This chapter seeks to make sense of growing discourses about urban exemplars and the best practices of “smart” urbanism, specifically in the context of so-called developing countries. Colombia’s second largest city makes for an interesting site to investigate these issues, for at least three reasons. The idea of promoting model cities that could become sources of inspiration for others, successful practices being possibly replicated in other urban sites, is linked to the emergence of “entrepreneurial cities”, which have been widely studied. The actors in charge of Medellin’s urban innovation strategy appropriate the lexicon of the “urban laboratory”, a metaphor widely used in “smart” urbanism. The objective of Ruta N’s innovation district can first be analysed as an inward-oriented, local development project. It is an experimental site the purpose of which is to enrol public and private actors in a city strategy and to build consensus on how the conurbation should be organized politically and economically using tests, modelling and d.