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  • Open access
  • 57 Reads
Development of Environmentally Sustainable Methods for Treatment of Domestic Wastewater and Handling of Sewage Sludge on Yap Island
Published: 31 October 2014 by MDPI in The 4th World Sustainability Forum session Sustainable Engineering and Science
A survey was conducted of the wastewater treatment systems and related sludge handling practices on the island of Yap in the Federated States of Micronesia to assist in identifying areas where further work would be merited to improve on effectiveness and sustainability. A detailed inventory was made of communal septic tanks as found at health centers and schools. The precise location of each unit was determined using global positioning and the general condition and functionality were documented. Though most of these septic tanks appeared to be fully functional, there were concerns due to some units being positioned within the tidal zone, covered over with vegetation, or out of reach of the pump truck. The only centralized wastewater treatment plant on Yap consists of an Imhoff-tank system, which services 300 connections in the town of Colonia. The system provides only primary treatment consisting of a limited removal of suspended solids, thus essentially raw sewage is being discharged to the bay. Excess sludge is drawn from the Imhoff tanks on a quarterly basis, which following drying is supposed to be transferred to the landfill; however, local farmers regularly take it for use as fertilizer without adequate treatment. As an immediate target for further study and pilot testing, exploring the use of an attached-growth process as an inexpensive retrofit to enhance the treatment power of the Imhoff-tank system is presented. In addition, the implementation of a composting program for recycle of waste sludge in a safe manner and the development of a framework for management of septic tanks are proposed.
  • Open access
  • 125 Reads
Open Sustainable Innovation in the Food Sector
The food industry is facing a constant increase of competitiveness. In order to address the high competition that involve the food industry, sustainability and innovation practices can be strategically effective, especially the new "Open Sustainable Innovation" approach. The main objective of this study is to assess the Open Sustainable Innovation approach adoption rate, and how it could be strategically meaningful in the business practices of a company in the food industry. We observed that the adoption of an open sustainable approach in business practices could represent a strategic advantage to reach, at the same time, sustainability and business goals such as, for example: the costs and time to market reduction as well as company's environmental impact and an increment of the food security. Evidences of this work emerged starting from an overview of the state of art of the food industry from a sustainability and Open Innovation perspective. Afterward, we collected some case studies that have been done in the food industry about companies that have adopted and/or are adopting an "open sustainable innovation" approach in their business practices. By the analysis of these cases, we could gain a better awareness on the effectiveness of this approach on companies that operate in the food industry. In conclusion a critical analysis of the evidences emerged in the paper are discussed.
  • Open access
  • 1659 Reads
Smart Cities: Contradicting Definitions and Unclear Measures
Published: 31 October 2014 by MDPI in The 4th World Sustainability Forum session Sustainable Urban and Rural Development
Cities are contemporary metropolises that concentrate human and social activity; engineered to support and develop the physical environment and the people within it, Smart cities, we are led to believe, are the immediate future, where smartness is perceived as a characterisation of advancements or digitalisation, in government, mobility and sustainability. Therefore it is not surprising that many organisations are marketing their smart solutions and products, often to a ubiquitous extent and so called smart cities are striving to outperform each other. But how are smart cities actually being defined and how is performance being measured in an era where there is increasing access to unprecedented amounts of foreseen data? This paper identifies the plethora of the smart city definitions and categories evidenced from the literature and shows that 'Smart cities' lacks a robust coherent definition, with many contradicting facts within what constitutes a smart vision. Notably, almost every attempt from organisations, the European Union or cities themselves has failed to define 'smart' in objective terms that can be accepted globally. Certainly, they all are negotiating with a range of descriptors and smart ways to improve the city. Even the UK's attempts to develop a clear definition and set of standards for smart cities (i.e. PAS 180 and PAS 182) appears to suffer from fundamental differences in how the semantic content of a 'smart' city is defined. This paper demonstrates the necessity for a single 'Smart Cities' definition that deals with both the physical and digital using shared parameter value(s) that can be adopted and scaled amongst different localities and within a range of urban contexts adjusting according to existing city condition(s) and vision(s) setting the paradigm for further innovative research in this area.
