2017 Annual WASLA Conference

Spokane Convention Center, April 21, 2017
One Day, Dynamic Sessions, Ultimate Location



4:30-5:30 PM
Black Rock City: Lessons in the Dust


Black Rock City rises from the dust for a weeklong festival and celebration of art, music, and dance known as Burning Man. This presentation will discuss the guiding principles of the event, its physical design, its social constructs and some practical application of how aspects of the event might be applied to enrich more permanent settlements. These aspects include the activation of public spaces, proliferation of the Leave No Trace model for public events, protection and cultivation of landmarks, and concepts for prioritization of pedestrian and bicycle traffic. 

Lead Speaker:

Omar Akkari

Speaker Bio:

Omar Akkari, Urban Designer, PLA, City of Spokane 
Omar Akkari received his dual Master Degrees in Environmental Science and City Planning and his Bachelor Degree in Landscape Architecture from from Ohio State University. He currently works as an Urban Designer for the City of Spokane. He has been to Burning Man 4 times since 2011, most recently this year with his wife for their honeymoon. 

Learning Objectives:
  • Acquire a basic understanding of the Garden City Movement and its direct application to a city design.
  • Learn how other cities have prioritized pedestrian and bicycle use in vehicular traffic on local streets utilizing Barcelona’s super block concept.
  • Learn how the cultural history, mythology, and cultivation of awe can activate public spaces. 
  • Learn how other cities have activated public space utilizing space transitions from pilot projects to permanent installations. 
  • Understand the importance of moving towards a Leave No Trace model within public spaces and neighborhoods and how harnessing the power of civic energy responsibly can reduce negative behaviors.




Where History Meets Nature

Spokane Convention Center
Spokane, WA