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    Risk assessment of transnational oil investment in Central Asia using a fuzzy comprehensive evaluation method
    Haitao Ma, Zhan Sun, Chuanglin Fang
    Regional Sustainability    2020, 1 (1): 11-19.   DOI: 10.1016/j.regsus.2020.06.002
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    Central Asia (including five countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan) is rich in oil reserves and has become one of the most important target regions for global oil investment. The construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt has prompted Central Asia to look outwards for more collaborations in the oil industry. China’s need for oil investment in Central Asia has also increased significantly. This research established a comprehensive index system for assessing the risks of transnational oil investment in Central Asia. The system incorporated political, regulatory, economic, social, and infrastructural indices. Based on the Delphi method and fuzzy comprehension evaluation method, we qualitatively and quantitatively assessed and analyzed the risks of transnational oil investment in Central Asia. The results indicate that the risk score for regulatory risk was highest with the value of 6.1670, indicating a high risk level in transnational oil investment, followed by economic, social, political, and infrastructural risk indices. Of the 18 secondary risk indices calculated, there were seven indices with the probability of high risk occurrence exceeded 30.0% and the descending order was as follows: establishment of mining rights; host country intervention in operations; taxing system; stability of regulations; war and turmoil; labor capital; and ethnic, cultural, and religious differences. These seven critical risks should be watched closely and avoided during transnational oil investment in Central Asia. This study provides a comprehensive understanding of the potential risks of investing oil in Central Asia. The findings demonstrate the causes of these risks and provide a scientific basis for reasonably avoiding oil investment risk and improving investment benefits for both host and investing countries.

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    From theme park to cultural tourism town: Disneyization turning of tourism space in China
    Zi’ang ZHANG, Zengxian LIANG, Jigang BAO
    Regional Sustainability    2021, 2 (2): 156-163.   DOI: 10.1016/j.regsus.2021.05.003
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    Theme park development has become an important choice for tourism space development in Chinese cities, and the theming of space as well as the implied consumption symbols and cultural implications are usually viewed as examples for the development of other urban spaces, such as cultural tourism towns. The result is the Disneyization of urban tourism space. With the construction of characteristic towns being vigorously promoted throughout China, cultural tourism towns are springing up. They are typical of the “Wuzhen Town Mode” and represent the process of the Disneyization of tourism space in China. This research reflects on the evolution of the characteristics of tourism space in China. Taking the Wuzhen Town Mode as an example, this study reveals the characteristics and conversion mechanism of the Disneyization of tourism space in Chinese cities. According to this research, the Wuzhen Town Mode of the Disneyization is characterized by theming, hybrid consumption, merchandising, and performative labor. Residential function is a unique characteristic of the Disneyization of cultural tourism towns in China. Moreover, the Wuzhen Town Mode of the Disneyization is jointly motivated by the driving force of local governments, the propulsive force of tourist demand, the attractive force of the social environment, and the driving force of capital. Finally, suggestions and policy proposals are provided for the Disneyization of tourism space in China.

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    Characteristics and utilization of plant diversity and resources in Central Asia
    Yuanming Zhang, Daoyuan Zhang, Wenjun Li, Yaoming Li, Chi Zhang, Kaiyun Guan, Borong Pan
    Regional Sustainability    2020, 1 (1): 1-10.   DOI: 10.1016/j.regsus.2020.08.001
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    The geographical region of Central Asia comprises Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China. Central Asia’s temperate forests, steppes, and sandy deserts, including riparian tugai forests, have been identified by the World Wide Fund for Nature as Global 200 ecoregions, and the Mountains of Central Asia are considered biodiversity hotspots. Here, we describe and analyze the diverse characteristics and utilization of plant diversity and resources of the region. We confirm that there are 9520 species of higher plants, 20% of which are endemic species, belonging to 138 families and 1176 genera. The vegetation geography of Central Asia can be divided into 5 provinces and 33 districts, and more than 65% species have a Central Asian geographical distribution pattern. Plant resource utilization can be grouped into 5 categories and 31 subcategories, including food, medicine, industry, environmental protection, construction, and plant germplasm. In this review, we also discuss the principal threats to plant biodiversity in Central Asia posed by global climate change and offer recommendations for conservation strategies.

