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Sustainability, Volume 15, Issue 24 (December-2 2023) – 415 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The SDGs have made a significant contribution to the sustainability movement. However, have they changed the previous trend of sustainability challenges? This article aims to answer this question by statistically comparing the trends in the sustainability performance of the SDGs before and after they were launched in 2015. Data were collected for every SDG, and their trends were quantitatively assessed. It was found that most of the SDGs have not significantly improved and that most of the sustainability indicators are still performing poorly in developing countries. While this research is exploratory, it suggests that the SDGs have not significantly changed sustainability trends since they were launched in 2015. This article should serve as a wake-up call to design more suitable sustainability frameworks as the SDGs expire in 2030. View this paper
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24 pages, 18437 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Resilience of Public Transport Trips in the Face of Urban Violence from a Gender Perspective
Sustainability 2023, 15(24), 16960; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152416960 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 721
Abstract
Public transport systems that ensure safe and efficient mobility are essential to promote sustainability in cities. However, public transport is susceptible to violence. Additionally, men and women have distinct perceptions of security, which can lead to different reactions in the face of danger. [...] Read more.
Public transport systems that ensure safe and efficient mobility are essential to promote sustainability in cities. However, public transport is susceptible to violence. Additionally, men and women have distinct perceptions of security, which can lead to different reactions in the face of danger. Therefore, considering this situation from a gender perspective, the goal of this study is to assess the levels of resilience in trips made by public transport users when exposed to violence. Data were collected from 763 individuals (women: 60.8%; men: 39.2%) within the academic community of a university campus in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, through an online questionnaire. The information obtained included the participants’ socioeconomic details, security perceptions, and changes in travel patterns due to security concerns. The results of the Cronbach’s alpha test (0.842) indicated a good internal consistency within the data. Chi-squared tests of independence were applied, and calculations for effect size measures were conducted to evaluate the possible association between gender and other variables. Regarding the level of resilience of the trips made, evidence was found that the perception of safety and the behavior of public transport users are influenced by their gender. Regarding the gender of the respondents, an association was found with the resilience levels of trips. Furthermore, it was found that women are more vulnerable to violence in public transport than men, with risks of feeling unsafe during walks to or from stations and on buses being 1.1 and 1.5 times higher, respectively. Additionally, it was observed that the behavior of public transport users is significantly influenced by past victimization experiences, prompting measures for greater protection to be sought. The results of this study allow for a better understanding of how men and women feel exposed to violence when using public transport and can contribute to the creation of public policies to promote safety. Additionally, they can assist security authorities in directing and concentrating police efforts more effectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Strategies for Resilience)
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18 pages, 2450 KiB  
Article
Deformation Characteristics of Combined Heavy Metals-Contaminated Soil Treated with nZVI through the Modified Slurry Consolidation Method
Sustainability 2023, 15(24), 16959; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152416959 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 516
Abstract
Nanoscale zero-valent iron (nZVI) has been widely applied to remediate heavy metal-contaminated soils and water. Its in situ treatment of combined heavy metal contaminated soil, followed by backfilling or other sustainable reutilizations, attracted attention to the treated soil’s deformation characteristics. In this study, [...] Read more.
Nanoscale zero-valent iron (nZVI) has been widely applied to remediate heavy metal-contaminated soils and water. Its in situ treatment of combined heavy metal contaminated soil, followed by backfilling or other sustainable reutilizations, attracted attention to the treated soil’s deformation characteristics. In this study, soil samples were prepared using the modified slurry consolidation method to simulate the natural settling of backfilled soil and optimize the reactivity between nZVI and contaminants in soil. The deformation characteristics of natural soil, contaminated soil, and soil treated with varying dosages of nZVI (0.2%, 0.5%, 1%, 2%, and 5%) were investigated. Moreover, the plasticity indexes and particle-size distribution of the samples were examined through Atterberg limits and laser-diffraction particle-size analysis. After a 4 d slurry consolidation process, a typical result indicated the immobilization efficiency of all three heavy metal ions achieved over 90% with 2% nZVI. The presence of three heavy metal ions decreased the Atterberg limits and increased the compression index, permeability, and consolidation coefficient of the soil. Conversely, the introduction of nZVI increased plasticity and resulted in higher permeability, stable secondary consolidation, and less swell. Microscopically, with an increase in the dosage of nZVI, the soil aggregates transformed from a weak chemical bond with insoluble precipitates/iron oxides to larger aggregates consisting of nZVI/-soil aggregates, thereby enhancing the soil skeleton. This study shows improved permeability and deformation characteristics in nZVI-treated combined heavy metal-contaminated soil, offering valuable insights for practical nanomaterials’ in-situ treatment in engineering applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Environmental Geology and Engineering)
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18 pages, 1966 KiB  
Article
Creating Strategies to Mitigate the Adverse Effects of Overtourism in Rural Destinations: Experience from the Czech Republic
Sustainability 2023, 15(24), 16958; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152416958 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 882
Abstract
Overtourism is appearing more and more often in large world-famous cities and in many rural regions, where the infrastructure capacity is insufficient for large numbers of visitors. In rural communities, this creates resistance to tourism, traffic congestion, or damage to nature. Therefore, destinations [...] Read more.
Overtourism is appearing more and more often in large world-famous cities and in many rural regions, where the infrastructure capacity is insufficient for large numbers of visitors. In rural communities, this creates resistance to tourism, traffic congestion, or damage to nature. Therefore, destinations experiencing tourism growth must have a strategy to prevent and limit the harmful effects of overtourism. The article presents a methodology that first identifies manifestations of overtourism in a destination and then uses a standardized procedure to evaluate the usability of different types of strategies in a selected destination. This procedure should lead to the creation of a comprehensive plan guaranteeing the sustainable development of tourism in the destination. The use of the methodology is explained at 12 rural locations in the Czech Republic, which were selected concerning the diversity of manifestations of overtourism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Rural Policy, Governance and Sustainable Rural Development)
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21 pages, 2257 KiB  
Article
Using Mixed Methods to Identify Evaluation Indicators for Green Railway Transportation Operations in China
Sustainability 2023, 15(24), 16957; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152416957 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 540
Abstract
The transition of China’s railways from aggressive expansion to sustainable development has sparked widespread discussions on green railways. Previous studies have primarily focused on the fundamental aspects of green rail design and construction. However, the green operation phase, one of the most critical [...] Read more.
