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Sustainability, Volume 14, Issue 18 (September-2 2022) – 681 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Small ponds are essential environmental elements that perform many ecological functions. However, can the macrophytes in ponds be influenced by environmental factors, the neighboring areas' land-use type, and climate change? The research was carried out over a decade (2008-2018). As it turns out, most of the examined macrophyte genera (Oenanthe, Phragmites, and Typha) increased their surface area during the study, contributing to the pond's overgrowth. This may be caused by pond shallowing caused by climate change (temperature rise and decrease in precipitation). Moreover, species of the genera Ceratophyllum and Sparganium dominated in ponds with more frequent freezing conditions. On the other hand, the water of ponds in industrial areas was warmer, and the dominant type was Carex sp. View this paper
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22 pages, 9882 KiB  
Article
Impact of Land Cover Change on Mountain Circulation over the Hainan Island, China
by Bingxue Wu, Junfeng Miao and Wen Feng
Sustainability 2022, 14(18), 11794; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141811794 - 19 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2132
Abstract
Focusing on the complex underlying surface area in central–southern Hainan Island, this study uses the Advanced Research Weather Research and Forecasting Model (Version 4.0) to simulate a typical mountain circulation case without obvious weather system forcing, and tries to reveal the impacts of [...] Read more.
Focusing on the complex underlying surface area in central–southern Hainan Island, this study uses the Advanced Research Weather Research and Forecasting Model (Version 4.0) to simulate a typical mountain circulation case without obvious weather system forcing, and tries to reveal the impacts of land cover changes on the mountain circulation. One control experiment (CNTL) and three sensitivity experiments, in which the current land cover is taken as areas of uniform evergreen broadleaf forest (FOREST), grassland (GRASS), and bare soil (DESERT) coverage, are conducted. The results show that the near-surface wind speed increases with decreasing surface roughness, and DESERT shows the most obvious change as compared with the CNTL. In the vertical direction, FOREST shows the strongest valley breeze circulation, with the largest horizontal and vertical extents of circulation, as well as the highest vertical extent of the updraft. DESERT shows the weakest valley breeze circulation with the longest duration. GRASS shows the slightest change from the CNTL. The possible impact mechanism is that the land cover changes could affect the surface energy partitioning, leading to a variation in the temperature distribution (i.e., the horizontal potential temperature gradient and boundary layer stability), in turn affecting the structure and evolution characteristics of the mountain circulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Sustainability and Applications)
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15 pages, 4387 KiB  
Article
Experimental Study on Stiffness Degradation of Organic Matter-Disseminated Sand under Cyclic Loading
by Juan Du, Xingfei Jiang, Bingyang Liu, Lin Jia and Yang Zhang
Sustainability 2022, 14(18), 11793; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141811793 - 19 Sep 2022
Viewed by 1397
Abstract
Degradation of stiffness will occur in sand under cyclic loading. Organic matter-disseminated sand (OMDS) is a special sand in the northeast and western coastal region of Hainan Island. Through the stress-controlled dynamic triaxial test, the natural moisture content, vibration amplitude and consolidation ratio [...] Read more.
Degradation of stiffness will occur in sand under cyclic loading. Organic matter-disseminated sand (OMDS) is a special sand in the northeast and western coastal region of Hainan Island. Through the stress-controlled dynamic triaxial test, the natural moisture content, vibration amplitude and consolidation ratio of OMDS under three types of cyclic loads (sine wave, triangular wave and rectangular wave) were studied. The results showed that the soil stiffness decreases with the increase in vibration times. The increase in natural moisture content and vibration amplitude, and the reduction in the consolidation ratio accelerate the softening of soil stiffness. Furthermore, based on the test results, an empirical formula was derived to reflect the rule of soil stiffness softening. Full article
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37 pages, 2060 KiB  
Review
What Do We Know about the Use of the Walk-along Method to Identify the Perceived Neighborhood Environment Correlates of Walking Activity in Healthy Older Adults: Methodological Considerations Related to Data Collection—A Systematic Review
by Valkiria Amaya, Matthias Chardon, Helen Klein, Thibauld Moulaert and Nicolas Vuillerme
Sustainability 2022, 14(18), 11792; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141811792 - 19 Sep 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3087 | Correction
Abstract
Background: The “walk-along interview” (WAI) is a qualitative spatial method that consists of a researcher walking alongside a participant during the time of an interview to identify perceived neighborhood environments. The use of the WAI method increased in various disciplines, including the fields [...] Read more.
Background: The “walk-along interview” (WAI) is a qualitative spatial method that consists of a researcher walking alongside a participant during the time of an interview to identify perceived neighborhood environments. The use of the WAI method increased in various disciplines, including the fields of public health and gerontology, to assess the relationship between the individual, spaces, and walking activity. However, how and in what settings the WAI method has been implemented with healthy older adults needs to be documented and synthesized. Objective: Our aim is to conduct a systematic review of published studies that have used the WAI method to identify the perceived neighborhood environment correlates of walking activity in healthy older adults, with a specific focus on the methodological aspects related to the data collection of this method. Methods: Following the PRISMA guidelines, PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, and SocINDEX databases were systematically searched with no limitations on publication date. Results: From 99 articles identified, 31 met all inclusion criteria, totalizing 1207 participants. Description of the method through the assessment of participants and environmental characteristics and the data collection (before, during, and after WAI characteristics). Conclusions: This review provides detailed information WAI method to assess perceived neighborhood and walk activity among healthy older adults. WAI provides different sets of opportunities and challenges. Some suggestions, such as exhaustive participants’ socio-demographics, anthropometric descriptions and data collection methods, were highlighted to be essential elements when conducting WAIs. In addition, the current findings of this review could serve as a basis for researchers, students, and the professional community who wish to apply the WAI. Full article
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21 pages, 1920 KiB  
Review
Teacher Education Interventions on Teacher TPACK: A Meta-Analysis Study
by Yimin Ning, Ying Zhou, Tommy Tanu Wijaya and Jihe Chen
Sustainability 2022, 14(18), 11791; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141811791 - 19 Sep 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3341
Abstract
Teacher education is an important strategy for developing teachers’ technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK). Many schools in the world have incorporated the training into teacher education plans. However, there has been controversy in academic circles concerning the effects of teacher education intervention in [...] Read more.
