Matching Items (42)

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Examining the Business Case and Models for Sustainable Multifunctional Edible Landscaping Enterprises in the Phoenix Metro Area

Description

This study assesses whether multifunctional edible landscaping business models provide a sufficient business case at enterprise and city scales to justify widespread implementation. First, semi-structured interviews were conducted with four

This study assesses whether multifunctional edible landscaping business models provide a sufficient business case at enterprise and city scales to justify widespread implementation. First, semi-structured interviews were conducted with four landscaping entrepreneurs, and the information obtained from the interviews was utilized to carry out a business model comparison with the Business Model Canvas framework. The comparison showed that the landscaping enterprises using multifunctional edible landscaping methods possessed a greater range of value propositions and revenue streams, enhancing their competitive advantage. Second, a GIS landscape analysis of seven Phoenix metro area cities was carried out to identify landscapes that were suited for becoming multifunctional edible landscapes. The GIS analysis identified single family residential, residential recreational open space, municipal parks, and municipal schools as being suitable landscapes, and that the area of these landscapes in the seven cities exceeded 180,000 acres. Third, scenarios were created using interview and GIS data to estimate potential value creation and return on investment of implementing multifunctional edible landscaping in the cities of interest. The scenarios found that the potential value creation of edible landscaping ranged between $3.9 and $66 billion, and that positive return on investment (ROI) could be achieved in 11 out of 12 scenarios within one to five years. Finally, the paper concludes by discussing potential long-term implications of implementing multifunctional edible urban landscaping, as well as possible future directions for multifunctional landscaping business model development and research.

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Date Created
  • 2017-12-12

Rethinking the Management of Restaurant Kitchen Waste: Solutions in Solid and Water Waste

Description

Food waste is a growing global issue that exemplifies an unsustainable system of resource loss in landfills which eventually breaks down into the greenhouse gas of methane. Approaching landfill diversion

Food waste is a growing global issue that exemplifies an unsustainable system of resource loss in landfills which eventually breaks down into the greenhouse gas of methane. Approaching landfill diversion of food waste on the local level requires innovative solutions based on public and private partnerships. This thesis project explored how the City of Tempe's Grease Cooperative could provide a model of restaurant partnership and third-party service to tackle not just restaurant grease waste in water, but food waste in the solid waste stream. This used other city-run food waste collection systems as examples, and it relied on the input and support of multiple municipal stakeholders in its design. Using an existing food waste collection service in the Phoenix metropolitan area, the research was collected during a month-long observational pilot study of four Tempe restaurants, where data ranged from trash bin differences to kitchen staff sizes. The results of the pilot were compiled for the benefit of the collection service, the City of Tempe, and the involved restaurants to demonstrate potential obstacles to a currently small, but scalable, collection service, and potential solutions that will make the service more efficient and attractive to new customers. Future research goals include expanding the pilot's reach and information through stronger partnerships and collaborative data collection in Tempe, providing a guide to a food waste collection cooperative within Tempe, and promoting large scale diversion of food waste from restaurants both through prevention and nutrient recycling. The final paper was submitted for publication to the Solutions journal, as an example of "On the Ground" implementation of solutions.

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Date Created
  • 2017-05

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Assessing the value of sustainability indicators through the case study of Valley Permaculture Alliance

Description

The ecological benefits provided by trees include improving air quality (Nowak, et. al., 2006), mitigating climate change by sequestering carbon (Nowak, 1993), providing animal habitats (Livingston, et. al., 2003), and

The ecological benefits provided by trees include improving air quality (Nowak, et. al., 2006), mitigating climate change by sequestering carbon (Nowak, 1993), providing animal habitats (Livingston, et. al., 2003), and reducing heat (Edmonson, 2016), among others. Trees also provide numerous social benefits, impacting urban sustainability in particular by improving human health (Salmond, 2016), aesthetically and economically improving neighborhoods (Torres, 2012), and contributing to thriving communities by creating gathering spaces and even reducing crime (Abraham, et. al., 2010). Because of the tremendous potential of trees to provide social and ecological services, particularly in urban areas, tree planting has become an important facet of many sustainability initiatives. This thesis assesses one such initiative aimed at planting trees for the diverse benefits they provide. Valley Permaculture Alliance (VPA), a nonprofit based in Phoenix, Arizona, is known for its Shade Tree Program. The author conducted an internal, quantitative assessment of the program between August and December of 2015. The assessment included evaluation of several indicators of ecological and community health related to the presence of shade trees, culminating in a report released in 2016. This paper evaluates the use of sustainability indicators in the VPA assessment as well as their value in different types of organizations. It culminates with an assessment of VPA's strengths, challenges faced by the organization, and suggestions for its future development.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-12

The Climate Smart Farm: Incorporation of Rainwater Harvesting for Resilient Agriculture

Description

Due to recent changes in climate, hurricanes have become more violent and destructive in the tropical region of the Caribbean. Extreme weather events have destroyed freshwater sources in many islands,

