Evaluating extended urban infrastructure landscapes under China’s Belt and Road Initiative (2020)

Dr Creighton Connolly, University of Lincoln

Project Summary

Penang, Malaysia, additional site of land reclamation and associated social movements
Image: © Creighton Connolly

This research will examine how China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is transforming urban landscapes in developing regions of Asia through the financing of infrastructure projects. It uses a case study of the Melaka Gateway project: a series of artificial islands being reclaimed near the city of Melaka, Malaysia. This project will house cruise ship infrastructure, leisure facilities and a deep sea port, aiming to (re)establish the city as a key regional transport hub.

The project will investigate the socio-cultural and ecological implications of land reclamation associated with Melaka Gateway for Melaka’s cultural landscape and coastal communities; and also will critically evaluate the role that local residents and civil society organisations play (or could play) in shaping responses to the Gateway Project and associated injustices.

The shifting discourses and politics relating to the Melaka Gateway Project will be explored of the local citizens’ perceptions and representatives from the State Government, Municipal Council, city residents, developers and heritage activists.

LRG funding will enable travel to conduct the fieldwork in Melaka and research assistance whilst in situ.

Penang, Malaysia, additional site of land reclamation and associated social movements
Image: © Creighton Connolly