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Sustainability, Volume 13, Issue 14 (July-2 2021) – 602 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Contributing to existing debates on the sustainability and resilience of the UK’s urban retail sector, this paper argues for a greater focus on small, independent retailers as they possess a broader, more diffuse spatiality and societal impact. Using spatial and relational resilience theories, our research of community-led food retailers enables us to establish the complex links between community, place, social relations, moral values, and resilience. Moreover, in doing so, we advance the conceptualization of community resilience by acknowledging that, to realize the networked, resilient capacities of a community, the moral values and behavior of the retail community need to be ascertained. This theoretical contribution is significant as it illuminates the more sustainable set of capacities needed to ensure resilient, urban retail systems that benefit local communities. View this paper
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Article
Circular Economy and Regenerative Sustainability in Emergency Housing: Eco-Efficient Prototype Design for Subaşi Refugee Camp in Turkey
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 8100; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13148100 - 21 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 607
Abstract
According to the most recent data from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, in 2020, 82.4 million people were forcibly displaced. In addition to this situation, in the developed world, building construction consumes 40% of the world’s material resources and primary energy, [...] Read more.
According to the most recent data from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, in 2020, 82.4 million people were forcibly displaced. In addition to this situation, in the developed world, building construction consumes 40% of the world’s material resources and primary energy, while the construction industry generates 35% of industrial waste and 40% of total global emissions. Therefore, the objective of the research is to propose an eco-efficient prototype for emergency housing, from the point of view of circular economy and regenerative sustainability, that can respond to situations of natural or humanitarian disasters. To achieve this, it will be necessary to identify the problem that must be answered and develop a theoretical model that will serve as a guide for future interventions of these characteristics. Finally, to verify the applicability of the developed protocol, a field work is executed in an unorganized settlement, Subaşi camp, located in Turkey. This research presents a novel prototype that could be used as an alternative to current emergency housing, not only responding adequately to the minimum standards of habitability, but also doing so in an eco-efficient, environmentally correct way and promoting the Sustainable Development Goals and circular economy established in the 2030 Agenda. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Management of Waste Materials in Construction)
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Article
Associations of Classroom Design and Classroom-Based Physical Activity with Behavioral and Emotional Engagement among Primary School Students
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 8116; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13148116 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 734
Abstract
Educational reforms worldwide have resulted in schools increasingly incorporating open and flexible classroom designs. Open learning spaces may contribute to a student’s behavioral and emotional school engagement directly and by facilitating classroom-based physical activity (CPA). We investigated the associations between accelerometer-assessed CPA and [...] Read more.
Educational reforms worldwide have resulted in schools increasingly incorporating open and flexible classroom designs. Open learning spaces may contribute to a student’s behavioral and emotional school engagement directly and by facilitating classroom-based physical activity (CPA). We investigated the associations between accelerometer-assessed CPA and student ratings of task-focused behavior and attitude towards school as indicators for behavioral and emotional engagement, respectively, with the associations of gender, grade, and classroom design on CPA among 206 3rd and 5th grade students in open learning spaces and conventional classrooms. Structural equation modelling showed open classroom design to be directly associated with better attitude towards school (B = −0.336; CI95% −0.616 to −0.055), but not with task-focused behavior. The relationship between task-focused behavior and attitude towards school was statistically significant (B = 0.188; 95%CI 0.068 to 0.031). CPA was not associated with task-focused behavior and attitude towards school, while classroom design (B = 1.818; 95%CI 1.101 to 2.536), gender (B = 1.732; 95%CI 20 1.065 to 2.398), and grade (B = 1.560; 95%CI 0.893 to 2.227) were statistically significantly associated with CPA. Open learning spaces seem to be associated with better emotional engagement, which is associated with behavioral engagement. Longitudinal studies investigating associations of open learning spaces and CPA on students’ behavioral, emotional, and cognitive engagement concurrently are warranted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Active School Concept)
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Article
Sustaining the Effective Use of Materials in Language Classrooms: A Conceptual Understanding of Teacher Knowledge for Materials Use
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 8115; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13148115 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 913
Abstract
Materials use is a critical yet understudied domain of language teaching across jurisdictions and educational contexts. This study explored what knowledge constituents that English-as-a-foreign-language (EFL) teachers mobilize in their use of materials. Based on the social theory of human cognition in tool use [...] Read more.
Materials use is a critical yet understudied domain of language teaching across jurisdictions and educational contexts. This study explored what knowledge constituents that English-as-a-foreign-language (EFL) teachers mobilize in their use of materials. Based on the social theory of human cognition in tool use and the conception of foreign language teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge, a qualitative multi-case study involving eight EFL teachers at one university in China was conducted. Data from interviews, lesson observations, and documents across three consecutive semesters revealed that teacher knowledge for materials use is multi-dimensional and developmental. The constituents of this professional knowledge are manifested in four domains, i.e., subject matter, pedagogical, curricular, and contextual domains. The study concluded that the professional knowledge needed for materials use is not merely an individual trait, but mediated by both human and nonhuman elements. Therefore, new forms of agency from both teachers and materials are required to foster the growth of this professional knowledge. Based on the findings, suggestions were made for teacher learning through materials use in language classrooms. Full article
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Article
Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable Employability: Empirical Evidence from Korea
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 8114; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13148114 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 534
Abstract
A firm’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) aids in social well-being, but it is costly. It is thus necessary to study whether a firm’s CSR activities are valuable in terms of costs and benefits for shareholders’ interest. Recent studies reported that firms’ CSR activities [...] Read more.
