dependence increases in an economic boom. The implications of the results suggest that dependence can vary over time and may change depending on extreme events, implying that the complementary strategies should be different the long-run and short-run. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Future and Sustainability of Financial Markets)
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Article
Life Cycle Environmental Assessment of Light Steel Framed Buildings with Cement-Based Walls and Floors
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10686; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su122410686 - 21 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 546
Abstract
The objective of this paper is to apply the life cycle assessment methodology to assess the environmental impacts of light steel framed buildings fabricated from cold formed steel (CFS) sections. The assessment covers all phases over the life span of the building from [...] Read more.
The objective of this paper is to apply the life cycle assessment methodology to assess the environmental impacts of light steel framed buildings fabricated from cold formed steel (CFS) sections. The assessment covers all phases over the life span of the building from material production, construction, use, and the end of building life, in addition to loads and benefits from reuse/recycling after building disposal. The life cycle inventory and environmental impact indicators are estimated using the Athena Impact Estimator for Buildings. The input data related to the building materials used are extracted from a building information model of the building while the operating energy in the use phase is calculated using an energy simulation software. The Athena Impact Estimator calculates the following mid-point environmental measures: global warming potential (GWP), acidification potential, human health potential, ozone depletion potential, smog potential, eutrophication potential, primary and non-renewable energy (PE) consumption, and fossil fuel consumption. The LCA assessment was applied to a case study of a university building. Results of the case study related to GWP and PE were as follows. The building foundations were responsible for 29% of the embodied GWP and 20% of the embodied PE, while the CFS skeleton was responsible for 30% of the embodied GWP and 49% of the embodied PE. The production stage was responsible for 90% of the embodied GWP and embodied PE. When benefits associated with recycling/reuse were included in the analysis according to Module D of EN 15978, the embodied GWP was reduced by 15.4% while the embodied PE was reduced by 6.22%. Compared with conventional construction systems, the CFS framing systems had much lower embodied GWP and PE. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Building Materials and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA))
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Article
Can Digital Transformation Solve the Problem of Arctic Youth Migration Outflow?
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10685; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su122410685 - 21 Dec 2020
Viewed by 778
Abstract
Youth educational migration is an urgent problem for most Arctic cities. In particular, this problem is extremely important for Russia in the context of changing the paradigm of the planned development of the Arctic oil and gas economy into indefinite long-term prospects and [...] Read more.
Youth educational migration is an urgent problem for most Arctic cities. In particular, this problem is extremely important for Russia in the context of changing the paradigm of the planned development of the Arctic oil and gas economy into indefinite long-term prospects and scenarios of Arctic development. This situation led to reducing social-economic northern benefits and compensations and strengthens the trends of Arctic youth educational migration. However, the experience of digital transformation and forced distance learning due to the pandemic of 2020 could bring young people a new understanding of the opportunities of digitalization, influencing their migration decisions. To clarify the potential of digital technologies in solving the problem of youth migration outflow in the Russian Arctic, we surveyed the students at technical schools and colleges of the Yamal-Nenets autonomous area, Russia; sample size 1532 students in total. The analysis of the survey’s results proved the intention of most respondents to move to larger cities in non-Arctic territories. Together with that, we revealed a high potential of digital technologies in addressing the problem of youth migration which was previously considered unsolvable. In particular, the accessibility of quality distance education can sufficiently increase the attractiveness of Arctic territories for youth life, study, and development. Basing on the research results, we suppose that Arctic youth migration outflow can be sufficiently decreased if the measures proposed in the research are implemented with the help of digitalization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Impact of Digitalization on the Quality of Life)
Article
Mathematical Model for Regular and Irregular PV Arrays with Improved Calculation Speed
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10684; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su122410684 - 21 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 574
Abstract
Photovoltaic (PV) systems are usually developed by configuring the PV arrays with regular connection schemes, such as series-parallel, total cross-tied, bridge-linked, among others. Such a strategy is aimed at increasing the power that is generated by the PV system under partial shading conditions, [...] Read more.
