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Sustainability, Volume 13, Issue 23 (December-1 2021) – 568 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Social capital is perceived as key for sustainable social development, but little is known about how it could be generated. Using a repeated measure of neighbourhood social capital, this study explores how social capital changes over time in urban and rural areas, as well as exploring the factors influencing its development. Higher levels of neighbourhood social capital were associated with sociodemographic factors rather than socioeconomic factors. The proportion of single-parent households as well as households with older pensioners, children under 12, and foreign-born members in the neighbourhood influenced its level of social capital. Local policies to promote social capital for sustainable social development should strive to integrate diverse demographic groups, and increase opportunities for inter-ethnic interactions. View this paper
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Article
The Evolution of AI-Driven Educational Systems during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Sustainability 2021, 13(23), 13501; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su132313501 - 06 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 577
Abstract
COVID-19 had a major impact on education, substantially stimulating the need for digital remote education. From paperback books to PDFs, from physical classes to e-conferencing, and from various traditional mechanisms of information transmission to systems that are driven by artificial intelligence and use [...] Read more.
COVID-19 had a major impact on education, substantially stimulating the need for digital remote education. From paperback books to PDFs, from physical classes to e-conferencing, and from various traditional mechanisms of information transmission to systems that are driven by artificial intelligence and use adaptive learning approaches, all of these had to be adopted by both teachers and students. This paper analyzes the use of an adaptive learning system before and during the COVID-19 pandemic from a statistical point of view on a set of data gathered in Romania during a pilot project. The main data inputs are the number of students that enrolled for a certain course, the percentage of students that successfully completed it, and information about their age group, location and main area of interest. Our study finds that the use of artificial intelligence has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic and, by analyzing the data obtained during the study, we managed to prove that artificial-intelligence-driven tools and systems have gained traction among all the parties involved in the educational process. Full article
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Article
Efficiency of Different Moringa oleifera (Lam.) Varieties as Natural Coagulants for Urban Wastewater Treatment
Sustainability 2021, 13(23), 13500; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su132313500 - 06 Dec 2021
Viewed by 530
Abstract
There is a great need to find cheaper but still efficient treatment methods for wastewater. This study aimed to test the purifying performance of three different Moringa oleifera varieties that were cultivated in Tunisia on raw (RUW) and secondary treated urban wastewater (TUW). [...] Read more.
There is a great need to find cheaper but still efficient treatment methods for wastewater. This study aimed to test the purifying performance of three different Moringa oleifera varieties that were cultivated in Tunisia on raw (RUW) and secondary treated urban wastewater (TUW). The seeds of the Mornag, Egyptian, and Indian varieties were powdered, added to the water (at concentrations of 0, 50, 100, and 150 mg·L−1), and stirred for 45 min at 120 rpm, and then left to settle for two hours. A physicochemical characterization of the wastewater was carried out before and after treatment. The investigated treatments decontaminated both types of urban wastewater. The best treatments were obtained with the Egyptian variety (at 150 mg·L−1), which excelled at the reduction of EC, TSS, BOD5, Cl, SO4, Ca, Na, Cd, and Fe in RUW and BOD5, EC, Na, Mg, Cl, and Cd in TUW. High amounts of TKN was found in both types of Moringa-treated wastewater, meaning that it could be used in agricultural irrigation, leading to less use of chemical nitrogen fertilizers and thus improving sustainability for crops, soils, animals, and humans. The Egyptian Moringa variety constitutes a cost-effective and environmentally friendly adsorbent that can be used as a replacement for more expensive treatment technologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart, Sustainable and Resilient Water Management in Urban Areas)
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Article
How Did the Czech Fishing Union Convince over 99% of Czech Recreational Anglers to Report Their Harvested Fish and Their Fishing Visits into Their Angling Logbooks?
Sustainability 2021, 13(23), 13499; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su132313499 - 06 Dec 2021
Viewed by 297
Abstract
This study summarizes the recommendations regarding how to set a recreational angling reporting system where over 99% of the anglers report their harvested fish and their fishing visits. We conducted 40 in-depth interviews with anglers and managers of fisheries, where we asked about [...] Read more.
This study summarizes the recommendations regarding how to set a recreational angling reporting system where over 99% of the anglers report their harvested fish and their fishing visits. We conducted 40 in-depth interviews with anglers and managers of fisheries, where we asked about the reporting of harvested fish and fishing visits and about compliance with reporting and fishing rules. We achieved the high reporting rate by implementing a mandatory reporting system using angling logbooks, where anglers must write down all harvested fish and all fishing visits. The anglers must return the filled in angling logbooks to continue angling legally. The compliance of anglers with the fishing rules is enforced through field inspections by angling guards. The Czech Fishing Union explains the reasoning behind the fishing rules through local angling organisations where the fishery managers know the anglers personally, arguing that if the anglers do not comply with the angling rules, there will be no fish left to catch in the future. Keeping anglers informed regarding any changes to angling rules is critical for maintaining trust. The effective reporting system requires mandatory angling logbooks, but the communication between the Fishing Union and their anglers is essential to ensure that anglers comply with the system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Resources and Sustainable Utilization)
Article
Space Thermoacoustic Radioisotopic Power System, SpaceTRIPS: The Magnetohydrodynamic Generator
Sustainability 2021, 13(23), 13498; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su132313498 - 06 Dec 2021
Viewed by 402
Abstract
Electricity production is a major problem for deep space exploration. The possibility of using radioisotope elements with a very long life as an energy source was investigated in the framework of an EU project “SpaceTRIPS”. For this, a two-stage system was tested, the [...] Read more.
Electricity production is a major problem for deep space exploration. The possibility of using radioisotope elements with a very long life as an energy source was investigated in the framework of an EU project “SpaceTRIPS”. For this, a two-stage system was tested, the first in which thermal energy is converted into mechanical energy by means of a thermoacoustic process, and the second where mechanical energy is converted into electrical energy by means of a magnetohydrodynamic generator (MHD). The aim of the present study is to develop an analytical model of the MHD generator. A one-dimensional model is developed and presented that allows us to evaluate the behavior of the device as regards both electromagnetic and fluid-dynamic aspects, and consequently to determine the characteristic values of efficiency and power. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Static Conversion of Energy for the Smart Exploitation of Renewables)
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Article
Will Increasing Government Subsidies Promote Open Innovation? A Simulation Analysis of China’s Wind Power Industry
Sustainability 2021, 13(23), 13497; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su132313497 - 06 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 339
Abstract
Keeping open innovation both stable and sustainable can be difficult when it involves cooperation between large enterprises. Some empirical studies suggest that subsidy policies can play a positive role. This study addresses two key questions that follow from this observation: first, if the [...] Read more.
Keeping open innovation both stable and sustainable can be difficult when it involves cooperation between large enterprises. Some empirical studies suggest that subsidy policies can play a positive role. This study addresses two key questions that follow from this observation: first, if the intensity of a subsidy policy is increased, can it play a greater role in strengthening the stability of cooperation between firms? Second, what other factors play a mediating role in this effect? Utilizing a dynamic game model, this paper analyses influential factors such as absorptive capacity, frequency of engagement and technical value on cooperative stability, and investigates the role of innovation policy in the process of cooperation through a random number-driven simulation. The findings indicate that only when the absorption capacity and technological value of both partners meet a certain threshold is the probability of positive cooperative behavior improved. Otherwise, increased subsidies tend to foster negative cooperative behavior instead. Full article
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Article
Effects of EFL Learning on L1 Chinese Lexis
Sustainability 2021, 13(23), 13496; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su132313496 - 06 Dec 2021
Viewed by 340
Abstract
The advocates of multi-competence theory argue that the L2 learners’ language system is unique because of the crosslinguistic influences of both languages. However, the influence of a foreign language on the learner’s L1 has not been extensively investigated. In order to address the [...] Read more.
The advocates of multi-competence theory argue that the L2 learners’ language system is unique because of the crosslinguistic influences of both languages. However, the influence of a foreign language on the learner’s L1 has not been extensively investigated. In order to address the gap, the present study sought to investigate the effects of EFL learning on written L1 Chinese at the lexical level. Two studies were conducted on 200 abstracts of MA theses written in Chinese, half on English literature written by Chinese-L1 English majors (EMs), and half on Chinese literature written by Chinese-L1 Chinese majors (CMs). The first study investigated the differences between the two groups in terms of the frequencies of nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, prepositions, and conjunctions in the abstracts. The second study examined the differences in the lexical complexity and diversity between the two groups. The results reveal 12 significant differences in 27 investigated word classes and subclasses, as well as significant differences in lexical complexity, but no significant difference in lexical diversity. The identified differences are discussed from a multi-competence perspective. Full article
Article
Could Government Data Openness Enhance Urban Innovation Capability? An Evaluation Based on Multistage DID Method
Sustainability 2021, 13(23), 13495; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su132313495 - 06 Dec 2021
Viewed by 352
Abstract
The wave of government data opening has gradually swept the world since it rose from the United States in 2009. The purpose is not to open government data, but to release data value and drive economic and social development through data accessibility. At [...] Read more.
The wave of government data opening has gradually swept the world since it rose from the United States in 2009. The purpose is not to open government data, but to release data value and drive economic and social development through data accessibility. At present, the impact of academic circles on government open data mostly stays in theoretical discussion, especially due to the lack of empirical tests. Using the multistage difference-in-difference (DID) model, this paper analyzes the panel data from 2009 to 2016 by taking two batches of Chinese cities with open data released in 2014 and 2105 as samples to test the impact of government data opening on urban innovation ability. The results show that the opening of government data significantly improves urban innovation abilities. After considering the heterogeneity and fixed effects of urban characteristics, the opening of government data still significantly improves urban innovation ability and shows a greater innovation driving role in cities with high levels of economic development, human capital, and infrastructure. Based on this, this paper believes that we should continue to promote the opening of government data, release the value of data, and pay attention to the Matthew effect between cities that may appear in the era of big data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Big Data and Artificial Intelligence)
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Article
Optimization of Chitosan Surface Response Methodology (Natural and Commercial) Used for Chromium Ion Removal from Wastewater across Different Parameters
Sustainability 2021, 13(23), 13494; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su132313494 - 06 Dec 2021
Viewed by 322
Abstract
Chromium is one of the most significant metals used in the industry. There are many techniques for treating different types of industrial waste water that include chromium ion. In this study, the authors successfully adsorbed the chromium ion from alkaline aqueous solutions using [...] Read more.
