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Editor's Choice Articles

Editor’s Choice articles are based on recommendations by the scientific editors of MDPI journals from around the world. Editors select a small number of articles recently published in the journal that they believe will be particularly interesting to authors, or important in this field. The aim is to provide a snapshot of some of the most exciting work published in the various research areas of the journal.

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Editorial

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Editorial
Financial Risk Management and Sustainability
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8300; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13158300 - 25 Jul 2021
Abstract
In the last decades, the studies that analyze the links between corporate social responsibility and financial performance in developed countries show mixed and inconclusive results, so additional research is required [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Financial Risk Management and Sustainability)
Editorial
Toward Sustainability: Bike-Sharing Systems Design, Simulation and Management
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 7519; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13147519 - 06 Jul 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
Bike-sharing systems (BSSs) are a mobility service of public bicycles available for shared use that is becoming increasingly popular in urban contexts [...] Full article
Editorial
Collaboration, Adaptation, and Scaling: Perspectives on Environmental Governance for Sustainability
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 679; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su10030679 - 02 Mar 2018
Cited by 21
Abstract
In preview of the special issue on “Environmental Governance for Sustainability”, this manuscript examines three key themes on governance and sustainability. Governance for sustainability, by its nature, requires long-enduring institutional arrangements. Given the complex adaptive systems in which governance decision-making takes place, we [...] Read more.
In preview of the special issue on “Environmental Governance for Sustainability”, this manuscript examines three key themes on governance and sustainability. Governance for sustainability, by its nature, requires long-enduring institutional arrangements. Given the complex adaptive systems in which governance decision-making takes place, we explore three key characteristics of successful, long-term governance. The first of these is working across scale. This includes nested institutions as well as communication and coordination both horizontally and vertically between diverse governance groups. Second, we highlight the importance of collaboration. Building on the previous point, we draw on literature from collaborative governance and co-management to emphasize how collaboration can help to build more enduring governance structures. Third, we examine the importance of adaptation and evolution in the resolution of collective action dilemmas in complex systems filled with nonlinearities, unclear causal chains, and environments in which we have less than a full understanding of the ramifications of governance actions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Governance for Sustainability)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review, Other

Article
Assessing the Availability of Global Metals and Minerals for the Sustainable Century: From Aluminium to Zirconium
Sustainability 2021, 13(19), 10855; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su131910855 - 29 Sep 2021
Abstract
Mining supplies metals and minerals to meet the material and energy needs of the modern world. Typically, mineral resources are widely considered to be ‘finite’ in nature, yet, paradoxically, global production and reported reserves and resources continue to grow. This paper synthesizes an [...] Read more.
Mining supplies metals and minerals to meet the material and energy needs of the modern world. Typically, mineral resources are widely considered to be ‘finite’ in nature, yet, paradoxically, global production and reported reserves and resources continue to grow. This paper synthesizes an extensive array of data on the long-term trends in cumulative mine production, reserves and resources at a global level as well detailed case studies of Australia, a global leader in many sectors of mining, and lithium, a new metal with rapidly growing demand. Overall, the paper shows that growing mine production has been clearly matched by growing reserves and resources, although there are numerous complex social, environmental and governance factors which are already affecting mines and are expected to increasingly affect mining into the future. Thus it is not possible at present to determine the ‘ultimately recoverable resource’, especially as this is a dynamic quantity dependent on a variety of inter-related factors (e.g., exploration, social issues, technology, market dynamics, environmental risks, governance aspects, etc.). This finding reinforces the need for continuing detailed studies of all metals and minerals to understand their individual supply and use dynamics to help modern society meet its needs and sustainable development goals. Full article
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Article
Potential Impact of Consumer Intention on Generation of Waste Photovoltaic Panels: A Case Study for Tokyo
Sustainability 2021, 13(19), 10507; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su131910507 - 22 Sep 2021
Abstract
As the world moves toward decarbonization, Japan is experiencing a rapid introduction of solar modules. However, the country does not have an adequate social system for managing waste photovoltaic (PV) panels. A waste generation estimate would be needed to do this effectively. Usually, [...] Read more.
As the world moves toward decarbonization, Japan is experiencing a rapid introduction of solar modules. However, the country does not have an adequate social system for managing waste photovoltaic (PV) panels. A waste generation estimate would be needed to do this effectively. Usually, waste generation estimation is performed by assuming that the lifespan distribution is primarily dependent on the mechanical life of the target item. However, considering the continuing improvement in panel quality, consumers consider replacement or disposal before mechanical failure of the product. Therefore, to study consumer intention, we surveyed potential consumer decision making on replacement/disposal via a questionnaire survey and attempted to include the result as part of our waste panel generation estimation, which, to our knowledge, has never previously been carried out. Considering the owners’ decision making, waste panel generation was in advance compared with the case where we only assumed the mechanical failure of panels and housings. This indicated a huge number of potentially reusable panel generations. In addition to mechanical failure, waste panel generation due to owners’ decisions should also be considered for estimating maximum potential waste. Policy makers should prepare the appropriate recycling social system in advance, considering the possible reuse of panels, which fits the current social situation oriented toward a circular economy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Waste and Recycling)
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Article
Risk-Based Due Diligence, Climate Change, Human Rights and the Just Transition
Sustainability 2021, 13(18), 10454; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su131810454 - 20 Sep 2021
Abstract
Climate change has been described as one of the greatest threats to people and the planet. Its impacts affect virtually the entire spectrum of internationally recognised human rights as well as the environment in and of itself. In relation to human rights, there [...] Read more.
Climate change has been described as one of the greatest threats to people and the planet. Its impacts affect virtually the entire spectrum of internationally recognised human rights as well as the environment in and of itself. In relation to human rights, there is a growing consensus that companies should exercise human rights due diligence in order to identify and prevent their actual and potential adverse impacts. However, the relevance and implications of the concept of the due diligence have not yet fully been analysed in relation to climate change. In this paper, we explore the concept of risk-based due diligence, which builds on the concept of human rights due diligence but extends it to other areas such as the environment. Through a review of recent regulatory developments as well as case-law and other grievances, we analyse the three facets of risk-based due diligence for climate change—prevention, mitigation and remediation. We consider both the short term as well as the longer-term human rights and environmental implications of companies’ climate-related impacts, as well as those resulting from the company’s contributions to the green transition. We argue that risk-based due diligence offers an under-explored but important dual function: providing the operational means through which companies can identify and address the climate-related human rights and environmental impacts with which they may be involved, whilst also taking into consideration the human rights implications of their climate mitigation strategies and contributions to the just transition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Business, Human Rights and the Environment)
Article
Integration of Policy Decision Making for Sustainable Land Use within Cities
Sustainability 2021, 13(18), 10390; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su131810390 - 17 Sep 2021
Abstract
Local land use policies can shape the sustainability of urban systems, but integrated land use at the local level is challenging since it requires the coordination of multiple semi-independent agencies within cities to effectively address collective actions problems and overcome functional divisions. Although [...] Read more.
Local land use policies can shape the sustainability of urban systems, but integrated land use at the local level is challenging since it requires the coordination of multiple semi-independent agencies within cities to effectively address collective actions problems and overcome functional divisions. Although this problem is widely acknowledged, systematic examination of what factors are related to internal coordination of land use functions is lacking. This research investigates what influences the extent to which cities coordinate across functional areas to promote integrative land use decision making. I address this question by first describing a conceptual framework drawing from institutional collective action (ICA) perspectives to understand internal city collaboration across policy functions. I then advance explanations linking institutions and community characteristics to the degree of coordination in municipal land use. Using a 2015 survey of 1124 U.S. cities, I test the hypothesized relationships based on the functional institutional collective action framework. The findings reveal that political institutions, city operation of utilities, elected officials support, and fiscal capacity increase coordination. In conclusion the implications of the findings for theory and land use planning research are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Article
Municipal Practices for Integrated Planning of Nature-Based Solutions in Urban Development in the Stockholm Region
Sustainability 2021, 13(18), 10389; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su131810389 - 17 Sep 2021
Abstract
Urban planning is assumed to play an important role in developing nature-based solutions (NBS). To explore how NBS is addressed in urban development, municipal planning practices are analyzed based on three case studies in the Stockholm region of Sweden. Through focus group discussions, [...] Read more.
Urban planning is assumed to play an important role in developing nature-based solutions (NBS). To explore how NBS is addressed in urban development, municipal planning practices are analyzed based on three case studies in the Stockholm region of Sweden. Through focus group discussions, interviews and document studies, the planning and implementation of NBS and their intended contribution to regional green infrastructure (GI) and social and ecological qualities are investigated. The results show that the planning and design of urban green spaces engages the local community. Moreover, different conceptual frameworks are used to strengthen an ecological perspective and nurture expected outcomes, in particular ecosystem services and GI. Through competence development and collaborative approaches, the co-creation of innovative solutions for public and private green spaces is promoted. However, institutional conditions, e.g., legal frameworks and landownership shape the planning process and can challenge the ability to enhance social and ecological qualities. An assessment of the planning processes indicates a strong focus on ecosystem services and local GI, while the potential to contribute to regional GI differs widely between cases. The study concludes that a knowledge-driven and integrative planning process can foster the potential of NBS for green and sustainable cities. Full article
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Article
Safety Evaluation of Flower Roundabout Considering Autonomous Vehicles Operation
Sustainability 2021, 13(18), 10120; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su131810120 - 09 Sep 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
With the significant technological growth that affected autonomous vehicles in the last decade, several consequences occurred as: human factor exclusion, entry and exit manoeuvres precision from roundabouts, and headway reduction. In this paper, it was carried out a microsimulation approach study that aims [...] Read more.
With the significant technological growth that affected autonomous vehicles in the last decade, several consequences occurred as: human factor exclusion, entry and exit manoeuvres precision from roundabouts, and headway reduction. In this paper, it was carried out a microsimulation approach study that aims to evaluate benefits in terms of safety obtained with flower roundabouts in a scenario where traffic is characterized by conventional vehicles “CVs” and Connected Autonomous Vehicles “CAVs”. This study focused on the evaluation of CAVs and CVs operation with the presence of the so called “weak users” or rather, pedestrians and bikes. Then, simulated scenarios were characterized by the presence of zebra-crossings in main roads, positioned at 20 m from circulatory carriageway edges. Micro simulation choice is due to the absence of survey data collection because the presence of CAVs in ordinary traffic is still minimal. The micro simulation was carried out through VISSIM, so it was operated with a specific methodological path, consisting, in the application, of O–D matrix based on real cases, in order to achieve an assessment of potential conflicts in relation with the increase in CAVs. Simulation results showed that higher safety levels were achieved for special cases of O–D distribution and with CAVs present. Finally, considering crash absence in results related to CAVs presence, safety interventions of such roundabout types have to be thorough. There were 10 O/D matrices analysed through VISSIM considering parameters as: average tail length, maximum tail length, average speed, vehicles, and number of stops quantity. As reported in the conclusion section, O/D matrices that showed minimum conflicts and maximum dynamic performances were identified. Full article
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Article
Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Food Security and Agriculture in Iran: A Survey
Sustainability 2021, 13(18), 10103; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su131810103 - 09 Sep 2021
Abstract
The consequences of COVID-19 on the economy and agriculture have raised many concerns about global food security, especially in developing countries. Given that food security is a critical component that is affected by global crises, beside the limited studies carried out on the [...] Read more.
The consequences of COVID-19 on the economy and agriculture have raised many concerns about global food security, especially in developing countries. Given that food security is a critical component that is affected by global crises, beside the limited studies carried out on the macro-impacts of COVID-19 on food security in Iran, this paper is an attempt to address the dynamic impacts of COVID-19 on food security along with economic and environmental challenges in Iran. For this purpose, a survey was conducted with the hypothesis that COVID-19 has not affected food security in Iran. To address this fundamental hypothesis, we applied the systematic review method to obtain the evidence. Various evidences, including indices and statistics, were collected from national databases, scientific reports, field observations, and interviews. Preliminary results revealed that COVID-19 exerts its effects on the economy, agriculture, and food security of Iran through six major mechanisms, corresponding to a 30% decrease in the purchasing power parity in 2020 beside a significant increase in food prices compared to 2019. On the other hand, the expanding environmental constraints in Iran reduce the capacity of the agricultural sector to play a crucial role in the economy and ensure food security, and in this regard, COVID-19 forces the national programs and budget to combat rising ecological limitations. Accordingly, our study rejects the hypothesis that COVID-19 has not affected food security in Iran. Full article
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Article
Enabling Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to Become Leaders in Energy Efficiency Using a Continuous Maturity Matrix
Sustainability 2021, 13(18), 10108; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su131810108 - 09 Sep 2021
Abstract
SMEs play a crucial role in economies by providing large scale employment and contributing to much of the GDP. Despite their vital role, SMEs face a plethora of challenges, and often, the aspect of energy efficiency is overlooked. This paper conducted studies across [...] Read more.
SMEs play a crucial role in economies by providing large scale employment and contributing to much of the GDP. Despite their vital role, SMEs face a plethora of challenges, and often, the aspect of energy efficiency is overlooked. This paper conducted studies across Finland, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, France, and Germany and devised an easy and ready-to-adopt approach to improve energy efficiency in SMEs. The new approach is based on a maturity matrix that supports continuous learning and development and provides expert recommendations on energy efficiency for SMEs around the world. The expert recommendations are based on a final score and aim to address the various challenges that SMEs face, such as limited access to knowledge and lack of awareness of energy efficiency. The approach may be easily adopted by any SME around the world. Full article
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Article
A Survey of Household Water Use and Groundwater Quality Index Assessment in a Rural Community of Cambodia
Sustainability 2021, 13(18), 10071; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su131810071 - 08 Sep 2021
Abstract
To propose an efficient system for addressing water scarcity in a rural area through groundwater use, the information on water consumption and interpretation of groundwater quality are essential for estimating the optimal preparation of the comprehensive water system. Hence, this study aimed to [...] Read more.
To propose an efficient system for addressing water scarcity in a rural area through groundwater use, the information on water consumption and interpretation of groundwater quality are essential for estimating the optimal preparation of the comprehensive water system. Hence, this study aimed to estimate the current household domestic water consumption and groundwater quality index of currently accessed wells in a small rural community of Preyveng province, Cambodia as a practical and beneficial as well as a model for the water resource sector in rural areas. The questionnaire survey was designed as the main instrument for collecting the household water use as face-to-face interviews. The result showed that the average daily water consumption in the Preal commune is about 71 L per capita, which is almost two times lower than the minimum water quantity recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), 150 L/day per capita. Moreover, 100% of the households in this commune heavily rely on groundwater wells for domestic water use and more than 50% confirmed that they used raw groundwater as drinking water without a proposer treatment system. Approximately 70% of the people in Preal wishes to have a clean water supply and more than 80% of the household had a positive willingness to pay for clean water supply. In terms of groundwater quality in the Preal commune, it is mainly contaminated by iron, arsenic, fluoride, and manganese, which are mainly associated with human health effects from daily consumption. About 75% of groundwater wells are presented in poor conditions and were unsuitable for drinking purposes. Lastly, the suitable water treatment and supply should be considered in order to reduce the effects on people’s health as well as to improve living conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Article
Collaborative Governance Networks: A Case Study of Argentina’s Forest Law
Sustainability 2021, 13(18), 10000; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su131810000 - 07 Sep 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
Deforestation causes biodiversity loss and the eviction of small-scale ranchers and indigenous people. Accordingly, it is a global issue in environmental politics. This article analyzes a participatory governance system associated with the implementation of Argentina’s forest law in a hotspot of deforestation: the [...] Read more.
