omnireboot.com has a fantastic photo essay by Megan May Daadler on the utopian ruins of Biosphere 2, an experimental project located in the Arizona desert near Tuscon. Biosphere 2 was meant to be an experiment in human self sustainability in controlled environments. In 1991, 8 ‘bionauts’ were locked in the Biosphere with a mass of flora and other fauna with the intent of establishing a balanced ecosystem. That never happened, and Biosphere’s spectacular failure (bug infestation, dangerous CO2 levels, oxygen depletion, angry physical confrontations between scientists etc.) is practically a parable for utopian ideals gone awry, to the point that it the interperson squabbling became the inspiration for the TV show Big Brother.
All this said, the author of article (link above) does a remarkable job of salvaging the valuable lessons learned from the Biosphere debacle, presenting the possibility that this failed vision of the future is actively directing us towards solving current environmental dilemmas through current research being conducted on site by the University of Arizona.