Urban sprawl has been widely discussed in regard of its economic, political, social and environmental impacts. Consequently, several planning policies have been placed to stop—or at least restrain—sprawling development. However, most of these policies have not been successful at all as anti-sprawl policies partially address only a few determinants of a multifaceted phenomenon. This includes processes of extended suburbanisation, peri-urbanisation and transformation of fringe/belt areas of city-regions. Using as a case study the capital city of Chile—Santiago—thirteen determinants of urban sprawl are identified as interlinked at the point of defining Santiago's sprawling geography as a distinctive space that deserves planning and policy approaches in its own right. Unpacking these determinants and the policy context within which they operate is important to better inform the design and implementation of more comprehensive policy frameworks to manage urban sprawl and its impacts.