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Sustainability, Volume 15, Issue 7 (April-1 2023) – 720 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Making significant efforts in urban green system planning improves cities’ resilience. In this regard, this paper develops a performance-based method to integrate urban green planners’ approaches with species-specific ecosystem services analysis and provides GIS-based tailored solutions. In particular, the paper analyzes air pollutant removal (PM10). This method generates a spatialized balance between air-polluted sites by investigating traffic evaluated using the characteristics of the roads and the PM10 dust retention by trees. The paper analyzed 6710 urban trees in an Italian urban center of 42.62 km2 in area (the city of Perugia, Umbria Region). The results support local administrators and urban planners in understanding the complexity of the urban green system, defining differentiated green solutions and integrating technological and green infrastructures. View this paper
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20 pages, 3939 KiB  
Article
Strategic Sustainability and Operational Initiatives in Small- and Medium-Sized Manufacturers: An Empirical Analysis
by Zulkaif Ahmed Saqib, Luo Qin, Rashid Menhas and Gong Lei
Sustainability 2023, 15(7), 6330; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15076330 - 06 Apr 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2219
Abstract
We explored the moderating impacts of product modularity and supply chain visibility for sustainability and operational initiatives, which entails a dramatic rethinking and reorganization of the production processes of manufacturing enterprises. Moderating effects of product modularity and supply chain visibility on links among [...] Read more.
We explored the moderating impacts of product modularity and supply chain visibility for sustainability and operational initiatives, which entails a dramatic rethinking and reorganization of the production processes of manufacturing enterprises. Moderating effects of product modularity and supply chain visibility on links among supply chain pressure, technological pressure, sustainable practices, operational performance, and sustainability performance were included. A conceptual model was developed following the resource-based view and dynamic capability theories. Well-designed questionnaires collected data, and the total sample size for data analysis was 490 responses from small- and medium-sized manufacturing firms in Pakistan. Structural equation modeling was used to examine the proposed hypothesis. The first finding revealed that operational performance and sustainable performance both improve when companies implement sustainable practices. The second finding drawn from the data was that supply chain pressure and technological pressure have a positive effect on sustainable practices. The major finding of this work was grounded in the product modularity perspective, we argue that the relations among supply chain pressure, technological pressure, sustainable practices, operational performance, and sustainability performance are affected and moderated. The moderating effect of supply chain visibility existed and it has a positive moderating effect for the relationships from sustainable practices toward operational and sustainability performance. Surprisingly, moderating impact of visibility on relations from supply chain pressure and technological pressure towards sustainable practices was not significant. Full article
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17 pages, 10701 KiB  
Article
Multi-Objective Control Strategy for Switched Reluctance Generators in Small-Scale Wind Power Generations
by Linqiang Wang, Cheng Liu, Zongwen Jiang, Weiren Xiao, Shuaiwei Ren, Jiaxin Ding and Qing Wang
Sustainability 2023, 15(7), 6329; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15076329 - 06 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1090
Abstract
Switched reluctance generators (SRGs) are widely used in wind power generation. However, due to the natural tendency of SRG, there are always nonnegligible conflicts to achieve high efficiency and low output voltage ripple at the same time. This creates difficulties for the high-performance [...] Read more.
Switched reluctance generators (SRGs) are widely used in wind power generation. However, due to the natural tendency of SRG, there are always nonnegligible conflicts to achieve high efficiency and low output voltage ripple at the same time. This creates difficulties for the high-performance of SRG. Thus, a multi-objective optimization control strategy is proposed in this paper to improve the static performance of SRG. The proposed control strategy contains following steps. First, in order to gain the maximum output power range at different rotor speeds, the turn-off angle is optimized off-line by simulated annealing algorithm (SAA). The optimized results are fitted as a function of rotor speed for on-line regulating; then, a closed-loop controller is built, and the reference current is regulated according to the difference between actual output power and required output power. Second, a multi-objective function is constructed as the evaluation result of SRG performance, which takes system efficiency, output voltage ripple and power converter loss into consideration. In the end, the turn-on angle is tuned by SAA according to the real-time multi-objective evaluation result. The proposed control strategy can be flexibly applied to SRGs with different structures and avoids the disadvantage of single-objective optimization. The simulation and experiments results show that the overall performance of SRG is improved. Full article
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20 pages, 1244 KiB  
Article
Evaluation, Regional Disparities and Driving Mechanisms of High-Quality Agricultural Development in China
by Yaoyao Wang and Yuanpei Kuang
Sustainability 2023, 15(7), 6328; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15076328 - 06 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1359
Abstract
Based on China’s new development philosophy and the connotation of high-quality agricultural development, this study constructed a six-dimensional comprehensive evaluation framework: innovation-effectiveness-sustainability-coordination-openness-sharing. The spatio-temporal-range-improved entropy approach and the Dagum Gini coefficient were applied to evaluate and analyze the level of regional disparities and [...] Read more.
Based on China’s new development philosophy and the connotation of high-quality agricultural development, this study constructed a six-dimensional comprehensive evaluation framework: innovation-effectiveness-sustainability-coordination-openness-sharing. The spatio-temporal-range-improved entropy approach and the Dagum Gini coefficient were applied to evaluate and analyze the level of regional disparities and the dynamic distribution characteristics of high-quality agricultural development in China in the period from 2010 to 2018. The result shows that the level of high-quality agricultural development in China has steadily improved in general, but there exist prominent structural problems. Concerning regional differences, it indicated a pattern dominated by the pattern of “high in the east and low in the west”, mainly arising from the inter-regional disparity, with a gradual downward trend during the selected period. This study also comprehensively explored the four-dimensional driving mechanisms (production conditions, productivity, production relations, and production efficiency), and further examined the driving paths of various variables and regional heterogeneity using a panel Tobit model. Full article
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34 pages, 1322 KiB  
Article
A Hybrid Optimization Method for Sustainable and Flexible Design of Supply–Production–Distribution Network in the Physical Internet
by Shoufeng Ji, Pengyun Zhao and Tingting Ji
Sustainability 2023, 15(7), 6327; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15076327 - 06 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1524
Abstract
The resilience and sustainability of supply chains are facing new challenges due to the increasing complexity of supply chains. Compared to traditional supply chain networks, the Physical Internet (PI) has the potential to address sustainable development challenges and build resilient supply chain networks [...] Read more.
