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Residential densification policies are now part of a range of solutions wielded by public authorities to contribute to sustainable urban development. Although the economic and environmental aspects of these measures have been relatively well studied, there has been little analysis of the social dimension of these policies. The purpose of this article is to discuss the socio-spatial implications of densification measures through an urban political ecology approach, which seeks to critically examine the weights of the different principles of  sustainability partially and selectively affecting urbanized areas and their inhabitants. This discussion is based on the analysis of differentiated residential densification polices being put in place in suburban municipalities in the Paris City region in France and in the Greater Toronto Area in Canada. These are two metropolitan areas facing similar problems, including the need to control urban growth processes that led, over the past fifty years, to an unprecedented sprawl. We show that depending on the type of densification implemented but also based on the regulatory instruments of this densification, there is a real segmentation of audiences that benefit from or on the contrary that are ignored or harmed by the policy being put in place