Teacher education is an important strategy for developing teachers’ technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK). Many schools in the world have incorporated the training into teacher education plans. However, there has been controversy in academic circles concerning the effects of teacher education intervention in promoting the development of teacher TPACK. Therefore, this study used a meta-analysis approach to review the published literature on teacher education programs to determine the impact on TPACK. The results showed that teacher education intervention positively affected TPACK (d = 0.839, p < 0.0001). Besides cultural background, experimental participants, types, sample types, intervention durations, differences in measurement methods, intervention types, and learning environments are the reasons for the differences in the effects of the interventions. The research design using random experiments had a significant positive effect on the size, which was significantly higher than that of the quasi-experiment. The longer the duration of teaching intervention, the stronger the improvement effect of teachers’ TPACK. There are significant differences in improving TPACK between teaching interventions, and the effect is more obvious. Teacher education intervention has a greater and slightly smaller impact on theoretical and practical knowledge. However, cultural background, experimental participant, sample type, and learning environment have no significant effect on teacher education intervention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Digital Teaching Competences for Sustainable Development)
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16 pages, 7752 KiB  
Article
Field Measurement and Mechanism Analysis of Rail Corrugation on Steel Spring Floating Slab Track Section
by Kuikui Ma
Sustainability 2022, 14(18), 11790; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141811790 - 19 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1534
Abstract
In this study, a combination method of field measurements and numerical simulations is used to investigate the mechanism of rail corrugation in the curve’s inner rail in urban rail transit. Firstly, field measurements on rail corrugation and rail vibration characteristics were conducted on [...] Read more.
In this study, a combination method of field measurements and numerical simulations is used to investigate the mechanism of rail corrugation in the curve’s inner rail in urban rail transit. Firstly, field measurements on rail corrugation and rail vibration characteristics were conducted on the steel spring floating slab track (SSFST) section of a metro line; secondly, a three-dimensional finite element model of the wheelset-SSFST was established, and complex eigenvalue analysis and transient analysis were conducted. It was found that the main frequency of measured rail vertical vibration and the simulated wheel–rail—which simulated normal contact force on the inner rail—correspond to the first wheel–rail unstable vibration mode, as well as to the field-measured rail corrugation passing frequency. Therefore, the strong agreement between the results of the field measurements and the numerical simulation further verifies that the frictional, self-excited vibration of the wheelset-SSFST system on a sharply curved track can cause rail corrugation. When the vertical and lateral fasteners’ stiffness increases, the possibility of rail corrugation decreases. The decrease in vertical stiffness of the steel spring leads to an increase in the possibility of rail corrugation, but the lateral stiffness changes in the steel spring have almost no effect on the possibility of rail corrugation. The increase in the wheel–rail contact friction coefficient leads to a sharp increase in the trend of rail corrugation occurrence and causes a decrease in the rail corrugation wave-length. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Sustainable Transportation)
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15 pages, 6581 KiB  
Article
Numerical Simulation of CO2-ECBM Based on Multi-Physical Field Coupling Model
by Ziwen Li, Hongjin Yu and Yansong Bai
Sustainability 2022, 14(18), 11789; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141811789 - 19 Sep 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1745
Abstract
In this paper, heat injection and CO2 injection are combined, and the influence of coal seam parameters on CO2-ECBM is analyzed to improve the production of CH4 and CO2 reserves and the effective control of both greenhouse gases. [...] Read more.
In this paper, heat injection and CO2 injection are combined, and the influence of coal seam parameters on CO2-ECBM is analyzed to improve the production of CH4 and CO2 reserves and the effective control of both greenhouse gases. A multi-physical field coupling model of CO2-ECBM was established based on Darcy’s law, Fick’s law of diffusion, the extended Langmuir model for adsorption, and the equation of state. Numerical simulation of CO2-ECBM under different coal seam parameters was carried out by COMSOL Multiphysics. The results show that increasing the injection pressure of the CO2 injection well and the initial pressure of the coal seam can effectively increase the gas pressure and concentration gradient, which has a positive effect on improving the extraction concentration of CH4 and the sequestration concentration of CO2 in the coal seam. The increase of the initial temperature of the coal seam will promote the desorption and diffusion of the binary elemental gas, resulting in a decrease in the concentration of coalbed methane and a decrease in the displacement effect. In the process of displacement, the greater the initial permeability, the greater the fracture opening of the coal seam, which is more conducive to the seepage transport of the gas. The closer to the position of the injection well, the better the displacement effect and the lower the permeability rate ratio. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Dynamic Hazards Prevention in Underground Mines)
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17 pages, 2450 KiB  
Article
The Effects of Shareholding of the National Pension Fund on Environmental, Social, Governance, and Financial Performance: Evidence from the Korean Manufacturing Industry
by Jootae Kim, Sungjin Son and Ick Jin
Sustainability 2022, 14(18), 11788; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141811788 - 19 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2308
Abstract
With the growing number of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) problems, many companies have begun to implement more sustainable business practices. In the midst of this change, institutional shareholders declare and adopt socially responsible investment procedures, which is a way of engaging in [...] Read more.
With the growing number of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) problems, many companies have begun to implement more sustainable business practices. In the midst of this change, institutional shareholders declare and adopt socially responsible investment procedures, which is a way of engaging in investor activism. Despite the growing interest in investor activism following the introduction of the stewardship code, little attention has been paid to how socially responsible investment practices of institutional investors affect the non-financial value of the pillars of environmental, social, and governance as well as financial performance, including short-term accounting (ROE, ROA) and long-term market performance (Tobin q). The current study examines whether the national pension fund (NPF), the world’s third-largest Korean pension fund, can increase the ESG performance of investee firms in addition to accounting and market performance through institutional investors’ shareholding. This study, by applying path analysis, attempts to explore the relationship between the NPF’s socially responsible investing, ESG, and the financial performance of the investee firms. This research offers evidence that ESG performance acts as a moderator or a mediator between NPF’s shareholding and financial performance. Full article
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16 pages, 926 KiB  
Article
Mediating Effects of Self-Efficacy, Resilience and Job Satisfaction on the Relationship between Person–Organisation Fit and Employee Work Adjustment
by Natthaya Wongsuwan and Khahan Na-Nan
Sustainability 2022, 14(18), 11787; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141811787 - 19 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2482
Abstract
The purposes of this study were to test the direct and indirect effects of person–organisation fit (POF) and examine how self-efficacy (SE), resilience (RES) and job satisfaction (JS) acted as full or partial mediations between POF and employee work adjustment (EWA). A survey [...] Read more.
