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Sustainability, Volume 13, Issue 10 (May-2 2021) – 434 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): An ongoing decrease in habitat and species diversity in Europe, including in grasslands in mountain areas, is calling for adapted biodiversity management and measures. We show that farmers have good but varying knowledge about biodiversity management of their grasslands, as well as different perspectives on how to improve it. Farmers primarily related services of grasslands to cultural and provisioning ecosystem services. Characteristics of good grasslands were mostly related to composition, quality of forage and productivity, and structural criteria. Most measures proposed for increasing biodiversity were upgrading of forest edges, planting hedges or fruit trees, cutting grassland less or later, and reduction or omission of fertilization. Factors hindering the implementation were mainly increased workload, insufficient time, and a lack of financial means to cover additional costs. [...] Read more.
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Article
Urban Health: Assessment of Indoor Environment Spillovers on Health in a Distressed Urban Area of Rome
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5760; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13105760 - 20 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 843
Abstract
It is notable that indoor environment quality plays a crucial role in guaranteeing health, especially if we consider that people spend more than 90% of their time indoors, a percentage that increases for people on low income. This role assumes even further significance [...] Read more.
It is notable that indoor environment quality plays a crucial role in guaranteeing health, especially if we consider that people spend more than 90% of their time indoors, a percentage that increases for people on low income. This role assumes even further significance when dealing with distressed urban areas, vulnerable areas within cities that suffer from multiple deprivations. The community-based interdisciplinary research-action group of the University La Sapienza focused on a complex in the outskirts of Rome. The aim was to assess the correlations between architectural aspects of the indoor environment, socio-economic conditions, such as lifestyles and housing conditions, and eventually health outcomes. The intent of providing a comparative methodology in a context where official data is hard to find, led to the integration of social, health, and housing questionnaires with various environmental software simulations. What emerged is that underprivileged housing conditions, characterized by mold, humidity, unhealthiness, thermohygrometric discomfort, architectural barriers, and overcrowding, are often associated with recurrent pathologies linked to arthritis, respiratory diseases, and domestic accidents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Occupants' Health & Comfort Resilience)
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Article
Social Facilitators of Specialist Knowledge Dispersion in the Digital Era
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5759; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13105759 - 20 May 2021
Viewed by 673
Abstract
The digital revolution has triggered disproportions resulting from unequal access to knowledge and various related skills, because the constituting new civilization is based on specific, high-context, and personalized professional knowledge. In response to these dependencies, and in line with the sustainability paradigm, the [...] Read more.
The digital revolution has triggered disproportions resulting from unequal access to knowledge and various related skills, because the constituting new civilization is based on specific, high-context, and personalized professional knowledge. In response to these dependencies, and in line with the sustainability paradigm, the issue of diffusion of knowledge, especially of the professional type, is of particular importance in eliminating the increasing digital inequalities. Therefore, the main challenge is to stimulate the free dispersion of intellectual workers’ knowledge. Their openness and commitment, devoid of opportunistic and knowledge-flow restraining attitudes, are prerequisites for the development of a sustainable society (synonymous with Civilization 5.0 or Humanity 5.0). The article endeavors to verify trust as the leading factor of effective specialist knowledge exchange. Its purpose is to analyze and diagnose the components, enablers, and types of trust that affect the diffusion of specific forms of professional knowledge in different groups of organizational stakeholders treated as knowledge agents. Systematic scientific literature analysis, expert evaluation, and structured questionnaires were used to develop and verify the hypotheses. Direct semistructured individual interviews, focus-group online interviews, computer-assisted telephone interviews, and computer-assisted web interviews were also applied in the paper. The research results confirmed the assumption that reliability-based trust, built on competence-based trust and reinforced by benevolence-based trust, is the foundation of the exchange of professional knowledge. It also supported the hypotheses that this process depends on the group of knowledge agents, the dominant form of trust, as well as its enhancers and types of exchanged knowledge. Conducted explorations constitute a theoretical and practical contribution to the subject of professional knowledge exchange. They fill the research gap regarding vehicles of trust as a factor of specialist knowledge diffusion and provide general, practical guidelines in terms of shaping individual components of competence-, benevolence-, and reliability-based trust due to the type of transferred knowledge and the group of knowledge agents involved in its circulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Media and Sustainability in the Digital Era)
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Article
(Un)expected Learning Outcomes of Virtual School Garden Exchanges in the Field of Education for Sustainable Development
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5758; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13105758 - 20 May 2021
Viewed by 750
Abstract
Global solidarity is paramount in times of global crises and essential in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). Virtual School Garden Exchanges (VSGEs) link local gardening with global thinking. In VSGEs, elementary and secondary school students in different parts of the world exchange information [...] Read more.
Global solidarity is paramount in times of global crises and essential in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). Virtual School Garden Exchanges (VSGEs) link local gardening with global thinking. In VSGEs, elementary and secondary school students in different parts of the world exchange information about their school gardens and related topics via digital media. Educators’ perspectives and the learning outcomes they observed in the participants of the VSGEs were the focus of this study, as there has been controversy about whether VSGEs are suitable for implementing ESD and whether VSGEs result in the learning outcomes that the educators expect them to. We conducted 20 semi-structured interviews with VSGE educators and analyzed them in an abductive and qualitative manner. The results showed substantial overlap with both the expected learning outcomes and the aims of ESD. Nevertheless, the data revealed different ways in which learners who engaged with their international peers were influenced by stereotypes and norms. On the one hand, VSGEs can lead to Othering, which is not congruent with either ESD or the expected learning outcomes. On the other hand, it can inspire Transformative Learning processes, which contribute to the aims of ESD. Therefore, depending on a complex interplay of various factors, there is potential for ESD in VSGEs, but VSGEs are not guaranteed to be a good ESD practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Education and Approaches)
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Article
Residential Location Choice in Istanbul, Tehran, and Cairo: The Importance of Commuting to Work
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5757; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13105757 - 20 May 2021
Viewed by 498
Abstract
The determinants of residential location choice have not been investigated in many developing countries. This paper examines this topic, including the influence of urban travels on house location decision-making in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Based on 8284 face-to-face interviews in [...] Read more.
