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Published: 18 January 2021
Sustainability, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/su13020902

Abstract:
To fully take the advantages of ride-sharing ride hailing, such as high loading rate, high operating efficiency, and less traffic resources, and to alleviate the difficulty of getting a taxi in urban hubs, the topic of ride-sharing route optimization for ride hailing is studied in this paper. For the multiple ride hailing ride-sharing demands and multiple ride hailing services in the urban road network in a specific period, the objective function is established with the shortest route of the system. The constraint conditions of the optimization model are constructed by considering factors of the rated passenger capacity, route rationality, passenger benefits, driver benefits and time window. Based on the idea of the Genetic Algorithm, the solution algorithm of the optimization model is developed. According to the supply and demand data of taxi during peak hours in the local road network in the city of Dalian, the optimization model and algorithm are used to optimize the ride-sharing route scheme. Research results indicate that the optimization model and algorithm can find the approximate optimal solution of the system in a short time. Compared with the traditional non-ride-sharing mode, the ride-sharing scheme can not only effectively reduce the taxi empty-loaded rate and the travel cost of passengers, improve the efficiency of drivers, but also save energy and reduce emissions, and promote the sustainable development of urban traffic.
Published: 17 January 2021
Sustainability, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/su13020896

Abstract:
The COVID-19 pandemic has created the opportunity to conduct a huge experiment with online classes in the university setting. The objectives of this study are (1) to provide obvious insight into determining factors driving greater intention of students to use online learning systems based on an integrated technology acceptance model (TAM) and theory of planned behavior (TPB), and (2) to provide the moderating role of innovativeness as a key factor. An online survey was conducted with 216 university students taking hospitality and tourism studies in Busan, Korea. The results of the study are as follows. First, perceived ease of use affects perceived usefulness, perceived usefulness affects attitude, whereas perceived ease of use does not directly affect attitude. Second, attitude and subjective norms positively influence behavioral intention, while perceived behavioral control does not. Third, user innovativeness plays a moderating role in the relationship between subjective norms and behavioral intention. As part of the lessons learned from COVID-19, it is meaningful to provide insightful implications to academia, specifically to the college of hospitality and tourism.
Published: 17 January 2021
Sustainability, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/su13020894

Abstract:
The growing interest in saving building energy has increasingly motivated studies on model predictive control (MPC), where system operation proceeds according to a planned operation strategy. Data-driven models that perform learning using past operation data of buildings are favorable for MPC applications owing to their fast computation speed. However, it is difficult to apply MPC to buildings with insufficient operation data, as the prediction accuracy varies depending on the data used for learning. To address this, we propose a method that involves generating data through a detailed building energy model and utilizing a long short-term memory (LSTM) network that performs learning using the data as an MPC model. The model was verified through a comparison with the reference model using the same optimization algorithm. In the MPC of the objective function, which is to reduce electrical energy expenditure by optimizing the indoor temperature of the target building, approximately 35% grid energy consumption was reduced compared to a reference case, by increasing self-consumption of photovoltaic (PV) energy and avoiding PV curtailment. Further, the required computation time was reduced to approximately 30%, even including the data generation time for daily learning, thereby confirming the feasibility of the MPC model that employs LSTM.
Published: 17 January 2021
Sustainability, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/su13020901

Abstract:
Terrorist impacts have been increasing over time in many countries, being one of the most significant threats for the Built Environment (BE), intended as a network of open spaces (streets, squares) and facing buildings, and their users. Such risk is affected by a combination of strategic functions and crowd conditions. This work traces, for the first time, the state-of-the-art consolidated Risk Mitigation and Reduction Strategies (RMRSs). Solid RMRS regulatory frameworks from all over the world are collected. The results show how classification criteria distinguish them by attack targets and typologies, effectiveness over time/space, and physical implementation versus management-based deployment. Nevertheless, these criteria seem to be too fragmented, failing in pursuing RMRSs selection in a holistic outlook. Thus, a new classification adopting the BE composing elements (physical elements, layout, access/surveillance systems, safety/security management) as key-factors is provided. Features, dependencies and coordination among them are discussed in a sustainability-based perspective, by showing how the main challenges for RMRSs’ design concern applicability, redundancy, and users’ emergency support. Safety/security management strategies have the overall highest sustainability level and play a pivotal role with respect to the other BE composing elements, which should be planned in reference to them. In addition, a human-centred approach (individuals’ interactions with BEs and RMRSs) will also be needed. These results will support efforts to include simulation-oriented approaches into RMRSs selection, effectiveness and feasibility analyses.
Published: 17 January 2021
Sustainability, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/su13020880

