Welcome to the Globethics.net Library!

  • A Life Cycle Analysis of Deploying Coking Technology to Utilize Low-Rank Coal in China

    Yan Li; Guoshun Wang; Zhaohao Li; Jiahai Yuan; Dan Gao; Heng Zhang (MDPI AG, 2020-06-01)
    <b>:</b><b> </b>At present, the excess capacity in China’s coke industry can be deployed to utilize some low-rank coal, replacing coking coal with potential economic gains, energy efficiency, and environmental benefits. This study presents a life cycle analysis to model these potential benefits by comparing a metallurgical coke technical pathway with technical pathways of gasification coke integrated with different chemical productions. The results show that producing gasification coke is a feasible technical pathway for the transformation and development of the coke industry. However, its economic feasibility depends on the price of cokes and coals. The gasification coke production has higher energy consumption and CO<sub>2</sub> emissions because of its lower coke yield. Generally speaking, using gasification coke to produce F-T oils has higher economic benefits than producing methanol, but has lower energy efficiency and higher carbon emissions.
  • Comparing the Impacts of Location Attributes on Residents’ Preferences and Residential Values in Compact Cities: A Case Study of Hong Kong

    Yunxi Bai; Jusheng Song; Shanshan Wu; Wei Wang; Jacqueline T. Y. Lo; S. M. Lo (MDPI AG, 2020-06-01)
    In recent years, environmentally-friendly, sustainable, and compact development has become increasingly popular with governments. An extensive body of literature has focused on the influence on housing prices from an economic perspective. Although residential urban planning from the perspective of individual needs must be considered, little attention has been paid to residents’ demands in high-density and compact urban areas. In this study, we selected Hong Kong as the case and adopted a reliability interval method to rank residential attitude metrics, which indicated residents’ neighborhood needs in densely populated cities. The influences of location attributes on residents’ demands and residential value were compared. A hedonic price model was used to estimate the impacts of the attributes on housing prices. The results showed that both access to metro stations and median household income had important influences on residents’ preferences and housing prices. However, access to the central business district contributed largely to housing prices but not to residents’ attitudes. These findings support urban planners and policy makers during sustainable residential planning and policy formation by understanding residents’ needs in compact urban areas, help them to optimize the match between housing attributes and residents’ expectations, and balance the relationship between residents’ needs and economic interest.
  • Neural-Network-Based Dynamic Distribution Model of Parking Space Under Sharing and Non-Sharing Modes

    Ziyao Zhao; Yi Zhang; Yi Zhang; Kaifeng Ji; He Qi (MDPI AG, 2020-06-01)
    In recent years, with the rapid development of China’s automobile industry, the number of vehicles in China has been increasing steadily. Vehicles represent a convenient mode of travel, but the growth rate of the number of urban motor vehicles far exceeds the construction rate of parking facilities. The continuous improvement of parking allocation methods has always been key for ensuring sustainable city management. Thus, developing an efficient and dynamic parking distribution algorithm will be an important breakthrough to alleviate the urban parking shortage problem. However, the existing parking distribution models do not adequately consider the influence of real-time changes in parking demand and supply on parking space assignment. Therefore, this study proposed a method for dynamic parking allocation using parking demand predictions and a predictive control method. A neural-network-based dynamic parking distribution model was developed considering seven influencing factors: driving duration, walking distance, parking fee, traffic congestion, possibility of finding a parking space in the target parking lot and adjacent parking lot, and parking satisfaction degree. Considering whether the parking spaces in the targeted parking lots are shared or not, two allocation modes—sharing mode and non-sharing mode—were proposed and embedded into the model. At the experimental stage, a simulation case and a real-time case were performed to evaluate the developed models. The experimental results show that the dynamic parking distribution model based on neural networks can not only allocate parking spaces in real time but also improve the utilisation rate of different types of parking spaces. The performance score of the dynamic parking distribution model for a time interval of 2–20 min was maintained above 80%. In addition, the distribution performance of the sharing mode was better than that of the non-sharing mode and contributed to a better overall effectiveness. This model can effectively improve the utilisation rate of resources and the uniformity of distribution and can reduce the failure rate of parking; thus, it significantly contributes to more smart and sustainable urban parking management.
  • The Protective Role of Emotional Intelligence in Self-Stigma and Emotional Exhaustion of Family Members of People with Mental Disorders

    Rubén Trigueros; Noelia Navarro; Adolfo J. Cangas; Isabel Mercader; José M. Aguilar-Parra; Josefa González-Santos; Jerónimo J. González-Bernal; Raúl Soto-Cámara (MDPI AG, 2020-06-01)
    Parenting a child or teenager is not particularly easy for parents, and this becomes even more difficult if a child has a serious mental disorder. This situation places parents in a vulnerable position that leads to heightened feelings of guilt and emotional stress. Therefore, the aim of this study was to analyze the influence of the families’ emotional intelligence on their own self-stigma and burnout. A total of 537 family members from Southern Spain who care for individuals with mental disorders participated in this study. To analyze the results of the study, a structural equation model was constructed. The results from the equation showed that emotional intelligence is negatively related to self-stigma and burnout. In turn, self-stigma is positively related to burnout syndrome. Thus, the findings indicate that emotional intelligence may have a protective role against self-stigma, which is closely related to burnout syndrome. The relevance of these results when designing interventions that work with the negative feelings produced by self-stigma and family burnout is discussed.
  • Place-Based Pathways to Sustainability: Exploring Alignment between Geographical Indications and the Concept of Agroecology Territories in Wales

    Luke Owen; Donna Udall; Alex Franklin; Moya Kneafsey (MDPI AG, 2020-06-01)
    Geographical Indications (GIs) are regarded as important endogenous rural development mechanisms by the European Union. GIs have proven successful for some producers in some regions, delivering higher added value and safeguarding a product’s identity and heritage through the notion of terroir. Within the context of a gradual “greening” of GIs, this paper opens up questions about what potential they might have for transitions to agroecology territories, which are spaces engaged in a transition process towards sustainable agri-food systems. Using the Food and Agricultural Organization’s 10 elements of agroecology as a lens, we discuss whether GIs can serve as levers in delivering sustainable agri-food transitions, drawing on the case of the devolved nation of Wales. We base our narrative on a content analysis of GI product specification documents and data from interviews with GI stakeholders. Our case study illustrates that the discourse within the regulatory framework of some Welsh GIs has shifted from one of technicality towards the integration of some agroecology elements in more recent GI product specifications. In this respect, we argue that there is evidence of a “first generation” and “second generation” assortment of GIs in Wales. However, any potential for levering an overall transition within this scheme towards an agroecology territory remains constrained by the piecemeal embedding of agroecology. The incorporation of agroecology is emerging primarily from the ground-up—driven by independent organizational and place-based collective action, but unaccompanied, as yet, by any parallel shift amongst supporting administrative and regulatory authorities. We also discuss the importance of reflexive governance if GIs are to be viable pathways for sustainability transitions. As such, the capacity for GIs to facilitate quality-led place-based food systems that enhance increasingly threatened environmental resources is contingent upon stakeholders adopting a territorial, reflexive governance approach.

View more