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  • 4 Reads
Award-winning Industrial Design Products: are They Also Sustainable?
Published: 29 October 2012 by MDPI AG in The 2nd World Sustainability Forum session Environmental Sustainability
Every year, international design award giving bodies announce the winners of their design competitions, celebrating and promoting them to the public as exemplars of "good design" or "design excellence". Winners are commended on the basis of innovation, form, function, quality, safety, and ecological sustainability. This latter criterion questions if there is real need for the product, if it reduces environmental impact, has a long lifetime, is resource efficient, complies with environmental best practice, considers end-of-life issues, uses principles of design for disassembly and recyclability, ethical, and offers benefit to society, environment, culture and economy. This paper investigates the approaches by which design award winners and finalists claim to respond to the sustainability criterion. It also traces winners to as far as ten years back and checks whether they exhibit market longevity; that is, if they are still around or if they have already been discontinued or replaced by other products. The archives of the most popular awards in which most designers aim to be recognized in were consulted, and a content analysis was conducted against the definitions and conditions for sustainable product innovation. The study found that product design accolades do their job well in highlighting the excellent work of industrial designers and the manufacturers they work with. However, given the urgency of climate change and environmental disasters that are attributed to the impacts of not-so-responsible designs, it is sensible to rethink whether those in product development should continue pursuing the market oriented approach of offering consumers endless streams of award-winning material "stuff" to own. As the analyses show, designers and manufacturers are indeed capable of creating excellent solutions that are ecologically sustainable. While the proportion of such innovations is still low in comparison to the rest of the awarded products, it is promising to see growth in this area.
  • Open access
  • 9 Reads
Factors Affecting Biodiversity Sustainable Management in Zagros Region of Iran
Seyed Jamal Hosseini, Fatemeh Shirian Biravand, Seyed Mehdi Mirdamadi
In this research, the perception of experts about factors that affect biodiversity sustainable management was examined. The research instrument was questionnaire and its validity, reliability was confirmed. Data was analyzed by using correlation coefficient and regression analysis. The results show that environmental, economical and policymaking explained about 68 percent of variance on perception of respondents about biodiversity sustainable management. Among factors that examined in this study, environmental factor contributed more in the biodiversity sustainable management.
  • Open access
  • 13 Reads
Remote Sensing of Biomass: Principles and Applications
Remote sensing is an important tool in determining the area and type of above-ground land-based biomass. Such information is required to compare supply and demand, determine the rate of deforestation and its causes, assess the store of carbon in biomass and the potential for increasing the store and use etc. The various types and uses of remote sensing are detailed together with their limitations, costs and benefits.
  • Open access
  • 18 Reads
Geoethics and Sustainability
Published: 23 October 2012 by MDPI AG in The 2nd World Sustainability Forum session Related Topics
The new scientific discipline of GEOETHICS, in the course of development during the last 20 years, has made considerable progress. To the originally preferred problems of protecting and moderating consumption of non renewable mineral resources of the Earth the priorities have been added concerning unavoidable natural disasters in connection with their presently increasing intensity. These events need to focus the actual attention and orientation of responsible activities of Earth scientists because of possibilities for both forecasting and suggesting appropriate measures for minimizing any potential expected damage. Laision of these topics with concepts of sustainability is evident. It is necessary for human kind, as well as for any further progress of its scientific background, to bring into consideration the necessity of deepening contacts of the Earth sciences with other technical and humanistic scientific fields. Geoethics may have an important role in this process as well as in introducing other new scientific domains. At any responsible level of state authorities and self-government as well as in any context of international co-operation, geoethics might be able to help in paving a better way for the needed understanding of nature by human kind. - It is also necessary to find appropriate structures which would make it possible to incorporate geoethical principles in the optimal way into the consciousness and the daily life of the global society. All efforts of not only Earth and Planetary scientists, ecologists and pedagogues but also of managers, leaders, politicians and statesmen at any level should respect – in the sense of geoethics – their own responsibility for the fate of our planet and of all its inhabitants including the future generations. - As to the final social, cultural, economic and environmental consequences for sustainability it is necessary to seek new priorities emphasizing more and more the solidarity of human kind. The needed geoethical way of thinking should be based on generally accepted moral and ethical principles achieved by mankind by various ways and experiences (in spite of some current contrary trends).
