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Designing Scenarios as Interpretive Measurement of Human–Environment-Social Sustainable Interaction

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Sustainability and Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 22 August 2024 | Viewed by 9445

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
College of Tourism, Hunan Normal University, Changsha, China
Interests: environmental sustainability; energy economics; risk perception; risk communications; tourism management
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This special issue emphasizes the necessity, significance and benefits of designing scenarios as explanatory measurements of human–environment-social sustainable interaction. Alternative sustainability scenarios have made it clear that there are many interpretations of what the path toward sustainability might look like. Future scenarios provide a range of reference points for assessing the significance of specific measurement values. Incorporating alternative designing scenarios into the measurement framework also helps policymakers to conceive adaptive policies with which to tackle unexpected events. Various measurement indicators or methods are of great significance to us because they reflect a fundamental characteristic of human beings. This understanding ensures the cultural evolution of human beings, because it links an individual’s cognitive development to that of her fellow human beings. Measurement systems are one reflection of this lock-in between the individual and her social environment.

In practice, however, the role of scenarios in measurement systems is frequently overlooked. Measurement systems tend to assume the existence of just one scenario, rather than several alternative ones, and usually fail to take care of explaining what exactly this scenario is. Indicators are incorporated into the measurement system based more on the ease and availability of methods than on their nexus with a scenario.

On the one hand, different social groups, stakeholders and communities in society perceive differently what a sustainable future might be. As pointed out in many case studies, policies that meet local socio-ecological sustainability criteria over shorter time scales often fail to deliver within larger areas and longer time scales. Therefore, alternative scenarios are required to clarify the possible contradictions between different spatio-temporal dimensions of sustainability.

As conscious social beings, there is no sound reason for us to discard the various measurement systems as frameworks to improve our understanding of sustainability, despite the considerable challenges involved. Then, it is worth looking closely at several alternative possibilities for a sustainable future, which have implications for the use of the measurement frameworks.

Therefore, this special issue aims to indicate that all measurement systems assume the existence of reference scenarios as a rationale for designing sustainability scenarios. Topics of interest for publication include, but are not limited to:

  • All scenarios or measurements for interpreting human–environment-social sustainable interaction.
  • Research fields include but are not limited to: Energy; Environmental; Individuals; Communities; Enterprises; Regional or global economics.
  • Application sectors include but are not limited to: Environmental and pollution industry; Energy sector; Tourism sector; Agriculture sector; Bank and insurance sector; Listed company; Media communication industry;  Event industry; Sports industry.
  • Research majors include but are not limited to: Economics; Management; Geography; Communications; Psychology; Sports; Law.
  • Research subjects include but are not limited to: Green innovation; Ecological sustainability; Environmental protect law; Energy efficiency; Risk management; Media communication; Sports psychology; Tourism geography; International trade.  
  • Research methodology include but are not limited to: Quantitative; Qualitative; Visualization; Computer algorithm; Data mining.

Dr. Xin-long Xu
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • sustainable development
  • risk management
  • energy and environment economics
  • communication management
  • interpretive measurement

