Cumbria is a geo-political county in Northwest England within which the Lake District National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site is located. Whilst the area has a formidable reputation for natural beauty and historic assets, the innovation ecosystem is described as ‘patchy’ for a number of reasons. The county is one of the largest in England by area and is sparsely populated. This paper describes the needs, development and delivery of an SME business-support programme funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Lancaster University and the University of Cumbria. The Cumbria Innovations Platform (CUSP) Project has been designed to respond to the nuanced needs of SMEs in this locale, whilst promoting the adoption of research and innovation. CUSP utilizes a funnel method to support rural businesses with access to university innovation intervention. CUSP has been built on a three-tier model: Communicate, Collaborate and Create. The paper describes this project in detail and presents results in terms of output indicators achieved, a beneficiary telephone survey and wider economic forecasts. From a pragmatic point-of-view, the paper provides experiences and reflections of those people who are delivering and evaluating knowledge exchange. The authors discuss some of the benefits, challenges and implications for both policy makers and practitioners. Finally, the paper aims to serve as an invitation to others who may consider adopting a similar method of university-industry collaboration in their own region.
Nowadays, the use of drones has been extended to practically any human activity. One of the main applications is focused on the surveying field. In this regard, software programs that process the images captured by the sensor from the drone in an almost automatic way have been developed and commercialized, but they only allow contrasting the results through control points. This work proposes the contrast of a 3D model obtained from a flight developed by a drone and a non-metric camera (due to its low cost), with a second model that is obtained by means of the historically-endorsed classical methods. In addition to this, the contrast is developed over a certain territory with a significant unevenness, so as to test the model generated with photogrammetry, and considering that photogrammetry with drones finds more difficulties in terms of accuracy in this kind of situations. Distances, heights, surfaces and volumes are measured on the basis of the 3D models generated, and the results are contrasted. The differences are about 0.2% for the measurement of distances and heights, 0.3% for surfaces and 0.6% when measuring volumes. Although they are not important, they do not meet the order of magnitude that is presented by salespeople.
The use of Digital Technologies in teaching and learning processes is currently a reality, namely in initial teacher training. This study aims at knowing the digital reality of students in initial teacher training in order to improve training in the educational use of ICT and to promote digital technology integration strategies in an educational context. It is part of the IFITIC Project "Innovate with ICT in Initial Teacher Training to Promote Methodological Renewal in Pre-school Education and in the 1st and 2nd Basic Education Cycle" which involves the School of Education, Polytechnic of Porto and Institute of Education, University of Minho. The Project aims at rethinking educational practice with ICT in the initial training of future teachers in order to promote methodological innovation in Pre-school Education and in the 1st and 2nd Cycles of Basic Education. A qualitative methodology was used, in which a questionnaire survey was applied to teachers in initial training. For data analysis, the techniques of content analysis with the support of NVivo software were used. The results point to the following aspects: a) future teachers recognize that they have more technical knowledge about ICT than pedagogical knowledge. This result makes sense if we consider the objective of Basic Education, so that the gaps can be filled in the Master's Course by students who wish to follow the teaching; b) the respondents are aware that the integration of digital resources contributes positively to students' learning and to the life of children and young people, which also promotes preparation in life; c) to be a teacher in the digital age there is a need for the development of digital literacy, lifelong learning and the adoption of new ways of teaching how to learn. Thus, this study aims to contribute to a reflection on the teaching profession in the digital age.
As nightlife is getting richer in urban area, urban nightscape has become an increasingly important part of the urban landscape. Understanding urban nightscape from the perspective of pedestrian perception is very important to improve the livability and walkability of a city. The purpose of this study is to analyze the nightscapes of two different urban forms. The research methods are literature investigation and field investigation. From analyzing the lighting, sensory experience, and night activities, this research studies the two streets, Pei Ho Street and Yen Chow Street West in Sham Shui Po. Results revealed that the two streets are on the two extremes of the two characters of the night and a better balance needs to be found between them. Because of the different land usage and stakeholders, the two streets should play different roles in the nightscape, so their balance points are also different. On the one hand, Pei Ho Street, which has a strong commercial atmosphere, should not only retain its vitality and diversity but also ensure its function of relaxation at night; on the other hand, in Yen Chow Street West, it is necessary to develop its potential of reconnecting people with the darkness of the night while ensuring its safety. These findings may not only provide policymakers with information to help them improve the nightscape and livability of the Sham Shui Po area but also help bridge the gap between research and design. In the future, more attention should be paid to pedestrian preference and nightscape perception of vulnerable groups.
