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Flattening hills: making of new metropolis in China


11:19, December 15, 2012

LANZHOU, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- Dozens of bulldozers are flattening hills on the north bank of the Yellow River in Lanzhou City. In three to four years, the area is planned to turn into a bustling downtown.

The ambitious land-transformation project has been dubbed as a real-life version of the Chinese legend "Foolish Man Moving Mountains," which is equivalent to the Western term of "where there's a will, there's a way."

The 10-square-km land with about 1,000 low hills has been designated as an extended city area of Lanzhou, capital of northwest China's Gansu Province.

The urban expansion is expected to solve the land use bottleneck for the city narrowed by mountains from the north and the south and with the Yellow River traversing through the middle.

Li Changjiang, deputy director of the Lanzhou Land Resources Bureau, said that restricted by geological conditions, the city has the least land reserve to support its urbanization among all provincial capital cities in China.

However, the city predicts its population will increase from 3.6 million to 5 million in the next few years as more farmers quit farmlands to work in the town.

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