Chromium is one of the most significant metals used in the industry. There are many techniques for treating different types of industrial waste water that include chromium ion. In this study, the authors successfully adsorbed the chromium ion from alkaline aqueous solutions using different prepared types of chitosan as adsorbent materials. For the simultaneous sorption behaviour, the adsorption potential of the produced adsorbent was investigated for Cr+6 in a batch system. Natural chitosan was extracted from shrimp shell as it contains about 8–10% chitin which is used in the production of chitosan. The removal percentage of Cr+6 reached 99% after grafting natural and commercial chitosan at specific conditions. Several isotherm models have been used for mechanistic studies. The results indicated that the adsorption data for commercial chitosan is well-fitted by the Freundlich isotherm, Langmuir for commercial grafted, natural and natural grafted chitosan. Kinetic and equilibrium studies showed that the experimental data of Cr+6 were better described by the pseudo-first-order model for commercial chitosan and fitted the pseudo-second-order model for different types of chitosan used. Significantly, in order to scale this effective strategy on an industrial scale, response surface methodology (RSM) was used as a modelling tool to optimise process parameters such as ion concentrations, utilising Statistica Software. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water, Wastewater Treatment, and Sustainable Development)
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Article
Two Level Trade Credit Policy Approach in Inventory Model with Expiration Rate and Stock Dependent Demand under Nonzero Inventory and Partial Backlogged Shortages
Sustainability 2021, 13(23), 13493; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su132313493 - 06 Dec 2021
Viewed by 278
Abstract
In present real life situations, the stock and expiration date directly impact on the demand of an item. In this context, this research work develops an inventory model for stock and expiration rate-dependent demand under a two-level trade credit policy. Specifically, the following [...] Read more.
In present real life situations, the stock and expiration date directly impact on the demand of an item. In this context, this research work develops an inventory model for stock and expiration rate-dependent demand under a two-level trade credit policy. Specifically, the following three situations are studied: (i) trade credit policy without zero ending inventory; (ii) trade credit policy with zero ending inventory; (iii) trade credit policy with partial backlogged shortages. The proposed inventory model is formulated as a non-linear constrained optimization problem. Some theoretical results are derived, and an algorithm is stated in order to solve the proposed inventory model. The main objective of the inventory model is to determine the optimal cycle length, the optimal ending inventory level, and the optimal number of units displayed which maximize the total profit. Some numerical examples are solved. Finally, a sensitivity analysis is done with the aim to see the impacts of a variation of the input parameters on the decision variables and the total profit. Full article
Article
Analysis of the Influencing Factors of Organizational Resilience in the ISM Framework: An Exploratory Study Based on Multiple Cases
Sustainability 2021, 13(23), 13492; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su132313492 - 06 Dec 2021
Viewed by 344
Abstract
As an important means to deal with crisis, organizational resilience has attracted the attention of academia and industry. However, research on what factors influence organizational resilience has lagged behind. In view of this, this study proposes the concept of organizational resilience on the [...] Read more.
As an important means to deal with crisis, organizational resilience has attracted the attention of academia and industry. However, research on what factors influence organizational resilience has lagged behind. In view of this, this study proposes the concept of organizational resilience on the basis of existing research and extracts the influencing factors of organizational resilience based on a multi-case analysis approach, using the organizational behavior of five companies in crisis situations as the research object. Based on the Interpretive Structure Model (ISM), the internal logical relationship and hierarchical structure of the factors influencing organizational resilience are analyzed. In this study, the importance of influencing factors of organizational resilience was analyzed by using analytic network process (ANP). It is suggested that strengthening organizational resilience is the key, organizational learning is the important basis, emotion management is the necessary condition, and organizational resources are the basic guarantee, which provides theoretical supplement and practical guidance for the study of organizational resilience. Full article
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Article
Humidification-Dehumidification Desalination System Powered by Simultaneous Air-Water Solar Heater
Sustainability 2021, 13(23), 13491; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su132313491 - 06 Dec 2021
Viewed by 342
Abstract
A humidification–dehumidification (HDH) desalination system requires thermal energy to desalt seawater. An environmentally friendly approach to obtain thermal energy is to utilize solar energy using solar collectors. Either seawater or air (or both) are typically preheated by HDH desalination systems before these fluids [...] Read more.
A humidification–dehumidification (HDH) desalination system requires thermal energy to desalt seawater. An environmentally friendly approach to obtain thermal energy is to utilize solar energy using solar collectors. Either seawater or air (or both) are typically preheated by HDH desalination systems before these fluids are conveyed to the humidifier column. Compared with preheating only air or water, preheating both is preferred because improved performance and higher productivity are achieved. Many researchers have proposed dual preheated HDH systems utilizing two separate solar heaters/collectors for simultaneous air–seawater preheating. In this study, dual-fluid preheating is achieved using a single solar collector. The proposed simultaneous air–water solar heater (SAWSH) is a modified flat-plate collector designed for simultaneously preheating air and seawater before the fluids reach the humidifier. A thermodynamic study was conducted using formulated mathematical models based on energy and mass conservation principles. Then, the dual-fluid heating HDH system is compared with HDH systems in which only air or only water is heated. This work found that the former outperformed the latter. The daily and monthly performance levels of the system in terms of the outlet temperatures of air and water, distillate rate, and gain output ratio were calculated using the weather data of the hot and humid climate of Jeddah City, Saudi Arabia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Water Management)
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Review
Personal Energy at Work: A Systematic Review
Sustainability 2021, 13(23), 13490; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su132313490 - 06 Dec 2021
Viewed by 361
Abstract
There has been a significant increase in studies on personal energy at work. Yet, research efforts are fragmented, given that scholars employ a diversity of related concepts. To bring clarity, we executed a two-fold systematic literature review. We crafted a definition of personal [...] Read more.