The determinants of residential location choice have not been investigated in many developing countries. This paper examines this topic, including the influence of urban travels on house location decision-making in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Based on 8284 face-to-face interviews in Istanbul, Tehran, and Cairo, the dummy variable of residential location choice, including two categories of mobility reasons and other factors, was modeled by binary probit regression modeling. By means of receiver-operating characteristic analysis, the cutoff value of commuting distance and the time passed from the last relocation was estimated. Finally, the significant difference between the value of these two variables for people with different house location reasons were tested by Mann–Whitney U-test. The results show that the eight variables of shopping-entertainment mode choice in faraway places, frequency of public transit trips, neighborhood attractiveness perception, age, number of driving licenses in household, commuting distance, number of accessed facilities, and the (walkable) accessibility of facilities influence the residential self-selections. People who chose their current home based on mobility commute a daily mean distance of 8596 m and relocated less than 15.5 years ago, while those who chose their home based on other reasons, such as socioeconomics or personal reasons, commute longer and moved to a new house more than 15.5 years ago. This shows how the attitudes of people about residential location have changed in the MENA region, but there are still contextual differences to high-income countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Transportation)
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Article
Geoenvironmental Implications and Biocenosis of Freshwater Lakes in the Arid Zone of East Kazakhstan
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5756; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13105756 - 20 May 2021
Viewed by 442
Abstract
Steppe and semi-desert lakes of Central Asia represent unique and still poorly known aquatic ecosystems. The paper provides summaries of multi-proxy environmental and biological investigations of the previously unexplored ground of Sibe lakes in the naturally pristine zone of East Kazakhstan, and of [...] Read more.
Steppe and semi-desert lakes of Central Asia represent unique and still poorly known aquatic ecosystems. The paper provides summaries of multi-proxy environmental and biological investigations of the previously unexplored ground of Sibe lakes in the naturally pristine zone of East Kazakhstan, and of their contributions to people. Data on the taxonomic composition of zooplankton and zoobenthos of these freshwater lacustrine basins are presented in terms of the species’ frequency of occurrence; the abundance of the aquatic biomass and the analyzed water geochemical variables insofar as they are dependent and correlative. The qualitative and quantitative records display variability in the biocenosis diversity due to the lakes’ geochemistry and hydrology differences—some lakes being oligotrophic and others being moderately trophic. In the latter case, the lakes characterized by an increased macrozoobenthos biomass are favourable for local ichthyofauna. Sapro-biological analysis reveals the predominance of β-saprobic species in the zooplankton composition pointing to slight or moderate pollution of surface waters due to natural biotic substances. This observation is in agreement with differences in the water quality of solitary lakes. The uneven distributions of benthic invertebrates (in terms of taxonomy and species populations) in the water bodies suggest specific hydro-ecological conditions that predetermine the structure of the lakes’ biocenosis. The littoral part of the lakes is characterized by the highest abundance of zooplankton and benthic fauna. The Sibe lakes are an example of an autonomous functioning of the lacustrine basins in the upland arid steppe zone, which is characterized by pronounced climate “continentality” and a high level of the sub-aquatic flora and fauna endemism. The present results are relevant to the understanding of the ecosystems’ dynamics and the modern anthropogenic impacts upon the pristine parkland-steppe landscapes of Central Asia, with implications for regional nature protection and sustainable eco-recreation. Full article
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Article
Is Motivation Associated with Mental Fatigue during Padel Trainings? A Pilot Study
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5755; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13105755 - 20 May 2021
Viewed by 471
Abstract
Motivation seems to enhance athletes’ mental efforts, but this has not been tested yet in padel. The objective was to test the effects of motivation on mental fatigue during padel trainings. Thirty-six elite youth players participated (twenty-two males, Mage = 17.40, SD [...] Read more.
Motivation seems to enhance athletes’ mental efforts, but this has not been tested yet in padel. The objective was to test the effects of motivation on mental fatigue during padel trainings. Thirty-six elite youth players participated (twenty-two males, Mage = 17.40, SDage = 2.16, and fourteen females, Mage = 17.90, SDage = 3.21). We designed four padel training matches, introducing a constraint in two of them in a counterbalanced order. The constraint was: Couples that win more sets in these two matches obtain a free lesson with a professional padel player. Motivation was quantified by a questionnaire before the matches. Moreover, subjective feelings of mental load and fatigue were measured with questionnaires, and objective measures of fatigue were quantified through heart-rate variability and reaction time. Results suggest that the constraint significantly increases motivation (p < 0.001). Furthermore, in these matches, players reported significantly higher feelings and objective measures of fatigue (p < 0.001 for HRV and VAS; p = 0.04 for reaction time). An increase in the resources used by the neural facilitation system, mediated by higher values of motivation, seems a relevant candidate to explain this phenomenon. Full article
Article
Relationship between Emotional Labor and Burnout among Sports Coaches in South Korea: Moderating Role of Social Support
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5754; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13105754 - 20 May 2021
Viewed by 566
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to examine the moderating effect of social support in the relationship between three strategies of emotional labor (surface acting, deep acting, and genuine expression) and burnout among sports coaches in South Korea. Data were collected from 259 [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to examine the moderating effect of social support in the relationship between three strategies of emotional labor (surface acting, deep acting, and genuine expression) and burnout among sports coaches in South Korea. Data were collected from 259 athletic coaches who were working at secondary schools at Gyeongsangnam-do in South Korea. Results indicated that three emotional labor strategies explained a significant amount of variance in each of the three dimensions of burnout (emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment). In regard to the moderating effect, social support significantly moderated the relationship between surface acting and overall burnout. Specifically, the positive effect of surface acting on burnout was weaker for coaches with a high level of social support than those with a low level of social support. Some ways to engage in appropriate emotional labor strategies and to create environments where social support can be easily accessed were discussed. Full article
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Article
Business Model Innovation of IT-Enabled Customer Participating in Value Co-Creation Based on the Affordance Theory: A Case Study
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5753; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13105753 - 20 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 610
Abstract
This study uses the structured–pragmatics–situational case study approach to explore the intrinsic mechanism of enterprise digital enablement using affordance theory and how traditional enterprises enable customers to participate in value co-creation through information technology, then realize business model innovation and maintain continuous consumption. [...] Read more.