The role of the government to tangibly alleviate poverty, improve and sustain the quality of people’s lives remains a “work in progress” twenty-two years after the dawn of democracy in South Africa despite a host of socio-economic programs and pro-poor policies and legislations. This paper assesses the development process and the implementation of the White Paper on Families in South Africa as one of the pro-poor policies intended to curb poverty and redress the imbalances of the apartheid regime. The paper is the result of a qualitative implementation research theory facilitated through in-depth interviews with social work managers complemented by literature and policy review techniques. It investigates the level of basic knowledge and understanding as well as the implementation challenges of the White Paper on Families as causes of its failure. The paper emphasizes the importance of the family-centered approach in the implementation of pro-poor policies. To facilitate the understanding of the White Paper on Families by its users, the Department of Social Development needs take stock of the identified challenges of its implementation so as to facilitate its success in fostering positive family well-being that will directly contributes to the overall socio-economic development of South Africa.
The availability of public transportation modes and qualitative infrastructure is a burning issue that affects urban sustainability. Public transportation is indispensable in providing adequate transportation means to people at an affordable price, and it promotes public transport reliance. Burgersfort town has a critical condition on the urban public transportation infrastructure which affects the bus and taxi public transport modes and the existing infrastructure. The municipality is regarded as one of the mining towns in Limpopo Province considering the availability of mining activities and proposal on establishment of a Special Economic Zone (SEZ). The study aim is to assess the efficacy of current public transportation infrastructure and to propose relevant recommendations that will unlock the possibility of future supportable public transportation systems. The Key Informant Interview (KII) was used to acquire data on the views from commuters and stakeholders involved. There KII incorporated three relevant questions in relation to services rendered in public transportation. Relevant literature relating to public transportation modes and infrastructure revealed the imperatives of public transportation infrastructure, and relevant legislation was reviewed concerning public transport infrastructure. The finding revealed poor conditions on the public transportation ranks and also inadequate parking space for public transportation modes. The study reveals that 100% of people interviewed were not satisfied with the condition of public transportation infrastructure and 100% are not satisfied with the services offered by public transportation sectors. The findings revealed that the municipality is the main player who can upgrade the existing conditions of public transportation. The study recommended that an intermodal transportation facility must be established to resolve the emerging challenges.
Architecture morphs with advances in technology and the roof, wall, and floor as basic elements of a building, follow in redefining themselves over time. Their contribution is bound by time and held by design principles that deal with function, sturdiness, and beauty. Architecture engages with people to give joy through its form, material, design structure, and spatial qualities. This paper attempts to re-interpret John Ruskin’s “Seven lamps of Architecture” in the context of the architecture of the modern and present period. The paper focuses on the “wall” as an element of study in this context. Four of Ruskin’s seven lamps will be discussed, namely beauty, truth, life, and memory, through examples of architecture ranging from modernism to contemporary architecture of today. The study will focus on the relevance of Ruskin’s principles to the “wall” in specific, in buildings of different materials and over a range of typologies from all parts of the world. Two examples will be analyzed for each lamp. It will be shown that in each case, there is relevance to the significance of Ruskin’s lamps in modern and contemporary architecture. Nature to which Ruskin alludes to for his lamp of “beauty” is found in the different expressions of interpretation used by Corbusier in his Villa Stein façade based on proportion found in nature and in the direct expression of Toyo Ito in his translation of an understanding of the structure of trees into his façade design of the showroom for a Japanese bag boutique. “Truth” is shown in Mies van der Rohe’s Crown Hall building with its clarity of material and structure and Studio Mumbai’s Palmyra House, which celebrates the use of natural materials and local craftsmanship. “Life” is reviewed with a sustainable house in Kerala by Ashrams Ravi and Alvar Aalto’s summer house, which illustrate walls as repositories of intellectual thought and craft. “Memory” is discussed with Charles Correa’s Jawahar Kala Kendra and Venturi’s Vana Venturi house and discloses facades as text in the context of its materiality and iconography. Beauty is reviewed in Villa Stein and Toyo Ito’s Branded Retail building in Tokyo. The paper thus concludes that Ruskin’s Lamps can be interpreted in today’s context and add richness to meaning to the understanding of architecture.
