Examining the Business Case and Models for Sustainable Multifunctional Edible Landscaping Enterprises in the Phoenix Metro Area
School of Sustainability, Arizona State University, 800 Cady Mall, Tempe, AZ 85281, USA
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Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2307; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9122307
Received: 7 November 2017 / Revised: 29 November 2017 / Accepted: 8 December 2017 / Published: 12 December 2017
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.