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China's $3.5 billion plan to flatten 700 mountains

Posting in Cities

Developers in China will literally move mountains to ensure the construction of their next big project.

The China Pacific Construction Group plans to spend $3.5 billion to flatten 700 mountains, making room for a brand new city, the Guardian reports. The firm, which is one of the biggest in the country, will blow up a mountainous area spanning 500 square miles in order to construct the metropolis in the country’s northwestern Gansu province.

Called the Lanzhou New Area, the planned metropolis will sit 50 miles from the province’s capital city, Lanzhou. Filled with high-rises, parks and even beaches, the future urban center will take up approximately 10 square miles of land and will cost the developers another $11 billion to construct.

Although the project has been approved by China’s state council and will reportedly bump up the region’s gross domestic product to $43 billion by 2030, there are considerable concerns surrounding the Lanzhou New Area’s construction.

The city of Lanzhou already has the worst pollution in China, according to the World Health Organization, and water scarcity could become even more of an issue in the extremely arid region.

Nevertheless, executives from the China Pacific Construction Group remain unconcerned.

“Lanzhou’s environment is already really poor, it’s all desolate mountains which are extremely short of water,” a spokeswoman told the Guardian. “Our protective style of development will divert water to the area, achieve reforestation and make things better than before."

Image: Sigismund von Dobschutz/Wikimedia Commons

[via The Guardian, TIME]

— By on December 16, 2012, 7:14 AM PST

Sarah Korones

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Sarah Korones is a freelance writer based in New York. She has written for Psychology Today and Boston's Weekly Dig. She holds a degree from Tufts University. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure