The phenomena of land use/change were evaluated by using a remote sensing approach in a case study in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The index of changes, which was calculated by the superimposition of land use/images of 1972, 1984, and land use maps of 1990, were introduced to analyse the pattern of change in the area. The results demonstrated that the pattern of land use/change in the study area was that of paddy coverage to open/land to settlement. The annual growth ratios of new settlements to absorb paddy coverage, mixed vegetation, and open/land were 16 per cent, 20 per cent, and 64 per cent respectively. The larger the percentage of the paddy coverage, the higher the tendency for settlement growth to absorb the paddy coverage, and the larger the percentage of open/land, the higher the tendency for settlement growth to absorb open/land. Settlement growth had a high correlation with road accessibility. The highest settlement growth was distributed mostly in suburban areas between 200 and 400 m from secondary roads. Without intelligent intervention by the government and public awareness, the loss of these agricultural land cannot be stopped and will jeopardize the local and regional economy.