Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 17

Search results for: chongqing

17 Industrial Wastewater Sludge Treatment in Chongqing, China

Authors: Victor Emery David Jr., Jiang Wenchao, Yasinta John, Md. Sahadat Hossain

Abstract:

Sludge originates from the process of treatment of wastewater. It is the byproduct of wastewater treatment containing concentrated heavy metals and poorly biodegradable trace organic compounds, as well as potentially pathogenic organisms (viruses, bacteria, etc.) which are usually difficult to treat or dispose of. China, like other countries, is no stranger to the challenges posed by an increase of wastewater. Treatment and disposal of sludge have been a problem for most cities in China. However, this problem has been exacerbated by other issues such as lack of technology, funding, and other factors. Suitable methods for such climatic conditions are still unavailable for modern cities in China. Against this background, this paper seeks to describe the methods used for treatment and disposal of sludge from industries and suggest a suitable method for treatment and disposal in Chongqing/China. From the research conducted, it was discovered that the highest treatment rate of sludge in Chongqing was 10.08%. The industrial waste piping system is not separated from the domestic system. Considering the proliferation of industry and urbanization, there is a likelihood that the production of sludge in Chongqing will increase. If the sludge produced is not properly managed, this may lead to adverse health and environmental effects. Disposal costs and methods for Chongqing were also included in this paper’s analysis. Research showed that incineration is the most expensive method of sludge disposal in China/Chongqing. Subsequent research, therefore, considered optional alternatives such as composting. Composting represents a relatively cheap waste disposal method considering the vast population, current technology and economic conditions of Chongqing, as well as China at large.

Keywords: Chongqing/China, disposal, industrial, sludge, treatment

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16 Research on the Mode and Strategy of Urban Renewal in the Old Urban Area of China: A Case Study of Chongqing City

Authors: Sun Ailu, Zhao Wanmin

Abstract:

In the process of rapid urbanization, old urban renewal is an important task in China's urban construction. This study, using status survey and Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) method, taking Chongqing of China as an example, puts forward the problems faced by the old urban area from the aspects of function, facilities and environment. Further, this study summarizes the types of the old urban area and proposes space renewal strategies for three typical old urban areas, such as old residential area, old factory and old market. These old urban areas are confronted with the problems of functional layout confounding, lack of infrastructure and poor living environment. At last, this paper proposes spatial strategies for urban renewal, which are hoped to be useful for urban renewal management in China.

Keywords: old urban renewal, renewal mode, renewal strategy, Chongqing, China

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15 Chongqing, a Megalopolis Disconnected with Its Rivers: An Assessment of Urban-Waterside Disconnect in a Chinese Megacity and Proposed Improvement Strategies, Chongqing City as a Case Study

Authors: Jaime E. Salazar Lagos

Abstract:

Chongqing is located in southwest China and is becoming one of the most significant cities in the world. Its urban territories and metropolitan-related areas have one of the largest urban populations in China and are partitioned and shaped by two of the biggest and longest rivers on Earth, the Yangtze and Jialing Rivers, making Chongqing a megalopolis intersected by rivers. Historically, Chongqing City enjoyed fundamental connections with its rivers; however, current urban development of Chongqing City has lost effective integration of the riverbanks within the urban space and structural dynamics of the city. Therefore, there exists a critical lack of physical and urban space conjoined with the rivers, which diminishes the economic, tourist, and environmental development of Chongqing. Using multi-scale satellite-map site verification the study confirmed the hypothesis and urban-waterside disconnect. Collected data demonstrated that the Chongqing urban zone, an area of 5292 square-kilometers and a water front of 203.4 kilometers, has only 23.49 kilometers of extension (just 11.5%) with high-quality physical and spatial urban-waterside connection. Compared with other metropolises around the world, this figure represents a significant lack of spatial development along the rivers, an issue that has not been successfully addressed in the last 10 years of urban development. On a macro scale, the study categorized the different kinds of relationships between the city and its riverbanks. This data was then utilized in the creation of an urban-waterfront relationship map that can be a tool for future city planning decisions and real estate development. On a micro scale, we discovered there are three primary elements that are causing the urban-waterside disconnect: extensive highways along the most dense areas and city center, large private real estate developments that do not provide adequate riverside access, and large industrial complexes that almost completely lack riverside utilization. Finally, as part of the suggested strategies, the study concludes that the most efficient and practical way to improve this situation is to follow the historic master-planning of Chongqing and create connective nodes in critical urban locations along the river, a strategy that has been used for centuries to handle the same urban-waterside relationship. Reviewing and implementing this strategy will allow the city to better connect with the rivers, reducing the various impacts of disconnect and urban transformation.

