So is Las Vegas getting a vertical farm or not?

17 Jan 2008, 16:38

It is somewhat timely that in the same week that it emerged that the story splashed across the front pages of the UK press about twins mistakenly getting married was almost certainly a load of rubbish BusinessGreen has to issue its own editorial mea culpa.

Vertical_farm_v2Last week we ran a story detailing several reports from various environmental websites and blogs that Las Vegas was planning the world's first vertical farm - a 30-storey Garden of Eden capable of producing enough food for 72,000 people a year in a controlled and sustainable biosphere.

All very impressive I think you'll agree, or you would if it was actually going to happen.

Chris Jacobs quickly got in touch to inform us that not only were the designs quoted in the various blog postings and news reports his, but sadly there were currently no plans to make them a reality.

In fact, he insisted that the project was "most likely NOT going to happen" and advised, quite rightly, that we should be a bit more sceptical about what we read.

A quick email to Tina Past, public information officer for the city of Las Vegas planning and development department, confirms that while intrigued by the internet reports the city government has no such project in the works. "If you do find out anything about it, we would appreciate you sharing it with us," she adds.

Meanwhile, her counterpart at Clark County, which is responsible for the Las Vegas strip, is equally bemused by the reports.

So what's going on? Where did the story originate? Is Las Vegas getting a vertical farm? If not, should it be getting a vertical farm, particularly given the potential for biosphere technologies to help tackle the world's growing food crisis? And is the wishful thinking that characterises much of the blogosphere helping to promote new green technologies or only serving to undermine them?

Answers on a postcard (or alternatively in the comments box) please...

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Previously known as the BusinessGreen Blog, James' Blog features musings, observations and occasional rants from BusinessGreen editor James Murray

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