The transition of China’s railways from aggressive expansion to sustainable development has sparked widespread discussions on green railways. Previous studies have primarily focused on the fundamental aspects of green rail design and construction. However, the green operation phase, one of the most critical stages in the entire lifecycle of railways, has been overlooked. This study used a mixed-method approach, combining systematic review and qualitative analysis, to identify significant environmental, economic, and social evaluation indicators for green railway transportation operations. Through an examination of 123 articles and interviews with four professors in academia, two Planning and Design Institute technicians, one government staff, and one railway practitioner, this study identified 17 key indicators associated with green operations in railways. The results showed that previous studies in the environmental aspect primarily focused on noise pollution, water pollution, solid waste, ecological conservation, and the use of construction materials. In the social part, the main concern is social equality. Green railway operations have the potential to impact social equity through the movement of people and goods, which makes accessibility a preferable evaluation measure. Regarding economic indicators, the influencing factors are more complex (such as regional GDP per capita), making it difficult to evaluate the effectiveness of green railway operations directly. We suggest the inclusion of more economic-related indicators that directly correlate with green operations in railways. Full article
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16 pages, 2233 KiB  
Article
Coagulation Enhanced with Adsorption and Ozonation Processes in Surface Water Treatment
Sustainability 2023, 15(24), 16956; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152416956 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 504
Abstract
The requirements for water intended for domestic and economic purposes prompt the search for new solutions in surface water treatment technologies. In this study, the enhancement of coagulation processes by connections with adsorption and/or ozonation for surface water treatment was studied. The possibility [...] Read more.
The requirements for water intended for domestic and economic purposes prompt the search for new solutions in surface water treatment technologies. In this study, the enhancement of coagulation processes by connections with adsorption and/or ozonation for surface water treatment was studied. The possibility of a reduction in natural organic matter (NOM) content in modified surface water was analysed regarding changes in colour, turbidity, oxidisability (OXI), total and dissolved organic carbon (TOC, DOC) and absorbance at 254 nm (UV254). Additionally, the changes in copper and zinc ion content during the modified surface water treatments studied were analysed for initial metal concentrations of 0.5 or 1.0 mg/L. Studies of modified surface water were carried out with doses of medium-basicity PAX coagulant (C2) 5 mg/L and PAC 100 mg/L. During the coagulation process, the colour decreased by 86–90%, turbidity by 85–90%, OXI by 65–77%, TOC by 65–76% and UV254 absorbance by 73–84%. The enhancement of coagulation with adsorption and/or ozonation resulted in an increased efficiency of colour and turbidity removal by 2 and 4%, respectively. The highest increase in efficiencies of OXI, TOC, DOC and UV254 removal, by 12, 12, 11 and 11%, was observed for the connection of ozonation with coagulation and adsorption. The efficiency of metal ion removal from modified water observed for the single coagulation process was 58 and 55% for copper and 46 and 43% for zinc, respectively, for initial concentrations of 0.5 and 1.0 mg/L. The intensification of coagulation with ozonation and adsorption resulted in metal removal on the level of 66 and 62% for copper and 62 and 54% for zinc. Full article
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20 pages, 7287 KiB  
Article
Location of Mountain Photovoltaic Power Station Based on Fuzzy Analytic Hierarchy Process—Taking Longyang District, Baoshan City, Yunnan Province as an Example
Sustainability 2023, 15(24), 16955; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152416955 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 485
Abstract
Site selection is a key link in the early stage of constructing a photovoltaic power station and providing accurate guidance for the development of such stations. Taking Longyang District, Baoshan City, Yunnan Province, as an example, this article utilizes land-use status data from [...] Read more.
Site selection is a key link in the early stage of constructing a photovoltaic power station and providing accurate guidance for the development of such stations. Taking Longyang District, Baoshan City, Yunnan Province, as an example, this article utilizes land-use status data from the third national land survey. The study focuses on five land-use types: idle land, bare land, shrub land, forest land, and another grassland, while excluding interfering land types such as construction land, ecological conservation areas, and cultivated land. Thirteen factors including terrain, weather, environment, and neighboring resources are considered. By employing the fuzzy analytic hierarchy process, a site selection model is constructed to analyze the suitability of photovoltaic power station locations. This study emphasizes the influence of geological disaster factors when selecting environmental factors. Given the high frequency of geological disasters in mountainous areas, these factors significantly affect the safety of later-stage photovoltaic power station operations. Previous research has paid less attention to this factor. The results indicate a high level of suitability for photovoltaic site selection in Longyang District, Baoshan City, with suitable, moderately suitable, and unsuitable areas accounting for 20.09%, 34.14%, and 45.77%, respectively. Previous studies have lacked sufficient validation of site selection outcomes. In this research, validation is conducted using areas where photovoltaic power stations have already been established and are under construction within the region. The accuracy of this site selection method is found to be 92.78%. The aim is to provide a scientific reference for site selection in mountainous areas with photovoltaic power station construction needs. Full article
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17 pages, 1785 KiB  
Article
Assessing the Sustainability of Palm Oil by Expert Interviews—An Application of the Analytic Hierarchy Process
Sustainability 2023, 15(24), 16954; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152416954 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 519
Abstract
Palm oil plays a crucial role in the food industry, industrial applications, and bioenergy, accounting for over one-third of global vegetable oil production. The production area has quadrupled, and the volume is about seven times higher today than in the early 1990s. This [...] Read more.
Palm oil plays a crucial role in the food industry, industrial applications, and bioenergy, accounting for over one-third of global vegetable oil production. The production area has quadrupled, and the volume is about seven times higher today than in the early 1990s. This significant increase is attributed to several factors, including the oil palm’s notably higher yield per hectare compared to other oilseeds, cost-effectiveness, versatility, and excellent manufacturing characteristics. Despite its economic benefits, industrial palm oil production raises substantial ecological and social concerns, such as deforestation, habitat loss, and labor issues. This study presents a comprehensive sustainability assessment that concurrently considers economic, environmental, and social aspects. Through qualitative expert interviews, various stakeholders in the supply chain evaluated the sustainability criteria of palm oil production and application using the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP), a decision support tool helping to analyze, structure, and solve complex decision problems. The results reveal that, on average, the experts consider environmental criteria to be of the highest importance, followed by social sustainability, while economic criteria are of lower significance. However, the approximations regarding the weighting of the criteria showed considerable variations among experts. The AHP priority index for RSPO-certified palm oil is nearly as high as the reference product “EU canola oil”; this observation is consistent with all expert judgments. This study provides an adequate approach to assessing the sustainability of agricultural supply chains, offering practical recommendations for the food industry and policymakers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability)
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20 pages, 3442 KiB  
Article
Multi-Objective Optimal Power Flow Calculation Considering Carbon Emission Intensity
Sustainability 2023, 15(24), 16953; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152416953 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 553
Abstract
In keeping with China’s dual carbon goals, optimal low-carbon power system dispatch has become a necessary component of the greening of the power system. However, typically, research considers only the economics of such efforts. Based on our power flow analysis of the power [...] Read more.