Photovoltaic (PV) systems are usually developed by configuring the PV arrays with regular connection schemes, such as series-parallel, total cross-tied, bridge-linked, among others. Such a strategy is aimed at increasing the power that is generated by the PV system under partial shading conditions, since the power production changes depending on the connection scheme. Moreover, irregular and non-common connection schemes could provide higher power production for irregular (but realistic) shading conditions that aere caused by threes or other objects. However, there are few mathematical models that are able to predict the power production of different configurations and reproduce the behavior of both regular and irregular PV arrays. Those general array models are slow due to the large amount of computations that are needed to find the PV current for a given PV voltage. Therefore, this paper proposes a general mathematical model to predict the power production of regular and irregular PV arrays, which provides a faster calculation in comparison with the general models that were reported in the literature, but without reducing the prediction accuracy. The proposed modeling approach is based on detecting the inflection points that are caused by the bypass diodes activation, which enables to narrow the range in which the modules voltages are searched, thus reducing the calculation time. Therefore, this fast model is useful in designing the fixed connections of PV arrays that are subjected to shading conditions, in order to reconfigure the PV array in real-time, depending on the shading pattern, among other applications. The proposed solution is validated by comparing the results with another general model and with a circuital implementation of the PV system. Full article
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Review
Recent Progress on the Development of Engineered Silica Particles Derived from Rice Husk
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10683; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su122410683 - 21 Dec 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 762
Abstract
The development of engineered silica particles by using low-cost renewable or waste resources is a key example of sustainability. Rice husks have emerged as a renewable resource for the production of engineered silica particles as well as bioenergy. This review presents a state-of-the-art [...] Read more.
The development of engineered silica particles by using low-cost renewable or waste resources is a key example of sustainability. Rice husks have emerged as a renewable resource for the production of engineered silica particles as well as bioenergy. This review presents a state-of-the-art process for the development of engineered silica particles from rice husks via a bottom-up process. The first part of this review focuses on the extraction of Si from rice husks through combustion and chemical reactions. The second part details the technologies for synthesizing engineered silica particles using silicate obtained from rice husks. These include technologies for the precipitation of silica particles, the control of morphological properties, and the synthesis of ordered porous silica particles. Finally, several issues that need to be resolved before this process can be commercialized are addressed for future research. Full article
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Article
Sensorised Low-Cost Pencils for Developing Countries: A Quantitative Analysis of Handwriting Learning Progress in Children with/without Disabilities from a Sustainable Perspective
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10682; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su122410682 - 21 Dec 2020
Viewed by 668
Abstract
Learning to write is a demanding endeavour that requires a combination of linguistic, motor and cognitive skills. Some children suffer from delay or inability to acquire those skills, which often hampers their performance at school and brings about serious consequences for self-esteem, personal [...] Read more.
Learning to write is a demanding endeavour that requires a combination of linguistic, motor and cognitive skills. Some children suffer from delay or inability to acquire those skills, which often hampers their performance at school and brings about serious consequences for self-esteem, personal expectations and social relationships. The situation worsens in developing countries, due to the lack of resources and specialised personnel. With this background, this paper describes an experiment with a newly-developed sensorised pencil with triangular prism shape, which is shown to yield substantial improvements in children with/without special education needs. A team of experts in the areas of speech therapy, occupational therapy, educational psychology, physiotherapy and pedagogy have expressed very positive opinions about the sensorised pencil and the accompanying software for the acquisition and analysis of quantitative data about handwriting. Furthermore, the device stands out for its low cost in comparison with similar developments, which is a key factor to aid children from low-income families. This fact is explained with a success story of manufacturing and delivering sensorised pencils in the Ecuadorian province of Azuay, framed in a multi-layer sustainable development perspective based on collaboration of several institutions and individuals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Education and Approaches)
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Article
Structural Relationships among Online Community Use, Parental Stress, Social Support, and Quality of Life between Korean and Taiwanese Employed Mothers
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10681; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su122410681 - 21 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 605
Abstract
This study examined mothers’ online community (OC) use and its structural relationship with parental stress, social support, and quality of life (QoL) under the social perspective of leisure and the theory of social support as a stress buffer. The population comprised employed mothers [...] Read more.