  • Open access
  • 9 Reads
Supplier Selection in Electrical and Electronic Industry from a Sustainable Point of View
Published: 21 October 2012 by MDPI AG in The 2nd World Sustainability Forum session Corporate Sustainability Strategy
One of the most notable paradigms increases the productivity of the firms is managing the supply chains and supply chain management (SCM) has come to play a critical role as a key to optimize the business activities under recent agile improvement of network technology and economic globalization. One of the crucial challenges for purchasing department in SCM is supplier evaluation and selection. On the other hand, sustainable development has become a buzzword that received a lot of attentions by policy makers, the popular press, and journals in different scientific fields as an interdisciplinary issue. During the last two decades, sustainability issue has acquired a dominant place in SCM and now is being discussed seriously. Thereby, sustainable purchasing and sustainable supplier selection will be fertile areas for research. Since the Electrical & Electronic industry (E&E) is an important contributor to the economy of worldwide business, the supplier selection issue in E&E industry is considered in this work. First, among the extensive range of supplier selection literature in different industries, supplier selection papers in E&E industry is derived. Then, reviewing and going through these papers, a comprehensive framework for supplier selection criteria considering sustainability in E&E industry is proposed. Finally, the real case study from E&E industry of Malaysia is applied and the proposed framework is utilized to select the best suppliers in the mentioned company. It is worthy to note that, Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) approach is applied in this case to rank the suppliers.
  • Open access
  • 10 Reads
Innovative Livelihood Options for Sustainable Rural Development in Central Himalaya, India
The Central Himalaya is known world over for its rich and diverse natural bio- resources. In order to utilize these natural resources in a sustainable manner, it is important that resources be harnessed efficiently to meet the people\'s development aspirations without degrading them and therefore, urgent need for large scale establishment of technology resource centre was realized. Poor access to appropriate technologies due to difficult topographies and tough mountain conditions is one of the major causes of poverty, drudgery and natural resources degradation in the Central Himalaya. Technology change is an important instrument in the continuous process of socio-economic development. Of late, development planners have realized the importance of suitable or appropriate technologies and practices, and therefore, have stressed upon the need for a large scale demonstration, on-site training, capacity building and skill development of user groups in rural and marginal areas. In this regard, the Rural Technology Demonstration and Training Centre (RTDTC) established by Garhwal Unit of G.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development have been perceived as a means of developing and disseminating improving technologies through action and participatory research. The new approach, on the one hand, may be able to diversify livelihood earning options for local communities and may also help conserve natural resources on which these options depend on the other. Rural technology is widely recognized as one of the major determinants of socio-economic development, and the idea that the simple and hill specific transfer of technology from lab or field lab to field/land will result in growth and thereby poverty is alleviating. As a result of these efforts, a number of farmers and other stakeholders, including NGOs have adopted some of the potential rural technologies at various levels. The programme facilitated regular interactions among scientists and primary stakeholders during the period 2004–2012, so as to ensure that farmers acquired all necessary knowledge related to a technology and entrepreneurship. It is hoped that the improved capacities of local farmers will help in the widespread adoption of rural technologies in Central Himalaya and other countries facing common problems/issues and having similar environmental and socio-economic conditions.
  • Open access
  • 21 Reads
Sustainable Tourism and the Rehabilitation of Cairo's Historical Districts: the Case of the Bazaar Area and the Cities of Dead
Published: 17 October 2012 by MDPI AG in The 2nd World Sustainability Forum session Sustainable Urban Development
The current paper examines the impact of recent tourism-related official policy for rehabilitation of historical Cairo and for gentrification of surrounding inner city areas on urban poor\'s right to the city and their resistance actions against eviction. Despite the main objective of introducing sustainable -tourism principles by improving the environmental quality standards within Historical Cairo through pedestrianisation, urban landscaping and public parks, the overall government policy favoured business investments more than interests of urban population . This is evident in proposed plans for forced relocation of local residents from Bazaar area and for eviction of squatter tomb dwellers within northern cemeteries Cities of the Dead\' to the eastern desert of Kattamiya (New Cairo City). Consequently land developers and investors intend to clear these sites and hold empty land for property speculations and tourism development projects . This could follow the precedent of the Agha Khan organisation\'s development of the Al-Azhar Urban Cultural Park, opened in 2004, and the associated upgrading along the Ayyubid Wall and Darb Al- Ahmar district fringing the eastern edge of historical Cairo. Combining information from interviews with primary stakeholders , local residents from Bazaar area and squatter tomb dwellers within Bab al-Nasr northern cemeteries (Cities of the Dead) , and with secondary stakeholders, NGO activists, policy-makers and urban planners, the paper examines the on-going struggle between advocates of urban poor\'s needs and business and real estate interests over the use of inner city areas for tourism related development. For a critical analysis of spatial contestation and sustainable tourism, the article attempts at weaving official urban policies with local peoples\' narratives through historical Cairo\'s global tourism. Whilst historical Cairo is reinterpreted as a glocal venue for new claims and contestation between global heritage tourism investment and between local urban poor population, the current paper regards the Bazaar area and Cities of Dead as contested sites for collective memory and urban resistance, and for tourism consumption . The study emphasised the need to link the rehabilitation of historical Cairo to concepts of sustainable tourism process based upon the mainstream conservation-for-development perspective, whilst taking into account alternative environments and interpretations of conservation which are the product of socio-cultural, political and economic aspects of local communities. In conclusion therefore the study advocates radical policy action and collaborative planning in consolidating bottom up urban governance and in generating new opportunities for the (re)production of public sphere for sustainable tourism consumption.
