Delhi, the worlds' second most populous city, has experienced rapid, planned and unplanned expansion at the cost of its green cover in recent decades. In this study, we use satellite images from 1986, 1999 and 2010 to map changes in urban and green cover, assess the fragmentation of green spaces, and identify the drivers of change. We find that urban patterns of development have shaped the distribution and fragmentation of green spaces, with the city center containing more green spaces with less fragmentation compared to intermediate areas and the peri-urban periphery. Yet, the city core has also experienced the greatest degree of vegetation clearing and fragmentation over time due to infrastructural expansion, while the peri-urban periphery has shown an increase in vegetation and a decrease in fragmentation due to recent compensatory plantation in these peripheral areas. Forests, archaeological sites, and military and academic campuses have played a major role in protecting green cover and limiting fragmentation in the core and intermediate areas of the city. This research helps in advancing our understanding of the pattern–process relationship between urbanization and land cover change/fragmentation in India's largest city.