Timor-Leste Resarch Group

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Coordinator: Professor João Pedro Costa

Members:  Prof. João Pedro Costa, Prof. Leonel Fadigas, Prof. Cristina Henriques, Prof. Cristina Cavaco, Prof. Luis Paulo Ribeiro (ISA/ULisboa), Prof. Romana Xerez (ISCSP/ULisboa), Prof. Paulo Seixas (ISCSP/ULisboa), Maria Matos Silva, Joana Lima



The mission of GERTiL2 is to contribute towards the cooperation between Portugal and Timor-Leste, with the objective of promoting sustainable development and placing the University of Lisbon’s scientific knowledge at the service of communities, while contributing to the development of local institutions and of their capacities. To this end, GERTiL2 harnesses the skills of the University and its knowledge, experience and resources, while bringing together a new generation of researchers and students.
In fulfilling this mission, GERTiL2 looks to support the Portuguese business sector in the path for internationalization, through the establishment of partnerships.
GERTiL2 aims also to expand and transmit the knowledge and experience generated by the University of Lisbon and Timor-Leste, to other Lusophone countries.


Brief history

GERTiL – Portuguese acronym for Research Group for the Reconstruction of Timor-Leste – was created in 2000, following the victory of the YES vote in the referendum for independence from Indonesia. Initially placed within the Technical University of Lisbon, it was based at the Faculty of Architecture, as a collaboration of several faculties, developing guidance in its scientific elements – Architecture, Urbanism and Design. For years, the research group made use of its own capacities as a university, gathering contributions from several specialists in these key areas.
With reference only to Urbanism, GERTiL has worked on several strategic planning documents for Timor-Leste, namely the urban plans for Dili and Baucau, as well as an Urban and Territorial Planning System, in 2005. Additionally, GERTiL was also responsible for the development of the Spatial Development Scheme of Timor-Leste, for an Integrated Diagnosis of the Housing Sector in Timor-Leste and for the Tourism Development Strategy of Timor-Leste in 2003. Because of economic issues and the restructuring of the university, GERTiL closed its doors in 2007.

GERTiL 2 was established in 2014, coordinated by Professor João Pedro Costa, no longer with a perspective of urgent reconstruction of the country, but directed towards the development of Timor-Leste, bringing together scientific research and the development of partnerships to provide support to communities.
Based once again at the Faculty of Architecture, GERTiL2 brought together researchers from other branches of the University of Lisbon, and has involved students.



- International Competition for the development of urban legislation, housing legislation and the National Master Plan for Timor-Leste (2014): proposal 2nd place.
- Strategic Urban Plan for the Island of Ataúro (2015/2016): plan completed and approved in Council of Ministers in 2016.
- International competition for the development of the Strategic Master Plan for São Tomé e Principe (2017)


Website: under construction