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Prospects and Challenges of Sustainable Rural Development: Technological and Institutional Innovations

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Urban and Rural Development".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2022) | Viewed by 9648

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor

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Guest Editor
Institute of Economics and Rural Development, Lithuanian Centre for Social Sciences, 03220 Vilnius, Lithuania
Interests: sustainable development; integrated analysis
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Rural development impacts both the primary sector as well as society as a whole. Viable farms ensure that the food security goals of countries and international markets are met. There have also been concerns in regard to the environmental and social effects of agricultural systems and rural areas in general. Therefore, it is necessary to identify the most effective policy options and long-term strategies to address the objectives of sustainability within the rural development context. Both developed and developing countries face the aforementioned challenges. Large-scale support schemes have been accordingly initiated. Taking the European Union as an example, one can note attempts to link the Common Agricultural Policy to the Green Deal strategy. Thus, it is important to look not only at the measures of agricultural support but also ensure that they are properly posited among multiple other strategies and their objectives, which has methodological implications. Quantitative techniques taking into account multiple objectives and policy options and/or technological development paths are needed. As for the qualitative approaches, those relying on stakeholder involvement and the holistic view are most topical. This Special Issue calls for papers dealing with the following topics:

  • Sustainable rural development;
  • Technological innovations in agriculture;
  • Societal innovations in rural areas;
  • Institutional transformation and rural development;
  • Regional studies on the sustainable rural development;
  • Pandemic, supply chains, and rural development;
  • Multicriteria approach applied to sustainable rural development;
  • Holistic analysis of sustainable rural development;
  • International trade and sustainable rural development;
  • Resilience of the agricultural sector and rural development.

Prof. Dr. Tomas Baležentis
Prof. Dr. Dalia Štreimikienė
Prof. Dr. Alvydas Baležentis
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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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

  • rural development
  • sustainability
  • resilience
  • multicriteria analysis
  • holistic approach