In keeping with China’s dual carbon goals, optimal low-carbon power system dispatch has become a necessary component of the greening of the power system. However, typically, research considers only the economics of such efforts. Based on our power flow analysis of the power grid and the correlation properties of carbon emission flow, an optimal power flow calculation model targeting the total carbon emission rate of the power system’s power generation cost, active network loss, and load and network loss was constructed. Next, the NSGA-III algorithm was used to solve the model, and the decision was to coordinate and optimize the output schemes of various types of power plants, such as wind, water, and thermal. The modified IEEE39 node simulation system was built with Matlab software (MATLAB R2020b). The results of the calculation showed that, compared to the traditional method of determining the optimal power flow, the proposed method reduced the system carbon emissions by 20% while the power generation cost increased by less than 2%, which proves the effectiveness and practicability of the proposed method. Full article
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28 pages, 1676 KiB  
Review
Towards the Sustainable Intensification of Aquaculture: Exploring Possible Ways Forward
Sustainability 2023, 15(24), 16952; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152416952 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 650
Abstract
Meeting the global demand for aquatic products while maintaining sustainability is a critical challenge. This review article examines global practices of land-based aquaculture systems that could be implemented in the EU, as the EU has not yet fully realized its potential in developing [...] Read more.
Meeting the global demand for aquatic products while maintaining sustainability is a critical challenge. This review article examines global practices of land-based aquaculture systems that could be implemented in the EU, as the EU has not yet fully realized its potential in developing the aquaculture sector. Therefore, the article examines different aspects (aquaculture systems, technological solutions and improvements, and best management practices) in achieving sustainable aquaculture and emphasizes the need for innovation and cooperation in the face of increasing environmental concerns and resource constraints. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for the sustainable intensification of aquaculture. The way forward requires a combination of different and improved-upon technological solutions complemented by technological innovation and better management practices. The sustainability of aquaculture requires a broader application of the ecosystem approach to aquaculture and the promotion of energy and resource efficiency measures in aquaculture systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bioeconomy of Sustainability)
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31 pages, 1561 KiB  
Article
The Impact of China’s Overseas Economic and Trade Cooperation Zones on Sustainable Trade of Host Countries
Sustainability 2023, 15(24), 16951; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152416951 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 590
Abstract
Under the concept of “government-guided, enterprise-led, and market-oriented” operation, the Chinese Overseas Economic and Trade Cooperation Zones (COCZs) have developed a new type of international production pattern, which has become an effective way for developing countries to integrate into the global production network [...] Read more.
Under the concept of “government-guided, enterprise-led, and market-oriented” operation, the Chinese Overseas Economic and Trade Cooperation Zones (COCZs) have developed a new type of international production pattern, which has become an effective way for developing countries to integrate into the global production network sustainably. Based on the COCZ data collected manually and country-level panel data from 1997 to 2019, this study innovatively analyzes the sustainable trade effect of COCZs with the difference-in-differences method. The research finds that the establishment of COCZs significantly boosts the import and export of the host country in a sustainable manner. Further analysis finds that COCZs can promote the sustainable trade growth of the host country in three aspects: economic, societal, and environmental. This sustainable trade effect is closely related to the institutional improvement and infrastructure construction generated by COCZs. By providing a comprehensive and rigorous analysis of the impact of COCZs on the host country’s trade performance, the paper effectively responds to the criticisms on China’s “going out” strategy, which is often based on biased assumptions and a lack of empirical evidence. It also provides policy implications for both China and the host countries to enhance the cooperation and mutual benefits of COCZs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Supply Chain Innovation and Operation Management)
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16 pages, 5669 KiB  
Article
Lab Investigation Using a Box Model and Image Analysis of a Contaminant Back-Diffusion Process from Low-Permeability Layers
Sustainability 2023, 15(24), 16950; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152416950 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 471
Abstract
Contaminants stored in low-permeability soils can continue to threaten the adjacent groundwater system even after the aquifer is considered remediated. The redistribution of contaminants from low-to-high-permeability aquifer zones (Back-Diffusion) can generate a long-term plume tail, commonly considered one of the main obstacles to [...] Read more.
Contaminants stored in low-permeability soils can continue to threaten the adjacent groundwater system even after the aquifer is considered remediated. The redistribution of contaminants from low-to-high-permeability aquifer zones (Back-Diffusion) can generate a long-term plume tail, commonly considered one of the main obstacles to effective groundwater remediation. In this paper, a laboratory test was performed to reproduce the redistribution process from low-permeability silt lenses (k ≈ 1 × 10−7 m/s) to high-permeability sand aquifers (k ≈ 1 × 10−3 m/s). The target of the experimental and numerical approach was finalized to verify what influence the shape and position of the lenses could have, with respect to the bulk flow, on the time necessary to complete the depletion of the dissolved substances present in the lenses. For this purpose, an image analysis procedure was used to estimate the diffusive flux of contaminants released by these low-permeability zones in different boundary conditions. The results obtained in the laboratory test were used to calibrate a numerical model implemented to simulate the Back-Diffusion process. Once calibrated, the numerical model was used to simulate further scenarios to evaluate the influence of the location and shape of the low-permeability lenses on the time necessary to diminish its contaminant content when subjected to a steady-state flow. The numerical model was also used to investigate the effect of different groundwater velocities on the depletion time of the process. The results show that the shape and position of the lens have an important impact on the time necessary to empty the lens, and an increase in the velocity field in the bulk medium (flow rate rising from 1.6 l/h to 2.5 l/h) does not correspond to diminishing total depletion times, as the process is mainly governed by diffusive transport inside the lens. This appears to be significant when the remediation approach relies on pumping technology. Future research will verify the behavior of the released plume in a strongly heterogeneous porous medium. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Groundwater Systems and Pollution)
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16 pages, 524 KiB  
Article
Choice Modeling of Laundry Detergent Data for Sustainable Consumption
Sustainability 2023, 15(24), 16949; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152416949 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 718
Abstract
Consumer choice modeling takes center stage as we delve into understanding how personal preferences of decision makers (customers) for products influence demand at the level of the individual. The contemporary choice theory is built upon the characteristics of the decision maker, alternatives available [...] Read more.