Keywords: Chongqing City, megalopolis, nodes, riverbanks disconnection, urban

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14 Chongqing's Urban Regeneration for Maintaining the Historic Urban Landscape: Success and Failure of Achieving Sustainable Development

Authors: Hanyu Wei

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The last two decades have witnessed a significant number of regeneration practices in historical Chinese cities with the context of rapid urbanisation and economic development. As a response to the possible loss of place identity in the redevelopment process, city makers recognise the potentials of places with cultural significance for maintaining the original landscape. In Chongqing, the prosperities of human settlement history together with the anti-war and post-industrial culture bring this riverside city with its unique urban landscape. Great amounts of historical sites are identified and subjected to conservation planning approaches for urban revitalisation while also maintaining the historic urban landscape. This paper reviews three practices of cultural-led regeneration projects (Hongyadong, Ciqikou, Danzishi) in Chongqing, detailing the urban design and planning principals for the case sites. The paper also presents the conflicting opinions from groups with different interests. By carrying a systematical sustainability evaluation assessment on those projects, the paper critically analyzes the influence of these projects on the broad socio-economic aspects. Although these regeneration cases are thought to achieve the general success in abstaining economic benefits, they are criticised for the over-tourism issues and damages on the authenticity, which further fails to achieve sustainable development.

Keywords: Chongqing, historic urban landscape, sustainable development, urban regeneration

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13 Accessibility to Urban Parks for Low-income Residents in Chongqing, China: Perspective from Relative Deprivation

Authors: Junhang Luo

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With the transformation of spatial structure and the deepening of urban development, the demand for a better life and the concerns for social resources equities of residents are increasing. As an important social resource, park plays an essential role in building environmentally sustainable cities. Thus, it is important to examine park accessibility for low-income and how it works in relative deprivation, so as to provide all residents with equitable services. Using the network and buffer methods of GIS, this paper analyzes urban park accessibility for low-income residents in Chongqing, China. And then conduct a satisfaction evaluation of park resource accessibility with low-incomes through questionnaire surveys from deprivation dimensions. Results show that the level of park accessibility in Chongqing varies significantly and the degree of relative deprivation is relatively high. Public transportation convenience improves and the number of community park increases contribute positively to improving park accessibility and alleviating the relative deprivation of public resources. Combined with the innovation pattern of social governance in China, it suggests that urban park accessibility needs to be jointly governed and optimized by multiple social resources from the government to the public, and the service efficiency needs the index system and planning standards according to local conditions to improve quality and promote equity. At the same time, building a perfect park system and complete legislation assurance system will also play a positive role in ensuring that all residents can enjoy the urban public space more fairly, especially low-income groups.

Keywords: urban park, accessibility, relative deprivation, GIS network analysis, chongqing

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12 The Construction of the Residential Landscape in the Mountain Environment: Taking the Eling Peak, 'Mirror of the Sky', in Chongqing, China as an Example

Authors: Yuhang Zou, Zhu Wang

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Most of the western part of China is mountainous and hilly region, with abundant resources of mountainous space. However, the resources are complex, and the ecological factors are diverse. As urbanization expands rapidly today, the landscape of the mountain residence needs to be changed. This paper, starting with the ecological environment and visual landscape of the mountain living space, analyzes the basic conditions of the Eling Peak, ‘Mirror of the Sky’, in Chongqing, China before its landscape renovation. Then, it analyzes some parts of the project, including the overall planning, ecological coordination, space expansion and local conditions in mountain environment. After that, this paper concludes the intention of designer and 4 methods, appropriate demolition, space reconstruction, landscape modeling and reasonable road system, to transform the master’s mountain residential works. Finally, through the analysis and understanding of the project, it sums up that the most beautiful landscape is not only the outdoor space, but also borrowing scene from the city and the sky, making them a part of the mountainous residential buildings. Only in this way can people, landscape, building, sky, and city become integrated and coexist harmoniously.