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

18 pages, 2444 KiB  
Article
How Review Valence Shapes Visit Intention: Affective Commitment and Destination Reputation
by Yagang Zhao, Binli Tang, Xiaojie Yang and Jeroen Nawijn
Sustainability 2024, 16(9), 3584; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16093584 - 24 Apr 2024
Viewed by 533
Abstract
In the era of social media, online reviews have become a crucial factor influencing the exposure of tourist destinations and the decision-making of potential tourists, exerting a profound impact on the sustainable development of these destinations. However, the influence of review valence on [...] Read more.
In the era of social media, online reviews have become a crucial factor influencing the exposure of tourist destinations and the decision-making of potential tourists, exerting a profound impact on the sustainable development of these destinations. However, the influence of review valence on visit intention, especially the role of affective commitment and reputation (ability vs. responsibility), remains unclear. Drawing on emotion as a social information theory, this paper aims to elucidate the direct impact of different review valences on tourists’ visit intentions, as well as mediating mechanisms and boundary conditions. Three experiments indicate that positive (vs. negative) reviews can activate stronger affective commitment and visit intention, with affective commitment also playing a mediating role. Additionally, destination reputation significantly moderates the after-effects of review valences. More specifically, a responsibility reputation (compared with an ability reputation) weakens the effect of negative valence on affective commitment and visit intention. This study provides valuable theoretical insights into how emotional elements in online reviews influence the emotions and attitudes of potential tourists. Particularly for tourism managers, review valence and responsibility reputation hold practical significance in destination marketing. Full article
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31 pages, 13650 KiB  
Article
Spatiotemporal Changes in China’s Tourism Industry Development
by Hui Zhang, Zancai Xia and Jiaxi Wang
Sustainability 2024, 16(8), 3244; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16083244 - 12 Apr 2024
Viewed by 719
Abstract
As a strategic pillar of the Chinese economy, high-quality development of the tourism industry has become a pressing demand in the contemporary era. Following the new developmental concept advocated by the Chinese government, this study has constructed a comprehensive set of indicators for [...] Read more.
As a strategic pillar of the Chinese economy, high-quality development of the tourism industry has become a pressing demand in the contemporary era. Following the new developmental concept advocated by the Chinese government, this study has constructed a comprehensive set of indicators for high-quality tourism development. A thorough spatial analysis of the developmental quality of China’s provincial tourism industry from 2000 to 2021, as well as the developmental conditions of various subsystems, was conducted by employing the entropy–value–TOPSIS method, Dagum Gini coefficient, and ESTDA approach. The research has found that (1) the overall quality of China’s tourism industry has significantly improved, (2) the determinants of differences in tourism-development quality in China transitioned from endowment advantages to innovation capabilities. (3) positive spatial-agglomeration effects are evident in the developmental landscape of China’s tourism industry, (4) the quality of regional tourism development is closely related to the economic development of urban agglomerations, (5) China’s tourism industry demonstrates resilience and capacity for restructuring in the post-pandemic era. Full article
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25 pages, 1381 KiB  
Article
The Spatiotemporal Characteristics and Driving Factors of Regional Ecological Efficiency in the Tourism Sector
by Gang Deng and Hsing Hung Chen
Sustainability 2024, 16(3), 982; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16030982 - 23 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 780
Abstract
Improving tourism’s ecological efficiency and facilitating harmony between tourism development and the ecological environment are profitable and conducive to sustainable development. In this study, we investigated the relationship between tourism’s eco-efficiency for sustainable tourism development and environmental protection by incorporating unexpected outputs to [...] Read more.
Improving tourism’s ecological efficiency and facilitating harmony between tourism development and the ecological environment are profitable and conducive to sustainable development. In this study, we investigated the relationship between tourism’s eco-efficiency for sustainable tourism development and environmental protection by incorporating unexpected outputs to calculate tourism’s eco-efficiencies, analyzing the three-dimensional spatial variation and, finally, considering the effects of nine comprehensive factors on the extent of the spatial variation in tourism efficiencies: economic development, openness, social consumption, the digital economy, transportation infrastructure, government intervention, technological innovation, energy consumption, and passenger turnover. First, an unexpected slack-based measure model was applied to calculate the tourism ecological efficiencies of 21 cities in Guangdong Province from 2009 to 2021. Second, the natural breakpoint method and trend surface analysis were used to identify the spatiotemporal differences in and