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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Energy Policy, 2011, Vol.39(12), pp.7884-7895
    Description: Many decisions about future energy systems in small communities are based on the visions of several key actors about the ideal-type system. Although meaningful, such visions may not inclusively represent the objectives of all relevant actors. Moreover, the visions are mostly intuitively judged by these actors and reflect their experiences and concerns. Yet, analytical expertise provides essential information about the required decisions and their consequences. We argue that coming up with a number of alternative visions about a future energy system and addressing these visions from both intuitive and analytical perspectives leads to better-quality decisions. This paper presents a case study in the small Swiss community of Urnäsch, where actors from practice and academia collaborated in a transdisciplinary process to address the future energy system. Visions of these actors about the ideal-type energy system were linked both with energy scenarios that analytically specified options to implement these visions and with stakeholder-based multi-criteria assessment of the consequences. As a result, most of the involved actors adjusted their initial vision preferences. Thus, we believe this approach could lead to capacity building and formation of stable, informed preferences, which are necessary to support a transition in the coming decades. ► Linking energy visions with realistic options and their consequences. ► Novel methodology developed to support this. ► Applied in a case study whereby stakeholders revised visions in light of results. ► Energy initiatives in small communities are facilitated and supported analytically.
    Keywords: Visions ; Community Energy ; Energy Scenarios ; Engineering ; Environmental Sciences ; Economics
    ISSN: 0301-4215
    E-ISSN: 1873-6777
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: European Journal of Operational Research, 16 June 2012, Vol.219(3), pp.762-772
    Description: ► Linking stakeholder visions of an ideal future with resource allocation scenarios. ► Scenarios can then be appraised by multi-criteria assessment. ► The optimal and acceptable ways of implementing the visions can be identified. ► Especially suitable for processes with multiple decision makers and stakeholders. ► Application in the real-world study of an energy system in a small Swiss community. Stakeholders and decision makers often develop visions of the ideal-type future as a response to complex societal problems and design their actions accordingly. However, these actors sometimes have a limited understanding as to whether their visions are feasible, what action is required and what the potential consequences are. This paper presents a methodology for linking visions with quantitative resource allocation scenarios which show different options in implementing the visions. The consequences are then appraised by multi-criteria assessment in order to find optimal and acceptable ways of implementation. As a result, stakeholders and decision makers learn about their visions and may even rethink them before decision making. The methodology thus couples visionary ideas with analytical information, providing a novel approach using quantitative techniques in a soft framework. The methodology is illustrated via a real-world case study concerning the future energy system in a small Swiss community.
    Keywords: OR in Societal Problem Analysis ; Visions ; Normative Scenarios ; Multiple Criteria Analysis ; OR in Energy ; Engineering ; Business ; Computer Science
    ISSN: 0377-2217
    E-ISSN: 1872-6860
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: Urban Studies, May 2011, Vol.48(7), pp.1503-1527
    Description: This article investigates the evolution of sustainability positioning in residential property marketing to shed light on the specific role and responsibility of housebuilders and housing investors in urban development. To this end, an analysis is made of housing advertisements published in Basel, Switzerland, over a period of more than 100 years. The paper demonstrates how to draw successfully on advertisements to discern sustainability patterns in housing, using criteria situated along the dimensions building, location and people. Cluster analysis allows five clusters of sustainability positioning to be described—namely, good location, green building, comfort living, pre-sustainability and sustainability. Investor and builder types are differently located in these clusters. Location emerges as an issue which, to a large extent, is advertised independently from other sustainability issues.
    Keywords: Sociology & Social History
    ISSN: 0042-0980
    E-ISSN: 1360-063X
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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: Ecological Economics, March, 2012, Vol.75, p.22(10)
    Description: To link to full-text access for this article, visit this link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2012.01.004 Byline: Raffaele Vignola, Tim L. McDaniels, Roland W. Scholz Keywords: Negotiation analysis; Decision analysis; Ecosystem services; Soil conservation Abstract: The nature and structure of institutional mechanisms is fundamental for commons management, and yet has received relatively little attention for ecosystem service provision. In this paper, we develop and employ a value-focused structured decision process for a negotiation analysis about mechanisms to maintain and enhance ecosystem service (ES) provision at the watershed scale. We use a case study in the Birris watershed of Costa Rica where upstream farmers and downstream hydropower might jointly benefit from the design of a mechanism to foster the provision of soil regulation services (SRS). We identify and use parties' fundamental objectives, and views on means to achieve these objectives, to structure a negotiation template representing the important components that a soil conservation program should include. A voting-based elicitation process was employed to identify sub-alternatives acceptable both parties, which in turn identifies the zone of bargaining, or negotiation space in which future negotiations should focus. We conclude with discussion of the potential for application of this approach to other ES contexts, and the importance of the overall policy framework to provide resources and incentives to achieve enhance ES provision. Article History: Received 19 November 2009; Revised 26 December 2011; Accepted 2 January 2012
    Keywords: Environmental Management -- Analysis ; Environmental Management -- Protection And Preservation ; Ecosystems -- Analysis ; Ecosystems -- Protection And Preservation ; Ecosystem Services -- Analysis ; Ecosystem Services -- Protection And Preservation
    ISSN: 0921-8009
    Source: Cengage Learning, Inc.
