Based on the statistical data of land use change, from the perspective of sustainable use, we use literature inquiry, statistical analysis, GIS spatial analysis and dynamic degree model of land use, to analyze the land use change characteristics, land use amount and spatial distribution characteristics in Guangzhou City during 1996—2012, and further elaborate the driving forces of land use change to get the basic law of land use change in Guangzhou City. The results show that the construction land was rapidly expanded, causing a significant reduction in arable land (from 129 286 ha in 1996 to 84567 ha in 2012); in construction land, the land for residential, industrial and mining use and transportation land dramatically increased, and the single dynamic degree of transportation land was close to 7.1%. In comparison with other developed cities, it is found that economic factors and policy factors are important factors affecting land use change in Guangzhou City, and the growth rate of economic density of land was high in Tianhe District and Yuexiu District. From the perspective of sustainable use, the future land use in Guangzhou City needs to better coordinate the relationship between various types of land, between socio-economic development and coordinated land use development, between environmental protection and land development and utilization. Through a series of land consolidation activities, it is necessary to strengthen the protection of farmland, improve the intensive and economical use of construction land, improve the ecological environment, and coordinate development of urban and rural areas, to ultimately achieve sustainable land use in Guangzhou City.