The resilience and sustainability of supply chains are facing new challenges due to the increasing complexity of supply chains. Compared to traditional supply chain networks, the Physical Internet (PI) has the potential to address sustainable development challenges and build resilient supply chain networks by providing interconnected and open logistics services. However, the interplay between resilience and sustainability has yet to be thoroughly explored in the PI-enabled supply chain literature. This paper aims to investigate the relationship between resilience and sustainability in PI-enabled supply chains. An innovative hybrid approach that combines the resilient-sustainable performance scoring method with mixed-possibilistic programming is proposed to trade-off and analyze the relationship between the two. Applying the concepts of resilience and sustainability to PI-enabled supply chains involves optimizing costs, sustainable performance, and resilience levels simultaneously. This enables coping with unforeseen disruptions from suppliers, plants, and PI hubs. The results of computational experiments have demonstrated that the PI-enabled supply chain exhibits stronger sustainable and resilience performance in dealing with random disruptions compared to traditional supply chains. The fruitful research yielded important management insights and practical implications, thereby contributing to the reinforcement of the literature on PI. Full article
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26 pages, 7275 KiB  
Article
Sustainable Systems Engineering Using Life Cycle Assessment: Application of Artificial Intelligence for Predicting Agro-Environmental Footprint
by Faezeh Mohammadi Kashka, Zeinolabedin Tahmasebi Sarvestani, Hemmatollah Pirdashti, Ali Motevali, Mehdi Nadi and Mohammad Valipour
Sustainability 2023, 15(7), 6326; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15076326 - 06 Apr 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1806
Abstract
The increase in population has increased the need for agricultural and food products, and thus agricultural production should be increased. This goal may cause increases in emissions and environmental impacts by increasing the consumption of agricultural inputs. The prediction of environmental impacts plays [...] Read more.
The increase in population has increased the need for agricultural and food products, and thus agricultural production should be increased. This goal may cause increases in emissions and environmental impacts by increasing the consumption of agricultural inputs. The prediction of environmental impacts plays an important role in evaluating pollutant emissions in crop production. This study employed two artificial intelligence (AI) methods: the adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system–fuzzy c-means (ANFIS–FCM) algorithm as a novel computational method, and an artificial neural network (ANN) as a conventional computational method to predict the environmental impacts of soybean production in different scenarios (i.e., soybean cultivation after rapeseed (R-S), wheat (W-S), and fallow (F-S)). The life cycle of soybean production was assessed in terms of environmental impacts through the IMPACT2002+ method in SimaPro. In the present study, the production of one ton of soybeans was considered the functional unit, and the boundary of the system was considered the gate of the field. According to the results, the production of each ton of soybean in the defined scenarios resulted in 0.0009 to 0.0016 DALY, 5476.18 to 8799.80 MJ primary, 1033.68 to 1840.70 PDF × m2 × yr, and 563.55 to 880.61 kg CO2-eq damage to human health, resources, ecosystem quality, and climate change, respectively. Moreover, the weighted analysis indicated that various soybean production scenarios led to 293.87–503.73 mPt damage to the environment, in which the R-S scenario had the best environmental performance. According to the results, the ANFIS–FCM algorithm acted as the best prediction model of environmental indicators for soybean cultivation in all cases related to the ANN. The range of calculated R2 for the ANFIS-FCM and ANN models were between 0.9967 to 0.9989 and 0.9269 to 0.9870, respectively. It can be concluded that the proposed ANFIS–FCM model is an efficient technique for obtaining accurate environmental prediction parameters of soybean cultivation. Full article
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13 pages, 422 KiB  
Article
High-Quality Regional Economic Development Paths in China—QCA-Based Linkage Effect
by Zhongxian Duan, Mengjuan Li and Peng Wu
Sustainability 2023, 15(7), 6325; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15076325 - 06 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1540
Abstract
High-quality economic development is an organic whole, involving macro, meso, and micro factors, therefore it is necessary to explore the mechanism for quality development in the construction of a modern economic system. Following the new development concept, this paper constructs a measurement system [...] Read more.
High-quality economic development is an organic whole, involving macro, meso, and micro factors, therefore it is necessary to explore the mechanism for quality development in the construction of a modern economic system. Following the new development concept, this paper constructs a measurement system for the economic development quality of 30 provinces and cities in China by using the entropy weight and TOPSIS method. In addition, the linkage effects of factors on high-quality economic development were analyzed by using the fuzzy qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) method. The results show that among factors contributing to diversified forms of the high-quality regional economy, the following three stand out: scientific and technological innovation, marketization, and infrastructure construction. On this basis, three paths were proposed for quality economic development, and they are: the innovation- and market-driven mode, the synergy mode of market and innovation, and the market-led conversion mode. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Collaborative Economy: Policy and Regional Economic Development)
13 pages, 4121 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Annona diversifolia Seed Extract as A Natural Coagulant for Water Treatment
by Ibrahim Muntaqa Tijjani Usman, Foo-Wei Lee, Yeek-Chia Ho, Han-Ping Khaw, Qi-Wen Chong, Yong-Ming Kee, Jun-Wei Lim and Pau-Loke Show
Sustainability 2023, 15(7), 6324; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15076324 - 06 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1366
Abstract
The ever-present environmental crises are current research hotspots. Nature-based solutions have been shown to have multiple co-benefits toward solving these crises. Plant-based coagulants are known to be a cost-effective and environmentally friendly approach for coagulation and flocculation processes for drinking-water treatment. In this [...] Read more.
The ever-present environmental crises are current research hotspots. Nature-based solutions have been shown to have multiple co-benefits toward solving these crises. Plant-based coagulants are known to be a cost-effective and environmentally friendly approach for coagulation and flocculation processes for drinking-water treatment. In this study, a natural coagulant was extracted from Annona diversifolia seed, and its effectiveness was investigated for turbidity reduction using jar test in kaolin suspension, river water, and evaluation of factors for sludge dewatering. The characterisation studies of Annona diversifolia seed extract were carried out using techniques including Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), zeta potential analyser, and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Response surface methodology (RSM) was also performed for the optimisation study. The results from FTIR showed that Annona diversifolia seed extract contains carboxyl and hydroxyl functional groups. The charge density was found to be negative. A web-like structure surface morphology was observed from TEM. The optimum treatment settings were found to be at pH 3 and a dosage of 25 mg/L for water treatment, and 50 mg/L for sludge dewatering, which were comparable to the metal–salts coagulants. Annona diversifolia seed extract has been shown to be a good natural coagulant. Further research can be conducted to modify and enhance its performance. Full article
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26 pages, 787 KiB  
Article
Audiovisual Competences in Times of COVID-19: The Role of Educational Actors in Media and Digital Learning of Adolescents
by Abel Suing, Juan-Pablo Arrobo-Agila, Ximena Coronado-Otavalo, Viviana Galarza-Ligña and Amparo Reascos-Trujillo
Sustainability 2023, 15(7), 6323; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15076323 - 06 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2117
Abstract
This research arises from the need to know the elements that have an impact on the audiovisual competencies of adolescents during the confinements provoked to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The purpose is to diagnose the development of audiovisual communication skills among Ecuadorian [...] Read more.