Due to recent changes in climate, hurricanes have become more violent and destructive in the tropical region of the Caribbean. Extreme weather events have destroyed freshwater sources in many islands, affecting the overall food and water security of the region. More resilient forms of collecting freshwater for citizens and agriculture must be proposed in order to mitigate future weather impacts and increase future water security. Rainwater harvesting is an ideal and sustainable source of freshwater that can be adapted into existing households to help ease reliance on city water sources. Rainwater harvesting systems are effective sources of supplemental freshwater because they are easy to incorporate and inexpensive compared to other sources of freshwater. Dennis McClung, founder and owner of global charity, Garden Pool, has created the Climate Smart Farm, an agriculture system that incorporates rainwater harvesting to help create a more climate resilient farm. The Climate Smart Farm is adaptable and can be customized to incorporate solar energy, vertical gardening, aquaponics, hydroponics, plant propagation techniques, and more to grow crops in a more sustainable fashion. The system has recently been installed in the island of Barbuda, which was badly affected by the hurricanes in the summer of 2017. The system has been positively accepted by the country due to its ability to make agriculture simple and sustainable. It can be built with local materials, making the building process economy friendly. And with the addition of plant propagation techniques, the Climate Smart Farm can extend growing seasons and increase overall yields.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018-05

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Reducing Livestock-based Emissions in Argentina: Analyzing Climate Change Mitigation Strategies through Policy and Governance in the Agricultural Sector

Description

Intensive global animal agricultural practices have proved to be a cause for concern, resulting, in part, from consumer preferences and an increasing global demand for protein, especially meat. Countries like

Intensive global animal agricultural practices have proved to be a cause for concern, resulting, in part, from consumer preferences and an increasing global demand for protein, especially meat. Countries like Argentina, contribute to Greenhouse Gas emissions substantially through their livestock sector. Improved resource management can help to promote sustainable agriculture by reducing the amount of water and energy used to produce livestock, and improve livestock practices in order to reduce GHG emissions. The integration of resource management between food, energy, and water systems can help to decrease livestock-based emissions, through efficiency improvements targeted towards animal agricultural practices. This paper can act as a reference for other researchers studying the FEW nexus, to increase their understanding of how to improve coordination across water, energy, and agricultural sectors by using Argentina’s livestock sector as an example. Furthermore, policy and decision makers in Argentina can use information about FEW systems to make informed decisions about the allocation and prioritization of integrated management between food, energy, and water sectors, to help them implement integrated mitigation strategies within their livestock sector to help reduce GHG emissions.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020-12

Human Connection and Edible Green Spaces

Description

This paper explores Grace Logan and Emma Zuber’s understanding of how edible green spaces are mediums for emotional and social well-being. Our research aims to answer these questions: How are

This paper explores Grace Logan and Emma Zuber’s understanding of how edible green spaces are mediums for emotional and social well-being. Our research aims to answer these questions: How are different populations benefitting in terms of their emotional and social well-being in similar and different ways from edible green spaces in Phoenix, Arizona? How does accessibility to garden spaces as well as time, in both frequency and duration, impact personal and communal connection? To answer these questions, we surveyed volunteers from four different garden populations - Sage Garden at Arizona State University (ASU), Desert Marigold School (DMS), TigerMountain Foundation (TMF), and Growhouse Urban Agriculture Center (GUAC). Before the volunteer surveys, we interviewed a garden leader or founder to gain a better understanding of their intentions for the space and their perspective on how the garden impacts emotional and social well-being benefits in their community. The results of the survey included some variance in subpopulation answers but, overall, volunteers answered similarly. This led us to determine that gardens do bring emotional and social benefits to people, but the degree of these benefits prove difficult to truly determine due to the complexity of personal needs across different subpopulations. As well, our research on time and access proved too limited in this study to make a definitive conclusion on how it impacts personal and communal connections, but the research does suggest that time could be a determining factor for subpopulations. This study also made recommendations based on our findings, so that policies could be enacted to ensure people can access green spaces to improve their overall well-being.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020-05

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STEM Education and Agriculture: The Garden Grub

Description

This paper about the Garden Grub concerns the growing Agritech industry along with exposing middle school students to STEM education. Currently over half of America's students are not prepared to

