Now showing items 48146-48165 of 49060

    • “Waging War” for Doing Good? The Fortune Global 500’s Framing of Corporate Responses to COVID-19 Pandemic

      Nur Uysal; Emel Ozdora Aksak (MDPI AG, 2022-03-01)
      This study examined corporate social responsibility (CSR) communication and pandemic responses of large corporations across multiple industries in a global context. Specifically, this research (1) described the state of CSR communication during the pandemic, and (2) identified how top global <i>Fortune 500</i> corporations framed their COVID-19 pandemic responses as part of their social advocacy. An in-depth content analysis of the corporate communication messages revealed that top global corporations positioned their pandemic responses as an extension of their ongoing CSR commitment, prioritizing their philanthropic responsibilities over the ethical, legal, and economic responsibilities. They often relied on war metaphors, portraying the virus as the “common enemy” and employees as “heroes,” and highlighted their leadership role in the global “fight” against the pandemic as a “partner” of governments, “protector” of employees, and “supporter’’ of the communities. Analyzing a large data set from a global perspective, this study provides a comprehensive look at the state of CSR communication during the pandemic and demonstrates how corporations as authoritative societal actors help shape the ongoing discourse on the global COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, the study makes several practical and theoretical contributions to sustainability research and our understanding of the evolving relationship between business and society.
    • Wake Region Estimates of Artificial Reefs in Vietnam: Effects of Tropical Seawater Temperatures and Seasonal Water Flow Variation

      Quynh Thi Ngoc Le; Somi Jung; Won-Bae Na (MDPI AG, 2020-07-01)
      From the perspective of saving energy of marine species and creating feeding areas, the wake volume of an artificial reef (AR) should be considered as a parameter in any wake region estimation. Wake regions of AR modules (reef ball, cylinder reef, and cube reef) and sets were numerically estimated considering tropical seawater temperatures and water flow variation in Vietnamese coastal waters. In addition, we considered an efficiency index (i.e., total wake volume per reef volume) and wake volume diagram (i.e., wake volume dependency on water flow direction) to characterize wake volumes. From the results, first, it was found that the effect of temperature on the wake volumes was minor in comparison with the effect of flow direction. It was also found that the optimum installation angles were 30° (reef ball and its set), 30° (cylinder reef and its set), and 0° (cube and its set) along the major flow direction. Second, it was found that the cylinder reef and its set were attractive because they generated the maximum wake volumes, regardless of seawater temperature. Thus, the module and set showed better average efficiency indices (9.28 for module and 6.81 for set) than the other cases. We found that the wake volume was dominant in the efficiency index and, accordingly, wake volume diagrams are sufficient to indicate the dependence on flow direction.
    • Walk More towards Active Leisure, Tourism, Culture, and Education

      Javier Cachón-Zagalaz; Amador J. Lara-Sánchez; José Luis Ubago-Jiménez; CARMEN GONZÁLEZ-GONZÁLEZ DE MESA; Francisco José López-Gallego; María Luisa Zagalaz-Sánchez (MDPI AG, 2019-06-01)
      Background: This article addresses the following question: why don’t primary and secondary school students perform urban walks or hikes during cultural and tourist visits of the cities they live in, when engaging in physical activity (PA)? The aim is to demonstrate that exploring cities on foot is a different, important, and necessary way to perform PA, that leads to improving social relations and exposing individuals to culture; in particular, teachers would be trained for this. Methods: qualitative methodology based on exploratory observation; state-of-the-art literature review; design of a didactic proposal in the form of an Urban Walk. Results: existence of publications on related activities in many countries including Spain; development and implementation of the Urban Walk; opinions of its future teachers and their knowledge of the possibilities and advantages of this proposal and its relationship with different knowledge subjects. Conclusions: the Urban Walk facilitates future teacher knowledge of cities and provides a new approach to PA; physical-cultural activities that complement the proposal need to be designed.
    • Walk the Talk—A Sustainability Management System for Social Acceptance in Nordic Mining