This study uses the structured–pragmatics–situational case study approach to explore the intrinsic mechanism of enterprise digital enablement using affordance theory and how traditional enterprises enable customers to participate in value co-creation through information technology, then realize business model innovation and maintain continuous consumption. The study revealed the following: (1) Product affordance drives customers’ original willingness to engage in value co-creation in four dimensions: economy, reliability, uniqueness, and selectivity; (2) The visibility, convenience, association, and persistence of the platform affordance enhance users’ abilities to engage in value co-creation; (3) The interaction of affordance, structural enablement, and digital enablement drives the interaction of willingness and capability to engage in value co-creation; and (4) User participation behaviors in value co-creation can be divided into three dimensions (informational, actionable, and attitudinal participation)and four stages. The findings explain how traditional enterprises use IT enablement to promote business model innovation of customer participation in value co-creation and enrich the theories of digital enablement. The conclusions reveal the managerial implications of the ways, paths, and mechanism of business model innovation by IT enabling customers to participate in value co-creation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cross-Border Business Models)
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Article
Stochastic Expansion Planning of Various Energy Storage Technologies in Active Power Distribution Networks
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5752; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13105752 - 20 May 2021
Viewed by 516
Abstract
This work aims to minimize the cost of installing renewable energy resources (photovoltaic systems) as well as energy storage systems (batteries), in addition to the cost of operation over a period of 20 years, which will include the cost of operating the power [...] Read more.
This work aims to minimize the cost of installing renewable energy resources (photovoltaic systems) as well as energy storage systems (batteries), in addition to the cost of operation over a period of 20 years, which will include the cost of operating the power grid and the charging and discharging of the batteries. To this end, we propose a long-term planning optimization and expansion framework for a smart distribution network. A second order cone programming (SOCP) algorithm is utilized in this work to model the power flow equations. The minimization is computed in accordance to the years (y), seasons (s), days of the week (d), time of the day (t), and different scenarios based on the usage of energy and its production (c). An IEEE 33-bus balanced distribution test bench is utilized to evaluate the performance, effectiveness, and reliability of the proposed optimization and forecasting model. The numerical studies are conducted on two of the highest performing batteries in the current market, i.e., Lithium-ion (Li-ion) and redox flow batteries (RFBs). In addition, the pros and cons of distributed Li-ion batteries are compared with centralized RFBs. The results are presented to showcase the economic profits of utilizing these battery technologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Management of Multi-Energy Storage Systems)
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Article
Resource Scarcity and Sustainability—The Shapes Have Shifted but the Stakes Keep Rising
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5751; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13105751 - 20 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 482
Abstract
The objective is to provide an interpretive reading of the literature in resource scarcity and sustainability theory from the nineteenth century to the present time, focusing on shifts that have occurred in problem definition, conceptual framing, research tools applied, findings, and their implications. [...] Read more.
The objective is to provide an interpretive reading of the literature in resource scarcity and sustainability theory from the nineteenth century to the present time, focusing on shifts that have occurred in problem definition, conceptual framing, research tools applied, findings, and their implications. My reading shows, as one would expect, that the discourse has become more technical and the analysis more sophisticated; special cases have been incorporated into the mainstream of theory; and, where relevant, dynamic formulations have largely supplanted static analysis. However, that is barely scratching the surface. Here, I focus on more fundamental shifts. Exhaustible and renewable resource analyses were incorporated into the mainstream theory of financial and capital markets. Parallels between the resources and environmental spheres were discovered: market failure concepts, fundamental to environmental policy, found applications in the resources sector (e.g., fisheries), and renewable resource management concepts and approaches (e.g., waste assimilation capacity) were adopted in environmental policy. To motivate sustainability theory and assessment, there has been a foundational problem shift from restraining human greed to dealing with risk viewed as chance of harm, and a newfound willingness to look beyond stochastic risk to uncertainty, ambiguity, and gross ignorance. Newtonian dynamics, which seeks a stable equilibrium following a shock, gave way to a new dynamics of complexity that valued resilience in the face of shocks, warned of potential for regime shifts, and focused on the possibility of systemic collapse and recovery, perhaps incomplete. New concepts of sustainability (a safe minimum standard of conservation, the precautionary principle, and planetary boundaries) emerged, along with hybrid approaches such as WS-plus which treats weak sustainability (WS) as the default but may impose strong sustainability restrictions on a few essential but threatened resources. The strong sustainability objective has evolved from maintaining baseline flows of resource services to safety defined as minimizing the chance of irreversible collapse. New tools for management and policy (sustainability indicators and downscaled planetary boundaries) have proliferated, and still struggle to keep up with the emerging understanding of complex systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Resources and Sustainable Utilization)
Article
The COVID-19 Scenario in Terms of Gender: A Preliminary Analysis in IBEX-35 Companies
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5750; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13105750 - 20 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 492
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has had serious consequences on employment and recent reports have warned that the impacts of the crisis are never gender-neutral. The objective of this research is to analyse the variations that have existed in terms of female representation in the [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had serious consequences on employment and recent reports have warned that the impacts of the crisis are never gender-neutral. The objective of this research is to analyse the variations that have existed in terms of female representation in the Spanish listed companies during the COVID-19 scenario. The integrated annual reports and the non-financial information reports of each company have been examined to identify the changes that have occurred in their governance structures, leadership positions, and total workforce. A descriptive and correlational analysis was carried out in 2019 and 2020. The findings reveal that: (1) there has been a slight increase in the figures of female representation in different hierarchical positions; (2) the proportion of women on the boards of directors does not depend on the number of women in lower positions; and (3) there is a positive relationship between female representation in leadership positions and the number of women in the total workforce. These results have important implications for business sustainability in the medium and long term. Full article
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Article
Factors and Components Affecting Dairy Smallholder Farmers and the Local Value Chain— Kvemo Kartli as an Example
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5749; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13105749 - 20 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 510
Abstract
Smallholder farmers are the cornerstone of the livestock sector and an essential element in building and developing the local dairy value chain, critical for developing its local economy. In Georgia, and despite the efforts made since independence from the Soviet Union until now, [...] Read more.