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    Dynamics of NDVI and its influencing factors in the Chinese Loess Plateau during 2002-2018
    Peng He, Lishuai Xu, Zhengchun Liu, Yaodong Jing, Wenbo Zhu
    Regional Sustainability    2021, 2 (1): 36-46.   DOI: 10.1016/j.regsus.2021.01.002
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    Understanding the spatio-temporal changes of vegetation and its climatic control factors can provide an important theoretical basis for the protection and restoration of eco-environments. In this study, we analyzed the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) in the Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP) from 2002 to 2018 via trend analysis, stability analysis, and Mann-Kendall mutation test to investigate the change of vegetation. In addition, we also used the skewness analysis and correlation analysis to explore the contribution of climate change and human activities on regional vegetation changes. The results indicated that the overall increasing trend of NDVI from 2002 to 2018 was significant. The areas showing increased NDVI were mainly distributed in the southeastern CLP and the irrigation districts of the Yellow River to the north and west of the CLP, while the areas showing decreased NDVI were concentrated in the desert of the western Ordos Plateau, Longzhong Loess Plateau, and the built-up and adjacent areas. Precipitation was the dominant factor contributing to vegetation growth in the CLP, while vegetation was less dependent on precipitation in the irrigation districts. The increasement of NDVI has led to a prolonged response time of vegetation to water stress and a lag effect of less than two months in the CLP. The effect of temperature on NDVI was not significant; significant negative correlations between NDVI and temperature were found only in the desert, the Guanzhong Plain, the southern Liupan Mountains, and the southeastern Taihang Mountains, owing to high temperatures, urban heat islands, and large cloud cover in mountainous areas. Affected by the “Grain for Green Program” (GGP), NDVI in the CLP increased from 2002 to 2018; however, the increasing trends of NDVI for different vegetation cover types were significantly different owing to the difference in background status. The increasing contribution rate of NDVI in the CLP mainly came from crops and steppes. Urban not only led to the destruction of vegetation but also had radiation effect causing negative impact of NDVI around the cities. This resulted in the aggravation of the negative bias of NDVI with time in the CLP. The results provide a long-term perspective for regional vegetation protection and utilization in the CLP.

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    Potential risks and challenges of climate change in the arid region of northwestern China
    Yaning Chen, Xueqi Zhang, Gonghuan Fang, Zhi Li, Fei Wang, Jingxiu Qin, Fan Sun
    Regional Sustainability    2020, 1 (1): 20-30.   DOI: 10.1016/j.regsus.2020.06.003
    Abstract262)   HTML11)    PDF(pc) (1411KB)(208)       Save

    In the arid region of northwestern China (ARNC), water resources are the most critical factor restricting socioeconomic development and influencing the stability of the area’s ecological systems. The region’s complex water system and unique hydrological cycle show distinctive characteristics. Moreover, the intensified hydrological cycle and extreme climatic and hydrological events resulting from global warming have led to increased uncertainty around water resources as well as heightened conflict between water supply and water demand. All of these factors are exerting growing pressures on the socioeconomic development and vulnerable ecological environment in the region. This research evaluates the impacts of climate change on water resources, hydrological processes, agricultural system, and desert ecosystems in the ARNC, and addresses some associated risks and challenges specific to this area. The temperature is rising at a rate of 0.31°C per decade during 1961-2017 and hydrological processes are being significantly influenced by changes in glaciers, snow cover, and precipitation form, especially in the rivers recharged primarily by melt water. Ecosystems are also largely influenced by climate change, with the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) of natural vegetation exhibited an increasing trend prior to 1998, and then reversed in Xinjiang while the Hexi Corridor of Gansu showed the opposite trends. Furthermore, the desert-oasis transition zone showed a reduction in area due to the warming trend and the recent rapid expansion of irrigated area. Both the warming and intensified drought are threatening agriculture security. The present study could shed light on sustainable development in this region under climate change and provides scientific basis to the construction of the “Silk Road Economic Belt”.

