5 Things Cities can Learn from Burning Man

This short documentary from Time Video is quite interesting. I like Larry Harvey’s point that they’ve eliminated cars from the  city, although his description of Art Cars as “mass transit” is a bit of a stretch.

In summary, the 5 lessons are:

  1. Eliminate cars.
  2. Make people self-reliant, so you don’t have to pick up their trash.
  3. Rethink commerce, build things together.
  4. Use shame, to foster virtue.
  5. When the going gets tough, bring in the artists.

I would love to see some city in the world deciding it’s going to do all of that, and see what happens. Other lessons cities could learn from Burning Man are “let everyone run around naked and party their asses off”, or “encourage private citizens to fund free entertainment”…both of which would be much easier to implement than “rethink commerce” or “make everyone responsible for leaving no trace”.


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