China plans to bulldoze mountains in order to create more buildable land, a move that researches say will cause many environmental problems.
According to researchers from Chang’an University in China, dozens of mountains have already been flattened. This has major environmental issues, including water pollution, air pollution, flooding, and soil erosion. As if that is not bad enough, they claim that this activity will begin to happen on an unprecedented scale.
“Because there have been no land creation projects like this before in the world, there are no guidelines,” warned Professor Peiyue Li, a professor from Chang’an University’s School of Environmental Science and Engineering.
As China grows more and more, they are running out of building space. One of the only reasons they have been keeping a growing economy is through their building, and in order to continue constructing buildings, they must first clear mountains. Mountains cannot hold buildings, so China must flatten them in order to use the land.
Researchers have warned that by clearing away mountains, the entire surrounding environment could be in danger. Dust could go into the atmosphere, creating landslides, blocking waterways, and killing off the surrounding plants and animals.
It could also endanger humans, as one-fifth of China’s population lives in mountainous areas, says BBC News. These people could be injured from the environmental outcome, or could be displaced from their homes. Already, dozens of hilltops have been leveled in cities like Chongqing, Shiyan, Yichang, Lanzhou and Yan’an.
On top of that, some researchers claim that the flattened land may be unsuitable to build on.
“The most concerning issue is the safety of constructing cities on the newly created land,” said Li. “Yan’an, for example, is the largest project ever attempted on land that is composed of thick windblown silt. Such soft soils can subside when wet, causing structural collapse and land subsidence. Building on such soils is quite dangerous and it would take a very long time for the ground base to become stable.”
Before further clearing and environment damage occurs, scientists urge the Chinese government to speak with experts on the matter. The appeared in a recent edition of the science journal Nature.