"The city is not small, but big."
Translation:A város nem kicsi, hanem nagy.
It actually can, the only difference it makes is that the sentence will focus more on the "smallness" of the city rather than the city itself.
A város nem kicsi, hanem nagy. = THE CITY is not small, but big. Nem kicsi a város, hanem nagy. = The city is NOT SMALL, but big.
We tend to put what we're focusing on in a sentence to the beginning of it.