This case study aims to understand the characteristics of the historic land use pattern in the surrounding areas of a streambed in Aydin, Turkey. Aerial photographs from 1960 and Ikonos images from 2002 are utilized in GIS environment. Two analytical approaches exist: (1) detecting the magnitude of growth in the urban area and (2) detecting the land use transformation along the streambed. Matrix Utility index is employed to relate the amount of imperviousness to each land use type. Overall, the City has expanded 80.14% and the matrix utility value dropped 25.30%, which mean that less compatible land uses surrounded the stream each coming year. The typical outcome of this trend is increasing high density with very high percentages of impervious surfaces. A new land use scenarios should be generated to bring the index value to its initial levels. In this aspect, the matrix utility index could be an effective tool in land use decisions and in developing common language between urban planners and landscape architects. © 2006 Asian Network for Scientific Information.