Smallholder farmers are the cornerstone of the livestock sector and an essential element in building and developing the local dairy value chain, critical for developing its local economy. In Georgia, and despite the efforts made since independence from the Soviet Union until now, farmers still face many problems that prevent them from participating effectively in developing the dairy value chain, especially heavy metal pollution that afflicts the study region. This research study refers to smallholder farmers’ viewpoints in the Kvemo Kartli region on the dairy production sector and the problems these farmers face. This study also investigates the effect of several factors (ethical factors, traditions, animal welfare, cultural factors, etc.) on the dairy value chain. The convergence model was used in the mixed-method approach’s triangular design as a methodology for this research study. As part of the social data, 140 farmers who produce and sell milk and cheese in the Kvemo Kartli region were interviewed. The results showed the influence of the ethical, cultural, and traditional factors in developing the value chain. The results also showed the problems and difficulties small farmers face in rural areas, on the one hand, and the gap between these farmers and governmental and private organisations on the other hand. These results are compared to those of a previous study, where interviews with experts in Georgia’s dairy production sector were performed. Full article
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Article
Spatial Heterogeneity and Complexity of the Impact of Extreme Climate on Vegetation in China
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5748; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13105748 - 20 May 2021
Viewed by 488
Abstract
The impact of extreme climate on natural ecosystems and socioeconomic systems is more serious than that of the climate’s mean state. Based on the data of 1698 meteorological stations in China from 2001 to 2018, this study calculated the 27 extreme climate indices [...] Read more.
The impact of extreme climate on natural ecosystems and socioeconomic systems is more serious than that of the climate’s mean state. Based on the data of 1698 meteorological stations in China from 2001 to 2018, this study calculated the 27 extreme climate indices of the Expert Team on Climate Change Detection and Indices (ETCCDI). Through correlation analysis and collinearity diagnostics, we selected two representative extreme temperature indices and three extreme precipitation indices. The spatial scale of the impact of extreme climate on Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) in China during the growing season from 2001 to 2018 was quantitatively analyzed, and the complexity of the dominant factors in different regions was discussed via clustering analysis. The research results show that extreme climate indices have a scale effect on vegetation. There are spatial heterogeneities in the impacts of different extreme climate indices on vegetation, and these impacts varied between the local, regional and national scales. The relationship between the maximum length of a dry spell (CDD) and NDVI was the most spatially nonstationary, and mostly occurred on the local scale, while the effect of annual total precipitation when the daily precipitation amount was more than the 95th percentile (R95pTOT) showed the greatest spatial stability, and mainly manifested at the national scale. Under the current extreme climate conditions, extreme precipitation promotes vegetation growth, while the influence of extreme temperature is more complicated. As regards intensity and range, the impact of extreme climate on NDVI in China over the past 18 years can be categorized into five types: the humidity-promoting type, the cold-promoting and drought-inhibiting compound type, the drought-inhibiting type, the heat-promoting and drought-inhibiting compound type, and the heat-promoting and humidity-promoting compound type. Drought is the greatest threat to vegetation associated with extreme climate in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Air, Climate Change and Sustainability)
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Article
Can Habitat Quality Index Measured Using the InVEST Model Explain Variations in Bird Diversity in an Urban Area?
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5747; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13105747 - 20 May 2021
Viewed by 478
Abstract
Biodiversity maintenance is a crucial ecosystem service. Due to time limits and data availability, assessing biodiversity using indicators or models has become a hot topic in recent decades. However, whether some proposed indicators can explain biodiversity well at the local scale is still [...] Read more.
Biodiversity maintenance is a crucial ecosystem service. Due to time limits and data availability, assessing biodiversity using indicators or models has become a hot topic in recent decades. However, whether some proposed indicators can explain biodiversity well at the local scale is still unclear. This study attempted to test whether the habitat quality index (HQI) as measured using the integrated valuation of ecosystem services and trade-offs (InVEST) model could explain variations in bird diversity in New Jiangwan Town, a rapidly urbanized region of Shanghai, China. The relationships from 2002 to 2013 among HQI and the two diversity indices, species richness and species abundance, were analyzed using Fisher’s exact test and gray correlation analysis. No significant association was found. Habitat connectivity was then integrated to develop a new combined indicator of habitat quality and connectivity index (HQCI). The associations between HQCI and the two diversity indices were improved significantly. The results indicated that connectivity may be an important factor explaining the diversity of certain species at a local scale. More empirical studies should be conducted to provide scientific evidence relating habitat quality to biodiversity. Full article
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Article
Advanced Technologies and Their Use in Smart City Management
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5746; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13105746 - 20 May 2021
Viewed by 543
Abstract
Building Smart City management concepts is based on the implementation and use of advanced technologies. The primary impulse for writing the article was the ambition to identify the current advanced technologies of Smart City management. The aim of the article is to propose [...] Read more.
Building Smart City management concepts is based on the implementation and use of advanced technologies. The primary impulse for writing the article was the ambition to identify the current advanced technologies of Smart City management. The aim of the article is to propose a general model for the implementation of advanced technologies for Smart City management, based on the knowledge gained from the analysis of literature and case studies. In order to fulfill the set goal, it is necessary to obtain answers to two research questions. The findings were obtained through a secondary analysis of the literature, i.e., relevant articles from the scientific databases Web of Science and Scopus analysis of case studies of the best Smart Cities practices. According to the Smart City Index 2020 and IESE Cities in Motion, the leaders among the Smart Cities are Singapore and London, followed by Helsinki. In addition to the analyses, the article also uses methods of summarization, comparison, creativity, logic, induction and deduction. Smart Cities use 12 identified advanced technologies in their practice. Strategic management in Singapore, London and Helsinki adapts technology to the needs and requirements of its citizens, thus connecting the technological aspect with the managerial and social aspects. The contributions of the work include results for fellow researchers and a model for strategic management of new Smart Cities. The results of the article provide fellow researchers with the findings of a secondary analysis of relevant articles, from which they can draw when writing their own publications without the need for time-consuming search of the articles about this topic in databases. The general model of implementation of advanced technologies serves as a basis for strategic management of new Smart Cities that want to implement a technological base and at the same time do not want to forget the managerial and social aspects. Testing the model in practice with a new Slovak Smart City is part of future research activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Governance of Technology in Smart Cities)
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Article
Livestock and Small-Scale Irrigation Scheme Interactions as a Key Source for Sedimentation during the Irrigation Season: Four Case Studies from South-West Shoa, Ethiopia
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5745; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13105745 - 20 May 2021
Viewed by 405
Abstract
Small-scale irrigation (SSI) development can play a major role in Ethiopia’s economic development, but sedimentation is a major threat to its sustainability. The focus of the dominant discourse around the sedimentation of SSI schemes lies in upstream catchment protection during the rainy season, [...] Read more.