Keywords: landscape design, mountainous architecture, renovation, residence

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11 Discussion about Frequent Adjustment of Urban Master Planning in China: A Case Study of Changshou District, Chongqing City

Authors: Sun Ailu, Zhao Wanmin

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Since the reform and opening, the urbanization process of China has entered a rapid development period. In recent years, the authors participated in some projects of urban master planning in China and found a phenomenon that the rapid urbanization area of China is experiencing frequent adjustment process of urban master planning. This phenomenon is not the natural process of urbanization development. It may be caused by different government roles from different levels. Through the methods of investigation, data comparison and case study, this paper aims to explore the reason why the rapid urbanization area is experiencing frequent adjustment of master planning and give some solution strategies. Firstly, taking Changshou district of Chongqing city as an example, this paper wants to introduce the phenomenon about frequent adjustment process in China. And then, discuss distinct roles in the process between national government, provincial government and local government of China. At last, put forward preliminary solutions strategies for this area in China from the aspects of land use, intergovernmental cooperation and so on.

Keywords: urban master planning, frequent adjustment, urbanization development, problems and strategies, China

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10 Study on the Layout of 15-Minute Community-Life Circle in the State of “Community Segregation” Based on Poi: Shengwei Community and Other Two Communities in Chongqing

Authors: Siyuan Cai

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This paper takes community segregation during major infectious diseases as the background, based on the physiological needs and safety needs of citizens during home segregation, and based on the selection of convenient facilities and medical facilities as the main research objects. Based on the POI data of public facilities in Chongqing, the spatial distribution characteristics of the convenience and medical facilities in the 15-minute living circle centered on three neighborhoods in Shapingba, namely Shengwei Community, Anju Commmunity and Fengtian Garden Community, were explored by means of GIS spatial analysis. The results show that the spatial distribution of convenience and medical facilities in this area has significant clustering characteristics, with a point-like distribution pattern of "dense in the west and sparse in the east", and a grouped and multi-polar spatial structure. The spatial structure is multi-polar and has an obvious tendency to the intersections and residential areas with dense pedestrian flow. This study provides a preliminary exploration of the distribution of medical and convenience facilities within the 15-minute living circle of a segregated community, which makes up for the lack of spatial research in this area.

Keywords: ArcGIS, community segregation, convenient facilities; distribution pattern, medical facilities, POI, 15-minute community life circle

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9 HIV Incidence among Men Who Have Sex with Men Measured by Pooling Polymerase Chain Reaction, and Its Comparison with HIV Incidence Estimated by BED-Capture Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay and Observed in a Prospective Cohort

Authors: Mei Han, Jinkou Zhao, Yuan Yao, Liangui Feng, Xianbin Ding, Guohui Wu, Chao Zhou, Lin Ouyang, Rongrong Lu, Bo Zhang

Abstract:

