The “FORMA URBIS Lab” research group was founded in 2006 after the research project “A Rua em Portugal — Inventário Morfológico” (Streets in Portugal — a Morphological Inventory) was selected by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology. It was created from the pluridisciplinary team which submitted the application, composed of teaching staff from the UTL Faculty of Architecture, with the addition of grant-holders from the project and Master's and PhD students engaged in research associated with the theme of urban form. It has developed a network of links with centres and research groups with shared or similar interests and with Portuguese and foreign researchers involved in its work as collaborators or consultants.

Its main objectives are to link previously developed, current and future projects with the aim of constructing a Morphological Atlas of the City in Portugal, to collaborate on projects developed by other research teams and groups whose work requires a knowledge, focus or information on the subject of urban form, and to host individual projects developed by its members or collaborators in this area of knowledge and research.

With regard to scientific interest, the FORMA URBIS Lab hosts the development of collective and individual research work on the general theme of urban form. The city is understood as an established object which gradually accumulates information and, from a long-term perspective, is moulded by projects, models and concrete operations in an ongoing, unfinished process. It aims to understand the processes by which the city, public space and built space are established and transformed. Within this body of ideas, studies on morphology and morphogenesis constitute the main line of research, although they are also related to aspects as varied as the processes involved in the formation of the urban fabric, its evolution, the characteristics and properties of urban forms and models and the approach to plans as configurations of the city.