This study examined mothers’ online community (OC) use and its structural relationship with parental stress, social support, and quality of life (QoL) under the social perspective of leisure and the theory of social support as a stress buffer. The population comprised employed mothers in two countries, Korea and Taiwan, which constitute appropriate settings for cross-cultural comparisons in the context of mothers’ OC use. The online questionnaire was distributed to 12 Korean mothers’ OCs and 14 Taiwanese mothers’ OCs, targeting employed mothers who have at least one child under seven-years-old and access mothers’ OCs on a regular basis. A total of 232 Korean and 303 Taiwanese responses were analyzed to examine the structural relationships among four key variables using structural equation modelling in AMOS 20. This study confirms that more parental stress leads to worse QoL. However, more parental stress results in less frequent participation in OCs, and OC use exerts a negative influence on QoL, which contradicts the hypothesized positive correlations. In comparison among Korean and Taiwanese mothers, Korean respondents showed a stronger influence of parental stress to mobilize more social support than did Taiwanese. This multidisciplinary study contributes to expanding the literature in noncommercial OCs, employed mothers in online leisure, and online social support in cross-cultural settings to promote the sustainability of families’ wellbeing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Families and Child Welfare)
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Article
Systemic Risk in Global Agricultural Markets and Trade Liberalization under Climate Change: Synchronized Crop-Yield Change and Agricultural Price Volatility
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10680; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su122410680 - 21 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 534
Abstract
Climate change will increase simultaneous crop failures or too abundant harvests, creating global synchronized yield change (SYC), and may decrease stability in the portfolio of food supply sources in agricultural trade. This study evaluated the influence of SYC on the global agricultural market [...] Read more.
Climate change will increase simultaneous crop failures or too abundant harvests, creating global synchronized yield change (SYC), and may decrease stability in the portfolio of food supply sources in agricultural trade. This study evaluated the influence of SYC on the global agricultural market and trade liberalization. The analysis employed a global computable general equilibrium model combined with crop models of four major grains (i.e., rice, wheat, maize, and soybeans), based on predictions of five global climate models. Simulation results show that (1) the SYC structure was statistically robust among countries and four crops, and will be enhanced by climate change, (2) such synchronicity increased the agricultural price volatility and lowered social welfare levels more than expected in the random disturbance (non-SYC) case, and (3) trade liberalization benefited both food-importing and exporting regions, but such effects were degraded by SYC. These outcomes were due to synchronicity in crop-yield change and its ranges enhanced by future climate change. Thus, SYC is a cause of systemic risk to food security and must be considered in designing agricultural trade policies and insurance systems. Full article
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Review
A Systematic Literature Review of Historic Garden Management and Its Economic Aspects
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10679; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su122410679 - 21 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 680
Abstract
Historic gardens are important parts of humanity’s built heritage within the designed landscape, providing many environmental, economic and socio-cultural benefits. Management is a key part of their conservation, perhaps the most difficult because it is costly, must be continual, and requires a skilled [...] Read more.
Historic gardens are important parts of humanity’s built heritage within the designed landscape, providing many environmental, economic and socio-cultural benefits. Management is a key part of their conservation, perhaps the most difficult because it is costly, must be continual, and requires a skilled workforce. This systematic review looks at the literature addressing historic garden management, with special attention regarding the social, economic and environmental aspects of sustainability. Academic studies on this subject come from many different disciplines, making it both stimulating and fragmented. It is now time to consolidate these interdisciplinary efforts into a clear vision, including a framework of key themes and research methods so as to better coordinate efforts and make the information and innovation generated more accessible to the garden managers “in the trenches”. With this aim, reviewed studies are classified according to 10 criteria: supply or demand orientation; management phase involved; primary sustainability processes addressed; geographic criteria; number of sites covered; policy documents referred to; kind of data collected; study methods employed; possibility of bias specifically regarding historic gardens; garden use. An analysis of these criteria shows that historic garden management literature focuses on describing the gardens themselves, with few studies interested in the people supporting them. Future research should follow recent policy documents’ lead and pay more attention to community value and involvement. Full article
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Article
A Sustainable Niche Market: How Does Honey Behave?
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10678; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su122410678 - 21 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 717
Abstract
The global honey market has witnessed constant growth over recent decades, especially in Asian regions. In recent years, the increase in export flows of this product throughout the world has raised the issue of the lack of international import standards and regulations, making [...] Read more.
