Languages are constantly transforming as humans interact, change habits and ways of doing things. This is not a radical observation. More intriguing to ponder is whether languages also transform us and the world in which we exist. Does it matter what words we use about the world? Could we, by shaping a language, also shape the world? Would the world look different if other words had been used?
This work is about the urban environment, and how it is transformed by people interacting with the world that surrounds them by evoking more just living conditions. It is also an effort to demonstrate how the urban environment could be imagined in ways that differ from the neoliberalist view. Other imaginations, arising from different perspectives on and incentives for development, such as equity and inclusiveness, might produce another city entirely. From urban practices in four different contexts in Sweden, South Africa, India and Brazil, this book investigates four dynamics of change: conflicts, commons, networks and hybridity. From this framing, new concepts and radical imaginaries emerge, presented here as a Language of the Becoming City.