      Helena Ranängen; Åsa Lindman (MDPI AG, 2020-04-01)
      The mining industry has experienced increased stakeholder pressure over the last decades, and the legitimacy of the mining industry and its place in society is sometimes questioned. On the other hand, high corporate social responsibility (CSR) performance can lead to an increased social acceptance, which in the end may give the mining company the social license to operate. This article focuses on stakeholder management within management system thinking in order to enhance the social acceptance for mining. The purpose is to describe a mining company’s existing stakeholder management practice and identify areas for improvement using established stakeholder management models to achieve an efficient and effective stakeholder management practice. The purpose is also to describe how conceptual sustainability management system (SMS) frameworks can be usefully applied and, more specifically, whether and how stakeholder management models and the concept of materiality analysis are useful for the planning step in an SMS for social acceptance. The findings show that the used SMS framework fits well in this context, and that a materiality analysis can beneficially be used for the ‘systemization of stakeholder demands’ in the planning step of an SMS.
    • Walkability and Resilience: A Qualitative Approach to Design for Risk Reduction

      Anna Porębska; Paola Rizzi; Satoshi Otsuki; Masahiro Shirotsuki (MDPI AG, 2019-05-01)
      Quality of life and well-being are hardly ever an issue when life itself is at stake. The advantages of high-quality walkable streets and public spaces are underestimated when larger problems need to be addressed first and seemingly more serious solutions need to be applied. Hence, a quantitative approach to evacuation route planning and design prevails over a qualitative one or at least a hybrid one. The scope of the ongoing study partially presented in this paper is to find methods for addressing the complicated present and the disastrous future at the same time. The one applied in the case study reported here—Susaki City in Kōchi Prefecture, Japan, which is preparing for the next Nankai earthquake and tsunami, expected sometime soon—was a cycle of active research and international workshops organized in cooperation with the local community and administration. The aim was to understand the challenges that concern the design of dual spaces that are suitable for both everyday life and emergency situations and are connected by walkable spaces. As a result, the paper offers insight into the limits of punctual treatments as well as the relativity of objective and subjective dimensions of urban walkability in the context of risk. Despite the complexity of the issue, a walkable built environment was revealed to be a countermeasure rather than a fad.
    • Walkability Assessment in a Rapidly Urbanizing City and Its Relationship with Residential Estate Value

      Jingyuan Zhang; Puay Yok Tan; Hui Zeng; Ye Zhang (MDPI AG, 2019-04-01)
      Walkability has increasingly been recognized as an important factor for sustainable urban development that, however, has seldom been investigated in rapid urbanizing cities, especially in the Asian context. This paper assessed walkability in Futian District in the central area of Shenzhen, which has undergone very rapid urbanization within a short period of time. Walkability was assessed for 2013 and 2018 using a walkability index adapted from Walk Score. It was compared with housing prices of 215 randomly selected residential buildings, to further explore the relationships between walkability and residential estate value, provided as one practical application of the assessment of walkability in urban management. Our results show that Futian District has low walkability level, although walkability has been generally improved from 2013 to 2018. A high spatial variation of walkability level within this area was observed in both years. Overall, there was a negative relationship between walkability and housing prices (significant only in 2018), which is inconsistent with studies elsewhere. The results suggest that the housing prices in Futian District are more strongly influenced by other factors rather than by walkability. In addition, the ability of the walkability model to explicitly delineate spatial variation of walkability level makes it a powerful tool to be applied in urban planning and management. Results of this study also have practical applications, which can be used as a reference for residents’ home selection and enable them to make informed decisions in selecting walkable neighborhoods with acceptable prices.
    • Walkability Index for Elderly Health: A Proposal