Consumer choice modeling takes center stage as we delve into understanding how personal preferences of decision makers (customers) for products influence demand at the level of the individual. The contemporary choice theory is built upon the characteristics of the decision maker, alternatives available for the choice of the decision maker, the attributes of the available alternatives and decision rules that the decision maker uses to make a choice. The choice set in our research is represented by six major brands (products) of laundry detergents in the Japanese market. We use the panel data of the purchases of 98 households to which we apply the hierarchical probit model, facilitated by a Markov Chain Monte Carlo simulation (MCMC) in order to evaluate the brand values of six brands. The applied model also allows us to evaluate the tangible and intangible brand values. These evaluated metrics help us to assess the brands based on their tangible and intangible characteristics. Moreover, consumer choice modeling also provides a framework for assessing the environmental performance of laundry detergent brands as the model uses the information on components (physical attributes) of laundry detergents. Through a comprehensive evaluation of product performance, including brand tangible estimation, we shed light on the sustainability attributes of laundry detergents, offering a roadmap for consumers and manufacturers alike to make more informed, environmentally responsible choices of laundry detergents based on their physical attributes. Knowing the estimates of the attributes for the laundry detergent products, manufacturers can modify their physical attributes, e.g., decrease the amount of the detergent needed for one wash while increasing the total weight of the laundry powder in the package. In this way, more ecology- and consumer-friendly decisions can be made by manufacturers of laundry detergents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability)
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25 pages, 4729 KiB  
Article
Microalgae Production on Biogas Digestate in Sub-Alpine Region of Europe—Development of Simple Management Decision Support Tool
Sustainability 2023, 15(24), 16948; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152416948 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 546
Abstract
In a one-and-a-half-year study conducted in the ALS6 region in Europe (Ljubljana, Slovenia), the cultivation of microalgae in anaerobic digestate from food waste, mainly Scenedesmus dimorphus and Scenedesmus quadricauda, was investigated in three ponds (1260 L each) under a greenhouse. The effects [...] Read more.
In a one-and-a-half-year study conducted in the ALS6 region in Europe (Ljubljana, Slovenia), the cultivation of microalgae in anaerobic digestate from food waste, mainly Scenedesmus dimorphus and Scenedesmus quadricauda, was investigated in three ponds (1260 L each) under a greenhouse. The effects of changing digestate quality and quantity as well as seasonal fluctuations on the productivity of the microalgae were investigated in three stages: Learning/Design (SI), Testing (SII), and Verification/Calibration (SIII). A decision support tool (DST) was developed using easy-to-measure parameters such as pH, temperature, electrical conductivity, mineral nitrogen forms and physical, biological parameters (OD, delayed fluorescence intensity). To control optimal pond operation, we proposed the photosynthetic culture index (PCI) as an early indicator for necessary interventions. Flocculation and nitrite levels (above 3 mg NO2-N L−1) were signals for the immediate remediation of the algae culture. Under optimal conditions in summer SIII, an average algal biomass production of 11 ± 1.5 g m−2 day−1 and a nitrogen use efficiency of 28 ± 2.6 g biomass/g N-input were achieved with the developed DST. The developed DST tool was, in this study, successfully implemented and used for the cultivation of microalgae consortia predominated by Scenedesmus dimorphus and S. quadricauda with biogas digestate. DST offers the possibility to be modified according to producers’ specific needs, facility, digestate and climate conditions, and as such, could be used for different microalgae cultivation processes with biogas digestate as a food source. Full article
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29 pages, 2546 KiB  
Article
Development of a Resilience Assessment Model for Manufacturing Enterprises
Sustainability 2023, 15(24), 16947; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152416947 - 18 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 615
Abstract
In today’s world, crises like the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing global changes pose significant challenges for manufacturing companies. Resilience, the ability to withstand and recover from disruptions, is essential for survival. To make resilience actionable, the discussion introduces a four-step Circular Resilience Assessment [...] Read more.
In today’s world, crises like the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing global changes pose significant challenges for manufacturing companies. Resilience, the ability to withstand and recover from disruptions, is essential for survival. To make resilience actionable, the discussion introduces a four-step Circular Resilience Assessment Tool. To assess their resilience score, companies undergo a risk and vulnerability assessment, a qualitative resilience factor assessment, a suitable strategies identification phase, and a quantitative performance assessment. This tool guides companies in evaluating their resilience before, during, and after hypothetical or occurred crises. The balance among qualitative and quantitative aspects, encompassing technical, social, and organizational considerations, ensures that an omni comprehensive point of view is adopted in evaluating the overall resilience score of a company. This innovative approach empowers companies to not only survive crises but also to gain a competitive advantage and expand their market share in the long term. The work provides a thorough description of each of the four steps, accompanied by examples. The Circular Resilience Assessment Tool is designed to be as specific as necessary and as general as possible, thus making it a valuable resource for a variety of enterprises. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Management)
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19 pages, 3015 KiB  
Review
An Integrated Approach for Electronic Waste Management—Overview of Sources of Generation, Toxicological Effects, Assessment, Governance, and Mitigation Approaches
Sustainability 2023, 15(24), 16946; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152416946 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1155
Abstract
Electronic waste (e-waste) management has become a significant challenge in recent years due to the increasing consumption of electronic devices and their improper disposal. Effective e-waste management requires a comprehensive approach that considers the environmental, economic, and social impacts of e-waste. This comprehensive [...] Read more.
