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DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS (DPW)

The Black Rock City Department of Public Works (BRC DPW) is the group that plans, surveys, builds, and takes down the basic infrastructure of our temporary community in the desert. Since the 1997 event the DPW, hand-in-hand with other departments, has instituted the City Plan.

This includes:
  • Building logical roads
  • Creating and placing signage
  • Establishing the gate
  • Building and placing spires and city lighting
  • Maintaining approved potable water systems
  • Building functional/safe shade structures
  • Maintaining a depot for material storage
  • Building the Man, Center Camp, the lantern spires, the Gate and entrance to the city
  • Surveying street alignments and city boundaries, theme camp and artwork locations, signage and border fencing
  • Running the materials depot and mechanical shop
  • Interfacing with staff and outside agency facilities
  • Providing transportation
  • Directing potty placement
  • Providing portable and stationary electrical power
  • Creating the welded steel fireplaces
  • Assisting with major art projects
  • Setting up the small-plane airport and runway
  • Provide dust control on the roads via water trucks

After the event, the DPW strikes the set, stores gear for next year and makes sure that Black Rock City will truly Leave No Trace.


The DPW are heroic, determined, hardworking, responsible, creative, interesting, dedicated, unusual, individuals, working together for extended periods, in dangerous and hostile conditions, toward a common and vital goal.

If you have questions about the building and maintenance of structures onsite, please contact site(at)burningman(dot)com. If you want to know more about the DPW's volunteer needs, click here.

If you are interested in helping out, fill out the General Volunteer Questionnaire and email dpwvolunteers(at)burningman(dot)com with details on critical skills and expertise.