Sustainability

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ISSN / EISSN : 20711050 / 20711050
Current Publisher: Wiley (10.1002)
Total articles ≅ 14,943
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Xiaorui Zhang, Andong Ren, Lihua Chen, XianYou Zheng
Published: 4 August 2019
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/su11154209

Abstract:Given the current lack of accessibility research on road networks in 36 major cities in China, the accessibility and its spatial difference were measured by using space syntax and Moran index. The purpose is to provide an important decision-making basis for the Chinese government to grasp the accessibility level of China’s urban roads in general and formulate urban traffic development policies. The results show that the mean value of the global integration average is only 1.0009, indicating that the accessibility level is not optimistic in general. The accessibility of 36 major cities was divided into four levels: very low, low, high, and very high. Only four cities, namely Beijing, Shijiazhuang, Xi’an, and Zhengzhou, were at a very high level. The spatial differences of accessibility presented a spatial pattern of "middle-high, east-middle, and west-low". The global integration average, intelligibility, and synergy had significant global spatial autocorrelation, while the local spatial agglomeration distributions of these three indexes were dominated by high-high types. The five cities of Beijing, Shijiazhuang, Hohhot, Taiyuan, and Zhengzhou constituted the core area of high-value clustering of local spatial autocorrelation and presented a spatial form of inverted "T" shape. The research still has some limitations. The reasons for the low accessibility of developed cities, such as Guangzhou and Nanjing, are worth further analysis. Besides, the main possible influencing factors affecting accessibility, such as urban road density and spatial form, are also worthy of further analysis.
Ricardo Teixeira, Tiago Domingos
Published: 4 August 2019
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/su11154210

Abstract:The year 2016 marked the 10-year anniversary of the publication of the “Livestock’s Long Shadow” FAO report
Carmen Luzuriaga-Quichimbo, Míriam Hernández Del Barco, José Blanco-Salas, Carlos Cerón-Martínez, Trinidad Ruiz-Téllez
Published: 4 August 2019
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/su11154211

Abstract:Chacras, which are Amazonian agricultural systems, are examples of traditional agricultural management that are sustainable. They are also characteristic of the identities of different ethnographic groups in tropical America. However, information regarding the botanical characterization of chacras is scant. In tropical rural communities, there is a gender bias hypothesis that makes women potential reservoirs of traditional chacras plant knowledge. We present an experimental study in order to demonstrate if this knowledge difference really exists and to plan accordingly. We performed workshops in an isolated Kichwa community from Amazonian Ecuador. We calculated the cultural signififcance index (CSI) for 97 local flora plants. Our results revealed statistically significant differences. They were coherent with the Kichwa worldview and the structure of their society. We concluded that gender perspective must be taken into account in biodiversity conservation programs, such as, for example, those to implement the resilient agricultural practices of tropical contexts promoted by The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SGD2).
Francesca Demichelis, Francesco Piovano, Silvia Fiore
Published: 4 August 2019
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/su11154213

Abstract:The aim of this work is the development of a methodology for the technical and environmental assessment of biowaste valorization in 2G biorefineries. Italy was chosen as case study, considering years 2016–2017. Approach: the Italian context was evaluated through the following key parameters: Gross domestic power, climate, demography, and population density distribution described the Italian framework. The four most abundant biowaste categories were defined through their amounts and geo-localization: wastewater and sewage sludge (WSS, 4.06 Mt/y), organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMSW, 1.7 Mt/y), agricultural livestock waste (ALW, 5.7 Mt/y), and waste deriving from the food industry (FIW, 2.6 Mt/y). The geo-localization and quantitative evaluations of the available biowaste amounts were aimed at defining the dimension and localization of the biorefinery plant and at optimizing supply and transport chains, while the qualitative characteristic were aimed to evaluate the most promising process among thermo-valorization (TH) and anaerobic digestion (AD). Results: All considered biowastes were appropriate for biorefinery processes, since carbon content exceeds 40% and the carbon–nitrogen ratio was between 10 and 30. All biowaste categories were evaluated as feedstocks for two biorefinery processes: anaerobic digestion (AD) and thermo-valorization (TH) with energy recovery. Compared to TH, AD achieved in all cases the best performances in terms of produced energy and avoided CO2 emissions. The primary energy production of AD and TH for WSS, OFMSW, ALW, and FIW were respectively: 7.89 vs. 2.4 kWh/kg; 8.7 vs. 2.6 kWh/kg; 10.85 vs. 5.5 kWh/kg; and 12.5 vs. 7.8 kWh/kg. The main findings of this work were: the adoption of AD was technically more suitable than TH; AD increased the avoided CO2 emissions of 10%–89.9% depending on biowaste category.
Julie Ernst, Firdevs Burcak
Published: 4 August 2019
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/su11154212

