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. a photo of the Eiffel Tower with the words "Made for Sharing" projected on it
    Life

    How France Tries to Keep English Out of Public Life

    France has a long history of using official institutions to protect the French language from outside influence. Still, English keeps working its way in.

  2. Warren Logan
    Transportation

    A City Planner Makes a Case for Rethinking Public Consultation

    Warren Logan, a Bay Area transportation planner, has new ideas about how to truly engage diverse communities in city planning. Hint: It starts with listening.

  3. A photo of a police officer in El Paso, Texas.
    Equity

    What New Research Says About Race and Police Shootings

    Two new studies have revived the long-running debate over how police respond to white criminal suspects versus African Americans.

  4. An illustration of a turtle with a city on its shell
    Transportation

    Why Speed Kills Cities

    U.S. cities are dropping urban speed limits in an effort to boost safety and lower crash rates. But the benefits of less-rapid urban mobility don’t end there.  

  5. Maps

    The Map That Made Los Angeles Make Sense

    For generations in Southern California, the Thomas Guide led drivers through the streets of Los Angeles. Now apps do that. Did something get lost along the way?

×