The global honey market has witnessed constant growth over recent decades, especially in Asian regions. In recent years, the increase in export flows of this product throughout the world has raised the issue of the lack of international import standards and regulations, making trade susceptible to variables that are not only economic, but also social or political. The objective of this study is therefore to explore, using the econometric methodology of gravity models, what the determinants of the international honey trade are, both economic and socio-cultural, and to verify whether a niche market, such as the one being examined, is influenced by these covariates, in a similar manner to the main commodities of the agri-food sector, or if honey displays a unique behavior. The results show that honey market behavior is not statistically different from that of the main agri-food products already studied and that the cultural distance, introduced as a covariate, does not have a significant influence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability)
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Article
An Alternative Statistical Model for Predicting Salinity Variations in Estuaries
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10677; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su122410677 - 21 Dec 2020
Viewed by 535
Abstract
Accurate salinity prediction can support the decision-making of water resources management to mitigate the threat of insufficient freshwater supply in densely populated estuaries. Statistical methods are low-cost and less time-consuming compared with numerical models and physical models for predicting estuarine salinity variations. This [...] Read more.
Accurate salinity prediction can support the decision-making of water resources management to mitigate the threat of insufficient freshwater supply in densely populated estuaries. Statistical methods are low-cost and less time-consuming compared with numerical models and physical models for predicting estuarine salinity variations. This study proposes an alternative statistical model that can more accurately predict the salinity series in estuaries. The model incorporates an autoregressive model to characterize the memory effect of salinity and includes the changes in salinity driven by river discharge and tides. Furthermore, the Gamma distribution function was introduced to correct the hysteresis effects of river discharge, tides and salinity. Based on fixed corrections of long-term effects, dynamic corrections of short-term effects were added to weaken the hysteresis effects. Real-world model application to the Pearl River Estuary obtained satisfactory agreement between predicted and measured salinity peaks, indicating the accuracy of salinity forecasting. Cross-validation and weekly salinity prediction under small, medium and large river discharges were also conducted to further test the reliability of the model. The statistical model provides a good reference for predicting salinity variations in estuaries. Full article
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Article
Situating Indigenous Resilience: Climate Change and Tayal’s “Millet Ark” Action in Taiwan
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10676; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su122410676 - 21 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1345
Abstract
Whereas indigenous people are on the frontlines of global environmental challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and numerous other forms of critical planetary deterioration, the indigenous experiences, responses, and cultural practices have been underestimated in the mainstream frameworks of environmental studies. This [...] Read more.
Whereas indigenous people are on the frontlines of global environmental challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and numerous other forms of critical planetary deterioration, the indigenous experiences, responses, and cultural practices have been underestimated in the mainstream frameworks of environmental studies. This paper aims to articulate a meaningful response to recent calls to indigenous and local knowledge on food as a source of resilience in the face of global climate change. By retrieving the values and practices indigenous people of Taiwan, specifically Tayal women, associate with human and non-human ecologies, our collaborative work with the indigenous community explores indigenous resilience and its relevance to indigenous cultural knowledge and global environmental concerns. Pivoting on the “Millet Ark” action, a Tayal conservation initiative of the bio-cultural diversity of millets, this study revolves around issues of how Tayal communities adapt to the climate change, how to reclaim their voice, heritage, knowledge, place, and land through food, and how to narrate indigenous “counter-stories” of resilience and sustainability. The cultural narrative of “Millet Ark” investigates indigenous way of preserving millet bio-cultural diversity and restoring the land and community heritage, inquiring into how Tayal people are adaptive and resilient to change and therefore sustainable through the cultural and social life of millets. Full article
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Article
Smart Mobility: The Main Drivers for Increasing the Intelligence of Urban Mobility
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10675; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su122410675 - 21 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 742
Abstract
Urban mobility plays a key role in the ecosystems of complex smart cities. It is considered a key factor in enabling cities to become more intelligent, which highlights the importance of identifying the drivers that improve the intelligence of cities. In this study, [...] Read more.