There has been a significant increase in studies on personal energy at work. Yet, research efforts are fragmented, given that scholars employ a diversity of related concepts. To bring clarity, we executed a two-fold systematic literature review. We crafted a definition of personal energy at work and a theoretical framework, outlining the dimensions, antecedents and boundary conditions. The theoretical implication of the framework is that it allows one to explain why—given similar work—some employees feel energized whereas others do not. The difference depends on the context that the employer offers, the personal characteristics of employees and the processes of strain and recovery. The paper concludes with a discussion of how future research can build on the proposed framework to advance the theoretical depth and empirical investigation of personal energy at work. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Careers and Flourishing Organizations)
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Article
The Impact of Succession Management on Small and Medium Enterprises’ Sustainability in Lagos State, Nigeria
Sustainability 2021, 13(23), 13489; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su132313489 - 06 Dec 2021
Viewed by 291
Abstract
This study investigated the impact of succession management on small and medium enterprises’ (SMEs’) sustainability in Lagos, Nigeria. The study adopted a descriptive survey research method and its participants were selected from five SMEs across Lagos State, based on their number of years [...] Read more.
This study investigated the impact of succession management on small and medium enterprises’ (SMEs’) sustainability in Lagos, Nigeria. The study adopted a descriptive survey research method and its participants were selected from five SMEs across Lagos State, based on their number of years of operating, staff strength, and branch locations. The enterprises included Gnakk Enterprises, Dreamville School, Vitus Cosmetics, Osi Ventures, and Chijioke Frozen Foods. The Pearson product moment correlation coefficient was used to analyze the hypotheses, which revealed that succession management had a positive correlation (r = 0.934, p-value < 0.05) with corporate sustainability amongst SMEs in Lagos State, Nigeria. Hence, the study concluded that in respect of strategic recruitment, succession management attracts and assists to retain a high performing skilled labour force. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovation for Sustainable Business)
Article
Heterogeneity Study of the Visual Features Based on Geographically Weighted Principal Components Analysis Applied to an Urban Community
Sustainability 2021, 13(23), 13488; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su132313488 - 06 Dec 2021
Viewed by 330
Abstract
Communities in urban space are the most basic living units. Community visual features directly reflect the local living quality and influence the perception of residents and visitors. The evaluation of the community visual features is of great significance to the space design under [...] Read more.
Communities in urban space are the most basic living units. Community visual features directly reflect the local living quality and influence the perception of residents and visitors. The evaluation of the community visual features is of great significance to the space design under the guidance of urban landscape recognition and urban space perception. Based on the street view image data, this paper analyzes the composition of visual features in the community space scale by using the geographically weighted principal components analysis. GWPCA can not only reflect the global characteristics, but also analyze the local components, thus describing the visual features of the community in a comprehensive manner. The results show that: (1) community visual features have significant spatial heterogeneity at different statistical scales, and the spatial heterogeneity of community visual features can provide a basis for urban landscape planning and design; (2) the combination mode of dominant visual elements can reflect different community landscapes. The analysis of this paper further illustrates the effectiveness and application prospect of street view images in identifying the landscape composition mode of urban space from the medium-micro perspective. This conclusion is helpful for planners to learn the dominant visual features of the community through street view images, and, further, use the classification of elements of street view images to guide the planning and design of cityscape. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Urban Design: Urban Externalities and Land Use Planning)
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Article
The Internal Demand of Cultural Tourism: Understanding Satisfaction and Fidelity to Destination in Spain through a Non-Linear Structural Model
Sustainability 2021, 13(23), 13487; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su132313487 - 06 Dec 2021
Viewed by 294
Abstract
The new habits of tourist consumption favor the rise of cultural tourism, either as the primary or complementary offer of a destination. Therefore, it is necessary to deepen the study of the behavior of cultural tourism demand. This research aims to develop a [...] Read more.
The new habits of tourist consumption favor the rise of cultural tourism, either as the primary or complementary offer of a destination. Therefore, it is necessary to deepen the study of the behavior of cultural tourism demand. This research aims to develop a structural model that allows measuring the main variables that affect the satisfaction and loyalty of the internal demand of the cultural tourist to a heritage destination. The results are helpful for the design of tourism management. The hypotheses posited have been tested using non-linear structural equations (SEM), estimated with data from the National Statistics Institute on internal demand for cultural tourism in Spain (n = 18,024). The results confirm the importance of socio-cultural variables and the tourist’s experience on fidelity to the visited destination. Furthermore, the negative relationship between the repetition of the visit and satisfaction is striking. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Management of Cultural and Heritage Tourism and Its Sustainability)
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Article
Transformation of Socialist Realistic Residential Architecture into a Contemporary Sustainable Housing Habitat—General Approach and the Case Study
Sustainability 2021, 13(23), 13486; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su132313486 - 06 Dec 2021
Viewed by 319
Abstract
This article deals with the problem of multi-family housing implemented in the 1950s in Poland. Buildings from this period are located in the central districts of cities, and are well-connected and equipped with service infrastructure, but due to the small size of these [...] Read more.
This article deals with the problem of multi-family housing implemented in the 1950s in Poland. Buildings from this period are located in the central districts of cities, and are well-connected and equipped with service infrastructure, but due to the small size of these flats, their low standard and poor technical condition, they are not sufficiently attractive for middle-class people and developing families. The consequence of this is the social selection of residents and the disappearance of neighborly relations. In this article, the authors present a balance sheet of the shortcomings and advantages of these buildings, and against the background of contemporary requirements for housing, resulting from the theory of sustainable development, they indicate possible directions for modernization. Detailed solutions are presented for a specific housing complex located in Rzeszów. The development of flat roofs and the introduction of functions integrating the community of residents are the significant elements of the project. Due to the fact that the functional layouts of stories, the structure of buildings, and to a large extent the spatial arrangement of residential complexes were unified in the 1950s throughout the whole country, the presented concept may serve as inspiration for similar projects undertaken in any other city in Poland. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Regeneration of Degraded Urban Structures and Fabric)
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Article
Defining Natural Landscape Qualities of the Southern Part of the Krka National Park in Croatia
Sustainability 2021, 13(23), 13485; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su132313485 - 06 Dec 2021
Viewed by 450
Abstract
The paper is based on a review of the established principles for evaluating the natural qualities of landscapes and developing procedures that can contribute to current methods, upgraded with indicators derived from the perception and attitudes of the public. They were implemented into [...] Read more.
