Neoliberalism is a powerful narrative that has shaped processes of urban economic development across the globe. This paper reports on four nascent ‘new economic’ narratives which represent fundamentally different imaginaries of the urban economy. Experiments informed by these narratives challenge the dominant neoliberal logic in four key dimensions: What is the purpose of economic development? What are the preferred distributive mechanisms? Who governs the economy? What is the preferred form of economic organisation? The emergence of these experiments illustrates that cities are spaces where counter-narratives can emerge and circulate. Acknowledging the existence of these alternative visions opens up a wider set of possibilities for future urban transitions.