Sustainability

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ISSN / EISSN : 20711050 / 20711050
Current Publisher: Wiley (10.1002)
Total articles ≅ 16,241
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Fabio Nascimbeni, Daniel Burgos
Published: 13 October 2019
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/su11205637

Abstract:The goal of this paper is to advance the understanding of the way university educators currently adopt open educational practices (OEP) by analyzing the relation between the use of open educational resources (OER) and the implementation of open teaching practices. The results are based on data collected through an online survey among 724 university educators. Depending on the actual use of OER and open teaching practices by the survey respondents, we have categorized them along a scale that goes from “novice” to “expert”, and we analyzed the data to evaluate their use of OER and their adoption of open teaching practices, looking for relationships between the two phenomena. The main finding of this paper, which confirms the latest research findings from the open education community, is that a strong relationship exists between the two dimensions: The more an educator uses OER, the more he will probably adopt open teaching practices, and vice versa. These results are discussed with a view to use this virtuous circle between the use of open content and adoption of open teaching as a way to build generalized open education capacity among universities’ teaching staff.
Agnieszka Sagan, Agata Blicharz-Kania, Marek Szmigielski, Dariusz Andrejko, Paweł Sobczak, Kazimierz Zawiślak, Agnieszka Starek
Published: 13 October 2019
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/su11205638

Abstract:Functional foods include cold-pressed oils, which are a rich source of antioxidants and bioactive n-3 and n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids. The aim of this study was to assess the quality of rapeseed oils supplemented with Spanish sage and cress oils. Seven oil mixtures consisting of 70% of rapeseed oil and 30% of sage and/or cress oil were prepared for the analyses. The oil mixtures were analyzed to determine their acid value, peroxide value, oxidative stability, and fatty acid composition. In terms of the acid value and the peroxide value, all mixtures met the requirements for cold-pressed vegetable oils. The enrichment of the rapeseed oil with α-linolenic acid-rich fats resulted in a substantially lower ratio of n-6 to n-3 acids in the mixtures than in the rapeseed oil. The mixture of the rapeseed oil with the sage and cress oils in a ratio of 70:10:20 exhibited higher oxidative stability than the raw materials used for enrichment and a nearly 20% α-linolenic acid content. The oils proposed in this study can improve the ratio of n-6:n-3 acids in modern diets. Additionally, mixing the cress seed oils with rapeseed oil and chia oil resulted in a reduction in the content of erucic acid in the finished product. This finding indicates that cress seeds, despite their high content of erucic acid, can be used as food components. The production of products with a positive effect on human health is one of the most important factors in the sustainable development of agriculture.
Omid Rahmati, Zahra Kalantari, Mahmood Samadi, Evelyn Uuemaai, Davoud Moghaddam, Omid Nalivan, Georgia Destouni, Dieu Tien Bui
Published: 13 October 2019
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/su11205639

Abstract:Check dams are widely used watershed management measures for reducing flood peak discharge and sediment transport, and increasing lag time and groundwater recharge throughout the world. However, identifying the best suitable sites for check dams within the stream networks of various watersheds remains challenging. This study aimed to develop an open-source software with user-friendly interface for screening the stream network possibilities and identifying and guiding the selection of suitable sites for check dams within watersheds. In this developed site selection software (SSS), multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) was integrated into geographic information systems (GIS), which allowed for numerous spatial data of the multiple criteria to be relatively simply and visually processed. Different geomorphometric and topo-hydrological factors were considered and accounted for to enhance the SSS identification of the best locations for check dams. The factors included topographic wetness index (TWI), terrain ruggedness index (TRI), topographic position index (TPI), sediment transport index (STI), stream power index (SPI), slope, drainage density (DD), and stream order (SO). The site identification performance of the SSS was assessed using the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve method, with results for the case study example of the Poldokhtar watershed in Iran showing excellent performance and identifying 327 potential sites for efficient check dam construction in this watershed. The SSS tool is not site-specific but is rather general, adaptive, and comprehensive, such that it can and should be further applied and tested across different watersheds and parts of the world.
Xavier Labandeira, José Labeaga, Xiral López-Otero
Published: 13 October 2019
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/su11205640

Abstract:The great recession brought an increased need for public revenues and generated distributive concerns across many countries. This has led to a new generation of green tax reforms characterized by the use of markedly heterogeneous proposals that, overall, share a more flexible use of tax receipts adapted to the new economic environment. This article explores the possibilities of implementing this new generation of green tax reforms in Spain. It analyzes the impact of such reforms on energy demand, emissions, public revenues and income distribution from taxing various energy-related environmental damages and by considering two alternative uses for the tax receipts: fiscal consolidation and funding the costs of renewable-energy support schemes.
Athanasios Ragkos, Alexandros Theodoridis, Georgios Arsenos
Published: 13 October 2019
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/su11205642

Abstract:Sheep and goat transhumance provides a wide range of ecosystem services (ES). Transhumance-specific dairy products could function as a nexus between the system and the public, incorporating ES which are not remunerated in markets, but in Greece, there are actually no such dairy products. Within this context, the objective of this paper was to present a case study regarding a comparative assessment of three different approaches (supply chains) in milk sales from transhumant farms. The first involved production of cheese on-farm and direct sales to consumers. In the second approach, farmers sold their milk to the same industry throughout the year, where it was mixed with milk from non-transhumant farms. The third approach concerned cheese produced solely from milk of transhumant flocks in a small dairy in the highlands. An assessment framework was developed examining the perceived quality; economic performance of farms; compatibility and; representativeness and contribution of each approach. Based on five in-depth interviews with farmers and dairies, it was found that a combination of the three approaches would be beneficial for farms—to decrease risks—and for the system as a whole, in order to convey the ‘agro-pastoral message’ to wider audiences and to increase the recognisability of transhumance. In addition, the analysis showed that the economic performance of each approach was related more to managerial issues and organizational requirements rather than to the achievement of higher prices and more added value in the first and third approach.
Yamilé Pérez Guilarte, Daniel Barreiro Quintáns
Published: 13 October 2019
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/su11205641

