Every day advances in technology, construction and manufacturing help transform our world into a place that is more comfortable and convenient for humans to live in. This is especially evident in cities, particularly those in rapidly developing nations such as China and India. I love cities, the endless array of possibilities they offer, the huge variety of humanity on show. I view them as temples to the incredible feats humanity is capable of but also as giant, living organisms in their own right, always morphing and changing into something else, never standing still. However, this progress comes at a cost to the surrounding environment. Whether it’s hills bulldozed to provide flat, even land for building on or rivers polluted with the byproducts of industry and human waste, the natural world always pays a heavy price. This series of photographs shows both the incredible scale of human achievement in the Chinese city of Lanzhou and the toll it has taken on the surrounding environment.