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. An autonomous vehicle drives on a race track in California.
    Equity

    Driverless Cars Won’t Save Us

    In fact, they’ll do the opposite of what techno-optimists hope, and worsen—not ease—inequality.

  2. A scene from Hey Arnold! is pictured.
    Life

    Even Hey Arnold's Neighborhood Is Gentrifying Now

    Series creator Craig Bartlett explains how he built the cartoon city that every ‘90s kid dreamed of living in.

  3. Equity

    Why Sexual Harassment Rates Are So High in the Restaurant Industry

    Where working for tips means the customer is always right, waitresses, bartenders, and other tipped-wage workers endure stunning rates of sexual harassment.

  4. A Soviet map of London, labeled in Russian.
    Maps

    The Soviet Military Secretly Mapped the Entire World

    These intricate, curious maps were supposed to be destroyed. The ones that remain reveal a fascinating portrait of how the U.S.S.R. monitored the world.

  5. Transportation

    Why Is African Air Travel So Terrible?

    Taking a flight between cities in different African nations is often expensive, circuitous, and unsafe. But better days for travelers may be coming.