This research arises from the need to know the elements that have an impact on the audiovisual competencies of adolescents during the confinements provoked to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The purpose is to diagnose the development of audiovisual communication skills among Ecuadorian adolescents as a contribution to sustainability, based on the intervention of educational actors. The methodology is qualitative, with a descriptive approach. The instruments used were: focus groups with parents, students, and teachers from public and private institutions in Ecuador; semi-structured interviews with experts: and non-participant observation. It can be concluded that adolescents acquire audiovisual skills, processes, and languages autonomously before entering college, but they do so without the social context, ethical values and responsibilities that should be part of complete media learning. The demands of online learning during the pandemic have resulted in the development of skills and attitudes, but they have not led to full media literacy. It is pertinent to provoke innovations and updates in the curricula of higher education, specifically in the careers of social communication, in order to be aware of the technological changes on the basis of deontological principles and in favour of democratic values, tolerance, and responsibility with the sustainability of nature and people. Full article
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17 pages, 2106 KiB  
Article
Modelling Carbon Storage Dynamics of Wood Products with the HWP-RIAL Model—Projection of Particleboard End-of-Life Emissions under Different Climate Mitigation Measures
by Éva Király, Gábor Kis-Kovács, Zoltán Börcsök, Zoltán Kocsis, Gábor Németh, András Polgár and Attila Borovics
Sustainability 2023, 15(7), 6322; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15076322 - 06 Apr 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1839
Abstract
Harvested wood products (HWPs) store a significant amount of carbon, and their lifetime extension and appropriate waste management, recycling, and reuse can contribute remarkably to the achievement of climate goals. In this study, we examined the carbon storage and CO2 and CH [...] Read more.
Harvested wood products (HWPs) store a significant amount of carbon, and their lifetime extension and appropriate waste management, recycling, and reuse can contribute remarkably to the achievement of climate goals. In this study, we examined the carbon storage and CO2 and CH4 emissions under different scenarios of 200,000 m3 particleboard manufactured in 2020 by a hypothetical manufacturer. The scope of our investigation was to model the effects of a changing product lifetime, recycling rates and waste management practices on the duration of the carbon storage in wood panels and on their emission patterns. The aim of the investigation was to identify the most climate-friendly practices and find the combination of measures related to HWP production and waste management with the highest climate mitigation effect. We used the newly developed HWP-RIAL (recycling, incineration and landfill) model for the projections, which is a combination of two IPCC models parametrized for Hungarian circumstances and supplemented with a self-developed recycling and waste-route-selection submodule. The model runs covered the period 2020–2130. According to the results, the combined scenario with bundled mitigation activities had the largest mitigation potential in the modelled period, resulting in 32% emission reduction by 2050 as compared to the business-as-usual scenario. Amongst individual mitigation activities, increased recycling rates had the largest mitigation effect. The lifetime extension of particleboard can be a complementary measure to support climate mitigation efforts, along with the concept of cascade use and that of circular bioeconomy. Results showed that landfilled wood waste is a significant source of CH4 emissions on the long term; thus, incineration of wood waste is preferable to landfilling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Lignocellulosic Materials)
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16 pages, 8245 KiB  
Article
Design and Analysis of Input Capacitor in DC–DC Boost Converter for Photovoltaic-Based Systems
by Aamir Hayat, Daud Sibtain, Ali F. Murtaza, Sulman Shahzad, Muhammad Sheheryar Jajja and Heybet Kilic
Sustainability 2023, 15(7), 6321; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15076321 - 06 Apr 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3944
Abstract
Photovoltaic (P.V.) systems have become an emerging field for power generation by using renewable energy (RE) sources to overcome the usage of conventional combustible fuels and the massive release of dangerous gases. The efficient operation of the PV system is vital to extracting [...] Read more.
Photovoltaic (P.V.) systems have become an emerging field for power generation by using renewable energy (RE) sources to overcome the usage of conventional combustible fuels and the massive release of dangerous gases. The efficient operation of the PV system is vital to extracting the maximum power from the PV source. For this, a maximum power point tracking (MPPT) algorithm works with a DC–DC converter to extract maximum power from the P.V. system. Two main issues may arise with the involvement of a converter: (1) to locate M.P.P and (2) the performance of the PV model in varying weather conditions. Therefore, designing any converter gain has the utmost significance; thus, the proposed work is on non-isolated boost converters. To calculate the values of specific parameters such as input capacitor, output capacitor, and inductor, the averaging state-space modeling typically uses governing equations. In this research, the formula of the input capacitor is derived through the average state-space modeling of the boost converter, which signifies the relation between input and output capacitors. From the results, it has been proven that the input capacitor efficiently performs when the input capacitor is half of the output capacitor. At an irradiance level of 1000 W/m2, the system shows stable behavior with a fast convergence speed of 0.00745 s until the irradiance falls to a value of 400 W/m2. The system is less stable during the morning and the evening when irradiance falls are very low. Full article
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12 pages, 292 KiB  
Article
The Effects of Climate Change on Children’s Education Attainment
by Walter Leal Filho, Muniyandi Balasubramanian, Roberto Ariel Abeldaño Zuñiga and Javier Sierra
Sustainability 2023, 15(7), 6320; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15076320 - 06 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 4525
Abstract
It is proven that the consequences of climate change have grater impacts for the most vulnerable populations, and children are one of these social groups in risk of poverty and social exclusion. In this regard, education plays a pivotal role to guarantee the [...] Read more.
It is proven that the consequences of climate change have grater impacts for the most vulnerable populations, and children are one of these social groups in risk of poverty and social exclusion. In this regard, education plays a pivotal role to guarantee the children’s personal and professional development. In this context, there is a need for scientific research on how climate change impacts children’s education attainment. This paper provides an analysis of the extent to which climate change influences education attainment among children and suggests some measures to address the problem. It reports on a literature review complemented by a set of case studies, with the purpose of exploring how child-centred responses to climate change can contribute to building the resilience of households and communities. Based on the findings from the study and bearing in mind the international literature on the topic, the paper outlines some possible areas of intervention in respect to climate literacy and climate education, which may be helpful in raising awareness among children about climate change and its many ramifications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
37 pages, 3765 KiB  
Article
Knowledge Retrieval Model Based on a Graph Database for Semantic Search in Equipment Purchase Order Specifications for Steel Plants
by Ho-Jin Cha, So-Won Choi, Eul-Bum Lee and Duk-Man Lee
Sustainability 2023, 15(7), 6319; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15076319 - 06 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1955
Abstract
The complexity and age of industrial plants have prompted a rapid increase in equipment maintenance and replacement activities in recent years. Consequently, plant owners are challenged to reduce the process and review time of equipment purchase order (PO) documents. Currently, traditional keyword-based document [...] Read more.
