One of my favorite past times wherever I travel is walking though cities to get to know its urban fabric and learn from its inhabitants. I had the privilege to walk through Black Rock City in 2012 on several morning and evening walks. Drawing from my own Urban Design experience the following are features of the city that this proposal seeks to enhance.

| Orientation: Navigating Through the City |

At the center of the city is the Man and at 12 o’clock is the Temple. These are the two main landmark beacons of the city and the points by which one can orient one’s self. The other notable landmarks are Centre Camp and the 3 and 9 o’clock plazas. In the evening there is a 3rd layer of landmarks composed of the lite up sculptures from the camps along the Esplanade. The fourth element of the city are the radial roads named after the hour marks on a clock’s face all leading to the center of the city. The center playa is the connecting Plaza where everyone and everything joins together.

I propose that these elements remain in the master plan as they are the foundation of the city therefore keeping the linear connection from 12 to 6 o’clock (The Temple, the Man, and Center Camp). Instead of circular ribbons of streets radiating from the center, an ellipse would capture this trinity at the longest axis and radiate outward like subsequent orbital rings. The main landmarks will act like celestial bodies moving in an elliptical orbit around the Man.

To further direct the city inhabitants, this proposal will suggest having two plazas on either end of the 3 and 9 o’clock Boulevards. These plazas will be a place to display large Art sculptures or experiences that will act as beacons for each quadrant. The boulevards themselves will have a central ribbon of urban landscaping that will provide places for sitting, shelter from the sun, bicycle parking, public toilets, smaller art installations and lighting to direct the users to and from the center of the city.

| Space and Proportion |

Another reason from using the Elliptical shape rather than the circle is that it creates a more proportionate space for the center Playa. The 3 and 9 o’clock plazas with a circular template seemed too far from each other. With an elliptical template they are brought closer together, while still leaving ample space in the center Playa for art installations and the occasional parachute landing. The resulting orbital type rings are also a more efficient pattern to layout the camps and enables more roads to fit within the pentagon boarder.