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    Assessment of ecosystem services value in response to prevailing and future land use/cover changes in Lahore, Pakistan
    Mobeen Akhtar, Yuanyuan Zhao, Guanglei Gao, Qudsia Gulzar, Azfar Hussain, Abdus Samie
    Regional Sustainability    2020, 1 (1): 37-47.   DOI: 10.1016/j.regsus.2020.06.001
    Abstract379)   HTML3)    PDF(pc) (1137KB)(204)       Save

    Land use/cover changes (LUCCs) significantly affect ecosystem services (ESs) and their corresponding monetary value. ESs can be evaluated to analyze the ecological and environmental changes caused by LUCCs. This research aims to estimate variations in the ecosystem services value (ESV) due to LUCCs in Lahore of Pakistan, and to offer information and recommendations to policy-makers concerned with the economic improvement of metropolis areas. We first investigated the historical LUCCs from 1990 to 2019, and then simulated the future land use/cover in 2030 and 2050 based on the CA-Markov model under three scenarios, including business-as-usual (BAU), rapid economic growth (REG), and coordinated environmental sustainability (CES). Subsequently, we evaluated the ESV from 1990 to 2050 and evaluated the historical and potential future ESV changes induced by LUCCs during 1990-2019 and 2019-2050, respectively. The results showed that, land use/cover exhibited an increase in built-up land and decreases in vegetation, water body, and unused land both in the past and future. The net ESV decreased from 58.26 million USD in 1990 to 50.31 million USD in 2019. In 2050, the decrease in ESV is most rapid under the REG scenario (decrease ESV of 7.13 million USD and decrease percentage of 14.18%), followed by the BAU (decrease ESV of 5.61 million USD and decrease percentage of 11.15%) and CES (decrease ESV of 5.18 million USD and decrease percentage of 10.30%) scenarios. For each ecosystem service type, the ESV of waste treatment decreased by 18.37% from 1990 to 2019, followed by soil formation and conservation (17.52%), biodiversity and maintenance (13.23%), climate regulation (11.80%), food production (11.69%), hydrological regulation (11.11%), and aesthetic value (3.07%). These outcomes indicate that continuous land use/cover planning should focus on regenerating aquatic areas and vegetation restoration.

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    Social development and living environment changes in the Northeast Tibetan Plateau and contiguous regions during the late prehistoric period
    Huihui Cao, Guanghui Dong
    Regional Sustainability    2020, 1 (1): 59-67.   DOI: 10.1016/j.regsus.2020.09.001
    Abstract157)   HTML5)    PDF(pc) (1228KB)(198)       Save

    The relationship between the evolution of human societies and their living environments has been discussed intensively in recent decades. It is important to understand the patterns and mechanisms of human–environment interaction and evolution in order to cope with rapidly changing environments in the modern world. We reviewed the results of dating, archaeobotanical, and zooarchaeological studies from 139 prehistoric sites in the Northeast Tibetan Plateau (NETP) and contiguous regions (NETP-CR: i.e., the Hexi Corridor and western margin of the Chinese Loess Plateau) and compared them with paleoenvironmental records to study variations in spatiotemporal patterns of social development in the area and their relationships with climate and vegetation changes. Our results show that hunter-gatherer groups occupied vast areas of the NETP at low intensities during ~15,000–5500 BP (years before present). This was directly related to forest cover and climate change. An increase in temperature and precipitation turnover of vegetation from desert steppe to alpine meadow/subalpine shrub, and recovery of animal population on the Tibetan Plateau created more food resources and space for hunter-gatherers. Millet farmers settled extensively below 2500 m a.s.l. (meters above sea level) in the NETP-CR between ~5500 and 3600 BP, and might have coexisted with hunting groups above 2500 m a.s.l. via subsistence exchange. The distribution of human settlements during that period was affected by climate change, with the relatively warm and wet climate promoting the expansion of millet agriculture to the NETP-CR during 5500–4500 BP, while climate deterioration caused humans to retreat to lower altitudes. During 3600–2200 BP, a range of livelihoods emerged in different regions of the NETP-CR. This was promoted by early trans-Eurasian exchange and the development of an agro-pastoral economy that utilized cold-tolerant crops and livestock. This eventually promoted the expansion of permanent human settlements to high-altitude areas in the NETP. This study found that human societies adopted various strategies to adapt to the changing living environment throughout late prehistoric times in the NETP-CR. The results provide a long-term perspective on the trajectory of regional socio-environmental co-evolution.