The complexity and age of industrial plants have prompted a rapid increase in equipment maintenance and replacement activities in recent years. Consequently, plant owners are challenged to reduce the process and review time of equipment purchase order (PO) documents. Currently, traditional keyword-based document search technology generates unintentional errors and omissions, which results in inaccurate search results when processing PO documents of equipment suppliers. In this study, a purchase order knowledge retrieval model (POKREM) was designed to apply knowledge graph (KG) technology to PO documents of steel plant equipment. Four data domains were defined and developed in the POKREM: (1) factory hierarchy, (2) document hierarchy, (3) equipment classification hierarchy, and (4) PO data. The information for each domain was created in a graph database through three subprocesses: (a) defined in a hierarchical structure, (b) classified into nodes and relationships, and (c) written in triples. Ten comma-separated value (CSV) files were created and imported into the graph database for data preprocessing to create multiple nodes. Finally, rule-based reasoning technology was applied to enhance the model’s contextual search performance. The POKREM was developed and implemented by converting the Neo4j open-source graph DB into a cloud platform on the web. The accuracy, precision, recall, and F1 score of the POKREM were 99.7%, 91.7%, 100%, and 95.7%, respectively. A validation study showed that the POKREM could retrieve accurate answers to fact-related queries in most cases; some incorrect answers were retrieved for reasoning-related queries. An expert survey of PO practitioners indicated that the PO document review time with the POKREM was reduced by approximately 40% compared with that of the previous manual process. The proposed model can contribute to the work efficiency of engineers by improving document search time and accuracy; moreover, it may be expandable to other plant engineering documents, such as contracts and drawings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Digital Transformation Applications in Construction and Engineering)
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17 pages, 8413 KiB  
Article
Discrete Element Modeling of Thermally Damaged Sandstone Containing Two Pre-Existing Flaws at High Confining Pressure
by Jinzhou Tang, Shengqi Yang, Ke Yang, Wenling Tian, Guangjian Liu and Minke Duan
Sustainability 2023, 15(7), 6318; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15076318 - 06 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1062
Abstract
An underground coal gasification (UCG) process is strongly exothermic, which will cause thermal damage on rock cap. We proposed a new thermal damage numerical model based on a two dimension particle flow code (PFC2D) to analyze the inception and extension of cracks on [...] Read more.
An underground coal gasification (UCG) process is strongly exothermic, which will cause thermal damage on rock cap. We proposed a new thermal damage numerical model based on a two dimension particle flow code (PFC2D) to analyze the inception and extension of cracks on pre-cracked red sandstone, which were thermally treated at a temperature of 25~1000 °C. The results indicated that: (1) a thermal damage value DT obtained by extracting the thermal crack area of scanning electron microscope (SEM), which can be used as an indicator of the degree of thermal damage of the sandstone; (2) a thermal damage numerical model established by replacing the flat-joint model with the smooth-joint model based on the thermal damage value DT, this approach can properly simulate the mechanical behavior and failure patterns of sandstone; (3) the critical temperature for strength reduction was 750 °C. The peak strength increased as pre-treatment temperature increased from 25 to 750 °C and then decreased. The elastic modulus E1 decreased with the increasing thermal treatment temperature; (4) micro-scale cracks initiate from the tip of the prefabricated fissure, and expand along the direction of prefabricated fissure, finally developing into macroscopic fracture. This approach has the potential to enhance the predictive capability of modeling and presents a reliable model to simulate the mechanical behavior of thermally damaged sandstones, thereby offering a sound scientific basis for the utilization of space after UCG. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Engineering: Prevention of Rock and Thermal Damage)
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22 pages, 1232 KiB  
Article
Study on the Influencing Factors of Digital Transformation of Construction Enterprises from the Perspective of Dual Effects—A Hybrid Approach Based on PLS-SEM and fsQCA
by Guanqiao Zhang, Tao Wang, Yuhan Wang, Shuai Zhang, Wenhao Lin, Zixin Dou and Haitao Du
Sustainability 2023, 15(7), 6317; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15076317 - 06 Apr 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3852
Abstract
The digital transformation of Chinese construction enterprises is crucial for achieving sustainable and high-quality development in the construction industry. However, there is still a lack of in-depth research on the impact mechanism of digital transformation in construction enterprises. The purpose of this study [...] Read more.
The digital transformation of Chinese construction enterprises is crucial for achieving sustainable and high-quality development in the construction industry. However, there is still a lack of in-depth research on the impact mechanism of digital transformation in construction enterprises. The purpose of this study is to explore the multiple influencing factors and complex causal relationships of digital transformation in construction enterprises and promote the deep integration of digitalization and construction enterprises. To this end, based on the dual-effect perspective (net effect perspective of a single influencing factor and configuration effect perspective of multiple influencing factors), using the “technology–organization–environment” framework (TOE framework) to construct a research model of influencing factors for digital transformation in construction enterprises. A sample of 236 construction enterprise managers was surveyed, and partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) and fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) methods were used to empirically analyze the dual effects of influencing factors for digital transformation in construction enterprises. The results show that: (1) from the net effect perspective, there are seven factors that significantly impact digital transformation in construction enterprises; (2) from the configuration effect perspective, there are three paths that can achieve high-level digital transformation in construction enterprises, and one path that leads to low-level digital transformation; (3) from the dual-effect perspective, top management support and policy support are key factors for digital transformation in Chinese construction enterprises. The research results enrich the relevant research on digital transformation in construction enterprises and provide a reference basis for promoting digital transformation in construction enterprises. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Social Ecology and Sustainability)
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15 pages, 1090 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Industrial Intelligence on Carbon Emissions: Evidence from the Three Largest Economies
by Xiekui Zhang and Hongfei Zhu
Sustainability 2023, 15(7), 6316; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15076316 - 06 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1427
Abstract
Many studies are exploring the generated factors of carbon emissions to make a contribution to environmentally sustainable development as carbon emissions have increased by more than 5% in the past ten years. However, few investigations have considered the effects of industrial intelligence on [...] Read more.
