Role to be filled

City Planning | co-Metalead

Year Round And On Site


Welcome! Are you a designer or affiliated with urban design and planning? Let’s build one of our favourite ‘cities’ in the desert. This department designs and plans the city up from dust. We create the layout and decide what goes where.

We need a Co-MetaLead to join our current chief ‘designer’ in overseeing the City Planning department and associated projects. The role will be to help create the site layout map as well as provide guidance and support to Leads in the City Planning department such as placement, signage, demarcation, city planning strike, on-site placement and traffic/roads.

Tasks and Time commitment

As this is a year-round role, the time commitment will vary depending on the needs of the event and your own responsibilities and availability. It is likely to be a few hours a week at the start of the year and increasing to be more intense (up to 15 hours a week) until the end of May.

As with most things at Burns, it is what you make it! We ideally need someone who will hit the ground running and be able to help our current MetaLead as soon as possible. The Meta-Leads are the link between City Planning, NOrg and the other departments. You will need to participate in a monthly MetaLeads meeting and give a departmental update – this means communicating regularly with the leads in your department. We ideally need someone who can shadow and help our MetaLead this year, with the commitment to attend for the second year in 2024 and take more of a lead role.

Here are *some* of the tasks you will be getting involved in with your Co-MetaLead:

Pre-Event January-March

  • Prepare barrio registration
  • Liaise with other teams about new changes (sound policy, site change, different orientation for sound zones, etc)
  • Create job descriptions and make sure all Lead positions in your team are filled
  • Open barrio registration
  • Talk to barrios about their preferences

Pre-Event March-May

  • Attend the Monthly MetaLeads Meetings
  • Provide support to your leads regarding recruiting volunteers on FIST (and work with R&R, Comms etc as necessary)
  • Design the city layout map
  • Liaise with barrio organizers
  • Liaise with NOrg departments about their structure requirements
  • Publish first draft map (and then update first draft as a lot of changes will be requested)
  • Finalize the map by the end of April
  • Liaise with Container Lead and Placement Lead. Ask for container requirements and locations for each barrio and structure, provide plot dimensions for each barrio and NOrg structure
  • Liaise with Signage Lead about the signage request form for all NOrg departments
  • Adjust the wood and paint order based on the signage request form
  • Provide final map with containers
  • Check with barrios if everything is correct

Pre-Event June-Build

As Nowhere approaches the map needs to be transferred to a GPS. The on-site placement team needs to be set up, to start placing flags with GPS as first on site (+- 3,5 weeks before the event)

  • Attend the MetaLead meetings and make sure event time volunteers are recruited
  • Convert all container and map points to GPS
  • Make sure the On Site Placement Lead is ready to start

During Setup, Event and Strike

Ideally the MetaLead team will be on site one week before the event during Build to give the Signage and Demarcation teams guidance. The City Planning Metaleads assist on a daily basis where necessary and helps the workflow go smoother.

  • Complete two daily lead shifts (e.g. site lead, Malfare lead)
  • Provide support to teams in your department (including covering vacancies as needed)
  • Regularly check in with other MetaLeads and act as the point of contact for your department as and when needed
  • Participate in any on site meetings relevant to your role
  • Make sure the City Planning Strike lead is ready to go

Post Event August-December

  • Gather feedback from Leads and your team and prepare to attend the Annual Leads meeting and start planning the next Nowhere!
  • Liaise with your team what they need and what they want to improve for next year, concerning tools, vehicles, power etc
  • Liaise with your team about the orders of materials, as for example wood, paint, etc (this will be adjusted in May after the Signage request form)
  • Start to recruit new leads when a someone doesn’t continue his/her role after the event
  • Start finalizing budget for next Nowhere for finance team

Which department does this role belong to

City Planning

Required Skills

  • Has an (landscape-) architecture or urban planning or similar background and is familiar with different city models
  • Flexible and adaptable to change
  • At least one/two years’ experience in a lead role at Nowhere (or proven experience of similar role in other event and at least one year in a Lead position at Nowhere)
  • Able to commit to a year round role
  • Problem solver
  • Strong organization and easy use of basic admin formats
  • Very good communication skills
  • Good IT skills
  • Fluent in English
  • Experience of managing a team of volunteers
  • Conflict resolution skills
  • A positive attitude and resilience to stress

Bonus Skills

  • Willingness to help out wherever you can
  • Experience of recruiting volunteers
  • Experience of working collaboratively

Responsible to

Project Manager, Directors

Responsible for

 Leads and teams in your department, such as:

  • Signage lead
  • Demarcation lead
  • On site placement lead
  • City Planning strike lead
  • Container placement lead


  • Swag (team patches and other exciting things)
  • Other very exciting shiny things soon to be announced – keep an eye out!
  • New friends from all corners of the world
  • A chance to try something new, step out of that comfort zone & grow!
  • A chance to put your real-world skills to the test in a new environment and feel badass!