Small-scale irrigation (SSI) development can play a major role in Ethiopia’s economic development, but sedimentation is a major threat to its sustainability. The focus of the dominant discourse around the sedimentation of SSI schemes lies in upstream catchment protection during the rainy season, neglecting both protection against erosion through overland flow along the margins of the canal network and sedimentation caused by livestock disturbances. Remedies against the latter causes of sedimentation during the irrigation season have been ineffective due to erroneous assumptions regarding its cause. This study aimed to identify the sources and extent of sedimentation in SSI schemes. The accumulated sediment in the canal pre-irrigation season was measured from four SSI schemes and suspended sediment samples during irrigation season were collected from one SSI scheme. The accumulated sediment in the canal pre-irrigation season was measured from four SSI and suspended sediment samples during irrigation season were collected from one SSI scheme. The extent of sedimentation in the canals during the pre-irrigation season in relation to canal capacity was 100% of lined and unlined canals in abandoned, 68% in a lined, and 84% unlined canals in heavily sedimented and 38% in a lined and 46% of unlined canals lightly sedimented schemes. Livestock interactions with the SSI schemes were found to be the major sediment source before and during the irrigation, hence, attention should be given to integrating livestock as a part of the system. Full article
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Commentary
Bridging Science and Practice-Importance of Stakeholders in the Development of Decision Support: Lessons Learned
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5744; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13105744 - 20 May 2021
Viewed by 452
Abstract
User-friendly, evidence-based scientific tools to support sanitation decisions are still limited in the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector. This commentary provides lessons learned from the development of two sanitation decision support tools developed in collaboration with stakeholders in Uganda. We engaged with [...] Read more.
User-friendly, evidence-based scientific tools to support sanitation decisions are still limited in the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector. This commentary provides lessons learned from the development of two sanitation decision support tools developed in collaboration with stakeholders in Uganda. We engaged with stakeholders in a variety of ways to effectively obtain their input in the development of the decision support tools. Key lessons learned included: tailoring tools to stakeholder decision-making needs; simplifying the tools as much as possible for ease of application and use; creating an enabling environment that allows active stakeholder participation; having a dedicated and responsive team to plan and execute stakeholder engagement activities; involving stakeholders early in the process; having funding sources that are flexible and long-term; and including resources for the acquisition of local data. This reflection provides benchmarks for future research and the development of tools that utilize scientific data and emphasizes the importance of engaging with stakeholders in the development process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart, Sustainable and Resilient Water Management in Urban Areas)
Article
Indicators for Measuring Intergenerational Fairness of Social Security Systems—The Case of the German Social Health Insurance
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5743; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13105743 - 20 May 2021
Viewed by 519
Abstract
The issue of fiscal sustainability is often labelled as a synonym for intergenerational fairness; however, pay-as-you-go schemes such as the German Social Health Insurance (SHI) involve a “natural” amount of intergenerational redistribution from younger net payers to older net beneficiaries. We calculate intertemporal [...] Read more.
The issue of fiscal sustainability is often labelled as a synonym for intergenerational fairness; however, pay-as-you-go schemes such as the German Social Health Insurance (SHI) involve a “natural” amount of intergenerational redistribution from younger net payers to older net beneficiaries. We calculate intertemporal balance sheets of SHI and compare two generational accounting approaches (GAC and GAIB) with an alternative measure of intergenerational fairness, SM, which we derive from Settergren and Mikula (2005). Our results indicate that the SM concept leads to similar implications concerning the amount of intergenerational redistribution as classical measures of fiscal sustainability. For the SM approach, the balance sheet of SHI shows a rate of unfunded benefits of 25 percent. Closing this gap requires an increase of the contribution rate by 30 to 40 percent. This total effect can be separated into an effect due to the current population structure (10 p.p.), the increase in life expectancy (10 p.p.), and medical technical progress (about 10 to 20 p.p.). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Fiscal Policy)
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Review
A Systematic Review of Enterprise Innovation Ecosystems
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5742; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13105742 - 20 May 2021
Viewed by 612
Abstract
With rapid changes and increasing uncertainty in the market environment, enterprise innovation ecosystems (EIEs) have increasingly been promoted in the past decade. Nevertheless, research on EIEs has fallen into a fuzzy state. Scholars have scattered views on the subject and have not systematically [...] Read more.
With rapid changes and increasing uncertainty in the market environment, enterprise innovation ecosystems (EIEs) have increasingly been promoted in the past decade. Nevertheless, research on EIEs has fallen into a fuzzy state. Scholars have scattered views on the subject and have not systematically classified it, leading to a discussion regarding its conceptual rigor and comprehensive analysis. The purpose of this article is to conduct integrative research on EIEs and to examine all the relevant issues of existing views. This study screened all relevant topics in the past decade through the WOS database and identified significant journal articles. By reviewing and sorting out the relevant thematic literature from 2011 to 2020 and performing keyword cluster analysis, the research focus and hot spots of EIEs are determined. The entity structure, main types, dynamic mechanism, and evolution mechanism of EIEs were elaborated, and the definition of an EIE is finally determined. Through an analysis of the emerging viewpoints of EIEs, the hot spots of this topic are discussed. These streams provide opportunities for further research to consolidate the concepts of EIEs. Full article
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Article
Axial Stress-Strain Performance of Recycled Aggregate Concrete Reinforced with Macro-Polypropylene Fibres
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5741; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13105741 - 20 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 502
Abstract
The addition of macro-polypropylene fibres improves the stress-strain performance of natural aggregate concrete (NAC). However, limited studies focus on the stress-strain performance of macro-polypropylene fibre-reinforced recycled aggregate concrete (RAC). Considering the variability of coarse recycled aggregates (CRA), more studies are needed to investigate [...] Read more.