Electronic waste (e-waste) management has become a significant challenge in recent years due to the increasing consumption of electronic devices and their improper disposal. Effective e-waste management requires a comprehensive approach that considers the environmental, economic, and social impacts of e-waste. This comprehensive review provides a critical assessment of e-waste management procedures, encompassing the stages of collection, transportation, treatment, and disposal. Emphasising the significance of embracing sustainable approaches like reusing, repairing, and recycling, the review underscores their pivotal role in mitigating the adverse environmental and human health effects of e-waste. This review provides an overview of e-waste management concerns specifically in India from its collection to the end cycle including toxicological, environmental, and human impacts and a graphical analysis of current and future e-waste trends. It emphasises the need to effectively enforce regulations and establish extended producer responsibility (EPR) to promote sustainable e-waste management practices. Additionally, the review delves into the complexities surrounding e-waste management, such as insufficient infrastructure, resource and funding constraints, and a dearth of awareness among stakeholders. It strongly underscores the necessity for a concerted endeavour involving governments, industries, and communities to tackle these obstacles and advance the cause of efficient e-waste management practices. This paper is valuable to the scientific community as it offers a thorough assessment of e-waste management, focusing on environmental, economic, and social impacts. It emphasises sustainable practices and regulatory measures, providing actionable insights to address e-waste challenges. Overall, this review provides a comprehensive overview of e-waste management and highlights the importance of adopting sustainable practices to address the negative impacts of e-waste on the environment, human health, and the economy. Full article
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23 pages, 6025 KiB  
Article
Study on Spatial Characteristics, Health Assessment, and Influencing Factors of Tropospheric Ozone Pollution in Qin–Jin Region, 2013–2022
Sustainability 2023, 15(24), 16945; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152416945 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 413
Abstract
Ozone is a pollutant that is harmful to human health and the troposphere. As a coal base in China, the study of ozone in the Qin–Jin region provides a scientific basis for pollution control and early warning and is of great practical significance. [...] Read more.
Ozone is a pollutant that is harmful to human health and the troposphere. As a coal base in China, the study of ozone in the Qin–Jin region provides a scientific basis for pollution control and early warning and is of great practical significance. This paper analyzes the spatial and temporal distribution characteristics of tropospheric ozone in the Qin–Jin region from 2013 to 2022. It predicts the tropospheric ozone seasons in 2023 using a combination of ozone monitoring instruments (OMIs), ground stations, and machine learning. It also estimates the loss of health and economic benefits caused by ozone to humans, discusses the multiple factors affecting ozone changes, and identifies ozone-sensitive pollution control areas. The results showed that ozone in the Qin–Jin region spatially tends to increase from northwest to southeast, the Slope showed that ozone in the study area has a slightly increasing trend (0~0.079), the ozone concentration values are much larger than those in other months during the period of April–September, and there is no weekend effect. The predicted mean ozone values for 2023 are 36.57 DU in spring, 50.88 DU in summer, 34.29 DU in fall, and 30.10 DU in winter. The average values of all-cause mortality and economic losses are estimated to be 4591 and 4214 persons and 43.30 and 51.30 billion yuan in 2019 and 2021 in Shanxi Province, and 2498 and 1535 persons and 23.50 and 18.70 billion yuan in 2019 and 2021 in Shaanxi Province, respectively. Natural factors are positively correlated with ozone in the following order, temperature (TEM) > precipitable water (TPW) > vegetation cover (NDVI) > relative humidity (RH), uplift index (LI) is negatively correlated with ozone, and barometric pressure (PS) is mainly uncorrelated. During the period of high ozone pollution in the Qin–Jin region (April–September), emissions of VOCs accelerated ozone production, and emissions of NOx suppressed ozone production in most areas. The high-value pollution period in the Qin–Jin area is mainly a VOC control area, and the synergistic control of NOx and VOCs is secondary. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Air, Climate Change and Sustainability)
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28 pages, 1196 KiB  
Article
The Implementation Mechanism and Effectiveness of a National Plan of a Digital Competence Training Program for Chinese Primary and Secondary School Teachers
Sustainability 2023, 15(24), 16944; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152416944 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 589
Abstract
This study investigated the implementation and effectiveness of a national plan for a digital competence training program (DCTP) aimed at Chinese teachers. A relational content analysis was performed using policy documents, observations, and assessments to identify four DCTP implementation stages. Local educational departments [...] Read more.
This study investigated the implementation and effectiveness of a national plan for a digital competence training program (DCTP) aimed at Chinese teachers. A relational content analysis was performed using policy documents, observations, and assessments to identify four DCTP implementation stages. Local educational departments and training institutes were afforded a moderate degree of autonomy to organize training activities. A t-test indicated disparities in the effectiveness of training between privately funded and publicly funded institutes, with the latter demonstrating stronger assessment outcomes in certain subject areas. The study examined the advantages and disadvantages of this implementation process, proposing collaborative efforts between privately funded and publicly funded training institutions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Digital Transformation of Education for Sustainable Development)
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25 pages, 10689 KiB  
Article
Equity Evaluation of Elderly-Care Institutions Based on Ga2SFCA: The Case Study of Jinan, China
Sustainability 2023, 15(24), 16943; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152416943 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 478
Abstract
With the deepening trend of aging, the issue of elderly care for the aging population has become a matter of concern for all sectors of society. Elderly-care services have become increasingly vital. Elderly-care institutions, a major component of the elderly-care system, are an [...] Read more.
With the deepening trend of aging, the issue of elderly care for the aging population has become a matter of concern for all sectors of society. Elderly-care services have become increasingly vital. Elderly-care institutions, a major component of the elderly-care system, are an important part of public facility resource provision; the spatial distribution of elderly-care institutions (ECIs) directly affects the equitable access of the elderly to public resources. To cope with the current pressure of population aging and limited resources for the elderly, this study aims to explore the relationship between population aging and the supply of ECIs in Jinan, China. Using the ArcGIS platform, this study analyzes the spatial allocation of ECIs, provides improved supply capacity modelling of ECIs based on the Gaussian Two-Step Floating Catchment Area Approach (Ga2SFCA), and evaluates the equity of ECIs in terms of accessibility, supply–demand equity, and spatial equity. The results show that there are large differences in spatial accessibility between different levels of ECIs, there is a mismatch of supply and demand, the number and size of existing ECIs do not meet the needs of the elderly, and the distribution of resources in small ECIs is highly inequitable. These results can provide a guiding direction for optimizing ECIs and urban road network planning and can also provide new insights for urban planners to assess the equity of public service facilities. Full article
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32 pages, 10843 KiB  
Article
Performance Analysis and Multi-Objective Optimization of a Cooling-Power-Desalination Combined Cycle for Shipboard Diesel Exhaust Heat Recovery
Sustainability 2023, 15(24), 16942; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152416942 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 542
Abstract
This study presents a novel cooling-power-desalination combined cycle for recovering shipboard diesel exhaust heat, integrating a freezing desalination sub-cycle to regulate the ship’s cooling-load fluctuations. The combined cycle employs ammonia–water as the working fluid and efficiently utilizes excess cooling capacity to pretreat reverse [...] Read more.