The paper is based on a review of the established principles for evaluating the natural qualities of landscapes and developing procedures that can contribute to current methods, upgraded with indicators derived from the perception and attitudes of the public. They were implemented into an integrated model of natural landscape qualities. The method included modeling of the natural landscape qualities for the southern part of the Krka National Park in Croatia. The first evaluation model was based on a survey whose responses were processed and classified using the AHP method and GIS. The results showed that the respondents recognize the diversity of land cover and relief forms and the degree of their fragmentation as the highest natural landscape quality. The second step included overlapping the vulnerability model of natural landscape qualities and the model of perception of natural qualities. It was found that the implementation of perceived natural qualities in the evaluation process affects the model of vulnerability of landscape quality. It also indicates the possibility of implementing the perceived natural qualities of certain landscape types into the complete landscape evaluation process, which encompasses all values in the space, including human perception. Therefore, the whole procedure pointed out the importance of the implementation of perceived values into landscape evaluation, something which is also emphasized by the European Landscape Convention (ELC). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Landscape Perspective for Environmental Management)
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Article
Electric Vehicle Assignment Considering Users’ Waiting Time
Sustainability 2021, 13(23), 13484; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su132313484 - 06 Dec 2021
Viewed by 307
Abstract
A one-way electric-car-sharing system is an environmentally friendly option for urban transportation systems, which can reduce air pollution and traffic congestion with effective vehicle assignment. However, electric vehicle assignment usually faces a dilemma where an insufficient battery level cannot fulfill the requests of [...] Read more.
A one-way electric-car-sharing system is an environmentally friendly option for urban transportation systems, which can reduce air pollution and traffic congestion with effective vehicle assignment. However, electric vehicle assignment usually faces a dilemma where an insufficient battery level cannot fulfill the requests of users. It greatly affects assignment choices and order fulfillment rates, resulting in the loss of platform profit. In this study, with the assumption that the users agree to wait for a period of time during which electric vehicles can be charged to fulfill trip demands, we proposed a waiting-time policy and introduced users’ utility to measure user retention. Then, we set up a bi-level electric-vehicle assignment model with a waiting-time policy to optimize the assignment and waiting decisions. The numerical results show that under the waiting-time policy, we can achieve more profits, a higher trip fulfillment rate, and a significant improvement in vehicle utilization. It not only generates more profits for the platform but also provides a better service for users and lays a user foundation for the future development and operation. Full article
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Article
Multi-Criteria Decision-Making Approach for Nutraceuticals Greener Applications: The Cynara cardunculus Case Study
Sustainability 2021, 13(23), 13483; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su132313483 - 06 Dec 2021
Viewed by 469
Abstract
Nutraceuticals are an ever-expanding market worldwide, facing the unstoppable transition towards a green economy. Developing economically feasible and sustainable alternatives to current raw materials for the extraction of nutraceuticals is, therefore, essential to reach these goals and, at the same time, achieve social [...] Read more.
Nutraceuticals are an ever-expanding market worldwide, facing the unstoppable transition towards a green economy. Developing economically feasible and sustainable alternatives to current raw materials for the extraction of nutraceuticals is, therefore, essential to reach these goals and, at the same time, achieve social and economic competitiveness. This paper intends to propose an economical and environmentally sustainable feedstock for chlorogenic acid (CGA) and inulin, whose current extraction from green coffee and chicory, respectively, is unsustainable. Our approach is based on the multi-criteria decision-making approach (MCDA), supported by the analytical hierarchy process (AHP), ranking the performance of competitor biomasses according to economic, social, and technological criteria. The results of this study highlight cardoon (Cynara cardunculus) as a promising raw material for the extraction of CGA and inulin in virtue of the high concentration, low-input growth regime, and the possibility of being grown on marginal lands. Nevertheless, cardoon biomass availability is currently scarce, extraction methods are underdeveloped, and consequently, the obtained product’s price is higher than the benchmark competitors. Policies and investments favoring sustainable cultivations could stimulate cardoon employment, linking economic advantages and land requalification while limiting phenomena such as desertification and food competition in the Mediterranean basin. Full article
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Article
Guidelines on Unused Open Spaces between Buildings for Sustainable Urban Management
Sustainability 2021, 13(23), 13482; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su132313482 - 06 Dec 2021
Viewed by 352
Abstract
The side setback areas of buildings are generally underutilized urban spaces. Often, they are used as unauthorized commercial spaces, which lead to legal struggles and safety and sanitation hazards. However, the presence of these establishments implies a demand for using these spaces, and [...] Read more.
