A smoggy haze hangs over Lanzhou city. (Getty)
China will flatten 700 mountains to make way for a new desert metropolis in what is believed to be one of the biggest mountain moving projects in the country's history.
One of China's largest construction companies will spend $3.37 billion levelling the ground for the Lanzhou “new area project”, the Guardian reports.
The new development will be located on the outskirts of Lanzhou city, the capital of the arid Gansu province in central China and home to 3.7 million people.
China has earmarked 130,000 hectares for the new development, which will be China's fifth "state-level development zone" and the first in the Gansu region.
A promotional video for the new city posted on the development's website features a fly-through look at the planned city, which will boast towering skyscrapers, sports stadiums and leafy parks.
The first stage of the mountain moving project commenced in October to prepare the way for a 16-square-kilometres urban district northeast of the existing Lanzhou city.
While the development is set to add an estimated $41.36 billion to China's GDP, not everyone is happy with the enormous urban expansion.
Last year the World Health Organisation named Lanzhou one of China's most polluted cities with the worst air pollution and a shortage of water.
Source: The Guardian