To compare the HIV incidence estimated using BED capture enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (BED-CEIA) and observed in a cohort against the HIV incidence among men who have sex with men (MSM) measured by pooling polymerase chain reaction (pooling-PCR). A total of 617 MSM subjects were included in a respondent driven sampling survey in Chongqing in 2008. Among the 129 that were tested HIV antibody positive, 102 were defined with long-term infection, 27 were assessed for recent HIV infection (RHI) using BED-CEIA. The remaining 488 HIV negative subjects were enrolled to the prospective cohort and followed-up every 6 months to monitor HIV seroconversion. All of the 488 HIV negative specimens were assessed for acute HIV infection (AHI) using pooling-PCR. Among the 488 negative subjects in the open cohort, 214 (43.9%) were followed-up for six months, with 107 person-years of observation and 14 subjects seroconverted. The observed HIV incidence was 12.5 per 100 person-years (95% CI=9.1-15.7). Among the 488 HIV negative specimens, 5 were identified with acute HIV infection using pooling-PCR at an annual rate of 14.02% (95% CI=1.73-26.30). The estimated HIV-1 incidence was 12.02% (95% CI=7.49-16.56) based on BED-CEIA. The HIV incidence estimated with three different approaches was different among subgroups. In the highly HIV prevalent MSM, it costs US$ 1724 to detect one AHI case, while detection of one case of RHI with BED assay costs only US$ 42. Three approaches generated comparable and high HIV incidences, pooling PCR and prospective cohort are more close to the true level of incidence, while BED-CEIA seemed to be the most convenient and economical approach for at-risk population’s HIV incidence evaluation at the beginning of HIV pandemic. HIV-1 incidences were alarmingly high among MSM population in Chongqing, particularly within the subgroup under 25 years of age and those migrants aged between 25 to 34 years.

Keywords: BED-CEIA, HIV, incidence, pooled PCR, prospective cohort

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8 Application of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle in Urban Rail Transit Intelligent Inspection

Authors: Xinglu Nie, Feifei Tang, Chuntao Wei, Zhimin Ruan, Qianhong Zhu

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Current method of manual-style inspection can not fully meet the requirement of the urban rail transit security in China. In this paper, an intelligent inspection method using unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is utilized. A series of orthophoto of rail transit monitored area was collected by UAV, image correction and registration were operated among multi-phase images, then the change detection was used to detect the changes, judging the engineering activities and human activities that may become potential threats to the security of urban rail. Not only qualitative judgment, but also quantitative judgment of changes in the security control area can be provided by this method, which improves the objectives and efficiency of the patrol results. The No.6 line of Chongqing Municipality was taken as an example to verify the validation of this method.

Keywords: rail transit, control of protected areas, intelligent inspection, UAV, change detection

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7 The Emotional Experience of Urban Ruins and the Exploration of Urban Memory

Authors: Yan Jia China

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The ruins is a kind of historical intention, which is also the current real existence of developing city. Zen culture of ancient China has a profound esthetic emotion, similarly, the west establish the concept of aesthetics of relic along with the Romanism’s (such as Rousseau etc.) sentiment to historical ruins at the end of 18th century. Nowadays, with the decline of traditional industrial society as well as the rise of post-industrial age, contemporary society must face the ruins and garbage problem which is left by industrial society. Commencing from the perspective of emotion and memory, this paper analyzes the importance for emotional needs as well as their existing status of several projects, such as the Capital Steelworks in Beijing (industrial devastation), the Shibati old section in Chongqing (urban slums) and the Old Hurva Synagogue in Jerusalem (ruins of war). It emphasizes urban design which is started from emotion and the sustainable development of city memory through managing the urban ruins which is criticized by people with the perspective of ecology and art.

Keywords: cultural heritage, urban ruins, ecology, emotion, sustainable urban memory

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6 Principal Creative Leadership for Teacher Learning and School Culture

Authors: Yashi Ye

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Principles play vital roles in shaping the school culture and promote teacher professional learning by exerting their leadership. In the changing time of the 21st century, the creative leadership of school leaders is increasingly important in cultivating the professional learning communities of teachers for eventually improving student performance on every continent. This study examines under what conditions and how principal creative leadership contributes to teachers’ professional learning and school culture. Data collected from 632 teachers in 30 primary and middle schools in the cities of Chengdu and Chongqing in mainland China are analyzed using structural equation modeling and bootstrapping tests. A moderated mediation model of principle creative leadership effects is used to analyze professional teacher learning, and school culture in which the mediator will be school culture and the moderator will be power distance orientation. The results indicate that principal creative leadership has significant direct and indirect effects on teacher professional learning. A positive correlation between principal creative leadership, teacher professional learning, and school culture is observed. Further model testing found that teacher power distance orientation moderated the significant effect of principal creative leadership on school culture. When teachers perceived higher power distance in teacher-principal relations, the effects of principal creative leadership were stronger than for those who perceived low power distance. The results indicate the “culture change” in the young generation of teachers in China, and further implications to understand the cultural context in the field of educational leadership are discussed.