  • Open access
  • 109 Reads
Sustainable Agricultural Intensification – A Perspective from Latin America and the Caribbean
Sustainable agriculture is broadly established in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), but the way that food is being produced and consumed requires rethinking. Sustainable agricultural intensification (SAI) is becoming an approach to address various complex challenges in agriculture. A total of 760 participants (57% LAC) from 101 countries registered for a 2-week e-consultation, which included 3 components with the aim of promoting the dialogue and partnerships on SAI in LAC. In the first component there was an exchange of ideas on its conceptual framework, while in the second component experiences and lessons learned from programs, practices, policies and solutions to address challenges in the region were shared, and the last component served to discuss how to increase regional cooperation through the identification of actors and actions. This paper provides a synthesis report of the e-forum and the main recommendations to consolidate a regional SAI network to exchange experiences and generate joint actions for greater synergies in agricultural research, and better policies, investments and institutions in LAC. Proposed research areas are: analyzing yield gaps, accurate mapping of farming structure of LAC agriculture, rehabilitating degraded lands, curving deforestation, studying the nature of the interphases between sustainable agricultural and food systems, reducing food wastes, adapting to and mitigating climate change, strengthening cooperatives, building local organizations and linking farmers to markets, using information and communication technology to access information and share knowledge on SAI, and defining indicators and metrics to monitor SAI undertakings and assist policy makers for enacting incentives through related policy.
  • Open access
  • 84 Reads
Convivial Greenstreets as Force and Context for Urban Sustainability
Published: 31 October 2014 by MDPI in The 4th World Sustainability Forum session Sustainable Urban and Rural Development
This paper introduces the concept of convivial greenstreets and explores their potential contributions to sustainability and inclusive place making in the city. It begins with a focus on private-sector gardens and 'green' paraphernalia along the confines of the western European city street. I observe that particular kinds and intensities of gardens/gardening seem to be serving as both context for, and generator of, conviviality—a crucial trait of local civil society that seeks to advance a sustainability agenda. Next, through an interplay of observed phenomenon and broad reading of social science and planning literatures, I build a working definition that ties together notions of street-side gardening, interacting agents (e.g. resident-gardeners, merchant-gardeners, passersby, etc.), forms of conviviality, and spatial and physical contexts. With this in hand, an initial typology is constructed, with type examples drawn from my photo-inventory corpus. I discuss how streets that pass the intertwined tests of 'green-ness' and open-armed conviviality seem to express a range of positive forces, from idiosyncratic place attachment and personal expression to shared cultural pluralism and ecological activism as counterpoints to globalization. To prompt further social science inquiry I suggest that, beyond the provision of ecosystem services, convivial greenstreets may provide spatial and ontological contexts within which sustainability capital can accrue within the evolving city neighborhood. Lastly, several recommendations are offered as to how convivial greenstreets may be nurtured by policy makers and urban designers.
  • Open access
  • 122 Reads
Energy Analysis of Supercritical Water and Ammonia (Kalina) Power Cycle
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Published: 31 October 2014 by MDPI in The 4th World Sustainability Forum session Energy Sustainability
The application of supercritical Rankine cycle iscommon in order to improve the energetic efficiency of thermal power plants,but due to the low temperature of the gas turbine exhaust outlet, theutilization of supercritical steam cycle as a bottoming cycle in combinedcycles is not possible. Therefore, to achieve a higher efficiency, water asworking fluid of the cycle, should be replaced with another fluid with a lowercritical temperature. For this purpose, water and ammonia mixture (Kalinacycle) has been selected as the bottoming cycle in this manuscript. Unlike thepure water, the mixture of water and ammonia does not evaporate in a constanttemperature, which reduces the evaporator's exergy lost in the heat transferprocess. The energetic efficiency of a supercritical Kalina cycle equipped withan over atmospheric condenser, under thermodynamic conditions of 515 oCand 165 Bar for the gas turbine, ammonia mass fraction are 30% and 70% forcondenser and boiler which is 12% more than Rankine cycle efficiency in the sameconditions. This article is dedicated to modeling and thermodynamic analysis ofa Kalina cycle and introduction of thermo-physical properties of the water andammonia mixture in process of evaporation and condensation. In addition, theperformance comparison of the Kalina cycle and Rankine cycle in terms ofdifferent thermodynamic conditions is issued in this paper.