Abstract:
This study aims to develop an integrated classification methodology for retrofitting that preserves both energy use and cultural value aspects in hot climates, especially, in North Africa, as a hot zone, which lacks retrofitting initiatives of built heritage. Despite the number of existing methods of classification for energy purposes, little attention has been paid to integrate the perceptions of cultural values in those methods. The proposed methodology classifies heritage building stocks based on building physical characteristics, as well as heritage significance levels, and then later integrates the outcomes into a matrix to propose sustainable retrofitting scenarios based on three dimensions, i.e., heritage value locations, types, and heritage significance level. For validation, the methodology was applied to the heritage residential building stock along with a microscale analysis on a building in Khedivial Cairo, Egypt. The findings include extracting twelve building classes, providing a reference building for each class, and a detailed catalogue of the extracted reference buildings that includes retrofitting scenarios for creating energy models. The originality of this work lies in integrating cultural values in a building classification methodology and providing a list of sustainable retrofitting scenarios for reference buildings. The findings contribute to fill the gap in existing building classifications, more specifically in hot climates.
Published: 17 January 2021
Sustainability, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/su13020900

Abstract:
Urban utility tunnels (UUTs) can have great external benefits in terms of social and environmental aspects for the sustainable development of a city. However, the high initial construction cost has been the main obstacle to the promotion of UUT projects for a long time. Although several evaluation methods for the benefits of UUTs have been proposed, most of them focus on the cost assessment during the construction period and are limited in terms of their scientificity, the feasibility of the valuation methodology and the comprehensiveness of external categories. The external benefit assessment of UUTs during their service life remains lacking, leading to an incomplete insight into UUT projects. Therefore, a scientific evaluation method of the long-term external benefits of UUTs is still needed from the perspective of urban sustainable development. This paper proposes a composite market price method to carry out a simple but systematic evaluation of the positive externalities of UUTs in monetary terms. Detailed instructions on the operation of the method are also elucidated to further improve its practicability. The feasibility and validity of the method is then demonstrated through a case study of the UUT project in Xiong’an New Area, China. It is also concluded that UUTs can benefit all social subjects and that a classification of externalities based on different social subjects can foster better development and broader support for the implementation of UUTs.
Published: 17 January 2021
Sustainability, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/su13020890

Abstract:
Sloping farmland is prevalent in hilly red soil areas of South China. Improper tillage patterns induce decreased soil organic matter, soil aggregate breakdown, and nutrient imbalance, thereby restricting crop production. However, the stoichiometric characteristics could reflect the nutrient availability which was mostly studied on bulk soil. The stoichiometric characteristics of soil aggregates with multiple functions in farmlands has rarely been studied. The study was to reveal the impact of tillage patterns on the size distribution, nutrient levels, and stoichiometric ratios of soil aggregates after 20 years’ cultivation. Soil samples of 0–20 cm and 20–40 cm from five tillage patterns, bare-land control (BL), longitudinal-ridge tillage (LR), conventional tillage + straw mulching (CS), cross-ridge tillage (CR), and longitudinal-ridge tillage + hedgerows (LH) were collected. The elemental content (C, N and P) and soil aggregate size distribution were determined, and the stoichiometric ratios were subsequently calculated. Through our analysis and study, it was found that the nutrient content of >2 mm soil aggregates in all plots was the highest. In the hedgerow plots, >2 mm water-stable soil aggregate content was increased. Therefore, LH plots have the highest content of organic matter and nutrients. After 20 years of cultivation, stoichiometric ratio of each plot showed different changes on soil aggregates at different levels. the C:N, C:P, and N:P ratios are lower than the national average of cultivated land. Among of them, the stoichiometric ratio in the LH plot is closer to the mean and showed better water-stable aggregate enhancement. Therefore, longitudinal-ridge tillage + hedgerows can be recommended as a cultivation measure. This study provides a reference for determining appropriate tillage measures, balancing nutrient ratios, and implementing rational fertilization.
Published: 17 January 2021
Sustainability, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/su13020892

