Lanzhou, capital city of Northwest China's Gansu Province, is located in the transition zone between the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the Loess Plateau. At an altitude of about 1520 meters, it is an important central city, industrial base and comprehensive communication hub for Northwest China and the key city of the Silk Road Economic Belt.
The city administrates the five districts of Chengguan, Qilihe, Xigu, Anning and Honggu, as well as the three counties of Yongdeng, Yuzhong and Gaolan. Lanzhou has one national new area – the Lanzhou New Area -- and two national development zones, namely the Lanzhou National Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone and the Lanzhou Economic and Technological Development Zone.
Lanzhou covers a total area of 13,100 square kilometers and an urban area of 1,631.6 square kilometers.
It has a temperate continental climate and with an annual average temperature of 10.3℃ the city is an ideal summer resort. The annual average number of sunshine hours is 2,374, the frost free period is 172 days, and annual average precipitation is about 300 mm.
Lanzhou has been an important traffic hub and military fortress since ancient times. Around 140 BC, Zhang Qian, a royal emissary of China's Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220), traveled westward, opening the Silk Road, an overland route linking east and west.
Lanzhou became a main stop along the Silk Road, and played a significant role in promoting economic and cultural exchange between China and the West.
Lanzhou is the only provincial capital that the Yellow River runs through. It has a great number of beautiful attractions, such as a waterwheel, the Yellow River Iron Bridge (also known as Zhongshan Bridge), a model of the mother Yellow River and the Yellow River Custom Tourist Line.
In 2020, Lanzhou won the honorable title of "National Civilized City". Its experience in controlling air pollution was promoted nationwide, and it won the "Award for Today's Transformative Step 2015" at a Paris climate conference.
Lanzhou is a "crossroad" of Northwest China. It is one of nine logistics regions, a top 10 logistics channel and one of 21 national logistics node cities. Lanzhou has the densest railway network in the northwest area, and is a strategic channel of the New Eurasian Land Bridge which supports China's opening up to Central and Western Asia.
The Lanzhouxi Railway Station is the largest passenger transport hub in western China. Lanzhou railway is the world's longest high-speed railway with one-step construction, and forms a rapid transportation link between Lanzhou and Central, East and Southwest China, and has become a golden connection between the "one belt" and "one road" (the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road).
Lanzhou Zhongchuan International Airport is an important facility in Northwest China. In 2020, it launched routes to 116 cities, including 216 passenger services (includes 17 international routes and 1 regional route) and seven cargo services (includes four international routes).
With passenger throughput up to 11.13 million, the airport ranks 26th across the country. Its growth rate is 9.31 percent higher than the national average.
The third phase expansion project of the airport's construction broke ground on September 9, 2020 with total investment of 34.37 billion yuan, and is expected to be completed in 2023. The enlarged airport will have 300 international air routes and annual passenger throughput of 38 million.
Lanzhou was one of the first cities in China to demonstrate modern industrial civilization. The city is one of the key industrial bases of China, and has a number of large and medium sized enterprises often credited with "The first in China" and "The most in China" in the industrial field.
Lanzhou is also a major petrochemical base, biopharmaceutical base and equipment manufacturing base.
During the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) period, the Lanzhou government will build clusters in the petrochemical, equipment manufacturing, biological medicine and environment-friendly metallurgy industries and develop the eight pillar industrial chains of aerospace, new materials, new energy, nuclear fuel, new building materials, energy conservation and environmental protection and food processing, as well as tobacco products.
Lanzhou is a key scientific research and education base in China, and is home to the Lanzhou National Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone and the Lanzhou Economic and Technological Development Zone.
In 2014, with the approval of the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Lanzhou-Baiyin Science and Technology Innovation and Reform Pilot Zone was set up. In 2018, Lanzhou established the first National Innovation Park in a less developed area.
The talent density and comprehensive scientific and technological strength of Lanzhou rank in the middle and upper reaches of large and medium-sized cities in China.
Lanzhou has more than 1200 scientific research institutions, 30 universities and colleges, 11 national key laboratories, one national laboratory, one national key laboratory cultivation base, 13 national enterprise technology centers, three national engineering and technology research centers, 81 provincial key laboratories and 69 provincial engineering and technology research centers, as well as 26 academicians and 49 experts who enjoy special government allowances.
In 2012, as approved by the State Council, Lanzhou set up the Lanzhou New Area, the fifth national-level new area and the first in Northwest China.
Lanzhou New Area covers 1,744 square kilometers. It has established 160 square kilometers of urban framework infrastructure and attracted more than 760 projects with total investment of 370 billion yuan.
It was approved as a pilot zone for green finance reform and innovations and a national foreign trade transformation and upgrading base for petroleum equipment. In 2019, Lanzhou was approved as a land-port-type national logistics hub and designated by the state as one of the three land ports open to Nepal.
Lanzhou has a history of more than 2,200 years. It has 10 major historical and cultural sites protected at the national level (including the Great Wall), 40 historical and cultural sites protected at the provincial level and 109 historical and cultural sites protected at municipal and county levels.
It has 29 museums listed on the National Museum List. The museums and memorial halls directly under municipal and county cultural departments have 18,987 collected artifacts. Lanzhou has many cultural treasures protected as national intangible cultural heritages, such as the Taiping Drum and Yellow River water wheel production skills.
In recent years, Lanzhou has actively participated in the Belt and Road Initiative, ecological protection and high quality development of the Yellow River basin. Lanzhou sustains healthy economic development and overall social stability.