This paper about the Garden Grub concerns the growing Agritech industry along with exposing middle school students to STEM education. Currently over half of America's students are not prepared to be successful in our technology driven world. These students did not have the opportunity to be exposed to many Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math related careers or majors before entering the working world and/or college. These students are unaware of the real-life applications these topics can have and will never have the chance to pursue these fields. Using the Garden Grub, students will be introduced to the world of Agritech and how traditional agriculture is changing in include more technology. The Garden Grub is designed to not only introduce students to STEM in general, but specifically the Agritech Industry. With the Garden Grub kit and instructions students will be able to construct a small device that will monitor the external temperature and the soil moisture of a plant they are growing. For future implementations of the Garden Grub, we will develop a structured lesson plan to teach the users more about the device they are building. This is so in the future users could continue their education in Agritech and STEM because they have more knowledge on the subjects From standalone testing the Garden Grub, the device was able to successfully monitor the lettuce to ensure that it grew successfully. The Garden Grub instructions and kit were tested in a fourth-grade classroom, where college volunteers worked with the students to begin to create their own device. While there was not enough time to successfully complete the product the fourth graders were more interested in STEM than when we first started. Even though they struggled in the beginning, students quickly learned basic concepts , such as +/- circuit power, transfer of data, and sensor connections. More recently we were able to go into a middle school and teach in a classroom with the students who were part of a coding elective course. Since our last outing we were able to update the user manual and prepare more ahead of time. This gave us more time to explain the concepts to the students, along with being able to successful build all of the devices. They began to think of ways that this device could be applicable to their lives along with how the Garden Grub could be improved in the future.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018-05

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A simple agent-based model of farmers adapting to climate change

Description

Climate change presents the urgent need for effective sustainable water management that is capable of preserving natural resources while maintaining economical stability. States like California rely heavily on groundwater pumping

Climate change presents the urgent need for effective sustainable water management that is capable of preserving natural resources while maintaining economical stability. States like California rely heavily on groundwater pumping for agricultural use, contributing to land subsidence and insufficient returns to water resources. The recent California drought has impacted agricultural production of certain crops. In this thesis, we present an agent-based model of farmers adapting to drought conditions by making crop choice decisions, much like the decisions Californian farmers have made. We use the Netlogo platform to capture the 2D spatial view of an agricultural system with changes in annual rainfall due to drought conditions. The goal of this model is to understand some of the simple rules farmers may follow to self-govern their consumption of a water resource. Farmer agents make their crop decisions based on deficit irrigation crop production function and a net present value discount rate. The farmers choose between a thirsty crop with a high production cost and a dry crop with a low production cost. Simulations results show that farmers switch crops in accordance with limited water and land resources. Farmers can maintain profit and yield by following simple rules of crop switching based on future yields and optimal irrigation. In drought conditions, individual agents expecting lower annual rainfall were able to increase their total profits. The maintenance of crop yield and profit is evidence of successful adaptation when farmers switch to crops that require less water.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016-05

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The Potential of Dryland Farming with a Prosopis-based Agroforestry System

Description

The Prosopis genus of trees, also known as mesquites, are uniquely equipped to allow for an agroforestry regime in which crops can be grown beneath the canopy of the tree.

The Prosopis genus of trees, also known as mesquites, are uniquely equipped to allow for an agroforestry regime in which crops can be grown beneath the canopy of the tree. Mesquites have the ability to redistribute water moisture in such a way that allows plants under the canopy to use water that has been brought up by the roots of mesquite trees. This means that there is a potential for food crops to be grown under the trees without using additional irrigation measures. This could be used where access to water is limited or for a sustainability-minded farmer who is trying to reduce water inputs in an arid environment. Mesquite trees produce a variety of products, including lumber and bean pods that can be ground down into an edible flour. Both products demand a high price in the marketplace and are produced in addition to the crops that can potentially be grown beneath the mesquite tree. In order to determine whether or not it is possible to grow crops under mesquite trees, I reviewed a wide range of literature regarding hydraulic redistribution, mesquite trees in general, and what plants might be best suited for growing beneath a mesquite. The list of plants was narrowed down to four crops that seemed most likely to survive in shaded, low water conditions in a hot environment. There has not been any research done on crops growing beneath mesquite trees, so the next step for research would be to experiment with each of the crops to determine how well each species can adapt to the specified conditions.

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Date Created
  • 2016-12

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Overcoming Barriers to Sustainable Urban Gardening and Farming in the Sonoran Desert

Description

Urban agriculture includes both farming and gardening, typically in a community format, in urban areas. Agrihoods are neighborhoods centered around food production and they are becoming more popular residential areas

Urban agriculture includes both farming and gardening, typically in a community format, in urban areas. Agrihoods are neighborhoods centered around food production and they are becoming more popular residential areas as the local food movement grows. Agritopia is one of these agrihoods; located in Gilbert, Arizona, it contains both an urban farm and a community garden. Agritopia is oft cited for being an exemplary agrihood. This thesis uses Agritopia as a case study for exploring the challenges associated with urban agriculture in the Sonoran Desert.
Most urban agriculture sites experience challenges related to sustainability, but in the Sonoran Desert, even more challenges arise as a result of a unique climate, soil conditions, intense storms, and water scarcity. The objective of this project was to obtain information on common barriers to urban agriculture in the Sonoran Desert, as well as ways to overcome these barriers that will be made public for the purpose of improving sustainability of similar agriculture projects. I used interviews with gardeners and farm staff as my primary research method to gain insight to these barriers and solutions, and I coded their responses relating to challenges according to frequency mentioned. Using my findings, I compiled a thorough list of recommendations that urban agriculture projects in the Sonoran Desert or in similar climatic areas can use to achieve greater success and sustainable outcomes.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020-05