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    Purchase willingness of new energy vehicles: A case study in Jinan City of China
    Xueqing Tian, Qingling Zhang, Yuzhu Chi, Yu Cheng
    Regional Sustainability    2021, 2 (1): 12-22.   DOI: 10.1016/j.regsus.2020.12.003
    Abstract347)   HTML7)    PDF(pc) (802KB)(184)       Save

    Speeding up the promotion of new energy vehicles is an important measure to optimize the energy structure, promote energy conservation and emission reduction, and develop the economy sustainability. The research uses a questionnaire survey to analyze the residents’ willingness to purchase new energy vehicles in Jinan City of China, and utilizes the binomial logistic regression model and Global Moran’s I to explain the impact of three factors (including respondents’ personal characteristics and subjective cognition, products, and social environment) on the purchase willingness of new energy vehicles. According to the survey, 75.12% of the respondents consider buying new energy vehicles in the future, but only 11.66% of the respondents know new energy vehicles well. It can be seen that the respondents in Jinan City generally have an insufficient understanding of new energy vehicles. It may lead to a decline in residents’ trust in new energy vehicles, which will in turn affect their purchase willingness. Based on the survey, we find that women who live far from the city center enjoy high incomes and have a low-carbon awareness, generally exhibit a higher willingness to purchase new energy vehicles. Spatial distribution of the purchase willingness has certain aggregation characteristics, showing a positive spatial correlation pattern. Purchase willingness has a certain positive diffusion effect in space, and areas with a higher purchase willingness have a positive driving effect on their surrounding regions. Spatial distribution of the purchase willingness can be used as one of the breakthroughs in promoting new energy vehicles. In addition, safety, price, after-sales service, and infrastructure of new energy vehicles are important determinants of people’s purchase willingness. Among the types of subsidies, financial subsidy is most effective on the residents’ purchase willingness. Our research provides an important information for the promotion of new energy vehicles in the region.

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    Use of the knowledge, attitude, and practice (KAP) model to examine sustainable agriculture in Thailand
    LIAO Xuewei, Thi Phuoc Lai NGUYEN, Nophea SASAKI
    Regional Sustainability    2022, 3 (1): 41-52.   DOI: 10.1016/j.regsus.2022.03.005
    Abstract290)   HTML4)    PDF(pc) (504KB)(182)       Save

    Sustainable agriculture plays an important role in achieving sustainable development goals with regard to food security and environmental conservation. Sustainable agriculture relies on sustainable farming practices that reduce greenhouse gas production, the wise use of local natural resources, and reductions in negative impacts on the environment and human health. Sustainable farming practices can be driven by various factors, such as the socio-environmental setting, socio-cognitive factors, agricultural institutions, and policy. This study used the knowledge, attitude, and practice (KAP) model to examine farmers’ knowledge, attitudes, and practices in the area of sustainable agriculture. It also considered the factors affecting farmers’ knowledge, attitudes, and practices. Two different socio-environmental contextual settings in Surin Province (a Thai-Cambodian border province) of Thailand are considered. The results show that there are differences between the two different socio-environmental contextual settings with regard to farmers’ sustainable agricultural practice perceptions, knowledge, and attitudes. Farmers’ perceptions of environmental degradation, the number of years of agricultural experience, and agricultural policy drive farmers’ attitudes and individual sustainable practices. Another major result of the study is that individual farmers’ attitudes and practices promote collective sustainable agricultural behaviors. The implication of these findings is that it is necessary to improve the learning ability of individual farmers on the environment and sustainable agricultural practices through social learning and scientific knowledge dissemination, so as to produce sustainable collective development behaviors.

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    Spatial-temporal characteristics of the coupling coordination of social security and economic development in China during 2002-2018
    Qiong LI, Yang ZHAO, Songlin LI, Lanlan ZHANG
    Regional Sustainability    2021, 2 (2): 116-129.   DOI: 10.1016/j.regsus.2021.04.001
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    Clarifying the relationship between social security and economic development is helpful to realize the sustainable social security system and the stable function of sustainable economic development. In this paper, the entropy method, coupling coordination degree, standard deviation ellipse model, and spatial autocorrelation were used to study the spatial-temporal characteristics of coupling coordination of social security and economic development in China from 2002 to 2018. The results indicate that the relationship between social security and economic development in China has been gradually strengthened in the process of mutual adaptation and common development. The benign interaction between the two was unstable, though the coupling coordination degree gradually transitioned to the primary coupling coordination type. Besides, from a spatial perspective, first, the coupling coordination degree of social security and economic development in China contracted in the east-west and north-south directions, and the coupling coordination clustered in the central region in this period; second, the coupling coordination degree generally presented a positive spatial autocorrelation, and regions with similar coupling coordination degrees were in a state of agglomeration; finally, the hot spots clumped together to form a continuous area in the eastern coastal area while the cold spots expanded toward the northwest and northeast. Furthermore, the random distribution areas exhibited a trend of contraction.

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    Coupling analysis of the major impact on sustainable development of the typical arid region of Turpan in Northwest China
    Lingxiao Sun, Xiang Yu, Boshan Li, Haiyan Zhang, Dong Sha, Yao Wang, Jiaqiang Lei, Yang Yu, Martin Welp, Ruide Yu
    Regional Sustainability    2020, 1 (1): 48-58.   DOI: 10.1016/j.regsus.2020.08.002
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    Analyzing the sustainable development of a given region can provide an important reference and guide for future orientation. The study selects Turpan (including Gaochang District, Shanshan County, and Toksun County) in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of Northwest China as the study area and first investigates the essence of regional sustainable development. Based on the relevant data of the population, economy, and environment of Turpan from 2002 to 2018, we constructed an evaluation index system for three dimensions, namely, the population, economy, and environment, and analyzed them systematically. Specifically, we quantitatively calculated the comprehensive evaluation index, coupling degree, and coupling coordination degree of the sustainable development system of the study area. The study finds that Turpan has on some dimensions become increasingly sustainable, especially the economic development level has improved. The results show that the coupling coordination degree has increased from 0.3692 to 0.8894 during the period 2002-2018, which reflects the actual situation of Turpan and indicates that the proposed analysis method can effectively measure and evaluate the level of sustainable development in this region. Moreover, the study also puts forward main functional zoning of Turpan (i.e., Gaochang District as an optimized development zone, Shanshan County as a major agricultural production zone, and Toksun County as a key ecological function zone) and regional planning principles based on the population, economic, and environmental coupling analysis for the three jurisdictions in Turpan.

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    Assessing the adequacy and sustainability performance of multi-family residential buildings in Anambra State, Nigeria
    Peter Uchenna Okoye, Chukwuemeka Ngwu
    Regional Sustainability    2021, 2 (1): 23-35.   DOI: 10.1016/j.regsus.2021.01.003
    Abstract259)   HTML2)    PDF(pc) (436KB)(167)       Save

    The proliferation of multi-family residential building in Anambra State of Nigeria due to increasing demand without recourse to performance has brought concerns about the adequacy and sustainability of this housing type. This study therefore, assessed the adequacy and sustainability performance of multi-family residential buildings in urban areas of Anambra State. The study sampled the opinions of 384 households living in multi-family residential buildings through a questionnaire survey. We conducted data analysis based on 214 responses that were useful for analysis. The study found that internal and building component variables and supporting neighborhood variables were adequate, but the surrounding environment variables were inadequate based on Mean Score Index. However, based on Sustainability Performance Index, the occupants perceived social sustainability performance of the buildings as satisfactory, while environmental and economic sustainability performance were perceived as fairly satisfactory. The Pearson correlation coefficient result further established that adequacy of internal and building component variables was significantly and positively related to the residents’ perceived social sustainability performance. Adequacy of the surrounding environmental variables was also found to be positively and significantly related to the residents’ perceived environmental sustainability performance, whereas adequacy of supporting neighborhood facilities was found to be negatively and significantly related to the residents’ perceived economic sustainability performance. This suggested that investors and owners of multi-family residential buildings should direct more efforts towards improving the surrounding environment to supplements other facilities and increase the economic benefit of the renters or occupiers with increasing economic sustainability performance in terms of value for money.