A firm’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) aids in social well-being, but it is costly. It is thus necessary to study whether a firm’s CSR activities are valuable in terms of costs and benefits for shareholders’ interest. Recent studies reported that firms’ CSR activities help to develop the corporate environment and improve financial performance. In addition, prior studies explained that a firm’s CSR activities can have a positive effect on financial performance by increasing employees’ commitment to their firm. The purpose of this study research is to examine the effect of CSR activities on sustainable employability through empirical analysis. We measured the sustainable employability using the percentage of regular employees and then examined the effect of CSR activities on sustainable employability using 3802 firm-year data for Korean listed firms. From the empirical results, we found that firms engaging in CSR activities improve more in terms of sustainable employability than do firms who are not engaging in CSR activities. We also found that the companies engaging in a high CSR index score showed greater sustainable employability than did those with a low CSR index score. The results of this study suggested a way to increase sustainability in terms of employment by supporting a rational basis for companies to adopt CSR. These findings are expected to contribute to academia and the capital market by providing empirical evidence that a company’s CSR activities have a positive impact on sustainable employability. Full article
Article
Cost Minimizations and Performance Enhancements of Power Systems Using Spherical Prune Differential Evolution Algorithm Including Modal Analysis
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 8113; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13148113 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 497
Abstract
A novel application of the spherical prune differential evolution algorithm (SpDEA) to solve optimal power flow (OPF) problems in electric power systems is presented. The SpDEA has several merits, such as its high convergence speed, low number of parameters to be designed, and [...] Read more.
A novel application of the spherical prune differential evolution algorithm (SpDEA) to solve optimal power flow (OPF) problems in electric power systems is presented. The SpDEA has several merits, such as its high convergence speed, low number of parameters to be designed, and low computational procedures. Four objectives, complete with their relevant operating constraints, are adopted to be optimized simultaneously. Various case studies of multiple objective scenarios are demonstrated under MATLAB environment. Static voltage stability index of lowest/weak bus using modal analysis is incorporated. The results generated by the SpDEA are investigated and compared to standard multi-objective differential evolution (MODE) to prove their viability. The best answer is chosen carefully among trade-off Pareto points by using the technique of fuzzy Pareto solution. Two power system networks such as IEEE 30-bus and 118-bus systems as large-scale optimization problems with 129 design control variables are utilized to point out the effectiveness of the SpDEA. The realized results among many independent runs indicate the robustness of the SpDEA-based approach on OPF methodology in optimizing the defined objectives simultaneously. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Renewable Energy for Sustainability)
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Article
The Spatiotemporal Characteristics and Climatic Factors of COVID-19 in Wuhan, China
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 8112; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13148112 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 491
Abstract
COVID-19 is threatening the whole world. This paper aims to explore the correlation between climatic factors and the morbidity of COVID-19 in Wuhan, China, mainly by using a geographic detector and GWR model. It was found that the response of the morbidity of [...] Read more.
COVID-19 is threatening the whole world. This paper aims to explore the correlation between climatic factors and the morbidity of COVID-19 in Wuhan, China, mainly by using a geographic detector and GWR model. It was found that the response of the morbidity of COVID-19 to meteorological factors in Wuhan is different at different stages. On the whole, the morbidity of COVID-19 has a strong spatial aggregation, mainly concentrated in the central area of Wuhan City. There is a positive correlation between wind speed and the spread of COVID-19, while temperature has a negative correlation. There is a positive correlation between air pressure and the number of COVID-19 cases. Rainfall is not significantly correlated with the spread of COVID-19. It is concluded that wind speed, relative humidity, temperature, and air pressure are important meteorological factors affecting the spread of COVID-19 in Wuhan. Any two variables have greater interaction with the spatial distribution of the incidence rate of COVID-19 than any one factor alone. Those findings not only provide a new insight for the key intervention measures and the optimal allocation of health care resources accordingly but also lay a theoretical foundation for disease prevention, disease intervention and health services. Full article
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Article
Ways of Moving from Laissez-Faire to Management: An Investigation of Potential Management Strategies for Recreational Sea Angling in Taiwan
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 8111; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13148111 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 491
Abstract
The objective of this paper is to identify potential management strategies pertaining to angling in Taiwan where angling is virtually devoid of management. A three-step approach is used—semi-structured interviews, modified Delphi technique, and fuzzy analytical hierarchy process—to develop an inclusive list of potential [...] Read more.
The objective of this paper is to identify potential management strategies pertaining to angling in Taiwan where angling is virtually devoid of management. A three-step approach is used—semi-structured interviews, modified Delphi technique, and fuzzy analytical hierarchy process—to develop an inclusive list of potential strategies and construct a three-level structure with strategies and associated weights. It is intended to inform managers of what strategies they may take if management on angling is needed. The results show that angling sites and resource use are considered relatively important dimensions in the second level. Among 13 items, safety education, the establishment of safe angling sites, information provision, angling fees, environmental education, separation of different uses, restriction on catch sale, and conservation efforts, are the top eight rankings in the third level. Management implications from the findings were discussed, with an emphasis on the priority strategies such as establishing safe angling sites and safety education. These strategies reflect the current shared societal, economic, and environmental aspirations of a wide range of stakeholders and facilitate charting the journey towards a managed angling domain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue International Fisheries Policy and Economic Analysis)
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Article
Optimization Research on Vehicle Routing for Fresh Agricultural Products Based on the Investment of Freshness-Keeping Cost in the Distribution Process
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 8110; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13148110 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 513
Abstract
In cold chain logistics, fresh agricultural products are susceptible to deteriorate due to the passage of time in the distribution process. To reduce the loss of cargo, this research integrates the traditional refrigeration cost into the freshness-keeping cost invested in the process of [...] Read more.
