Lanzhou

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Lanzhou
兰州市
Prefecture-level city
View of Lanzhou
View of Lanzhou
Location of Lanzhou City (yellow) in Gansu and the PRC
Location of Lanzhou City (yellow) in Gansu and the PRC
Lanzhou is located in China
Lanzhou
Lanzhou
Location in China
Coordinates: 36°02′N 103°48′E / 36.033°N 103.800°E / 36.033; 103.800
Country People's Republic of China
Province Gansu
County-level divisions 8
Government
 • Mayor Yuan Zhanting (袁占亭)
 • Deputy Mayor Cai Ming
Area
 • Prefecture-level city 13,300 km2 (5,100 sq mi)
 • Urban 1,088 km2 (420 sq mi)
Population (2010 census)
 • Prefecture-level city 3,616,163
 • Density 270/km2 (700/sq mi)
 • Urban 2,177,130
 • Urban density 2,000/km2 (5,200/sq mi)
Time zone China Standard (UTC+8)
Postal code 730000
Area code(s) 931
License plate prefixes A
GDP (2008) CNY 84.6 billion
 - per capita CNY 25,566
Website http://www.lz.gansu.gov.cn (Chinese)
City flowers
Rugosa Rose
Lanzhou
Simplified Chinese 兰州
Traditional Chinese 蘭州
Postal Map Lanchow
Literal meaning elegant state or Capital of Lan

Lánzhōu (Chinese: 兰州; Postal map spelling: Lanchow) is the capital and largest city of Gansu Province in Northwest China. A prefecture-level city, it is a key regional transportation hub, allowing areas further west to maintain railroad connections to the eastern half of the country. Lanzhou is home to 3,616,163 inhabitants at the 2010 census and 2,177,130 in the built-up area (urban) of 1,088 square kilometres (420 sq mi).

History[edit]

Originally in the territory of the Western Qiang peoples, Lanzhou became part of the territory of the State of Qin in the 6th century BC.

In 81 BC, under the Han dynasty (206 BC–220 AD), it was taken from the Huns' Huandi Chanyu and made the seat of Jincheng commandery (jùn), and later of the Jincheng county (xiàn), later renamed Yunwu. The city used to be called the Golden City, and since at least the first millennium BC it was a major link on the ancient Northern Silk Road,[1][2] and also an important historic Yellow River crossing site. To protect the city, the Great Wall of China was extended as far as Yumen.

After the fall of the Han dynasty, Lanzhou became the capital of a succession of tribal states. In the 4th century it was briefly the capital of the independent state of Liang. The Northern Wei dynasty (386–534) reestablished Jincheng commandery, renaming the county Zicheng. Mixed with different cultural heritages, the area at present-day Gansu province, from the 5th to the 11th century, became a center for Buddhist study. Under the Sui Dynasty (581–618) the city became the seat of Lanzhou prefecture for the first time, retaining this name under the Tang dynasty (618–907). In 763 the area was overrun by the Tibetan Empire and in 843 was conquered by the Tang. Later it fell into the hands of the Western Xia dynasty (which flourished in Qinghai from the 11th to 13th century) and was subsequently absorbed by the Song dynasty (960–1126) in 1041. The name Lanzhou was reestablished, and the county renamed Lanzhuan.

After 1127 it fell into the hands of the Jin dynasty, and after 1235 it came into the possession of the Mongol Empire.

Downtown Lanzhou seen from across the Yellow River

Under the Ming dynasty (1368–1644) the prefecture was demoted to a county and placed under the administration of Lintao superior prefecture, but in 1477 Lanzhou was reestablished as a political unit.

The city acquired its current name in 1656, during the Qing dynasty. When Gansu was made a separate province in 1666, Lanzhou became its capital.

In 1739 the seat of Lintao was transferred to Lanzhou, which was later made a superior prefecture called Lanzhou.

Lanzhou was badly damaged during the Dungan revolt in 1864–1875. In the 1920s and 1930s it became a center of Soviet influence in northwestern China. During the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945) Lanzhou, linked with Xi'an by highway in 1935, became the terminus of the 3,200 km (2,000 mi) Chinese–Soviet highway, used as a route for Soviet supplies destined for the Xi'an area. This highway remained the primary traffic route of northwestern China until the completion of the railway from Lanzhou to Urumqi, Xinjiang. During the war Lanzhou was heavily bombed by the Japanese.