spatial trends of these tourism ecological efficiencies. Finally, the geographical detector model was utilized to analyze the elements affecting the spatial and temporal differences in the tourism ecological efficiencies. Overall, the tourism ecological efficiencies of 21 cities in Guangdong Province are at a high level, showing obvious spatiotemporal changes. Compared with 2009 and 2021, the overall tourism ecological efficiencies of 21 cities in Guangdong Province shifted from a trend of high in the north, low in the south, low in the west, and high in the east to a trend of low in the north, low in the south, high in the west, and low in the east. The distribution in the north–south and east–west directions is in a “U” shape, and the spatial differences in the north–south and east–west directions are relatively significant. We suggest considering the roles of factors such as the development of the digital economy, the level of government intervention, the level of technical innovation, the driving force of transportation, the standard of the transportation infrastructure, and the standard of social consumption. This study provides a constructive approach to elevating the tourism ecological efficiencies of 21 cities in Guangdong Province with regards to the nine driving factors. Full article
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17 pages, 1088 KiB  
Article
How Does Green Finance Policy Affect the Capacity Utilization Rate of Polluting Enterprises?
by Xing Cai, Guoran Chen and Fei Wang
Sustainability 2023, 15(24), 16927; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152416927 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1001
Abstract
Effectively addressing overcapacity is the main task of China’s deepening supply-side reform and represents an intrinsic requirement for achieving sustainable economic development. Green finance policy, as a kind of environmental regulation policy that influences the behavior of polluting enterprises, can not only effectively [...] Read more.
Effectively addressing overcapacity is the main task of China’s deepening supply-side reform and represents an intrinsic requirement for achieving sustainable economic development. Green finance policy, as a kind of environmental regulation policy that influences the behavior of polluting enterprises, can not only effectively facilitate the green transformation of production methods but also have a significant effect on the capacity utilization rate of enterprises. We use the promulgation of the Guidance on Building a Green Financial System in 2016 as a quasinatural experiment and the differences-in-differences (DID) method to study the effect of green finance policies on the capacity utilization rates of polluting enterprises based on data from 2012 to 2020 on A-share listed companies on the Shanghai Stock Exchanges (SSE) and Shenzhen Stock Exchanges (SZSE). We obtained the following results: (1) The implementation of green finance policies markedly improved polluting enterprises’ capacity utilization rate, which was supported by a sequence of robustness tests; (2) The mechanism test revealed that green finance policies serve to rectify information asymmetry and constrain improper government interventions through credit resource allocation mechanisms, thereby inhibiting overinvestments in polluting enterprises and ultimately increasing the capacity utilization rate. Additionally, green finance policies can improve product quality and diversity by incentivizing polluting enterprises’ technological innovation, enabling products to better meet market demand, and ultimately improving the capacity utilization rate; (3) The results of the heterogeneity analysis indicate that, for state-owned and large-scale polluting enterprises, green finance policies play a stronger role in increasing the capacity utilization rate. We have enriched the research related to the policy effects of green finance and the impact of environmental regulation on the capacity utilization rate, thus providing a useful reference for China to utilize green finance policies to address overcapacity, promote the transition to a more environmentally sustainable economic society, and achieve sustainable development. Full article
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19 pages, 287 KiB  
Article
Population Aging and Household Tourism Consumption—An Empirical Study Based on China Family Panel Studies (CFPS) Data
by Xing Cai and Yinhe Zhang
Sustainability 2023, 15(13), 9989; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15139989 - 23 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1601
Abstract
The ever deepening population aging has brought opportunities and challenges to the continued expansion of tourism consumption in China. We explore the impact of population aging on household tourism consumption, by using the data from China Family Panel Studies (CFPS) in 2014, 2016 [...] Read more.
The ever deepening population aging has brought opportunities and challenges to the continued expansion of tourism consumption in China. We explore the impact of population aging on household tourism consumption, by using the data from China Family Panel Studies (CFPS) in 2014, 2016 and 2018. We found that population aging has a negative mediating effect on household tourism consumption by reducing household economic conditions. The improvement of health status of the elderly and Internet use have a significant positive moderating effect on the impact of population aging on household tourism consumption, but intergenerational care have no such effect. The results of the heterogeneity analysis show that the negative impact of population aging on household tourism consumption in urban areas is greater than that in rural areas, and the negative impact of population aging on household tourism consumption of families with the old-old elderly is greater than that of families with the young-old elderly. The conclusions of this article provide important references for activating tourism consumption in China in the context of population aging. Full article