The side setback areas of buildings are generally underutilized urban spaces. Often, they are used as unauthorized commercial spaces, which lead to legal struggles and safety and sanitation hazards. However, the presence of these establishments implies a demand for using these spaces, and many argue that such structures enhance and vitalize cities. This study establishes a new direction for utilizing side setback areas that harmoniously meets the demands of city dwellers and business owners while ensuring safety and compliance with regulations. We examined the utilization status of 371 side setback areas in various districts of Seoul and surveyed 20 urban management experts. Th results indicate that at least 30% of all buildings in the study repeatedly violated laws regarding the use of their side setback spaces, and 100% of the experts agreed that the current regulatory system is inflexible. Our analysis suggests that reform is needed and offers tangible guidelines so that these generally underutilized spaces may become useful when safety and sanitation requirements are met. In the context of overpopulated urban spaces, side setback areas can be repurposed to meet the needs of urban residents while ensuring safety and sanitation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Built Environment and Sustainability)
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Article
Sustaining Inclusive, Quality Education during COVID-19 Lockdowns
Sustainability 2021, 13(23), 13481; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su132313481 - 06 Dec 2021
Viewed by 415
Abstract
With the sudden emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic forcing countries to close schools, the education of students worldwide had become a major challenge. Schools were forced to switch to online education, as that proved to be the only feasible option considering the adverse [...] Read more.
With the sudden emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic forcing countries to close schools, the education of students worldwide had become a major challenge. Schools were forced to switch to online education, as that proved to be the only feasible option considering the adverse circumstances. The purpose of this research is to facilitate a quick transition to distance education should another lockdown be implemented. This is achieved by performing a literature review to determine how online education is regarded by students, along with what its advantages and challenges are. A survey has also been administered, with the purpose of assessing the usability of certain web conferencing platforms used in online education. The findings and results indicate an improving attitude towards degrees and courses acquired by online education, whilst also including the pitfalls and challenges teachers currently face during online education. The results of the survey suggest that certain web conferencing platforms appeal to the students more, with Big Blue Button being the platform most respondents rated favourably in the survey. Student feedback indicates that the transition to online education was successful, albeit somewhat challenging. Full article
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Review
Cultivation and Biorefinery of Microalgae (Chlorella sp.) for Producing Biofuels and Other Byproducts: A Review
Sustainability 2021, 13(23), 13480; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su132313480 - 06 Dec 2021
Viewed by 356
Abstract
Microalgae-based carbon dioxide (CO2) biofixation and biorefinery are the most efficient methods of biological CO2 reduction and reutilization. The diversification and high-value byproducts of microalgal biomass, known as microalgae-based biorefinery, are considered the most promising platforms for the sustainable development [...] Read more.
Microalgae-based carbon dioxide (CO2) biofixation and biorefinery are the most efficient methods of biological CO2 reduction and reutilization. The diversification and high-value byproducts of microalgal biomass, known as microalgae-based biorefinery, are considered the most promising platforms for the sustainable development of energy and the environment, in addition to the improvement and integration of microalgal cultivation, scale-up, harvest, and extraction technologies. In this review, the factors influencing CO2 biofixation by microalgae, including microalgal strains, flue gas, wastewater, light, pH, temperature, and microalgae cultivation systems are summarized. Moreover, the biorefinery of Chlorella biomass for producing biofuels and its byproducts, such as fine chemicals, feed additives, and high-value products, are also discussed. The technical and economic assessments (TEAs) and life cycle assessments (LCAs) are introduced to evaluate the sustainability of microalgae CO2 fixation technology. This review provides detailed insights on the adjusted factors of microalgal cultivation to establish sustainable biological CO2 fixation technology, and the diversified applications of microalgal biomass in biorefinery. The economic and environmental sustainability, and the limitations and needs of microalgal CO2 fixation, are discussed. Finally, future research directions are provided for CO2 reduction by microalgae. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microalgal Bioprocess and Sustainability)
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Article
On Site Improvement of Fines-Rich Unbound Granular Materials with Hydrophobic Polymer and Lime
Sustainability 2021, 13(23), 13479; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su132313479 - 06 Dec 2021
Viewed by 280
Abstract
Many roads that were initially designed for relatively low traffic volumes need re-surfacing or partial replacement of the unbound granular material to satisfy current traffic demand. Significant research efforts based on laboratory studies have been seen in the literature to characterize the suitability [...] Read more.
Many roads that were initially designed for relatively low traffic volumes need re-surfacing or partial replacement of the unbound granular material to satisfy current traffic demand. Significant research efforts based on laboratory studies have been seen in the literature to characterize the suitability of virgin materials, which is relatively expensive and unsustainable. Therefore, the object of this study is the in situ recycling of existing materials in two road sections by improving their properties with a suitable additive. A hydrophobic synthetic polymer was chosen for two trials due to the high plasticity of fines of the in situ materials and a high chance of water intrusion in the low-lying plains in Adelaide. The extensive laboratory characterization shows that hydrophobicity is imparted in capillary rise tests, improved drainage in permeability tests, and greater matric suction at the same moisture content. Furthermore, the unconfined compressive strength was increased. The repeated loading triaxial testing showed higher stiffness and lowered permanent strain to withstand higher traffic volume. In general, in situ recycling is adaptable and considered to be cheaper and sustainable. The estimated current costs and carbon footprints are presented for re-construction and in situ recycling with dry powder polymer, or solely with lime, to help construction planning. Full article
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Article
The Impact of On-the-Job Consumption on the Sustainable Development of Enterprises
Sustainability 2021, 13(23), 13478; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su132313478 - 06 Dec 2021
Viewed by 310
Abstract
Under certain circumstances, on-the-job consumption is conducive to improving the resilience of the supply chain and the sustainable development ability of enterprises. Using China’s A-share listed companies from 2008 to 2019 as sample data in conjunction with the deconstructive analysis of on-the-job consumption, [...] Read more.