Deforestation causes biodiversity loss and the eviction of small-scale ranchers and indigenous people. Accordingly, it is a global issue in environmental politics. This article analyzes a participatory governance system associated with the implementation of Argentina’s forest law in a hotspot of deforestation: the province of Salta in the Gran Chaco ecoregion. Specifically, this article investigates policy actors’ core beliefs, how they match with policy network clusters, and how this affects the implementation of the forest law. The study is based on a unique data set derived from extensive fieldwork and a network survey among all actors who participate in the policy forums. After defining three main core beliefs that describe policy actors’ motivations, we systematically analyze all key actors’ beliefs as well as their interactions in the various policy networks. This analysis shows that it is necessary to empirically identify coalitions based on both behavior and core beliefs to understand the limited implementation of the law. Our methodological approach holds promise for the analysis of other governance systems where multiple stakeholders engage in consensus-oriented decision-making. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Sustainability and Applications)
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Article
Less Food Wasted? Changes to New Zealanders’ Household Food Waste and Related Behaviours Due to the 2020 COVID-19 Lockdown
Sustainability 2021, 13(18), 10006; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su131810006 - 07 Sep 2021
Abstract
Food waste is a crisis of our time, yet it remains a data gap in Aotearoa New Zealand’s (NZ’s) environmental reporting. This research contributes to threshold values on NZ’s food waste and seeks to understand the impact of the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown on [...] Read more.
Food waste is a crisis of our time, yet it remains a data gap in Aotearoa New Zealand’s (NZ’s) environmental reporting. This research contributes to threshold values on NZ’s food waste and seeks to understand the impact of the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown on household food waste in NZ. The data presented here form part of the ‘Covid Kai Survey’, an online questionnaire that assessed cooking and food planning behaviours during the 2020 lockdown and retrospectively before lockdown. Of the 3028 respondents, 62.5% threw out food ‘never’/‘rarely’ before lockdown, and this number increased to 79.0% during lockdown. Participants who wasted food less frequently during lockdown were more likely to be older, work less than full-time, and have no children. During lockdown, 30% and 29% of those who ‘frequently’ or ‘sometimes’ struggled to have money for food threw out food ‘sometimes or more’; compared with 20% of those who rarely struggled to have money for food (p < 0.001). We found that lower levels of food waste correlated with higher levels of cooking confidence (p < 0.001), perceived time (p < 0.001), and meal planning behaviours (p < 0.001). Understanding why food waste was generally considerably lower during lockdown may inform future initiatives to reduce food waste, considering socio-economic and demographic disparities. Full article
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Article
Cognitive Biases in Building Energy Decisions
Sustainability 2021, 13(17), 9960; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13179960 - 06 Sep 2021
Abstract
Research on sustainability in the building sector currently focuses mainly on technical solutions while little attention is given to how behaviour influences the uptake of these solutions. Bounded rationality may have a significant impact on the effective implementation of more sustainable technologies that [...] Read more.
Research on sustainability in the building sector currently focuses mainly on technical solutions while little attention is given to how behaviour influences the uptake of these solutions. Bounded rationality may have a significant impact on the effective implementation of more sustainable technologies that are already available. However, empirical evidence on the effects of bounded rationality in the building sector, such as cognitive biases, is still lacking. Here, we present an empirical investigation of four cognitive biases in the building environment, namely the framing, anchor, default, and decoy effect. For that, energy-related decisions situations were presented to approximately 270 participants in an online survey. Our results show that awareness of greenhouse gas emissions from buildings can be raised through framing that the willingness to pay more for an energy-efficient home can be increased by presenting it as default, and that the choices can be shifted towards more energy-efficient appliances by using a decoy. The hypothesis that anchoring increases the willingness to pay more for the installation of a solar system could not be supported. These findings decrease the lack of empirical data on cognitive biases in the context of buildings and further indicate the potential of choice architecture in the building environment. The influence of cognitive biases in energy-related decisions should be used to increase the adaptation of sustainable technologies. Full article
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Article
Plastic Food Packaging: Perceptions and Attitudes of Portuguese Consumers about Environmental Impact and Recycling
Sustainability 2021, 13(17), 9953; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13179953 - 04 Sep 2021
Abstract
The use of plastics for packaging has some advantages, since they are flexible and inexpensive. However, most plastics are of single use, which, combined with low recycling or reuse ratios, contributes substantially to environmental pollution. This work is part of a project studying [...] Read more.
The use of plastics for packaging has some advantages, since they are flexible and inexpensive. However, most plastics are of single use, which, combined with low recycling or reuse ratios, contributes substantially to environmental pollution. This work is part of a project studying the habits of Portuguese citizens concerning plastic food packaging and focuses on aspects related to sustainability. The survey was carried out via an online questionnaire about sustainability, recycling, and knowledge of the effects of plastic materials or their residues on the environment. The results were obtained based on a statistical analysis of the data. The participants tend to think about the negative impact of plastic packages on the environment; 39% sometimes do not buy plastic; and 30% try to look for alternatives. A substantial fraction, 81%, support the avoidance of plastic utensils and reduction in the use of plastic bags. Most participants have a good knowledge of recycling and strongly agree with the use of recycled materials, and 87% of respondents practice separation of different types of waste for recycling. Changing plastic consumption habits has not been an easy task. Nevertheless, it is expected that society will increasingly move toward sustainable habits, questioning its actions and considering their impact on the environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Agrifood Supply Chain in the Post-COVID 19 Era)
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Article
Ageing Urban Population Prognostic between 2020 and 2050 in Transylvania Region (Romania)
Sustainability 2021, 13(17), 9940; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13179940 - 04 Sep 2021
Abstract
Population ageing represents a dramatic scenario and a progressive process inducing major changes in the dynamics of the population and especially in the age structure. The ageing population process is a phenomenon relevant to define not only demographic but also social, cultural, and [...] Read more.
Population ageing represents a dramatic scenario and a progressive process inducing major changes in the dynamics of the population and especially in the age structure. The ageing population process is a phenomenon relevant to define not only demographic but also social, cultural, and territorial transformations in relation to the urban settlements. In this article, we present a case study regarding the ageing process persistent in urban areas from the counties of the Transylvania region. The present study emphasizing the evolution of the older adults age group between 2015 and 2019, drawing a forecast model for the prognosis period 2020–2050. The tendencies of the population decline process are revealed by the outcomes of the ageing index, outlining some long-term effects of population ageing over the years. The study of this phenomenon reveals an important framework at the regional level of Transylvania and points out the means to determine its existence in other regions or countries, since it affects the urban population evolution and its dynamics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Growth and Demographic Dynamics)
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Article
Technological Sustainability or Sustainable Technology? A Multidimensional Vision of Sustainability in Manufacturing
Sustainability 2021, 13(17), 9942; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13179942 - 04 Sep 2021
Cited by 2
Abstract
The topic of sustainability is becoming one of the strongest drivers of change in the marketplace by transforming into an element of competitiveness and an integral part of business strategy. Particularly in the manufacturing sector, a key role is played by technological innovations [...] Read more.
The topic of sustainability is becoming one of the strongest drivers of change in the marketplace by transforming into an element of competitiveness and an integral part of business strategy. Particularly in the manufacturing sector, a key role is played by technological innovations that allow companies to minimize the impact of their business on the environment and contribute to enhancing the value of the societies in which they operate. Technological process can be a lever to generate sustainable behaviors, confirming how innovation and sustainability constitute an increasingly close pair. However, it emerges that the nature of this relationship is explored by researchers and considered by practitioners almost exclusively in terms of the degree of sustainability of technological solutions. Lacking is an in-depth exploration of how a product or process, in addition to being environmentally and socio-economically sustainable, must or can also be technologically sustainable. This research therefore aims to build a theoretical foundation for technological sustainability seen as a possible fourth dimension of sustainable development. Full article
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Article
Leveraging Smart and Sustainable Development via International Events: Insights from Bento Gonçalves Knowledge Cities World Summit
Sustainability 2021, 13(17), 9937; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13179937 - 04 Sep 2021
Abstract
During the last couple of decades, making cities smarter and more sustainable has become an important urban agenda. In this perspective, knowledge-based development is seen as a strategic approach for cities seeking to thrive through innovation and resilience. Accomplishing a knowledge-based development agenda [...] Read more.
During the last couple of decades, making cities smarter and more sustainable has become an important urban agenda. In this perspective, knowledge-based development is seen as a strategic approach for cities seeking to thrive through innovation and resilience. Accomplishing a knowledge-based development agenda is, however, challenging, and cities need support mechanisms to effectively develop and then incorporate such agendas into their decision-making processes. This study investigates the role of international events as one of these support mechanisms for the development and implementation of local knowledge-based development agendas. The study aims to address how international events contribute to the local knowledge-based development efforts. This study takes the Knowledge Cities World Summit (KCWS) series as the exemplar international event, and the Brazilian city of Bento Gonçalves as the case study city. The methodological approach of the study consists of semi-structured interview-based qualitative analysis and case study investigations. The findings of the study revealed the following: (a) international events can be fundamental drivers of local knowledge-based agendas; (b) these events contribute to host cities’ development, especially at an institutional level, by generating outcomes such as engagement in cooperation networks and leveraging local actors’ influence on the development process; and (c) KCWS was instrumental in placing the local university as a protagonist of the knowledge-based development movement of Bento Gonçalves. The study reported in this paper provides invaluable insights for cities seeking to use international knowledge-based development events for smart and sustainable city formation. Full article
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Article
Impacts of COVID-19 on Diverse Farm Systems in Tanzania and South Africa
Sustainability 2021, 13(17), 9863; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13179863 - 02 Sep 2021
Abstract
Emerging information on the interactions between the COVID-19 pandemic and global food systems have highlighted how the pandemic is accentuating food crises across Africa. Less clear, however, are how the impacts differ between farming systems. Drawing on 50 key informant interviews with farmers, [...] Read more.
Emerging information on the interactions between the COVID-19 pandemic and global food systems have highlighted how the pandemic is accentuating food crises across Africa. Less clear, however, are how the impacts differ between farming systems. Drawing on 50 key informant interviews with farmers, village leaders and extension officers in South Africa and Tanzania, we identify the effects of COVID-19 and associated measures to curb the spread of the disease on farming production systems, the coping mechanisms adopted by farmers, and explore their longer-term plans for adaptation. We focus on a diverse range of production systems, from small-scale mixed farming systems in Tanzania to large-scale corporate farms in South Africa. Our findings highlight how COVID-19 restrictions have interrupted the supply chains of agricultural inputs and commodities, increasing the storage time for produce, decreasing income and purchasing power, and reducing labour availability. Farmers’ responses were heterogeneous, with highly diverse small-scale farming systems and those less engaged with international markets least affected by the associated COVID-19 measures. Large-scale farmers were most able to access capital to buffer short-term impacts, whereas smaller-scale farms shared labour, diversified to subsistence produce and sold assets. However, compounded shocks, such as recent extreme climate events, limited the available coping options, particularly for smaller-scale and emerging farmers. The study highlights the need to understand the characteristics of farm systems to better equip and support farmers, particularly in contexts of uncertainty. We propose that policy actions should focus on (i) providing temporary relief and social support and protection to financially vulnerable stakeholders, (ii) job assurance for farmworkers and engaging an alternative workforce in farming, (iii) investing in farming infrastructure, such as storage facilities, digital communication tools and extension services, and (iv) supporting diversified agroecological farming systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Post-COVID-19 Agriculture and Food Security)
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Article
Implications for Agricultural Producers of Using Blockchain for Food Transparency, Study of 4 Food Chains by Cumulative Approach
Sustainability 2021, 13(17), 9843; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13179843 - 02 Sep 2021
Abstract
In agro-food, Blockchain has been recently implemented in order to improve transparency. Blockchain raises great expectations of data decentralization and better efficiency–cost ratio, integration speed, and data protection that appear as promises of gains in all areas. The fundamental assumption was that transparency [...] Read more.
In agro-food, Blockchain has been recently implemented in order to improve transparency. Blockchain raises great expectations of data decentralization and better efficiency–cost ratio, integration speed, and data protection that appear as promises of gains in all areas. The fundamental assumption was that transparency prevents or reduces illegitimate forms of power. However, discussions are emerging about how digitization is likely to exacerbate power inequalities in food systems, as transparency can become tyrannical when it contributes to the proliferation of audits, evaluations, and assessment measures. The objective of this research is to contribute by providing knowledge about the implications of this digitization for farmers. For a first exploratory study, we conducted 53 interviews with actors of digitalization of agri-food, and we used 9 press releases, 3 webinars, and 1 article published in a specialized French journal. These materials evoke 12 different agro-food chains recently equipped with blockchain in France. From this pool of chains, we focused on four through in-depth analysis of interviews and literature readings using NVivo software. The first results highlight that the use of blockchain for transparency rarely delivers on its promises. Blockchain tends to centralize control since few actors have access to the distributed ledger, and the visibility brought to farmers, at the consumer level, tends to become a form of control. While blockchain seems to provide some benefits to producers, it raises the issue of overloaded technology and the problem of their data privacy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Operationalising the Transition to Sustainable Food Systems)
Article
Use of Urban Green Spaces in the Context of Lifestyle Changes during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Tokyo
Sustainability 2021, 13(17), 9817; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13179817 - 01 Sep 2021
Abstract
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic of 2020 drastically changed urban lifestyles. Workers were forced to minimize commuting to their workplaces, older adults were banned from using meeting facilities, and children were prohibited from going to school. The consequent lack of exercise, accumulated [...] Read more.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic of 2020 drastically changed urban lifestyles. Workers were forced to minimize commuting to their workplaces, older adults were banned from using meeting facilities, and children were prohibited from going to school. The consequent lack of exercise, accumulated stress, and reduced well-being are likely to have become problems, which may be improved by using urban green spaces (UGS). This study clarified the characteristics of users of UGS in Tokyo during the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on telecommuters, older adults, and families with children. An online questionnaire survey was conducted among Tokyo residents, and 3085 responses were obtained. A binomial logistic regression analysis was conducted with the use and evaluation of UGS as the objective variables. The results showed that older adults and families with children who had been using UGS before the pandemic and telecommuters who newly started using UGS during the pandemic used UGS differently. Older adults and families with children tended to use small parks and appreciated human connections. Telecommuters often used greenways, temples, and shrines, valuing stress-reducing functions. Given that a changing lifestyle brings new UGS users new preferences, urban planners should consider that UGS require change with the time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Article
CAESAR II Tool: Complementary Analyses for Emergency Planning Based on Seismic Risks Impact Evaluations
Sustainability 2021, 13(17), 9838; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13179838 - 01 Sep 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
Italy is a country with high seismic hazard, however since the delay in the seismic classification of the national territory, most of the existing building heritage does not comply with the current technical standards for buildings. The seismic events that have hit different [...] Read more.