The purposes of this study were to test the direct and indirect effects of person–organisation fit (POF) and examine how self-efficacy (SE), resilience (RES) and job satisfaction (JS) acted as full or partial mediations between POF and employee work adjustment (EWA). A survey was conducted on 317 new graduates from the Rajamangala University of Technology Thanyaburi, with analysis of direct effects, indirect effects and mediators performed using the Hayes Process Macro Model 81. Results showed that POF had a direct effect on EWA with statistical significance and an indirect effect through self-efficacy, RES and JS, while SE, RES and JS acted as partial mediators between EWA with statistical significance. The mediating effects of SE, RES and JS were helpful in explaining the theory of POF on the work adjustment of new graduates. Results contribute to the development and expansion of POF in various industrial contexts. Human resource department managers can apply the study results as guidelines for selecting suitable employees as well as enhancing SE, RES and JS, leading to fast EWA. This study contributes to POF literature by clarifying the mediating effects of SE, RES and JS and clearly explaining the relationship between POF and EWA. Full article
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19 pages, 4161 KiB  
Article
Deep Learning Approach for the Detection of Noise Type in Ancient Images
by Poonam Pawar, Bharati Ainapure, Mamoon Rashid, Nazir Ahmad, Aziz Alotaibi and Sultan S. Alshamrani
Sustainability 2022, 14(18), 11786; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141811786 - 19 Sep 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2315
Abstract
Recent innovations in digital image capturing techniques facilitate the capture of stationary and moving objects. The images can be easily captured via high-end digital cameras, mobile phones and other handheld devices. Most of the time, captured images vary compared to actual objects. The [...] Read more.
Recent innovations in digital image capturing techniques facilitate the capture of stationary and moving objects. The images can be easily captured via high-end digital cameras, mobile phones and other handheld devices. Most of the time, captured images vary compared to actual objects. The captured images may be contaminated by dark, grey shades and undesirable black spots. There are various reasons for contamination, such as atmospheric conditions, limitations of capturing device and human errors. There are various mechanisms to process the image, which can clean up contaminated image to match with the original one. The image processing applications primarily require detection of accurate noise type which is used as input for image restoration. There are filtering techniques, fractional differential gradient and machine learning techniques to detect and identify the type of noise. These methods primarily rely on image content and spatial domain information of a given image. With the advancements in the technologies, deep learning (DL) is a technology that can be trained to mimic human intelligence to recognize various image patterns, audio files and text for accuracy. A deep learning framework empowers correct processing of multiple images for object identification and quick decision abilities without human interventions. Here Convolution Neural Network (CNN) model has been implemented to detect and identify types of noise in the given image. Over the multiple internal iterations to optimize the results, the identified noise is classified with 99.25% accuracy using the Proposed System Architecture (PSA) compared with AlexNet, Yolo V5, Yolo V3, RCNN and CNN. The proposed model in this study proved to be suitable for the classification of mural images on the basis of every performance parameter. The precision, accuracy, f1-score and recall of the PSA are 98.50%, 99.25%, 98.50% and 98.50%, respectively. This study contributes to the development of mural art recovery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applied Artificial Intelligence for Sustainability)
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13 pages, 2478 KiB  
Article
Implementation of Magnetic Nanostructured Adsorbents for Heavy Metals Separation from Textile Wastewater
by Marco Barozzi, Sabrina Copelli, Eleonora Russo, Paolo Sgarbossa, Maria Cristina Lavagnolo, Annalisa Sandon, Cristiana Morosini and Elisabetta Sieni
Sustainability 2022, 14(18), 11785; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141811785 - 19 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1372
Abstract
In the framework of sustainability, water shortages and water pollution are two important aspects to be considered. Proposing efficient and low-impact technologies is of paramount importance to promote circular economies associated with the use of water in the industrial context, especially in the [...] Read more.
In the framework of sustainability, water shortages and water pollution are two important aspects to be considered. Proposing efficient and low-impact technologies is of paramount importance to promote circular economies associated with the use of water in the industrial context, especially in the textile industry. In this work, the application of a set of magnetic nanostructured adsorbents (MNAs) to cleanse metal ions from textile wastewaters was studied and analyzed. MNAs were generated with a low-cost process, involving iron (II/III) salts (e.g., chlorides), sodium or ammonium hydroxide solutions, and graphene oxide, obtained from graphite by a modified Hummers’ method at room temperature. The shape and the size were studied with transmission electron microscopy. Adsorbents were tested with different metal ions (e.g., copper, chromium (III), and nickel). Metal ion concentrations were analyzed by means of inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES), and adsorption isotherms were characterized. From the results, the MNAs exhibited the capability of removing metal ions up to a yield of 99% for Cr3+, 94.7% for Cu2+, and 91.4% for Ni2+, along with adsorption loads up to 4.56 mg/g of MNAs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sustainable Treatment of Complex Wastewater)
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17 pages, 1053 KiB  
Review
Get Rid of Marine Pollution: Bioremediation an Innovative, Attractive, and Successful Cleaning Strategy
by Valbona Aliko, Cristiana Roberta Multisanti, Blerta Turani and Caterina Faggio
Sustainability 2022, 14(18), 11784; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141811784 - 19 Sep 2022
Cited by 47 | Viewed by 4689
Abstract
Aquatic environmental pollution is a rather worrying and increasingly topical problem that requires the development and promotion of innovative and ecofriendly technologies. Pollutants in water include many common substances that can reach aquatic ecosystems through several pathways including wastewater, the atmosphere, ship discharges, [...] Read more.
Aquatic environmental pollution is a rather worrying and increasingly topical problem that requires the development and promotion of innovative and ecofriendly technologies. Pollutants in water include many common substances that can reach aquatic ecosystems through several pathways including wastewater, the atmosphere, ship discharges, and many other sources. Most of these toxic compounds are internalized by aquatic organisms, leading to bioaccumulation in tissues and reaching any level of the food chain through the biomagnification process. These mechanisms can develop into adverse effects on the physiology of organisms and biochemical processes of natural ecosystems, thus affecting animals, environments, and indirectly, human health. Innovative technologies to tackle marine pollution include bioremediation: a suitable, biological, and ecological approach that enhances the ability of micro-organisms to transform waste and toxic substances into forms that can be used by other organisms. In this context, micro-organisms appear to be essential for the detoxification of aquatic systems due to their metabolic activity. This review provides a careful analysis of the characteristics of the main pollutants that affect aquatic ecosystems, with a focus on their effects on organisms and environments. It also offers clear guidance on innovative biological strategies that can be employed to prevent, limit, and remediate anthropogenic influences on aquatic environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Life below Water: Marine Biology and Sustainable Ocean)
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18 pages, 3310 KiB  
Article
Household Food Security as a Complex System—Contributions to the Social Sciences from the Cuban Perspective during a Pandemic
by Yinet Domínguez Ruiz, Osmanys Soler Nariño, José Manuel Jurado Almonte and Juan Antonio Márquez Domínguez
Sustainability 2022, 14(18), 11783; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141811783 - 19 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1655
Abstract
The food crisis caused by the rise in grocery prices affects many countries. Added to this complex panorama is the current health situation generated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Its impact on the productive sector will be detrimental to many household incomes and food [...] Read more.