Under certain circumstances, on-the-job consumption is conducive to improving the resilience of the supply chain and the sustainable development ability of enterprises. Using China’s A-share listed companies from 2008 to 2019 as sample data in conjunction with the deconstructive analysis of on-the-job consumption, we used the multiple linear regression model of econometrics to deeply analyze the impact of on-the-job consumption on the sustainable development of enterprises, test the regulatory effect of innovation efficiency, and explore the governance effect of internal control and anti-corruption. Research shows that reasonable and excessive on-the-job consumption have positive and inhibitory effects, respectively, on the sustainable development of enterprises and the relationship between innovation efficiency and the sustainable development of enterprises. Compared to private enterprises, the positive effect of reasonable on-the-job consumption is smaller in state-owned enterprises, while the negative effect of excessive on-the-job consumption is larger in state-owned enterprises. Further research suggests that internal control can weaken the inhibitory effect of excessive on-the-job consumption on the positive relationship between the innovation efficiency and the sustainable development of enterprises, and the weakening effect is even greater after the implementation of anti-corruption policies. Anti-corruption policies and internal control can form a complementary force, effectively restrain the agency effect of excessive on-the-job consumption, and promote the sustainable development of enterprises. This research not only expands the research perspective of on-the-job consumption but also adds new theoretical explanations and empirical evidence for how to achieve the sustainable development of enterprises. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Supply Chain and Logistics Management in a Digital Age)
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Article
Relationship between Urban Floating Population Distribution and Livability Environment: Evidence from Guangzhou’s Urban District, China
Sustainability 2021, 13(23), 13477; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su132313477 - 06 Dec 2021
Viewed by 289
Abstract
The livability environment is an important aspect of urban sustainable development. The floating population refers to people without local hukou (also called ‘non-hukou migrants’). The floating population distribution is influenced by livability environment, but few studies have investigated this relationship. Especially, the [...] Read more.
The livability environment is an important aspect of urban sustainable development. The floating population refers to people without local hukou (also called ‘non-hukou migrants’). The floating population distribution is influenced by livability environment, but few studies have investigated this relationship. Especially, the influence of social environment on floating population distribution is rarely studied. Therefore, we study 1054 communities in Guangzhou’s urban district to explore the relationship between livability environment and floating population distribution. The purpose of this article is to study how livability environment affects floating population distribution. We develop a conceptual framework of livability environment, which consists of physical environment, social environment and life convenience. A cross-sectional dataset of the impact of livability environment on the floating population distribution is developed covering the proportion of floating population in the community as the dependent variable, eight factors of livability environment as the explanatory variables, and two factors of architectural characteristics and one factor of location characteristics as the control variables. We use spatial regression models to explore the degree of influence and direction of physical environment, social environment and life convenience on the floating population distribution in livability environment. The results show that the spatial error model is more effective than ordinary least squares and spatial lag model models. The five factors of the livability environment have statistical significance regarding floating population distribution, including four social environment factors (proportion of middle- and high-class occupation population, proportion of highly educated people in the population, proportion of rental households, and unemployment rate) and regarding life convenience factors (work and shopping convenience). The conclusion has value for understanding how the social environment affects the residential choice of the floating population. This study will help city administrators reasonably guide the residential pattern of the floating population and formulate reasonable management policies, thereby improving the city’s livability, attractiveness and sustainable development. Full article
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Article
An Investigation of Occupant Energy-Saving Behavior in Vernacular Houses of Behramkale (Assos)
Sustainability 2021, 13(23), 13476; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su132313476 - 06 Dec 2021
Viewed by 272
Abstract
Despite its well-known potential to reduce energy use, the inquiry of whether vernacular architecture prompts its occupants to have energy-saving behavior has been neglected. This paper aims to investigate the influence of vernacular houses on the behavior of their occupants and other parameters [...] Read more.
Despite its well-known potential to reduce energy use, the inquiry of whether vernacular architecture prompts its occupants to have energy-saving behavior has been neglected. This paper aims to investigate the influence of vernacular houses on the behavior of their occupants and other parameters affecting occupant behavior. Along with site observations, 117 surveys including multiple choice and open-ended questions were conducted with households living in vernacular houses and new houses in the historical settlement, Behramkale (Assos). A principal component analysis was conducted for the whole sample to determine whether there is a relationship between energy saving occupant behavior and energy use, household, and housing characteristics. Then further analyses were performed to explore the differences in descriptive properties of occupants. Household characteristics were found to be associated with occupant behavior. The females and married people tended to show more energy-saving behavior and sought to use their houses in more environmentally friendly ways. The older people were more likely to show no-cost energy-saving behavior. The households with high income and high-level education tended to invest in energy-efficient appliances but consumed more energy than other households. Besides the effects of household characteristics, historical heritage, and landscape values specific to the area influenced occupant behavior. Vernacular houses enabled the households to behave in a certain way and to continue the traditional daily habits related to sustainable, energy-saving behaviors. Full article
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Article
Large-Area Full-Coverage Remote Sensing Image Collection Filtering Algorithm for Individual Demands
Sustainability 2021, 13(23), 13475; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su132313475 - 06 Dec 2021
Viewed by 266
Abstract
Remote sensing is the main technical means for urban researchers and planners to effectively observe targeted urban areas. Generally, it is difficult for only one image to cover a whole urban area and one image cannot support the demands of urban planning tasks [...] Read more.