Keywords: power distance orientation, principal creative leadership, school culture, teacher professional learning

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5 The Therapeutic Effects of Acupuncture on Oral Dryness and Antibody Modification in Sjogren Syndrome: A Meta-Analysis

Authors: Tzu-Hao Li, Yen-Ying Kung, Chang-Youh Tsai

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Oral dryness is a common chief complaint among patients with Sjőgren syndrome (SS), which is a disorder currently known as autoantibodies production; however, to author’s best knowledge, there has been no satisfying pharmacy to relieve the associated symptoms. Hence the effectiveness of other non-pharmacological interventions such as acupuncture should be accessed. We conducted a meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials (RCTs) which evaluated the effectiveness of xerostomia in SS. PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), Chongqing Weipu Database (CQVIP), China Academic Journals Full-text Database, AiritiLibrary, Chinese Electronic Periodicals Service (CEPS), China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) Database were searches through May 12, 2018 to select studies. Data for evaluation of subjective and objective xerostomia was extracted and was assessed with random-effects meta-analysis. After searching, a total of 541 references were yielded and five RCTs were included, covering 340 patients dry mouth resulted from SS, among whom 169 patients received acupuncture and 171 patients were control group. Acupuncture group was associated with higher subjective response rate (odds ratio 3.036, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.828 – 5.042, P < 0.001) and increased salivary flow rate (weighted mean difference [WMD] 3.066, 95% CI 2.969 – 3.164, P < 0.001), as an objective marker. In addition, two studies examined IgG levels, which were lower in the acupuncture group (WMD -166.857, 95% CI -233.138 - -100.576, P < 0.001). Therefore, in the present meta-analysis, acupuncture improves both subjective and objective markers of dry mouth with autoantibodies reduction in patients with SS and is considered as an option of non-pharmacological treatment for SS.

Keywords: acupuncture, meta-analysis, Sjogren syndrome, xerostomia

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4 Barrier Analysis of Sustainable Development of Small Towns: A Perspective of Southwest China

Authors: Yitian Ren, Liyin Shen, Tao Zhou, Xiao Li

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The past urbanization process in China has brought out series of problems, the Chinese government has then positioned small towns in essential roles for implementing the strategy 'The National New-type Urbanization Plan (2014-2020)'. As the connector and transfer station of cities and countryside, small towns are important force to narrow the gap between urban and rural area, and to achieve the mission of new-type urbanization in China. The sustainable development of small towns plays crucial role because cities are not capable enough to absorb the surplus rural population. Nevertheless, there are various types of barriers hindering the sustainable development of small towns, which led to the limited development of small towns and has presented a bottleneck in Chinese urbanization process. Therefore, this paper makes deep understanding of these barriers, thus effective actions can be taken to address them. And this paper chooses the perspective of Southwest China (refers to Sichuan province, Yunnan province, Guizhou province, Chongqing Municipality City and Tibet Autonomous Region), cause the urbanization rate in Southwest China is far behind the average urbanization level of the nation and the number of small towns accounts for a great proportion in mainland China, also the characteristics of small towns in Southwest China are distinct. This paper investigates the barriers of sustainable development of small towns which located in Southwest China by using the content analysis method, combing with the field work and interviews in sample small towns, then identified and concludes 18 barriers into four dimensions, namely, institutional barriers, economic barriers, social barriers and ecological barriers. Based on the research above, questionnaire survey and data analysis are implemented, thus the key barriers hinder the sustainable development of small towns in Southwest China are identified by using fuzzy set theory, those barriers are, lack of independent financial power, lack of construction land index, financial channels limitation, single industrial structure, topography variety and complexity, which mainly belongs to institutional barriers and economic barriers. In conclusion part, policy suggestions are come up with to improve the politic and institutional environment of small town development, also the market mechanism are supposed to be introduced to the development process of small towns, which can effectively overcome the economic barriers, promote the sustainable development of small towns, accelerate the in-situ urbanization by absorbing peasants in nearby villages, and achieve the mission of new-type urbanization in China from the perspective of people-oriented.

