This paper analyses urban landmarks as part of a sustainable development. It is investigated spatial attributes that are important to define urban landmarks in downtown Porto Alegre, Brazil. The aesthetic value of these landmarks, their relationship to surroundings formal attributes, and their relationship to urban visual fields and pedestrian movement are explored. The methodological procedures included three stages: identification of landmarks through cognitive maps and interviews; analysis of landmark regarding visual fields and pedestrian movement; and questionnaires, added to a video recorded, to evaluate the landmarks, their aesthetic attributes and their surroundings. Results show that identified landmarks are located in the most integrated lines, with greater potential of pedestrian movement, and close to the most integrated visual fields, which allow greater visibility. The importance of the building historical value in landmark formation is confirmed. A better understanding of landmark formation, with positive consequences for a sustainable urban development, is acquired.