In early 2017 the UK’s Department for International Development’s ICED programme convened a roundtable of UK government departments, investors, NGOs, urban development practitioners and private sector technology and infrastructure services providers. The session explored whether the ‘Smart Cities’ paradigm had relevance for developing country cities, and how the opportunity posed by new digital solutions should be considered in development country policy and programming.  The thinking from the roundtable and from subsequent desk and field research has been published in the ICED white paper ‘Urbanisation in a Digital World’. This paper summarises the critical arguments behind the paper, and is key reading for advisors considering programming in urban settings.