Shiyan, China, was a small village in the mountains until the 1960s. That’s when a lot of industrial production was established there in its relatively safe mountainous regions. However, because of the mountainous terrain, Shiyan did not have enough land to offer for expansion. So the industry moved away in 2003.
To prevent that from happening again, the city began planning to create new land for development in 2007. Drastic changes can begin to be seen in the imagery by the 2008 Landsat image.
Shiyan is now a famous production base for automobiles. Dongfeng Motor is headquartered in Shiyan. Other major industries in Shiyan include pharmaceuticals, textiles, and chemicals. Shiyan is also one of the central tourist centers in the northwest of Hubei Province.
To create this new land for building, they are leveling mountaintops and filling in valleys. Explosives level the hills, and fleets of trucks haul away the soil. This rock and soil is then used to fill in the valleys.
This additional land that can be developed can ease pressure on land that is valuable for agriculture elsewhere. It creates land for cities to expand where they could not do so previously. Most of the new land is for warehouses and industry. A small amount is for housing.
The bright spots in the images show the leveled and cleared land. These areas are then quickly replaced by industrial centers.