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Describes the application of the tools and techniques of the system dynamics method to the complex problem of understanding the spread of the Ebola virus. The main…
Describes the application of the tools and techniques of the system dynamics method to the complex problem of understanding the spread of the Ebola virus. The main deliverable of this research is a computer simulation model in the system dynamics tradition. The essence of system dynamics is to act as a framework for formalising mental models of a problem. In this respect, the system dynamics simulation model presented here is a theory describing the structure of, and interrelationships between, the factors which impact on an outbreak of the Ebola virus and the attempts to contain it. The model, comprising 57 interrelated variables, is structured to represent a group of rural villages served by one local hospital, remote from regional and national medical laboratories. Such a structure typifies the circumstances of recent Ebola outbreaks in central Africa.
The paper aims to assess two sustainability metric methodologies, material flow analysis (MFA) and integrated sustainable cities assessment method (ISCAM), as applied…
The paper aims to assess two sustainability metric methodologies, material flow analysis (MFA) and integrated sustainable cities assessment method (ISCAM), as applied practically to an Irish settlement, in order to compare utility and transparency for stakeholders and policy makers.
Both methods were applied to an Irish settlement, namely Tipperary Town, with MFA measuring efficiency of resource usage, as measured by urban metabolic efficiency, and the ISCAM method simulating alternative scenarios as well as calculating the divergence or otherwise of current or business as usual (BAU) trends from more sustainable scenarios.
It was found that both methods have high data requirements, presenting a need for proxy analysis and disaggregation, with the ISCAM method requiring data functionally matched to a time series and over a long time framework. The ISCAM method may also require more advanced extrapolation methods than the simple linear extrapolation employed in the analysis for statistical robustness to reflect behaviour modes more complex than the deterministic behaviour assumed for the selected indicators. A material flow analysis (MFA) was undertaken for household food and waste and it was found that there was a high metabolic efficiency.
This paper was restricted to an application of two methodologies by time constraints and thus was unable to appraise a more comprehensive range of sustainability appraisal options, for example, ecological footprints.
It applies novel methodologies in an Irish context, further highlights the need for more sustainable policy development in an urban setting and was aimed at policy makers at national and local levels.
Research was undertaken within the Irish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Environmental RTDI Programme during the six‐month period from March to August 2001 by a…
Research was undertaken within the Irish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Environmental RTDI Programme during the six‐month period from March to August 2001 by a partnership formed by the Centre for Environmental Research (CER), University of Limerick, and the Centre for Urban and Regional Ecology (CURE), University of Manchester. This project aimed to inform the development of spatial policies emerging from the National Spatial Strategy (NSS) aimed at finding optimal ways in which to accommodate Ireland’s growing population in a manner consistent with balanced regional development and environmental sustainability. To obtain data and information on settlements, three modes of analysis were adopted. First, for a single city and two villages, both quantitative and qualitative data were collected to provide a comprehensive analysis of the local social, economic and physical environments, track record in enhancing sustainability, current policies in place, and the likelihood of these policies proving successful. Second, for 11 Irish settlements selected to include a range of functions and locations, 29 quantified sustainability indicators were developed and used to compare the level of sustainability achieved by settlements of differing sizes. Third, a review of international literature was undertaken to search for comparable data, models and case studies, so as to provide a context for analysis of Irish data. The framework of significant environmental themes adopted here is taken from recent Irish EPA publications. Results based on all three research methods suggest that on balance larger settlements in the recent past, at present and in the foreseeable future are more likely to create conditions in which sustainability is enhanced. This work provides the basis for a large‐scale three‐year study which commenced in March 2002, which examines the sustainability and future development patterns of settlements in Ireland.
The University of Limerick, Ireland, in collaboration with the major local authorities in the mid‐west region of Ireland (Limerick County Council, Limerick Corporation…
The University of Limerick, Ireland, in collaboration with the major local authorities in the mid‐west region of Ireland (Limerick County Council, Limerick Corporation, Clare County Council, Tipperary (North Riding) County Council and the Mid‐Western Regional Authority) is currently undertaking a project to promote sustainable development in the region. This is being achieved, first, through the promotion of public participation by directly involving members of local government, the voluntary and community sector and the general public in the region who form the mid‐west steering and advisory groups, second, the development of a range of indicators selected on the basis of sensitivity to sustainable development, and third, the design of a Local Agenda 21 programme in the mid‐west. The paper falls into two parts. First, the current situation in Ireland in relation to sustainable development is reviewed, and second, the University of Limerick case study is described.
