Modern cities have always been the locus of both inequality and opportunity. However, neoliberal policies pursued since the 1980s have intensified urban disparities. Cities are increasingly shaped more by the logic of the market than the needs of their inhabitants. This article, which introduces a collection of papers on the topic, examines the implications of the neoliberal turn for the ‘right to the city’ as the fundamental tenet of urban citizenship. While evidence suggests a formidable challenge from market forces to the ‘right to the city’, the authors argue that the neoliberal city remains a highly contested urbanity in which poor inhabitants continue to struggle for citizenship in highly diverse ways. The challenge for scholarship is to discover and document those intricate modes of claim-making.