Summary: In the recent years, dust storms originating from local abandoned agricultural lands have increasingly impacted Tehran and Karaj air quality. Designing and implementing mitigation plans are necessary to study land use/land cover change (LUCC). Land use/cover classification is particularly relevant in arid areas. This study aimed to map land use/cover by pixel- and object-based image classification methods, analyse landscape fragmentation and determine the effects of two different classification methods on landscape metrics. The same sets of ground data were used for both classification methods. Because accuracy of classification plays a key role in better understanding LUCC, both methods were employed. Land use/cover maps of the southwest area of Tehran city for the years 1985, 2000 and 2014 were obtained from Landsat digital images and classified into three categories: built-up, agricultural and barren lands. The results of our LUCC analysis showed that the most important changes in built-up agricultural land categories were observed in zone B (Shahriar, Robat Karim and Eslamshahr) between 1985 and 2014. The landscape metrics obtained for all categories pictured high landscape fragmentation in the study area. Despite no significant difference was evidenced between the two classification methods, the object-based classification led to an overall higher accuracy than using the pixel-based classification. In particular, the accuracy of the built-up category showed a marked increase. In addition, both methods showed similar trends in fragmentation metrics. One of the reasons is that the object-based classification is able to identify buildings, impervious surface and roads in dense urban areas, which produced more accurate maps.