      Fernando Alves; Sara Cruz; Anabela Ribeiro; Ana Bastos Silva; João Martins; Inês Cunha (MDPI AG, 2020-09-01)
      Nowadays, the elderly tend to make more trips: Health benefits resulting from their daily walking routines are an important topic in the context of urban renewal processes. Many health organizations and researchers have demonstrated the influence of the urban environment on walkability levels. This article aims to design a multifactor Walkability Index for Elderly Health (WIEH), capable of associating both the adequacy level of public spaces to elderly walkability, and physical exercise benefits while walking. The methodological approach comprised two main parts: Firstly, a literature review of main reports, legislation, and scientific articles was conducted at the intersection of ‘gerontology and physical exercise’ with ‘urban design and mobility’, leading to the selection of four aging-related studies as main contributors to the design of the WIEH; and, secondly, the development of the WIEH was undertaken, based on two premises and designed according to four steps. The first premise defined three systematic areas (urban tissue, urban scene, and safety), variables, and criteria to classify the pedestrian network; and the second premise focused on slopes and stairs in public spaces. The WIEH is divided in four steps: (1) Analyzing public spaces and characterizing their quality for walking, (2) considering the existence of slopes and stairs, (3) calculating different routes for the elderly in their daily routines, or when going to points of interest, and (4) selecting the “heart-friendly route” for elderly people. Adequate walking paths for the elderly can be identified through this innovative approach, with the aim of achieving direct health benefits during their daily routines. Ultimately, the WIEH is capable of supporting decision makers and designers in creating inclusive and age-friendly spaces.
    • Walkability Perception in Asian Cities: A Comparative Study in Bangkok and Nagoya

      Varameth Vichiensan; Kazuki Nakamura (MDPI AG, 2021-06-01)
      Asian cities are unique, where people may need more than just walking; however, the walkability research in a local context has received less attention. This paper analyses the walking needs and the influential factors of walking behavior in Asian cities. A comparative analysis in Bangkok and Nagoya is presented, taking into account the characteristics of local street design and development. Street evaluation experiments of various streets are conducted through 360-degree videos. The factor analyses indicate that the walking needs in both cities can be considered in two levels, but the components of the needs are different. Being smooth and having no obstacles are common basic needs. Safety and security are regarded as basic needs in Nagoya, but as higher-level needs in Bangkok. Attractiveness of activity and walk pleasure are the common upper-level needs. Street elements such as width, green, traffic, parking, pollution exposure, and activity are found to be influential on the walking needs. The structural equation models indicate that higher-level needs have more of an influence than the lower-level needs for walking behavior in Bangkok and for shop walking in Nagoya, while the basic need has more influence on walking willingness for transit access. These findings call for practical attention for street design and development where local context and street functions must be carefully considered.
    • Walkability, Land Use and Physical Activity

      Yehua Dennis Wei; Weiye Xiao; Ming Wen; Ran Wei (MDPI AG, 2016-01-01)
      Physical activity (PA) promotes healthy life and contributes to sustainable development. In this paper, we rely on the Utah Household Travel Survey data and analyze the determinants of PA in terms of neighborhood land use, accessibility to transportation, and socio-demographic status in Salt Lake County, Utah, United States using four-component walkability indices at various geographic scales. We find that PA is associated with neighborhood land use and social demographic status, including the compact design of the neighborhood. The results also indicate that land use mix is insignificant, and that current neighborhood design only supports people’s 20-min walk. The spatial lag model reveals significant spatial autocorrelation of PA but the barely improved R2 validates the dominant effect of neighborhood land use and social demographic status on people’s walking behavior.
    • Walkable City and Military Enclaves: Analysis and Decision-Making Approach to Support the Proximity Connection in Urban Regeneration

