This paper attempts to analyse the particular features of Chinese clustering in two southern European cities and the urban regeneration responses employed in the decade 2005-2015: Prato in Italy and Santa Coloma de Gramenet in Spain, which are among the cities with the highest rate of Chinese in-migration within their respective countries. The main aim is to show which urban regeneration policies have been adopted in both contexts and to evaluate, in comparative terms, how they have addressed the two local Chinese communities.
The paper will argue that their form of clustering, developed since the 1990s, has featured a certain degree of social segregation and tensions with local communities. On the other hand, they have become two dynamic urban nodes in supra-local business networks,possibly demanding new forms of engagement in the governance system. The results show that the urban regeneration policies in place have partially failed to acknowledge the changing nature of their form of clustering, with the risk to exacerbate existing conflicts and to prevent beneficial mutual collaborations.