© 2022 Elsevier LtdThere are critical mitigation opportunities in urban areas that can be better understood through urban level analyses in the context of climate scenarios. This research work develops an approach for emissions scenarios for specific urban areas based on Shared Socioeconomic and Representative Concentration Pathways with a focus on the green growth paradigm at the lowest radiative forcing outcomes. The scenario characteristic for compact urban form is further complemented with improvements in existing land use efficiencies that are based on the Global Human Settlement Layer. Urban emissions scenarios for 420 urban areas among those with the highest emissions footprint totaling about 10.7 GtCO2eq in 2020 and land use efficiency scenarios for the top 10 urban areas in 9 regions are analysed. The 90 urban areas that represent about 6.2 GtCO2eq of urban emissions and 83.3 thousand km2 of built-up area in 2020 are then compared in a two-dimensional scenario space. Co-benefits are quantified for a new 100% renewable energy scenario that represents electrification combined with sector coupling. Based on Monte Carlo simulations, random performances that near the most stringent emissions pathways in a range of ±10% can still approach net-zero emissions by 2050 in alignment with the temperature goal of the Paris Agreement. Yet there is a penalty of about 0.95 GtCO2 even in the best land use efficiency scenario due to possible impacts of urban land expansion on the sequestration potential of local biomes. The results have widespread ramifications for guiding urban areas towards integrated action for reducing emissions, limiting the growth in urban extent, and providing co-benefits for urban inhabitants when effective action is needed urgently.