As widely noted, the tremendous economic development during recent decades in China is marked with a remarkable regional disparity and most of China’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is generated from city-regions centered on Guangzhou, Beijing, and Shanghai. In order to rebalance regional disparity, China’s central government initiated a long-term plan to boost economic development in western China in 1999. Partly because of the Western Development Plan (WDP), the region has been experiencing an accelerated growth trend over the recent decade. While the experiences of rising large cities in western China such as Chongqing and Chengdu have been increasingly investigated, other fast-growing but middle-sized cities in western China such as Lanzhou, Urumqi, and Guiyang have taken much less attention. My PhD project aims to make an in-depth study on the political-economic characteristics of the accelerated economic growth in Lanzhou over the recent decade. The thesis also aims to put Lanzhou’s growth model in comparative perspective with those of other western cities, including rising larger cities Chongqing, Chengdu, Xi’an and other middle-sized cities such as Urumqi and Guiyang.