Urban mobility plays a key role in the ecosystems of complex smart cities. It is considered a key factor in enabling cities to become more intelligent, which highlights the importance of identifying the drivers that improve the intelligence of cities. In this study, we investigate the main drivers with the potential to increase urban mobility intelligence and assign them a priority. Following on from a systematic review of the literature, we conducted broad and detailed bibliographic research based on the recommendations of the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA). We also surveyed 181 professionals working in the field concerned to confirm the importance of different drivers and assign them a level of priority. The results show that 27 drivers identified in the literature were considered important, of which seven, related to city governance and technical solutions, were considered the most important to increase urban mobility intelligence. Full article
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Article
Paving towards Strategic Investment Decision: A SWOT Analysis of Renewable Energy in Bangladesh
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10674; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su122410674 - 21 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1198 | Retraction
Abstract
Bangladesh, being a developing country, needs an uninterrupted electricity supply to sustain and expand economic growth. The government’s strategic vision of 2021 and the international commitment under the Paris Agreement has meant to attract new capital investments for renewable electricity generation by diversifying [...] Read more.
Bangladesh, being a developing country, needs an uninterrupted electricity supply to sustain and expand economic growth. The government’s strategic vision of 2021 and the international commitment under the Paris Agreement has meant to attract new capital investments for renewable electricity generation by diversifying energy blends, ranging from natural gas to more reliable coal technologies and renewable energy. To understand the practical implementation of such policies, this paper explores the key factors of the renewable energy (RE) sector of Bangladesh. This research has adopted the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis method to examine the RE market and to understand the determinants of foreign direct investment (FDI) to attract new investments. For the analysis purposes, data were collected from extant literature and semi-structured interviews from the RE experts in Bangladesh. This study bears significance as it empirically reflects the government’s vision and strategy on RE development and analyzes its challenges and recommends accordingly. The analysis of the study reveals that the regulatory framework, tax haven/exemption, higher tariff, and presence of government guarantee are the major strengths to draw foreign investment. On the contrary, land acquisition, lack of coordination and collaboration among government authorities, administrative procedures, corruption, and access to local finance turns out to be the key weaknesses to consider while investing in this sector. In terms of the external factors, increasing energy demand, increasing global awareness of climate change, and decreasing cost of RE setup equipment act as potent opportunities; while the dominance of fossil fuel and discontinuity of energy policies should be taken as threats that can hinder the flow of investment in this sector. Hence, in order to attract sustainable FDI in the RE sector, several key areas need to be strengthened in the short, medium, and long-term. These are: (i) regulations on non-discriminatory treatment to foreign investors; (ii) control of corruption; (iii) protection of intellectual property rights; and (iv) coordination and collaboration between ministries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Energy Transition)
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Article
Carabid Beetle (Coleoptera: Carabidae) Response to Soil Properties of Urban Wastelands in Warsaw, Poland
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10673; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su122410673 - 21 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 552
Abstract
Urban wasteland is of special interest to city planners. However, to integrate such areas into city space management with consideration of nature conservation aspects, a sound assessment of their ecological potential is necessary. The aim of this paper was to analyze whether carabid [...] Read more.
Urban wasteland is of special interest to city planners. However, to integrate such areas into city space management with consideration of nature conservation aspects, a sound assessment of their ecological potential is necessary. The aim of this paper was to analyze whether carabid beetle assemblages of the wastelands are affected by soil parameters, particularly trace element contamination. Therefore, we studied the carabid fauna in relation to selected soil parameters on 56 sampling plots situated in 24 wastelands located in the city of Warsaw (Poland). The results have confirmed our assumptions that the number of species, as well as the number of individual carabid beetles, are negatively affected by an increasing amount of pollutants in the soil. Particularly, the trace elements Pb, Cu, and Cd showed a significantly negative impact. The results are of value when it comes to the use of urban wastelands in the context of sustainable city development. Future use of urban wastelands will be faced with trade-offs between the use for public interests (e.g., housing space) and ecological interests. Phytoremediation and entomoremediation may be included in decontamination measures. The results of studies, such as the one conducted by us, may help to select the respective wastelands for certain purposes. Full article
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Review
Driving the Transition to a Circular Economic Model: A Systematic Review on Drivers and Critical Success Factors in Circular Economy
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10672; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su122410672 - 21 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 738
Abstract
The circular economy (CE) is arising as a novel economic system that is restorative by design. In light of its capability to boost sustainable economic development and to cope with environmental challenges, it has recently attracted increasing attention from academics, practitioners, policymakers, and [...] Read more.