Abstract:Environmental education for young children has great potential for fostering the skills, values, and dispositions that support sustainability. While North American guidelines emphasize the importance of using the natural world for open-ended exploration, discovery, and play, this approach has been criticized for lacking the transformative power necessary for meaningfully contributing to sustainability issues. Four pilot studies were conducted exploring the influence of nature play in the context of nature preschools on children’s curiosity, executive function skills, creative thinking, and resilience. These studies used established quantitative instruments to measure growth in these constructs among nature preschool participants, comparing this growth with participants in high quality, play-based, non-nature preschools. The results suggest a positive contribution of nature play, with greater levels of curiosity, creative thinking, and resilience than what was observed in the non-nature preschool participants, and executive function skills similar to the non-nature preschool participants and exceeding national norms. Collectively, these pilot studies suggest the potential contribution of nature play in the context of education for sustainability.
Yong Gao, Jiajun Liu, Yan Xu, Lan Mu, Yu Liu
Published: 4 August 2019
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/su11154214

Abstract:Taxi services provide an urban transport option to citizens. Massive taxi trajectories contain rich information for understanding human travel activities, which are essential to sustainable urban mobility and transportation. The origin and destination (O-D) pairs of urban taxi trips can reveal the spatiotemporal patterns of human mobility and then offer fundamental information to interpret and reform formal, functional, and perceptual regions of cities. Matrices are one of the most effective models to represent taxi trajectories and O-D trips. Among matrix representations, non-negative matrix factorization (NMF) gives meaningful interpretations of complex latent relationships. However, the independence assumption for observations is violated by spatial and temporal autocorrelation in taxi flows, which is not compensated in classical NMF models. In order to discover human intra-urban mobility patterns, a novel spatiotemporal constraint NMF (STC-NMF) model that explicitly solves spatial and temporal dependencies is proposed in this paper. It factorizes taxi flow matrices in both spatial and temporal aspects, thus revealing inherent spatiotemporal patterns. With three-month taxi trajectories harvested in Beijing, China, the STC-NMF model is employed to investigate taxi travel patterns and their spatial interaction modes. As the results, four departure patterns, three arrival patterns, and eight spatial interaction patterns during weekdays and weekends are discovered. Moreover, it is found that intensive movements within certain time windows are significantly related to region functionalities and the spatial interaction flows exhibit an obvious distance decay tendency. The outcome of the proposed model is more consistent with the inherent spatiotemporal characteristics of human intra-urban movements. The knowledge gained in this research would be useful to taxi services and transportation management for promoting sustainable urban development.
Dongyoun Lee, Goune Kang, Chulu Nam, Hunhee Cho, Kyung-In Kang
Published: 4 August 2019
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/su11154215

Abstract:The current method of estimating CO2 emissions during the construction phase does not consider the variability that can occur in actual work. Therefore, this study aims at probabilistic CO2 estimation dealing with the statistical characteristics in activity data of building construction work, focused on concrete pouring work and based on field data. The probabilistically estimated CO2 emissions have some differences from CO2 emissions measured by current deterministic methods. The results revealed that the minimum difference was 11.4%, and the maximum difference was 132.7%. This study also used Monte Carlo simulations to derive information on a probability model of CO2 emissions. Results of the analysis revealed that there is a risk of underestimating emissions because the amount of emissions was estimated at a level that exceeds the 95% confidence interval of the simulation results. In addition, the probability that CO2 emissions using the measured activities data were less than the estimated CO2 emissions using the bill of quantity was 73.2% in the probability distribution model.
Chulseung Lee, Jaechan Park, Kangmun Lee, Ji Yang, Taewoo Roh
Published: 4 August 2019
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/su11154216