Italy is a country with high seismic hazard, however since the delay in the seismic classification of the national territory, most of the existing building heritage does not comply with the current technical standards for buildings. The seismic events that have hit different Italian regions in recent years have highlighted the complexity of the challenge for the public bodies both in the emergency management and post-event reconstruction and in the planning of effective risk prevention and mitigation measures to be implemented in ‘peacetime’. These difficulties concern, in particular, the capacity to properly manage the financial and technical resources available and to identify the intervention priorities throughout the entire emergency cycle. For correct management, the priority is to quantify and localize, through simulations, the quantification of probable damages and to evaluate in terms of cost-benefits the possible alternative strategies for mitigation, also taking into account the potential, in terms of cost-effectiveness, of integrated measures for seismic and energy retrofitting. In this framework, the project CAESAR II (Complementary Analyses for Emergency planning based on Seismic Risks impact evaluations) has been developed as a Decision Support System for Public Authorities in charge of developing Disaster Risk Reduction plans, with the possibility of programming mid to long-term investments for public and private properties, as well as defining custom financial support mechanisms and tax incentives. Full article
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Article
Textiles for Circular Fashion: The Logic behind Recycling Options
Sustainability 2021, 13(17), 9714; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13179714 - 30 Aug 2021
Abstract
For the textile industry to become sustainable, knowledge of the origin and production of resources is an important theme. It is expected that recycled feedstock will form a significant part of future resources to be used. Textile recycling (especially post-consumer waste) is still [...] Read more.
For the textile industry to become sustainable, knowledge of the origin and production of resources is an important theme. It is expected that recycled feedstock will form a significant part of future resources to be used. Textile recycling (especially post-consumer waste) is still in its infancy and will be a major challenge in the coming years. Three fundamental problems hamper a better understanding of the developments on textile recycling: the current classification of textile fibres (natural or manufactured) does not support textile recycling, there is no standard definition of textile recycling technologies, and there is a lack of clear communication about the technological progress (by industry and brands) and benefits of textile recycling from a consumer perspective. This may hamper the much-needed further development of textile recycling. This paper presents a new fibre classification based on chemical groups and bonds that form the backbone of the polymers of which the fibres are made and that impart characteristic properties to the fibres. In addition, a new classification of textile recycling was designed based on the polymer structure of the fibres. These methods make it possible to unravel the logic and preferred recycling routes for different fibres, thereby facilitating communication on recycling. We concluded that there are good recycling options for mono-material streams within the cellulose, polyamide and polyester groups. For blended textiles, the perspective is promising for fibre blends within a single polymer group, while combinations of different polymers may pose problems in recycling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Fashion and Textile Recycling)
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Article
Environmental Sustainability of Creative Economy: Evidence from a Lithuanian Case Study
Sustainability 2021, 13(17), 9730; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13179730 - 30 Aug 2021
Abstract
The objective of the undertaken study is to investigate the sustainability of creative economy and present a case study providing the main findings on the linkages between creative economy and sustainable development. The in-depth literature review of the creative economy and sustainable development [...] Read more.
The objective of the undertaken study is to investigate the sustainability of creative economy and present a case study providing the main findings on the linkages between creative economy and sustainable development. The in-depth literature review of the creative economy and sustainable development offered the main insights in the development of the case study hypotheses. A case study on the biggest music festival that was organised in Lithuania is provided. The findings confirm that creative economy can be environmentally sustainable, and the customers identified their clear preferences for sustainability criteria in music festivals; however, not all these preferences are properly addressed by the organisers of cultural events, as it was revealed by this case study. The results of a quantitative study show that the festival participants are increasingly expressing the need for sustainable music festivals, but organisers have not yet taken the necessary actions to address this need. It is likely that, in the near future, the festival organisers in Lithuania will have to start applying various sustainability criteria during the festivals in order to attract more visitors and generate more income from such events as well to ensure environmental safety. The practical implications of conducted study are equally important for all stakeholders, such as the community, policymakers, companies, and regulatory agencies that are concerned with the implementation of sustainable development practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Sustainable Development and the Idea of Creative City)
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Article
Setting the Social Monitoring Framework for Nature-Based Solutions Impact: Methodological Approach and Pre-Greening Measurements in the Case Study from CLEVER Cities Milan
Sustainability 2021, 13(17), 9672; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13179672 - 27 Aug 2021
Abstract
Nature-based solutions (NBS) are currently being deployed in many European Commission Horizon 2020 projects in reaction to the increasing number of environmental threats, such as climate change, unsustainable urbanization, degradation and loss of natural capital and ecosystem services. In this research, we consider [...] Read more.
Nature-based solutions (NBS) are currently being deployed in many European Commission Horizon 2020 projects in reaction to the increasing number of environmental threats, such as climate change, unsustainable urbanization, degradation and loss of natural capital and ecosystem services. In this research, we consider the application of NBS as a catalyst for social inclusivity in urban regeneration strategies, enabled through civic participation in the co-creation of green interventions with respect to social cohesion and wellbeing. This article is focused on a social monitoring framework elaborated within the H2020 CLEVER Cities project, with the city of Milan as a case study. Firstly, we overviewed the major regeneration challenges and expected co-benefits of the project, which are mainly human health and wellbeing, social cohesion and environmental justice, as well as citizen perception about safety and security related to the NBS implementation process. Secondly, we examined the relevance of using NBS in addressing social co-benefits by analyzing data from questionnaires against a set of five major indicators, submitted to citizens and participants of activities during pre-greening interventions: (1) Place, use of space and relationship with nature, (2) Perceived ownership and sense of belonging, (3) Psychosocial issues, social interactions and social cohesion, (4) Citizen perception about safety and security, and lastly, we analyzed (5) knowledge about CLEVER interventions and NBS benefits in relation to socio-demographics of the questionnaires’ respondents. Thirdly, we cross-referenced a wind-rose multi-model of co-benefits analysis for NBS across the regeneration challenges of the project. Because of the COVID-19 emergency, in this research we mainly focused on site observations and online questionnaires, as well as on monitoring pre-greening scenarios in three Urban Living Labs (ULLs) in Milan, namely CLEVER Action Labs. Lastly, this study emphasizes the expected social added values of NBS impact over long-term urban regeneration projects. Insights from the pre-greening surveys results accentuate the importance of the NBS interventions in citizens’ perceptions about their wellbeing, general health and strong sense of neighborhood belonging. A wider interest towards civic participation in co-management and getting informed about NBS interventions in the Milanese context is also noted. Full article
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Article
Recommendation of Good Practice in the Food-Processing Industry for Preventing and Handling Food Loss and Waste
Sustainability 2021, 13(17), 9569; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13179569 - 25 Aug 2021
Abstract
Food-processing companies are controlled by societal influences and economic interests, but their efforts with regard to reducing food loss and waste are very different. This qualitative study aims to identify basic recommendations of good practice for the food-processing industry in order to prevent [...] Read more.
Food-processing companies are controlled by societal influences and economic interests, but their efforts with regard to reducing food loss and waste are very different. This qualitative study aims to identify basic recommendations of good practice for the food-processing industry in order to prevent and handle food loss and waste. For this purpose, a comprehensive literature review was conducted in the field of food waste prevention and data was collected from thirteen German companies. The findings summarize the recommendations of good practice, which cover the entire supply chain from supplier to consumer and beyond. The analysis showed that the participating companies are already partially aware of operational measures, even if they are applied or mentioned without a systematic approach. Furthermore, the analysis revealed that most activities relate to internal matters, like processing, employees and utilization. However, the responsibility of food-processing companies does not end with internal processes to reduce food waste. The results show that some companies are already aware of their responsibility to be involved along the entire supply chain. Finally, the results show that the needs of consumers and suppliers must also be considered in order to reduce food waste, in addition to direct reduction measures. This paper highlights nine important stages and 53 basic recommendations for companies to address food loss and waste in order to improve their practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Food)
Article
Impact Resistance and Sodium Sulphate Attack Testing of Concrete Incorporating Mixed Types of Recycled Plastic Waste
Sustainability 2021, 13(17), 9521; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13179521 - 24 Aug 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
Impact resistance, water transport properties and sodium sulphate attack are important criteria to determine the performance of concrete incorporating mixed types of recycled plastic waste. Nine mixes were designed with different combinations of the three plastic types; Polyethylene terephthalate (PET), High density polyethylene [...] Read more.
Impact resistance, water transport properties and sodium sulphate attack are important criteria to determine the performance of concrete incorporating mixed types of recycled plastic waste. Nine mixes were designed with different combinations of the three plastic types; Polyethylene terephthalate (PET), High density polyethylene (HDPE) and Polypropylene (PP). The plastic partially substituted the coarse aggregate (by volume) at various replacement ratios; 10%, 15%, 20% and 30%. The impact resistance and water transport properties were evaluated for nine mixes while sodium sulphate attack test was performed for three mixes. The results showed that the addition of mixed recycled plastic in concrete improved the impact resistance. The highest impact resistance improvement was achieved by R8 (PET + HDPE + PP) at 30% replacement which was 4.5 times better than the control mix. Water absorption results indicated a slight increase in all plastic mixes while contradictory results were observed for sorptivity test. Analysis of sodium sulphate attack results showed that incorporating 30% mixed plastic reduced the sodium sulphate resistance slightly due to the collective effect of plastic entrapping of sulphate ions after 80 cycles. This study has shown some positive results relating to the impact performance of Mixed Recycled Plastic Concrete (MRPC) which enhances its use in a sustainable way. Full article
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Article
Active Signage of Pedestrian Crossings as a Tool in Road Safety Management
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 9405; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13169405 - 21 Aug 2021
Abstract
The main objective of the study was to verify the effectiveness of active pedestrian crossings equipped with flashing lights activated automatically by detected pedestrians. A pilot study was conducted in two sites, where speed profiles of vehicles over the distance of 30 m [...] Read more.
The main objective of the study was to verify the effectiveness of active pedestrian crossings equipped with flashing lights activated automatically by detected pedestrians. A pilot study was conducted in two sites, where speed profiles of vehicles over the distance of 30 m before the crossing were analyzed. The study produced promising results in terms of reducing vehicle speeds so the next study investigated four other unsignalized pedestrian crossings. They were video-recorded for 48 h each, before, after and a year after installation. The ANOVA test was used to check the statistical significance of changes in selected indicators. Even after a year from the installation, the effect of the active signage remained significant. The average percentage of drivers yielding to pedestrians was 77.4% higher and the average waiting time 25.2% lower than before the installation. The average speeds of vehicles were 3.53 km/h lower on collector and 2.60 km/h lower on arterial streets. A decline in the probability of a pedestrian being killed or severely injured (KSI) ranged from 6.3 pp (9.4%) on the arterial streets immediately after the installation up to 12.9 pp (31.7%) on the collector streets one year after. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urbanization and Road Safety Management)
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Article
Agricultural Water Management Using Two-Stage Channels: Performance and Policy Recommendations Based on Northern European Experiences
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 9349; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13169349 - 20 Aug 2021
Abstract
Conventional dredging of ditches and streams to ensure agricultural drainage and flood mitigation can have severe environmental impacts. The aim of this paper is to investigate the potential benefits of an alternative, nature-based two-stage channel (TSC) design with floodplains excavated along the main [...] Read more.
Conventional dredging of ditches and streams to ensure agricultural drainage and flood mitigation can have severe environmental impacts. The aim of this paper is to investigate the potential benefits of an alternative, nature-based two-stage channel (TSC) design with floodplains excavated along the main channel. Through a literature survey, investigations at Finnish field sites and expert interviews, we assessed the performance, costs, and monetary environmental benefits of TSCs in comparison to conventional dredging, as well as the bottlenecks in their financing and governance. We found evidence supporting the expected longer-term functioning of drainage as well as larger plant and fish biodiversity in TSCs compared to conventional dredging. The TSC design likely improves water quality since the floodplains retain suspended sediment and phosphorus and remove nitrogen. In the investigated case, the additional value of phosphorus retention and conservation of protected species through the TSC design was 2.4 times higher than the total costs. We demonstrate how TSCs can be made eligible for the obligatory vegetated riparian buffer of the European Union agri-environmental subsidy scheme (CAP-AES) by optimising their spatial application with respect to other buffer measures, and recommend to publicly finance their additional costs compared to conventional dredging at priority sites. Further studies on biodiversity impacts and long-term performance of two-stage channels are required. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nature-Based Solutions for Water Management from Pilot to Standard)
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Article
BIMp-Chart—A Global Decision Support System for Measuring BIM Implementation Level in Construction Organizations
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 9270; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13169270 - 18 Aug 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
Building Information Modeling (BIM) is recognized as one of the most significant technological breakthroughs in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry. The pace of implementation of BIM in AEC has increased during the past decade with an enhanced focus on sustainable construction. [...] Read more.
Building Information Modeling (BIM) is recognized as one of the most significant technological breakthroughs in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry. The pace of implementation of BIM in AEC has increased during the past decade with an enhanced focus on sustainable construction. However, BIM implementation lags its potential because of several factors such as readiness issues, lack of previous experience in BIM, and lack of market demand for BIM. To evaluate and solve these issues, understanding the current BIM implementation in construction organizations is required. Motivated by this need, the main objective of this study is to propose a tool for the measurement of BIM implementation levels within an organization. Various sets of indexes are developed based on their pertinent Critical Success Factors (CSFs). A detailed literature review followed by a questionnaire survey involving 99 respondents is conducted, and results are analyzed to formulate a BIMp-Chart to calculate and visualize the BIM implementation level of an organization. Subsequently, the applicability of the BIMp-Chart is assessed by comparing and analyzing datasets of four organizations from different regions, including Qatar, Portugal, and Egypt, and a multinational organization to develop a global measurement tool. Through measuring and comparing BIM implementation levels, the BIMp-Chart can help the practitioners identify the implementation areas in an organization for proper BIM implementation. This study helps understand the fundamental elements of BIM implementation and provides a decision support system for construction organizations to devise proper strategies for the effectual management of the BIM implementation process. Full article
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Article
Safety Assessment of Urban Intersection Sight Distance Using Mobile LiDAR Data
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 9259; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13169259 - 18 Aug 2021
Abstract
This paper proposes an automated framework that utilizes Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) point cloud data to map and detect road obstacles that impact drivers’ field of view at urban intersections. The framework facilitates the simulation of a driver’s field of vision to [...] Read more.