The circular economy (CE) is arising as a novel economic system that is restorative by design. In light of its capability to boost sustainable economic development and to cope with environmental challenges, it has recently attracted increasing attention from academics, practitioners, policymakers, and intergovernmental organizations. Despite the wide speculation on this issue, the scientific literature lacks a wide-ranging, systematic, and updated identification and classification of the main drivers and Critical Success Factors of CE initiatives, which appears increasingly necessary to facilitate future scientific work, practical implementations, and policy guidelines. With this aim, this paper develops a systematic literature review by starting with over 400 manuscripts. A final set of 55 selected papers was selected for singling out and classifying drivers and Critical Success Factors in the CE context. The results may provide clear indications for further research, may help business organizations in evaluating CE initiatives, and may guide policy makers in developing and refining CE normative frameworks. Full article
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Article
Material Entanglements of Writing Practices in the Bronze Age Aegean and Cyprus
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10671; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su122410671 - 21 Dec 2020
Viewed by 647
Abstract
The present paper explores theoretical aspects of the study of writing systems and practices. It approaches the mesh that constitutes writing practice through one type of agent: the writing instrument used to write clay documents in the Bronze Age Aegean and Cyprus. On [...] Read more.
The present paper explores theoretical aspects of the study of writing systems and practices. It approaches the mesh that constitutes writing practice through one type of agent: the writing instrument used to write clay documents in the Bronze Age Aegean and Cyprus. On the one hand, this investigation will use types of writing implements and their distribution to think through wider issues concerning the development of writing practices across the Bronze Age Aegean and Cyprus. On the other, it will attempt to establish the place of writing implements within a broader conceptual framework of the people, things and actions that constitute writing practices in this area and period. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exploring Materiality in the Bronze Age)
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Article
A Study on Sustainable Usage Intention of Blockchain in the Big Data Era: Logistics and Supply Chain Management Companies
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10670; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su122410670 - 21 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 792
Abstract
The adoption of blockchain technology (BT) is becoming increasingly important to the logistics industry. It is expected to make the entire supply chain process more efficient and competitive by providing visibility, reliability, and economic viability. This study aims to explore factors influencing the [...] Read more.
The adoption of blockchain technology (BT) is becoming increasingly important to the logistics industry. It is expected to make the entire supply chain process more efficient and competitive by providing visibility, reliability, and economic viability. This study aims to explore factors influencing the adoption of blockchain in the logistics industry and examine the effects of the reciprocal causal relationship between the identified factors. Empirical research aimed at understanding the functional characteristics of BT and bolstering its application is considerably lacking. This study, therefore, aims to examine the concepts and the types of BT based on a literature review related to blockchain. Factors affecting blockchain adoption are identified using a model, which was developed using the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT) and the technology-organization-environment (TOE) frameworks as well as a literature review. The results provide fundamental insights into the adoption of BT in the logistics industry by increasing the understanding of associated factors and underscoring the functional characteristics of this emerging technology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Network Analysis for Logistics and Supply Chain Management)
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Article
A Pilot Experiment to Develop a Lightweight Non-Nuclear EMP Shelter Applying Civil-Military Cooperation in a Sustainability Policy
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10669; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su122410669 - 21 Dec 2020
Viewed by 606
Abstract
The goal of future wars is to incapacitate national core infrastructures through cyberattacks and electronic wars. The use of high-tech arms including high-power electronic weapons, laser weapons, and railguns to achieve a precise strike, minimum cost, and neutralization is gradually increasing. Considering the [...] Read more.
