Air pollution contributes substantially to global health burdens; however, less is known about pollution patterns in China and whether they differ from those elsewhere. We evaluated temporal and spatial heterogeneity of air pollution in Lanzhou, an urban Chinese city (April 2009-December 2012), and conducted a systematic review of literature on air pollution and health in Lanzhou. Average levels were 141.5, 42.3, and 47.2 µg/m3 for particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter ≤10 µm (PM10), NO2, and SO2, respectively. Findings suggest some seasonality, particularly for SO2, with higher concentrations during colder months relative to warmer months, although a longer time frame of data is needed to evaluate seasonality fully. Correlation coefficients generally declined with distance between monitors, while coefficients of divergence increased with distance. However, these trends were not statistically significant. PM10 levels exceeded Chinese and other health-based standards and guidelines. The review identified 13 studies on outdoor air pollution and health. Although limited, the studies indicate that air pollution is associated with increased risk of health outcomes in Lanzhou. These studies and the high air pollution levels suggest potentially serious health consequences. Findings can provide guidance to future epidemiological studies, monitor placement programs, and air quality policies.