In cold chain logistics, fresh agricultural products are susceptible to deteriorate due to the passage of time in the distribution process. To reduce the loss of cargo, this research integrates the traditional refrigeration cost into the freshness-keeping cost invested in the process of transportation and unloading goods. We rely on the investment of freshness-keeping cost to reduce the cargo damage cost caused by the distribution process and then propose a new vehicle routing problem (VRP). According to all relevant costs, this research builds a mathematical model with the goal of minimizing the total distribution cost. A hybrid ant colony optimization is designed to solve the problem, and the effectiveness of the model and algorithm are verified through two sets of comparative experiments. To determine which products should be invested in freshness-keeping cost to reduce the total distribution cost, we perform numerical analysis on the relevant parameters in the model. Results provide decision-making references for cold chain logistics distribution enterprises in the design of distribution routes. Full article
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Article
Analysis of Green Traffic Development in Zhoushan Based on Entropy Weight TOPSIS
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 8109; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13148109 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 408
Abstract
Green transportation is a kind of urban transportation system with low pollution and multiple urban environments. At present, the development of green transportation in China is progressing and gradually occupying a relatively important position. In order to understand the development of green transportation [...] Read more.
Green transportation is a kind of urban transportation system with low pollution and multiple urban environments. At present, the development of green transportation in China is progressing and gradually occupying a relatively important position. In order to understand the development of green transportation in China, based on the concept of green transportation, this paper analyzes the development of green transportation in Zhoushan as an example, and selects the data from three aspects: basic indicators, means of transportation and road construction in Zhoushan City. The entropy weight method is used to determine the entropy value and weight of each index, and the index evaluation system is established. In addition, the ideal solution method was used to calculate the relative closeness degree to analyze the development of green transportation in Zhoushan city from 2016 to 2018. According to the relative proximity degree calculation data, it can be shown that the calculation value of 2017 is larger than that of 2018. The results show that the development of green transportation in Zhoushan in 2017 is the best, followed by 2018. The above results help to understand the current development status of Zhoushan green transportation, further understand the existing problems and the important factors affecting the development of Zhoushan green transportation. In order to promote the development of urban green transportation in China, suggestions are put forward on the basis of the analysis of the development of Zhousan’s green transportation to promote the development of green transportation in Zhoushan from four aspects: strengthening the construction of urban road transportation system, optimizing transportation, improving the infrastructure of new energy vehicles and promoting the concept of green transportation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Firms and Economies)
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Article
Between Urban and Rural: Is Agricultural Parks a Governance Tool for Developing Tourism in the Periurban Areas? Reflections on Two Italian Cases
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 8108; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13148108 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 388
Abstract
The new demand for rurality raises new issues: it is no longer a question of sustaining a traditional agricultural model based exclusively on productivity and profit maximisation, but rather agriculture strongly oriented towards the production of non-commodity outputs that very often have the [...] Read more.
The new demand for rurality raises new issues: it is no longer a question of sustaining a traditional agricultural model based exclusively on productivity and profit maximisation, but rather agriculture strongly oriented towards the production of non-commodity outputs that very often have the characteristics of externalities or public goods. Based on these assumptions, the paper intends to frame the role of multifunctional agriculture for the development of peri-urban areas looking in particular to the agricultural parks phenomenon, in which innovative and multifunctional agriculture is practiced (with environmental, landscape, and social functions), to asses if they can represent a strategic resource for the tourist enhancement of territories on the edge of urban and rural areas. With this perspective, two Italian case studies, Parco agricolo di Ciaculli (Palermo and Parco agricolo Sud Milano (Milano), have been analyzed highlighting their main characteristics and under which conditions they can play the role of tourism development driver. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Rural Tourism and Promotion of Local Development)
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Article
An Innovative Experimental Petrographic Study of Concrete Produced by Animal Bones and Human Hair Fibers
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 8107; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13148107 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 455
Abstract
The sustainable use of agricultural, industrial and human waste products as raw materials in the construction industry has been extensively investigated. This study aimed to conceive an innovative concrete composition mainly using recycled materials, which, as a result as waste from human activities [...] Read more.
The sustainable use of agricultural, industrial and human waste products as raw materials in the construction industry has been extensively investigated. This study aimed to conceive an innovative concrete composition mainly using recycled materials, which, as a result as waste from human activities and natural organic growth, such as animal bones and human hair, will be used in different mixtures in order to prepare concrete specimens. More specifically, the effect of these materials upon the final concrete strength was investigated, as well as how their petrographic characteristics may influence the durability of concrete specimens. Special emphasis was placed on the effect of the artificial increase in bone and hair microroughness and how these can improve the mechanical strength of the final product. The research results point towards the fact that the percentage of the replacement of natural aggregate rocks by animal bones tends to be enhanced by the increase in their microroughness using quartz primer. In addition, the use of bones with increased artificial microroughness and a certain percentage of human hair with increased microtopography seems to be the ideal mixture for the replacement of natural aggregates for the production of normal concrete. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Materials)
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Article
Evaluating the Social Cost of Conflict between New Media and Society: The Case of Gaming Disorder in South Korea
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 8106; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13148106 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 488
Abstract
Historically, the introduction of a new media in mass market caused a strong conflict starting from the nineteenth century popular literature, comics, rock music and film. Interestingly, these conflicts have shown similar and repeated patterns, which is now called media panic and moral [...] Read more.