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

31 pages, 20930 KiB  
Article
Study on Low-Carbon Construction System of Desakota Village-and-Town Communities: Take Zhejiang Province as an Example
by Xiaoqing Zhu, Yuebin Zhong, Zhixing Li, Hanyuan Shi and Bin Shi
Sustainability 2022, 14(18), 11525; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141811525 - 14 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1235
Abstract
In the context of urbanization, desakota villages and towns, which feature mixed land utilization, a diversified industrial structure, and “half-city and half-town”, have gradually come into being and play a big part in impacting the development of towns and villages. As the top-down [...] Read more.
In the context of urbanization, desakota villages and towns, which feature mixed land utilization, a diversified industrial structure, and “half-city and half-town”, have gradually come into being and play a big part in impacting the development of towns and villages. As the top-down policy guidance and control play a minor role, and the bottom-up construction runs out of control, various human settlement problems, such as the waste of land resources, low energy efficiency, high carbonization, and disappearing ecological livability, stand out. The core problems confronting China in the next phase concern the rational utilization of village resources and the guidance for and control over the low-carbon development of villages and towns in the future. Based on the demand for the low-carbon development of the human settlements in desakota villages and towns, the analyzed points in this article include the correlation between the carbon emission intensity and the spatial form characteristics and other related elements in Zhejiang Province. The low-carbon construction of the desakota village-and-town communities is transformed into the spatial form structure in order to gain a better understanding of the low-carbon control elements. A correlation evaluation model is established to provide the basis for the optimization and improvement of a low-carbon construction system from multiple dimensions and perspectives, thus providing a theoretical basis and practical guidance for the future low-carbon construction of desakota villages and towns. Full article
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26 pages, 16702 KiB  
Article
Systems Dynamics and the Analytical Network Process for the Evaluation and Prioritization of Green Projects: Proposal That Involves Participative Integration
by Julian Andres Castrillon-Gomez, Gerard Olivar-Tost and Johnny Valencia-Calvo
Sustainability 2022, 14(18), 11519; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141811519 - 14 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1461
Abstract
This research proposes a methodology for evaluating and prioritizing green projects based on an integrated approach between system dynamics modeling and the analytical network process. The methodology is presented in three stages: First of all, we show the citizen factors and obtain the [...] Read more.
This research proposes a methodology for evaluating and prioritizing green projects based on an integrated approach between system dynamics modeling and the analytical network process. The methodology is presented in three stages: First of all, we show the citizen factors and obtain the data from the zone through community participation. Then, in the second stage, the model of system dynamics is consolidated and calibrated, which allows the generation of relevant information for experts by simulating model variables. In the third stage, considering the dependency and feedback relationships of the system, the model is translated to a complex network of many opinions which makes the decision making through peer review easier. The application of the methodology is presented using a case study undertaken in the California county that belongs to the Magdalena region in Colombia. The results allow to conclude that the proposed methodology makes the evaluation process and the prioritization of the projects easier because it is possible to advise the experts with respect to the variables that maximize investments and based on this select environmental initiatives that maximize investments and the environmental, social, or economic initiatives that best respond to the needs of the community. Likewise, we can demonstrate that the methodology can be applied to any rural community adjusting parameters and calibration variables to reflect the new conditions, both for natural resources and for particular policies and actions in such a way that the most appropriate project can be selected. Full article
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18 pages, 2728 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Technological Changes of Green Agriculture in China: Evidence from Patent Data (1998–2021)
by Ruifeng Hu and Weiqiao Xu
Sustainability 2022, 14(17), 10899; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141710899 - 31 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1875
Abstract
China views the development of sustainable agriculture as a crucial aspect of agricultural development. Using green agriculture patents from 1998 to 2021, this paper analyzes the spatial and temporal distribution of patent numbers and investigates the IPC co-occurrence network. The findings are as [...] Read more.
China views the development of sustainable agriculture as a crucial aspect of agricultural development. Using green agriculture patents from 1998 to 2021, this paper analyzes the spatial and temporal distribution of patent numbers and investigates the IPC co-occurrence network. The findings are as follows. First, the number of patents for green agriculture in mainland China has increased significantly. From 2010 to 2015, the number of patents reached its highest point. Second, the spatial distribution of green agriculture patents is quite uneven, particularly in Heilongjiang province, which has the largest grain production and the lowest patent output level. Third, while the majority of IPC subclasses are well-developed, some are unevenly developed. In China, popular fields include seed breeding, planting, and organic fertilizers. This research aims to present empirical evidence for the future layout of green agriculture in China and the development of green agriculture in other developing countries. Full article
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26 pages, 7468 KiB  
Article
Rural Effectiveness Evaluation: A New Way of Assessing Village Development Status
by Yifang Wang, Linlin Cheng and Yang Zheng
Sustainability 2022, 14(15), 9059; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14159059 - 24 Jul 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1555
Abstract
China is currently at a crucial stage of rural revival and transformation growth. Accurate measurement of rural development status is able to provide decision-making services for rural revitalization plan implementation. To address this issue, combining with effectiveness concepts and on the basis of [...] Read more.
China is currently at a crucial stage of rural revival and transformation growth. Accurate measurement of rural development status is able to provide decision-making services for rural revitalization plan implementation. To address this issue, combining with effectiveness concepts and on the basis of the widely recognized “production–living–ecology” perspective of rural development in the world, this study proposes an innovative technical evaluating system for rural effectiveness. We constructed a rural effectiveness evaluation index system and measurement model, as well as a four-quadrant approach to identify the effectiveness of villages, selecting Xintai county, a typical resource-depleted city, for empirical analysis to verify the evaluation technical system. The results show that (1) 220 villages had comprehensive effectiveness, accounting for 27.8% of the total; the amount of effectiveness for villages in terms of the production, living, and ecological dimensions were 204, 229 and 195, respectively, and they clearly displayed heterogeneity in terms of spatial distribution. (2) The following are village effectiveness dominant types: the function dominates the comprehensive effectiveness. For each dimension, there is a functionally dominant type. (3) Bivariate Moran’s I analysis revealed the relationships’ internal effectiveness. In the same dimension, there was a conflict between efficiency and function. In each dimension, trade-offs were found between the production function, ecological function, living efficiency, as well as production efficiency, ecological function, and efficiency. Synergies were found among the production function and ecological efficiency. Living efficiency had synergies with production efficiency and ecological efficiency. This research enriched the theoretical approach of assessing rural development status and can help guide the rational conversion of village elements to achieve village transformation and sustainability development, as well as providing technical assistance for the implementation of the rural revitalization strategy. Full article
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31 pages, 9646 KiB  
Article
Policies for Rapid Mitigation of the Crisis’ Effects on Agricultural Supply Chains: A Multi-Criteria Decision Support System with Monte Carlo Simulation
by Tomas Baležentis, Mangirdas Morkūnas, Agnė Žičkienė, Artiom Volkov, Erika Ribašauskienė and Dalia Štreimikienė
Sustainability 2021, 13(21), 11899; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132111899 - 28 Oct 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2420
Abstract
This paper proposes an integrated approach towards rapid decision-making in the agricultural sector aimed at improvement of its resilience. Methodologically, we seek to devise a framework that is able to take the uncertainty regarding policy preferences into account. Empirically, we focus on the [...] Read more.
This paper proposes an integrated approach towards rapid decision-making in the agricultural sector aimed at improvement of its resilience. Methodologically, we seek to devise a framework that is able to take the uncertainty regarding policy preferences into account. Empirically, we focus on the effects of COVID-19 on agriculture. First, we propose a multi-criteria decision-making framework following the Pugh matrix approach for group decision-making. The Monte Carlo simulation is used to check the effects of the perturbations in the criteria weights. Then, we identify the factors behind agricultural resilience and organize them into the three groups (food security, agricultural viability, decent jobs). The expert survey is carried out to elicit the ratings in regard to the expected effects of the policy measures with respect to dimensions of agricultural resilience. The case of Lithuania is considered in the empirical analysis. The existing and newly proposed agricultural policy measures are taken into account. The measures related to alleviation of the financial burden (e.g., credit payment deferral) appear to be the most effective in accordance with the expert ratings. Full article
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