COVID-19 is an exam for all the city’s systems. It shows many gaps in the systems such as healthcare, economic, social, and environment. This pandemic is paving for a new era, an era of technology and it has changed people’s lives, such as physical, and emotional changes, and converting communication into digitalized. The effect of COVID-19 has covered all urban city parts. COVID-19 will not be the last pandemic our cities will face. For that, more researches focus on enhancing the quality of the urban environment. This pandemic encourages a rethinking of the environment’s role, especially in cities. Cities are trying to provide the best suitable strategies and regulations to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and an example of that is Amman city. Amman has a high increment in the number of COVID-19 infected people, while it has controlled the situation for months. For that, this paper studies the relation between COVID-19 and urban environmental studies cases about cities around the world, and learns from their models to face COVID-19. In Amman, people’s behavior has changed towards public transportation and public green spaces. New governmental regulations focus on increasing people’s mental awareness, supporting local businesses, and enhancing neighborhood planning that can help Amman to face any future pandemics.
The growing usage of smart speakers raises many privacy and trust concerns compared to other technologies such as smart phones and computers. In this study, a proxy measure of trust is used to gauge users’ opinions on three different technologies based on an empirical study, and to understand which technology most people are most likely to trust. The collected data were analysed using the Kruskal-Wallis H test to determine the statistical differences between the users’ trust level of the three technologies: smart speaker, computer and smart phone. The findings of the study revealed that despite the wide acceptance, ease of use and reputation of smart speakers, people find it difficult to trust smart speakers with their sensitive information via the Direct Voice Input (DVI) and would prefer to use a keyboard or touchscreen offered by computers and smart phones. Findings from this study can inform future work on users’ trust in technology based on perceived ease of use, reputation, perceived credibility and risk of using technologies via DVI.
If a person can monitor his/her oxygen saturation level intermittently then he/she can identify his/her condition early and thus he/she can seek a doctor’s help. This paper reports the design, simulation, and implementation of a low-cost pulse oxygen saturation measurement device based on a reflective photoplethysmography (PPG) system using an integrated circuit sensor as the fundamental component of this health status checking device. The measurement of the physiological parameter is the blood oxygen saturation level (SpO2) in the peripheral capillary. This work has been implemented using an Arduino Uno R3 microcontroller along with this sensor integrated circuit (IC). The system is designed in the Proteus environment and then simulated to check its performance. After that, the hardware implementation is performed. We used a clipping type optical sensor to sense the arterial oxygen saturation level of blood signal from the fingertips of an individual and then transformed it into the digital data in the microcontroller through its programming its instruction. The designed system was tested by measuring the SpO2 level for several people of different ages, from 12 to 57 years of age. Besides, the same people were tested using a standard machine purchased from the market. Test results were found very satisfactory as the average percentage of error was very low, 1.59% only.
Emission of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) has adversely affected the environment. One of the major sources of CO2 emission is transportation. In the last few decades, the increase in mobility of people using vehicles has enormously increased the emission of CO2 in the environment. To reduce CO2 emission, sustainable transportation system is required in which smart parking is one of the important measures that need to be established. To contribute to the issue of reducing the amount of CO2 emission, this research proposes a smart parking system. A cloud-based solution is provided to the drivers which automatically searches and recommends the most preferred parking slots. To determine preferences of the parking areas, this methodology exploits a number of unique parking features which ultimately results in the selection of a parking that leads to minimum level of CO2 emission from the current position of the vehicle. To realize the methodology, a scenario-based implementation is considered. During the implementation, a mobile application with GPS signals, vehicles with a number of vehicle features and a list of parking areas with parking features are used by sorting, multi-level filtering, exploratory data analysis (EDA, Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP)) and weighted sum model (WSM) to rank the parking areas and recommend the drivers with top-k most preferred parking areas. In the EDA process, “2020testcar-2020-03-03”, a freely available dataset is used to estimate CO2 emission of a particular vehicle. To evaluate the system, results of the proposed system are compared with the conventional approach, which reveal that the proposed methodology supersedes the conventional one in reducing the emission of CO2 into the atmosphere.