The goal of future wars is to incapacitate national core infrastructures through cyberattacks and electronic wars. The use of high-tech arms including high-power electronic weapons, laser weapons, and railguns to achieve a precise strike, minimum cost, and neutralization is gradually increasing. Considering the nuclear provocation and non-nuclear electromagnetic pulse (NNEMP) threats from North Korea, it has become urgent for Korea to expand its EMP protection systems. Hence, the need for developing a protective technology lighter than the conventional EMP protection technology is continuously being raised. However, no facility has applied such a lightweight protection technology thus far. Thus, this study tests the performance of a lightweight electromagnetic (EM) shielding material and evaluates the possibility of building a lightweight NNEMP shelter by installing the material. Among the commercially available EM shielding materials, only those appropriate for lightweight purpose are selected. Accordingly, the EM shielding performances of nine fabric types, five film types, and four wallpaper types are tested. For testing, a pan-type EM shielding room 2.5 m × 3.0 m × 2.5 m was constructed with a shielding performance of 80 dB at 18 GHz. The measurement method was based on the IEEE-STD-299 standard, and 10 frequencies from 14 kHz to 18 GHz were used. The result showed that the shielding performance was the highest in the 100 MHz band in most cases. In the high-frequency band above 1 GHz, the shielding performance was almost equal to, or slightly lower than, that in the 100 MHz band. This study confirms the feasibility of building lightweight NNEMP shelters in major military and civil facilities. If the NNEMP shelters to be constructed in military and civil facilities are replaced with lightweight shelters, approximately 49,862.4 tons of CO2 emissions due to the concrete saved can be reduced per shelter. Assuming the Korean carbon transaction price to be USD 50/ton-CO2, the saving amounts to US $2,493,120, contributing to the green growth policy of Korea. Full article
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Article
Co-Composting of Khat-Derived Biochar with Municipal Solid Waste: A Sustainable Practice of Waste Management
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10668; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su122410668 - 21 Dec 2020
Viewed by 861
Abstract
Biochar is a way to improve the performance of the composting process and the quality of compost. This study was aimed to investigate the optimum ratio of khat straw (Catha edulis) biochar and organic municipal solid waste mixtures to improve the [...] Read more.
Biochar is a way to improve the performance of the composting process and the quality of compost. This study was aimed to investigate the optimum ratio of khat straw (Catha edulis) biochar and organic municipal solid waste mixtures to improve the quality of the resulting co-composts. Khat-derived biochar during pyrolysis at 350 °C was added to organic municipal solid waste mix and four co-composting treatments were prepared with the compositions (% w/w): control compost (no biochar) and 5%, 15%, and 25% co-composted biochar in three replicates. The total organic carbon, organic matter, total nitrogen, available phosphorus, and potassium values ranged as 16.76–21.45%, 30.77–40.26%, 0.97–1.68%, 0.58–0.76%, and 12.72–15.29%, respectively. The results confirmed that 5% and 15% co-composted khat biochars had significantly reduced (p < 0.05) organic matter loss and increased the contents of cation exchange capacity, pH, phosphorous, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and zinc compared to the control compost, while some heavy metals (Fe, Cu, and Mn) and EC values in co-composted biochars are lower than the control compost. Khat-derived biochar could be added to municipal organic waste mix at 5–15% (w/w) in order to get better quality of compost, which can be used as biofertilizer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Science and Sustainable Waste Management)
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Article
From Textile Waste to Resource: A Methodological Approach of Research and Experimentation
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10667; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su122410667 - 21 Dec 2020
Viewed by 740
Abstract
The transition to a circular economy shifts the focus onto reusing, renewing and recycling existing materials and products, considering waste as a resource. In this context, this article aims to describe the life cycle approach’s potential for the development of new building products [...] Read more.
The transition to a circular economy shifts the focus onto reusing, renewing and recycling existing materials and products, considering waste as a resource. In this context, this article aims to describe the life cycle approach’s potential for the development of new building products from textile waste, one of the most environmentally impacting activities at a global level, both in relation to the processes that characterise the supply chain and in relation to pre- and post-consumption waste. This article outlines the research methodology adopted by the cluster “From textile waste to resource” of the Department of Architecture and Design, Politecnico di Torino, through the description of research projects carried out in partnership with Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). In particular, it highlights the methodological approach adopted in a “grave to cradle” logic, in which the waste from one process becomes a new resource for another. This article highlights some open issues related to the limits and potential of the use of the life cycle approach as a “tool” to compare different options in a preliminary experimental research phase, to verify the environmental impacts of new materials and products made from recycled materials, and to compare new options with similar solutions available on the market. Full article
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Article
Life in Anticipation of Wind Power Development: Three Cases from Coastal Norway
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10666; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su122410666 - 21 Dec 2020
Viewed by 730
Abstract
Wind power development, whilst welcomed by many as a potentially green source of energy, also gives rise to considerable local resistance. Drawing on three case studies from coastal Norway (Frøya, Haramsøy, and Egersund), the present article sets out to reflect on life in [...] Read more.