Historically, the introduction of a new media in mass market caused a strong conflict starting from the nineteenth century popular literature, comics, rock music and film. Interestingly, these conflicts have shown similar and repeated patterns, which is now called media panic and moral regulation, and games are following this pattern. In 2019, Gaming disorder (GD) was decided to be included in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), and similar conflicts on games arenow expected. However, the social cost and damage have not been fully addressed until now. Thus, this study focuses on the estimation of the social cost induced by GD for policy design and decisions in the public healthcare of South Korea. Using the contingent valuation method, a popular valuation method in econometrics for non-market goods, this study has tried to estimate the social cost induced by the introduction of GD into the public healthcare practice. Focusing on a false positive problem in the diagnosis, this study estimates that the willingness to pay for GD diagnosis for children is about KRW 152 K (USD 135). Considering the difference between the prevalence of GD (1.9%) and GD suspicion rate of children in the respondents (12.54%), the excessive medical diagnosis cost due to the false positive problem is estimated to KRW 101 billion (USD 89.6 M), which is about four times more than the annual medical cost for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) treatment in South Korea. Thus, strong scientific proof and a cautious policy approach on GD are needed before the inclusion of GD in the public health practice. Full article
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Article
Exploring the Effects of a Modified Higher Education Performance Service Quality Model on Organisational Sustainability: The Case of Malaysian Polytechnics
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 8105; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13148105 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 434
Abstract
Higher education service quality and performance in technical and vocational education and training (TVET) is critical for developing human capital for economic survival; however, the effects of service quality on organisational performance are still unclear. Furthermore, neglecting employee soft factors and ignoring higher [...] Read more.
Higher education service quality and performance in technical and vocational education and training (TVET) is critical for developing human capital for economic survival; however, the effects of service quality on organisational performance are still unclear. Furthermore, neglecting employee soft factors and ignoring higher education-specific models have hindered efforts to develop a comprehensive model for service quality excellence in order to improve higher education performance for organisations. This study aims to assess higher education service quality based on a modified higher education performance (modified HEdPERF) model, as well as consideration of the mediating effects of soft factors (i.e., job satisfaction and organisational commitment) in Malaysian polytechnic institutions. Based on random sampling, 214 department heads from 33 polytechnic institutes in Malaysia participated in this study. Data were collected through self-administered questionnaires and were analysed using AMOS. The results uncover that service quality significantly affects job satisfaction, thus positively affecting organisational commitment, which enhances organisational performance sustainability. The findings also reveal that job satisfaction fully mediates the relationship between service quality and organisational commitment. Similarly, organisational commitment fully mediates the relationship between job satisfaction and organisational performance sustainability. The results have important implications for enhancing organisational performance sustainability in a TVET context when implementing the modified HEdPERF service quality model with simultaneous attention paid towards employee soft factors. Full article
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Article
Dispositional Mindfulness and Injury Time Loss in Soccer
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 8104; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13148104 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 477
Abstract
Soccer injuries have a low prevalence, albeit prompting detrimental effects for individuals and teams, particularly with prolonged convalescence periods. Age and injury severity appear as the most robust correlates with recovery duration. The role of dispositional mindfulness remains unknown, however, despite considerable evidence [...] Read more.
Soccer injuries have a low prevalence, albeit prompting detrimental effects for individuals and teams, particularly with prolonged convalescence periods. Age and injury severity appear as the most robust correlates with recovery duration. The role of dispositional mindfulness remains unknown, however, despite considerable evidence that highlights positive effects of mindfulness on injury rehabilitation. This study sought to examine whether dispositional mindfulness explained additional variability in injury time loss in an elite sample of soccer players (N = 207). A series of moderated regression analyses examined whether dispositional mindfulness interacted with either age or injury severity in explaining the length of recovery from an injury. The main findings suggest that dispositional mindfulness was unrelated with length of recovery. In contrast, age and injury severity related robustly with the length of lesion recovery, which was even longer for the older players with very severe injuries. The current findings constitute a novelty in the study of injuries in soccer and open new research lines to determine whether mindfulness interventions are likely to contribute to shorten objective rehabilitation length for a more sustainable approach to sports injury Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport Psychology and Sustainable Health and Well-being)
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Article
The Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Mobility-Related GHG Emissions of the University of Oldenburg and Proposals for Reductions
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 8103; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13148103 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 524
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many aspects of human life, including mobility. In a local context, the University of Oldenburg (Germany) suspended all in-person lectures and business trips in March 2020, affecting the energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the community. [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many aspects of human life, including mobility. In a local context, the University of Oldenburg (Germany) suspended all in-person lectures and business trips in March 2020, affecting the energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the community. This paper presents the evaluation of emissions resulting from mobility associated with the University of Oldenburg before and after the COVID-19 restrictions, including commuting and business trips. Moreover, five scenarios targeting a reduction in emissions related to mobility are proposed and analyzed. The GHG emissions were calculated using specific emissions factors for each mode of transport, distance data obtained via a survey, and official university data. Overall, the results have revealed a substantial decrease in emissions in the summer semester 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The estimated GHG emissions reduction relative to the average emissions of the prior two semesters (pre-COVID-19) is 79% for commuting (equivalent to 1934 tCO2e), and 69% for business trips (equivalent to 888.6 tCO2e). Furthermore, the commuting emissions are 1.9 times higher than business trip emissions in summer and winter 2019, and 1.3 times higher in summer 2020. With respect to proposals for reductions, the most effective scenario for reducing GHG emissions considers a hybrid semester assuming one day a week without commuting, which is estimated to achieve a 15% emissions reduction relative to the baseline emissions. The paper thus shows the importance of commuting-related GHG emissions in a university higher education context as well as first approaches to reduce them. This study may be useful as a guidance for the University of Oldenburg in its efforts to reduce GHG emissions by providing a quantitative basis and scenarios for prioritizing and reducing mobility emissions. Beyond that, it provides comparative metrics for other institutions with similar characteristics. Full article
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Article
Multivariate Modeling of Mechanical Properties for Hot Runner Molded Bioplastics and a Recycled Polypropylene Blend
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 8102; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13148102 - 20 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 498
Abstract
Four sustainable materials including a recycled polypropylene blend, polybutylene adipate terephthalate, and two grades of polylactic acid are compared to a reference isotactic polypropylene. Tensile specimens were produced using a two-cavity, hot runner mold with fully automatic cycles per standard industrial practices to [...] Read more.
