Sustainability

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ISSN / EISSN : 20711050 / 20711050
Current Publisher: MDPI (10.3390)
Total articles ≅ 17,613
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Giovanni Quaranta, Cristina Dalia, Luca Salvati, Rosanna Salvia
Published: 14 December 2019
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/su11247169

Abstract:Resilience thinking is an appropriate framework when assessing the transitional potential of complex urban systems. The transformation of abandoned spaces into local hubs attracting new and innovative activities and events promotes a socioeconomic renaissance in urban communities, by stimulating adaptation to change, enhancing local resilience and strengthening urban–rural links. Under the conceptual umbrella of resilience thinking, the present study illustrates the outcomes of an integrated program of research-action aimed at urban regeneration in a medium-sized, economically disadvantaged city in Southern Italy (Battipaglia, Campania). The transformation of an abandoned building into an ‘Art–Food Hub’—a multi-purpose and creative cultural space—based on resilience thinking was the specific case analyzed in our study. Appropriate stakeholders were identified and involved in a series of field activities and workshops, with the final objective of informing a comprehensive strategy strengthening awareness to change and capacity building. More specifically, stakeholder involvement was carried out with two aims: first, to make stakeholders active participants in co-designing a Strategic Urban Planning Document for Battipaglia and, second, to evaluate to what extent the proposed initiative contributes to building local resilience. By explicitly considering cross-scale drivers of community resilience, the results of this study show how the concept of resilience can be practically applied to policy formulation and implementation.
Yanbing Mao, Kui Liu, Jizhi Zhou
Published: 14 December 2019
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/su11247168

Abstract:Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are an important factor in the evaluation of green industrial growth, when low GHG emissions along with high industrial growth are expected. In this paper, the improvement of sustainable development of industry in China (2007–2015) was investigated via analysis of the relationships between the GHG emissions and energy consumption in comparison to European countries. A hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) was conducted to distinguish industrial growth with GHG emission and energy consumption structures. The results of this research indicated that green industrial growth in Europe had a negative annual rate of GHG emissions. This contributed to the ratio of renewable energy consumption increasing to a maximum of 33% and an average of 16%. In comparison, the GHG emissions in China increased at a rate of 50% to 77% in the main industrial provinces since 2007 with their rapid industrial growth. The rate of GHG emissions decreased after 2012, which was 7% or less than the rate of emissions in the industrial provinces. Contrary to in Europe, the decreasing rate of GHG emissions in China was attributed to the improvement of fossil energy efficiency, as renewable energy consumption was less than 10% in most industrial provinces. Our data analysis identified that the two different energy consumption strategies improved green industrial growth in Europe and China, respectively. Our data analysis identified the two different energy consumption strategies employed by Europe and China, each of which promoted green industrial growth in the corresponding areas. We concluded that China achieved green industrial growth through an increase in energy efficiency through technology updates to decrease GHG emissions, which we call the “China Model.” The “Europe Model” proved to be quite different, having the core characteristic of increasing renewable energy use.
Katarzyna Smędzik-Ambroży, Marta Guth, Sebastian Stępień, Agnieszka Brelik
Published: 14 December 2019
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/su11247173

Abstract:Sustainable development plays an important role in shaping conditions for economic growth, social development and care for the natural environment. The issue was also noticed at the level of the European Union, which is expressed among others by creating sectoral policies, including the Common Agricultural Policy. The aim of the article is to determine the influence of the Common Agricultural Policy on the level of socio-economic sustainability of farms in Poland. The authors formulate a hypothesis that the existing solutions serve the achievement of economic sustainability, determined by the agricultural to non-agricultural income ratio, but they do not provide sustainability of farms in terms of the social element understood as taking income disparities into consideration. In the article, panel regression and the ratio of income from representative FADN farms to average annual gross salary per employee in Poland in the years 2004–2017 were used. It was found that thanks to the support from the Common Agricultural Policy, the average income of farms comes close to the average income of the non-agricultural sector. However, the influence of the subsidies on changes in economic sustainability was uneven in various economic size classes of farms—the strongest farms benefited the most, which means that social sustainability in terms of equal distribution of income was not achieved.
Jae Jeung, Woo Chung, Soon Chang
Published: 14 December 2019
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/su11247170

