Social movements in Spain have employed the figure of the neighbour to reimagine the limits of citizenship. In this article, I engage with conflict and tension around the figure of the neighbour to explore some of the complexities of emerging frameworks of urban citizenship. Drawing on fieldwork conducted in Madrid, I explore how social movements intervene on a contested field of visibilities. These interventions occur in a context in which the presence of certain neighbours is continually placed in question, while dynamic neighbourhood initiatives are seen as a potential tool for growth. Government treatment of grassroots neighbourhood initiatives is contradictory and sometimes instrumental. Initiatives are criminalised, made visible and even staged, constructing particular regimes of visibility around the figure of the neighbour.