The addition of macro-polypropylene fibres improves the stress-strain performance of natural aggregate concrete (NAC). However, limited studies focus on the stress-strain performance of macro-polypropylene fibre-reinforced recycled aggregate concrete (RAC). Considering the variability of coarse recycled aggregates (CRA), more studies are needed to investigate the stress-strain performance of macro-polypropylene fibre-reinforced RAC. In this study, a new type of 48 mm long BarChip macro-polypropylene fibre with a continuously embossed surface texture is used to produce BarChip fibre-reinforced NAC (BFNAC) and RAC (BFRAC). The stress-strain performance of BFNAC and BFRAC is studied for varying dosages of BarChip fibres. Results show that the increase in energy dissipation capacity (i.e., area under the curve), peak stress, and peak strain of samples is observed with an increase in fibre dosage, indicating the positive effect of fibre addition on the stress-strain performance of concrete. The strength enhancement due to the addition of fibres is higher for BFRAC samples than BFNAC samples. The reduction in peak stress, ultimate strain, toughness and specific toughness of concrete samples due to the utilisation of CRA also reduces with the addition of fibres. Hence, the negative effect of CRA on the properties of concrete samples can be minimised by adding BarChip macro-polypropylene fibres. The applicability of the stress-strain model previously developed for macro-synthetic and steel fibre-reinforced NAC and RAC to BFNAC and BFRAC is also examined. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovations in Sustainable Materials and Construction Technologies)
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Review
Crises and Their Effects on Freight Transport Modes: A Literature Review and Research Framework
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5740; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13105740 - 20 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 564
Abstract
Learning from the effects of past crises allows the transport sector to handle future crises effectively and proactively. The goal of this paper is to identify and classify types of crises that have hit Europe in the previous 20 years and to identify [...] Read more.
Learning from the effects of past crises allows the transport sector to handle future crises effectively and proactively. The goal of this paper is to identify and classify types of crises that have hit Europe in the previous 20 years and to identify the effects of these crises on the freight transport modes. Moreover, further research on each transport mode is derived. To reach this goal, we conducted a systematic literature review by using five well-known databases, which resulted in 296 search results, of which 29 references were relevant. We identified four crises that hit the freight transport modes in the previous 20 years in Europe: the 2008 financial crisis, the 2015 migration crisis, the 2020 COVID-19 crisis, and the ongoing climate crisis. However, the effects of the different crises on the transport modes can be both positive (e.g., the introduction of a new maritime slow-steaming service) or negative (e.g., a reduction in safety). The insights, gaps, and future research directions identified will encourage researchers, as well as practitioners, to learn from previous crises and be prepared for proactive actions during future crises, thus contributing to more reliable and sustainable transportation systems. Full article
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Article
Building Optimization through a Parametric Design Platform: Using Sensitivity Analysis to Improve a Radial-Based Algorithm Performance
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5739; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13105739 - 20 May 2021
Viewed by 483
Abstract
Performance-based design using computational and parametric optimization is an effective strategy to solve the multiobjective problems typical of building design. In this sense, this study investigates the developing process of parametric modeling and optimization of a naturally ventilated house located in a region [...] Read more.
Performance-based design using computational and parametric optimization is an effective strategy to solve the multiobjective problems typical of building design. In this sense, this study investigates the developing process of parametric modeling and optimization of a naturally ventilated house located in a region with well-defined seasons. Its purpose is to improve its thermal comfort during the cooling period by maximizing Natural Ventilation Effectiveness (NVE) and diminishing annual building energy demand, namely Total Cooling Loads (TCL) and Total Heating Loads (THL). Following a structured workflow, divided into (i) model setting, (ii) Sensitivity Analyses (SA), and (iii) Multiobjective Optimization (MOO), the process is straightforwardly implemented through a 3D parametric modeling platform. After building set up, the input variables number is firstly reduced with SA, and the last step runs with an innovative model-based optimization algorithm (RBFOpt), particularly appropriate for time-intensive performance simulations. The impact of design variables on the three-performance metrics is comprehensively discussed, with a direct relationship between NVE and TCL. MOO results indicate a great potential for natural ventilation and heating energy savings for the residential building set as a reference, showing an improvement between 14–87% and 26–34% for NVE and THL, respectively. The approach meets the current environmental demands related to reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions, which include passive design implementations, such as natural or hybrid ventilation. Moreover, the design solutions and building orientation, window-to-wall ratio, and envelope properties could be used as guidance in similar typologies and climates. Finally, the adopted framework configures a practical and replicable approach for studies aiming to develop high-performance buildings through MOO. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Efficiency in Building for Sustainability)
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Article
Efficiency of Natural Clay Mineral Adsorbent Filtration Systems in Wastewater Treatment for Potential Irrigation Purposes
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5738; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13105738 - 20 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 568
Abstract
This project investigated the relative efficiencies of three pilot-scale constructed columns for enhancing drainage wastewater treatment processes to ensure compliance with Egyptian and international water quality criteria. In this investigation, basic materials (sand and gravel) and variable natural clay minerals zeolite (Z), diatomite [...] Read more.