  • Open access
  • 11 Reads
Polifunctional Zoning as a Factor of Urban Sustainability
Published: 29 October 2012 by MDPI AG in The 2nd World Sustainability Forum session Sustainable Urban Development
Cities are becoming a power of human development and this has made a problem of optimal and sustainable use of city territory. In 1987 Gro Harlem Brundland commission suggested to make sure a better life quality for current and future generations and paradigm of sustainable and balanced development was aroused on this background. However urban planners do not have a solid attitude on which factors most influence the level of life quality in the cities. This is because factors of market, inertia of development and complexity of urban structure make negative environment to realization of sustainable and balanced development. Sustainable and balanced development can be reached only by regulative management. It is planned by establishing functions of city territories. Nevertheless in the most of countries mono-functional zoning is dominant, what makes set of a single function and this one-way use makes overuse of territory. Poly-functional zoning is an opportunity to follow principles of sustainable development, because withdrawal of zoning can establish all functions. This can impoverish territory in different cultural, environmental, economic, infrastructural aspects. Sustainable development studies are performed as indicators of pollution, energy, environment studies, but are mostly out of sight regulation of urban functions and management. Spatial integrity was dismissed as a part of mono-functional zoning. Therefore in this article we analyze city structure and zoning, which are influenced by permanent material stream. The analysis is based on the idea of metabolistical analysis of the city. In biology metabolism is a unit of chemical reaction in each cell. That let cells to grow, to multiple, to react to environment, to move. This some analogy is used in metabolistical research of the cities and lets us understand how to develop cities in a sustainable and balanced way. Cities transform energy (minerals, environment and information) to antropogenized system with human biomass and their ideas, and with formed unacceptable object (waste). This is the system of input, recast, storage and output, which is like a fusion of social, economic, technical and landscape processes. They form characteristic of functional zones and priorities of the sustainable use of the zone. We recommend that poly-functional zones can be show by territorial graphs methods. As an example of such methodological approach results of poly-functional zoning research in Kaunas city are presented.
  • Open access
  • 9 Reads
Analyzing the Interruption Processes in the Generator Circuit Breaker through Sustainability Concepts
The concepts of science, including concepts related to sustainability including exergy and embodied energy, were developed to describe our knowledge about aspects of the universe. A convincing example of the usefulness of embodied energy and exergy for analyzing systems which transform energy is the generator circuit-breaker (GCB) disconnection process. Nowadays, the electric connection circuits of power plants (based on fossil fuels as well as renewable sources) entail GCBs at the generator terminals, since the presence of that electric equipment offers many advantages related to the sustainability of a power plant. A classic circuit-breaker is an automatically electrical switch designed to protect against inherent operation faults, such as overload or short-circuit. A generator circuit-breaker is located between the generator and the main step-up transformer, this location influencing the operating conditions since GCBs are significantly more difficult to apply to some operating regimes than classical network circuit-breakers. Consequently, the electrical and mechanical performance required of a GCB exceeds the requirements of a standard distribution circuit-breaker. Generally, a circuit-breaker must detect a fault condition, and once a fault is detected, electric contacts within the circuit-breaker must open to interrupt the circuit. In an alternating current (a.c.) circuit the interruption of a short-circuit is performed by the circuit-breaker at the natural passing through zero of the short-circuit current. During the current interruption, an electric arc is generated between the opened contacts of the circuit-breaker. This arc must be cooled and extinguished in a controlled way. Since the synchronous generator stator can flow via high asymmetrical short-circuit currents, which will not pass through zero (at least on one phase) many time periods after the fault appearance, the phenomena which occur in the case of short-circuit currents interruption determine the main stresses of the generator circuit-breaker; the current interruption requirements of a GCB are significantly higher than for the distribution network circuit breakers. Although the phenomena produced in the electric arc at the terminals of the circuit-breaker are complicated and not completely explained, the concept of exergy is useful in understanding the physical phenomena. The electric arc study can prove that the limits between the microscopic and