What Burning Man Taught Me About Cities

Steve Pepple
Sep 10, 2014 · 12 min read
Image for post
Image for post
“The Ideal City”
Renaissance city plans for city centers and overall city layout were part of the inspiration of early Burning Man. Incidentally, the star shape boundaries of Florence is quite similar to the pentagon fence surrounding Black Rock City.

The Importance of Landmarks

Image for post
Image for post
“All Roads Lead to the Man”
The Man. Photo the Burning Blog, blog.burningman.com
Image for post
Image for post
Map of Black Rock CIty.

Mythology and the Structure of Cities

Image for post
Image for post
Ebenezer Howard’s design for the Garden City of Tomorrow, 1902.
Image for post
Image for post
Thomas More’s utopian central square compared with Black Rock City’s central plaza and Center Camp.

Civic Ownership

The Importance of Getting Lost

Pedestrians and Bike

Image for post
Image for post
Light Foot Bicycles, www.lightfootcycles.com, provides all types of cycles for all types of people

The Problem of Suburbanization

Change is Inevitable

Image for post
Image for post
Burning Man Population since 1995

Other Facts about Black Rock City

Beyond Burning Man

Dispatches on impact and innovation from Black Rock City and beyond.

Sign up for Beyond Burning Man

By Beyond Burning Man

Dispatches on impact and innovation from Black Rock City and beyond. Take a look

By signing up, you will create a Medium account if you don’t already have one. Review our Privacy Policy for more information about our privacy practices.

Check your inbox
Medium sent you an email at to complete your subscription.

Steve Pepple

Written by

Design consultant and advocate who tries to make city streets a little better. I write about transportation, government, and cities.

Beyond Burning Man

Dispatches on impact and innovation from Black Rock City and beyond.

Steve Pepple

Written by

Design consultant and advocate who tries to make city streets a little better. I write about transportation, government, and cities.

Beyond Burning Man

Dispatches on impact and innovation from Black Rock City and beyond.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch

Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore

Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store