Four sustainable materials including a recycled polypropylene blend, polybutylene adipate terephthalate, and two grades of polylactic acid are compared to a reference isotactic polypropylene. Tensile specimens were produced using a two-cavity, hot runner mold with fully automatic cycles per standard industrial practices to investigate the effect of melt temperature, injection velocity, cycle time, and screw speed on the mechanical properties. Multiple regression and principal component analyses were performed for each of the materials. Results indicated that all the materials were readily processed using a hot runner, and the mechanical properties exhibited minimal variation. To the extent that losses in mechanical properties were observed, the results indicated that the losses were correlated with thermal degradation as independently characterized by thermal gravimetric analysis. Such losses can be minimized by reducing melt temperature and cycle time, leading to a reduction of the environmental impact of injection molding processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intelligent Sensing for Sustainable Production Industries)
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Case Report
Mapping Long-Term Care in Jamaica: Addressing an Ageing Population
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 8101; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13148101 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 768
Abstract
Jamaica’s ageing population, high prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), and associated functional impairments suggest the need for a sustainable long-term care (LTC) system. This paper describes the current LTC system in Jamaica. A review of empirical and grey literature on LTC was supplemented [...] Read more.
Jamaica’s ageing population, high prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), and associated functional impairments suggest the need for a sustainable long-term care (LTC) system. This paper describes the current LTC system in Jamaica. A review of empirical and grey literature on LTC was supplemented with consultations and interviews and group discussions for knowledge exchange, impact and engagement events with stakeholders being conducted as part of a project on dementia care improvement. Four key findings emerged: (1) Jamaica’s LTC system depends substantially on informal care (both unpaid and paid); (2) there is a need for strategic coordination for LTC across the state, cross-ministerial, private, and volunteer sectors; (3) compulsory insurance and social protection schemes appear to exacerbate rather than narrow socioeconomic inequalities in LTC; and (4) there is a lack of systematic LTC data gathering and related information systems in both the private and public sector—for both institutional and community-based care. For LTC in Jamaica and the broader Caribbean region to be sustainable, more evidence-informed policies and practices that address inequalities in access to services, ability to pay for care, direct support from government, and the risk of needing LTC are needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Care: Facing Global Ageing More Effectively)
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Article
The Role of Education in the Transition towards Sustainable Agriculture: A Family Farm Learning Perspective
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 8099; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13148099 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 419
Abstract
This paper deals with the analysis of decision-making processes at the family-farm level with reference to the transition towards sustainable agriculture. Despite literature that has underlined the relevance of education in strategic decision making, less attention has been devoted to the (family) collective [...] Read more.
This paper deals with the analysis of decision-making processes at the family-farm level with reference to the transition towards sustainable agriculture. Despite literature that has underlined the relevance of education in strategic decision making, less attention has been devoted to the (family) collective decision-making process by taking into account the maximum level of education of the family members regardless of the position and whether they are the manager of the family farm or not. Therefore, this paper tries to fill a gap in literature by emphasizing the family farm’s collective decision-making process. In order to empirically measure this relevance, an econometric model was carried out that allowed us to evidence clear differences in the transition paths among various typologies of family farms on the basis of the level of education. Our results confirm the impact of education at the collective family level on transition towards more sustainable agricultural practices. This is particularly true in remote rural areas, where the transition is realized with higher intensity with respect to other territorial contexts. This brings about policy implications on enskilling farmers and upgrading their level of human capital. Full article
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Article
The Attractiveness of Urban Complexes: Economic Aspect and Risks of Environmental Pollution
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 8098; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13148098 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 390
Abstract
Urbanization and intensive economic activities and growth are closely related. On the other hand, the economic, especially industrial activities cause the pollution of urban areas. In spite of that risk for human health, people strive to live in conditions which offer more chances [...] Read more.