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    Trade-offs and synergies of climate change adaptation strategies among smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa: A systematic review
    Devinia Princess AKINYI, Stanley Karanja NG’ANG’A, Evan GIRVETZ
    Regional Sustainability    2021, 2 (2): 130-143.   DOI: 10.1016/j.regsus.2021.05.002
    Abstract370)   HTML214)    PDF(pc) (673KB)(164)       Save

    Climate change adaptation strategies provide a cushion for smallholder farmers, especially in sub-Saharan Africa against the risks posed by climate hazards such as droughts and floods. However, the decision-making process in climate adaptation is complex. To better understand the dynamics of the process, we strive to answer this question: what are the potential trade-offs and synergies related to decision-making and implementation of climate adaptation strategies among smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa region? A systematic literature review methodology was used through the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) statement with the four-stage inclusion/exclusion criteria to identify the literature from selected databases (Scopus and Google Scholar). The climate adaptation strategies are organized into five broad categories (crop management, risk management, soil/land management, water management, and livestock management strategies). Evidence suggests that potential trade-offs may arise concerning added costs, additional labor requirements, and competition among objectives or available resources. The synergies, on the other hand, arise from implementing two or more adaptation strategies concurrently in respect of increased productivity, resilience, yield stability, sustainability, and environmental protection. Trade-offs and synergies may also differ among the various adaptation strategies with minimum/zero tillage, comparatively, presenting more trade-offs. The development and promotion of low-cost adaptation strategies and complementary climate adaptation options that minimize the trade-offs and maximize the synergies are suggested. Skills and knowledge on proper implementation of climate change adaptation strategies are encouraged, especially at the local farm level.

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    Charging infrastructure planning for electric vehicle in India: Present status and future challenges
    Sulabh SACHAN, Praveen Prakash SINGH
    Regional Sustainability    2022, 3 (4): 335-345.   DOI: 10.1016/j.regsus.2022.11.008
    Abstract378)   HTML3)    PDF(pc) (584KB)(157)       Save

    The challenge to deal with environmental contamination along with national goals such as energy security, reliability, and self-dependency due to depleting fossil fuel resources has motivated researchers to find an alternate solution in the transport sector. Due to this, electrification of the transport sector has become an achievable solution that has caught attention with increasing penetration in the market share. India is a participant in the Paris Agreement which aims to curtail the production of greenhouse gases and limit the escalating temperature. Public intervention and changes in policy and regulations are the key aspects of technological transition. Compared to internal combustion engine (ICE)-based vehicles, the consumers’ frame of mind concerns about adapting to e-mobility is anxiety over charging times and driving range. Thus, the development of charging stations plays a crucial role in promoting electric vehicles (EVs). This study investigates to identify different barriers that exist in the Indian context related to the adoption of e-mobility. Furthermore, this work emphasizes the recent developments in charging infrastructure planning in India. Also, the status of installed charging stations is examined. Developing appropriate charging stations are associated with several challenges, which are also highlighted to provide guidance to public and private entities that can be adopted in their respective business model. As India has the second largest population and is the seventh largest country in the world, the EV adoption rate of India is considerably low compared to other countries; for India, there is a long way to match the growth rate of EV adoption. Hence it becomes essential to develop a robust and suitable charging infrastructure to promote the sale and use of EVs in India.

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    Biodiversity arks in the Anthropocene
    Honghu MENG, Xiaoyang GAO, Yigang SAONG, Guanlong CAO, Jie LI
    Regional Sustainability    2021, 2 (2): 109-115.   DOI: 10.1016/j.regsus.2021.03.001
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    The Anthropocene proposal suggested that the Earth may have entered a new geological epoch, in which human activity and climate change are influencing the environment at global scale. Arrival of the Anthropocene is bringing an unprecedented challenge to the biodiversity that is essential to humans, and enhancing many benefits of nature to human being. However, biodiversity loss is aggravating in the rhythm of inevitable change in the Anthropocene, and the adaptation of biodiversity to the anthropogenic disturbance seems unable to keep pace with the human activity and climate change. Therefore, re-examination of the assumptions and practices upon the current conservation endeavor are needed. We suggested that biodiversity conservation should be paid more attention to the response from biodiversity to the human activity and climate change in the Anthropocene. Thus, the concept of biodiversity arks in the Anthropocene is proposed, that is, biodiversity arks in the Anthropocene are the areas where vulnerable biodiversity is sheltered to alleviate human activity and buffered from climate change under the anthropogenic disturbance. The concept should be implemented for biodiversity conservation to fill gaps between our knowledge and build on successful conservation and sustainability in the Anthropocene. It will be certainly important to conservation policy instruction and management under climate change, especially the implementation of climate buffering zones preserving biodiversity in the face of warming climate.