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  • 5
    Language: English
    In: Chemosphere, 2011, Vol.84(6), pp.798-805
    Description: Harvests of crops, their trade and consumption, soil erosion, fertilization and recycling of organic waste generate fluxes of phosphorus in and out of the soil that continuously change the worldwide spatial distribution of total phosphorus in arable soils. Furthermore, due to variability in the properties of the virgin soils and the different histories of agricultural practices, on a planetary scale, the distribution of total soil phosphorus is very heterogeneous. There are two key relationships that determine how this distribution and its change over time affect crop yields. One is the relationship between total soil phosphorus and bioavailable soil phosphorus and the second is the relationship between bioavailable soil phosphorus and yields. Both of these depend on environmental variables such as soil properties and climate. We propose a model in which these relationships are described probabilistically and integrated with the dynamic feedbacks of cycling in the human ecosystem. The model we propose is a first step towards evaluating the large-scale effects of different nutrient management scenarios. One application of particular interest is to evaluate the vulnerability of different regions to an increased scarcity in mineral fertilizers. Another is to evaluate different regions’ deficiency in total soil phosphorus compared with the level at which they could sustain their maximum potential yield without external mineral inputs of phosphorus but solely by recycling organic matter to close the nutrient cycle.
    Keywords: Probabilistic Modeling ; Phosphorus Bioavailability ; Global Cycle ; Food Supply ; Chemistry ; Ecology
    ISSN: 0045-6535
    E-ISSN: 1879-1298
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  • 6
    Language: English
    In: The Science of the Total Environment, Sept 1, 2013, Vol.461-462, p.799(5)
    Description: To link to full-text access for this article, visit this link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.05.043 Byline: Roland W. Scholz, Andrea E. Ulrich, Marjatta Eilitta, Amit Roy Abstract: Phosphorus is an essential element of life and of the modern agricultural system. Today, science, policy, agro-industry and other stakeholder groups are increasingly concerned about the sustainable use of this resource, given the dissipative nature of phosphorus and difficulties in assessing, evaluating, and coping with phosphorus pollution in aquatic and terrestrial systems. We argue that predictions about a forthcoming peak, followed by a quick reduction (i.e., physical phosphate rock scarcity) are unreasoned and stress that access to phosphorus (economic scarcity) is already, and may increasingly become critical, in particular for smallholders farmers in different parts of the world. The paper elaborates on the design, development, goals and cutting-edge contributions of a global transdisciplinary process (i.e. mutual learning between science and society including multiple stakeholders) on the understanding of potential contributions and risks related to the current mode of using phosphorus on multiple scales (Global TraPs). While taking a global and comprehensive view on the whole phosphorus-supply chain, Global TraPs organizes and integrates multiple transdisciplinary case studies to better answer questions which inform sustainable future phosphorus use. Its major goals are to contribute to four issues central to sustainable resource management: i) long-term management of biogeochemical cycles, in particular the challenge of closing the phosphorus cycle, ii) achieving food security, iii) avoiding environmental pollution and iv) sustainability learning on a global level by transdisciplinary processes. Article History: Received 17 July 2012; Revised 21 April 2013; Accepted 14 May 2013 Article Note: (miscellaneous) Guest Editors: Christian Ludwig, Xaver Edelmann, Martin Lehmann
    Keywords: Phosphate Minerals -- Usage ; Phosphates -- Usage ; Food Supply ; Biogeochemical Cycles ; Sustainable Development ; Soil Phosphorus
    ISSN: 0048-9697
    Source: Cengage Learning, Inc.