During the 1937 Japanese invasion of China, the Guominjun Muslim Generals Ma Hongkui and Ma Bufang protected Lanzhou with their cavalry troops, putting up such resistance that the Japanese never captured Lanzhou.[3][4][5]

The city is the seat of a currently vacant Roman Catholic diocese[6] and was previously the center of a vicariate apostolic (Vicariate Apostolic of Northern Kan-Su).[7]

Geography[edit]

Lanzhou is situated on the upper reaches of the Yellow River where it emerges from the mountains and has been a center since early times, being at the southern end of the route leading via the Hexi Corridor across Central Asia. It commands the approaches to the ancient capital area of Chang'an (modern Xi'an) in Shaanxi province from both the west and the northwest, as well as the area of Qinghai Lake via the upper waters of the Yellow River and its tributaries.

Climate and environment[edit]

Lanzhou is situated in the temperate zone and enjoys a semi-arid climate (Köppen BSk) with hot summers and cold and very dry winters. The monthly 24-hour average temperature ranges from −5.3 °C (22.5 °F) in January to 22.4 °C (72.3 °F) in July. The mean annual temperature is 9.75 °C (49.5 °F), while annual rainfall is 315 millimetres (12.4 in), almost all of which falls from May to October. The winters are so dry that snow is extremely rare. With monthly percent possible sunshine ranging from 50 percent in December to 59 percent in February, sunshine is generous but not abundant, as the city receives 2,424 hours of bright sunshine annually.

Environmental issues[edit]

The city is located in a narrow and curved river valley with surrounding mountains causing it to be hemmed in blocking a free flow of air. Lanzhou repeatedly has had the worst air quality of any of 84 Chinese cities surveyed.[9] According to the Blacksmith Institute, Lanzhou is one of the 30 most polluted cities in the world, with its TSP (total suspended particle) rating 247 percent above that of the Gansu State recommendation.[citation needed] Air quality is so poor that at times one cannot see Lanshan, the mountain rising up along the south side of the city. At one point, a controversial suggestion was put forward to bulldoze a mountain adjacent to the city, in order to let fresh air into the bowl where Lanzhou is situated.[citation needed] Lanzhou is also the home of many factories, including some involved in petroleum processing, and suffers from large dust storms kicked up from the Gobi Desert, especially in the winter and spring. In 2011, using Chinese statistics, the World Health Organization reported that Lanzhou has the worst air quality (annual mean PM10 ug/m3 of 150) among eleven western Chinese cities, and is even worse than Beijing with its reading of 121.[10]

The reach of the Yellow River at Lanzhou carries a high load of silt, giving the river its characteristic muddy appearance; however water quality in this reach is better than the "fetid outflow that barely passes for water two hours downstream".[11]

On April 11 2014 Lanzhou officials advised residents not to drink tap water, because benzene levels were 20 times the national limit of 10 micrograms per liter. The city water supply suspected industrial chemical production to be the culprit, similar to what happened in 2005 Jilin chemical plant explosions[12]

Earthquakes[edit]

Lanzhou experiences earthquakes regularly, although usually at low intensities. In 1920 a large earthquake was experienced killing more than 100,000 people in Eastern Gansu province, although only 42 were killed in Lanzhou itself, the low number being attributed to the strong yet flexible nature of the wooden buildings in the city.[13]

Administrative divisions[edit]

Map # Name Simplified Chinese Hanyu Pinyin Population
(2010 census)
Area (km²) Density
(/km²)
Lanzhou mcp.png City proper
1 Chengguan District 城关区 Chéngguān Qū 1,278,745 220 5,812.47
2 Qilihe District 七里河区 Qīlǐhé Qū 561,020 397 1,413.14
3 Xigu District 西固区 Xīgù Qū 364,050 385 945.58
4 Anning District 安宁区 Ānníng Qū 288,510 86 3,354.76
Suburban
5 Honggu District 红古区 Hónggǔ Qū 136,101 575 236.69
Rural
6 Yongdeng County 永登县 Yǒngdēng Xiàn 418,789 6,090 68.76
7 Gaolan County 皋兰县 Gāolán Xiàn 131,785 2,556 51.55
8 Yuzhong County 榆中县 Yúzhōng Xiàn 437,163 3,362 130.03
9 Lanzhou New Area
An economic management area
not a formal administrative division.
兰州新区 Lánzhōu Xīnqū

Lanzhou New Area[edit]

On 20 August 2012, Lanzhou New Area was approved by the State Council of China's Central Government as the fifth state-level new special economic development zone (followed by Pudong of Shanghai, Binhai of Tianjin, Liangjiang of Chongqing, Zhoushan of Zhejiang), which is also the first state-level new area in the northwest of China.

