Rescaling the Belt and Road Initiative in urban China:
The local complexities of a global project

Astrid Safina, Leonardo Ramondetti and Francesca Governa
In Area Development and Policy 2023, Advanced online publication
Safina, A., Ramondetti, L., & Governa, F. (2023). Rescaling the Belt and Road Initiative in urban China: the local complexities of a global project. Area Development and Policy, Advanced online publication.
DOI: 10.1080/23792949.2023.2174888

This study of the infrastructure-led developments and urban–rural relations in Liangjiang New Area (Chongqing municipality), Lanzhou New Area (Gansu province) and Zhengbian New District (Henan province) reveals the complex and multifaceted interactions of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) with specific contexts and pre-existing trends. Far from depicting a homogenizing dynamic deriving from participation in a project often conceived in monolithic geopolitical and geoeconomic terms, the focus on spatial transformations emphasizes the need of nuanced and textured readings to embrace the diversity of urbanizations emerging along the BRI. Based on these situated and detailed descriptions, it is possible to place BRI developments in a critical comparative register, to develop alternative narratives and eventually to create a new shared language.