Abstract:In this paper, the anaerobic co-digestion of three different organic wastes, including livestock manure, slaughterhouse waste, and agricultural by-products (ABs), was carried out to enhance the efficiency of mono-digestion of livestock manure. The characteristics of co-digestion were evaluated at different mixing ratios. The experiment was performed using the Batch test and was divided into two parts. The first experimental section (EXP. 1) was designed to evaluate the seasonal characteristics of ABs, which are the different ratios of fruits and vegetables, where the mixing ratio of spring (fruits:vegetables = 3:7) showed the highest biogas yield (0.24 m3/kg volatile solids). The second experiment (EXP. 2) was conducted by using ABs in the ratio that gave the highest biogas yield in EXP. 1 in combinations of three wastes livestock manure, slaughterhouse waste, and ABs. The highest CH4 yield was 0.84 m3/kg volatile solids (VS), which was obtained with a mixing ratio that had even amounts of the three feedstocks. In addition, the results of the second biochemical methane potential test, which assessed the digestive efficiency according to the mixing ratio of the three types of organic waste, showed that the CH4 production rate of the merged digestion was approximately 1.03–1.29 times higher than that of the mono-digestion of livestock manure. The results of our experiment were verified using the modified Gompertz model, the results of which were relatively similar to the experimental results.
Jun Dong, Anyuan Fu, Yao Liu, Shilin Nie, Peiwen Yang, Linpeng Nie
Published: 14 December 2019
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/su11247171

Abstract:Today, wind power is becoming an important energy source for the future development of electric energy due to its clean and environmentally friendly characteristics. However, due to the uncertainty of incoming wind, the utilization efficiency of wind energy is extremely low, which means the problem of wind curtailment becomes more and more serious. To solve the issue of wind power large-scale consumption, a two-stage stochastic optimization model is established in this paper. Different from other research frameworks, a novel two-side reserve capacity mechanism, which simultaneously takes into account supply side and demand side, is designed to ensure the stable consumption of wind power in the real-time market stage. Specifically, the reserve capacity of thermal power units is considered on the supply side, and the demand response is introduced as the reserve capacity on the demand side. At the same time, the compensation mechanism of reserve capacity is introduced to encourage generation companies (GENCOs) to actively participate in the power balance process of the real-time market. In terms of solution method, compared with the traditional k-means clustering method, this paper uses the K-means classification based on numerical weather prediction (K-means-NWP) scenario clustering method to better describe the fluctuation of wind power output. Finally, an example simulation is conducted to analyze the influence of reserve capacity compensation mechanism and system parameters on wind power consumption results. The results demonstrate that with the introduction of reserve capacity compensation mechanism, the wind curtailment quantity of the power system has a significant reduction. Besides, the income of GENCOs is gradually increasing, which motivates their enthusiasm to provide reserve capacity. Furthermore, the reserve capacity mechanism designed in this paper promotes the consumption of wind power and the sustainable development of renewable energy.
Younghoon Kwak, Jeong-A Kang, Jung-Ho Huh, Tae-Hyoung Kim, Young-Sun Jeong
Published: 14 December 2019
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/su11247172

Abstract:This paper examines the effectiveness of South Korea’s policy for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in office buildings and evaluates if national targets can be met. A sample of office buildings was categorized into two groups—conventional (Group A) and new (Group B)—based on when their construction was approved. Furthermore, data regarding the three design elements of the building envelope, that is building form, window systems, and U-values were collected. By statistically processing data of each element, reference building models were developed and a case study was conducted for each building. Design changes that were incorporated, keeping in mind the GHG reduction policy, showed 13.1% of saving energy in case 8 (reference building of Group B) than case 1 (reference building of Group A). The savings in case 8 were more than the average GHG reduction rate (12.8%) compared to business as usual (BAU). However, case 4 (a conventional (Group A) building form with new (Group B) window systems and U-values) achieved the greatest savings in building loads. The policy to enhance insulation in new buildings to reduce GHG emissions in the building sector has prompted changes in building forms and window systems and has reduced emissions by 10%, that is 3% more than the expected value. Thus, new innovations in building envelope design could achieve an average 12.8% reduction in emissions in buildings.
Merajuddin Khan, Mahmood Abdullah, Adeem Mahmood, Abdullah Al-Mayouf, Hamad Alkhathlan
Published: 14 December 2019
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/su11247174

