Architectures of the New Silk Road
China’s Belt and Road Initiative can be considered one of the largest and possibly most consequential territorial ventures currently being implemented on the planet. It is a driver of rapid urbanization.
Text: Marc Angélil & Cary Siress – 4.12.2020
Photo: Paulo Moreira
China’s Belt and Road Initiative can be considered one of the largest and possibly most consequential territorial ventures currently being implemented on the planet. Though the pacts among Chinese and foreign actors have put a premium on building large-scale infrastructure projects at breakneck speed, their significant impact as drivers of rapid urbanization has been too often overlooked in ongoing narratives regarding the geopolitical and geo-economic ramifications of the initiative.
Marc Angélil and Cary Siress took a closer look on the impact of the Chinese initiative in archithese’s latest issue Geopolitik. They focus on the industrialization taking place in Africa that accompanies big-scale infrastructure projects. Are there certain instruments in place? Is China’s policy the same as the one of Western investors, just with a different scale? Does the Chinese New Economic Policy lead to a higher standard of living or is this a hollow promise?
> Since the financial crisis of 2008, the question of how finance influences the development of cities is on architecture’s agenda. The book Territories in Crisis speaks about symptoms, causes and effectiveness of urban developments.