Rapid urbanization has dramatically spurred the economic development over the past three decades, especially in China, but has nevertheless had negative impacts on natural resources since it is an irreversible process. Thus, it is essential to timely monitor and quantitatively analysis the changes in land use over time and to identify the landscape pattern variation related to growth mode in different period. This study aims at inspecting spatiotemporal characteristics of landscape pattern respond to land use changes in Xuzhou city during the period from 1985 to 2015. In this connection, we proposed a new spectral index, named the Normalized Difference Enhanced Urban Index (NDEUI), which combines data from NTL (Nighttime light) from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program/Operational Linescan System (DMSP/OLS) with annual maximum Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) to reduce the detection confusion between urban areas and barren land, as well as follows. NDEUI-assisted Random Forests algorithm was implemented to obtain the land use/land cover (LULC) maps of Xuzhou in 1985, 1995, 2005 and 2015, respectively. Here, four different periods viz. 1985–1995, 1995–2005, 2005–2015 and 1985–2015 are chosen for the change analysis of land use and landscape pattern. The results indicated that the urban area has increased by about 30.65%, 10.54%, 68.77%, and 143.75% during the four periods mentioned above at the main expense of agricultural land, respectively. The spatial trend maps revealed that continuous transition from other land use types into urban land has appeared a dual-core development mode throughout the urbanization process, located at the new city region and the Jiawang district, mainly affected by the construction of new city region, freeway and the high railway station. Furthermore, we quantified the patch complexity, aggregation, connectivity and diversity of landscape employing a number of landscape metrics to represent the changes of landscape pattern at both class and landscape level, affected by urbanization during the study period. The results showed that with regard to the four aspects of landscape pattern, there were considerable differences among the four years, mainly owing to the increasing dominance of urbanized land. Spatiotemporal variation of landscape pattern was also conducted on the basis of subgrids in 900 m × 900 m. Combined with the land use changes and spatiotemporal variation of landscape pattern, it can be concluded that different urbanization modes and intensity result in variously the spatiotemporal evolution of landscape patterns. For Xuzhou city, the urban growth mainly appeared a leapfrog mode alone both sides of the roads during the period of 1985 to 1995, and then shifted into edge-expansion mode during the period from 1995 to 2005, whereas the edge-expansion and leapfrog modes coexisted for the period from 2005 to 2015. The high valuable spatiotemporal information generated utilizing RS and GIS in this study may give assistance to urban planners and policymakers to well understand urban dynamics and evaluate their spatiotemporal and environmental impacts at a local level for the sake of sustainable urban planning in the future.