Today, citizens, professionals, civil servants, social enterprises, and others form different types of coalitions to overcome the challenges facing our modern cities. In this paper, the particularities of these types of groups are characterised and categorised into ten different types of city makers. Generally, these types of city makers bring value to cities, but we conclude that this value could be enriched through more participatory approaches that stimulate crossovers and accelerate the transition towards sustainable futures. Therefore, we characterise the different identified types as potential ‘participatory’ city makers. However, these participatory approaches and the networks between them still need to be developed, while improving conditions and dynamics that can enable and enhance innovation in urban environments. Design and systems thinking could contribute valuable methods and perspectives to the development of these participatory and systemic approaches. Finally, the categorisation presented in this paper must enable a better understanding of the transformative capacity of these different types of city makers, necessary for flourishing and sustainable communities.