This paper proposes an automated framework that utilizes Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) point cloud data to map and detect road obstacles that impact drivers’ field of view at urban intersections. The framework facilitates the simulation of a driver’s field of vision to estimate the blockage percentage as they approach an intersection. Furthermore, a collision analysis is conducted to examine the relationship between poor visibility and safety. The visibility assessment was used to determine the blockage percentage as a function of intersection control type. The safety assessment indicated that intersections with limited available sight distances (ASD) exhibited an increased risk of collisions. The research also conducted a sensitivity analysis to understand the impact of the voxel size on the extraction of intersection obstacles from LiDAR datasets. The findings from this research can be used to assess the intersection without the burden of manual intervention. This would effectively support transportation agencies in identifying hazardous intersections with poor visibility and adopt policies to enhance urban intersections’ operation and safety. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urbanization and Road Safety Management)
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Article
DfMA: Towards an Integrated Strategy for a More Productive and Sustainable Construction Industry in Australia
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 9219; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13169219 - 17 Aug 2021
Abstract
Design for manufacture and assembly (DfMA) is an important part of the future of the construction industry due to the promise of speed of project delivery, quality control, worker safety, and waste minimization onsite via the purposeful design for manufacture and assembly offsite. [...] Read more.
Design for manufacture and assembly (DfMA) is an important part of the future of the construction industry due to the promise of speed of project delivery, quality control, worker safety, and waste minimization onsite via the purposeful design for manufacture and assembly offsite. However, the adoption of DfMA in Australia has been slow. This paper investigates the barriers prohibiting widespread uptake and how digital construction will be a catalyst for improving use on commercial-scale projects. A total of six leading experts were interviewed to elicit their opinions, and seven recent case studies of high-rise modular apartment and hotel buildings constructed by Hickory were cross-referenced as evidence of DfMA capability. The experts suggested that the reasons for slow adoption in Australia were community mindset, government regulations and incentives, planning and building codes, unionization and business politics, finance, and supply chain management. The case studies suggest that compatible building type and transportation distance are also factors. These barriers can be addressed by the clever integration of building information modelling tools with lean construction processes as part of a proposed strategy leading to smarter (more productive) and better (more sustainable) outcomes predicated on growth in digital construction practices. The paper concludes with a proposed framework for change that conceptualizes the ‘ecosystem’ needed to support widespread DfMA in the Australian context, including the paradigm shift from building to manufacturing/assembly, the displacement of workers from onsite to offsite activity, and the expansion of interdisciplinary design and construct collaboration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Management)
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Article
Effect of the Milking Frequency on the Concentrations of Ammonia and Greenhouse Gases within an Open Dairy Barn in Hot Climate Conditions
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 9235; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13169235 - 17 Aug 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
Knowledge of how different management strategies affect gas production from livestock buildings can be helpful for emission predicting purposes and for defining mitigation strategies. The objective of this study was to statistically assess whether and how measured concentrations of ammonia (NH3), [...] Read more.
Knowledge of how different management strategies affect gas production from livestock buildings can be helpful for emission predicting purposes and for defining mitigation strategies. The objective of this study was to statistically assess whether and how measured concentrations of ammonia (NH3), methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) were influenced by milking frequency. Concentrations of gases were measured continuously by using infrared photoacoustic spectroscopy in the breeding environment of an open dairy barn located in Sicily in hot climate conditions. Data were acquired by specific in-field experiments carried out in 2016 and 2018, when milking sessions occurred twice a day (2MSs) and three times a day (3MSs), respectively. The number of the milking cows was 64 in both 2MSs and 3MSs. The results showed that concentrations of NH3, CH4 and CO2 were statistically influenced by the number of milking sessions. From 2MSs to 3MSs, NH3 concentrations were enhanced (p < 0.001) due to the higher cow’s activity. Conversely, gas concentrations of CH4 and CO2 were lower for 3MSs compared to those for 2MSs due to the effect of the different feeding frequency. Overall, the milking frequency influenced barn management and cow behaviour by modifying the level of gas concentrations in the barn environment. Full article
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Article
Displacement Induced by Climate Change Adaptation: The Case of ‘Climate Buffer’ Infrastructure
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 9160; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13169160 - 16 Aug 2021
Abstract
Climate buffer infrastructure is on the rise as a promising ‘green’ climate adaptation strategy. More often than not, such infrastructure building is legitimized as an urgent technical intervention—while less attention is paid to the distribution of costs and benefits among the affected population. [...] Read more.
Climate buffer infrastructure is on the rise as a promising ‘green’ climate adaptation strategy. More often than not, such infrastructure building is legitimized as an urgent technical intervention—while less attention is paid to the distribution of costs and benefits among the affected population. However, as this article shows, adaptation interventions may directly or indirectly result in the relocation or even eviction of households or communities, thereby increasing vulnerabilities for some while intending to reduce long-term climate vulnerabilities for all. We argue that this raises serious, if underappreciated, ethical issues that need to be more explicitly addressed in adaptation policy making. We illustrate our conceptual argument with the help of three examples of infrastructural ‘climate buffers’: Space for the River projects in the Netherlands, the Diamer–Bhasha dam in Pakistan and the coastal protection plan in Jakarta, Indonesia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ethics of Climate Adaptation)
Article
Cultural Heritage, Sustainable Development, and Climate Policy: Comparing the UNESCO World Heritage Cities of Potsdam and Bern
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 9131; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13169131 - 15 Aug 2021
Abstract
Developing sustainable, carbon-neutral, and climate-resilient districts seems to be particularly challenging with respect to historic city centers. However, barriers posed by legal requirements for historical buildings are counterbalanced by opportunities because historic cities have not undergone urban modernization and did not embrace the [...] Read more.
Developing sustainable, carbon-neutral, and climate-resilient districts seems to be particularly challenging with respect to historic city centers. However, barriers posed by legal requirements for historical buildings are counterbalanced by opportunities because historic cities have not undergone urban modernization and did not embrace the concept of functional cities, which nowadays impedes urban sustainability transformations. Thus, this paper focuses on the relationship between cultural heritage, urban sustainable development, and climate policy. We study continuity and change in the mid-sized UNESCO World Heritage cities Potsdam (Germany) and Bern (Switzerland). These matching forerunner cities share many characteristics, which enables them to transfer policies and jointly create new solutions for common problems. We find that national context matters, but we also identify functional equivalents like referenda and active citizen participation. Despite many similarities, Potsdam is ahead of Bern with respect to the institutionalization and integration of climate mitigation and adaptation. The comparative analysis (interviews and document analysis) identifies innovations that can be transferred between the two cities (e.g., Potsdam’s integrative climate policy or Bern’s efforts to become a role model for stakeholders and citizens). Moreover, the challenge to coordinate heritage management and climate governance offers chances for cooperation between matching cities like Bern and Potsdam. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Article
The Critical Role of the Construction Industry in Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Delivering Projects for the Common Good
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 9112; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13169112 - 14 Aug 2021
Abstract
In 2015, the United Nations (UN) adopted the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development, which set out 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 169 targets and 231 unique indicators as a significant initiative towards socio-economic development. The SDGs provide the construction industry with a new [...] Read more.
In 2015, the United Nations (UN) adopted the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development, which set out 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 169 targets and 231 unique indicators as a significant initiative towards socio-economic development. The SDGs provide the construction industry with a new lens through which global needs and desires can be translated into business solutions. This paper explores the role of the construction industry in achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. The paper uses an explanatory sequential design with an initial quantitative instrument phase, followed by a qualitative data collection phase. Following a comparative review of the literature on the 17 SDGs, a questionnaire was designed and administered among 130 respondents, and 105 responses were received. These data were then validated through semi-structured interviews with 16 sustainable construction experts. Data obtained from the semi-structured validation interviews were analysed through side-by-side comparisons of the qualitative data with the quantitative data. The findings show that the construction industry has a critical role in achieving almost all the 17 SDGs. The roles were, however, prevalent in 10 key SDGs, namely: sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11); climate action (SDG 13); clean water and sanitation (SDG 6); responsible consumption and production (SDG 12); industry, innovation and infrastructure (SDG 9); life on land (biodiversity) (SDG 15); gender equality (SDG 5); good health and well-being (SDG 3); affordable and clean energy (SDG 7); decent work and economic growth (SDG 8). The study confirmed the role played by the construction industry in achieving these SDGs. The findings from this study provide further insights into the ever-increasing state-of-the-art regarding the construction industry’s role in achieving Sustainable Development Goals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Future of Facilities Management and Sustainable Development)
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Article
Conceptualising Therapeutic Environments through Culture, Indigenous Knowledge and Landscape for Health and Well-Being
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 9125; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13169125 - 14 Aug 2021
Abstract
Academic research has long established that interaction with the natural environment is associated with better overall health outcomes. Notably, the area of therapeutic environments has been borne out of the recognition of this critical relationship, but much of this research comes from a [...] Read more.
Academic research has long established that interaction with the natural environment is associated with better overall health outcomes. Notably, the area of therapeutic environments has been borne out of the recognition of this critical relationship, but much of this research comes from a specific Western perspective. In Aotearoa-New Zealand, Māori (the Indigenous people of the land) have long demonstrated significantly worse health outcomes than non-Māori. Little research has examined the causes compared to Western populations and the role of the natural environment in health outcomes for Māori. The present study aimed to explore the relationship between Māori culture, landscape and the connection to health and well-being. Eighteen Māori pāhake (older adults) and kaumātua (elders) took part in semi-structured interviews carried out as focus groups, from June to November 2020. Transcribed interviews were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis and kaupapa Māori techniques. We found five overarching and interrelated key themes related to Indigenous knowledge (Mātauranga Māori) that sit within the realm of therapeutic environments, culture and landscape. A conceptual framework for Therapeutic Cultural Environments (TCE) is proposed in terms of the contribution to our understanding of health and well-being and its implications for conceptualising therapeutic environments and a culturally appropriate model of care for Māori communities. Full article
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Article
“If I Was the Boss of My Local Government”: Perspectives of People with Intellectual Disabilities on Improving Inclusion
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 9075; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13169075 - 13 Aug 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
Despite many initiatives to reframe and support inclusion for people with disabilities, people with intellectual disabilities continue to experience social exclusion in their local communities. This study shares the perspectives of people with an intellectual disability on what matters to them in their [...] Read more.
Despite many initiatives to reframe and support inclusion for people with disabilities, people with intellectual disabilities continue to experience social exclusion in their local communities. This study shares the perspectives of people with an intellectual disability on what matters to them in their local communities. This study aims to inform local governments of the value of engaging with and listening to local people with intellectual disabilities and is an important exploration of how the social sustainability of cities is framed and valued by people who have historically been socially and geographically excluded. Focus groups and interviews were conducted in six local government areas, with a mix of metropolitan and regional areas, in two states of Australia—NSW and Victoria. The study analysed how 45 Australian adults with intellectual disabilities described their local communities and conceptualised better inclusion. The results were collated and organised by applying an adapted framework of inclusive cities. The participants expressed the need for safe, accessible and clean public amenities; accessible information; appropriate communication; and for people to be more respectful, friendly and understanding of the needs of people with intellectual disabilities. This study suggests that local governments can take action in order to improve social sustainability by engaging with local people with intellectual disabilities as citizens, advisors and employees, and by educating the wider community about respect and social inclusion for all. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impactful Innovation for Environmental and Social Sustainability)
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Article
Homeowners’ Participation in Energy Efficient Renovation Projects in China’s Northern Heating Region
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 9037; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13169037 - 12 Aug 2021
Abstract
In China’s government-led energy efficient renovation of residential buildings, homeowners’ participation refers to their involvement and engagement throughout the process. Lacking homeowners’ participation has brought difficulties in the execution and financing of the projects. This paper explores the current situation of homeowners’ participation [...] Read more.
In China’s government-led energy efficient renovation of residential buildings, homeowners’ participation refers to their involvement and engagement throughout the process. Lacking homeowners’ participation has brought difficulties in the execution and financing of the projects. This paper explores the current situation of homeowners’ participation and provides suggestions for optimization from three perspectives: the steps and procedures of the participation process, the composition of the working group responsible for contacting the homeowners, and the contents to be discussed during the process. The semi-structured interview and questionnaire results show that homeowners’ participation is not adequate, and the current arrangement deviates from their expectations. Although most homeowners are positive towards government-led renovation and are enthusiastic about being involved, the process setup is not well-designed to let them fully participate. Moreover, their expectations and preferences are related to several factors. It can be concluded that relevant laws and regulations should be introduced to provide a basis for solving problems at the executive level, and homeowner associations should be established to serve as a channel of communication between homeowners and the working group. Designing targeted renovation and participation strategy is a necessity to minimize the communication efforts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Green Building)
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Article
Mechanical Properties and Microstructure of Low Carbon Binders Manufactured from Calcined Canal Sediments and Ground Granulated Blast Furnace Slag (GGBS)
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 9057; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13169057 - 12 Aug 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
This research study evaluated the effects of adding Scottish canal sediment after calcination at 750 °C in combination with GGBS on hydration, strength and microstructural properties in ternary cement mixtures in order to reduce their carbon footprint (CO2) and cost. A [...] Read more.
This research study evaluated the effects of adding Scottish canal sediment after calcination at 750 °C in combination with GGBS on hydration, strength and microstructural properties in ternary cement mixtures in order to reduce their carbon footprint (CO2) and cost. A series of physico-chemical, hydration heat, mechanic performance, mercury porosity and microstructure tests or observations was performed in order to evaluate the fresh and hardened properties. The physical and chemical characterisation of the calcined sediments revealed good pozzolanic properties that could be valorised as a potential co-product in the cement industry. The results obtained for mortars with various percentages of calcined sediment confirmed that this represents a previously unrecognised potential source of high reactivity pozzolanic materials. The evolution of the compressive strength for the different types of mortars based on the partial substitution of cement by slag and calcined sediments showed a linear increase in compressive strength for 90 days. The best compressive strengths and porosity were observed in mortars composed of 50% cement, 40% slag and 10% calcined sediment (CSS10%) after 90 days. In conclusion, the addition of calcined canal sediments as an artificial pozzolanic material could improve strength and save significant amounts of energy or greenhouse gas emissions, while potentially contributing to Scotland’s ambitious 2045 net zero target and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 in the UK and Europe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Construction Materials for Sustainable Development)
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Article
Park–People Relationships: The Socioeconomic Monitoring of National Parks in Bavaria, Germany
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 8984; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13168984 - 11 Aug 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
Questions about park–people relationships and the understanding and handling of the conflicts that may result from the creation and management of national parks in the surrounding area are prerequisites for both successful park management and sustainable rural tourism development. This paper analyzes the [...] Read more.