Abstract:The concern about the production of international standards to measure the sustainability of tourism is present today, especially the discourse on the introduction of new sources. This article aims to survey and describe the main approaches and methodologies to use big data to measure tourism sustainability. Successful cases are addressed by explaining the main opportunities and challenges for the creation of official tourist statistics. A comprehensive review of publications regarding this field was carried out by applying the systematic literature review technique. This contributes a knowledge base to destination management organisations to encourage the implementation of official tourism statistics systems using big data.
Agnieszka Latoch, Justyna Libera
Published: 13 October 2019
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/su11205644

Abstract:Consumers expect the appropriate tenderness, juiciness, and taste, a well as sufficiently long shelf life from meat subjected to thermal processing. One of the methods used to achieve this effect is sous-vide (SV). However, the low temperatures used in this method may not be sufficient to ensure the safety of the meat product. In order to increase safety and reduce adverse sensory changes, we suggest marinating the meat in fermented dairy products (FDP). The aim of the study was to determine the impact of marinating meat in FDP (kefir, yogurt, buttermilk), marinating time (3–12 days), and SV temperature (60 or 80 °C) on the quality and safety of pork steaks. Marinating the meat increases the level of loss during cooking, but at the same time, has no effect on the chemical composition and activity of water. The acidity of steaks decreases with the time of marinating. A few days of meat marinating in buttermilk or yogurt slows down the fat oxidation reactions and reduces the content of oxidizing substances in meat. Meat marinated in FDP and SV cooked contains acceptable microbial values. Marinating in FDP, especially in yogurt or buttermilk, improves the quality and safety of SV-cooked pork steaks.
Mohammed Alraeeini, Qiuyan Zhong, Elena Antarciuc
Published: 13 October 2019
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/su11205645

Abstract:The continuous growth of the sharing economy has the potential to transform the competition in the accommodation sector. At present, research on accommodation sharing is scarce. This paper identifies drivers and barriers to accommodation sharing in Dubai. Taking into account different viewpoints of accommodation sharing professionals in Dubai and the grey-based Decision-Making Trial and Evaluation Laboratory (DEMATEL) method, this study singles out the essential drivers and barriers and examines the cause and effect connections between them. The process starts with a review of the existing accommodation sharing literature and the feedback from the industry experts to identify the drivers and barriers. Then, the elaboration of the questionnaire, data collection from five experts, data analysis with grey-based DEMATEL, and the sensitivity analysis follow. The lower costs, higher value, ease of use, wealth of available information, and contributions to the development of the local economy and residents are the most influential drivers of accommodation sharing in Dubai. The difficulties related to learning and using new technology along with insufficient or underdeveloped accommodation sharing legislation are the most critical barriers. The paper ends with implications for the stakeholders, limitations, and future directions for research on accommodation sharing.
Ahmed Mahmoud, Salaheldin Elkatatny, Abdulwahab Ali, Mohamed Abouelresh, Abdulazeez Abdulraheem
Published: 13 October 2019
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/su11205643

Abstract:Total organic carbon (TOC) is an essential parameter used in unconventional shale resources evaluation. Current methods that are used for TOC estimation are based, either on conducting time-consuming laboratory experiments, or on using empirical correlations developed for specific formations. In this study, four artificial intelligence (AI) models were developed to estimate the TOC using conventional well logs of deep resistivity, gamma-ray, sonic transit time, and bulk density. These models were developed based on the Takagi-Sugeno-Kang fuzzy interference system (TSK-FIS), Mamdani fuzzy interference system (M-FIS), functional neural network (FNN), and support vector machine (SVM). Over 800 data points of the conventional well logs and core data collected from Barnett shale were used to train and test the AI models. The optimized AI models were validated using unseen data from Devonian shale. The developed AI models showed accurate predictability of TOC in both Barnett and Devonian shale. FNN model overperformed others in estimating TOC for the validation data with average absolute percentage error (AAPE) and correlation coefficient (R) of 12.02%, and 0.879, respectively, followed by M-FIS and SVM, while TSK-FIS model showed the lowest predictability of TOC, with AAPE of 15.62% and R of 0.832. All AI models overperformed Wang models, which have recently developed to evaluate the TOC for Devonian formation.
Martin De Jong
Published: 12 October 2019
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/su11205608

Abstract:While the national discourse on ‘eco-civilization’ drives conceptual thinking on sustainable urban development in China, in practice a systematic implementation gap appears to exist when it comes to local implementation. This paper examines how the leakage occurring in the trajectory from central government ideas to municipal and district level construction projects can be explained. More specifically, it aims to spot whether it is merely the result of mismatches resulting from ineffective interactions among players in the policy process, institutional misalignment between policy goals and policy instruments, or even if the mobilization of bias in the policy process is systematic enough to justify a neo-Marxist explanation of the abovementioned implementation gap. I found two main sources of structural bias: capital accumulation in the mechanisms for urban development and power accumulation in the mechanisms underlying the administrative process.