Urbanization and intensive economic activities and growth are closely related. On the other hand, the economic, especially industrial activities cause the pollution of urban areas. In spite of that risk for human health, people strive to live in conditions which offer more chances for improved quality of life. In this paper the connection between the economic chances and healthy risk issues are investigated. To determine the rate of attractiveness of urban complexes the authors introduced the relation between gross domestic product of urban area and the air quality index, called economic attractiveness of urban area. This ratio is quite stable because changes of gross domestic product per capita and air quality index are not expected to be too dynamic and unpredictable. Additionally, the errors in the measuring of gross domestic product and air quality index are quite small and could not affect the result significantly. The results showed that correlation between gross domestic product and air quality index is negative, i.e., that higher gross domestic product per capita (GDP/c) is related with lower air quality index which means greater quality of air. In addition, the coefficient of economic attractiveness showed that urban areas with highest gross domestic product do not have to be the most attractive areas if the air quality index is higher. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Consumption Culture and Sustainability Discourses)
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Article
Digital Transformation in the Chilean Lodging Sector: Opportunities for Sustainable Businesses
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 8097; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13148097 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 476
Abstract
The lodging industry increasingly relies on digital technology and innovations in various operations in order to develop a competitive strategy and improve their operational activities during the pandemic. Nowadays, digital transformation is a key element for business sustainability. This paper presents an industry [...] Read more.
The lodging industry increasingly relies on digital technology and innovations in various operations in order to develop a competitive strategy and improve their operational activities during the pandemic. Nowadays, digital transformation is a key element for business sustainability. This paper presents an industry case study involving four hotels or lodging companies operating in Chile which have successfully incorporated technology and new communication channels with their clients, carrying out a digital transformation that is key to the competitiveness and survival of their businesses. The results show that the impact of digitalization on sales and visibility of companies in the sector is huge; second, the effects of digital innovation on the management of key processes, both in the back office and in the front office, is very important; third, the incorporation of technology as a standard factor in order to be competitive in the industry is a key element; finally, the problems or obstacles that lodging companies must face in the process of implementing new information technologies. Without digital innovation, this sector would not have been able to survive in times of pandemic. Full article
Article
Mix Design Effects on the Durability of Alkali-Activated Slag Concrete in a Hydrochloric Acid Environment
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 8096; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13148096 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 525
Abstract
Because of its high strength, energy reduction, and low environmental impact, researchers have encouraged considering alkali-activated slag concrete (AASC) as a potential alternative to conventional concrete. In this study, the impact of mix design parameters on the durability of AASC, made with ground [...] Read more.
Because of its high strength, energy reduction, and low environmental impact, researchers have encouraged considering alkali-activated slag concrete (AASC) as a potential alternative to conventional concrete. In this study, the impact of mix design parameters on the durability of AASC, made with ground granulated blast furnace slag and activated with different alkaline solutions (NaOH, KOH, and Na2SiO3) immersed up to six months in a hydrochloric acid bath with pH = 3, has been investigated. A total of 13 mix designs were made in a way that, in addition to the type of alkaline solution, considered three other parameters, namely the molarity of alkaline solutions, the weight ratio of alkaline solutions to slag, and the weight ratio of alkaline solutions to sodium silicate. Visual inspections displayed that the AASC samples almost remained intact after exposure to an HCl acid solution with pH = 3 for up to 6 months, while the OPC sample experienced deleterious deterioration. The results clearly show that AASC outperformed OPC concrete when it comes to durability in an HCl acid solution. The strength reduction and weight loss of AASC compared with OPC concrete were approximately one-tenth and one-fifth, respectively. The AASC samples containing potassium hydroxide showed a higher strength reduction and weight loss in the HCl acid solution than the samples made with sodium hydroxide. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Concrete and Construction Materials)
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Article
Generation Y’s Information Needs Concerning Sharing Rides in Autonomous Mobility on Demand Systems
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 8095; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13148095 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 424
Abstract
Empirical studies show that autonomous vehicles can contribute to sustainability goals when rides are shared. However, sharing rides with strangers in shared autonomous mobility-on-demand systems (SAMODSs) might impede the adoption of these systems. The present study addresses the research question whether a comprehensive [...] Read more.
Empirical studies show that autonomous vehicles can contribute to sustainability goals when rides are shared. However, sharing rides with strangers in shared autonomous mobility-on-demand systems (SAMODSs) might impede the adoption of these systems. The present study addresses the research question whether a comprehensive information provision about fellow passengers could increase acceptability of the shared rides in SAMODSs. A discrete choice experiment (N = 154) assessed the potential of different levels of information on fellow passengers: (1) no information, (2) name, (3) picture, (4) rating, (5) combination of name, picture and rating. The results show that the overall compensation demands for sharing a ride was a reduction of approximately 25% of the nonshared reference price. The provision of detailed information about fellow travelers proved beneficial for reducing the compensation demands of travelers while the provision of a name only resulted in higher compensation demands. A significant effect of the fellow passengers’ gender indicated that male gender information was related to a higher refusal rate than female gender information. This was particularly relevant when only names were presented. The study provides first empirical insights into the psychological factors concerning the emerging trend of shared mobility. Full article
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Article
Environmental Sustainability and the Inclusion of Geomorphosites in Tourist Activity—Case Study: The Baiului Mountains, Romania
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 8094; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13148094 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 384
Abstract
This paper presents the sustainability of the relief at geomorphosites in terms of tourist activity and how tourism can affect the relief by presenting the major sustainable tourism issues. For the study area, the Baiului Mountains from Romania were chosen. In addition, we [...] Read more.