This study presents a novel cooling-power-desalination combined cycle for recovering shipboard diesel exhaust heat, integrating a freezing desalination sub-cycle to regulate the ship’s cooling-load fluctuations. The combined cycle employs ammonia–water as the working fluid and efficiently utilizes excess cooling capacity to pretreat reverse osmosis desalination. By adjusting the mass flow rate of the working fluid in both the air conditioning refrigeration cycle and the freezing desalination sub-cycle, the combined cycle can dynamically meet the cooling-load demand under different working conditions and navigation areas. To analyze the cycle’s performance, a mathematical model is established for energy and exergy analysis, and key parameters including net output work, comprehensive efficiency, and heat exchanger area are optimized using the MOPSO algorithm. The results indicate that the system achieves optimal performance when the generator temperature reaches 249.95 °C, the sea water temperature is 22.29 °C, and 42% ammonia–water is used as the working fluid. Additionally, an economic analysis of frozen seawater desalination as RO seawater desalination pretreatment reveals a substantial cost reduction of 22.69%, showcasing the advantageous features of this proposed cycle. The research in this paper is helpful for waste energy recovery and sustainable development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
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23 pages, 9930 KiB  
Article
Analyzing Water and Sediment Flow Patterns in Circular Forebays of Sediment-Laden Rivers
Sustainability 2023, 15(24), 16941; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152416941 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 460
Abstract
In the circular forebay of sediment-laden rivers, adverse flow patterns such as vortices emerge, leading to substantial sediment accumulation along the sidewalls of the diversion channel and in the forebay. This sediment accumulation significantly impacts the operational efficiency of water pumps. To address [...] Read more.
In the circular forebay of sediment-laden rivers, adverse flow patterns such as vortices emerge, leading to substantial sediment accumulation along the sidewalls of the diversion channel and in the forebay. This sediment accumulation significantly impacts the operational efficiency of water pumps. To address these challenges, a combination of numerical simulations and engineering experiments was employed to reveal the factors contributing to the development of these patterns. Based on these findings, seven distinct flow rates and operating conditions were introduced to obtain the optimal inlet flow rate and increase the sustainability of engineering use. The findings revealed that the different inlet flow rates exert varying influences on the flow patterns in the circular forebay, leading to changes in sediment levels in both the forebay and diversion channels. Following comprehensive comparison, Scheme 6 was identified as the optimal flow rate scheme. In this scheme, the flow uniformity, deviation angle, ratio of the vortex reduction area parameter, and rate of vortex area reduction in sections z1−3 were markedly enhanced. The effectiveness of this scheme was validated through rigorous numerical simulations and engineering experiments, thereby offering indispensable theoretical insights into the operation of pumping stations in circular forebays. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
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14 pages, 669 KiB  
Article
“Lines Demarked”: A Way to Foster Occupational Health in Police Officers
Sustainability 2023, 15(24), 16940; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152416940 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 416
Abstract
Police officers are part of a demanding professional activity with a high risk of occupational health and work–family conflict, and this is a topic of relevance to understanding occupational health sustainability. Based on this, this study developed and tested a mediation model that [...] Read more.
Police officers are part of a demanding professional activity with a high risk of occupational health and work–family conflict, and this is a topic of relevance to understanding occupational health sustainability. Based on this, this study developed and tested a mediation model that accounts for the work–family conflict (WFC) in the relationship between work–family boundary segmentation and well-being (i.e., burnout and engagement). A sample of 291 police officers from Portugal was used, and the hypotheses were tested by using structural equation modeling methods implemented with Mplus. The results indicated that over nonstandard work schedules and unpredictable working hours, family–work segmentation was negatively related to WFC, and work–family segmentation was negatively related to family-to-work conflict. Moreover, WFC fully mediated the relationship between segmentation and engagement but only partially mediated the relationship between segmentation and burnout. Conversely, family-to-work conflict fully mediated the relationship between segmentation and burnout but was not related to engagement. Such results suggest that the occupational health of these professionals is interdependent on their opportunity to enact the segmentation strategy to manage the boundary between work and family domains. In terms of its practical implications, this study sheds light on the environmental conditions of police officers that can foster and sustain their well-being. Full article
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19 pages, 487 KiB  
Article
The Regionally Heterogeneous Impact of China’s Environmental Regulation on the Transformation and Upgrading of Its Industrial Structure
Sustainability 2023, 15(24), 16939; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152416939 - 18 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 487
Abstract
Approaches to promoting the transformation and upgrading of China’s industrial structure represent an important issue in high-quality economic development. The upgrading of industrial structures is beneficial not only for environmental protection but also for sustainable economic development. This article first tests the correlation [...] Read more.
Approaches to promoting the transformation and upgrading of China’s industrial structure represent an important issue in high-quality economic development. The upgrading of industrial structures is beneficial not only for environmental protection but also for sustainable economic development. This article first tests the correlation between environmental regulation and the transformation and upgrading of industrial structure through an impulse response function and then uses provincial panel data to analyze the regionally heterogeneous impact of environmental regulation on industrial structure upgrading. The research results indicate that: (1) the presented impulse response graph indicates that environmental regulation shocks have a significant impact on the rationalization and upgrading of industrial structure, and subsequent variance decomposition indicates that environmental regulation has a strong explanatory power on the transformation and upgrading of industrial structure; (2) overall, strengthening the level of environmental regulation is not conducive to the rationalization of industrial structure (RIS), but a strong level of environmental regulation can significantly promote the upgrading of industrial structure (UIS); and (3) at the regional level, there is significant regional heterogeneity in the impact of environmental regulation on the transformation and upgrading of industrial structure in different regions. Environmental regulation can promote UIS in China’s eastern and western regions, but it is not conducive to RIS. Environmental regulation can promote RIS in China’s central region, but it has a negative impact on UIS. The conclusion of this article provides inspiration for sustainable economic development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Policy as a Tool for Sustainable Development)
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31 pages, 9504 KiB  
Article
On the Usage of Artificial Neural Networks for the Determination of Optimal Wind Farms Allocation
Sustainability 2023, 15(24), 16938; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152416938 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1015
Abstract
Worldwide energy demand is constantly increasing. This fact, in combination with the ever growing need to reduce the energy production footprint on the environment, has led to the adoption of cleaner and more sustainable forms of energy production. Renewable Energy Sources (RES) are [...] Read more.