Abstract:This paper addresses an analysis of a recent debate in South Korea on energy efficiencies between a combined heat and power system with district heating (CHP-DH) and separate heat and power system (SHP) by applying a scenario analysis technique. In accordance with the Low Carbon Green Growth strategy where the rise of social awareness for energy savings is imminent, various scenarios were considered including CHP-DH (excluding waste heat recovery) versus SHP and CHP-DH (including waste heat recovery) versus SHP. To analyze the satisfaction on energy efficiency of each heating system, nationwide average field data were acquired via a survey with the help of the Korea District Heating Corporation (KDHC), and a comprehensive model for measuring sustainable value related to energy consumption, including economic (ECON), non-economic (NECON), and environmental (ENV) values were presented based on customer satisfaction (SAT). As a result of the structural equation model (SEM) and ordinary least squares (OLS) regression, variations of energy efficiencies of each heat and power delivery system are rather distinctive among different scenarios due to the performance characteristics of each system in the field. The energy savings of CHP-DH systems owned by KDHC, based on nationwide average performance, was found to be higher than the SHP system by 3.25% to 18.1%. While the effect of NECON and ENV on SAT was not significant in SHP, it was significant in CHP-DH. Based on these results, rational decisions can be made to lead the government and energy consumers to maximize energy efficiency, especially in South Korea, where the energy market heavily relies on foreign countries.
Michelle Bonatti, Juliano Borba, Izabela Schlindwein, Constance Rybak, Stefan Sieber
Published: 3 August 2019
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/su11154196

Abstract:Gender inequality, embedded in sociocultural structures, persists in Tanzania. It is particularly manifest in access to productive resources, income-generating and employment opportunities, time-use, and educational possibilities. Seeking to contribute to the study of gender roles in Tanzania in the context of food insecurity, this paper presents findings regarding the social role of gender drawn from a study of food security problems and family experiences in Dodoma, Tanzania. The methodology comprised two phases: (1) Face-to-face structured interviews with 333 households; and (2) workshops based on TO—Theater of the Oppressed. These two phases were complemented by repeated research stays in the Dodoma region. TO helps to understand the connections between the private universe of families and their narratives about food insecurity. From the voices of community members in Dodoma, we identify aspects of how men and women perceive the food insecurity situation. Results show that there are several contextual factors related to food insecurity at the community level, and that issues related to domestic violence also appear when cultural patrons and gender roles are questioned. Based on theory and the data collected, we seek not only to comprehend how food insecurity and gender roles are interconnected, but also how to think about new forms of public policies that support gender equality among men and women in rural areas. We conclude that transdisciplinary studies on food insecurity can help public policies address complex scenarios, comprising the multiple and conflicting values present in sociocultural issues, while taking into account individual community needs and specificities.
Xinyu Liu, Daan Schraven, Mark De Bruijne, Martin De Jong, Marcel Hertogh
Published: 3 August 2019
by MDPI
Sustainability, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/su11154197

Abstract:Sustainable development and Circular Economy (CE) have drawn massive attention worldwide. Construction practices consume large amounts of materials, resources and energy. Sustainability and CE could play a big role in reduction efforts. However, the potential influence of both concepts on the planning and construction of large infrastructures remains unexplored. This paper investigates how professionals involved in a high-speed railway station project in the Chinese city of Jingmen envision the use of sustainability and CE for the planning and construction of the railway station and its surrounding areas. We reviewed policy documents and interviewed local professionals with the Triple Bottom Line (TBL) framework. The analysis reveals opportunities for improvement towards sustainability and the interdependence between the dimensions in the TBL framework for the railway station and its surroundings. The case shows that local professionals identify ample opportunities for improvement (presented as “sustainability ideas”), but none appear truly sustainable. These insights provide evidence that the hierarchical introduction of transition(s) creates a cognitive silo for local professionals when envisioning sustainability ideas. In the TBL framework, this study finds a useful and novel approach to break down the silos, because the TBL stresses the interdependence between the various sustainability dimensions.