Black Rock City Planning Competition

Sponsor: Black Rock City Ministry of Urban Planning

Location: Block Rock City, Nevada, USA
Type: Open, international, two stage
31 December 2015 – stage one submission deadline
Design Challenge:
If you had a chance to design Black Rock City, what would you build? Participatory art is what makes Burning Man such a unique and amazing event.
The Black Rock City Ministry of Urban Planning was founded with the goal of enabling people to share and discuss ideas for the spatial and geometric possibilities for Black Rock City and regional events, and to give architects and urban designers a platform to participate more directly in this process. Design competitions such as this are a familiar format in these trades, and as such, are an efficient way to get lots of ideas on the table for consideration.
In the upcoming competition, entrants are invited to submit designs within three basic categories:
  • Individual design elements : boulevards, roundabouts, street lights, all of the things that are part of a city scape that can be incorporated into larger scale plans. Have an idea for a park, or a winding boulevard? Submit this as a design element.
  • Conforming city plans : these are large scale city plans that make adaptations to the existing time + named street coordinate system without altering the fundamental character of the plan. The objective with this type of plan is to make asthetic or practical improvements to what’s already in place, for example by adding pedestrian boulevards (think Las Ramblas in Barcelona).
  • Non-conforming city plans : here we explore BRC, or a regional event city, as an imagined or science fictional space, and invite people to submit radically new configurations for the city.
The output of the competition will be the Big Book of Ideas, a collection of the entries, along with public voting data and comments. This will be published online and shared with BRC city planners, as well as regional event organizers (this is an independent non-commercial effort, entrants retain copyright to their work). The submissions will also be included in an on playa exhibition with each competition cycle. Ultimately, BRC city planners will decide what gets built, as there are significant logistics and safety issues to contend with in accommodating 70,000 people in a temporary city, but the goal is to create an ongoing process for public feedback that allows the city plan to incorporate ideas, at the micro and macro level, from urban designers worldwide.

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