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What?! China Developers to Flatten 700 Mountains to Build New City

What?! China Developers to Flatten 700 Mountains to Build New City

Written by Michael Graham Richard

After years of hearing tales of the huge scale of everything in China, we tend to get desensitized. We don’t really feel the scale, we just hear abstract numbers. But in this case, I want to highlight extra hard just how crazy huge this is: One of the largest developers in China, the China Pacific Construction Group, is planning to spend around 22 billion yuans (3.5 billion dollars) to flatten 700 mountains in the Lanzhou area, to allow the construction of a new giant city over an area of 130,000 hectares about 50 miles from the current city.

“Lanzhou, home to 3.6 million people alongside the silty Yellow River, already has major environmental concerns. Last year the World Health Organisation named it the city with the worst air pollution in China. The city’s main industries include textiles, fertiliser production and metallurgy.” (source)

Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 3.0

Above is a view of what Lanzhou looks like. Notice the Lanshan mountains in the background. These aren’t just small hills… And the region is quite arid, which means that a big increase in population could put pressure on water resources.

People need places to live, that’s totally understandable. But let’s work with nature, not against it, and do things properly.

This post was originally published by TreeHugger.


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3:20PM PDT on May 1, 2013

The costs will outweigh any benefits.

3:08PM PST on Jan 7, 2013

The Chinese of today need to look to their ancestors to once again learn to respect and treat with compassion both the environment and animals. If they destroy these mountains to build more apartments, they will not only destroy the environment and the animals that live in those areas, but they will end up destroying themselves. Wake up China and be a good example to the rest of the world, not the image of destruction you are currently presenting. Listen to your concerned citizens who love their country, their natural environment and animals.

7:01PM PST on Jan 2, 2013

Crazy. :(

7:07PM PST on Dec 30, 2012

i shared it on facebook, is there a petition against this

5:57PM PST on Dec 29, 2012

P.S.: Some past civilizations have driven themselves to, or almost to extinction by destroying the ecosystem in which they live, and while I know that China is huge, consisting of multifarious ecosystems, this is just dumb.

5:54PM PST on Dec 29, 2012


11:26PM PST on Dec 28, 2012

A depressing read.

8:29PM PST on Dec 26, 2012

They had to be chinese!! This should be illegal!!!

7:44PM PST on Dec 25, 2012

Somehow, this needs to be stopped.

5:53PM PST on Dec 25, 2012

Hmm, I wonder why they are *flattening* them?? This doesn't surprise me that they're expanding, considering their insane population density but it seems like if they just built the city ON the mountains it would be more cost-effective.

I want to look into this more... very curious.

Does flattening equal money from coal? If not, just strange.

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