Energizing The Future (Black Rock City Competition)

Project type: Competition Entry
Commissioned by: Black Rock City Ministry of Urban Planning
Location: Black Rock City, Nevada (US)
Date: January 2016
Collaboration with: Tore Dobberstein, Complizen Planungsbüro Berlin

In collaboration with complizen Planungsbuero Berlin LEGU developed a nonconforming city plan for the annual Burning Man Festival taking place in the temporary ‘Black Rock City’ in Nevada (US).

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Energizing the Future – Black Rock City Development Programme

Securing the future potential of Black Rock City with an urban layout that energizes traffic flows and introduces arrival gates that combine event spaces and energy production.

When ten thousands of burners energize in the temporary set up of Black Rock City, the festival leaves a mind-expanding impression in their personal lives without leaving traces in the desert. However, despite the successful efforts of the annual final clean up, the current setup of the man shows great potential to reduce the carbon footprint of the festival. Half day long traffic jams, aircos running on gasoline and the subsequent air pollution are among the greatest challenges that appear to be a contradiction to environmentalism. But can the ecological impact be reduced, without compromising the celebration of the desert event?

The Black Rock City Development Programme ‘Energizing the Future’ suggests that it is not only possible to tap easily into the potentials of reduction as the result of clever logistics in the city layout, but also to implement measures for large-scale production of electricity. This may well lead to a positive energy balance during the time Black Rock City is set up. ‘Energizing the Future’ integrates existing technology like pv, clean-tech and GPS. Online pre-check-in like in a car ferry booking system makes it possible to pre-assign sites according to vehicle size and number of people. This enables efficient use of space and quick&easy approach of the parking position. In combination with the revamp of the Black Rock City urban layout into the Playa Boulevard Layout an ambitious but feasible concept is proposed which revolutionizes the energy balance at the same time as celebrating one of the world’s greatest jamborees.
A sustainable Man is possible! The proposed changes will also make it a better Man, where people connect stronger to both: our planet and to each other.

The proposed Playa Boulevard urban layout secures the future of Black Rock City while enhancing the festival’s experience. The implementation of the Arrival Gates dramatically improves the welcoming experience. Efficient wind turbines and extra strong solar panels are the key features of these Arrival Gates. The architectural landmarks are pragmatically bases upon reusable container modules. These ready to use prefab concept have proven its efficiency in extreme conditions around the world. The proposed Arrival Gates shows their functionality in threefold: a) Highly efficient check-in of arriving cars reducing traffic jams. b) Production of electricity with sun and wind. c) Multi-purpose use during the week include panoramic dance floors, shaded workshop space, water features, and a diverse range of other more practical uses.

Amsterdam, 3rd of February 2016