Keywords: barrier analysis, sustainable development, small town, Southwest China

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3 The Scenario Analysis of Shale Gas Development in China by Applying Natural Gas Pipeline Optimization Model

Authors: Meng Xu, Alexis K. H. Lau, Ming Xu, Bill Barron, Narges Shahraki

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As an emerging unconventional energy, shale gas has been an economically viable step towards a cleaner energy future in U.S. China also has shale resources that are estimated to be potentially the largest in the world. In addition, China has enormous unmet for a clean alternative to substitute coal. Nonetheless, the geological complexity of China’s shale basins and issues of water scarcity potentially impose serious constraints on shale gas development in China. Further, even if China could replicate to a significant degree the U.S. shale gas boom, China faces the problem of transporting the gas efficiently overland with its limited pipeline network throughput capacity and coverage. The aim of this study is to identify the potential bottlenecks in China’s gas transmission network, as well as to examine the shale gas development affecting particular supply locations and demand centers. We examine this through application of three scenarios with projecting domestic shale gas supply by 2020: optimistic, medium and conservative shale gas supply, taking references from the International Energy Agency’s (IEA’s) projections and China’s shale gas development plans. Separately we project the gas demand at provincial level, since shale gas will have more significant impact regionally than nationally. To quantitatively assess each shale gas development scenario, we formulated a gas pipeline optimization model. We used ArcGIS to generate the connectivity parameters and pipeline segment length. Other parameters are collected from provincial “twelfth-five year” plans and “China Oil and Gas Pipeline Atlas”. The multi-objective optimization model uses GAMs and Matlab. It aims to minimize the demands that are unable to be met, while simultaneously seeking to minimize total gas supply and transmission costs. The results indicate that, even if the primary objective is to meet the projected gas demand rather than cost minimization, there’s a shortfall of 9% in meeting total demand under the medium scenario. Comparing the results between the optimistic and medium supply of shale gas scenarios, almost half of the shale gas produced in Sichuan province and Chongqing won’t be able to be transmitted out by pipeline. On the demand side, the Henan province and Shanghai gas demand gap could be filled as much as 82% and 39% respectively, with increased shale gas supply. To conclude, the pipeline network in China is currently not sufficient in meeting the projected natural gas demand in 2020 under medium and optimistic scenarios, indicating the need for substantial pipeline capacity expansion for some of the existing network, and the importance of constructing new pipelines from particular supply to demand sites. If the pipeline constraint is overcame, Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu and Henan’s gas demand gap could potentially be filled, and China could thereby reduce almost 25% its dependency on LNG imports under the optimistic scenario.

Keywords: energy policy, energy systematic analysis, scenario analysis, shale gas in China

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2 Spatial Heterogeneity of Urban Land Use in the Yangtze River Economic Belt Based on DMSP/OLS Data