  • Open access
  • 96 Reads
An Inexact Fuzzy Optimization Programming with Hurwicz Criterion (IFOPH) for Sustainable Irrigation Planning in Arid Region
In the past decades, sustainability in irrigation planning has been of concern to many researchers and managers. However, uncertainties existed in irrigation planning system can bring about enormous difficulties and challenges in generating desired decision alternatives to attain the aim of sustainability. In this study, an inexact fuzzy optimization programming with Hurwicz criterion (IFOPH) is developed for sustainable irrigation planning under uncertainty, which incorporate two-stage stochastic programming (TSP), interval-parameter programming (IPP), fuzzy credibility-constraint programming (FCP) and Hurwicz criterion (TCP-CH) within an framework. The IFOPH approach can not only provide an effective linkage between conflicting economic benefits and the associated penalties attributed to the violation of the pre-regulated policies, but also tackle uncertainties expressed as probabilistic distributions, fuzzy sets and interval values. The developed method is applied to the real case of planning sustainable irrigation in Tarim Basin, which is one of the aridest regions of China. The results based on confidence degrees and Hurwicz parameters are obtained, which can permit in-depth analyses of various policy scenarios of that are associated with different levels of economic penalties. Meanwhile, the results reveal that appropriate irrigation planning can improve the efficiency of water allocations, which has brought positive effects on remedying water deficit and promoting the sustainable development of agricultural production activities. Moreover, tradeoffs between economic benefit and system-failure risk based on Hurwicz criterion can support generating an increased robustness in risk control, which can facilitate the local decision makers in adjusting water-allocation pattern to satisfy the increasing water demand.
  • Open access
  • 126 Reads
Embedding Sustainability Into the Higher Education Curriculum: Lessons From the UK's Green Academy Institutional Change Programme
Published: 31 October 2014 by MDPI in The 4th World Sustainability Forum session Sustainability Education and Approaches
Universities are facing increasing pressures to change the educational programmes they offer in order to make graduates fit for future citizenship and employment in the 21st Century . These   demands come from a complex array of contemporary issues including societal, economic and environmental challenges as well as national and international policy. Recent UK policy pronouncements on the green economy are an important example of such policy change.  Curriculum reform and innovation are beginning to take place in many universities in the UK and elsewhere in the world in response to such pressures and policy developments. Examples include the universities of Aberdeen, Southampton and Keele in the UK, Melbourne in Australia and British Columbia in Canada This paper summarizes the outcomes and impact of an institutional-Green Academy- change programme initiated in 2011 by the UK's Higher Education Academy. It reports on progress in the first year from seven of the participating universities, and focuses on the impact of the change programme on whole institutional reform in the way universities approach education for sustainable development (ESD). It offers an overview of how the universities set about changing policy and practice in ESD in order to scale up existing activities, and how they have extended the reach of learning for sustainability into areas of the curriculum in which little or no development had hitherto taken place.
  • Open access
  • 61 Reads
Livelihoods or Hardwoods: Extractive Reserves, Logging, and a Sustainable Future?
Published: 31 October 2014 by MDPI in The 4th World Sustainability Forum session Sustainability of Culture and Heritage
Recently images of indigenous groups stripping loggers to their underwear and running them off the land have been in the media. This paper will examine the extractive reserve policy and implications and alternative conservation strategies in Gurupá, Para. Gurupá is located roughly 500 nautical miles inland from the mouth of the Amazon, in the northeastern state of Pará, near the confluence of the Amazon and Xingu rivers. Extractive reserves are governmentally relegated, rural, tracts of land set aside to stymie Amazonian land degradation. Extractive reserves in Gurupá are seen, by most, to be a great success. Yet, problems still underpin the success seen in the region. The land relegated by the government is not in the total control of people living here.Thus policy makers have to put at the center the people living the every day experience.
  • Open access
  • 100 Reads
Vibration Analysis for Environmental Sustainability
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Published: 31 October 2014 by MDPI in The 4th World Sustainability Forum session Sustainable Engineering and Science
Predictive maintenance has a significant impact on the environmental sustainability of an organization, by means of the increase in quality of the product, which allows the consumption of raw materials to be reduced. Vibration analysis is a predictive technique especially suitable for reciprocating and rotary machines; it consists of periodically recording the vibration level of the machine, as it increases when there are anomalies such as misalignment, unbalance, etc. In the manufacture of bearings for vehicles, the final vibration of the assembled bearing is one of the quality parameters analysed to ensure that the quality of the bearings are as desired. In external grinding processes vibrations appear which are generated by the process itself and not by flaws in the machine tool. These vibrations can cause defects which affect the quality of the workpieces produced. Nevertheless, analysis of process-induced vibrations is little studied in the literature. Vibration spectra are applied to distinguish problematic vibration frequencies from those that are not. Intercomparison of spectra between similar machines and studies of the change over time of spectra or waterfall plots are used. This method considers the possible of establishing separate vibration limits in the machining of components so as to guarantee the quality of the final assembled product. The methodology exposed can contribute to increase the environmental sustainability of an industrial organization due that contribute to a more efficient use of resources.