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  • 7
    In: Risk Analysis, January 2012, Vol.32(1), pp.138-154
    Description: The disposal of nuclear waste involves extensive time scales. Technical experts consider up to 1 million years for the disposal of spent fuel and high‐level waste in their safety assessment. Yet nuclear waste is not only a technical but also a so‐called sociotechnical problem and, therefore, requires interdisciplinary collaboration between technical, natural, social sciences, and the humanities in its management. Given that these disciplines differ in their language, epistemics, and interests, such collaboration might be problematic. Based on evidence from cognitive psychology, we suggest that, in particular, a concept like time is presumably critical and can be understood differently. This study explores how different scientific disciplines understand extensive time scales in general and then focuses on nuclear waste. Eighteen qualitative exploratory interviews were conducted with experts for time‐related phenomena of different disciplines, among them experts working in nuclear waste management. Analyses revealed two distinct conceptions of time corresponding to idiographic and nomothetic research approaches: scientists from the humanities and social sciences tend to have a more open, undetermined conception of time, whereas natural scientists tend to focus on a more determined conception that includes some undetermined aspects. Our analyses lead to reflections on potential difficulties for interdisciplinary teams in nuclear waste management. We focus on the understanding of the safety assessment, on potential implications for communication between experts from different disciplines (e.g., between experts from the humanities and engineering for risk assessment and risk communication), and we reflect on the roles of different disciplines in nuclear waste management.
    Keywords: Interdisciplinary Collaboration ; Nuclear Waste Management ; Representation Of Extensive Time Scales
    ISSN: 0272-4332
    E-ISSN: 1539-6924
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  • 8
    Language: English
    In: Journal of Cleaner Production, 10 July 2018, Vol.189, pp.898-909
    Description: Approximately half of today's annual worldwide crop yields can be attributed to the application of mineral fertilizers. Globally, we rely and depend on additional yields as a cornerstone of present and future global food security. In areas with very low nutrient loads, subsidies for appropriate and responsible fertilizer use may help farmers to increase their yields and improve soil fertility. In many countries of the world, fertilizer subsidies are applied as direct payments; however, they have also become an environmental risk factor. We deliberate in what way(s) maximizing the farmer's economic yield conflicts with maximizing societal interests. We show (mathematically) that, from the perspective of a single farmer, under the assumption that crop yields increase monotonically with the application of fertilizers, any fertilizer subsidy provides an economic incentive to increase the application of fertilizer, independent of the amount that has already been applied. We suggest feebate systems (i.e., fee- and rebate-based mechanisms like penalty taxes and subsidies based on a specific reference point or borderline) as an economic strategy for regulating both over- and under-fertilization. This acknowledges the various roles that subsidies have played historically, ranging from agricultural systems that have generally over-fertilized, such as urban agriculture in China, Vietnam, or Indonesia, to countries where fertilizer subsidies are provided to compensate for significant land degradation. In order to connect feebates to fertilization based on a sustainable reference or borderline, we provide a conceptual, multilevel environmental and sustainability assessment that is linked to conventional and market-based economic means, such as farm-specific feebates or cap and trade.
    Keywords: Environmental Management ; Agricultural Modeling ; Fertilizer Subsidies ; Externalities ; Environmental Impact ; Environmental Policy ; Integrated Assessment ; Engineering
    ISSN: 0959-6526
    E-ISSN: 1879-1786
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  • 9
    Language: English
    In: Ecological economics : the transdisciplinary journal of the International Society for Ecological Economics, 2012, pp. 22-31
    ISSN: 09218009
    Source: Deutsche Zentralbibliothek für Wirtschaftswissenschaften
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  • 10
    Language: English
    In: Ecological Economics, March 2012, Vol.75, pp.22-31
    Description: The nature and structure of institutional mechanisms is fundamental for commons management, and yet has received relatively little attention for ecosystem service provision. In this paper, we develop and employ a value-focused structured decision process for a negotiation analysis about mechanisms to maintain and enhance ecosystem service (ES) provision at the watershed scale. We use a case study in the Birris watershed of Costa Rica where upstream farmers and downstream hydropower might jointly benefit from the design of a mechanism to foster the provision of soil regulation services (SRS). We identify and use parties' fundamental objectives, and views on means to achieve these objectives, to structure a negotiation template representing the important components that a soil conservation program should include. A voting-based elicitation process was employed to identify sub-alternatives acceptable both parties, which in turn identifies the zone of bargaining, or negotiation space in which future negotiations should focus. We conclude with discussion of the potential for application of this approach to other ES contexts, and the importance of the overall policy framework to provide resources and incentives to achieve enhance ES provision. ► Little application of negotiation analysis to identify agreement among stakeholders on how to conserve ecosystem service. ► We apply value-based structured decision analysis to a negotiation for designing a mechanism to conserve ecosystem services. ► This approach opens opportunities to identify stakeholders’ convergences on procedures to achieve desired objectives. ► In this application to Soil Regulation Service we identified preferences of parties and their zone of agreement. ► Parties share consensus that the mechanism should focus on priority areas and provide technical assistance.
    Keywords: Negotiation Analysis ; Decision Analysis ; Ecosystem Services ; Soil Conservation ; Environmental Sciences ; Ecology ; Economics
    ISSN: 0921-8009
    E-ISSN: 1873-6106
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