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  • Circles of Coastal Sustainability: A Framework for Coastal Management

    Natália M. P. de Alencar; Martin Le Tissier; Shona K. Paterson; Alice Newton (MDPI AG, 2020-06-01)
    The coastal zone is a space where many social, economic, and political activities intersect with natural processes. In this paper, we present an adaptation of the method of ‘Circles of Sustainability’, used to provide a visual assessment of indicators that define sustainability profiles for cities. It is used as a basis for a ‘Circles of Coastal Sustainability’ (CCS) framework that can be used at multiple spatial scales to assess indicators of critical processes that facilitate/constrain sustainability of the world’s coastal zones. The development of such a framework can support management by identifying key features that influence environmental sustainability and human well-being. CCS presents a holistic assessment of four interdependent boundary domains: Environment and Ecology, Social and Cultural, Economics, and Governance and Policy. This approach improves its utility and usability for decision-makers and researchers. CCS adds to existing assessment frameworks that are often focused on particular themes and/or domains that confine their utility to the context of sustainable development and the UN Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, which demand an inherently holistic and integrated evaluation. CCS is a holistic framework designed to assess the boundaries to sustainability for socio-ecological systems at multiple scales for the world’s coasts.
  • The Educational Level of Rural Labor, Population Urbanization, and Sustainable Economic Growth in China

    Shu Cao; Nannan Yu; Yang Wu; Zihe Wang; Jianing Mi (MDPI AG, 2020-06-01)
    Since the 1978 economic reform, China has undergone a historical process of rapid urbanization. Although this process has been recognized as a key factor in the development of sustainable growth in China, low quality rural labor continues to limit the effectiveness of the country’s urbanization. Our study uses a spatial analysis framework to explore how the education level of rural laborers moderates the effect of urbanization on economic growth with provincial data collected from 1996 to 2015. Our results reveal that the influence of population urbanization on sustainable growth is mediated by the improvement of consumption capacity of urban dwellers and the industrial structural changes. The education level of rural laborers adjusts the urbanization’s influence on the consumption capacity of residents, which further affects economic growth. Empirical evidence indicates that the educationally limited rural population negatively moderates the impact of urbanization on sustainable economic growth by restraining the consumption capacity of migrating rural labor. It is also found that in some provinces with less-qualified rural labor, such as Gansu, Yunnan and Qinghai, population urbanization has not contributed to a corresponding economic growth, indicating that these provinces may have undergone urbanization without growth. These findings suggest that basic education is critical to the growth of income and consumption capacities of rural labor when laborers are migrating to urban areas. To achieve a valid urbanization process and sustainable growth, state and local governments must improve the basic education scheme, especially the nine-year compulsory education in Chinese rural areas through public financial investment and policy support.
  • The Adsorption of Ammonium Nitrogen from Milking Parlor Wastewater Using Pomegranate Peel Powder for Sustainable Water, Resources, and Waste Management

    Cecilia Hodúr; Naoufal Bellahsen; Edit Mikó; Virág Nagypál; Zita Šereš; Szabolcs Kertész (MDPI AG, 2020-06-01)
    Agricultural wastewater poses serious risks to the environment due to how it is injudiciously used and managed. We investigated the use of pomegranate peel powder (PPP) to adsorb ammonium ions from milking parlor wastewater, which is applied as a nitrogen source for cropland fertilization despite its environmental ramifications. As a valueless by-product of juice and jam industries, PPP shows promising features and characteristics as a potential bio-adsorbent for ammonium nitrogen removal and recovery. The surface characterization of PPP was performed by zeta potential measurement and attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared Spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR) analysis. The adsorption studies were carried out by batch experiments where the initial ammonium nitrogen (NH<sub>4</sub>–N) concentration of studied wastewater was 80 mg/L. The effects of different operational parameters, such as pH, adsorbent dose, contact time, stirring speed, and temperature, were investigated. From kinetic studies, the equilibrium time was found to be 120 min, achieving an 81.8% removal synonym of ~2.5 mg/g NH<sub>4</sub>–N uptake. The adsorption isotherm data fitted well with Langmuir model with correlation (R<sup>2</sup>) > 0.99. Meanwhile, the kinetics followed pseudo-second order model with correlation (R<sup>2</sup>) > 0.99.
  • When a Fire Starts to Burn. The Relation Between an (Inter)nationally Oriented Incinerator Capacity and the Port Cities’ Local Circular Ambitions

    Karel Van den Berghe; Felipe Bucci Ancapi; Ellen van Bueren (MDPI AG, 2020-06-01)
    This paper assesses the potential of the circular economy (CE) policy ambitions of the port cities of Ghent (Belgium) and Amsterdam (The Netherlands). Both Ghent and Amsterdam are municipalities that potentially lend themselves ideally to set up a more local-oriented circular (re)production and (re)consumption system. Subsequently, both have the ambition that, in 2050, the CE will have become an achieved public value that influences all activities to be more circular in comparison with today. However, while having ambitious policies is important, we explain that a public value also requires alignment with the operational capacity used or needed to achieve this policy ambition. In this paper, we focus on the ‘negative’ CE operational capacity: landfills and incinerators. Our results show that the CE ambitions of Ghent are more realistic than Amsterdam. During the last few decades, Dutch waste management has been largely privatized. This led to a significant increase in incinerator capacity and a lowering of the incineration price. This differs from Flanders, which has a deliberate capping on the allowed incinerator capacity, keeping the price for incineration high. This increases the incentive for urban and maritime actors to climb the waste hierarchy, eventually thus making the port city (potentially) more circular as a whole.
  • Factors Affecting the Consumption of Energy-Efficient Lighting Products: Exploring Purchase Behaviors of Thai Consumers

    Nuttakrij Apipuchayakul; Sujitra Vassanadumrongdee (MDPI AG, 2020-06-01)
    The continued usage of inefficient lighting products in residential sectors is one of the major causes of the rapid growth in global energy consumption. Their replacement with highly efficient lighting appliances could avoid large amounts of electricity consumption and reduce CO<sub>2</sub> emissions worldwide. In this regard, the collective contribution by the residential sector is extremely important and the increase in demand for energy-efficient lighting products can help achieve sustainability goals. This study aims to examine the determinants of household consumers’ behaviors in purchasing energy-saving lighting products by applying the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) as the main theoretical framework. Data (<i>n</i> = 288) from a survey in Thailand were analyzed using causal Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). The results suggested that attitude has the largest direct effect, while subjective norm was the weakest predictor of purchase intention towards light-emitting diode (LED) products. In addition, this study expands the TPB by including an investigation of a direct effect of attitude on purchase behavior. The results suggest that attitudes have a strong direct influence on the purchasing behavior for LED products. Additionally, only some socio-demographic variables have significant effects on purchase behavior. The study’s findings highlight several implications for policymakers, the private sector, and green marketers in developing practical strategies. Furthermore, suggestions and future research directions are discussed.