The annual desert event is the ultimate temporary city

Every year, a city rises and falls in the desert. The annual Burning Man festival/event/community moves into an empty plot of desert and grows into a temporary tent city of 50,000 people. The Architect’s Newspaper points us to this cool time-lapse video of the city’s construction, life and demise.

Filmed at the 2011 event in late August and early September from a perch on a nearby hilltop, the video offers a wide-angle look at the temporary city’s construction and demolition. It tracks the development of Burning Man for nearly a month leading up to the week-long event, and more than a week after as it steadily grows in size and activity, then quickly dissipates and the desert landscape of northwest Nevada fades back in.

The build-up and break-down is really interesting to see in this compressed format, but maybe even more interesting is the flashes and movements of light at night, showing the concentrations of the event’s notorious proclivity for late-night fire-and-light displays.

Burning Man isn’t exactly a city, but it’s a lot like a city. Watching a city build up and disappear like this is a sight not often seen.

Video and still via YouTube user .

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Equity

    The Side Pittsburgh Doesn't Want You to See

    Pittsburgh filmmaker Chris Ivey has spent over twelve years documenting the lives of the people displaced so that the city can achieve its “cool” status.  

  2. Construction workers build affordable housing units.
    Equity

    Why Is 'Affordable' Housing So Expensive to Build?

    As costs keep rising, it’s becoming harder and harder for governments to subsidize projects like they’ve done in the past.

  3. Downtown Los Angeles is pictured.
    Life

    What Everyone Can Learn From L.A.'s Gentrification

    In its second season, the podcast “There Goes the Neighborhood” explores the pressures of life in a changing Los Angeles—with lessons for listeners everywhere.

  4. Equity

    Seattle Has 5 Big Pieces of Advice for Amazon’s HQ2 Winner

    Being HQ1 has been no picnic.

  5. Equity

    A Tale of Two Cities, and Two Companies

    What Amazon could do for the city where it’s already made its mark.