Urban sprawl has been a part of the urbanisation process in the Netherlands for a long time. Because of a growing population in seventeenth century in Amsterdam, some industries were placed outside the city borders. This chapter discusses the central theoretical concepts of urban sprawl, spatial policy and institutional change. It draws from Bruegmann’s pragmatic definition of urban sprawl: low-density, scattered urban development without systematic large-scale or regional public land-use planning. Two types of demographic change were important for urban sprawl in the Randstad area. The first change was population growth and internal migration to the western part of the Netherlands. The second change was the process of suburbanisation. The implementation of the growth centre policy was based upon the collaboration between the spatial planning system and the public housing sector. Public housing provided the funds for the development, spatial planning the locations of the urban growth centres.