      Ginevra Balletto; Mara Ladu; Alessandra Milesi; Federico Camerin; Giuseppe Borruso (MDPI AG, 2022-01-01)
      Accessibility and urban walkability are the cornerstones of urban policies for the contemporary city, which needs to be oriented towards sustainable development principles and models. Such aims are included in the objectives of the 2030 Agenda, as well as in the ambitious objectives of the ‘European Green Deal’. These concepts are closely linked to the paradigm of a sustainable city—livable, healthy and inclusive—based on a system of high-quality public spaces and on a network of services and infrastructures, both tangible and intangible, capable of strengthening and building new social, economic and environmental relationships. It is necessary to recognize potential opportunities for connection and permeability in consolidated urban environments. These are very often fragmented and are characterized by enclaves of very different kinds. Ghettoes and gated communities, old industrial plants and military installations and facilities, to cite a few, represent examples of cases where closures on urban fabrics are realized, impeding full walkability and accessibility. Within such a framework, the present research is aimed at focusing on a particular set of enclaves, such as those represented by the military sites being reconfigured to civilian use, a phenomenon that characterizes many urban areas in the world; in Europe; and in Italy, in particular, given the recent history and the Cold War infrastructure heritage. In such a sense, the city of Cagliari (Sardinia Island, Italy) represents an interesting case study as it is characterized by the presence of a series of military complexes; real ‘enclaves’ influencing the proximity connections; and, more generally, walkability. Building on previous research and analysis of policies and projects aimed at reintroducing, even partially, this military asset into civilian life (Green Barracks Project (GBP)-2019), this paper proposes and applies a methodology to evaluate the effects of urban regeneration on walkability in a flexible network logic, oriented to the ‘15 min city’ model or, more generally, to the renewed, inclusive, safe “city of proximity”, resilient and sustainable.
    • Walkable Environments and Healthy Urban Moves: Urban Context Features Assessment Framework Experienced in Milan

      Andrea Rebecchi; Maddalena Buffoli; Marco Dettori; Letizia Appolloni; Antonio Azara; Paolo Castiglia; Daniela D’Alessandro; Stefano Capolongo (MDPI AG, 2019-05-01)
      Recent studies in public health have focused on determining the influences of the built environment on the population’s physical and mental health status. In order to promote active transport and physical activity, considered favorable behavior for the prevention non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as obesity, it is necessary to reduce the negative effects of the built environment and develop positive ones, such as, for example, a walkable urban space. The aim of the research is to define a city’s walkability assessment framework capable of highlighting points of strength and weakness in its urban environment. All of the aspects that have a direct influence (evidence-based) on fostering the adoption of healthy lifestyles or promoting active transport as a strategy to increase the level of physical activity due to the existence of daily urban travel should be considered. After conducting a literature review aimed at identifying all of the existing assessment tools, 20 research studies were examined in detail. The new evaluation method arises from the comparison and critical selection of the various qualitative–quantitative indicators found, integrated into a multi-criteria analysis structure of dual-scale survey, with reference to walkability and paying attention to those indicators that have implications on health promotion. The new assessment framework, named Milano Walkability Measurement (MWM), is applicable in different urban contexts and was tested in two different areas of Milan. The Macro dimension (i.e., Density, Diversity, and Design criteria) refers to the urban scale and examines the city from a top view. It describes quantitatively the overall urban factors (urban area size equal to 1.5 Km<sup>2</sup>; typology of data: archival). The Micro dimension (i.e., Usefulness, Safeness, Comfort, and Aesthetics criteria) investigates the city at the street scale level. It describes qualitatively features of the outdoor spaces (road length of about 500/700 mt; typology of data: observational). Finally, the framework was weighted by comparison with a panel of experts. The expected results were reflected in the design recommendations based on the collected qualitative-quantitative data. The developed assessment method brings innovative criteria such as the multi-scaling assessment phase (Macro and Micro) and the ability to take into consideration aspects that according to the literature have relationships with health promotion linked to the improvement of a healthy lifestyle, related to daily active transportation choices. The design recommendations are useful both to policy-makers, to make evidence-based specific choices, and to designers, to understand what aspects of the urban environment must be improved or implemented in order to promote a walkable city.
    • Walkable Urban Environments: An Ergonomic Approach of Evaluation