This paper presents the sustainability of the relief at geomorphosites in terms of tourist activity and how tourism can affect the relief by presenting the major sustainable tourism issues. For the study area, the Baiului Mountains from Romania were chosen. In addition, we present the method for assessing tourist and exploitation values of geomorphological sites in the tourist area of Romania. Jean-Pierre Pralong first used the method and it aims to qualify the potential in terms of scenic, scientific, cultural and economic values and the use of this potential in terms of degree and modality of exploitation. It was based on the study of 10 geomorphological sites in the area of the Baiului Mountains. We present each geomorphosite and its scale for every value. Finally, we develop an analysis of the potential and use of the studied geomorphosites and the relationship between the reliefs and tourism. Full article
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Article
Improved Adaptive Hamiltonian Control Law for Constant Power Load Stability Issue in DC Microgrid: Case Study for Multiphase Interleaved Fuel Cell Boost Converter
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 8093; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13148093 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 425
Abstract
The cascaded connection of power converters in a DC microgrid may cause instabilities. Indeed, power converters operating as external loads exhibit constant power load (CPL) behaviors. In this study, the design of the feedback controller of a multi–cell interleaved fuel cell (FC) step–up [...] Read more.
The cascaded connection of power converters in a DC microgrid may cause instabilities. Indeed, power converters operating as external loads exhibit constant power load (CPL) behaviors. In this study, the design of the feedback controller of a multi–cell interleaved fuel cell (FC) step–up power circuit is based on the adaptive Hamiltonian control law. It includes two integral terms to confirm that there is no steady-state error in the DC bus voltage, and to guarantee the current balancing of each input inductor current. The design confirms that the desired equilibrium point is (locally) asymptotically stable by using the Lyapunov stability proof. The control approach is validated via digital simulations and experimental tests performed with a 2500 W FC converter supplied by an FC/reformer size of 2500 W and 50 V. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sustainable Electrical Engineering)
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Article
CO2 Emission and Cost Optimization of Concrete-Filled Steel Tubular (CFST) Columns Using Metaheuristic Algorithms
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 8092; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13148092 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 431
Abstract
Concrete-filled steel tubular columns have garnered wide interest among researchers due to their favorable structural characteristics. To attain the best possible performance from concrete-filled steel tubular columns while reducing the cost, the use of optimization algorithms is indispensable. In this regard, metaheuristic algorithms [...] Read more.
Concrete-filled steel tubular columns have garnered wide interest among researchers due to their favorable structural characteristics. To attain the best possible performance from concrete-filled steel tubular columns while reducing the cost, the use of optimization algorithms is indispensable. In this regard, metaheuristic algorithms are finding increasing application in structural engineering due to their high efficiency. Various equations that predict the ultimate axial load-carrying capacity (Nu) of concrete-filled steel tubular columns are available in design codes as well as in the research literature. However, most of these equations are only applicable within certain parameter ranges. To overcome this limitation, the present study adopts a recently developed set of equations for the prediction of Nu that have broader ranges of applicability. Furthermore, a newly developed metaheuristic algorithm, called the social spider algorithm, is introduced and applied in optimizing the cross-section of circular concrete-filled steel tubular columns. The improvement of the structural dimensioning under the Nu constraint is demonstrated. The objective underlying the optimization presented here is to minimize the CO2 emission and cost associated with the fabrication of concrete-filled steel tubular stub columns. In this context, the relationships between the cross-sectional dimensioning of circular concrete-filled steel tubular columns and the associated CO2 emissions and cost are characterized and visualized. Full article
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Article
An Assessment of Social Distancing Obedience Behavior during the COVID-19 Post-Epidemic Period in China: A Cross-Sectional Survey
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 8091; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13148091 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 441
Abstract
Social distancing plays a critical role in reducing the disease diffusion risk during the COVID-19 pandemic and post-pandemic period. In order to explore the social distancing obedience behavior, a comprehensive survey was conducted in this study by collecting data from 1064 Chinese residents [...] Read more.
Social distancing plays a critical role in reducing the disease diffusion risk during the COVID-19 pandemic and post-pandemic period. In order to explore the social distancing obedience behavior, a comprehensive survey was conducted in this study by collecting data from 1064 Chinese residents in January 2021 by means of a questionnaire. Structural equation modeling (SEM) and hierarchical linear regression (HLR) analyses were employed to investigate the research hypotheses considered, testing the three influencing factors of social distancing obedience behavior: public guidance, risk perception, and regulation punishment. The reliability and validity of the measurements are demonstrated. The outcomes from the conducted analyses show that the public guidance significantly affects risk perception of individuals, while risk perception imposes a positive impact on social distancing obedience behavior. Moreover, risk perception serves a mediating role in the relationship between the public guidance and social distancing obedience behavior. In addition, regulation punishment positively predicts social distancing obedience behavior and could even have a greater effect by enhancing risk perception. Hence, this study suggests that the relevant authorities and agencies implement strong social distancing policies during the COVID-19 post-pandemic period from the perspective of promoting the public guidance, risk perception, and regulation punishment. Full article
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Article
Spatial Analysis of Mangrove Forest Management to Reduce Air Temperature and CO2 Emissions
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 8090; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13148090 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 450
Abstract
Surabaya is a coastal city that is still developing. Like other developing cities, Surabaya highly suppresses mangrove forests for residential, industrial, and other areas. Mangrove forests supply oxygen for the population of Surabaya. Forest mangroves reduce the effects of global warming and preserve [...] Read more.