Wind power development, whilst welcomed by many as a potentially green source of energy, also gives rise to considerable local resistance. Drawing on three case studies from coastal Norway (Frøya, Haramsøy, and Egersund), the present article sets out to reflect on life in anticipation of wind power development. Reflecting on the nature of life in anticipation of undesired wind power developments, with implications for how life is lived in dread of imminent adversities in general (such as climate change, pandemics, and disaster risks), these case studies focus on how communities relate to the future and how they perceive and strive to organise so as to shape outcomes. A central point raised in this article is that wind power projects could become more socially, environmentally and economically sustainable if greater attention is paid to working with communities to reduce distrust and uncertainties before, during and after such projects. Hence, relational work carried out that may shape the affective state of anticipation prior to and during wind farm construction can be understood as crucial to the sustainability of large-scale green infrastructure projects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Social Ecology and Sustainability)
Article
Preparedness to Implement a Spatial Plan: The Impact of the Land Cooperative in Central Bangka Regency
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10665; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su122410665 - 21 Dec 2020
Viewed by 563
Abstract
Cities are currently struggling with increasingly limited land availability and rising land prices in urban areas. In this regard, proper land management can control land prices and optimize space to be effective, efficient and sustainable. This paper presents the results of research in [...] Read more.
Cities are currently struggling with increasingly limited land availability and rising land prices in urban areas. In this regard, proper land management can control land prices and optimize space to be effective, efficient and sustainable. This paper presents the results of research in Sungai Selan, a small city of Central Bangka Regency. It focuses on the forms of land management by determining the community and stakeholder readiness in a Land Cooperative Institution to implement a Detail Urban Spatial Plan (RDTRK), especially concerning land consolidation. We conducted this study during the Covid-19 pandemic and, therefore, research methods were adapted to suit the prevailing conditions by uploading expert priority choices online. The experts involved were those considered the main stakeholders of RDTRK implementation, such as representatives from the local government agencies, members of the Local Council of People Representative (DPRD), and selected members of cooperatives dealing with land and spatial issues. The results show that stakeholders are in general ready to establish land cooperatives and incorporate into RDTRK implementation with certain conditions. Full article
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Article
Evaluating the Relationship between Freight Transport, Economic Prosperity, Urbanization, and CO2 Emissions: Evidence from Hong Kong, Singapore, and South Korea
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10664; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su122410664 - 21 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 681
Abstract
This paper analyzes the relationship between freight transport, economic prosperity, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, energy consumption, and urbanization for three top Asian economies, namely, Hong Kong, Singapore, and South Korea during 1995–2017. For this purpose, we use the augmented Dickey-Fuller test [...] Read more.
This paper analyzes the relationship between freight transport, economic prosperity, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, energy consumption, and urbanization for three top Asian economies, namely, Hong Kong, Singapore, and South Korea during 1995–2017. For this purpose, we use the augmented Dickey-Fuller test for the stationary of the series, Johansen co-integration approach, and fully modified ordinary least squares and Granger causality model to infer the causal relationship between the study variables. The results show that economic prosperity (GDP) and energy consumption (EC) have a significant impact on freight transport (FT) for all three economies. In addition, the results also manifest the existence of bidirectional causality between GDP and FT in Singapore but a unidirectional causality running from GDP to FT in the case of Hong Kong and South Korea. As a quick policy option, controlling fossil fuel energy consumption in the transport sector may result in a remarkable reduction in CO2 emissions. The present study provides new insights to decision-makers for designing comprehensive energy and environmental policies for future sustainable freight transport growth in the long run. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Mobility Solutions for Sustainable Transportation)
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