The food crisis caused by the rise in grocery prices affects many countries. Added to this complex panorama is the current health situation generated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Its impact on the productive sector will be detrimental to many household incomes and food practices. The social sciences need to adopt a complex understanding of household food security (HFS) as a dynamic process of building collective nutritional knowledge and eating habits. In the case of Cuba, the burden on the agrifood system is the result of external and internal factors that affect household food sustainability. This paper, therefore, seeks to assess the social construction of HFS as a complex system in the current pandemic scenario using the municipality of Santiago de Cuba as a case study. Qualitative and quantitative methods were used. The main results obtained focus on the role played by women in food use and distribution, and the effect of food vulnerability on HFS. These results provide an analytical model for the study of the new and diverse household-food-security configurations that are emerging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economics Perspectives on Sustainable Food Security)
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17 pages, 1850 KiB  
Article
Virtual Carbon Flow in China’s Capital Economic Circle: A Multi-Regional Input–Output Approach
by Chong Yin, Yue Liu and Yingxin Cui
Sustainability 2022, 14(18), 11782; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141811782 - 19 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1447
Abstract
The Capital Economic Circle (CEC) is the area with the largest economic aggregate in northern China and has a strong status in driving the economic development of China. However, the industrial structure dominated by high energy consuming industries leads to a large number [...] Read more.
The Capital Economic Circle (CEC) is the area with the largest economic aggregate in northern China and has a strong status in driving the economic development of China. However, the industrial structure dominated by high energy consuming industries leads to a large number of carbon dioxide emissions, and the imbalance between economic development and carbon emissions in CEC is serious; therefore, it is necessary to explore how to solve the carbon imbalance problem of the CEC by relying on interregional cooperation. Based on China’s multi-regional input–output tables of 2012, 2015 and 2017, this paper proposes the CEC carbon-extended, multi-regional input–output model to measure virtual carbon flow and analyze how the industrial structure leads to the imbalance of carbon flow distribution in CEC. Indicators such as direct carbon emission coefficients, complete carbon emission coefficients and carbon emissions pull coefficients of the industrial sectors in CEC are calculated and the physical carbon emission and virtual carbon flows among the industrial sectors and the regions are evaluated. The results show that there are potential constraints from the uncoordinated configuration of industrial innovation chains among the CEC, and the “carbon imbalance” of CEC is mainly reflected in the backward production technology of Hebei and its inefficient connection with the industrial innovation chain of Beijing and Tianjin. It is suggested that policymakers should promote the low-carbon production system and strengthen green energy development and utilization to enhance green development in CEC. In future research, we should pay attention to the updating method of the input–output table and the development of carbon circular networks. This study has implications for some areas of China and developing countries in Asia, which also have an imbalance between industrial economy development and carbon emissions, and a similarity in space structure and industry layout with CEC. Full article
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13 pages, 3166 KiB  
Article
City Corporation Activities for Creating Sustainable Population Development in the Opinion of University Students in Gdansk (Poland)
by Grażyna Chaberek and Julia Ziółkowska
Sustainability 2022, 14(18), 11781; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141811781 - 19 Sep 2022
Viewed by 1304
Abstract
Nowadays, urban areas very often attract the poor and the unemployed, leading to the creation of neighbourhoods of poverty (slums) and other economic and social problems. All over the world, cities include sustainable goals in their development strategies, but the question is, do [...] Read more.
Nowadays, urban areas very often attract the poor and the unemployed, leading to the creation of neighbourhoods of poverty (slums) and other economic and social problems. All over the world, cities include sustainable goals in their development strategies, but the question is, do these city development strategies also foresee activities devoted to human capital growth? The purpose of the study was an analysis of city corporation activities and of students’ perception of a city corporation’s activities that aim to encourage educated young people to study and settle in their city, using the example of Gdansk, Poland. The study was conducted in 2021–2022, based on desk research and an Internet survey. The research group comprised students at the University of Gdansk (Poland). The main conclusions from the study are: (1) cities’ sustainable policies are slightly integrated with actions meant to encourage highly educated people to settle within; (2) Gdansk students’ decisions to settle are not correlated with city corporation activities, and (3) from Gdansk students’ perspective, preferential accommodation costs are the most expected city corporation actions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Economics, City Development and Future Social Challenges)
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19 pages, 1381 KiB  
Article
Spatiotemporal Differentiation and Driving Mechanism of Coupling Coordination between New-Type Urbanization and Ecological Environment in China
by Yao Zhang, Taoyuan Wei, Wentao Tian and Kai Zhao
Sustainability 2022, 14(18), 11780; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141811780 - 19 Sep 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1993
Abstract
The coupling coordination between new-type urbanization and ecological environment is important for regional sustainable development in China. This study proposes an evaluation index system of new urbanization and ecological environment, and adopts a coupling coordination degree model and a spatial error model to [...] Read more.
The coupling coordination between new-type urbanization and ecological environment is important for regional sustainable development in China. This study proposes an evaluation index system of new urbanization and ecological environment, and adopts a coupling coordination degree model and a spatial error model to explore the spatiotemporal evolution characteristics and driving factors of the coupling coordination degrees of new-type urbanization and ecological environment in 31 provinces of China from 2010 to 2019. The results show spatiotemporal differences in the overall coupling coordination degree, which has shifted from a mild disorder stage to a near disorder stage over the study period. The spatial distribution of the coupling coordination degrees by province has shifted over time from a pattern of low in the middle and high in both east and west regions to a pattern of stepwise decreasing from east, middle to west regions. The spatial correlation of the coupling coordination degrees is gradually weakening over time. Regional economic development, social security, technological progress, industrial structure, and education input can all contribute to inject strong impetus to the coupled and coordinated development of the two systems. As the development of impetus is still insufficient, it is suggested to pay attention to local conditions, strengthen inter-regional cooperation, and strengthen the superposition effect of multiple driving forces. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urbanization and Environmental Sustainability)
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22 pages, 1723 KiB  
Article
Competitiveness of Food Industry in the Era of Digital Transformation towards Agriculture 4.0
by Ismael Cristofer Baierle, Francisco Tardelli da Silva, Ricardo Gonçalves de Faria Correa, Jones Luís Schaefer, Matheus Becker Da Costa, Guilherme Brittes Benitez and Elpidio Oscar Benitez Nara
Sustainability 2022, 14(18), 11779; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141811779 - 19 Sep 2022
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 4404
Abstract
Industry 4.0 and its technologies can potentially increase business competitiveness in the age of digital transformation through the implementation of its technologies. These digital technologies are increasingly present in the food industry, characterizing the concept of Agriculture 4.0. This digital transformation is a [...] Read more.
