The United Nations estimates that the world population will reach 10.4 billion by 2100. Already by 2050, 2 out of 3 people will call cities home, coming in search of the opportunities, services and amenities on offer. That puts even more pressure on urban areas given all these people will need access to water, food, public space, good infrastructure and, above all, housing. In fact, estimates suggest more than two billion homes will need to be built by the end of the 21st century to accommodate this population explosion. As cities grow, so does urban sprawl, which brings its own set of environmental and social challenges. In the face of climate change, sustainable urban development must ensure that future housing solutions –new and renovated– are built to support healthy communities, prioritizing both human and environmental well-being. In turn, cities will need to be built denser and faster, but not without meeting a long list of stringent criteria. Only this way can we avoid the negative, often overlooked, effects of uncontrolled hyper densification that give urban development a bad name.