31 pages, 7925 KiB  
Article
Evolution of Tourism Risk Communication: A Bibliometric Analysis and Meta-Analysis of the Antecedents of Communicating Risk to Tourists
by Weina Liu, Chaonan Xu, Yajie Peng and Xinlong Xu
Sustainability 2023, 15(12), 9693; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15129693 - 16 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1463
Abstract
As tourism risk communication has transitioned from an emerging theme to a growing field of research, it is essential to review existing studies to identify developments in it. Nevertheless, there is a lack of extensive research employing both bibliometric and meta-analysis of tourism [...] Read more.
As tourism risk communication has transitioned from an emerging theme to a growing field of research, it is essential to review existing studies to identify developments in it. Nevertheless, there is a lack of extensive research employing both bibliometric and meta-analysis of tourism risk communication, specifically on communicating risk to tourists. To fill this gap, first, we applied bibliometric analysis techniques to identify emerging research clusters by collecting 236 articles from 1985.1.1 to 2023.6.1. Second, to implement the meta-analysis, we selected the empirical results from the collected articles. Then, five studies were used as a series of different structures required for implementing meta-analysis. Through our research, the main results show that (1) emerging research clusters mainly focus on: (i) “risk communication”, “crisis communication”, and “tourism crisis”, (ii) “risk perception”, (iii) “health service”, “health education”, “health behavior”, “environmental health”, and “public health”. (2) Papers aiming at data analysis or modeling are of great value to advance research in the field of tourism risk communication. (3) Tourism risk communication assessments reported by different public agencies are sensitive to factors such as gender, nationality, the experiences of tourists, local tourism boards, local governments, organizational resource allocation, and report evaluation. Based on this, we contribute to knowledge on tourism risk management by discussing the challenges of the present studies and, more significantly, by identifying seven antecedents and future research directions of risk communication strategy. Finally, this paper draws implications for theory development, acknowledges the limitations of this research, and indicates further research directions. Full article
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25 pages, 6551 KiB  
Article
Coupling Coordination Relationship and Dynamic Response between Urbanization and Urban Resilience: Case of Yangtze River Delta
by Kunjie Peng, Xiaorong He and Chunxiao Xu
Sustainability 2023, 15(3), 2702; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15032702 - 2 Feb 2023
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2392
Abstract
In the context of rapid urbanization, urban resilience, as a new way of thinking to seek solutions to urban risk crises, has become an important direction and a new development trend in the continued acceleration of urbanization. This study takes the Yangtze River [...] Read more.
In the context of rapid urbanization, urban resilience, as a new way of thinking to seek solutions to urban risk crises, has become an important direction and a new development trend in the continued acceleration of urbanization. This study takes the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) as the study object, establishes a comprehensive evaluation index system of urbanization and urban resilience from a multi-dimensional perspective based on the improved entropy value method, and uses the coupling coordination degree (CCD) model, the kernel density estimation method, and the exploratory spatial data analysis (ESDA) method to investigate the spatio-temporal evolution trends of the CCD level of urbanization and urban resilience. Further, the dynamic response relationship of the coupling between the two systems is revealed by the PVAR model. The study results are shown as follows: (1) The urbanization level and the urban resilience level show a box-shaped clustering of overall urbanization values and urban resilience values, with a widening absolute gap between extreme value cities. (2) The kernel density estimates of CCD values for urbanization and urban resilience show an upward trend in the overall level of CCD, with regional integration replacing multi-level differentiation. (3) The level of CCD shows a continuous upward trend in terms of the spatial distribution characteristics of CCD, and the high-class area shows regional integration. (4) The spatial agglomeration trend of CCD continues to develop, reaching a region-wide hot spot agglomeration. (5) The PVAR model indicates that there is a dynamic response relationship between the urbanization system and the urban resilience system. Finally, based on the above research results, this study gives policy recommendations for the coordination and sustainable development of the urbanization system and the urban resilience system, providing some academic references for the relevant departments in the YRD to accelerate urbanization, enhance the urban resilience level, and promote regional integration. Full article
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