Industry 4.0 and its technologies can potentially increase business competitiveness in the age of digital transformation through the implementation of its technologies. These digital technologies are increasingly present in the food industry, characterizing the concept of Agriculture 4.0. This digital transformation is a reality; however, it is unclear which digital technologies are most useful for each industry sector. Therefore, this paper seeks to explore the current state of implementation of digital technologies in different industrial sectors and which digital technologies should be leveraged to increase the performance of the agribusiness system. To do so, we used secondary data from a large-scale survey of 28 industrial sectors, representing 2225 companies in the Brazilian industry. Analyzing the different industrial sectors allowed us to present a framework of digital transformation to boost food industry competitiveness towards Agriculture 4.0. The results show that the food industry usually uses only one digital technology, showing the need for simultaneous and joint investments in the other technologies presented in this research. Public policies must be directed to encourage the expansion of digital technologies in the food industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green and Digital Transformation in Operations Management)
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23 pages, 1709 KiB  
Article
A Schematic Model for Implementing Industries High Risk Projects through the Agent of Human Capital
by Irina Soloveva, Irina Mostovshchikova, Darya Baeva and Andrew Alola
Sustainability 2022, 14(18), 11778; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141811778 - 19 Sep 2022
Viewed by 1242
Abstract
Given the global drive for more sustainable industrial practices, the goal of this paper is to develop and test an algorithm to diagnose the readiness of industrial enterprises to implement team management in innovation projects. Our model was tested at a large industrial [...] Read more.
Given the global drive for more sustainable industrial practices, the goal of this paper is to develop and test an algorithm to diagnose the readiness of industrial enterprises to implement team management in innovation projects. Our model was tested at a large industrial enterprise in the food industry. To study the peculiar features of the perception of a company image by different functional groups of participants (within the framework of the proposed structural model of the image), we used the in-depth interview method. The study involved a total of 60 people making up three groups of company employees (managers, brand sellers, workers). The data were complemented by a documentary analysis. Because of the chosen research approach, the research results may lack generalizability, thus researchers are encouraged to test the proposed propositions further. The results reveal significant discrepancies in the company image formed among different groups of current and potential employees. An analysis showed that the enterprise under study is not ready for the implementation of team management, and additional training is required. The proposed approach will allow us to identify the factors that somewhat (inwardly) impede the implementation of investments at the enterprise and restrain its sustainable innovation and development. The scientific and business significance of the developed correctional and diagnostic model lies in its ability to assess the level of consistency in the perception of the goals and development prospects of the company. As such, the potential participants in project teams are identified, and, through the implementation of corrective measures, we create a basis for the formation of effective teams. Full article
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17 pages, 1893 KiB  
Article
Research on Dynamic Comprehensive Evaluation of Metropolitan Area Development Level Based on Quadratic Weighting: A Case Study of Four Metropolitan Areas in the Yangtze River Delta Region
by Hongqiang Wang, Linlin Zheng and Yingjie Zhang
Sustainability 2022, 14(18), 11777; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141811777 - 19 Sep 2022
Viewed by 1382
Abstract
Nowadays, the development of a metropolitan area has become one of the milestones for regions to move towards a high level of urbanization and has been elevated to a national strategy. In this paper, the economic and social development level of the four [...] Read more.
Nowadays, the development of a metropolitan area has become one of the milestones for regions to move towards a high level of urbanization and has been elevated to a national strategy. In this paper, the economic and social development level of the four major metropolitan areas in the Yangtze River Delta region from 2005 to 2020 was dynamically evaluated by constructing an evaluation index system, which is based on a new development concept of China, and applying the “vertical and horizontal” evaluation method and model. Meanwhile, in order to reflect the core development concept of “leading small cities with large ones and coordinating development”, this study incorporates the spatial and temporal economic connectivity between the central city and the surrounding small and medium sized member cities, as well as the industrial structure rationality and synergy into the index system, and applies the gravity model, the Thiel index and the industrial structure similarity coefficient to measure them, respectively. The study shows that the economic and social development of the four metropolitan areas is extremely uneven, with each area having certain shortcomings, and the development level of each area fluctuates significantly in terms of economic connectivity and industrial structure. Finally, relevant suggestions are put forward according to the shortcomings to provide reference for the future development direction of the metropolitan area, which is of great practical significance to promote the high-quality development of the regional economy. Full article
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17 pages, 2657 KiB  
Article
Subjective and Objective Evaluation of Shading on Thermal, Visual, and Acoustic Properties of Indoor Environments
by Qing Yang and Nianping Li
Sustainability 2022, 14(18), 11776; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141811776 - 19 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1478
Abstract
Through objective measurement, subjective measurement, and prioritization methods, this study evaluates the impacts of different shading facilities on the indoor environment of multi-story residential buildings, such as dormitories. The objective measurements mainly include the operative temperature, daylight factor, and sound pressure level. The [...] Read more.
Through objective measurement, subjective measurement, and prioritization methods, this study evaluates the impacts of different shading facilities on the indoor environment of multi-story residential buildings, such as dormitories. The objective measurements mainly include the operative temperature, daylight factor, and sound pressure level. The subjective measurement is obtained from occupant votes regarding their satisfaction with the thermal uniformity, natural lighting, external noise, and the overall indoor environment. The results show that the subjective evaluations were significantly more reliable than the objective measurements for predicting indoor environmental satisfaction. The prioritization method of the ordered logistic regression was then used to evaluate the impact of perceived indoor environmental quality on overall satisfaction. The results show that the impact of the perceived indoor environmental quality on overall satisfaction varied with the shading facilities. In addition, the occupants commented on the function of items affecting their application preferences and provided recommendations for improving balconies and sunshades to provide occupants with better indoor environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality in Sustainable Buildings)
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17 pages, 1639 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of the Incorporation of Tire-Derived Aggregates (TDA) in Rigid Pavement Mix Designs
by Ahmad M. Abu Abdo and Hany El Naggar
Sustainability 2022, 14(18), 11775; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141811775 - 19 Sep 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1729
Abstract
Owing to the extensive worldwide generation of solid wastes, such as rubber tires, and the resulting adverse environmental impacts, the incorporation of these waste materials in construction projects has become a widespread aim. However, concerns have arisen regarding the effects of rubber waste [...] Read more.
