A Lake Runs Through It . . . Or Is It a River? Or Something Else?
Buffalo State College
Department of Geography and Earth Science
In the late 1990s, the town of Tempe, Arizona, proposed developing the dry riverbed of the Salt River into a lake that would become a recreational and economic focal point for the city as well as a potential tourist destination. The project presented a number of challenges and issues. In this case study, students learn about, and then use, a marketing strategy analysis framework known as SWOT to analyze the project in terms of market opportunities and threats and organizational strengths and weaknesses. The case was developed for use in a course in economic geography, but could be adapted to courses in environmental science and urban planning/geography, for example.
- Define the four components of a SWOT framework.
- Identify the SWOT framework components within the present case study.
- Make an informed problem solving decision.
- Identify other situations/cases where the SWOT framework could be utilized.
KeywordsSWOT; Tempe; Salt River; urban planning; cost benefit analysis; marketing strategy; strategic marketing; water resources; Rio Salado;
Topical AreasPolicy issues
Educational LevelUndergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division
Type / MethodsRole-Play
Subject HeadingsBusiness / Management Science | Civil Engineering | Economics | Hydrology |
Case teaching notes are password-protected and access to them is limited to paid subscribed instructors. To become a paid subscriber, begin the process by registering.
Teaching notes are intended to help teachers select and adopt a case. They typically include a summary of the case, teaching objectives, information about the intended audience, details about how the case may be taught, and a list of references and resources.
As explained in the teaching notes for this case study, the two PowerPoint presentations below can be used in conjunction with this activity.