Worldwide energy demand is constantly increasing. This fact, in combination with the ever growing need to reduce the energy production footprint on the environment, has led to the adoption of cleaner and more sustainable forms of energy production. Renewable Energy Sources (RES) are constantly developing in an effort to increase their conversion efficiency and improve their life cycle. However, not all types of RES are accepted by the general public. Wind Turbines (WTs) are considered by many researchers as the least acceptable type of RES. This is mostly because of how their installation alters the surrounding landscape, produces noise and puts birds in danger when they happen to fly over the installation area. This paper aims to apply a methodology which, by using Rational Basis Function Neural Networks (RBFNN), is capable of investigating the criteria used for the installation locations of WTs in a transparent way. The results from the Neural Network (NN) will be combined with protected areas and the Land Fragmentation Index (LFI), in order to determine possible new installation locations with increased social acceptance and, at the same time, increased energy production. A case study of the proposed methodology has been implemented for the entire Greek territory, which is considered one of the most suitable areas for the installation of wind farms due to its particular geomorphology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Energy Systems and Renewable Generation)
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12 pages, 3436 KiB  
Article
Improvement of Printability Properties of High-Protein Food from Mealworm (Tenebrio molitor) Using Guar Gum for Sustainable Future Food Manufacturing
Sustainability 2023, 15(24), 16937; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152416937 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 539
Abstract
Increasing the availability of alternative protein from insects is important for solving food shortages. Not only are insects a rich source of protein, but using insect as ingredients could reduce food waste. Insects are thus a potentially valuable ingredient for food industries and [...] Read more.
Increasing the availability of alternative protein from insects is important for solving food shortages. Not only are insects a rich source of protein, but using insect as ingredients could reduce food waste. Insects are thus a potentially valuable ingredient for food industries and even sustainable food. The three-dimensional production of food for future food has gained attention owing to its potential to reduce autonomous food production and produce sustainable food. This study investigated the printability and rheological properties of a high-protein food system derived from mealworms and guar gum used to improve printability. The stability and rheological properties were analyzed for various printing parameters. The results indicate that the yield stress of the mealworm paste dramatically increased (39 to 1096 Pa) with even a small guar gum concentration resulting in an increase (0 to 1.75%). Increasing the guar gum concentration thus resulted in a mealworm paste that had a more significant value of hardness and cohesiveness but reduced adhesiveness (p < 0.05). In conclusion, the addition of guar gum increased viscosity, and caused the paste to exhibit a shear thinning behavior and ability to support itself and was thus more stable. In summary, introducing guar gum resulted in a mealworm paste with rheological properties more suitable for printing in terms of printability and stability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Security and Nutrition and Sustainable Agriculture)
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22 pages, 528 KiB  
Article
Towards Smart Parking Management: Econometric Analysis and Modeling of Public-Parking-Choice Behavior in Three Cities of Binh Duong, Vietnam
Sustainability 2023, 15(24), 16936; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152416936 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 777
Abstract
In developing cities, newly emerging cities have started facing the problem of insufficient public parking facilities and ineffective regulations. To support the planning, design and management of the public parking system towards a smart and sustainable city vision, it is necessary to study [...] Read more.
In developing cities, newly emerging cities have started facing the problem of insufficient public parking facilities and ineffective regulations. To support the planning, design and management of the public parking system towards a smart and sustainable city vision, it is necessary to study deeply parking behaviors. This paper presents an empirical study on parking-choice behaviors of motorcycle users and car users in the emerging cities of developing countries through a case study of three cities in Binh Duong, Vietnam. To explore the behavioral mechanisms and influential factors, the multinomial logit parking choice models are developed using revealed preference and stated preference data. The users’ overall satisfaction and perceived importance of parking lot design and service aspects are analyzed using order logistic regression. The revealed choices show no trade-off between parking fee and walking distance, as the users are not fully aware of parking locations and service features. However, the stated choice experiments prove a potential existence of the trade-off mechanism and differentiate significant factors in the decision of choices for the two user groups. The results bring insightful implications for the development of a smart public parking system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Transportation)
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17 pages, 10616 KiB  
Article
Multi-Purpose Accessibility of Mountain Area Forests for the Purpose of Forest Management and Protection of the State Border
Sustainability 2023, 15(24), 16935; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152416935 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 519
Abstract
The planning and implementation of surveillance of state territory in forested border areas, especially mountainous areas, is considered to be highly complex. This is illustrated by the example of the difficulties the European Union faced in controlling the 2015 European migration crisis. Thereby, [...] Read more.
The planning and implementation of surveillance of state territory in forested border areas, especially mountainous areas, is considered to be highly complex. This is illustrated by the example of the difficulties the European Union faced in controlling the 2015 European migration crisis. Thereby, Croatia has the difficult task of protecting the borders of the Union because a particular problem on the Western Balkan Route is the so-called bottleneck to Slovenia in the area of the Municipality of Donji Lapac, which consists of the green border with Bosnia and Herzegovina. Consequently, by using the example of planning multi-purpose forest roads, the aim of this paper is to propose the inclusion of the road network of border management units of mountain areas in the control system of the state’s green border, which, in this paper, includes its surveillance and protection by land for the purpose of national security. The research was conducted on the example of the Visočica–Lisac border management unit in the Municipality of Donji Lapac. The results of the research indicate a possible solution to the control of the border management unit by establishing a two-level surveillance system. The higher level consists of strategically defined surveillance points and corresponding multi-purpose forest roads designed on a tactical level. At this level, the priority is protection or, more precisely, defense of the state border. The lower level consists of tactically determined surveillance points with corresponding multi-purpose forest roads designed on the operational level. In addition to protecting the state border, this level would also have the task of protecting the forest, that is, monitoring the area of the management unit. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Operations and Sustainability)
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22 pages, 7585 KiB  
Article
Synthesis and Evaluation of Geopolymer Mixtures Containing Chronologically Aged Basic Oxygen Furnace Slags
Sustainability 2023, 15(24), 16934; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152416934 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 531
Abstract
Applying industrial by-products as a substitution for conventional construction materials (natural resources) is a superior solution for the environment in terms of waste management and reduction in greenhouse emissions and for the construction industry in terms of cost and expenditure. Applying basic oxygen [...] Read more.