Owing to the extensive worldwide generation of solid wastes, such as rubber tires, and the resulting adverse environmental impacts, the incorporation of these waste materials in construction projects has become a widespread aim. However, concerns have arisen regarding the effects of rubber waste on the mechanical properties of Portland cement concrete (PCC) mixes. Thus, this study investigates the effects of replacing natural coarse aggregates with tire-derived aggregates (TDA). In PCC mixes, natural aggregates were replaced by 0, 10, 20, 40, 60, 80, and 100% TDA by volume, and the properties of these specimens were tested in the laboratory. The results obtained were then used as inputs for the KENPAVE software, to evaluate induced stresses, deflections, and cracking indices in rigid pavement slabs, with eleven different thicknesses, ranging from 200 to 300 mm in 10 mm increments. Stresses under different loading conditions decreased as PCC slab thickness and TDA content increased. Increased deflection and cracking indices resulting from adding TDA could be counteracted by increasing the PCC slab thickness by 10 mm. Moreover, environmental impacts and cost analyses were examined via PaLATE 2.0, which showed that the use of TDA could reduce energy consumption, harmful emissions, and material costs. Overall, this study indicates that the use of TDA in PCC mixes has benefits that can make it a good candidate for sustainable, ecofriendly rigid pavement construction projects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Green Construction)
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17 pages, 1305 KiB  
Article
Optimizing the Systematic Characteristics of Online Learning Systems to Enhance the Continuance Intention of Chinese College Students
by Mengfan Li, Ting Wang, Wei Lu and Mengke Wang
Sustainability 2022, 14(18), 11774; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141811774 - 19 Sep 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1958
Abstract
Different from systems that directly provide online shared courses such as MOOC, online learning systems such as Tencent Classroom simulate a real classroom environment for students and teachers to realize online face-to-face teaching, utilized during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, due to the limitation [...] Read more.
Different from systems that directly provide online shared courses such as MOOC, online learning systems such as Tencent Classroom simulate a real classroom environment for students and teachers to realize online face-to-face teaching, utilized during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, due to the limitation of physical distance, the intelligent design of online learning systems is necessary to provide students with a good learning experience. This study notes that an unexpected optimization effect is the impact of system characteristics on the flow experience of online learning systems, which has not been studied, but plays a vital role in the effectiveness of online learning systems. In the study, a questionnaire was created and multi-stage sampling was used to investigate 623 college students. Based on the DeLone and McLean model of IS success and flow theory, a model for optimizing system characteristics and flow experience was constructed and its effectiveness was tested. The results reveal that system characteristics have a positive impact on continuance intention and flow experience. Additionally, flow experience and learning effect have a positive impact on continuance intention. Furthermore, flow experience has a positive impact on the learning effect. This study emphasizes the flow experience of online learning systems and reveals the optimization direction of online virtual face-to-face classrooms to provide references for the Ministry of Education, schools, and enterprises providing education systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable E-learning and Education with Intelligence)
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19 pages, 2615 KiB  
Article
Day-Ahead Scheduling of Electric Vehicles and Electrical Storage Systems in Smart Homes Using a Novel Decision Vector and AHP Method
by Masoud Alilou, Gevork B. Gharehpetian, Roya Ahmadiahangar, Argo Rosin and Amjad Anvari-Moghaddam
Sustainability 2022, 14(18), 11773; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141811773 - 19 Sep 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1360
Abstract
The two-way communication of electricity and information in smart homes facilitates the optimal management of devices with the ability to charge and discharge, such as electric vehicles and electrical storage systems. These devices can be scheduled considering domestic renewable energy units, the energy [...] Read more.
The two-way communication of electricity and information in smart homes facilitates the optimal management of devices with the ability to charge and discharge, such as electric vehicles and electrical storage systems. These devices can be scheduled considering domestic renewable energy units, the energy consumption of householders, the electricity tariff of the grid, and other predetermined parameters in order to improve their efficiency and also the technical and economic indices of the smart home. In this paper, a novel framework based on decision vectors and the analytical hierarchy process method is investigated to find the optimal operation schedule of these devices for the day-ahead performance of smart homes. The initial data of the electric vehicle and the electrical storage system are modeled stochastically. The aim of this work is to minimize the electricity cost and the peak demand of the smart home by optimal operation of the electric vehicle and the electrical storage system. Firstly, the different decision vectors for charging and discharging these devices are introduced based on the market price, the produce power of the domestic photovoltaic panel, and the electricity demand of the smart home. Secondly, the analytical hierarchy process method is utilized to implement the various priorities of decision criteria and calculate the ultimate decision vectors. Finally, the operation schedule of the electric vehicle and the electrical storage system is selected based on the ultimate decision vectors considering the operational constraints of these devices and the constraints of charging and discharging priorities. The proposed method is applied to a sample smart home considering different priorities of decision criteria. Numerical results present that although the combination of decision criteria with a high rank of electricity demand has the highest improvement of technical and economic indices of the smart home by about 12 and 26%, the proposed method has appropriate performance in all scenarios for selecting the optimal operation schedule of the electric vehicles and the electrical storage system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Microgrids: The Path to Sustainability)
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14 pages, 6776 KiB  
Article
Adaptive Intelligent Model Predictive Control for Microgrid Load Frequency
by Dong Zhao, Shuyan Sun, Ardashir Mohammadzadeh and Amir Mosavi
Sustainability 2022, 14(18), 11772; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141811772 - 19 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1807
Abstract
In this paper, self-tuning model predictive control (MPC) based on a type-2 fuzzy system for microgrid frequency is presented. The type-2 fuzzy system calculates the parameters and coefficients of the control system online. In the microgrid examined, there are sources of photovoltaic power [...] Read more.