Tourism[edit]

  • The Five Spring Mountain Park(五泉山公园)was built at the northern side of Gaolan Mountain, is famous for its five springs and several Buddhist temples.
  • The Yellow River Bridge(黄河铁桥) has connected the transport hub of Lanzhou to the mainland and northwest since the Ming dynasty when people began to envisage such a crossing to conquer the Yellow River .
  • Baita Mountain Park(白塔山公园) was built close to the mountains at an elevation of 1,700 metres (5,600 ft) and opened in 1958 across the Yellow River bridge.

Economy[edit]

Panoramic view of Lanzhou city centre

Productivity[edit]

Since 1949 Lanzhou has been transformed from the capital of a poverty-stricken province into the center of a major industrial area. The GDP per capita of Lanzhou was 25,566 (RMB) (US$3,681) in 2008, ranking it at number 134 among 659 Chinese cities.

Natural resources[edit]

There is a thermal generating plant supplied with coal from fields in Qinghai. In addition, there is a hydroelectric station at Zhulama Gorge in Gansu, and a large multipurpose dam has been built in the Liujia Gorge on the Yellow River above Lanzhou.[14]

Industry[edit]

Main industries include textile mills, rubber processing and fertilizer plants, an oil refinery, petrochemicals, machinery, and metallurgical industry.

Gansu has one of the largest oil refineries in the country and Lanzhou itself is the center of the province's petrochemical industry. Lanzhou has a large refinery linked to the fields at Yumen by pipeline. It also manufactures equipment for the oil industry.

Lanzhou has a large textile industry, particularly noted for the production of woolen and leather goods. In addition, Lanzhou produces locomotives and rolling stock for the northwestern railways, as well as machine tools and mining equipment. aluminum products, industrial chemicals, and fertilizers are produced on a large scale, and there is a large rubber industry. Copper is mined in nearby Gaolan.

Lanzhou has been one of the centers of China's national nuclear power industry since the 1960s.

Industrial zones:

  • Lanzhou Economic and Technological Development Zone
  • Lanzhou High-tech Industrial Development Zone

Agriculture[edit]

Lanzhou is the collecting center and market for agricultural produce and livestock from a wide area.

Transportation[edit]

Lanzhou Railway Station
The Yellow River seen from the park of the White Pagoda.

Airlines[edit]

  • Lanzhou Airport serves as the main airport and is located 70 km (43 mi) north of Lanzhou. Flights from more than 20 cities depart and arrive at the airport.

Railway[edit]

Subway[edit]

Lanzhou was the second city in northwest China to open a subway line, in August 2012. The urban railway network, Lanzhou Metro, is planned to consist of six subway lines running 207 km (129 mi). Three of the subway lines, coded Line 1, Line 2 and Line 3, will extend 90 km (56 mi) in the city proper, while the three outer lines, coded Line 4, Line 5 and Line 6, will run 117 km (73 mi), connecting the city centre with Lanzhou Zhongchuan Airport, Yuzhong county and Gaolan county, respectively. The first two lines will cost about 23 billion yuan ($3.6 billion) and be completed by 2020.[15]

Regional[edit]

Lanzhou Railway Station is a major railway hub of western China. Every day over 100 passenger trains originate or pass via this station. It is a vital focal point connecting the western Chinese provinces with the east. Lanzhou Railway Station is located on Huochezhan Dong Lu, in Chengguan district.

It has the following railway connections:

Construction of new high-speed passenger-only railway lines is carried out both toward the east (the Xulan Passenger Dedicated Line) and the west (the Lanxin High-Speed Railway). These services will use an upgraded Lanzhou West Railway Station.

