Mission and Objectives

URBinLAB is a dynamic research group affiliated with CIAUD/FA-ULisboa, dedicated to the comprehensive study of urban and territorial policies, processes, and forms in response to emerging societal challenges. Our research agenda recognizes that cities and territories are inherently complex and constantly evolving systems. Therefore, we emphasize the importance of continuously addressing their transformation, adaptation, monitoring, and evaluation - the core focus of our group.

At URBinLAB, we place a critical focus on contemporary urban challenges, aiming to contribute significantly to the formulation of informed, forward-thinking urban, territorial, and landscape projects and policies. Our approach is rooted in a profound knowledge and deep understanding of the processes that have shaped our cities and landscapes, providing a robust foundation for a progressive vision and approach.

The group was established with the primary goal of fostering collaboration, sharing projects and resources, and promoting interdisciplinary research. Our team comprises researchers from diverse backgrounds, including urbanism, spatial planning, geography, architecture, and landscape architecture. By seeking convergences and exploring synergies between traditionally autonomous fields of knowledge and methodological approaches, we break down disciplinary barriers and foster innovative research beyond established frontiers.

Key facets of URBinLAB:

  1. Holistic Approach: URBinLAB adopts a holistic approach to comprehend the complex interplay of urban and territorial dynamics, considering social, economic, environmental, and cultural dimensions.
  2. Adaptive Strategy: We recognize the constant transformation of cities and territories, and our research emphasizes the development of adaptive strategies to address emerging challenges.
  3. Forward-Looking Perspective: Our research is forward-looking, envisioning sustainable and resilient solutions for future urban development and landscape design.
  4. Interdisciplinary Collaboration: URBinLAB thrives on collaboration, bridging gaps between diverse disciplines to create a more comprehensive understanding of urban and territorial phenomena.
  5. Societal Relevance: Our work is driven by a commitment to making a positive impact on society by informing evidence-based policies and projects. We actively engage with public administration, civil society, and other territorial stakeholders to ensure an inclusive and impactful approach.

Research focus: emerging societal and urban challenges

The research undertaken by URBinLAB is motivated by the pressing societal challenges of today and their profound implications for urban and territorial development. Our approach to these challenges is centred around a design-oriented perspective, seeking multi-dimensional and spatially qualified solutions.

Our work garners national and international funding and involves active networking and partnership with universities, institutions, and civil society partners. We are dedicated to addressing some of the most relevant challenges, including:

  • Climate change adaptation and nature-based solutions.
  • Sustainable mobility and metropolitan land use.
  • Affordable housing and spatial cohesion.
  • Multi-level governance and innovative planning tools.

URBinLAB maintains four primary lines of research, each offering complementary perspectives in tackling specific urban and territorial challenges. Our team members actively collaborate across these research lines, seeking synergies, critical insights, and out-of-the box approaches. These lines of research are as follows:

  • Housing & public space.
  • Landscape & climate change.
  • Urban mobility.
  • Urbanization & planning.

To strengthen expertise and experience, URBinLAB engages in various research-oriented practices, such as:

  • Participating in national & international funded research projects.
  • Conducting applied research and providing consultancy services.
  • Supporting individual Ph.D. and Post-doctoral research.
  • Establishing networks and partnerships.
  • Organizing seminars and workshops.

Beyond seeking international presence through partnerships with other esteemed universities and research institutions, our group aims are committed to establishing a strong link between research, education, and society. This is achieved by fostering relationships with diverse societal actors and institutions, bridging the gap between the university, public administration, private sector, and civil society. Our main objective is to promote applied research and facilitate the dissemination of knowledge among not only academics but also policymakers, practitioners, and the community at large.

Furthermore, URBinLAB provides a nurturing environment for research fellows and Ph.D. students who actively contribute to the group's projects and thematic lines. Through collaboration and mentorship, we strive to foster the next generation of scholars and professionals dedicated to addressing the challenges that shape our urban and territorial landscapes.


The group was created through the convergence of three previously established research groups – LUDT/Laboratory of Urbanism and Territorial Dynamics, BEAM/Built Environment and Mobility and GERTiL/Group of Studies for the Reconstruction of East Timor. As such, it results from a bottom-up process of integration, acknowledging common interests, a history of cooperation between its members and the underlying potential of synergic combination between the various fields of expertise.


Logo BEAM 

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