In this paper, self-tuning model predictive control (MPC) based on a type-2 fuzzy system for microgrid frequency is presented. The type-2 fuzzy system calculates the parameters and coefficients of the control system online. In the microgrid examined, there are sources of photovoltaic power generation, wind, diesel, fuel cells (with a hydrogen electrolyzer), batteries and flywheels. In simulating the load changes, changes in the production capacity of solar and wind resources as well as changes (uncertainty) in all parameters of the microgrid are considered. The performances of three control systems including traditional MPC, self-tuning MPC based on a type-1 fuzzy system and self-tuning MPC based on a type-2 fuzzy system are compared. The results show that type-2 fuzzy MPC has the best performance, followed by type-1 fuzzy MPC, with a slight difference between the two results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Artificial Intelligence and Sustainability)
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12 pages, 3063 KiB  
Article
Microscopic Damage to Limestone under Acidic Conditions: Phenomena and Mechanisms
by Xingming Chen, Xiaoping Liu, Haoming Luo, Linjian Long and Chuanju Liu
Sustainability 2022, 14(18), 11771; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141811771 - 19 Sep 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1829
Abstract
In an acidic environment, the mineral components in rock begin to break down. As a result, the microstructure will be damaged, and then the mechanical properties will deteriorate, which will eventually have a negative effect on engineering stability. In order to study acid [...] Read more.
In an acidic environment, the mineral components in rock begin to break down. As a result, the microstructure will be damaged, and then the mechanical properties will deteriorate, which will eventually have a negative effect on engineering stability. In order to study acid damage’s effect on this kind of rock, limestone samples were acidified for 0 days, 5 days, 10 days, 15 days, and 20 days. The microstructure changes in the limestone after acidification were studied via the wave velocity test and electron microscope scanning, and the damage deterioration mechanism was revealed. The results show that the acoustic signal of acidified samples has an obvious absorption effect at high frequency, and the surface pore structure of acidified samples shows fractal characteristics. The P-wave velocity, main peak amplitude, and fractal dimension of the acidified samples did not gradually decrease with time; however, there was a short-term strengthening phenomenon during immersion, which was mainly caused by the formation of CaSO4 crystals. Full article
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13 pages, 4101 KiB  
Article
Experimental Study on Microbial-Induced Calcium Carbonate Precipitation Repairing Fractured Rock under Different Temperatures
by Junren Deng, Hongwei Deng, Yanan Zhang and Yilin Luo
Sustainability 2022, 14(18), 11770; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141811770 - 19 Sep 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1446
Abstract
Microbial-induced calcium carbonate precipitation (MICP) technology mainly uses carbonates produced by the reaction of microbial activities to repair rocks and soils. Temperature influences microbial metabolism and the kinetics of chemical reactions. In this study, microbial repair experiments on fractured sandstone under different temperatures [...] Read more.
Microbial-induced calcium carbonate precipitation (MICP) technology mainly uses carbonates produced by the reaction of microbial activities to repair rocks and soils. Temperature influences microbial metabolism and the kinetics of chemical reactions. In this study, microbial repair experiments on fractured sandstone under different temperatures are carried out. The repair effects are tested with nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), an X-ray automatic diffractometer (XRD), uniaxial compressive strength (UCS), and a scanning electron microscope (SEM) test. The influence of the temperature on the restorative effects of MICP was discussed. The results show that the repair effect of the Sporosarcina pasteurii is significantly better as the temperature increases. When the temperature reaches 33 °C, the porosity and permeability of fractured sandstone can be reduced by 55.174% and 98.761%, respectively. The average uniaxial compressive strength can be restored to 6.24 MPa. The repair effect gradually weakens with the increase in temperature. However, the Sporosarcina pasteurii can still maintain relatively good biological activity at temperatures from 33 °C to 39 °C. The main form of CaCO3 produced in the process of MICP is calcite. It can fill in the rock pores, and result in reducing the size and number of large pores and improving the impermeability and strength of fractured yellow sandstone. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Materials)
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20 pages, 8182 KiB  
Article
Flexural Strength of Concrete Beams Made of Recycled Aggregates: An Experimental and Soft Computing-Based Study
by Ehsan Momeni, Fereydoon Omidinasab, Ahmad Dalvand, Vahid Goodarzimehr and Abas Eskandari
Sustainability 2022, 14(18), 11769; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141811769 - 19 Sep 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1893
Abstract
The implementation of recycled concrete aggregates (RCAs) in the construction industry has been highlighted in the literature recently. This study aimed to propose an intelligent model for predicting the ultimate flexural strength of recycled reinforced concrete (RRC) beams. For this reason, a database [...] Read more.
The implementation of recycled concrete aggregates (RCAs) in the construction industry has been highlighted in the literature recently. This study aimed to propose an intelligent model for predicting the ultimate flexural strength of recycled reinforced concrete (RRC) beams. For this reason, a database comprising experimental tests on concrete beams was compiled from the literature. Additionally, two experimental tests were performed in the laboratory to enhance the aforementioned database. The flexural test results showed a 10% reduction in flexural strength when the RRC beam was tested instead of a conventional beam (constructed with natural aggregates). Nevertheless, an artificial neural network (ANN) improved by particle swarm optimization (PSO), as well as an imperialist competitive algorithm (ICA), were utilized for developing the predictive model. The inputs of the hybrid predictive models of flexural strength were the beam geometrical properties, reinforcement ratio, RCA percentage, compressive strength of concrete, and the yield strength of steel. The overall findings (e.g., correlation coefficient values of 0.997 and 0.994 for the testing data) showed the feasibility of the PSO-based ANN predictive model, as well as the ICA-based ANN predictive model in the flexural assessment of RRC beams. Furthermore, comparing the prediction performances of PSO-based ANN with ICA-based ANN and the conventional ANN showed that the PSO-based ANN model outperformed the predictive model built with the conventional ANN and the ICA-ANN. Full article
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20 pages, 1045 KiB  
Article
Nexus between Cyclical Innovation in Green Technologies and CO2 Emissions in Nordic Countries: Consent toward Environmental Sustainability
by Nihal Ahmed, Franklin Ore Areche, Dante Daniel Cruz Nieto, Ricardo Fernando Cosio Borda, Berenice Cajavilca Gonzales, Piotr Senkus, Paweł Siemiński and Adam Skrzypek
Sustainability 2022, 14(18), 11768; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141811768 - 19 Sep 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2179
Abstract
Several economies have acknowledged that environmental degradation poses a serious danger to worldwide sustainable production and consumption. Policy makers concur that the increased use and production of carbon-intensive technologies has intensified the detrimental consequences of carbon dioxide emissions. In response, a number of [...] Read more.
Several economies have acknowledged that environmental degradation poses a serious danger to worldwide sustainable production and consumption. Policy makers concur that the increased use and production of carbon-intensive technologies has intensified the detrimental consequences of carbon dioxide emissions. In response, a number of nations have reacted by enacting stringent regulations and encouraging green technology innovations across corporate and governmental organizations. Evidence that already exists suggests that research and development is a cyclical process; nevertheless, the non-linear influence of shocks in research and development and innovation in green technologies on CO2 emissions in the Nordic nations has not been well investigated. Using panel data from 1995 to 2019, this research explores the asymmetric link between innovation in green technologies and CO2 emissions. The cointegration link between the chosen variables was validated using the Westerlund cointegration test and the Johansen–Fisher panel cointegration test. The findings of both tests confirm the presence of cointegration association between dependent and independent variables. The outcomes of CS-ARDL revealed that negative shocks in creating green technologies contribute to carbon dioxide emissions during recessions. Second, the findings supported the notion that innovation in green technology may reduce carbon dioxide emissions during times of economic expansion. Thirdly, the GDP increases the CO2 emissions, but the usage of renewable energy decreases CO2 emissions. In addition, the robustness analysis validated the consistency and precision of the existing findings. In summary, the findings suggest that the link between advances in environmentally friendly technologies and levels of carbon dioxide emissions were inversely proportional. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Technology and Sustainable Development)
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26 pages, 6207 KiB  
Article
Defining a Digital Strategy in a BIM Environment to Manage Existing Reinforced Concrete Bridges in the Context of Italian Regulation
by Angelo Ciccone, Pompilio Suglia, Domenico Asprone, Antonio Salzano and Maurizio Nicolella
Sustainability 2022, 14(18), 11767; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141811767 - 19 Sep 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1805
Abstract
Regulatory activity concerning the management of existing bridges has recently been affected by updates, for instance, in Italy, which calls for a speedy and pragmatic approach based on new technologies such as building information modeling (BIM), when dealing with the survey and risk [...] Read more.
Regulatory activity concerning the management of existing bridges has recently been affected by updates, for instance, in Italy, which calls for a speedy and pragmatic approach based on new technologies such as building information modeling (BIM), when dealing with the survey and risk classification as well as the evaluation and monitoring of structural safety. This paper focuses on the development and integration of a digital solution, based principally on the specific framework developed by the authors, which supports BIM modeling and information management activities, in the structural setting under investigation, through the use of several technologies and tools, namely BIM-authoring, CDE platform and visual programming, in addition to programming in Python. Starting from the organization of a specific BIM object library and the initial data, inserted by means of a custom-made input environment, it was possible to reproduce digital models of bridges in accordance with specific information requirements following the new Level of Information Need setting. The applicability of the proposal is tested on two judiciously chosen real-life cases with different characteristics. Through this implementation, a series of advantages emerge, including expediting traditional procedures for BIM modeling, accessibility and traceability of information—which are constantly updated to support the monitoring of structural safety over time—and the decision-making process related to the bridge management context. Full article
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22 pages, 12308 KiB  
Article
Strength Deterioration Model of Soft Rock Considering Mesoscopic Bonding–Expansion Coupling Mechanism under Freeze–Thaw Cycles
by Chang Xia, Zhen Liu and Cuiying Zhou
Sustainability 2022, 14(18), 11766; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141811766 - 19 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1571
Abstract
The mechanical deterioration of soft rocks under freeze–thaw cycles is caused by the accumulation of mesoscopic damage. However, the current freeze–thaw deterioration model for soft rocks does not adequately consider the multiscale correlations, which makes the strength calculation results differ greatly from the [...] Read more.
The mechanical deterioration of soft rocks under freeze–thaw cycles is caused by the accumulation of mesoscopic damage. However, the current freeze–thaw deterioration model for soft rocks does not adequately consider the multiscale correlations, which makes the strength calculation results differ greatly from the test results and cannot fully reveal the damage mechanism of soft rocks under freeze–thaw cycling conditions. In this paper, the bond damage and pore ice expansion laws are considered from the soft-rock mesoscopic bond unit and a multiscale strength deterioration model is proposed. The freeze–thaw deterioration model is extended to intact and cracked soft rocks by the Discrete Element Method (DEM). The results are validated by laboratory tests. The peak strengths of intact soft rocks are calculated within 10% error for different numbers of freeze–thaw cycles, and the macroscopic crack development simulation results are consistent with the laboratory tests. The joints have a significant effect on the damage evolution: the freeze–thaw-induced mesoscopic damage in cracked rocks accumulates at a uniform rate, while the damage in intact soft rocks grows exponentially; the freeze–thaw cracks in cracked soft rocks are distributed between 60 and 90°, with a tensile–shear damage ratio of 1:2; the freeze–thaw cracks in intact soft rocks are distributed around 90°, with a tensile–shear damage ratio of 1:3. The deterioration model proposed in this paper can fully consider the multiscale damage correlations, which renders it easy to promote the application in the freeze–thaw hazard problem of soft rock engineering. Full article
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19 pages, 557 KiB  
Article
Vulnerable Stakeholders’ Engagement: Advancing Stakeholder Theory with New Attribute and Salience Framework
by Kamran Shafique and Cle-Anne Gabriel
Sustainability 2022, 14(18), 11765; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141811765 - 19 Sep 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 4009
Abstract
Stakeholder engagement is a central tenet for understanding and solving sustainability challenges. Given the existing stakeholder knowledge base and the fact that practitioners mostly focus on the engagement of high-power and salience stakeholders, the interests of low-power and vulnerable stakeholders are often manipulated. [...] Read more.
Stakeholder engagement is a central tenet for understanding and solving sustainability challenges. Given the existing stakeholder knowledge base and the fact that practitioners mostly focus on the engagement of high-power and salience stakeholders, the interests of low-power and vulnerable stakeholders are often manipulated. Therefore, this research is devoted to the engagement of low-power and vulnerable stakeholders. Grounded in the stakeholder theory and the results of two illustrations, we demonstrate how the physical proximity of vulnerable stakeholders influences salience patterns in a multi-stakeholder engagement context. The contribution of the study is the conceptualisation of proximity as a stakeholder attribute, in addition to power, legitimacy, and urgency, to help managers identify and appropriately engage with vulnerable stakeholders. Thus, we extend stakeholder typologies by incorporating proximity into the existing attribute model. The proposed model addresses the paradoxical nature of stakeholder salience and engagement theories and furthers the sustainability agenda. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Post-disaster Recovery in Developing Regions: Quo Vadis?)
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