urbanism – landscape – ideas – theory – whimsy

Black Rock City


Black Rock City is the temporary city created each year to house the revelers at the 8 day Burning Man festival in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada.

From Wikipedia’s article on the subject:

“Much of the layout and general city infrastructure is constructed by Department of Public Works (DPW) volunteers…

“The developed part of the city is currently arranged as series of concentric streets in an arc composing, since 1999, two-thirds of a 1.5 mile (2.4 km) diameter circle… with the Man Sculpture and his supporting complex at the very center (40°45’56.88″N, 119°13’39.59″W in 2007). Radial streets, sometimes called Avenues, extend from the Man to the outermost circle…

“The innermost street is named the Esplanade, and the remaining streets are given names to coincide with the overall theme of the burn, and ordered in ways such as alphabetical order or stem to stern, to make them easier to recall. The radial streets are usually given a clock designation (for example, “6:00, 6:15”), in which the Man is at the center of the clock face and 12:00 is in the middle of the third of the arc lacking streets….

“Center Camp is located along the midline of Black Rock City, facing the Man at the 6:00 position on the Esplanade, and serves as a central meeting place for the entire city.”

The City is located in a slightly different location each year, and the festival itself upholds a policy of “leave no trace”. The 2007 edition of Burning Man brought together 47,097 people in an otherwise empty and desolate landscape.

Oblique (not from straight above) photos below are by Brad Templeton – plan photos are from GoogleMaps/Earth.








7 Comments so far
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Very interesting information about planned cities.

It is very pretty, and unbelievably organized. You can smell the stink from here though.

would love to see some stats … power consumption, setup time, power sources, water, sewage, garbage, arrests, etc! great images!!!

beautiful. Thanks for putting up these images. I have a friend who has gone to burning man every year for as long as I can remember (since the 80s?) and I never got what the big deal was. Now I see this amazing place. The links you included are fascinating–I especially like the “TV Burning Man” one.

[…] Bricoleurbanism’s post on Black Rock City is as good an urban design blog post as I’ve read in a while. […]

[…] of Black Rock City (the temporary city created for the Burning Man Festival each year) that I posted about in 2007, although the size, population, and crazy logistics of transportation at Mina Tent City and for the […]

These photos are incredible! I read an article just yesterday about Alien Landscapes. It’s really cool to think that there are places like that not too far away from us.

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