Remote sensing is the main technical means for urban researchers and planners to effectively observe targeted urban areas. Generally, it is difficult for only one image to cover a whole urban area and one image cannot support the demands of urban planning tasks for spatial statistical analysis of a whole city. Therefore, people often artificially find multiple images with complementary regions in an urban area on the premise of meeting the basic requirements for resolution, cloudiness, and timeliness. However, with the rapid increase of remote sensing satellites and data in recent years, time-consuming and low performance manual filter results have become more and more unacceptable. Therefore, the issue of efficiently and automatically selecting an optimal image collection from massive image data to meet individual demands of whole urban observation has become an urgent problem. To solve this problem, this paper proposes a large-area full-coverage remote sensing image collection filtering algorithm for individual demands (LFCF-ID). This algorithm achieves a new image filtering mode and solves the difficult problem of selecting a full-coverage remote sensing image collection from a vast amount of data. Additionally, this is the first study to achieve full-coverage image filtering that considers user preferences concerning spatial resolution, timeliness, and cloud percentage. The algorithm first quantitatively models demand indicators, such as cloudiness, timeliness, resolution, and coverage, and then coarsely filters the image collection according to the ranking of model scores to meet the different needs of different users for images. Then, relying on map gridding, the image collection is genetically optimized for individuals using a genetic algorithm (GA), which can quickly remove redundant images from the image collection to produce the final filtering result according to the fitness score. The proposed method is compared with manual filtering and greedy retrieval to verify its computing speed and filtering effect. The experiments show that the proposed method has great speed advantages over traditional methods and exceeds the results of manual filtering in terms of filtering effect. Full article
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Article
The Impact on Ecosystem Services and the Satisfaction Therewith of Community Forest Management in Northern Thailand
Sustainability 2021, 13(23), 13474; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su132313474 - 06 Dec 2021
Viewed by 775
Abstract
Forest ecosystems provide myriad services that are beneficial to local livelihoods. Successful community forest management (CFM) enhances the provision, overall benefit, and effectiveness of the regulation of ecosystem services and contributes to forest conservation efforts. The study area was a deciduous forest in [...] Read more.
Forest ecosystems provide myriad services that are beneficial to local livelihoods. Successful community forest management (CFM) enhances the provision, overall benefit, and effectiveness of the regulation of ecosystem services and contributes to forest conservation efforts. The study area was a deciduous forest in the Ban Mae Chiang Rai Lum Community Forest, which is located in Pa Mae Phrik National Forest Reserve in Thailand’s northern province of Lampang. A systematic sampling of the forest area was conducted, and survey plots were established. A field survey documented 197 plant species from 62 families. A questionnaire that focused on CFM engagement behavior and ecosystem service satisfaction levels was used to interview household representatives. The study found that levels of engagement and the effectiveness of forest management were directly related; increased CFM effectiveness leads to improved ecosystem services. Participation in CFM can improve ecosystem services and enhance livelihoods. Specifically, participation in decision making, forest fire management, check dam construction, benefit sharing, and in forming effective forest regulations positively impacted ecosystem services. In contrast, employing forest patrols adversely affected those services. This knowledge is useful for identifying policies and practices that can maximize ecosystem services to enhance livelihoods and safeguard the forest’s vitality. Full article
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Article
Environmental Impacts Related to Closed Mines in Inner Mongolia
Sustainability 2021, 13(23), 13473; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su132313473 - 06 Dec 2021
Viewed by 257
Abstract
Mining activities, while promoting social and economic development, alter the environments and ecosystems of mining areas. Some of the alterations have negative impacts on the environment, while some have positive impacts. By understanding the positive and negative impacts related to closed mines in [...] Read more.
Mining activities, while promoting social and economic development, alter the environments and ecosystems of mining areas. Some of the alterations have negative impacts on the environment, while some have positive impacts. By understanding the positive and negative impacts related to closed mines in Inner Mongolia, this research aims to seek advantages of the positive impacts on the environment and reduce the harm of the negative impacts, extending the mining value chain. The paper reviewed four main negative environmental impacts (NEIs) of closed mines and proposed four positive environmental impacts (PEIs) which include ecosystem services, cultural services, land resources and underground space resources, and energy sources and mineral resources. The paper focused on the environmental problems and the PEI utilization of closed mines in Inner Mongolia with 20 representative cases. It carefully studied the Minda Mine which is a good example to combine several PEI utilization objectives. Multiple PEI objectives, as well as the correlations among different objectives, can benefit closed mines ecologically, economically, and socially. In addition, a three-step framework for closed mine revitalization and the factors affecting the compound PEI objectives are mentioned in the paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Sustainability and Applications)
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Article
Looking Up to the Stars. A Call for Action to Save New Zealand’s Dark Skies for Future Generations to Come
Sustainability 2021, 13(23), 13472; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su132313472 - 06 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 660
Abstract
The rapid development of technology coupled with humanity’s desire to reach beyond terra firma, has resulted in more than 60 years of Outer Space activities. Although the exploration of space has provided many advantages and benefits to society so far, including vast, new [...] Read more.
The rapid development of technology coupled with humanity’s desire to reach beyond terra firma, has resulted in more than 60 years of Outer Space activities. Although the exploration of space has provided many advantages and benefits to society so far, including vast, new information that has greatly added to our understanding of our planet and beyond, unfortunately, mankind’s footprint has negative aspects that need to be minimised as much as possible. In recent decades, a major worldwide problem has emerged in regard to the significant increase in light pollution from ground-based illuminations, as well as a lack of proper regulatory frameworks to mitigate the issue in order to protect the night sky and astronomical research. More recently, due to the escalating demand of air space for microsatellites and the rapid development of these new space technologies, as well as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), a new problem has arisen connected to visual light pollution (VLP). New Zealand has been especially affected, as, because of its dark skies, it has the third highest number of astronomical observatories in the world. The aim of this research is to identify critical areas for broader investigation; an action plan to improve the impact of new technologies is urgently required, not only at a national level but also worldwide. This is crucial in order to preserve humanity’s right to access the night sky and to also enable continual professional and amateur night-time observations for the present and the future, as well as for New Zealand to become a Dark Sky Nation. Full article
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