Abstract:Plant extracts have shown promising corrosion inhibitive actions for different metals in diverse corrosive climate. In numerous studies, it has been demonstrated that corrosion inhibitive features of plant extracts are due to the presence of complex mixtures of phytomolecules in their composition. However, rare efforts have been made to identify those phytomolecules accountable for the activity of the extracts. Therefore, in this paper, several Matricaria aurea extracts were prepared and assessed for their anticorrosive actions for mild steel (MS) in corrosive media (1.0 M HCl). Among the tested extracts, the methanolic extract showing the utmost anticorrosive activity was selected and processed further to identify its active phytomolecules, which led to the identification of a novel green corrosion inhibitor, MAB (Apigetrin). Furthermore, the anticorrosive properties of MAB on MS were evaluated comprehensively involving gravimetric, linear polarization, Tafel plots, EIS, and techniques like SEM and EDS. These findings expose that MAB performs like a mixed-type inhibitor and conforms the isotherm of Langmuir adsorption model. Moreover, the MS surface via SEM techniques exhibits a remarkable advanced surface of the MS plate in the company of MAB. The outcome of results through electrochemical analysis and weight loss methods were in good consonance, which depicts remarkable inhibition properties of the novel green inhibitor MAB.
Petru Stăncioiu, Ioan Dutcă, Marian Bălăcescu, Ștefan Ungurean
Published: 14 December 2019
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/su11247167

Abstract:In the modern context of the strict protection of large carnivores, the competition for resources between local community dwellers and these animals has become an important challenge for ensuring coexistence—the key for conservation success. To assess the perceptions of this intricate relationship, six local communities from Central Romania, located in areas with high-density brown bear (Ursus arctos L.) population and frequent conflicts, were investigated. A large proportion of the respondents (69%) showed various forms of intolerance (e.g., relocation, punishment, or killing) towards aggressive bears. However, the cognitive evaluation score derived from the level of interaction with bears showed a non-significant (p = 0.470) segregation by tolerance levels, suggesting that not only the tangible costs (direct damage) but rather the psychological costs of fear, danger, or risk are more important drivers of negative attitudes towards bears. Furthermore, the prevalent experienced emotions towards an inoffensive bear (fear, terror, and hate, which represent 73%) underline the general preference for living in “separate worlds”. This requires that bears should avoid humans and their settlements, a goal unlikely to be achieved under the current strict protection regime. Therefore, an alternative strategy that ensures mutual avoidance of the two players may be more appropriate for successful human–bear coexistence.
Gianluigi Busico, Elisabetta Giuditta, Nerantzis Kazakis, Nicolò Colombani
Published: 14 December 2019
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/su11247166

Abstract:Forest wildfires usually occur due to natural processes such as lightning and volcanic eruptions, but at the same time they are also an effect of uncontrolled and illegal anthropogenic activities. Different factors can influence forest wildfires, like the type of vegetation, morphology, climate, and proximity to human activities. A precise evaluation of forest fire issues and of the countermeasures needed to limit their impact could be satisfactory especially when forest fire risk (FFR) mapping is available. Here, we proposed an FFR evaluation methodology based on Geographic Information System (GIS) and the analytic hierarchy process (AHP). The study area is the Campania region (Southern Italy) that, for the last 30 years, has been affected by numerous wildfires. The proposed methodology analyzed 12 factors, and AHP was used for weight assignment, offering a new approach to some parameters. The method divided the study area into five risk classes, from very low to very high. Validation with fire alerts showed a good correlation between observed and predicted fires (0.79 R2). Analyzing the climate projections, a future FFR for 2040 was also assessed. The proposed methodology represents a reliable screening tool to identify areas under forest fire risk, and can help authorities to direct preventive actions.
Qiang Wang, Thomas Dogot, Guosheng Wu, Xianlei Huang, Changbin Yin
Published: 14 December 2019
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/su11247175

Abstract:Nowadays, in the North China Plain (NCP), most counties and suburban rural regions are promoting the "coal to gas" program under the situation of strong government support of large and medium-sized centralized biogas production (CBP) projects. This paper is aimed at the CBP projects, focuses on rural residents’ “willingness to use (WTU)”, “willingness to buy (WTB)” and the influencing factors for WTU/WTB. Through the analysis of rural residents from Hebei and Shandong provinces that belong to NCP in this survey, we find that 85% of respondents support the CBP program and the WTB is 63.15 CNY/year per capita, which is much lower than the cost of rural CBP in existing survey regions. The participation of rural residents is not only a manifestation of personal and family characteristics; understanding of environmental knowledge, attitudes, and household energy practices are more important. These non-economic factors seriously affect WTU/WTB. Hence, it is necessary to appropriately increase the government revenue to such projects, strengthen government guidance and publicity, improve the environmental knowledge and attitude of rural residents and guide residents’ practice. Based on a fully understanding of residents' consumption decision mechanism, we establish a financial support mechanism due to the demand response, adopt a correct calculation for financial support, such as a reasonable subsidy rate, and seek the greatest commonality of cost, financial support, and demand.