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    Rural households’ livelihood responses to industry-based poverty alleviation as a sustainable route out of poverty
    Jianjun Ding, Zhang Wang, Yanhong Liu, Fangwei Yu
    Regional Sustainability    2020, 1 (1): 68-81.   DOI: 10.1016/j.regsus.2020.07.002
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    Industrialization is one way to achieve a sustainable route out of poverty. During the implementation of industry-based poverty alleviation projects, rural households’ livelihood responses to change are crucial. A stronger livelihood response is conducive to multidimensional poverty relief due to industry-based poverty alleviation projects. Effective poverty alleviation can also stimulate stronger household responses. There is a positive cycle between livelihood response and multidimensional poverty relief effects that can help achieve sustainable poverty alleviation goals. Using a synergistic perspective on the relationship between “people-industry-land”, this paper explains the poverty alleviation logic connecting livelihood response, multidimensional poverty relief, and sustainable routes out of poverty by constructing a four-dimensional livelihood response measurement system with three elements of intensity. We analyzed survey data collected from 2363 households from 4 sample counties in 4 contiguous poverty-stricken areas, and measured and compared the characteristics of rural households’ livelihood responses and the factors influencing poverty alleviation projects. Rural households’ livelihood responses in four sample counties were moderate. The four dimensions of responses were ranked as livelihood strategy response, livelihood space response, livelihood output response, and livelihood capital response. The three intensities indicated that the perception and willingness elements of livelihood response were very similar, but there was a big gap between those elements and livelihood response actions. At the group level, poor households had higher and more consistent livelihood response than non-poor households. External environment factors (such as location, industry type, village organizational ability, and village atmosphere) and internal family factors (such as resource endowment, income sources, health, education, labor quantity, policy trust, credit availability, and social networks) had a significant impact on households’ livelihood response. However, this impact varied across different dimensions and had different intensities. This paper proposes a multidimensional poverty relief mechanism and suggests sustainable routes out of poverty.

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    Evaluation of carbon emissions associated with land use and cover change in Zhengzhou City of China
    HE Jianjian, ZHANG Pengyan
    Regional Sustainability    2022, 3 (1): 1-11.   DOI: 10.1016/j.regsus.2022.03.002
    Abstract354)   HTML13)    PDF(pc) (3234KB)(143)       Save

    Studies on carbon emissions associated with land use and cover change (LUCC) are key to understanding the impact of human activities on regional sustainability. In this study, we analyzed the temporal and spatial changes in carbon emissions associated with LUCC for production, living, and ecological spaces in Zhengzhou City of China. Landsat remote sensing images were used to classify the land use and land cover (LULC) types in Zhengzhou City in 1988, 2001, 2009, and 2015. Carbon emissions associated with LUCC were evaluated using a spatial gradient model and the niche mechanism. It was found that during 1988-2015, carbon emissions associated with LUCC in Zhengzhou City increased by 17.1×106 t, while the carbon sink resulted from cultivated land, forests, water bodies, and unused land decreased significantly. Most of the increase in carbon emissions associated with LUCC occurred in the center of the city. The peak carbon emissions were located in the northeastern, southeastern, northwestern, and southwestern regions of Zhengzhou City, and carbon emissions varied considerably in the different spatial gradient rings over time. Among the three spaces, carbon emissions associated with LUCC were mainly affected by the living space. The population size and population urbanization rate were negatively correlated with the ecological space and positively correlated with the production and living spaces. Our results highlight that Zhengzhou City should take the new urbanization path of urban transformation development and ecological civilization construction to ensure the realization of the promised carbon emission reduction targets.

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    Material dependence of cities and implications for regional sustainability
    Yupeng Liu, Jiajia Li, Linlin Duan, Min Dai, Wei-qiang Chen
    Regional Sustainability    2020, 1 (1): 31-36.   DOI: 10.1016/j.regsus.2020.07.001
    Abstract277)   HTML8)    PDF(pc) (811KB)(142)       Save

    Cities rely on massive amounts of physical, chemical, and biological resources to support their growth and metabolism. These ‘metabolic inputs’ are accumulated in cities to form material stocks in buildings, infrastructures, transportation facilities, and household appliances. This study takes China’s urbanization as an example to illustrate the characteristics of material stock changes in developing countries and compare them with those in developed countries. Results show that (1) material stocks have been growing in China, but have saturated in developed countries, and (2) the major components of urban metabolism are construction and industrial materials (e.g., steel) in developing countries but biomass (e.g., food) in developed countries. The changes in the magnitude and types of material stocks can not only measure urban development but also directly link city and its residents, offering advantages in representing urbanization over the existing indices such as population, land use, or gross domestic product (GDP). Given the new insights provided by material stock, we recommend to embrace it as a critical index of urbanization for guiding urban planning and policy-making.

