In January of 2008, a rumor spread quickly through internet sources, claiming that Las Vegas would be the first city to construct a 30-story Vertical Farm. While this pairing may initially seem to be impossibly incongruous, an examination of the logics of Vertical Farming will reveal that it fits opportunistically into the context of Las Vegas. The city’s abundance of consumer activity – particularly food-driven activity (think: mega-buffets) – could certainly stand to benefit from the environmental, economic and social consequences promised by vertical farms concepts. The aim of localizing the food industry could not be more appropriate for a city like Las Vegas, given its’ location in the middle of a drought-ridden desert landscape.
Joyce Hwang is an architect and Assistant Professor at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York.