Architecture is rooted in the experiences of the residents in a place. Its foundations are based on needs and circumstances of each territory in terms of climate, available materials, economics and governmental policies, and cultural ideals and ideas of the people that live there. The architectural history of Iran echoes these architectural origins and has revealed certain trends reflecting this territory and culture. However, in recent years, new architectural patterns are developing that diverge from what has previously been considered classic forms of Iranian architecture. This article investigates architectural elements that make up the architecture created by religious minorities after the Safavid dynasty (one of the most significant ruling dynasties of Iran (from 1501 to 1736) in Iranian cities: Isfahan, Tabriz, Kerman, and Uremia. Similarities and differences are revealed between the architecture that composes neighborhoods of religious minorities in Iran and common national architectural trends in each era after this dynasty. This dynasty is specific as a point of reference in this article because Islam was identified as the state religion of Iran during this era. This decision changed the course of architecture in the country to incorporate religious motifs and meanings. The study associated with this article was conducted as a survey that sought to find links between architecture of religious minorities with Iranian national architecture. Interestingly, a merging of architectural forms and trends occur as immigrants interact with Iranian Islamic meanings. These observations are significant within the context of modern architecture around the world and within Western discourse because what are considered religious minorities in Iran are the dominant religions in Western nations. This makes Iran’s architecture particularly unique as it creates a kind of inverse relationship, than that of Western nations, to the ways in which religion influences architectural history.
The present study investigates the use of the expression of refusal by native speakers of Jordanian Arabic (NSsJA) in different social situations (i.e. invitations, suggestions, and offers). It also investigates the influence of gender on the refusal realization patterns within the Jordanian culture to provide a better insight into the relation between situations, strategies and gender in the Jordanian culture. To that end, a group of 70 participants, including 35 male and 35 female students from different departments at the Hashemite University (HU) participated in this study using mixed methods (i.e. Discourse Completion Test (DCT), interviews and naturally occurring data). Data were analyzed in light of a developed coding scheme. The results showed that NSsJA preferred indirect strategies which mitigate the interaction such as "excuse, reason and, explanation" strategy more than other strategies which aggravate the interaction such as "face-threatening" strategy. Moreover, the analysis of this study has revealed a considerable impact of gender on the use of linguistic forms expressing refusal among NSsJA. Significant differences in the results of the Chi-square test relating the effect of participants' gender indicate that both males and females were conscious of the gender of their interlocutors. The findings provide worthwhile insights into the relation amongst types of communicative acts and the rapport between people in social interaction. They assert that refusal should not be labeled as face threatening act since it does not always pose a threat in some cases especially where refusal is expressed among friends, relatives and family members. They highlight some distinctive culture-specific features of the communicative acts of refusal.
Affordable housing has long been one of the basic necessities of life to man. The ever rising prices of building materials are one of the major causes of housing shortage in many developing countries. Breaching the gap of housing needs in developing countries like Nigeria is an awaiting task longing for attention. This is due to lack of research in the development of local materials that will suit the troubled economies of these countries. The use of earth material to meet the housing needs is a sustainable option and its material is freely available universally. However, people are doubtful of using the earth material due to its modest outlook and uncertain durability. This research aims at enhancing the durability of Compressed Earth Bricks (CEBs) using stone dust as a stabilizer. The result indicates that partial replacement of lateritic soil with stone dust at 30% improves its compressive strength along with abrasive resistance.
The development of a qualitative method to profile jobseekers is needed to improve the quality of the Public Employment Services (PES) in Italy. This is why the National Agency for Active Labour Market Policies (ANPAL) decided to introduce a Qualitative Profiling Service in the context of the activities carried out by local employment offices’ operators. The qualitative profiling service provides information and data regarding the jobseeker’s personal transition status, through a semi-structured questionnaire administered to PES clients during the guidance interview. The questionnaire responses allow PES staff to identify, for each client, proper activities and policy measures to support jobseekers in their reintegration into the labour market. Data and information gathered by the qualitative profiling tool are the following: frequency, modalities and motivations for clients to apply to local employment offices; clients’ expectations and skills; difficulties that they have faced during the previous working experiences; strategies, actions undertaken and activated channels for job search. These data are used to assess jobseekers’ personal and career characteristics and to measure their employability level (qualitative profiling index), in order to develop and deliver tailor-made action programmes for each client. This paper illustrates the use of the above-mentioned qualitative profiling service on the national territory and provides an overview of the main findings of the survey: concerning the difficulties that unemployed people face in finding a job and their perception of different aspects related to the transition in the labour market. The survey involved over 10.000 jobseekers registered with the PES. Most of them are beneficiaries of the “citizens' income”, a specific active labour policy and social inclusion measure. Furthermore, data analysis allows classifying jobseekers into a specific group of clients with similar features and behaviours, on the basis of socio-demographic variables, customers' expectations, needs and required skills for the profession for which they seek employment. Finally, the survey collects PES staff opinions and comments concerning clients’ difficulties in finding a new job and also their strengths. This is a starting point for PESs’ operators to define adequate strategies to facilitate jobseekers’ access or reintegration into the labour market.