Questions about park–people relationships and the understanding and handling of the conflicts that may result from the creation and management of national parks in the surrounding area are prerequisites for both successful park management and sustainable rural tourism development. This paper analyzes the roles that research may play in relation to park–people relationships in the context of the two oldest German national parks located in Bavaria. The different fields of action of national parks are used to identify the potential for conflict, using detailed case studies from the Bavarian Forest and Berchtesgaden National Parks using quantitative population surveys carried out in 2018. The overall attitude towards both national parks is overwhelmingly positive, with trust towards park administrations and the perceived economic benefits from rural tourism being the attitudes most strongly correlated to the overall level of park–people relationships. Nevertheless, some points of contention still exist, like the ecological integrity approach towards strict nature conservation and related landscape changes (e.g., deadwood cover). A comparison over time shows in both cases that the spatial proximity to the protected area negatively influences people’s attitudes towards the parks, but less so than in the past. Recommendations for national park management include communicating proactively and with greater transparency with locals and decision-makers, to identify conflicts earlier and, where possible, to eliminate them. Furthermore, developing a standardized method to monitor park–people relationships in Germany is a must and would benefit integrated approaches in research and management based on conservation social science. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Rural Tourism)
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Article
Candidate Digital Tasks Selection Methodology for Automation with Robotic Process Automation
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 8980; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13168980 - 11 Aug 2021
Abstract
Today’s business environments face rapid digital transformation, engendering the continuous emerging of new technologies. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is one of the new technologies rapidly and increasingly grabbing the attention of businesses. RPA tools allow mimicking human tasks by providing a virtual workforce, [...] Read more.
Today’s business environments face rapid digital transformation, engendering the continuous emerging of new technologies. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is one of the new technologies rapidly and increasingly grabbing the attention of businesses. RPA tools allow mimicking human tasks by providing a virtual workforce, or digital workers in the form of software bots, for automating manual, high-volume, repetitive, and routine tasks. The goal is to allow human workers to delegate their tedious routine tasks to a software bot, thus allowing them to focus on more difficult tasks. RPA tools are simple and very powerful, according to cost-saving and other performance metrics. However, the main challenge of RPA implementation is to effectively determine the business tasks suitable for automation. This paper provides a methodology for selecting candidate tasks for robotic process automation based on user interface logs and process mining techniques. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Machine Learning and AI Technology for Sustainability)
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Article
Feminization of African Agriculture and the Meaning of Decision-Making for Empowerment and Sustainability
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 8993; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13168993 - 11 Aug 2021
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to assess women’s decision-making power in small-scale agriculture in six African countries in view of the feminization of agriculture and to discuss the meaning of decision-making in relation to women’s empowerment and sustainability. The data are drawn [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to assess women’s decision-making power in small-scale agriculture in six African countries in view of the feminization of agriculture and to discuss the meaning of decision-making in relation to women’s empowerment and sustainability. The data are drawn from a multisite and mixed-method agricultural research and development project in six sub-Saharan countries including two sites in each country. The five domains of empowerment outlined in the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index are used to structure the analysis. The results indicate that in the selected sites in Malawi, Rwanda and South Africa, women farmers tend to dominate agricultural decision-making, while the result is more mixed in the Kenyan sites, and decision-making tends to be dominated by men in the sites in Tanzania and Ethiopia. Despite women participating in agricultural decision-making, the qualitative results show that women small-scale farmers were not perceived to be empowered in any of the country sites. It appears that the feminization of agriculture leads to women playing a more important role in decision-making but also to more responsibilities and heavier workloads without necessarily resulting in improvements in well-being outcomes that would enhance sustainability. Full article
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Article
Analysis of Big Game Fishing Catches of Blue Marlin (Makaira nigricans) in the Madeira Archipelago (Eastern Atlantic) and Factors that Affect Its Presence
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 8975; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13168975 - 11 Aug 2021
Abstract
The archipelago of Madeira (Portugal) is one of the main European big game fishing locations, where the main target species is the blue marlin (Makaira nigricans). Catch data for these fish were used to analyze their presence over the years, estimate [...] Read more.
The archipelago of Madeira (Portugal) is one of the main European big game fishing locations, where the main target species is the blue marlin (Makaira nigricans). Catch data for these fish were used to analyze their presence over the years, estimate their average weights, and calculate annual fishing success rates. The results showed a marked seasonal effect, with higher average catch rates in summer (June–July), suggesting a migration from the equatorial waters they inhabit at the beginning of the year to northern areas when the waters become warmer. The influences of some environmental factors were analyzed using generalized additive models, and it was observed that the occurrence of blue marlin may be influenced by water temperature, wind, rain, and atmospheric pressure. This fishery did not register a high mortality rate in blue marlin specimens due to the usual practice of catch and release; individuals captured in this fishery can be used as a source of information that allows for follow-up on the status of the blue marlin population in the region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Recreational Fishing: From Sea to Policy)
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Article
From Waste Pickers to Producers: An Inclusive Circular Economy Solution through Development of Cooperatives in Waste Management
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 8925; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13168925 - 10 Aug 2021
Abstract
The world’s global plastics waste crisis demands policy coordination and technological solutions to improve waste management systems, and organizations worldwide have created momentum around the concept of a circular economy. This paper advances a holistic, inclusive circular economy framework that aims to empower [...] Read more.
The world’s global plastics waste crisis demands policy coordination and technological solutions to improve waste management systems, and organizations worldwide have created momentum around the concept of a circular economy. This paper advances a holistic, inclusive circular economy framework that aims to empower waste pickers with the following basic pillars: (1) build collaborative networks of stakeholders to enable inclusion of waste pickers; (2) establish cooperative enterprise models to integrate waste pickers into the formal economy; (3) build waste pickers’ technical skills and capacity for entrepreneurship; and (4) provide access to technologies and markets that enable waste pickers to manufacture upcycled products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Circular Economy Challenge: Towards a Sustainable Development)
Article
Estimating Electric Power Requirements for Mechanically Shredding Massage Chairs and Treadmills at a Recycling Plant
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 8938; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13168938 - 10 Aug 2021
Abstract
South Korea has operated under laws to collect and recycle the waste of electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) utilizing a system based on the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) system since 2003. In 2020, the number of products managed by the EPR increased from [...] Read more.
South Korea has operated under laws to collect and recycle the waste of electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) utilizing a system based on the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) system since 2003. In 2020, the number of products managed by the EPR increased from 27 to 50. Among the 50 products, massage chairs and treadmills are recognized as the items avoided in recycling centers or by recyclers due to their large volume, large weight, and long disassembly times. This study was a preliminary study in which the physical shredding process for massage chairs and treadmills could be introduced, and the electrical power requirements calculated. In the methodology, Vickers hardness was measured by sampling two actual products, and the tensile and shear strength were calculated from the hardness. Based on the shear strength, the force affecting the cutter was calculated and converted into torque and horsepower. In particular, the actual specifications of the crusher, designed and operated in the recycling center, were applied to the study, and the design was based on the treatment capacity of 10 tons per hour. Conclusively, the proper electrical power for crushing the massage chair and treadmill was analyzed as 719.5 and 459.7 HP, respectively. Full article
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Article
Identification and Prioritization of Critical Success Factors for Off-Site Construction Using ISM and MICMAC Analysis
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 8911; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13168911 - 09 Aug 2021
Abstract
Many studies have been conducted to define the critical success factors (CSFs) for off-site construction (OSC) activation, but there has been a lack of identification of the relationship with the identified CSFs. However, it is necessary to clearly identify the hierarchy and relationships [...] Read more.
Many studies have been conducted to define the critical success factors (CSFs) for off-site construction (OSC) activation, but there has been a lack of identification of the relationship with the identified CSFs. However, it is necessary to clearly identify the hierarchy and relationships with the success factors in order to develop specific strategies for OSC activation. This work presents a study that was conducted to identify the CSFs for OSCs and establish the relationships of the identified CSFs for OSC. First, 20 CSFs for OSCs were identified through prior study reviews related to CSFs for OSC. Next, the interpretive structural modeling (ISM), which has advantages in developing an understanding of complex relationships, was leveraged in order to analyze the relationships between 20 CSFs for OSC to derive a hierarchical model consisting of seven levels. The CSFs for OSC were classified into four groups using MICMAC analysis, which is useful for classifying factors by the strength of the relationship with factors based on driving power and dependence power. This proposed model can be used as a basis for developing management measures for OSC project success. Full article
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Article
A Research Methodology for Mitigating Climate Change in the Restoration of Buildings: Rehabilitation Strategies and Low-Impact Prefabrication in the “El Rodezno” Water Mill
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 8869; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13168869 - 08 Aug 2021
Abstract
New environmental challenges, coupled with the fact that 80% of the residential buildings that will exist in Europe in the year 2050 have already been built, mean that rehabilitation and restoration must be prioritised over new buildings. Construction is one of the largest [...] Read more.
New environmental challenges, coupled with the fact that 80% of the residential buildings that will exist in Europe in the year 2050 have already been built, mean that rehabilitation and restoration must be prioritised over new buildings. Construction is one of the largest generators of CO2. Using prefabricated and industrialised products and systems can help to mitigate its harmful effects thanks to the greater control and environmental evaluation that can be carried out on these products from their manufacture until the end of their useful life (LCA). In the county of the Sierra de Cádiz (Andalusia, Spain), there are 85 water mills, many of which are derelict and in disuse, which, due to their location, size, and characteristics, are ideal for rehabilitation and restoration for residential use. Taking the “El Rodezno” mill as a case study, this paper proposes rehabilitation strategies using prefabricated industrialised elements that have a low environmental impact. The methodological discussion takes as its starting point the process of design and testing that Alvar Aalto applied in 1940 and from subsequent studies that have confirmed a research structure based on the project design and the built project with the appropriate field of study and confirmation of the applicable strategies and solutions. To this end, this article is written on the basis of the two main phases of Alvar Aalto’s method, using the same terms that the Danish architect defined: Scientific Observation, for the study of preceding works and projects in light prefabrication and for the analysis of certain construction products and systems that, based on other research, have evaluated their LCA, and Construction Period, for the rehabilitation strategies of the “El Rodezno” mill, considering the studies and analyses of Scientific Observation. For the roof solution, we took as an example the rehabilitation of the roof carried out with the same methodology, construction criteria, and prefabricated products analysed in this article and used in the intervention strategies in “El Rodezno”. The paper concludes with the validity of the methodology applied to test the starting hypotheses that lead to intervention strategies that confirm the environmental and economic advantages of industrialised prefabrication, the importance of the design and synergy that results from combining different construction systems, and technologies that improve the acceptance of prefabrication by the inhabitant and boost the circular economy. Full article
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Article
Utilization of Municipal Solid Waste Incineration Bottom Ash as Fine Aggregate of Cement Mortars
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 8832; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13168832 - 06 Aug 2021
Abstract
Incineration bottom ash is generated by the incineration of solid waste. Household solid waste is increasing every year and so is incineration bottom ash. This is a problem to treat the incineration bottom ash because the ash has many toxic components. Cement composites [...] Read more.
Incineration bottom ash is generated by the incineration of solid waste. Household solid waste is increasing every year and so is incineration bottom ash. This is a problem to treat the incineration bottom ash because the ash has many toxic components. Cement composites can solve this problem and there are many studies for using the bottom ash as fine aggregate. To evaluate the usage of incineration bottom ash, compressive strength, mercury intrusion porosimetry, scanning electron microscopy-backscatter electron, X-ray diffraction, and toxicity characteristic leaching processes were performed. When using incineration bottom ash up to 20% of substitution, the compressive strength in all cases was increased. This study showed how the filler effect appeared well in the cement composites through the scanning electron microscopy-backscatter electron, and mercury intrusion porosimetry. X-ray diffraction indicated the possibility of an alkali-silica reaction of the aggregate with the components of incineration bottom ash. This problem is an obstacle to applying the incineration bottom ash as a fine aggregate. In addition, the toxicity characteristic leaching process was shown to be under the threshold of the Korean standard, however, this should nuanced by the consideration of amorphity. Comprehensively, incineration bottom ash could be used as a fine aggregate of up to 20% of substitution. However, the pre-treatment would need to eliminate or reduce alkali reactive components and heavy metals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Waste and Recycling)
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Article
Safety Evaluation of Turbo-Roundabouts with and without Internal Traffic Separations Considering Autonomous Vehicles Operation
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 8810; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13168810 - 06 Aug 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
The paper presents a microsimulation approach for assessing the safety performance of turbo-roundabouts where Cooperative Autonomous Vehicles “CAVs” have been introduced into the traffic mix alongside conventional vehicles “CVs”. Based on the analysis of vehicle trajectories from VISSIM and subsequent analysis of traffic [...] Read more.
The paper presents a microsimulation approach for assessing the safety performance of turbo-roundabouts where Cooperative Autonomous Vehicles “CAVs” have been introduced into the traffic mix alongside conventional vehicles “CVs”. Based on the analysis of vehicle trajectories from VISSIM and subsequent analysis of traffic conflicts through the Surrogate Safety Assessment Model (SSAM), the research aims to evaluate the safety benefits of turbo-roundabouts where the lanes are physically separated by raised curbs, compared to roundabouts without such curbs. The paper will then describe the methodological path followed to build VISSIM models of turbo-roundabouts with and without raised curbs in order to calibrate the simulation models and estimate the potential conflicts when a higher percentage of CAVs are introduced into the traffic mix. A criterion has been also proposed for setting properly the principal SSAM filters. The results confirmed both higher safety levels for turbo-roundabouts equipped with raised lane dividers compared to turbo-roundabout solutions without curbs, and better safety conditions under the traffic mix of CVs and CAVs. Therefore, it follows that, in absence of crash data including CAVs, the surrogate measures of safety are the only approach in which the safety performance of any roundabout or road entity can be evaluated. Full article
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Article
Circular Construction Process: Method for Developing a Selective, Low CO2eq Disassembly and Demolition Plan
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 8815; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13168815 - 06 Aug 2021
Abstract
With the increasing focus on the construction sector (e.g., following the European Green Deal initiative) with the aim to reduce emissions by 55% by 2030 (compared to 1990 levels), as well as achieve full decarbonisation by 2050, the built environment remains a strategic [...] Read more.
With the increasing focus on the construction sector (e.g., following the European Green Deal initiative) with the aim to reduce emissions by 55% by 2030 (compared to 1990 levels), as well as achieve full decarbonisation by 2050, the built environment remains a strategic domain for the R&I (Research and Innovation) agenda. Indeed, the building and construction sector is the main contributor to greenhouse gas emissions (39% of global emissions as of 2018), highlighting the need to start a process of decarbonisation of this sector. The overall reduction in the environmental impact of building materials is achieved by establishing sustainable continuity between the end-of-life phase of the building and the production phase of individual building components. In particular, with reference to the end-of-life phase of the building (BS EN 15978: 2011), the Minimum Environmental Criteria foresee the preparation of a plan for the disassembly and selective demolition of the building, which allows the reuse or recycling of materials, building components and prefabricated elements used. According to the guidelines of a low-carbon construction design, which takes into account a circular economy, the following thesis deals with a methodological proposal to study “dry” construction systems (wood and steel). In particular, the study intends to reach the development of such an elaboration by carrying out an assessment of the environmental impact of a process of selective disassembly and demolition of steel building systems. The model is developed on the basis of a reading of the level of sustainability of emblematic case studies, appropriately identified, i.e., ‘quality’ architectures, built with ‘dry’ (steel) building systems. Full article
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Article
Key Performance Indicators for an Energy Community Based on Sustainable Technologies
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 8789; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13168789 - 06 Aug 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
As reported in the “Clean energy for all Europeans package” set by the EU, a sustainable transition from fossil fuels towards cleaner energy is necessary to improve the quality of life of citizens and the livability in cities. The exploitation of renewable sources, [...] Read more.