      Letizia Appolloni; Alberto Giretti; Maria Vittoria Corazza; Daniela D’Alessandro (MDPI AG, 2020-10-01)
      Background. The <i>salutogenicity</i> of urban environments is significantly affected by their <i>ergonomics</i>, i.e., by the quality of the interactions between citizens and the elements of the built environment. Measuring and modelling urban ergonomics is thus a key issue to provide urban policy makers with planning solutions to increase the well-being, usability and safety of the urban environment. However, this is a difficult task due to the complexity of the interrelations between the urban environment and human activities. The paper contributes to the definition of a generalized model of <i>urban ergonomics</i> and <i>salutogenicity</i>, focusing on <i>walkability</i>, by discussing the relevant parameters from the large and variegated sets proposed in the literature, by discussing the emerging model structure from a data mining process, by considering the background of the relevant functional dependency already established in the literature, and by providing evidence of the solutions’ effectiveness. The methodology is developed for a case study in central Italy, with a focus on the mobility issue, which is a catalyst to generate more salutogenic and sustainable behaviors.
    • Walking Access to Public Transportation Stops for City Residents. A Comparison of Methods

      Piotr Kaszczyszyn; Natalia Sypion-Dutkowska (MDPI AG, 2019-07-01)
      Public transportation in cities is crucial for their sustainable development. The attractiveness of public transport for city residents depends largely on whether they are able to access the nearest stop on foot. The actual time of walking to the nearest stop and the distance covered can be measured using the band method or the circular buffer method. The accuracy of the two methods was compared for the city of Szczecin and one of its residential areas, Pomorzany (ca. 20,000 inhabitants, ca. 7 km2 area). The city provides public tram and bus transportation and has 90 km of streets and pedestrian paths. As shown by the results, the band method proved more accurate in measuring public transport stop accessibility. It showed 53.8% of the stops to be highly accessible, whereas 37.8%, 7.8%, and 0.5% were classified as moderately accessible, poorly accessible, and inaccessible, respectively; the latter would be hardly expected to be used by pedestrians in the Pomorzany neighborhood. The band method allowed also to indicate potential location of a new bus stop which would significantly improve accessibility of public transportation to residents of a housing estate (3000 inhabitants) in the area.
    • Walking along the Sheeptrack…Rural Tourism, Ecomuseums, and Bio-Cultural Heritage

      Angelo Belliggiano; Letizia Bindi; Corrado Ievoli (MDPI AG, 2021-08-01)
      The paper deals with the issue of responsible and sustainable tourism starting from a series of Italian (and only partially French) cases of ecomuseums of pastoralism and transhumance as potential drivers for development and territorial regeneration, as well as for the promotion of experiential tourism with low environmental impact, capable of triggering participatory processes of inclusion and social innovation. Through the analysis of two Italian regions (Piedmont and Molise) and three cases (Ecomuseum of Pastoralism in Pontebernardo, Cuneo; Ecomuseum Itinerari Frentani, Larino; and the ongoing program of the Institutional Contract of Development in Campodipietra, Molise) the authors propose an interpretative model based on three main issues: the awareness, agenda, and action of a responsustainable tourism concept and on the three different subjects of local actors, tourists and policy-makers, obtaining as the main result the pre-eminence of intangible actions for development over environmental recovery and conservation activities.
    • Walking among Mammoths. Remote Sensing and Virtual Reality Supporting the Study and Dissemination of Pleistocene Archaeological Sites: The Case of Fuente Nueva 3 in Orce, Spain

