Every year when the DPW City Manager returns to San Francisco in October after another season of setting up and striking Black Rock City, many of his friends and acquaintances always ask the same polite but general question, “How was Burning Man?”. Anyone who has been to Burning Man knows that this question cannot be answered casually. This year he had a pat answer ready for them, and an answer that happened to be very true. “We’re getting good at it!”
Construction of BRC ’09 went smooth and according to plan for the most part. The playa dealt its usual ration of mischief but nothing insurmountable. Our middle and upper management and volunteer base has been steadily curing into a strong foundation for the past several seasons, and now can shoulder much of the responsibility. We’re now enjoying the well earned luxury of being able to focus on fine tuning which is always in flux as the city changes and grows.
This year’s city design went back to its former dimensions of ’07 after expanding the distance from the Man to the Esplanade last year in ’08. A large portion of feedback from our participants voiced their discontent with the large design and our city planners reverted back to the plan that has worked for us for years. Indeed, as a result, this year’s setup seemed all that much easier. It also eased the stress on our inventory of supplies and materials which added to an overall lower-stress atmosphere during our setup in general.
One of the more significant components of the city design under discussion is the configuration of Gate Road. Because of the many functions that are required of this road and because of its proximity to the city (being upwind and being a dust generator), the solutions are not easily forthcoming. It is a priority for the city planners for the next year.
Be proud of yourselves Black Rock City! Once again, because of your effort, Burning Man continues to be the largest practicing Leave No Trace Event in the world! Playa Restoration is a huge undertaking, with a lot of territory to cover, and we thank you for doing your part.
The 2009 MOOP Map is here
Moop Map History
Looking back, it is plain to see the improvements made after each year.
In 2009, Black Rock City passed its annual Bureau of Land Management Site Inspection with flying colors! Thank you Black Rock City for leading the way!
And of course, an immeasurable amount of thanks to those who stay behind long after the event is over in the name of leaving no trace … the Playa Restoration Crew of the Department of Public Works.
Tony Perez and Dominic “DA” Tinio