This project investigated the relative efficiencies of three pilot-scale constructed columns for enhancing drainage wastewater treatment processes to ensure compliance with Egyptian and international water quality criteria. In this investigation, basic materials (sand and gravel) and variable natural clay minerals zeolite (Z), diatomite (D) and bentonite (B) were utilized as packing materials to build up a Z column (ZC), D column (DC) and B column (BC), respectively. The three columns’ ability to remove pollutants from waste water for re-use in irrigation was investigated throughout one year (12 trials). The results revealed that the influent water had 211 mg/L total suspended solids, 6.09 mg/L total nitrogen, 36.67 mg/L biochemical oxygen demand, 56 mg/L chemical oxygen demand, 1700 mg/L total dissolved solids, 0.97 mg/L copper (Cu2+), 1.12 mg/L iron (Fe2+), 1.07 mg/L manganese (Mn2+), 1.02 mg/L lead (Pb2+), 1.05 mg/L zinc (Zn2+), and 46 × 103 CFU/mL fecal coliforms. These parameters were higher than the values permitted by Egyptian and international licenses. The range of removal efficiency of these pollutants by ZC was 96–21%, by BC was 99–29.8%, and by DC was 99–19.80%. Regeneration studies for the spent adsorbents demonstrated that the percentages of pollutant removal were sufficiently high. The treated effluent produced by the three columns was suitable for irrigation purposes, especially at a contact time of four hours, with the order for column treatment efficiency being BC ˃ DC ˃ ZC. Treated water was classified for irrigation suitability according to the Agrifood Water Quality Index (AFWQI) as marginal from the ZC, very good from the DC, and excellent from the BC. Treatment of such drainage water using the BC and DC appears feasible, because the process is easily operated and leads to final treated effluent of high quality for agricultural uses. The economic cost also confirms the feasibility of this treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioeconomy, Circular Economy and Sustainability)
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Article
Effects of Motor-Games-Based Concurrent Training Program on Body Composition Indicators of Chilean Adults with Down Syndrome
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5737; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13105737 - 20 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 598
Abstract
Background: Concurrent training of strength and endurance has been widely ued in the field of health, with favorable effects on body composition. However, the effect on the body composition of a ludic-motor concurrent proposal in adults with Down syndrome has not been quantified [...] Read more.
Background: Concurrent training of strength and endurance has been widely ued in the field of health, with favorable effects on body composition. However, the effect on the body composition of a ludic-motor concurrent proposal in adults with Down syndrome has not been quantified yet. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of a concurrent training program based on motor games on body composition indicators and cardiometabolic risk on schooled male adults with Down syndrome. Methods: The sample is composed of 15 male adults with Down syndrome from Chile. Body composition variables such as body mass index, waist circumference, height to waist ratio, skin folds, perimeters, and muscle areas were assessed at the beginning and end of the program. Subsequently, a program of motor games was designed and implemented for 10 months. Results: Mean and standard deviation for body fat were pre (25.36 ± 5.60) and post (23.01 ± 6.20)%; waist circumference pre (86.00 ± 8.97) and post (82.07 ± 8.38) cm. Brachial perimeter and muscle area were pre (22.30 ± 2.80) and post (23.61 ± 2.28) cm; pre (40.19 ± 10.09) and post (44.77 ± 8.48) cm2, respectively. Our findings showed significant results (p < 0.05): body fat %; sum of folds; waist circumference; height to waist ratio; brachial perimeter and brachial muscle area. Conclusion: A concurrent training program implemented through motor skills games decreases body fat and cardiovascular risk and increases the muscle mass in male adults with Down syndrome. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity, Education and New Methodologies)
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Article
Investigating the Suitability of a Heat Pump Water-Heater as a Method to Reduce Agricultural Emissions in Dairy Farms
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5736; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13105736 - 20 May 2021
Viewed by 438
Abstract
The performance of an air-source heat pump water-heater (ASHPWH) system manufactured by Kronoterm was benchmarked in this study for the application of dairy farming in Ireland. The COP of the system was calculated to be 2.27 under normal operating conditions. The device was [...] Read more.
The performance of an air-source heat pump water-heater (ASHPWH) system manufactured by Kronoterm was benchmarked in this study for the application of dairy farming in Ireland. The COP of the system was calculated to be 2.27 under normal operating conditions. The device was able to supply water at 80 °C, however a full tank at this temperature was not achieved or deemed necessary for the dairy application. Litres per kWh was used as a performance metric for the device and the usable water per unit of energy for the system was found to be 397 L when using both electric heaters and 220 L when using just the top heater both in conjunction with the heat pump. The performance of the heat pump system in terms of its cost to run and efficiency was also compared with five other water heaters. The heat pump is seen to be very efficient, however due to the carbon intensity of the Irish grid electricity and high water temperatures required, the solar water heater with gas backup was found to be the best performing under energy efficiency and carbon emissions per litre of usable water. In conclusion, although the heat pump was not the best-performing system under these metrics, the cost and complexity of the solar-gas system may be a deterrent for dairy farmers and for this reason, the heat pump is considered a cost-effective, efficient and viable option for dairy farmers trying to reduce their carbon footprint and energy bills. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dairy Sector: Opportunities and Sustainability Challenges)
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Article
Optimization of On-Street Parking Charges Based on Price Elasticity of the Expected Perceived Parking Cost
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5735; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13105735 - 20 May 2021
Viewed by 427
Abstract
Price discrimination is widely employed to regulate on-street parking behaviors to provide better service to users, and the prices are usually set according to the occupancy of parking spaces without direct consideration of user perception. A binary logit-style choice model is built to [...] Read more.
Price discrimination is widely employed to regulate on-street parking behaviors to provide better service to users, and the prices are usually set according to the occupancy of parking spaces without direct consideration of user perception. A binary logit-style choice model is built to describe the parking choice between on-street parking and off-street parking. A new index, named the price elasticity of expected perceived parking cost, is proposed to evaluate users’ response to parking charge. Based on the theory of second-degree price discrimination, three user types are defined according to the parking duration, namely, the preferred users, the neutral users, and the non-preferred users. The optimized parking prices are calculated by the proposed index. A case study of Guangzhou’s on-street parking is presented. It is found that the current pricing scheme for Type-I Zones (High Demand Zones) is reasonable, while the pricing scheme for the Type-II Zones (Low Demand Zones) does not achieve the objectives of usage optimization of on-street parking spaces. An optimized price scheme for the Type-II Zones is proposed to achieve the usage optimization of on-street parking spaces for short-term parking. Full article
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Article
Development of Modified SERVQUAL–MCDM Model for Quality Determination in Reverse Logistics
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5734; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13105734 - 20 May 2021
Viewed by 530
Abstract
To run a business successfully, quality determination and customer relations are very important factors. Therefore, it is necessary to measure quality and identify critical points of business. In this paper, an original integrated model for measuring the service quality of reverse logistics (RL) [...] Read more.
