City Science Lab @ Andorra

Kent Larson

Andorra and the City Science research group at the MIT Media Lab are taking on the challenge of turning Andorra into an “Internationally Recognized Intelligent Country.” The Andorra Living Lab project combines different research topics (tourism, innovation, energy and environment, mobility, dynamic urban planning) for the future urban challenges of the country. We are collaborating on a unique initiative providing Andorrans with the research, knowledge, methods, and tools to carry out such transformation.


Andorra is committed to diversify its economy in areas such as City Science, innovative ways of tourism, education and research, sports and nature, health and wellbeing, and to draw in foreign investment. Moreover, as a micro-European nation with a population of 80,000 people, Andorra is able to expeditiously cut through bureaucratic barriers to resolve regulatory issues, provide public policy, and create incentives.

This is a unique collaborative project between the Media Lab and Andorra Research + Innovation. The overarching paradigm of this work is the application of data science methodologies and spatial analysis on Andorra's big data, with the goal of enabling an understanding of the country's dynamics on tourism and commerce, human mobility and transportation systems, and energy and environmental impact—as well as to shed light on technological and systems innovation toward radical improvements in these domains.


The project aims to bring urban innovation in the capital of Andorra with an emphasis on a better knowledge of the pattern of the tourists in the country and how it affects mobility, entrepreneurship, and urban simulation for decision-making and community engagement.

Goals include helping to develop big data platforms for understanding, utilizing, and leveraging big data; developing concepts that have the potential to establish Andorra as an international center for innovation; and designing interventions that can improve the experience of tourists, encouraging them to visit more often, stay longer, and increase spending.

Modeling Andorra's Food Waste: Towards Sustainable Practices

In Andorra, teams are developing a detailed model to analyze and understand food waste patterns. This involves studying waste in retail environments like shops and grocery stores, as well as household food waste. Collaborating with Andorra's Environmental Department, the team is utilizing data from supermarkets, mandated to manage organic waste, to paint a picture of the current waste landscape. This initial data is expected to reveal key insights into Andorra's food waste challenges and pave the way for future sustainable solutions. While current models are operational on a smaller scale, there is an ambitious plan to expand these to a national level. The goal is a sustainable future for Andorra, with this research playing a critical role in identifying and enhancing areas for ecological improvement.

The Sensorized Biosphere Project: Deciphering Andorra's Urban Ecology

This project focuses on decoding the dynamics of human activity within Andorra's biosphere buffer zones, exploring the interplay of biological and environmental factors. The methodology encompasses a blend of traditional and innovative approaches, including temperature and activity sensors, gene sequencing, metagenomics, and insights from individuals who interact with these natural spaces for work or leisure. The team is currently designing models to provide a deeper understanding of both the biosphere and the transitional zones, aiming to quantify the effects of urbanization on Andorra's ecology.