As reported in the “Clean energy for all Europeans package” set by the EU, a sustainable transition from fossil fuels towards cleaner energy is necessary to improve the quality of life of citizens and the livability in cities. The exploitation of renewable sources, the improvement of energy performance in buildings and the need for cutting-edge national energy and climate plans represent important and urgent topics to be faced in order to implement the sustainability concept in urban areas. In addition, the spread of polygeneration microgrids and the recent development of energy communities enable a massive installation of renewable power plants, high-performance small-size cogeneration units, and electrical storage systems; moreover, properly designed local energy production systems make it possible to optimize the exploitation of green energy sources and reduce both energy supply costs and emissions. In the present paper, a set of key performance indicators is introduced in order to evaluate and compare different energy communities both from a technical and environmental point of view. The proposed methodology was used in order to assess and compare two sites characterized by the presence of sustainable energy infrastructures: the Savona Campus of the University of Genoa in Italy, where a polygeneration microgrid has been in operation since 2014 and new technologies will be installed in the near future, and the SPEED2030 District, an urban area near the Campus where renewable energy power plants (solar and wind), cogeneration units fed by hydrogen and storage systems are planned to be installed. Full article
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Article
A Machine Learning Approach to Determine Airport Asphalt Concrete Layer Moduli Using Heavy Weight Deflectometer Data
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 8831; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13168831 - 06 Aug 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
An integrated approach based on machine learning and data augmentation techniques has been developed in order to predict the stiffness modulus of the asphalt concrete layer of an airport runway, from data acquired with a heavy weight deflectometer (HWD). The predictive model relies [...] Read more.
An integrated approach based on machine learning and data augmentation techniques has been developed in order to predict the stiffness modulus of the asphalt concrete layer of an airport runway, from data acquired with a heavy weight deflectometer (HWD). The predictive model relies on a shallow neural network (SNN) trained with the results of a backcalculation, by means of a data augmentation method and can produce estimations of the stiffness modulus even at runway points not yet sampled. The Bayesian regularization algorithm was used for training of the feedforward backpropagation SNN, and a k-fold cross-validation procedure was implemented for a fair performance evaluation. The testing phase result concerning the stiffness modulus prediction was characterized by a coefficient of correlation equal to 0.9864 demonstrating that the proposed neural approach is fully reliable for performance evaluation of airfield pavements or any other paved area. Such a performance prediction model can play a crucial role in airport pavement management systems (APMS), allowing the maintenance budget to be optimized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transportation Safety and Pavement Management)
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Article
Investment and Decapitalization in the Fishing Industry: The Case of the Spanish Crustacean Freezer Trawler Fleet
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 8760; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13168760 - 05 Aug 2021
Abstract
The objective of this work is to estimate the capital stock invested in the Spanish freezer trawler fleet dedicated to the capture of crustaceans on the African coast, for the period from 1964 to 2019. The importance of having methods for the correct [...] Read more.
The objective of this work is to estimate the capital stock invested in the Spanish freezer trawler fleet dedicated to the capture of crustaceans on the African coast, for the period from 1964 to 2019. The importance of having methods for the correct measurement of the capital invested in a fishing fleet is to be able to express in monetary terms the excess catch capacity, which is a signal of overexploitation of a fishery, that is, the fleet operates at a level of effort or capacity higher than the minimum amount required to capture the desired quantity at the lowest possible cost. Following a methodology based on the permanent inventory method, we obtained a model that explains the construction value of a fishing vessel as a function of its technical characteristics. The market value in successive sales was estimated as a function of the construction value, the age of vessel and other variables. In this way, we estimated the value that the market assigns to the possible increases in individual fishing capacity and the decrease in value derived from the technical obsolescence of the vessels. Finally, we calculated the gross and net investment series and net capital stock. Full article
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Article
The Effects of Pedestrian Environments on Walking Behaviors and Perception of Pedestrian Safety
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 8728; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13168728 - 05 Aug 2021
Abstract
We investigated the effects of pedestrian environments on parents’ walking behavior, their perception of pedestrian safety, and their willingness to let their children walk to school. This study was a simulated walking environment experiment that created six different pedestrian conditions using sidewalks, landscape [...] Read more.
We investigated the effects of pedestrian environments on parents’ walking behavior, their perception of pedestrian safety, and their willingness to let their children walk to school. This study was a simulated walking environment experiment that created six different pedestrian conditions using sidewalks, landscape buffers, and street trees. We used within subjects design where participants were exposed to all six simulated conditions. Participants were 26 parents with elementary school children. Sidewalks, buffer strips, and street trees affected parents’ decisions to: walk themselves; let their children walk to school; evaluate their perception whether the simulated environment was safe for walking. We found that the design of pedestrian environments does affect people’s perceptions of pedestrian safety and their willingness to walk. The presence of a sidewalk, buffer strip, and street trees affected parents’ decision to walk, their willingness to let their children walk to school and perceived the pedestrian environment as safer for walking. The effects of trees on parents’ walking and perception of pedestrian safety are greater when there is a wide buffer rather than a narrow buffer. It was found that parents are more cautious about their children’s walking environments and safety than their own. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Innovation Thinking of Urban Green on Human Health)
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Article
To Rebuild or Relocate? Long-Term Mobility Decisions of Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) Recipients
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 8754; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13168754 - 05 Aug 2021
Abstract
Limited funds and the demand for disaster assistance call for a broader understanding of how homeowners decide to either rebuild or relocate from their disaster-affected homes. This study examines the long-term mobility decisions of homeowners in Lumberton, North Carolina, USA, who received federal [...] Read more.
Limited funds and the demand for disaster assistance call for a broader understanding of how homeowners decide to either rebuild or relocate from their disaster-affected homes. This study examines the long-term mobility decisions of homeowners in Lumberton, North Carolina, USA, who received federal assistance from the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) for property acquisition, elevation, or reconstruction following Hurricane Matthew in 2016. The authors situate homeowners’ decisions to rebuild or relocate in the context of property attributes and neighborhood characteristics. Logit and probit regressions reveal that homeowners with lower-value properties are less likely to relocate, and those subjected to higher flood and inundation risks are more likely to relocate. Additionally, homeowners in neighborhoods of higher social vulnerability—those with a higher proportion of minorities and mortgaged properties—are more likely to rebuild their disaster-affected homes. The authors discuss homeowners’ mobility decisions in the context of the social vulnerability of neighborhoods. Our results contribute to an ongoing policy discussion that seeks to articulate the housing and neighborhood attributes that affect the long-term mobility decisions of recipients of HMGP assistance. The authors suggest that local governments prioritize the mitigation of properties of homeowners of higher physical and social vulnerability to reduce socioeconomic disparities in hazard mitigation and build equitable community resilience. Full article
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Article
Environmental Sustainability Post-COVID-19: Scrutinizing Popular Hypotheses from a Social Science Perspective
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 8679; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13168679 - 04 Aug 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
There is an increasingly vocal debate on potential long-term changes in environmental sustainability spurred by the global COVID-19 pandemic. This article scrutinizes the social science basis of selected popular hypotheses regarding the nexus between the COVID-19 pandemic and the societal transitions towards environmental [...] Read more.
There is an increasingly vocal debate on potential long-term changes in environmental sustainability spurred by the global COVID-19 pandemic. This article scrutinizes the social science basis of selected popular hypotheses regarding the nexus between the COVID-19 pandemic and the societal transitions towards environmental sustainability. It presents results that were derived through an interdisciplinary dialogue among social scientists. First, it is confirmed that the COVID-19 crisis has likely created a potential window of opportunity for societal change. Yet, to ensure that societal change is enduring and actually supporting the transition towards environmental sustainability, a clear and well-targeted political framework guiding private investments and behavior is required. Second, it is emphasized that there are important structural differences between the COVID-19 crisis and environmental crises, like time scales. Consequently, many strategies used to address the COVID-19 crisis are hardly suitable for long-term transitions towards environmental sustainability. Third, it is argued that transitions towards environmental sustainability—building both on reducing environmental degradation and building socio-techno-ecological resilience—may create co-benefits in terms of preventing and coping with potential future pandemics. However, research still needs to explore how big these synergies are (and whether trade-offs are also possible), and what type of governance framework they require to materialize. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Sustainability and Applications)
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Article
Towards a Just Energy Transition, Barriers and Opportunities for Positive Energy District Creation in Spain
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 8698; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13168698 - 04 Aug 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
To mitigate the effects of climate change, the European Commission created a Strategic Energy Technology Plan committing to forming 100 Positive Energy Districts (PEDs) by 2025. These are considered to potentially be major instruments for decarbonization in a just transition. This plan has [...] Read more.
To mitigate the effects of climate change, the European Commission created a Strategic Energy Technology Plan committing to forming 100 Positive Energy Districts (PEDs) by 2025. These are considered to potentially be major instruments for decarbonization in a just transition. This plan has led to some districts being defined as PEDs, although none have fully met the criteria to be a PED yet. Research shows that new forms of energy ownership and production, as could potentially be found in PEDs, could help reduce energy poverty, which affects a significant segment of the population, as households can reduce their energy expenditure as well as improve their energy behavior. This paper set out to shed light on the PED landscape, investigating the barriers and opportunities to PED creation in Spain and its potential to mitigate energy poverty. We conducted a literature review on community-owned energy in Spain, followed with expert interviews (energy researchers, stakeholders, and NGOs) who focus on sustainability issues in Spain. Results show a number of barriers (lack of knowledge and awareness, and lack of trust from consumers) and opportunities connected with the creation of PEDs. In conclusion, policymaker engagement and support play a key role in successfully implementing PEDs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Communities in the Changing Energy Landscape)
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Article
LED versus HPS Lighting: Effects on Water and Energy Consumption and Yield Quality in Lettuce Greenhouse Production
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8651; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13158651 - 03 Aug 2021
Abstract
High-pressure sodium (HPS) lighting is increasingly replaced by LED lighting in lettuce greenhouse cultivation. In contrast to HPS lighting, LEDs do not heat radiation. Therefore, the leaf temperature is significantly lower under LEDs. This raises the question of whether LED lighting has a [...] Read more.
High-pressure sodium (HPS) lighting is increasingly replaced by LED lighting in lettuce greenhouse cultivation. In contrast to HPS lighting, LEDs do not heat radiation. Therefore, the leaf temperature is significantly lower under LEDs. This raises the question of whether LED lighting has a positive impact on the reduction in water consumption during lettuce production. In this paper, we investigated this question and found that the water consumption of lettuce produced under LEDs was significantly lower (−15%) than under HPS without loss of yield. We also found that supplementary lighting increases the concentrations of caffeoylquinic acid, dicaffeoyltartaric acid, dicaffeoylquinic acid and that of the total phenolic compounds in lettuce leaves by 61%, 39%, 163% and 38%, respectively. Only the LED fixture was also efficient enough to increase the concentration of caffeoyltartaric acid (+24%). Most of the phenolic compounds showed a very strong positive correlation with the chlorophyll concentration in lettuce, which predominated in the leaves exposed to the LED lighting. Based on these facts, we conclude that by optimizing the light composition, more sustainable plant production, higher concentrations of chlorophyll and some phenolic compounds are possible. Full article
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Article
A Methodological Approach to Designing Circular Economy Indicators for Agriculture: An Application to the Egg Sector
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8656; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13158656 - 03 Aug 2021
Abstract
Analysing production systems from a circular economy (CE) perspective helps to pinpoint interventions to mitigate the environmental footprint by improving resource use efficiency, waste recovery, and prolonged product usage, recycling and reuse. Few studies exist on the measurement of CE at the micro-level. [...] Read more.
Analysing production systems from a circular economy (CE) perspective helps to pinpoint interventions to mitigate the environmental footprint by improving resource use efficiency, waste recovery, and prolonged product usage, recycling and reuse. Few studies exist on the measurement of CE at the micro-level. Additionally, available metrics/indicators address only certain aspects of the CE’s socio-economic metabolism, ignoring important components of the CE concept. Other frameworks propose a single indicator that aggregates and summarizes several facets of CE. This study develops a holistic approach for designing indicators with a structured methodology and an analytical framework to assess CE at the micro (unit of production) level in agriculture. The proposed approach is based on the ECOGRAI method for indicator development, and on validation of the methods with experts and final users via an application to egg production in Canada. Twenty-five performance indicators (PI) were generated for 11 decision variables that were selected as important for the sector. This resulted in a practical tool that proposes fourteen actions to improve the economic circularity (EC) of egg farms. Our methodological approach could be replicated to assess CE performance in other agricultural sectors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Circular Economy and Sustainable Strategies)
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Communication
Science for Good Environmental Status: A European Joint Action to Support Marine Policy
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8664; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13158664 - 03 Aug 2021
Abstract
In the last decade, several initiatives have been taken at a European level to adopt the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) by promoting coordination and stimulating integrated actions leading to consistent views on its final goal: the achievement of good environmental status (GES). [...] Read more.
In the last decade, several initiatives have been taken at a European level to adopt the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) by promoting coordination and stimulating integrated actions leading to consistent views on its final goal: the achievement of good environmental status (GES). In its holistic approach, the MSFD fully acknowledges the complexity and variability of marine ecosystems and demands constant scientific support for its actual implementation. Recently, the Joint Programming Initiative on “Healthy and Productive Seas and Oceans” (JPI Oceans) launched the joint action “Science for Good Environmental Status” (Science4GES), building on the contribution of different scientific disciplines and communities to better fulfill the scope of the MSFD. In this paper we illustrate and discuss a few crucial aspects of endeavors to implement the MSFD specifically implied in the definition of the metrics for the 11 descriptors and GES in its complexity, as well as improving the strategy governing its implementation. This presentation also describes the challenges, aims and implementation plan for the JPI-O joint action, where a transdisciplinary approach may help in progressing from the comprehensive and far-reaching vision of the MSFD to the achievement of a durable GES. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mitigating Marine Hazards and Sustainable Developing Strategic)
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Article
A Sustainable Multicriteria Decision Framework for Obsolescence Resolution Strategy Selection
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8601; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13158601 - 02 Aug 2021
Abstract
Parts obsolescence has an important impact on the product life cycle, the manufacturing system and the environment leading to operational, logistical, reliability and cost implications. While current resolution models are cost-oriented, multiple studies have revealed that technological obsolescence is strongly involved in the [...] Read more.