Highways[edit]

Bus services[edit]

Lanzhou has a noted bus rapid transit system which opened in 2013 and won the city an honorable mention at the 2014 Sustainable Transport Awards.[16][17]

Other services connect to local and provincial areas

Places of interest[edit]

Xiguan Mosque after a Friday Prayer

Media[edit]

Culture[edit]

The city is the cultural centre of Gansu. It is home to many different ethnic groups and their respective cultures, but the most prominent three groups are the Han, Hui, and Zang.

  • Chinese opera: Qinqiang Drama
  • Cuisine: Lanzhou beef lamian noodles, the root of the lily, and many different kinds of mutton all feature into Lanzhou's distinct food culture.
  • Islam in China: Xiguan Mosque, the mosque was constructed in the Ming dynasty and later rebuilt in 1990, and occupies an area of 467 square meters, and is one of the most influential mosques in China. The architecture of the mosque predominantly reflects that of Arab architecture.[18]

Colleges and universities[edit]

The city is the seat of Lanzhou University, founded in 1909. The National Minorities Institute at Lanzhou and a number of scientific institutes are also located there.In particular, Northwest Normal University has been the key university at the provincial level, which has prepared over 100,000 teachers in schools across the province Gansu.

List[edit]

Note: Institutions without full-time bachelor's degree programs are not listed.

National level[edit]

Other public institutions[edit]

Healthcare[edit]

According to the provincial health bureau, about 42,000 people die of cancer every year in Gansu, accounting for 25 percent of the province's overall deaths. More than 1 billion yuan (146 million U.S. dollars) is spent annually on treating cancer in the province.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Xian Xiaowei, Zhang Linyuan, Ai Nanshan and Wihelm Wohlke, On the relation between the evolution of natural environment and human factors and the development of urban settlement—Take the Lanzhou Valley Basin as an examples, Springerlink vol.1,no.1 (1991)
  2. ^ C.Michael Hogan, Silk Road, North China, the Megalithic Portal, ed. Andy Burnham
  3. ^ Stéphane William Darrach Halsey, Bernard Johnston (M.A.) (1989). Collier's encyclopedia: with bibliography and index, Volume 14. Macmillan Educational Co. p. 285. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  4. ^ Stéphane William Darrach Halsey, Bernard Johnston (M.A.) (1983). Collier's encyclopedia: with bibliography and index, Volume 14. Macmillan Educational Co. p. 285. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  5. ^ Stéphane William Darrach Halsey, Bernard Johnston (M.A.) (1983). Collier's encyclopedia: with bibliography and index, Volume 14. Macmillan Educational Co. p. 285. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  6. ^ Archdiocese of Lanchow at catholic-hierarchy.org
  7. ^ Vicariate Apostolic of Northern Kan-Su at Catholic Encyclopedia
  8. ^ "中国地面国际交换站气候标准值月值数据集(1971-2000年)" (in Simplified Chinese). China Meteorological Administration. Retrieved 2010-05-04. 
  9. ^ Lanzhou morning daily. Gansu Daily. 5 January 2005 http://www.gansudaily.com.cn/20050107/110/2005107A0003G001.htm |url= missing title (help). 
  10. ^ WHO report OAP_database_8_2011.xls
  11. ^ Rob Gifford (6 January 2008). "Yellow River Pollution Is Price of Economic Growth". NPR. 
  12. ^ Spegele, Brian (11 April 2014). "Water Scare Hits Chinese City of Lanzhou". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 14 April 2014. 
  13. ^ “The Earthquake,” E. J. Mann in Links with China and Other Lands, No. 31, April 1921, Lanzhou: China Inland Mission (quarterly) Bound volume in MS 380302, Papers of Ebenezer and Mabel Mann, SOAS, 331.[1]
  14. ^ Liujiaxia Gorge and Bingling Temple
  15. ^ http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/business/2012-06/27/content_15526833.htm
  16. ^ Buenos Aires, Argentina Wins 2014 Sustainable Transport Award, Institute for Transportation and Development Policy
  17. ^ Lanzhou BRT
  18. ^ Xiguan Mosque from Muslim2China
  19. ^ Institute Of Technology official website
  20. ^ Lanzhou City University official website

External links[edit]