The paper investigates the places of an urban region inside a Biosphere Reserve in southern Brazil and explores the potentialities for synergies between their biological and sociocultural systems. It assumes that: (i) the perception of their regional rootedness works beneficially for enhancing sustainability; (ii) current progress in place’s conceptualization helps in the quest for sustainability, since the core factors of the concept deal precisely with the relationships between people and environment. The paper works with two approaches to places: the perception of existing places; the invention of new places and the perception they stimulate. Real places are seen as socially constructed; invented places, as economically promoted. Selection of empirical regional cases is based on their: perception (real and invented places); scale (urban and exurban); and management (public or private). In the area of Architecture-Urbanism, place is a created environmental form, imbued with symbolic significance to its users. In the present shift of paradigms from modernism to postmodernism, the discipline evolves towards a more thorough concern with the philosophical implications of places on phenomenological grounds. Also, in a postmodernist view, the making and marketing of new places become increasingly accepted as influential tools to foster prosperity and well-being, by means of the economic development attributed to the creation of places. The concerted private and public management of the region’s places, and the restrained design they presently employ, are providing grounds for an affluent development and shows a wise use of the regional resources. Altogether, it seems inhabitants have learned how to work in conjunction with the environment. This hints at a clear manifestation of sustainable development, worth investigating. In all likelihood, the concept of place, positioned as it is at the very interface of physical, social, economic and behavioural disciplines, seems to provide a likely means for tackling the challenges for a sustained regional development planning.