Increasing human activity significantly influences the geographic environment. The effects of excessive anthropogenic pressure are manifested by changes in land cover and in landscape structure, and land cover changes can particularly well observed in river valleys. In this study we aimed to determine the transformations of land use in 13.9 sq km of the Silesian Voivodeship in southern Poland, including parts of the city of Ruda Slaska and Mikolow County by analyzing changes in land cover that occurred from 1827-2012 and archival and contemporary topographic maps, and aerial photos were used as primary source materials. All materials were prepared with the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), using spatial analyses, such as kernel density and point density in order to define land cover structure changes. Results show the development of residential areas and the fragmentation of large structures that have occurred over the time period.