Parts obsolescence has an important impact on the product life cycle, the manufacturing system and the environment leading to operational, logistical, reliability and cost implications. While current resolution models are cost-oriented, multiple studies have revealed that technological obsolescence is strongly involved in the electronic waste problem. In this study, based on academic literature and expert opinions, a sustainable decision framework for obsolescence resolution strategy (ORS) selection is proposed. It consists of economic, environmental, social and technological dimensions, integrating a total of fifteen criteria. Multicriteria decision-making (MCDM) methods are suggested to select the most sustainable solution. A case study was performed where the criteria weights and the alternatives performance were judged by five experts from the fields of environment, economy, human resources and obsolescence and operations management. Results from different MCDM methods were compared to the actual decision to evaluate their effectiveness. Using the suggested framework improved the decision process as integrating sustainability had a drastic impact on the selected strategy and consequently on the company’s performance. In addition to its managerial insights, this paper provides a new research perspective to sustainable and robust obsolescence management to effectively handle the increasing number and severity of obsolete components. Full article
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Article
Environmental Assessment of University Campuses: The Case of the University of Navarra in Pamplona (Spain)
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8588; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13158588 - 01 Aug 2021
Cited by 2
Abstract
Current European environmental sustainability standards call for achieving a reduction in energy consumption and CO2 emissions for a horizon set in the year 2050. It has been verified that buildings and cities have a higher incidence in this regard. It is necessary [...] Read more.
Current European environmental sustainability standards call for achieving a reduction in energy consumption and CO2 emissions for a horizon set in the year 2050. It has been verified that buildings and cities have a higher incidence in this regard. It is necessary to have tools for initial assessment that can quickly analyse whether the improvement scenarios put forward by different organisations and governments will be able to meet the goals set at European level. Universities are an important factor for the intended change and therefore offer an excellent environment for testing such tools. A case study focusing on a university in northern Spain is presented, through an evaluation tool using 3D models including life-cycle assessment. Different reform scenarios are evaluated for two key years, 2030 and 2050. The novelty lies in considering, not only the impact of the operational phase but also the impact of the different stages of the life cycle and processes, obtaining an impact value closer to reality. The results indicate that, even with major retrofitting and adaptation efforts, the European targets are difficult to achieve by 2050. Moreover, solutions such as biomass help to achieve greenhouse gas reductions but not to improve energy efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Urban Planning Strategies for Addressing Climate Change)
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Article
Sorting Analysis of Household Food Waste—Development of a Methodology Compatible with the Aims of SDG12.3
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8576; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13158576 - 31 Jul 2021
Abstract
Target 12.3 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) calls for halving per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels, by 2030. The Food Waste Index is suggested as a methodology for grasping the situation. This paper focuses on [...] Read more.
Target 12.3 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) calls for halving per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels, by 2030. The Food Waste Index is suggested as a methodology for grasping the situation. This paper focuses on the consumer level (household food waste). We argue that in order for generating useful information for devising and implementing effective measures for reducing food waste, it should be measured at Level 3 of the Food Waste Index, based on sorting analysis of generated waste, and making a distinction between avoidable and non-avoidable food waste. Furthermore, a breakdown by subcategories that reflect the flow of food in the household could help identify target behaviours. We have developed a categorisation scheme that is internationally agreeable and adoptable, and (1) generates useful information for policy-making and for tackling with reduction of food waste, (2) makes clear the concept of avoidable food waste, and (3) is practical and does not overcomplicate the work of grasping the situation of food wastage. Results of workshops regarding this scheme suggest that the scheme satisfies the criteria. This scheme has been applied to a few sorting analyses of household food waste in Japan, and their results are compared. Full article
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Article
Making Sense of Resilience
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8538; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13158538 - 30 Jul 2021
Abstract
While resilience is a major concept in development, climate adaptation, and related domains, many doubts remain about how to interpret this term, its relationship with closely overlapping terms, or its normativity. One major view is that, while resilience originally was a descriptive concept [...] Read more.
While resilience is a major concept in development, climate adaptation, and related domains, many doubts remain about how to interpret this term, its relationship with closely overlapping terms, or its normativity. One major view is that, while resilience originally was a descriptive concept denoting some adaptive property of ecosystems, subsequent applications to social contexts distorted its meaning and purpose by framing it as a transformative and normative quality. This article advances an alternative philosophical account based on the scrutiny of C.S. Holling’s original work on resilience. We show that resilience had a central role among Holling’s proposals for reforming environmental science and management, and that Holling framed resilience as an ecosystem’s capacity of absorbing change and exploiting it for adapting or evolving, but also as the social ability of maintaining and opportunistically exploiting that natural capacity. Resilience therefore appears as a transformative social-ecological property that is normative in three ways: as an intrinsic ecological value, as a virtue of organizations or management styles, and as a virtuous understanding of human–nature relations. This interpretation accounts for the practical relevance of resilience, clarifies the relations between resilience and related terms, and is a firm ground for further normative work on resilience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ethics of Climate Adaptation)
Article
Study of Forest Productivity in the Occurrence of Forest Fires in Galicia (Spain)
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8472; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13158472 - 29 Jul 2021
Abstract
The occurrence and intensity of forest fires is a phenomenon in which factors of various kinds converge, including climatic, physiographic, socioeconomic and territorial, among others. While the scientific literature has been stating that the causes of fires are related social conflict, other factors [...] Read more.
The occurrence and intensity of forest fires is a phenomenon in which factors of various kinds converge, including climatic, physiographic, socioeconomic and territorial, among others. While the scientific literature has been stating that the causes of fires are related social conflict, other factors must also be considered for a more thorough analysis. In Galicia (northwest Spain), human-caused fires account for up to 95% of the total annual fires, highlighting the importance of examining in detail social and/or economic factors that may influence the occurrence or absence of this type of phenomenon. This paper discusses the influence and weight of forest productivity and the potential economic value of wooded areas on the incidence of forest fires in private mountains of collective ownership (montes vecinales en mano común). Our results indicate that the presence of productive wooded areas of the region determines a lower incidence, both in terms of the number of forest fires and the area affected. It was found that in areas where there was a loss in productivity, the fire rate increased by almost 36%. It is also observed that in MVMCs with productivity gain, the incidence of fires in shrubland areas was 46.26% higher than in wooded areas, while in MVMCs with productivity loss, the occurrence of fires in shrubland areas was 18.95% higher than that observed in wooded areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Building Wildfire Disaster Resilience and Climate Change Adaptation)
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Article
Cities, Urban Property Systems, and Sustainability Transitions: Contested Processes of Institutional Change and the Regulation of Urban Property Development
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8429; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13158429 - 28 Jul 2021
Abstract
Sustainability transitions research has emerged as one of the most influential approaches to conceptualizing the potential and practice of transformative system change to avoid climate catastrophe. Evolving from work on socio-technical systems via Geels’ multi-level perspective (MLP), this conceptual framework has contributed to [...] Read more.
Sustainability transitions research has emerged as one of the most influential approaches to conceptualizing the potential and practice of transformative system change to avoid climate catastrophe. Evolving from work on socio-technical systems via Geels’ multi-level perspective (MLP), this conceptual framework has contributed to understanding how complex systems in the contemporary world can be transformed. This paper contributes to the sustainability transitions literature in three main ways. First, the paper develops a conceptual framework focused on the urban property systems which regulate and support urban property, infrastructure and governance that are historically produced, are densely institutionalized, and through which public norms of property and governance are deeply embedded in and continually inscribed in urban space. Second, the paper suggests that urban property systems are continually and vigorously contested and demonstrate different modes of institutional change than those recognized by the existing sustainability transitions literature. Third, the paper illustrates the approach with a case study of the contested governance of property development in Toronto, Ontario, long one of the fastest growing cities in North America. The Toronto case suggests that institutions embedded in urban property systems are consequential and deserve more attention by those concerned with low-carbon transitions. Full article
Article
Sustainable Development of a Mobile Payment Security Environment Using Fintech Solutions
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8375; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13158375 - 27 Jul 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
Financial technology (fintech) services have come to differentiate themselves from traditional financial services by offering unique, niche, and customized services. Mobile payment service (MPS) has emerged as the most crucial fintech service. While many studies have addressed the essential role of security when [...] Read more.
Financial technology (fintech) services have come to differentiate themselves from traditional financial services by offering unique, niche, and customized services. Mobile payment service (MPS) has emerged as the most crucial fintech service. While many studies have addressed the essential role of security when service providers and users choose to engage in financial transactions, the relationship between users distinct perceptions of security and MPS success determinants are yet to be examined. Thus, this study primarily aims to uncover the distinctive roles of platform and technology security by investigating how users react differently to their varying understandings of the MPS usage environment. This study proposes a research model comprising two security dimensions (platform and technology) and three MPS success determinants (convenience, interoperability, and trust). We evaluated the proposed model empirically by using an online survey of 356 users. The survey accounts users experiences of the selected MPS. The results show that a security driven MPS can essentially enhance or deteriorate users positive perceptions of MPS success determinants while they use it for financial transactions. To further understand how this recent trend of user perception of security affects the overall MPS usage experience, this study provides theoretical insights into the roles of platform and technology securities. Managerial insights on the design strategies of MPS providers are also provided based on the potential implications of users subjective and objective perceptions of MPS security environment. Full article
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Article
Sustainable Tourism: The Elephant in the Room
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8376; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13158376 - 27 Jul 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
Research on sustainability and sustainable tourism has thus far avoided evaluating how tourists actually understand these terms. Instead, scholars have focused on the supply side, presuming a common and precise understanding of sustainability and sustainable tourism among all tourists and stakeholders. This study [...] Read more.
Research on sustainability and sustainable tourism has thus far avoided evaluating how tourists actually understand these terms. Instead, scholars have focused on the supply side, presuming a common and precise understanding of sustainability and sustainable tourism among all tourists and stakeholders. This study shows that most consumers link sustainability only to environmental issues, and understand sustainability differently from sustainable tourism. It finds significant interpersonal and intercultural differences regarding consumers’ conceptualisations of sustainability. The results illustrate that empirical research methodology for conceptualising consumers’ sustainability understanding frequently is doubtful or weak. This research exposes tourists’ limited understanding of sustainability, and helps tackle widespread scepticism about the effectiveness of sustainable tourism, by creating better informed sustainable tourism marketing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Destination Brand Equity and Sustainability: Issues for Development)
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Article
Facilitating Multifunctional Green Infrastructure Planning in Washington, DC through a Tableau Interface
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8390; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13158390 - 27 Jul 2021
Abstract
Multifunctional urban green infrastructure (UGI) can regulate stormwater, mitigate heat islands, conserve biodiversity and biocultural diversity, and produce food, among other functions. Equitable governance of UGI requires new tools for sharing pertinent information. Our goal was to develop a public-access geographic information system [...] Read more.
Multifunctional urban green infrastructure (UGI) can regulate stormwater, mitigate heat islands, conserve biodiversity and biocultural diversity, and produce food, among other functions. Equitable governance of UGI requires new tools for sharing pertinent information. Our goal was to develop a public-access geographic information system (GIS) that can be used for comprehensive UGI planning in Washington, DC (the District) and to create an e-tool for UGI in the form of Tableau dashboards. The dashboards allow stakeholders to identify (1) existing UGI and (2) potential areas for new UGI including urban agriculture (UA). They also allow users to manipulate the data and identify priority locations for equitable UGI development by applying population vulnerability indices and other filters. We demonstrate use of the dashboards through scenarios focusing on UA in the District, which currently has 150 ha of existing UGI in the form of documented projects and an additional 2734 ha potentially suitable for UGI development. A total of 2575 ha is potentially suitable for UA, with 56% of that area in Wards 5, 7, and 8, which are largely food deserts and whose residents are primarily Black and experience the greatest inequities. Our work can serve as a model for similar digital tools in other locales using Tableau and other platforms. Full article
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Article
Valorisation of Organic Waste By-Products Using Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens) as a Bio-Convertor
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8345; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13158345 - 27 Jul 2021
Abstract
One third of food produced globally is wasted. Disposal of this waste is costly and is an example of poor resource management in the face of elevated environmental concerns and increasing food demand. Providing this waste as feedstock for black soldier fly ( [...] Read more.
One third of food produced globally is wasted. Disposal of this waste is costly and is an example of poor resource management in the face of elevated environmental concerns and increasing food demand. Providing this waste as feedstock for black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) larvae (BSFL) has the potential for bio-conversion and valorisation by production of useful feed materials and fertilisers. We raised BSFL under optimal conditions (28 °C and 70% relative humidity) on seven UK pre-consumer food waste-stream materials: fish trimmings, sugar-beet pulp, bakery waste, fruit and vegetable waste, cheese waste, fish feed waste and brewer’s grains and yeast. The nutritional quality of the resulting BSFL meals and frass fertiliser were then analysed. In all cases, the volume of waste was reduced (37–79%) and meals containing high quality protein and lipid sources (44.1 ± 4.57% and 35.4 ± 4.12%, respectively) and frass with an NPK of 4.9-2.6-1.7 were produced. This shows the potential value of BSFL as a bio-convertor for the effective management of food waste. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Food Production and Consumption)
Article
Business, Human Rights and Climate Due Diligence: Understanding the Responsibility of Banks
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8391; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13158391 - 27 Jul 2021
Abstract
Under the 2011 UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), banks, like all businesses, have a responsibility to respect human rights and to carry out human rights due diligence. Although climate due diligence is not explicitly included in the UNGPs, tackling [...] Read more.
Under the 2011 UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), banks, like all businesses, have a responsibility to respect human rights and to carry out human rights due diligence. Although climate due diligence is not explicitly included in the UNGPs, tackling an enterprise’s direct and indirect climate change impacts is arguably a dimension of the corporate responsibility to respect human rights and should form part of the human rights due diligence process. At present, it is unclear how such responsibility applies to banks, whose contribution to climate change is mostly indirect. This article addresses the research question: how should the law be interpreted to form a coherent climate due diligence standard for banks? To address it, the article first maps out the climate responsibility of banks under international soft law standards and assesses privately developed guidance. It then elucidates the emerging concept of climate due diligence, reading climate change responsibilities into the now well-established corporate responsibility to respect human rights as authoritatively elaborated in the UNGPs. Finally, it explains how such normative standard applies to banks and unpacks the key elements that a bank’s climate due diligence process should include. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Business, Human Rights and the Environment)
Article
What Makes Me Want You Here? Refugee Integration in a Zambian Settlement Setting
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8380; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13158380 - 27 Jul 2021
Abstract
Many of the world’s refugees remain in Africa, where they stay long-term, mainly in neighboring countries. The present directions point to integration, in which the host society and the political surroundings play a key role. This paper aims to investigate the ways in [...] Read more.
Many of the world’s refugees remain in Africa, where they stay long-term, mainly in neighboring countries. The present directions point to integration, in which the host society and the political surroundings play a key role. This paper aims to investigate the ways in which public opinion towards and contact with refugees support integration processes. We apply this research to a settlement setting in rural Zambia, a recent dataset of 275 households from 2018, and an econometric analysis. This is the first study dealing with a set of factors that affect the hosts’ opinion towards and contact with refugees in an African settlement context, and with respect to the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework produced by the United Nations. Our results show, particularly, the religiosity, group membership, life satisfaction, food insecurity, agricultural ownership and natural resource uses of the host society to be the main factors that need policy consideration for the promotion of refugee integration. Stakeholders dealing in host–refugee settings and seeking for durable solutions should roll out community programs to address threat perceptions and interaction improvements. Full article
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Article
Regulatory Elements on the Circular Economy: Driving into the Agri-Food System
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8350; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13158350 - 27 Jul 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
In the transition from linear production systems, unsustainable from the point of view of resources, to a model that finds strength in environmental, social and economic sustainability, the circular economy paradigm is the foundation that facilitates the planetary agro-ecological transition. The European Union [...] Read more.