      Juan Francisco Reinoso-Gordo; Deborah Barsky; Alexia Serrano-Ramos; José Antonio Solano-García; Carlos Alberto León-Robles; Carmen Luzón-González; Stefania Titton; Juan Manuel Jiménez-Arenas (MDPI AG, 2020-06-01)
      Remote sensing is a useful tool for the documentation of archaeological sites. The products derived from a photogrammetric project applied to archaeology such as orthophotos and three-dimensional virtual reconstruction (3DVR), allow for detailed study of the Fuente Nueva 3 site in Orce. In our study of the Fuente Nueva 3 site in Orce, we used 3DVR intensively to map out the morphometric features of mammoth tusks exposed on the surface and a geological fault affecting the site’s deposits. To do so, we used imagery captured since 2017 in order to follow the evolution of ongoing excavations during each subsequent field season. We also integrated the 3DVR model in a videogame environment, to create a virtual reality (VR) that allows a VR navigation experience around the scenario using a head mounted display like Oculus Rift. The main features of this VR experience are: (1) It is ideal for the diffusion of archaeological contents since it permits an attractive presentation mode thanks to stereo visualization and realistic immersion sensations; (2) it provides a high level of detail all along the navigation experience, without incurring any damage to the archaeological remains; (3) it allows users to observe more details than they would in an in situ visit to the site; (4) it makes it possible to convert an archaeological site into portable heritage, opening up the possibility to extend visits to vulnerable groups: specifically those with reduced mobility. Our results show that using VR should permit enhancements to a visitor’s experience and contribute to the socio-economic development of the town of Orce, one of the Spanish municipalities with the lowest income.
    • Walking in Natural Environments as Geriatrician’s Recommendation for Fall Prevention: Preliminary Outcomes from the “Passiata Day” Model

      Giuseppe Battaglia; Valerio Giustino; Giuseppe Messina; Mariangela Faraone; Jessica Brusa; Anna Bordonali; Mario Barbagallo; Antonio Palma; Ligia-Juliana Dominguez (MDPI AG, 2020-03-01)
      Background: The Geriatric Unit of the University of Palermo developed the “Passiata Day” model, a green exercise intervention consisting of a one-hour walk, once/week, in a city park. The purpose of this study was to assess body balance in older people who walked regularly compared to sedentary people. Methods: 106 older people (75 women and 31 men; mean age: 72.3 ± 8.2 years) without fall history were invited to participate voluntarily in this natural environment walking program. After six months, both the participants who had taken part regularly in the walk (i.e., the physical activity group (PAG; n = 72; 54 women and 18 men; mean age: 70.7 ± 7.2 years)), and who had not accepted to be included in the outdoor walking program (i.e., the sedentary group (SG; n = 34; 21 women and 13 men; mean age: 75.5 ± 9.4 years)), performed a stabilometric test with open eyes (OE) and with closed eyes (CE). Results: Our preliminary results showed significant differences between groups on the ellipse sway area both in the OE (<i>p</i> < 0.05) and in CE condition (<i>p</i> < 0.01). Moreover, we found a significant difference on sway along the frontal plane both in the OE (<i>p</i> < 0.05) and in the CE condition (<i>p</i> < 0.01), and on sway along the sagittal plane for the test with CE (<i>p</i> < 0.01). Conclusion: Based on our preliminary findings, we suggest that walking regularly in an outdoor setting could lead to a greater body balance in older people and could be recommended by geriatricians for preventing the risk of falls. The next step will be to investigate the effect of an experimental outdoor walking program structured in terms of intensity, frequency and volume.
    • Walking toward Metro Stations; the Contribution of Distance, Attitudes, and Perceived Built Environment

      Mohammad Paydar; Asal Kamani Fard; Mohammad Mehdi Khaghani (MDPI AG, 2020-12-01)
      Walking as an active means of travel is important as a sustainable mode of transport. Moreover, the level of walking in the surrounding areas of metro stations would contribute to maintaining the minimum rate of physical activity and, therefore, inhabitants’ general health. This study examined the impacts of walking attitude, walking distance, and perceived built environment on walking behavior for reaching the metro stations in Shiraz, Iran. Three metro stations were selected and a quantitative approach was used to examine the objectives. It was found that the average walking distance is less than the average in developed countries, such as the United States. People walked more when there was a shorter distance between their starting points and the metro stations. The contribution of walking attitudes and several built environment attributes to walking behavior was demonstrated. Finding the contribution of aesthetic attributes, such as accessibility to parks and housing types of the starting points of the walking trips, to walking for transport are taken into account as the novelties of this study. Policy makers of this city may apply the findings of this study—especially around the metro stations—to improve the average walking distance as well as walking behavior.
    • Wall Vegetation Characteristics of Urban and Sub-Urban Areas