Many studies are exploring the generated factors of carbon emissions to make a contribution to environmentally sustainable development as carbon emissions have increased by more than 5% in the past ten years. However, few investigations have considered the effects of industrial intelligence on carbon emissions. In order to discover whether the development of industrial robots will influence the environment, this paper employs the IFR data of industrial robots from 2006 to 2021 to investigate their impacts on carbon emissions in the three largest economies by using the classical linear regression model, OLS (Ordinary Least Squares), from the factors of robot installations and robot density, which are measured by ownership per thousand manufacturing people, respectively. The positive correlation coefficients of robot installation and density in the USA are 0.010 and 0.011; they are 0.185 and 0.204 in China; and 0.156 and 0.142 in Japan. To ensure the reliability of the results, we also do a robustness test and an endogeneity test by using the two-way fixed effect model, and they show the same results. The main findings of our study show that industrial intelligence can have significant positive impacts on carbon emissions in the three economies and this means that the application of industrial intelligence not only accelerates economic growth, but also causes the pressure on the environment. Moreover, the verification results also indicate that the impacts of industrial intelligence on carbon emissions are dominated by driving effects, and the higher the robot density, the stronger the driving effects on carbon emissions. Based on the findings, corresponding policy suggestions are proposed to guide governments in trimming their environment protection policies more efficiently. Full article
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21 pages, 626 KiB  
Article
Research on the Effect of Regional Talent Allocation on High-Quality Economic Development—Based on the Perspective of Innovation-Driven Growth
by Lu Liu, Shenshen Si and Jing Li
Sustainability 2023, 15(7), 6315; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15076315 - 06 Apr 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1466
Abstract
As China’s economy moves towards a stage of high-quality development and shifts its economic development goals from GDP growth to green and sustainable growth, technological support is essential for achieving green and sustainable economic growth. Therefore, the supply of talent, as the source [...] Read more.
As China’s economy moves towards a stage of high-quality development and shifts its economic development goals from GDP growth to green and sustainable growth, technological support is essential for achieving green and sustainable economic growth. Therefore, the supply of talent, as the source of innovation, is crucial. Against the backdrop of relying on innovation to drive high quality economic development, achieving the effective allocation of talent within a spatial range to maximize the release of human capital dividends and promoting the benign interaction between talent regional allocation and technological innovation is an urgent issue that needs to be addressed to achieve environmentally sustainable economic development. Based on this, this paper studies the effect of regional talent allocation on high-quality economic development, reveals the impact mechanism of regional talent allocation on high-quality economic development, and uses the panel data of 258 cities in China from 2004 to 2019 to empirically test the impact of regional talent allocation on high-quality economic development, with a view to improving regional talent allocation, releasing talent potential, and promoting the improvement of regional environmental quality and the convergence of new ideas for high-quality economic development. This research indicates the following: (1) The improvement of the talent regional allocation level can effectively promote high-quality economic development, and mechanism verification shows that talent regional allocation promotes high-quality economic development by influencing regional innovation;. (2) The heterogeneity test found that the impact of regional talent allocation on high-quality economic development indicated a law of an increasing marginal effect from east to west, while innovation drive and the interaction between regional talent allocation and innovation drive showed the strongest characteristics in the central region, followed by the west, with the weakest being in the east. In addition, both the regional allocation of talent and the innovation-driven impact on the high-quality development of the economy have a higher marginal effect in non-urban agglomeration cities than in urban agglomeration cities. (3) There is a dual threshold effect of innovation-driven regional talent allocation on the development of a high-quality economy. When the innovation drive is between 0.4898 and 10.2214, the spillover effect of innovation-driven talent flow is less than the negative impact of talent flow, which is not conducive to the development of a high-quality economic development effect of regional talent allocation. Studying the impact of regional talent allocation on high-quality economic development not only helps to supplement and improve the theory of human capital mobility, providing new explanations for high-quality economic development in the new era, but also contributes to enriching the content of modern macroeconomic theory. Full article
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15 pages, 1892 KiB  
Article
Effect of a Material Based on Date Palm Fibers on the Thermal Behavior of a Residential Building in the Atlantic Climate of Morocco
by Mhaijiba Belhous, Mustapha Boumhaout, Soufiane Oukach and Hassan Hamdi
Sustainability 2023, 15(7), 6314; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15076314 - 06 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1516
Abstract
The potential of natural materials is becoming more and more important as concerns about the environmental impact and energy efficiency of the construction sector grow. Incorporating waste from fiber sub-products seems like a wise choice, in line with the circular economy model. Despite [...] Read more.
The potential of natural materials is becoming more and more important as concerns about the environmental impact and energy efficiency of the construction sector grow. Incorporating waste from fiber sub-products seems like a wise choice, in line with the circular economy model. Despite the fact that date palm materials have been extensively researched and developed for use in modern buildings, the potential of using date palm fibers has not been widely explored. This research intends to examine how date palm fibers thermal insulation affects a building’s thermal efficiency in an Atlantic climate. An analysis using a numerical simulation using the TRNSYS software is conducted to determine the effect of this passive approach on cooling/heating loads and indoor comfort. This technique is measured against a hypothetical reference case of homemade traditional building materials without thermal insulation. The results show that insulation with date palm fiber materials has a significant effect on the indoor air temperature and the cooling and heating loads of the house. In comparison to the reference case, the studied house achieves better comfort conditions when thermal insulation is adopted since the indoor air temperature is increased by up to 3 °C in winter and decreased by up to 5 °C in summer. In addition, annual cooling and heating requirements can be reduced by 25% and 18%, respectively, by insulating the roof and walls with date palm fiber materials. On the other hand, it allows financial savings and a reduction in CO2 emissions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Efficiency in Building and Energy Balance)
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19 pages, 1108 KiB  
Article
An Empirical Analysis of the Synergistic Effect of Urban Pilot Policies in China
by Jian Wen and Shiwei Su
Sustainability 2023, 15(7), 6313; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15076313 - 06 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1343
Abstract
The strengthening of urban innovation capacity has emerged as the main force behind the promotion of the high-quality development in China because it is a significant carrier of regional innovation. This work uses the multi-time point difference approach to study the synergistic effect, [...] Read more.
The strengthening of urban innovation capacity has emerged as the main force behind the promotion of the high-quality development in China because it is a significant carrier of regional innovation. This work uses the multi-time point difference approach to study the synergistic effect, mechanism, and heterogeneity among the pilot policies of national innovation city, low-carbon city and smart city based on the panel data of 282 cities from 2001 to 2016. The findings demonstrate that (1) The national innovative city pilot policies, low-carbon city pilot policies, and smart city pilot policies have a significant effect on the improvement of urban innovation and show a synergistic effect. (2) With the help of government investment in science and technology and the construction of an innovation platform, the pilot policies of smart cities and innovative cities show a superposition effect; in addition, through the upgrading of industrial structure, the green technology innovation, public participation, low-carbon urban pilot policy, and the innovative city present the supplementary effect. (3) From the perspective of heterogeneity, the superposition and supplementary effects of lower administrative level cities are better. The effect of policy synergy overlay is the largest in the eastern region, whereas the effect of policy synergy supplement is stronger in the eastern and western regions than in the central region. The robustness test supports the conclusion of this paper. This paper analyzes the collaborative innovation effect of urban pilot policies, which can provide ideas for the combination design of policy tools. Full article
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16 pages, 6416 KiB  
Article
Experimental Study on the Adhesive Fuel Features of Inclined Wall-Impinging Spray at Various Injection Pressure Levels in a Cross-Flow Field
by Gengxin Zhang, Penghua Shi, Panpan Dong, Fangyu Zhang, Yifei Zhang and Hongliang Luo
Sustainability 2023, 15(7), 6312; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15076312 - 06 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1340
Abstract
The wall-impingement phenomenon significantly impacts mixture formation, combustible performance, and pollutant release in DISI engines. However, there is insufficient knowledge regarding the behavior of fuel adhesion. Thus, here, we examine adhesive fuel features at various injection pressure levels (5 and 10 MPa) in [...] Read more.