This chapter examines the interactions of formal and informal forms of small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) business support, characterised as interactions within an…
This chapter examines the interactions of formal and informal forms of small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) business support, characterised as interactions within an ‘enterprise industry’. An analysis of the interactions revealed in the existing literature for different forms of business support develops a new conceptual framework for understanding those varied forms of external influence targeted at SMEs that constitute and extend a ‘patchwork quilt’ of provision. This chapter focusses on how different forms of support and advice interact, the centrality of state influence and how such interactions can be considered part of a firm’s regulatory context. This conceptualisation allows the consideration of both business support and state regulations to move beyond conceptions of positive or negative impacts on factors such as firm growth. Instead, it establishes a conceptual lens for considering how the different forms of external influence can shape the practices and attitudes of SMEs and their owner-managers. Policy makers and organisations within the enterprise industry seeking to develop effective forms of support or regulation should not consider such activities in isolation or in simple, decontextualised positive or negative terms.
This paper attempted to show the potential relationship between five different interaction coefficients relating solvents and polymers. This review addressed primarily a…
This paper attempted to show the potential relationship between five different interaction coefficients relating solvents and polymers. This review addressed primarily a comparison between the polymer-solvent interaction coefficients obtained from two different types of models. These two primary polymer-solvent interaction coefficients included the Flory-Huggins interaction coefficient developed from thermodynamic colligative properties and the polymer-solvent Sudduth interaction coefficient obtained from the generalized viscosity equation. The other three interaction coefficients included Hildebrand solubility parameter and the interaction coefficients or constants for the Huggins and Kraemers models that are normally generated from viscosity measurements. The paper aims to discuss these issues.
These five different interaction coefficients were compared from theoretical considerations as well as on the basis of available experimental data.
Remarkably the polymer-solvent interaction coefficients for both Flory-Huggins interaction coefficient and the Sudduth interaction coefficient were found to be dimensionless and approximately of the same value. In addition, when both interaction coefficients are negative then both describe solvents. In addition, both interaction coefficients describe a plasticizer when they are in the range of 0 to ½. Finally both interaction coefficients describe a non-solvent or a suspension when both are greater than 1. The Hildebrand solubility parameter was found to be directly related to the Flory-Huggins interaction coefficient. The viscosity constants for the Huggins and Kraemers models were found to be included as subsets of the Sudduth generalized viscosity model.
The strong apparent relationship between these five different interaction coefficients to predict the interaction between polymers and solvents is strongly indicated based on the results from this study. However, approximately half of these interaction coefficients have been derived to be evaluated from colligative properties and half were derived to be evaluated from viscosity measurements.
In general, it is much easier to obtain viscosity measurements compared to the evaluation of the colligative properties. Therefore, if a direct relationship can be shown between these five different interaction coefficients, then it would appear to be much easier to evaluate polymer-solvent interactions from the interaction coefficients obtained from viscosity measurements.
This is the first time that these five interaction coefficients have been compared in such a way that shows their direct relationship even though half of these interaction coefficients have been derived to be evaluated from colligative properties and half were derived to be evaluated from viscosity measurements.
Business support programmes are characterised by the combined efforts of government, industry, universities and businesses, among other institutions, as interventions…
Business support programmes are characterised by the combined efforts of government, industry, universities and businesses, among other institutions, as interventions intended to contribute to the regions’ growth and economic development. In England, these programmes have been promoted by different governments under different names, the most recent historical incarnation being the regional Business link programmes which used an IDBT – information, diagnostic, brokerage and transaction – model under the auspices of the Regional Development Agencies (RDA) for over a decade. When the RDAs were replaced in 2010 by the establishment of 39 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in England, a new programme for Business Support was initiated – Business Growth Hubs. This chapter briefly reviews the literature related with business support and an analysis of the Business Growth hub programme and the initial responses of LEPs across England. It then reports on a project the authors were engaged in which applied a sociotechnical system framing of the problem utilising a Living Lab model approach to change. This new approach was aimed at engaging the stakeholders in a co-creation process, with the LEP, to work with the ‘installed base’ of business support activities in a northern region of England, UK. This new approach allows for long-term planning based on the interests of the member of the network, rather than on often narrow, short-term prescriptive understandings and interests of the policy-makers or the organisations enacting such programmes. The implications of the model proposed contributes to the current debate on regional economic development about business support by proposing a change in the role of the businesses from merely customers, to potential co-producers of advice and services, based on developing a shared vision and better infrastructure for development of the region.