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    Exploration of the dynamic water resource carrying capacity of the Keriya River Basin on the southern margin of the Taklimakan Desert, China
    Shuhong Yang, Tao Yang
    Regional Sustainability    2021, 2 (1): 73-82.   DOI: 10.1016/j.regsus.2021.01.005
    Abstract348)   HTML6)    PDF(pc) (934KB)(139)       Save

    The water resource carrying capacity (WRCC) in river basin changes dynamically under climate change, economic development, and technological advancement. Climate change affects hydrological processes and spatial/temporal distribution of water resources; while economic development and technological advancement can also affect the balance of water resources systems. Under climate change, economic development, and technological advancement, it is of great significance to explore the dynamic behavior of WRCC in river basins. This will help to alleviate water resources security issues and build a sustainable water resources system. This study was carried out to evaluate the dynamic WRCC using the “climate, economics, and technology-control objective inversion model”, which used total water consumption, water-use efficiency, and restrained total pollutant control in the water functional area as boundary conditions. This study was conducted on the Keriya River Basin, a sub-catchment located in southern margin of the Taklimakan Desert. The WRCC in the Keriya River Basin in 2015 was calculated, and the trends in the short term (2020), middle term (2030), and long term (2050) were predicted. The results revealed that climate change factors have a positive effect on WRCC in the Keriya River Basin, which leads to an increase in total water resources. Economic and technological development exhibits an overall positive effect, while increasing in water consumption and sewage discharge exhibit a negative effect.

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    Digital mapping of soil salinization based on Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 data combined with machine learning algorithms
    Guolin MA, Jianli DING, Lijng HAN, Zipeng ZHANG, Si RAN
    Regional Sustainability    2021, 2 (2): 177-188.   DOI: 10.1016/j.regsus.2021.06.001
    Abstract430)   HTML8)    PDF(pc) (2338KB)(138)       Save

    Soil salinization is one of the most important causes of land degradation and desertification, especially in arid and semi-arid areas. The dynamic monitoring of soil salinization is of great significance to land management, agricultural activities, water quality, and sustainable development. The remote sensing images taken by the synthetic aperture radar (SAR) Sentinel-1 and the multispectral satellite Sentinel-2 with high resolution and short revisit period have the potential to monitor the spatial distribution of soil attribute information on a large area; however, there are limited studies on the combination of Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 for digital mapping of soil salinization. Therefore, in this study, we used topography indices derived from digital elevation model (DEM), SAR indices generated by Sentinel-1, and vegetation indices generated by Sentinel-2 to map soil salinization in the Ogan-Kuqa River Oasis located in the central and northern Tarim Basin in Xinjiang of China, and evaluated the potential of multi-source sensors to predict soil salinity. Using the soil electrical conductivity (EC) values of 70 ground sampling sites as the target variable and the optimal environmental factors as the predictive variable, we constructed three soil salinity inversion models based on classification and regression tree (CART), random forest (RF), and extreme gradient boosting (XGBoost). Then, we evaluated the prediction ability of different models through the five-fold cross validation. The prediction accuracy of XGBoost model is better than those of CART and RF, and soil salinity predicted by the three models has similar spatial distribution characteristics. Compared with the combination of topography indices and vegetation indices, the addition of SAR indices effectively improves the prediction accuracy of the model. In general, the method of soil salinity prediction based on multi-source sensor combination is better than that based on a single sensor. In addition, SAR indices, vegetation indices, and topography indices are all effective variables for soil salinity prediction. Weighted Difference Vegetation Index (WDVI) is designated as the most important variable in these variables, followed by DEM. The results showed that the high-resolution radar Sentinel-1 and multispectral Sentinel-2 have the potential to develop soil salinity prediction model.

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