To run a business successfully, quality determination and customer relations are very important factors. Therefore, it is necessary to measure quality and identify critical points of business. In this paper, an original integrated model for measuring the service quality of reverse logistics (RL) was developed for the company Komunalac Teslić, which was used as an example. The Delphi and Full Consistency Method (FUCOM) was applied to determine the significance of the quality dimensions, while a modified SERVQUAL (SQ) model was used to measure the service quality of the logistics. An original SQ questionnaire was formed with a total of 21 statements that were arranged in five standard dimensions. Examining the reliability of the questionnaire for quality dimensions using the Cronbach Alpha coefficient, it was found that the measurement scales for dimensions are appropriate in terms of user expectations, while in terms of quality perception there is no measurement scale for the empathy dimension. An extensive statistical analysis was then performed to verify the results. A Signum test was applied to identify the relationship between the responses in terms of expectations and perceptions, i.e., to examine their differences. The findings obtained by this research show that the expectations were higher than the perceived quality of the services and that there was a significant statistical difference for 12 of the SQ statements. For two statements, there was a significant statistical difference in favor of perceived quality compared to expectations. Based on the results obtained, the company must improve its services in order for service quality to be at a satisfactory level. Full article
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Article
A Regional Approach for Investigation of Temporal Precipitation Changes
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5733; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13105733 - 20 May 2021
Viewed by 389
Abstract
Climatic variability is one of the fundamental aspects of the climate. Our scope of knowledge of this variability is limited by unavailable long-term high-resolution spatial data. Climatic simulations indicate that warmer climate increases extreme precipitations but decreases high-frequency temperature variability. As an important [...] Read more.
Climatic variability is one of the fundamental aspects of the climate. Our scope of knowledge of this variability is limited by unavailable long-term high-resolution spatial data. Climatic simulations indicate that warmer climate increases extreme precipitations but decreases high-frequency temperature variability. As an important climatologic variable, the precipitation is reported by the IPCC to increase in mid and high altitudes and decrease in subtropical areas. On a regional scale, such a change needs spatio-parametric justification. In this regard, a regionalization approach relying on frequency characteristics and parameters of heavy precipitation may provide better insight into temporal precipitation changes, and thus help us to understand climatic variability and extremes. This study introduces the “index precipitation method”, which aims to define hydrologic homogeneous regions throughout which the frequency distribution of monthly maximum hourly precipitations remains the same and, therefore, investigate whether there are significant temporal precipitation changes in these regions. Homogenous regions are defined based on L-moment ratios of frequency distributions via cluster analysis and considering the spatial contiguity of gauging sites via GIS. Regarding the main hydrologic characteristics of heavy precipitation, 12 indices are defined in order to investigate the existence of regional trends by means of t- and Mann–Kendall tests for determined homogenous regions with similar frequency behaviors. The case study of Japan, using hourly precipitation data on 150 gauges for 1991–2010, shows that trends that statistically exist for single-site observations should be regionally proved. Trends of heavy precipitation have region-specific properties across Japan. Homogenous regions beneficially define statistically significant trends for heavy precipitation. Full article
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Article
Research on Landscape Pattern Construction and Ecological Restoration of Jiuquan City Based on Ecological Security Evaluation
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5732; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13105732 - 20 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 503
Abstract
Jiuquan City is a typical ecologically fragile area in the arid areas of Northwest China, and unreasonable human activities directly affect the regional ecological security. Scientifically, it is necessary to construct an ecological landscape pattern on the basis of ecological security evaluation. This [...] Read more.
Jiuquan City is a typical ecologically fragile area in the arid areas of Northwest China, and unreasonable human activities directly affect the regional ecological security. Scientifically, it is necessary to construct an ecological landscape pattern on the basis of ecological security evaluation. This paper selected evaluation factors based on the perspective of “environmental base and human interference”, used spatial principal component analysis (SPCA) to comprehensively evaluate the regional landscape ecological security, and used the minimum cumulative resistance (MCR) model to construct the regional ecological security pattern. The results show that the overall ecological security level of the study area is low, and the area with a moderate safety level and below is 122,100 km2, accounting for 72.57% of the total area of the study area. The total area of the identified ecological source area is 6683 km2, the spatial distribution is extremely uneven, and it is extremely concentrated in the southern region; 32 ecological corridors with a total length of 3817.8 km are identified, of which corridor NO. 1–4 run through the Qilian Mountains, 11 oasis areas, and 14 nature reserves. The length of ecological corridors is 1376.1 km, accounting for 36.04% of the total. Forty-two ecological nodes are identified, and the central corridor area is more distributed; four ecological restoration zones are divided, including an ecological conservation zone, ecological improvement zone, ecological control zone, and ecological restoration zone, with areas of 34,380.3 km2, 61,884.4 km2, 21,134.4 km2, and 50,648.3 km2, respectively. Through the delineation of the urban ecological network pattern composed of source areas, corridors, and nodes, as well as the delineation of ecological restoration zones, the ecological security level of the study area will be effectively improved. Furthermore, a new method of ecological restoration zoning will be used, hoping to provide a useful reference for improving the quality of the ecological environment in arid areas and optimizing the spatial pattern of the land. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Sustainability and Applications)
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Review
Urban Design and Walkability: Lessons Learnt from Iranian Traditional Cities
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5731; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13105731 - 20 May 2021
Viewed by 524
Abstract
Physical activity is connected to public health in many ways, and walking is its most popular form. Modern planning models have been applied to cities to manage rapid urban expansions. However, this practice has led to low level of walkability and strong car-dependency [...] Read more.
Physical activity is connected to public health in many ways, and walking is its most popular form. Modern planning models have been applied to cities to manage rapid urban expansions. However, this practice has led to low level of walkability and strong car-dependency in today’s cities. Hence, this study aims to provide a review of the most promising urban design parameters affecting walkability, using Frank Lawrence’s theory of “Objectively Measured Urban Form” (density, connectivity and accessibility, and mixed-use development) as the basis of discussion. The second part of this paper takes a case study approach, through discussing the main design elements of traditional Iranian cities (mosques, bazaars, residential quarters, and alleyways) and analyses their impacts on promoting walkability. This study concludes that incorporating inherent values of traditional urban design elements will complement modern planning and design practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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