This paper assesses the emergence of a global ‘infrastructure turn’ and its implications for urban scholarship. The global infrastructure turn involves the emergence of a coordinated effort to stimulated infrastructure development at the national and global level via an array of international frameworks. The key elements of this shift are described and explanations are presented, which are founded in the working out of contradictions within global capitalist urbanization. The need for urbanists to attend to the global infrastructure turn is emphasised, and a set of elements to which attention must be given – discourse, technical practices and politics – is described. The paper concludes by arguing for greater attention to the global infrastructure turn by urban scholars.