MOLAND (Monitoring Land Cover/Use Dynamics) is a research project aiming to assess and monitor the evolution of urban and regional land use and traffic networks. The main aims of MOLAND are to offer planners and decision-makers at various levels reliable, up-to-date and harmonized information on land use changes and a tool for monitoring, analyzing and forecasting such changes from the point of view of sustainable development. The method has been tested in more than 30 urban areas situated mainly in Europe. The study period covers 50 years from the 1950s to the late 1990s. The method is based on the usage of high-resolution satellite images such as IRS. Land use data are analyzed and combined with statistical datasets in a GIS application to produce indicators for sustainable development. This paper looks at the principles and technical solutions behind the MOLAND method, a range of urban indicators derived from the airborne imagery and the potential uses of the method in urban monitoring and planning. Special emphasis is on the analysis of sustainability of urban development. The comparative examples are related to various land use indicators such as urban sprawl, re-use of abandoned land, accessibility to green urban areas and exposure to the nuisance of transport network. The paper also sheds light on the potential of combining information gathered by remote sensing with statistical data and how such a method can be used in urban and regional monitoring, planning and integrated impact analysis.