Applying industrial by-products as a substitution for conventional construction materials (natural resources) is a superior solution for the environment in terms of waste management and reduction in greenhouse emissions and for the construction industry in terms of cost and expenditure. Applying basic oxygen furnace slag (BOFS), one of the metallurgical industry by-products, as a construction material can be a high-potential and promising idea. However, the utilization of BOFS in construction applications is considerably limited because of its inherent characteristics leading to volumetric expansion behavior caused by the chemical reaction between free lime (f-CaO) and water. This study used geopolymer technology to stabilize the expansive behavior of chronologically aged BOFS aggregates. The compressive strength, expansion behavior, and drying shrinkage characteristics of a normal ordinary Portland cement (OPC) mixture and a geopolymer mixture containing siliceous river sand and chronologically aged BOFS aggregates were investigated. The test results showed that the compressive strength of geopolymer mixtures containing chronologically aged BOFS aggregate achieved 64.02 MPa, and the expansion behavior of geopolymer mixtures was improved compared with normal OPC mixtures containing the same BOFS aggregates, reaching 0.02% and 0.44%, respectively. However, due to the air-curing method, geopolymer mixtures had higher drying shrinkage values than normal OPC mixtures. Therefore, further studies should be conducted to investigate how to control the drying shrinkage of geopolymer mixtures containing chronologically aged BOFS aggregate. Full article
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15 pages, 4235 KiB  
Article
Determining the Appropriate Minimum Effort Levels for Use in Fisheries Dynamic Bioeconomic Models
Sustainability 2023, 15(24), 16933; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152416933 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 426
Abstract
Managing fisheries to achieve ecological, economic and social sustainability is complex. The use of dynamic bioeconomic models can be and have been used to assist in determining management targets. However, optimizing profits over time can result in large reductions in fishing effort in [...] Read more.
Managing fisheries to achieve ecological, economic and social sustainability is complex. The use of dynamic bioeconomic models can be and have been used to assist in determining management targets. However, optimizing profits over time can result in large reductions in fishing effort in the short term with adverse social consequences. There exist other benefits from maintaining fishing effort even in adverse conditions (e.g., maintain crew and fleet capacity). For this reason, many bioeconomic models have included some form of minimum effort, catch or short-term profit constraint. In this paper, we consider a range of approaches to assess an appropriate minimum fishing effort, including the estimation of fishery breakeven effort levels, and approaches based on historical fishing levels. These are tested using a bioeconomic model currently used for fishery management. We find that breakeven approaches tend to result in the most conservative effort levels and the highest net present value of profits. In contrast, using a proportion of the moving average of the observed fishing effort results in less conservative change in effort, while resulting in positive changes in the net present value of fishery profits. The approach also has the advantage of being dynamic, adjusting with recent fishery conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Oceans)
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17 pages, 314 KiB  
Article
An Agonistic Perspective on the Challenge of Biodiversity Value Integration
Sustainability 2023, 15(24), 16932; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152416932 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 479
Abstract
The identity-laden conflict comprising clashing biodiversity values can hinder the integration of plural biodiversity values into policy. Until now, research on the elicitation and negotiation of biodiversity values approached this task by applying an economic or a deliberative model to guide the elicitation [...] Read more.
The identity-laden conflict comprising clashing biodiversity values can hinder the integration of plural biodiversity values into policy. Until now, research on the elicitation and negotiation of biodiversity values approached this task by applying an economic or a deliberative model to guide the elicitation of values and transformation knowledge regarding their negotiation. However, both models have weaknesses in generating robust and transformative outcomes, which lie in their approach to dealing with identity conflicts and their related passions and affects. To address this gap, I explain how research has used both models and discuss how an agonistic model can improve the debate. I will show that current models highlight integrating and synergising values. In contrast, the agonistic model aims at eliciting distinctive values that challenge hegemonic values and the unsustainable status quo. Thereby, it implies dealing with and utilising passions and affects within the research process. Implications and operational suggestions for biodiversity value research applying the agonistic model are outlined. These include changes in the research structure, eliciting negative attributions and marginalised or missing values, and altered communication within group valuation settings. This article is relevant to researchers in biodiversity valuation and facilitators of value negotiations that aim to achieve value integration. Full article
21 pages, 2211 KiB  
Article
Analysis and Dissolution of Potential Contradictions in Thematic Lessons from a Cultural-Historical Activity Theory Perspective
Sustainability 2023, 15(24), 16931; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152416931 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 401
Abstract
Thematic learning features sustain exploratory activities focused on a selected theme, which contributes to developing students’ core competencies, including problem solving, collaboration, and communication skills, supporting sustainable development in learning. For teachers and students, this emerging pedagogical approach may encounter various contradictions in [...] Read more.
Thematic learning features sustain exploratory activities focused on a selected theme, which contributes to developing students’ core competencies, including problem solving, collaboration, and communication skills, supporting sustainable development in learning. For teachers and students, this emerging pedagogical approach may encounter various contradictions in the classroom activity system. Grounded in a cultural-historical activity theory perspective, this study examined the potential contradictions in an activity system in the context of thematic learning, as well as possible strategies for dissolving those potential contradictions and their effectiveness through a case study. Interviews with an experienced teacher were conducted to acquire information about potential contradictions, and the interview results suggested that these contradictions were perceived as potentially occurring between the students, tools, and objects. According to that information, solutions were proposed to dissolve those potential contradictions, including setting moderate learning objects, creating a sustainable exploratory learning environment, scaffolding necessary knowledge, and situating students in an interactive, communicative, and cooperative classroom environment. Finally, the dissolution of those contradictions was examined through classroom observations, with the results showing that students were able to apply their knowledge accurately and fluently to solve the problems. The contribution of this study involves adopting cultural-historical activity theory as guidance to dissolve the contradictions in classroom teaching, which expands the application of this theory compared to previous studies that focused more on the contradictions between researchers and teachers during a lesson study. This innovative application will inspire teachers to adopt this theory routinely to improve teaching, including designing instructional sequences and question chains that support students’ sustained exploration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Education and Approaches)
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