The wall-impingement phenomenon significantly impacts mixture formation, combustible performance, and pollutant release in DISI engines. However, there is insufficient knowledge regarding the behavior of fuel adhesion. Thus, here, we examine adhesive fuel features at various injection pressure levels (5 and 10 MPa) in a cross-flow field (0 to 50 m/s). The RIM optical method was employed to track the expansion and distribution of fuel adhesion. As a result, adhesive fuel features such as area, mass, thickness, and lifetime were assessed. Postprocessing image analysis reveals that fuel adhesion was consistently thinner at the edge region. With increased injection pressure, the cross flow led to a rise in the fuel-adhesion area and mass; however, small changes in pressure did not affect adhesive thickness. Adhesive thickness significantly decreased in the cross flow, indicating enhanced evaporation potential. Furthermore, lifetime prediction was conducted to quantitatively evaluate the impact of cross flow and injection pressure upon fuel adhesion, which could be calculated by examining the decreasing trend in adhesive area. Results show that the lifetime was dramatically reduced with higher cross-flow velocity, and slightly decreased with lower injection pressure. Under injection pressure of 10 MPa, the adhesive lifetime in the cross-flow field of 50 m/s was reduced by 77.5% compared with the static flow field (0 m/s). The experimental results provide corresponding guidance for low-carbon fuel utilization and emission reduction in DISI engines. Full article
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17 pages, 352 KiB  
Article
Air Pollution and Enterprise Energy Efficiency: Evidence from Energy-Intensive Manufacturing Industries in China
by Tingting Xiao and Zhong Liu
Sustainability 2023, 15(7), 6311; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15076311 - 06 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1336
Abstract
This study aims to investigate the causal effect of air pollution on enterprise-level energy efficiency in the energy-intensive manufacturing industries of China. To address the potential endogenous problem, it employs thermal inversions as the instrumental variable. The study finds that air pollution would [...] Read more.
This study aims to investigate the causal effect of air pollution on enterprise-level energy efficiency in the energy-intensive manufacturing industries of China. To address the potential endogenous problem, it employs thermal inversions as the instrumental variable. The study finds that air pollution would significantly decrease enterprise-level energy efficiency. It shows heterogeneous influences of air pollution on enterprise-level energy efficiency, varying with enterprise ownership, enterprise age, enterprise location, and regional energy resource endowment. This study further reveals that air pollution exerts a negative influence on enterprise-level energy efficiency through the mechanisms of decreasing enterprise productivity (both total factor productivity and labor productivity), increasing enterprise total energy consumption, and lowering enterprise exports. The findings of this study provide an economic rationale for enterprises to motivate themselves to reduce air pollution and have important implications for policymaking in China and other developing countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Air, Climate Change and Sustainability)
15 pages, 2514 KiB  
Article
A Framework Based on Deep Learning for Predicting Multiple Safety-Critical Parameter Trends in Nuclear Power Plants
by Haixia Gu, Gaojun Liu, Jixue Li, Hongyun Xie and Hanguan Wen
Sustainability 2023, 15(7), 6310; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15076310 - 06 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1399
Abstract
Operators in the main control room of a nuclear power plant have a crucial role in supervising all operations, and any human error can be fatal. By providing operators with information regarding the future trends of plant safety-critical parameters based on their actions, [...] Read more.
Operators in the main control room of a nuclear power plant have a crucial role in supervising all operations, and any human error can be fatal. By providing operators with information regarding the future trends of plant safety-critical parameters based on their actions, human errors can be detected and prevented in a timely manner. This paper proposed a Sequence-to-Sequence (Seq2Seq)-based Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) model to predict safety-critical parameters and their future trends. The PCTran was used to extract data for four typical faults and fault levels, and eighty-six parameters were selected as characteristic quantities. The training, validation, and testing sets were collected in a ratio of 13:3:1, and appropriate hyperparameters were used to construct the Seq2Seq neural network. Compared with conventional deep learning models, the results indicated that the proposed model could successfully solve the complex problem of the trend estimation of key system parameters under the influence of operator action factors in multiple abnormal operating conditions. It is believed that the proposed model can help operators reduce the risk of human-caused errors and diagnose potential accidents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Zero-Energy and Zero-Carbon District Energy Systems)
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27 pages, 2211 KiB  
Article
The Role of Multimodal Transportation in Ensuring Sustainable Territorial Development: Review of Risks and Prospects
by Irina Makarova, Azhar Serikkaliyeva, Larysa Gubacheva, Eduard Mukhametdinov, Polina Buyvol, Aleksandr Barinov, Vladimir Shepelev and Gulnaz Mavlyautdinova
Sustainability 2023, 15(7), 6309; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15076309 - 06 Apr 2023
Viewed by 3985
Abstract
The Russian Arctic development is an investment direction, which is planned through a system of so-called “support zones” of various development degrees, it is a priority for Russia and can have a positive effect. Since integrated territorial development is associated with significant cargo [...] Read more.
The Russian Arctic development is an investment direction, which is planned through a system of so-called “support zones” of various development degrees, it is a priority for Russia and can have a positive effect. Since integrated territorial development is associated with significant cargo flows of raw materials, materials and goods, logistics chains will include various transport modes, which will lead to the development of infrastructure (including the construction and reconstruction of seaports, the network of the railways and roads expansion) and the emergence of new international transport corridors (ITCs). A scientifically based solution to the problems of constructing a delivery route, including the location of transshipment points, logistics terminals and the rolling stock selection, will ensure the sustainable territories development through which ITCs pass. However, these tasks, which constitute the activity of organizing multimodal transportation, are associated with various types of risks, the successful solution of which, in this case, depends on the sustainable territorial development of these territories. Therefore, the research objective is to establish the relationship between the development of transport networks and the development of the Arctic region, the designation of possible prospects for the development of both multimodal transportation as a whole as a strategic event, and the contribution of each kind of transport, as well as the risks of creating and using international transport corridors, including cumulative impact on the environment. As a result of the literature analysis, we have considered the causes and consequences of the improper planning of supply chains and infrastructure, then we have indicated the role of new transport corridors in the development of territories. We have built a tree of problems in order to systematize risk situations and identify root causes and consequences. A method for calculating the cargo delivery time is proposed, taking into account the multimodality of logistics chains as well as measures that help reduce risks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Implications of Emerging Transportation Technologies)
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19 pages, 1303 KiB  
Article
Prioritization of Supply Chain Capabilities Using the FAHP Technique
by Mahmoud Z. Mistarihi and Ghazi M. Magableh
Sustainability 2023, 15(7), 6308; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15076308 - 06 Apr 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1443
Abstract
With the great challenges that the latest pandemic (COVID-19) has imposed on manufacturing companies, the need to overcome and cope with such situations is becoming crucial. Supply chain resilience is one of the main aspects that enables manufacturers to cope with change and [...] Read more.