In the transition from linear production systems, unsustainable from the point of view of resources, to a model that finds strength in environmental, social and economic sustainability, the circular economy paradigm is the foundation that facilitates the planetary agro-ecological transition. The European Union has taken a number of steps (including the Circular Economy Package of Directives) shaping circularity as a wide-ranging driver measure involving many sectors. The paper intends to provide a regulatory framework on the current general situation regarding circularity in European Union, in order to extrapolate and give evidence to the aspects that intersect the agri-food sector. This is not only because they are poorly addressed in the literature, but also because there is a lack of regulatory instruments on the circular economy specifically addressing this area of interest. For this purpose, the analysis focuses on waste and residue/scrap management issues, recognized by law as by-products and end-of-waste status, as they are covered by circular economy legislation and as they can be applied to the agri-food sector. The latter allow the implementation of circularity strategies in the agri-food sector and, given the numerousness of production chains and the peculiarities of each of them, various regeneration and/or reuse processes of specific resources may be depicted. The intent is to provide useful knowledge on how to implement sustainable waste management, also proposing a concrete case on a by-product of olive oil processing, through which it is possible to highlight how the correct application of regulations favors the adoption of circular economic and management models in the firms involved, as well as informing the relevant economic operators on the possible profiles of legal liability that may arise from insufficient knowledge. Furthermore, this paper delves into the European Green Deal’s Strategy as it enriches the circular economy paradigm with new facets. NextGenerationEU and the National Recovery and Resilience Plan financially support this strategy in the aftermath of the socioeconomic crisis from COVID-19 in the EU Member States. This is in order to achieve the objective of achieving the agro-ecological transition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Food Waste: Firm Strategies and Consumer Behaviour)
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Article
An Inclusive Model for Assessing Age-Friendly Urban Environments in Vulnerable Areas
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8352; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13158352 - 27 Jul 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
Population aging is becoming a major challenge in many countries. This paper deals with the elderly’s specific needs in the public open space as it can play a significant role in their social inclusion and could be especially relevant in deprived areas. The [...] Read more.
Population aging is becoming a major challenge in many countries. This paper deals with the elderly’s specific needs in the public open space as it can play a significant role in their social inclusion and could be especially relevant in deprived areas. The main goal is to build a model to evaluate the vulnerability of the public space by focusing on the elderly’s needs, using indicators. A previous analysis of the scientific and policy-oriented literature and of the technical standards and regulations linked with accessibility and social aspects that affect the elderly in urban areas was performed to identify the main dimensions for evaluation. The interjudge agreement technique was applied to validate the indicators with a panel of experts in technical and social disciplines. The model was applied to a vulnerable area in Castellón (East Spain), based on indicators adapted to the specific context features. The agreement level reached by experts was used to weight the indicators. The application of the model permitted the vulnerability in the suggested dimensions to be estimated and a global integrated index of vulnerability in the area to be calculated. It could assist in urban planning decision making toward age-friendly and, therefore, inclusive cities. Full article
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Article
Effects of Evocative Audio-Visual Installations on the Restorativeness in Urban Parks
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8328; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13158328 - 26 Jul 2021
Abstract
Road traffic noise is responsible for several negative health effects for citizens in modern cities. Inside urban parks, which citizens use for social inclusion and cohesion, psychological and physical restoration, and physical activities, road traffic noise may significantly reduce the potential of these [...] Read more.
Road traffic noise is responsible for several negative health effects for citizens in modern cities. Inside urban parks, which citizens use for social inclusion and cohesion, psychological and physical restoration, and physical activities, road traffic noise may significantly reduce the potential of these places to induce or enhance well-being. Although access restriction schemes and screens could be effective solutions to limit noise inside urban park areas, preserving their potential regenerative role may engender mobility, social, aesthetic, and architectural issues. Due to the positive effects that natural elements and water sounds can have on human perception, and based on the previous findings of the beneficial effects of audio-visual installations, this paper investigates the possibility of using audio-visual installations that simply evoke some natural features to improve the restoration of individuals inside urban parks. The study has been carried out using immersive virtual environments in two different experimental laboratory sessions in Hong Kong (China) and Aversa (Italy). The results showed that the positive effects provided by evocative installations were similar to those provided by traditional installations. Furthermore, the effects on the restoration increased as the installations became larger and included enveloping shapes. Furthermore, we found that the amount of evocative water installations’ material was responsible for changes in restoration. In contrast, the Chinese groups were less influenced by these installations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Noise Analysis and Management in Smart Cities)
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Article
Corporate Payments for Ecosystem Services in Theory and Practice: Links to Economics, Business, and Sustainability
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8307; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13158307 - 26 Jul 2021
Abstract
Few Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) schemes are financed voluntarily by corporations. This is perhaps unsurprising, given that limited literature on the theory and practice of PES has a dedicated focus on businesses. This article unifies the PES and business literatures in order [...] Read more.
Few Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) schemes are financed voluntarily by corporations. This is perhaps unsurprising, given that limited literature on the theory and practice of PES has a dedicated focus on businesses. This article unifies the PES and business literatures in order to address the awareness and management challenges that corporations face in engaging in PES. First, it shows how corporations fit into the economic theory that underpins PES, demonstrating that corporate-financed PES schemes can exhibit a diversity and hybridity of Coasean and Pigouvian characteristics. Second, it shows how PES fits into corporate sustainability theory, demonstrating how PES can help companies achieve synergies across the economic, environmental, and social tenets of the triple bottom line; for example, by helping gain social license to operate from adjacent communities, or by using PES to meet sustainability reporting requirements related to emissions and water management. Third, it shows the different PES options available to firms based on their industrial sector, operating practices, and business strategies. The options with higher potential are maintenance and enhancement of production inputs across the supply chain, and carbon offsetting and insetting to help meet climate change mitigation regulations and avoid fines. Fourth, it identifies lessons learned when transitioning from theory to practice by synthesising the latest empirical research on corporate-financed PES schemes—considering exactly what these ‘should’ or ‘could’ resemble, for example, in terms of their additionality, conditionality, permanence, co-benefits, budgeting, and bargaining. Examples are drawn from corporate-financed schemes in forests and watersheds across Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and North America. The article concludes that these schemes remain small in number and size, but have significant potential to increase—and this can be aided by future research on corporate motives, understandings, and actions on PES. Full article
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Article
Sustainable and Affordable Prefabricated Construction: Developing a Natural, Recycled, and Recyclable Mobile Home
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8296; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13158296 - 25 Jul 2021
Abstract
Outdoor tourism is a form of outdoor holiday that is growing rapidly today, and that stands out from other forms of tourism for its immediate relationship with the landscape which becomes for the tourist the main attraction of the holiday intended as a [...] Read more.
Outdoor tourism is a form of outdoor holiday that is growing rapidly today, and that stands out from other forms of tourism for its immediate relationship with the landscape which becomes for the tourist the main attraction of the holiday intended as a break from ordinary urban life. Outdoor tourism today represents a growing percentage in the tourism sector, in which mobile homes are the real players. Despite the considerable use of this product in open-air accommodations located in relevant landscapes, there is still no sensitivity in the constructive approach and in the choice of materials in terms of sustainability. In the open-air tourism sector, the lack of ecological sensitivity results from two levels of application: one regarding the whole settlement and the public spaces of outdoor accommodations and one regarding the mobile unit from the design to the production process. This paper will provide some practical strategies to introduce the ecological theme in the mobile home for the tourism sector. The research aims to analyze the production system of mobile homes in order to introduce alternative materials within the existing assembly line. The research demonstrates the possibility of a product being sustainable both economically and environmentally, healthy, and well-integrated with landscape by adopting an approach that makes it possible to use the same assembly line currently in use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Green Building)
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Article
Stated Preferences for Plant-Based and Cultured Meat: A Choice Experiment Study of Spanish Consumers
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8235; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13158235 - 23 Jul 2021
Abstract
Meat production and consumption have been claimed to have negative impacts on the environment, and even on the consumer’s health. In this sense, alternative sources of protein, mainly meat substitutes and cultured meat, have emerged due to those perceived negative effects. Our paper [...] Read more.
Meat production and consumption have been claimed to have negative impacts on the environment, and even on the consumer’s health. In this sense, alternative sources of protein, mainly meat substitutes and cultured meat, have emerged due to those perceived negative effects. Our paper carries out a choice experiment to analyze the preferences of 444 Spanish consumers and their willingness to pay for plant-based and cultured meats, as compared to conventional meat. Spain was considered of interest for this study due to its significant gastronomic culture, with high-quality meat products that make a great contribution to the economy, meaning that this could be a suitable and also challenging market in which to test alternative sources of protein. The findings show that consumers’ motivations and their interactions with these products are complex. Additionally, a cluster analysis allowed us to identify three types of consumers in terms of preference for these products: price-sensitive millennials, conscious/concerned consumers, and indifferent consumers. Only one group showed some level of acceptance of these alternative products meats. Full article
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Article
Superhydrophobicity and Durability in Recyclable Polymers Coating
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8244; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13158244 - 23 Jul 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
Highly hydrophobic and superhydrophobic materials obtained from recycled polymers represent an interesting challenge to recycle and reuse advanced performance materials after their first life. In this article, we present a simple and low-cost method to fabricate a superhydrophobic surface by employing polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) [...] Read more.
Highly hydrophobic and superhydrophobic materials obtained from recycled polymers represent an interesting challenge to recycle and reuse advanced performance materials after their first life. In this article, we present a simple and low-cost method to fabricate a superhydrophobic surface by employing polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) powder in polystyrene (PS) dispersion. With respect to the literature, the superhydrophobic surface (SHS) was prepared by utilizing a spray- coating technique at room temperature, a glass substrate without any further modification or thermal treatment, and which can be applied onto a large area and on to any type of material with some degree of fine control over the wettability properties. The prepared surface showed superhydrophobic behavior with a water contact angle (CA) of 170°; furthermore, the coating was characterized with different techniques, such as a 3D confocal profilometer, to measure the average roughness of the coating, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to characterize the surface morphology. In addition, the durability of SH coating was investigated by a long-water impact test (raining test), thermal treatment at high temperature, an abrasion test, and in acidic and alkaline environments. The present study may suggest an easy and scalable method to produce SHS PS/PTFE films that may find implementation in various fields. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toward Sustainable Multifunctional Coatings)
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Article
Cost of Extending the Farm Accountancy Data Network to the Farm Sustainability Data Network: Empirical Evidence
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8181; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13158181 - 22 Jul 2021
Abstract
The European Green Deal, its Farm to Fork strategy and Biodiversity strategy will set the scene for the future revisions of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The CAP will address an increasing set of objectives, including contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals and [...] Read more.
The European Green Deal, its Farm to Fork strategy and Biodiversity strategy will set the scene for the future revisions of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The CAP will address an increasing set of objectives, including contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris climate agreement. To enable evidence-based policy making and monitoring, the Farm to Fork strategy proposes to extend the current monitoring system to include a broader range of sustainability issues. The current monitoring system called Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN) has a strong focus on financial and economic data. The FADN is an instrument for monitoring and evaluation of the EU Common Agricultural Policy and collects bookkeeping results from 80,000 farms. The extension to a Farm Sustainability Data Network (FSDN) should include a broader set of indicators on the sustainability performance of farms. This paper estimates the costs of collecting this broader set of sustainability indicators in the FSDN based on the experiences of a pilot in 9 member states and a survey among all member states. The results show that collecting the sustainability data from all farms included in FADN would increase the costs by about 40%. The results show large differences between countries depending on the current costs of data collection and the expected additional work to include sustainability indicators. Given the pressing need for these data, a scenario was developed where sustainability data are collected from a subsample of 15,000 farms. This can be achieved within current budget limits if the current FADN sample would be reduced from 85,000 to 75,000 farms. The discussion section addresses some concerns raised on the extension of FADN to FSDN such as: willingness of farmers, administrative burden, economic background of FADN and the quality of the data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture)
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Article
Historical Ecology: A Robust Bridge between Archaeology and Ecology
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8210; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13158210 - 22 Jul 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
How can the disintegration of ecosystems, the foundation of life on Earth, be halted and these critical systems be rehabilitated? For scholars, the action list is long: increase the pool of expertise by engaging all relevant knowledge communities, collect rapidly disappearing data, analyze [...] Read more.
How can the disintegration of ecosystems, the foundation of life on Earth, be halted and these critical systems be rehabilitated? For scholars, the action list is long: increase the pool of expertise by engaging all relevant knowledge communities, collect rapidly disappearing data, analyze with both familiar and new methods, and apply the results of actionable science to policy and practice. This enormously complex and urgent activity requires an integrated research framework with the flexibility to accommodate the global diversity of places, peoples, and processes and to examine future options. Based on evidence of environmental change and human activity, the framework termed historical ecology assembles tools to construct an evidence-validated, open-ended narrative of the evolution and transformation of specific ecosystems and landscapes. Welcoming knowledge from scholars and communities of both heritage and practice, this comprehensive and systemic understanding offers insights, models, and ideas for the durable future of contemporary landscapes. The article evaluates how practitioners could adjust aspects of practice and improve access to policy makers, and the discussion applies to regions and localities everywhere. Full article
Article
Leveraging the 4th Industrial Revolution Technology for Sustainable Development of the Northern Sea Route (NSR)—The Case Study of Autonomous Vessel
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8211; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13158211 - 22 Jul 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technology has been applied to various industrial areas not only to improve economic efficiency but also to obtain environmental and safety benefits. We paid attention to the unresolved issues of Arctic development to establish a balance between economic [...] Read more.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technology has been applied to various industrial areas not only to improve economic efficiency but also to obtain environmental and safety benefits. We paid attention to the unresolved issues of Arctic development to establish a balance between economic feasibility and social values and suggest the 4IR technologies as the solution for this. The master concept of application of the 4IR technology to NSR sailing is presented. Further, we conducted a case study for autonomous vessels. A cost breakdown structure model is specified to compare the total costs of traditional and autonomous vessels. Then, we conducted scenario analysis to investigate the economic and social effects of autonomous vessels by season and route. The results show that autonomous vessels have economic benefits compared to the traditional vessel even in the winter season, and if we realize autonomous vessels in the NSR, there are more cost saving effects than in the Suez Canal Route (SCR) in any season. As for the environmental benefits, autonomous vessels have lower gas emissions and reduced water disposal compared to the traditional vessel. Further, autonomous vessels could be a solution to provide a better crew working environment by minimizing the number of people on board. The contribution of this research is that, first, we utilize real fuel oil consumption measurement data to estimate the voyage expenses, and, second, this is a novel attempt of applying the 4IR technology as a solution for the Arctic development issue. In this respect, this research is expected to serve as a cornerstone for future research, and it will help to establish Arctic development strategies in Arctic or non-Arctic countries. Full article
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