      Emrah Yalcinalp; Alperen Meral (MDPI AG, 2017-09-01)
      Unfortunately, we live in a greedy little world and horizontal areas are often too expensive to leave to nature on them. Therefore, creating gardens on vertical surfaces of urban areas has recently been very important to supporting sustainability because these surfaces are still found to be commercially useless compared with green areas which are generally under pressure from commercial demands and politics. However, these artificial vertical green surfaces are still too far from being common, while too many ordinary walls are spontaneously covered with vegetation already. In this study, we try to address the dynamics of wall vegetation as it has a great potential to make the cities more sustainable. Totally 70 walls (35 in urban and 35 in sub-urban areas) in Trabzon city were examined regarding their ecological, physical and vegetation characteristics. Having identified 1540 plant samples collected from the walls during a year-round intensive field study, we performed statistical analyzes to enumerate the wall vegetation depending on the ecological characteristics; to evaluate if there are different wall vegetation compositions in urban and sub-urban areas; and finally to evaluate growth conditions and basic challenges for the wall vegetation.
    • Walled Buildings, Sustainability, and Housing Prices: An Artificial Neural Network Approach

      Rita Yi Man Li; Ka Yi Cheng; Muhammad Shoaib (MDPI AG, 2018-04-01)
      Various researchers have explored the adverse effects of walled buildings on human health. However, few of them have examined the relationship between walled buildings and private housing estates in Hong Kong. This study endeavors to fill the research gap by exploring the connections among walled-building effects, housing features, macroeconomic factors, and housing prices in private housing estates. Specifically, it reveals the relationship between walled buildings and housing prices. Eight privately owned housing estates are selected with a total of 11,365 observations. Results are analyzed to study the factors that affect the housing price. Firstly, unit root tests are carried out to evaluate if the time series variables follow the unit root process. Secondly, the relationship between walled buildings and housing price is examined by conducting an artificial neural network. We assumed that the housing price reduces due to walled-building effects, given that previous literature showed that heat island effect, and blockage of natural light and views, are common in walled-building districts. Moreover, we assume that housing price can also be affected by macroeconomic factors and housing features, and these effects vary among private housing estates. We also study these impacts by using the two models. Recommendations and possible solutions are suggested at the end of the research paper.
    • Warming and Dimming: Interactive Impacts on Potential Summer Maize Yield in North China Plain

      Qi Hu; Xueqing Ma; Huayun He; Feifei Pan; Qijin He; Binxiang Huang; Xuebiao Pan (MDPI AG, 2019-05-01)
      Global warming and dimming/brightening have significant implications for crop systems and exhibit regional variations. It is important to clarify the changes in regional thermal and solar radiation resources and estimate the impacts on potential crop production spatially and temporally. Based on daily observation data during 1961–2015 in the North China Plain (NCP), the impacts of climate change associated with climate warming and global dimming/brightening on potential light–temperature productivity (PTP) of summer maize were assessed in this study. Results show that the NCP experienced a continuous warming and dimming trend in maize growing season during the past 55 years, and both ATT10 and solar radiation had an abrupt change in the mid-1990s. The period of 2000–2015 was warmer and dimmer than any other previous decade. Assuming the maize growing season remains unchanged, climate warming would increase PTP of summer maize by 4.6% over the period of 1961–2015, which mainly occurred in the start grain filling–maturity stage. On the other hand, as negative contribution value of solar radiation to the PTP was found in each stage, dimming would offset the increase of PTP due to warming climate, and lead to a 15.6% reduction in PTP in the past 55 years. This study reveals that the changes in thermal and solar radiation have reduced the PTP of summer maize in the NCP. However, the actual maize yield could benefit more from climate warming because solar radiation is not a limiting factor for the current low production level.