macroscopic phenomena are fragile and certain phenomena could be studied in related frames of work. The electric arc that occurs during the interruption processes in a circuit-breaker can be studied as a very high temperature continuous plasma discharge, and thermodynamic parameters must be taken into consideration; alternatively it could be seen as an electric conductor by a resistance depending on the current intensity (under a constant low voltage) and studied within the Faraday's macroscopic theory. Electric arc interruption is of great importance, because an uncontrolled electrical arc in the apparatus could become destructive since, once initiated, an arc will draw more and more current from a fixed voltage supply until the apparatus is destroyed. However, the appearance of an electric arc at the terminals of the circuit-breaker should not be necessarily seen as a damaging phenomenon since if the electric arc would not appear the network embedded magnetic energy would be converted to electric energy, leading further to high over-voltages. Consequently, during the conversion process of the system magnetic energy in the arc thermal energy, the exergy is not destroyed, and it must be taken into consideration as embodied energy, used further on in the interrupting process. Just after the short-circuit current interruption by the generator circuit-breaker (when the GCB has been subjected to a 50,000 degree plasma arc), between its opened contacts arises the transient recovery voltage (TRV) which constitutes the most important dielectric stress after the electric arc extinction. If the rising rate of TRV exceeds the rising rate of dielectric strength across the open gap within the extinction chamber of the GCB, the electric arc will rekindle (re-strike) and this time the electric arc exergy will be entirely used in a mechanical destructive process determined by the electrodynamics forces. Since the magnitude and shape of the TRV occurring across the generator circuit-breaker are critical parameters in the recovering gap after the current zero, in this paper, we model, for the case of the faults fed by the main step-up transformer, the equivalent configurations, with operational impedances, for the TRV calculation, taking into account the main transformer parameters, on the basis of the symmetrical components method. This study focuses on this fault location because the transformer-fed-fault currents can be very high since the full energy of the power system feeds the faults.
  • Open access
  • 9 Reads
Principles of the Human Integrated Management Approach (HIMA): Towards Sustainable Development
Published: 30 October 2012 by MDPI AG in The 2nd World Sustainability Forum session Sustainable Development Policy and Practice
The HIMA; as Community Based Natural Resources Management (CBNRM) System that promotes sustainable livelihood, resources conservation, and environmental protection, for the Human wellbeing is presented. The main feature of the new system is that it promotes sustainable development through set of governing principles. Hima\'s are traditionally ruled by the local communities through consensus and different groups held specific responsibilities such as collecting rainwater run-off and monitoring grazing. As the need for environmental protection represents a prime importance for the people whom depend on the natural resources for their survival, Hima is considered to be a relevant concept to contemporary natural resources dilemmas. One of the main features of the Hima system it achieves social justice; this is one of the main strengths "it provides an incentive for local communities to invest in the maintenance of their natural resources and to protect them from abuse". (Kilani, 1995). Modern day challenges have to be taken into consideration when setting up a Hima governance system such as growing population demands for more land for housing and to address the needs for small community farmers. These changes in society might lead to situation where grazing become uncontrolled and will lead to destruction to range land and eventually leads to desertification. These challenges were met by established environmental planning and management strategies which balanced the settlements\' growth and natural resources uses according to Islamic Environmental Laws and the community self-government. Hima governance framework has been derived based on cultural heritage, environmental ethics and human development model of the community which is predominantly Islamic. Des Jardins (2001) defines environmental ethics as "a systematic account of the moral relations between human beings and their natural world". The community ethics are comparable to the modern version as defined above. Humans are considered to be trustees with responsibility for the environmental protection, and yet they are accountable. The central issue is that the ecosystem should be in harmonious and equilibrium state with a respect to its biodiversity. There should be no harm to nature and no excessive use. Forests and the wild should be protected from deliberate misuses, fire, or damages. Water as the central element should be protected from pollution, overuses and misuse. Finally, respect the role of law that promote these principles.