Abstract:
Given that the market is becoming more competitive, it is imperative to understand what influences purchasing decisions of global consumers as consumer trends change regarding botanic cosmetics for anti-aging, maintaining appearance and skin health. This study considers and examines susceptibility to global consumer culture (SGCC) (conformity to consumer trend, social prestige, and quality perception) and its effect on affective commitment, which in turn influences behavioral commitment and loyalty in the context of the botanic cosmetic industry. In addition to examining the structural relationships among the variables, we test whether purchase experience moderates the proposed relationships. The results are as follows. First, conformity to consumer trends has a significant effect on emotional commitment, but is not positively associated with behavioral commitment. Second, social prestige has no significant direct effect on either emotional or behavioral commitment. Third, quality perception has a significant impact on emotional commitment, but no positive impact on behavioral commitment. Fourth, both emotional commitment and behavioral commitment affect brand loyalty, and behavioral commitment in particular has a significant effect on brand loyalty. Finally, through the analysis of the moderating effect on the cosmetic purchasing experience, first, it was confirmed that the less purchasing experience, the stronger the effect of conformity to consumption trend (CCT) on emotional commitment and behavioral commitment.
Published: 17 January 2021
Sustainability, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/su13020885

Abstract:
Knowledge management (KM) involves learning from past experiences to avoid or correct scope misalignments, quality deviations, safety problems, time delays and/or cost overruns. KM is frequently materialized as a risk management (RM) plan. An RM plan allows for anticipating, avoiding, mitigating, or reducing potential problems impacting project performance. However, despite their high complementarity, KM and RM are not the same, nor share the same purpose. In the advent of the fourth industrial revolution, managing complex projects involves many KM-related challenges, such as differential competitiveness enhancement and value chain streamlining. Naval platforms are complex projects that require the integration of multiple sources of knowledge and information. They also need to keep on integrating latest digital technology innovations in their production processes. In this context, streamlining the requirements management may become a differential asset for project stakeholders of naval platforms. Namely, enhancing requirements management can make the customers’ needs easier to meet, shorten the projects duration, reduce costs, optimize resources, and allow for higher flexibility. However, requirements management has KM as pre-requisite and RM as consequence. Unfortunately, potential synergies between KM and RM have remained largely unexplored in the project management literature, and so has requirements management as a potential bridge between both concepts. In this paper, a holistic model for shipbuilding organizations linking KM and RM is proposed. The model draws from existing KM and RM models while considering organizational factors, technological platforms, and competitiveness factors. A case study of a naval platform showing the model’s applicability is provided. It is shown how the model can allow shipbuilding companies to sustain a competitive advantage by facilitating more robust decision making in dynamic project environments. Furthermore, the model also facilitates the identification of the companies’ core competences to reach and keep a strong position in current global markets.
Published: 17 January 2021
Sustainability, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/su13020881

Abstract:
This paper focuses on the efficiency evaluation of bike-sharing systems (BSSs) and develops an approach based on data envelopment analysis (DEA) to support the decisions regarding the performance evaluation of BSS stations. The proposed methodology is applied and tested for the Malmöbybike BSS in Malmö, Sweden. This was done by employing spatial analyses and data about the BSS usage trends as well as taking into account transport, land use, and socioeconomic context of the case study. The results of the application demonstrate consistency with the literature and highlight meaningful associations between the station relative efficiency and the urban context. More specifically, the paper provides in-depth knowledge about the preprocessing data, selection of input and output variables, and the underlying analytical approach to be potentially applied to other cases and urban contexts. Overall, the DEA-based methodology presented in this study could assist decision-makers and planners with developing operational strategies for planning and management of BSS stations and networks.
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