Gender is about equal rights that both males and females having access to responsibilities and opportunities in decision making is a fundamental human right. It is also a precondition for, and a mark of, sustainable people-oriented development. In Bangladesh, women have fewer opportunities than men do to access credit from banks and financial institutions. Entrenched patriarchal attitudes, unequal inheritance rights, and male-dominated hierarchies in the financial system, plus high interest rates and a lack of security/collateral, make it harder for women to obtain bank loans. Limited access to institutional credit is a serious restraint on the productivity and income of women entrepreneurs, (and the wider economy). These gender-biased and structural barriers inhibit women’s access to fundamental economic rights. Using a liberal feminist theoretical lens, this study provides some useful insights into the relationship between gender inequality and entrepreneurship, leading to a better understanding of women’s entrepreneurship development in Bangladesh. Recently, the Bangladesh Government, the United Nations Capital Development Fund, and Bangladesh Bank opened up the Women Entrepreneur Support Fund (WESF) ‒ Credit Guarantee Scheme (CGS) pilot project to cover collateral shortfalls for women entrepreneurs in the small and medium enterprise sector. The aim is to improve gender equality and advance women’s rights in relation to receiving credit. This article examines the challenges and prospects of the WESF-CGS, and suggests that implementation of measures in WESF-CGS policymaking, coupled with a combination of legislatory and regulatory reforms that implement the fundamental tenets of liberal feminism, can lead to a comprehensive and effective credit policy to boost women’s agency and economic empowerment. This may ultimately lead to more sustainable development in Bangladesh.
Autonomous driving systems require high reliability to provide people with a safe and comfortable driving experience. However, despite the development of a number of vehicle sensors, it is difficult to always provide high perceived performance in driving environments that vary from time to season. The image segmentation method using deep learning, which has recently evolved rapidly, provides high recognition performance in various road environments stably. However, since the system controls a vehicle in real time, a highly complex deep learning network cannot be used due to time and memory constraints. Moreover, efficient networks are optimized for GPU environments, which degrade performance in embedded processor environments equipped simple hardware accelerators. In this paper, a semantic segmentation network, matrix multiplication accelerator network (MMANet), optimized for matrix multiplication accelerator (MMA) on Texas instrument digital signal processors (TI DSP) is proposed to improve the recognition performance of autonomous driving system. The proposed method is designed to maximize the number of layers that can be performed in a limited time to provide reliable driving environment information in real time. First, the number of channels in the activation map is fixed to fit the structure of MMA. By increasing the number of parallel branches, the lack of information caused by fixing the number of channels is resolved. Second, an efficient convolution is selected depending on the size of the activation. Since MMA is a fixed, it may be more efficient for normal convolution than depthwise separable convolution depending on memory access overhead. Thus, a convolution type is decided according to output stride to increase network depth. In addition, memory access time is minimized by processing operations only in L3 cache. Lastly, reliable contexts are extracted using the extended atrous spatial pyramid pooling (ASPP). The suggested method gets stable features from an extended path by increasing the kernel size and accessing consecutive data. In addition, it consists of two ASPPs to obtain high quality contexts using the restored shape without global average pooling paths since the layer uses MMA as a simple adder. To verify the proposed method, an experiment is conducted using perfsim, a timing simulator, and the Cityscapes validation sets. The proposed network can process an image with 640 x 480 resolution for 6.67 ms, so six cameras can be used to identify the surroundings of the vehicle as 20 frame per second (FPS). In addition, it achieves 73.1% mean intersection over union (mIoU) which is the highest recognition rate among embedded networks on the Cityscapes validation set.