With the great challenges that the latest pandemic (COVID-19) has imposed on manufacturing companies, the need to overcome and cope with such situations is becoming crucial. Supply chain resilience is one of the main aspects that enables manufacturers to cope with change and uncertainty; therefore, it is essential to develop the capabilities necessary to do so. This study aimed to ensure supply chain resilience in light of the COVID-19 pandemic through prioritizing main supply chain capabilities. After surveying (30) experts in supply chain from leading manufacturing companies in Jordan, a Fuzzy Analytic Hierarchy Process (FAHP) analysis was conducted to prioritize main supply chain capabilities that were derived from the related literature. The results of this study showed that proactive capabilities, followed by reactive capabilities, were the most dominant capabilities that could ensure supply chain resilience, while efficiency-based capabilities were the least significant. Therefore, manufacturing companies should place their focus and emphasis on reacting to this pandemic in a more systematic manner. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Achieving and Maintaining Supply Chain Sustainability)
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20 pages, 1615 KiB  
Article
Does Environmental Regulation Have an Employment Dividend? Evidence from China
by Chao Wu and Yu Hua
Sustainability 2023, 15(7), 6307; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15076307 - 06 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1357
Abstract
Environmental regulations not only benefit environmental improvement but may also have a potential employment dividend, which is important for sustainable economic development. Based on the provincial panel data of China from 1997 to 2019, the spatial Dubin model is used to analyze the [...] Read more.
Environmental regulations not only benefit environmental improvement but may also have a potential employment dividend, which is important for sustainable economic development. Based on the provincial panel data of China from 1997 to 2019, the spatial Dubin model is used to analyze the spatial spillover effects of environmental regulation on employment. From the findings, there is a significant spatial agglomeration characteristic in the employment scale. The environmental regulation positively influences the local employment scale, while there is a negative spatial effect on employment in neighboring regions. With regards to the regional heterogeneity analysis, environmental regulation has a spatial negative correlation with employment in coastal areas and less polluted areas. Additionally, in inland areas and less polluted areas, environmental regulation has a significant positive impact on the employment scale. Meanwhile, market-based environmental regulation has the potential to expand the employment scale in local and neighboring areas, while command-and-control environmental regulation impacts negatively on employment in neighboring areas. This study found that environmental regulation has an employment dividend. These findings reveal the spatial dependence between environmental regulation and employment, which will help policy makers consider the environmental and employment effects of environmental regulation more comprehensively. Therefore, the government should formulate targeted policies under regional differences to promote high-quality employment and construct a multiple governance environmental regulatory system. Full article
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12 pages, 3526 KiB  
Article
Long-Term Chemical Alteration of 238Pu-Doped Borosilicate Glass in a Simulated Geological Environment with Bentonite Buffer
by Bella Zubekhina, Boris Burakov, Andrei Shiryaev, Xiaodong Liu and Yury Petrov
Sustainability 2023, 15(7), 6306; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15076306 - 06 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1005
Abstract
Chemical degradation of borosilicate glass doped with 238Pu was modelled in conditions of a failed underground radwaste repository in granite host rock with bentonite buffer material after penetration of aqueous solutions at temperature of 90 °C. The total duration of the experiment [...] Read more.
Chemical degradation of borosilicate glass doped with 238Pu was modelled in conditions of a failed underground radwaste repository in granite host rock with bentonite buffer material after penetration of aqueous solutions at temperature of 90 °C. The total duration of the experiment exceeded two years. It is shown that wet bentonite preserved its barrier function and prevents migration of plutonium to the solution. The total amount of plutonium adsorbed on bentonite clay during the experiment did not exceed 0.02% of the initial amount of plutonium in the glass sample. Estimated accumulated dose of self-irradiation of the glass sample after the experiment varies from 3.16 × 1015 to 3.39 × 1015 α-decays per gram, which is equivalent to more than 1000 years storage of 239Pu doped sample with the same Pu content. Beishan granite remained intact, with no evidence of Pu penetration into the granite matrix along mineral grain boundaries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nuclear Waste Management and Sustainability)
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23 pages, 10475 KiB  
Article
Estimation of the Evacuation Time According to Different Flood Depths
by Piyapong Suwanno, Chaiwat Yaibok, Noriyasu Tsumita, Atsushi Fukuda, Kestsirin Theerathitichaipa, Manlika Seefong, Sajjakaj Jomnonkwao and Rattanaporn Kasemsri
Sustainability 2023, 15(7), 6305; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15076305 - 06 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1624
Abstract
This study focused on pre-flood measures to estimate evacuation times impacted by flood depths and identify alternate routes to reduce loss of life and manage evacuation measures during flood disasters. Evacuation measures, including traffic characteristics, were reviewed according to different flood depths. Several [...] Read more.
This study focused on pre-flood measures to estimate evacuation times impacted by flood depths and identify alternate routes to reduce loss of life and manage evacuation measures during flood disasters. Evacuation measures, including traffic characteristics, were reviewed according to different flood depths. Several scenarios were constructed for different flooding situations and traffic volumes. Evacuation times in the study area were evaluated and compared for all scenarios with reference to dry conditions. Results of network performance indicators compared to the dry situation showed that average speed dropped to 2 km/h, VHT rose above 200%, and VKT rose above 30%. Cumulative evacuee arrival percentage increased when flood levels were higher than 5 cm. Flood levels of 10–15, 15–20, 20–25, and 25–30 cm represented percentages of remaining evacuees at 9%, 19%, 49%, and 83%, respectively. Time taken to evacuate increased according to flood level. For flood depths of 5–30 cm, travel time increased by 40, 90, 260, and 670 min, respectively, suggesting the need for early evacuation before the flood situation becomes serious. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Traffic Flow, Road Safety, and Sustainable Transportation)
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30 pages, 4672 KiB  
Article
A Study on the Parametric Design Parameters That Influence Environmental Ergonomics and Sustainability
by Dariel López-López, Antonio Serrano-Jiménez, Juan Gavilanes, Ferran Ventura-Blanch, Ángela Barrios-Padura and Carmen Díaz-López
Sustainability 2023, 15(7), 6304; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15076304 - 06 Apr 2023
Viewed by 2537
Abstract
The parametric design applied to the built environment is critical to creating sustainable and resilient spaces. However, this research field involves a vast and complex amount of disconnected information. Therefore, this paper aims to analyse research trends in applying parametric design to optimise [...] Read more.
