Built and natural environments have always been the set where people engage and voice challenging relations, contradictory feelings, legacies of traditions and many other individual and collective expressions. The notion of identities has been used by academics in different research fields to study such dynamics, as well as the role of the urban space in fostering or resisting them. Particularly, many have focused on processes of urban transformation, although the tendencies of practical planning and design towards this topic have become increasingly confusing and conflicting. On these premises, this special issue of QU3 – iQuaderni di U3 has been structured as a cross-disciplinary dialogue among scholars from different research fields. The aim has been to acknowledge different perspectives as an essential grounding from which starting a critical reflection of both theoretical and practical assumptions regarding identities. The reader will confront and actively participate in this dialogue which must guide us to a new understanding of those processes through which places, experiences and individuals may emerge.