Surabaya is a coastal city that is still developing. Like other developing cities, Surabaya highly suppresses mangrove forests for residential, industrial, and other areas. Mangrove forests supply oxygen for the population of Surabaya. Forest mangroves reduce the effects of global warming and preserve sustainable coastal ecosystems. This research aimed to (1) map temperature changes in Surabaya over a period of 20 years (1996–2016) by using remote sensing and GIS, and (2) examine mangrove forests’ ability to absorb CO2 and decrease the impact of global warming in Surabaya. Research results showed that: (1) on the basis of the analysis of the temperature surface area, temperatures changed significantly between 1996 and 2016. Temperature changes can be classified into low, moderate, or high. The low-temperature area of 21–30 °C followed a different pattern. Each year, changes in the high-surface-temperature area were in the range of 31–42 °C. Changes highly increased in the period of 2006–2016. This indicates that Surabaya experienced a significant temperature increase in 2016. (2) There was correlation between the change in mangrove forest cover and the change in temperature; CO2 concentration in mangrove, vegetation, and water areas decreased as it grew in areas used for construction, such as factories, residences, and roads. CO2 concentration in Surabaya showed a distribution in the “high” and “extremely high” categories. The high category was 27.5%, and the extremely high category was 67.5%. The sample point in both the moderate and low category was around 25%. Full article
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Article
The Critical Factors of Student Performance in MOOCs for Sustainable Education: A Case of Chinese Universities
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 8089; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13148089 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 795
Abstract
COVID-19 has drastically changed human life, both in the current era and, no doubt, in the years to come. One of the hot topics during this period is whether and how COVID-19 will change education patterns in the next few years. This study [...] Read more.
COVID-19 has drastically changed human life, both in the current era and, no doubt, in the years to come. One of the hot topics during this period is whether and how COVID-19 will change education patterns in the next few years. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between massive open online courses (MOOCs) and students’ learning performance. To that end, this study combined the gamification concept with the modified information systems (IS) success model and the expectation–confirmation model (ECM) for building a research model. We surveyed 586 students through an online survey and tested the hypotheses. The research results indicated that MOOCs’ information quality (IQ), system quality (SQ), and service quality (SEQ) had positive influences on the confirmation, which then affected MOOCs’ usefulness, satisfaction, and gamification. Students’ continued usage intention and course performance were positively influenced by usefulness and gamification. Students’ continued usage intention of MOOCs also positively affected course performance. The relationship between gamification and satisfaction, however, was not proved. The research results also showed that gamification, which was composed of entertainment, challenge, and social interaction, played a critical role in improving students’ continued usage intention of MOOCs and their course performance. Full article
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Article
Links between Climate Change Knowledge, Perception and Action: Impacts on Personal Carbon Footprint
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 8088; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13148088 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 518
Abstract
The current understanding of determinants of climate action and mitigation behaviour is largely based on measures of climate change including concerns, attitudes and beliefs. However, few studies have shown the actual effects of external and internal drivers on citizens’ lifestyles related to climate [...] Read more.
The current understanding of determinants of climate action and mitigation behaviour is largely based on measures of climate change including concerns, attitudes and beliefs. However, few studies have shown the actual effects of external and internal drivers on citizens’ lifestyles related to climate change, particularly in terms of their carbon footprint (CF). A questionnaire (N = 845) assessing the impact of potential explanation factors for personal CF was carried out in Spain. The study showed the importance of better understanding the factors affecting citizen’s consumption and climate change mitigation policies. Internal factors were not very explicative. Knowledge was linked to clothing and perceived commitment to food, with both sectors being more directly linked to personal choices than other CF sections. Both accounted for 40% of personal emissions. Frequency of action was not shown to be significantly related to any CF section. External factors, such as income, level of studies, age and type of work, were found to be more important than internal drivers in explaining personal CF, particularly type of work, age and income, which were linked to all CF sectors but household energy. Sex was highly associated to clothing, but also significant for transport. Political orientation was not found to be linked to any section of personal CF. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Air, Climate Change and Sustainability)
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Review
The Partnership of Citizen Science and Machine Learning: Benefits, Risks, and Future Challenges for Engagement, Data Collection, and Data Quality
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 8087; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13148087 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 548
Abstract
Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and the extension of citizen science to various scientific areas, as well as the generation of big citizen science data, are resulting in AI and citizen science being good partners, and their combination benefits both fields. The integration [...] Read more.
Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and the extension of citizen science to various scientific areas, as well as the generation of big citizen science data, are resulting in AI and citizen science being good partners, and their combination benefits both fields. The integration of AI and citizen science has mostly been used in biodiversity projects, with the primary focus on using citizen science data to train machine learning (ML) algorithms for automatic species identification. In this article, we will look at how ML techniques can be used in citizen science and how they can influence volunteer engagement, data collection, and data validation. We reviewed several use cases from various domains and categorized them according to the ML technique used and the impact of ML on citizen science in each project. Furthermore, the benefits and risks of integrating ML in citizen science are explored, and some recommendations are provided on how to enhance the benefits while mitigating the risks of this integration. Finally, because this integration is still in its early phases, we have proposed some potential ideas and challenges that can be implemented in the future to leverage the power of the combination of citizen science and AI, with the key emphasis being on citizen science in this article. Full article
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