The parametric design applied to the built environment is critical to creating sustainable and resilient spaces. However, this research field involves a vast and complex amount of disconnected information. Therefore, this paper aims to analyse research trends in applying parametric design to optimise sustainability and environmental ergonomics parameters in built environments. The following specific objectives are identified to meet this objective: (i) a quantitative analysis based on a systematic literature review; (ii) a qualitative review based on a performance analysis and scientific mapping; and (iii) a comparative analysis of case studies applying parametric language for the optimisation of sustainability and environmental ergonomics parameters. The 1045 research records covering 1974 to 2021 illustrate a field in development that evolves from early digital advances to climate change adaptations, the circular economy and resilience. It highlights the importance of applying bioclimatic techniques in the built environment, identifying the most optimised measures and encouraging the creation of guidelines to serve as a protocol for future studies, contributing to the existing body of knowledge by highlighting trends, establishing research themes, outlining research networks and suggesting areas for further studies. Full article
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18 pages, 2471 KiB  
Article
Emergency Planning and Disaster Recovery Management Model in Hospitality—Plan-Do-Check-Act Cycle Approach
by Milena Nebojša Rajić, Rado M. Maksimović and Pedja Milosavljević
Sustainability 2023, 15(7), 6303; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15076303 - 06 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2941
Abstract
This study aims to present the impact of disasters, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, on the possibility of recovering from and mitigating such impacts. The paper proposes a new emergency planning and disaster recovery management model (EPDRM) which links the ISO 31000:2018 (Risk [...] Read more.
This study aims to present the impact of disasters, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, on the possibility of recovering from and mitigating such impacts. The paper proposes a new emergency planning and disaster recovery management model (EPDRM) which links the ISO 31000:2018 (Risk Management) requirements with the process approach. The model was validated through its application to ISO-certified and ISO-non-certified hotels. The analysis was performed by using an online questionnaire based on the ISO 31000:2018 requirements, where given questions were grouped into 14 categories and presented according to the PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) cycle. The proposed methodology has not been used by other researchers for similar problems. Current results are especially important, because they were collected after the lockdown that had a significant impact on hospitality and tourism in the world. This paper discusses the effect of hotel properties (such as size, certification, and categorization) on the implementation level of the emergency planning and disaster recovery management model. This survey was conducted in 109 hotels in Serbia. The results show that the average level of application was 35.80%. The survey also points to the development possibilities of alternative tourisms in response to COVID-19, and whether the hotel facilities were suitable for such changes in times of increased uncertainty. The results represent the basis of scientific data for improving the national policy, especially during the recovery from a disaster such as COVID-19, as well as emergency planning activities during the pandemic. The study limitations can be identified in the small research sample and insufficient cooperation of contacted hotels as well as the willingness of hotels’ managements to participate in the study. The hotels’ managers should be aware of the implementation of emergency planning measures, and without their willingness, this cannot be achieved at any level. Full article
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17 pages, 4654 KiB  
Article
The Evolution and Factors Affecting the Distribution Industry in Poverty-Stricken Counties of Henan Province, China
by Yiwei Chen, Yuhuan Xu, Sijin Li and Yin Huang
Sustainability 2023, 15(7), 6302; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15076302 - 06 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1403
Abstract
Under the background of rural revitalization and domestic and international double circulation, vigorously developing the rural distribution industry is an important measure needed to accelerate the process of urban–rural integration, and to enhance the effect of poverty alleviation. In this study, 36 poverty-stricken [...] Read more.
Under the background of rural revitalization and domestic and international double circulation, vigorously developing the rural distribution industry is an important measure needed to accelerate the process of urban–rural integration, and to enhance the effect of poverty alleviation. In this study, 36 poverty-stricken counties in the southeast of Henan Province, China were selected as research objects; the evolution characteristics and factors influencing the counties’ distribution industries and their development were studied, using the modified gravity model, exploratory spatial data analysis, and a spatial econometric model. The overall scale of the county-level distribution industry in the poverty-stricken areas of southeast Henan expanded, but regional development was uneven, and a spatial pattern of “high in the northeast–low in the southwest” was demonstrated. Meanwhile, the development of the distribution industry in the counties of the district had a circular spatial trend of “agglomeration–diffusion–agglomeration”, with a significant local spatial polarization effect. In addition, the technology level, market demand, population size, and industrial structure adjustment had positive spatial spillover effects on the development of counties’ distribution industries, while labor and capital exerted negative spatial spillover effects. On this basis, to promote the interactive development of the distribution industry and rural economic growth and further accelerate the process of urban–rural integration, we should continually optimize the spatial layout of the distribution industry, improve the construction of county-level circulation infrastructure, and boost new circulation formats and models. Full article
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18 pages, 2251 KiB  
Article
Analysis of Carbon Footprints and Surface Quality in Green Cutting Environments for the Milling of AZ31 Magnesium Alloy
by Mohammad Kanan, Sadaf Zahoor, Muhammad Salman Habib, Sana Ehsan, Mudassar Rehman, Muhammad Shahzaib, Sajawal Ali Khan, Hassan Ali, Zaher Abusaq and Allam Hamdan
Sustainability 2023, 15(7), 6301; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15076301 - 06 Apr 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1427
Abstract
This investigation delves into the effectiveness of employing vegetable-based cutting fluids and nanoparticles in milling AZ31 magnesium alloy, as part of the pursuit of ecologically sustainable manufacturing practices. The study scrutinizes three different cutting environments: (i) dry cutting; (ii) minimum quantity lubrication (MQL) [...] Read more.
This investigation delves into the effectiveness of employing vegetable-based cutting fluids and nanoparticles in milling AZ31 magnesium alloy, as part of the pursuit of ecologically sustainable manufacturing practices. The study scrutinizes three different cutting environments: (i) dry cutting; (ii) minimum quantity lubrication (MQL) with rice bran oil as the base oil and turmeric oil as an additive; and (iii) MQL with rice bran oil as the base oil, and turmeric oil and kaolinite nanoparticles as additives. Fuzzy logic was implemented to develop the design of experiments and assess the impact of these cutting environments on carbon emissions, surface quality, and microhardness. Upon conducting an analysis of variance (ANOVA), it was determined that all the three input parameters (cutting environment, cutting speed, and feed) greatly affect carbon emissions. The third cutting environment (MQL + bio-oils + kaolinite) generated the lowest carbon emissions (average of 9.21 ppm) and surface roughness value (0.3 um). Confirmatory tests validated that the output parameters predicted using the multiobjective genetic algorithm aligned well with experimental values, thus affirming the algorithm’s robustness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sustainable Machining Processes and Technologies)
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