Space is increasingly understood as a finite, subtractable good with its own development potentials and restrictions stemming from natural geographic, economic, social, and environmental factors. Due to the growing number of conflicts of interest in space and the increasing pressures of the capital on decisions about introduction and siting of activities, the profession has seen the increasing need to continuously monitor spatial conditions, more effectively control land use changes, and guide spatial development based on quality studies and data. The main purpose of the doctoral dissertation was to study land use development across time, the processes influencing these changes, and to show that sustainable spatial development in Slovenian largely depends on the situation and trends of land use changes. To this end, in the methodological part we developed a model that combines the known methodological approaches to studying land use development changes and trends of changes in land use, but with the possibility of using various spatial databases at different spatial levels, thus providing a more comprehensive insight into land use development. The model was then tested at the international, national, and local level using the data on land cover, actual land use, and zoned land use. The results pointed to the similarities between changes and land use development at the European level, among selected European countries. In-depth analysis at the national and local level pointed out to some of the processes of land use development (e.g. development of built-up land along the motorway cross, overgrown areas with poor accessibility, and depopulation), which is attributable to characteristic social, economic, and environmental factors in Slovenia. Thus we additionally confirmed the working hypothesis that “sustainable spatial development in Slovenia largely depends on the situation and trends related to land use changes, which is influenced by various social, economic, and environmental factors”.