Authors: Liang Zhou, Qinke Sun

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Taking the Yangtze River Economic Belt as an example, using long-term nighttime lighting data from DMSP/OLS from 1992 to 2012, support vector machine classification (SVM) was used to quantitatively extract urban built-up areas of economic belts, and spatial analysis of expansion intensity index, standard deviation ellipse, etc. was introduced. The model conducts detailed and in-depth discussions on the strength, direction, and type of the expansion of the middle and lower reaches of the economic belt and the key node cities. The results show that: (1) From 1992 to 2012, the built-up areas of the major cities in the Yangtze River Valley showed a rapid expansion trend. The built-up area expanded by 60,392 km², and the average annual expansion rate was 31%, that is, from 9615 km² in 1992 to 70007 km² in 2012. The spatial gradient analysis of the watershed shows that the expansion of urban built-up areas in the middle and lower reaches of the river basin takes Shanghai as the leading force, and the 'bottom-up' model shows an expanding pattern of 'upstream-downstream-middle-range' declines. The average annual rate of expansion is 36% and 35%, respectively. 17% of which the midstream expansion rate is about 50% of the upstream and downstream. (2) The analysis of expansion intensity shows that the urban expansion intensity in the Yangtze River Basin has generally shown an upward trend, the downstream region has continued to rise, and the upper and middle reaches have experienced different amplitude fluctuations. To further analyze the strength of urban expansion at key nodes, Chengdu, Chongqing, and Wuhan in the upper and middle reaches maintain a high degree of consistency with the intensity of regional expansion. Node cities with Shanghai as the core downstream continue to maintain a high level of expansion. (3) The standard deviation ellipse analysis shows that the overall center of gravity of the Yangtze River basin city is located in Anqing City, Anhui Province, and it showed a phenomenon of reciprocating movement from 1992 to 2012. The nighttime standard deviation ellipse distribution range increased from 61.96 km² to 76.52 km². The growth of the major axis of the ellipse was significantly larger than that of the minor axis. It had obvious east-west axiality, in which the nighttime lights in the downstream area occupied in the entire luminosity scale urban system leading position.

Keywords: urban space, support vector machine, spatial characteristics, night lights, Yangtze River Economic Belt

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1 Interactively Developed Capabilities for Environmental Management Systems: An Exploratory Investigation of SMEs

Authors: Zhuang Ma, Zihan Zhang, Yu Li

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Environmental concerns from stakeholders (e.g., governments & customers) have pushed firms to integrate environmental management systems into business processes such as R&D, manufacturing, and marketing. Environmental systems include managing environmental risks and pollution control (e.g., air pollution control, waste-water treatment, noise control, energy recycling & solid waste treatment) through raw material management, the elimination and reduction of contaminants, recycling, and reuse in firms' operational processes. Despite increasing studies on firms' proactive adoption of environmental management, their focus is primarily on large corporations operating in developed economies. Investigations in the environmental management efforts of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are scarce. This is problematic for SMEs because, unlike large corporations, SMEs have limited awareness, resources, capabilities to adapt their operational routines to address environmental impacts. The purpose of this study is to explore how SMEs develop organizational capabilities through interactions with business partners (e.g., environmental management specialists & customers). Drawing on the resource-based view (RBV) and an organizational capabilities perspective, this study investigates the interactively developed capabilities that allow SMEs to adopt environmental management systems. Using an exploratory approach, the study includes 12 semi-structured interviews with senior managers from four SMEs, two environmental management specialists, and two customers in the pharmaceutical sector in Chongqing, China. Findings of this study include four key organizational capabilities: 1) ‘dynamic marketing’ capability, which allows SMEs to recoup the investments in environmental management systems by developing environmentally friendly products to address customers' ever-changing needs; 2) ‘process improvement’ capability, which allows SMEs to select and adopt the latest technologies from biology, chemistry, new material, and new energy sectors into the production system for improved environmental performance and cost-reductions; and 3) ‘relationship management’ capability which allows SMEs to improve corporate image among the public, social media, government agencies, and customers, who in turn help SMEs to overcome their competitive disadvantages. These interactively developed capabilities help SMEs to address larger competitors' foothold in the local market, reduce market constraints, and exploit competitive advantages in other regions (e.g., Guangdong & Jiangsu) of China. These findings extend the RBV and organizational capabilities perspective; that is, SMEs can develop the essential resources and capabilities required for environmental management through interactions with upstream and downstream business partners. While a limited number of studies did highlight the importance of interactions among SMEs, customers, suppliers, NGOs, industrial associations, and consulting firms, they failed to explore the specific capabilities developed through these interactions. Additionally, the findings can explain how a proactive adoption of environmental management systems could help some SMEs to overcome the institutional and market restraints on their products, thereby springboarding into larger, more environmentally demanding, yet more profitable markets compared with their existing market.

Keywords: capabilities, environmental management systems, interactions, SMEs

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