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Chronos is a research and foresight consultancy providing expert consultation and analysis in areas such as mobility, territorial development, digital services and social practices.

Key questions drive Chronos' activities and research projects: how to support the development of livable cities and desirable mobilities? How do the uses of digital technologies impact our environment? How to innovate in the mobility field in order to improve commuting? What kinds of new services can we imagine to make people's daily life easier?

Chronos gathers expertise from different professional backgrounds (sociology, urban studies, management, media and communication) allowing the firm to provide multidisciplinary and foresight analysis on the future of territories, mobility and organizations.  

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  • Neighbourhood life and the power of social networks

    It has become a cliché to present cities as the driving force to solve many contemporary challenges. Yet, while urbanization has been a constant trend those last decades and metropolis get bigger and bigger, loneliness in cities follows the same pace. As author George Monbiot writes it in a thought-provoking tribune  "Social isolation is as potent a cause of early death as smoking 15 cigarettes a day ; loneliness, research suggests, is twice as deadly as obesity ."


    On the other side, there is a positive relationship between life satisfaction and individuals´ feelings of belonging to their community and whether they know their neighbours . A growing body of research echoes this and shows that people are most likely to feel secure and happy when they have regular contact with their neighbours. In a context of yet remaining individualisation, how to solve this quest of neighbourly life? How can we then strengthen a sense of community belonging in neighbourhoods and within residential buildings? Several recent and creative initiatives try to address this issue, both with traditional means and with the help of social networks. What can we learn from them?

  • 3rd Crossroads of the Possible : "innovative services for car drivers"

    The last two years, Chronos and Fing have promoted the development of innovative projects related to the automotive sector through the Crossroads of the Possible, hosted by Renault. Each edition spotted thirty projects, out of which a dozen were selected to be provided with support and guidance until the final event. Some of them are still under development with or by Renault. The 2012-2013 edition will have an international dimension including Europe, Brazil, Russia and India and will focus on the following themes : car budget optimisation, services to improve life on board, connected services, and intermodal services for professional fleets.

  • Verticality #4 - Façades: how to find a balance between sobriety, advertising and green oasis?

    Last part of our quadriptyque, but not least, the surface of façades appears as a relevant area for the development of new uses, in particular when it comes to urban nature and smart interfaces. While concrete continues to eat up land in the fringe of urban areas, cities welcome different plants and animals in their roofs and façades. Following the examples of roof terraces which receive a fauna somehow banished from cities (bees , ladybirds and other pollinating insects), green walls appears as a safe heaven for an otherwise mistreated flora.

  • Verticality #3 - Slopes and stairs: encouraging healthy mobilities?

    Height means efforts. If rooftops can serve as sport grounds at the city scale, then slopes and stairs can also play a part in keeping people in good shape, as opposed to elevators and escalators which aim is to reduce sometimes demanding efforts in high buildings. The slopes are the third dimension of the vertical city that we will explore and they have everything to gain from this evolution of the city.
    In New York, the "fight over escalators " was for instance the first action of the City's new Health Commissioner in june 2010. "If we engineered physicality out of our lives, [with escalators and elevators] we can engineer it right back in just as easily", explains Dr. Thomas Farley to legitimate the movement towards the "Fit City". The Transilien OpenApp contest showed another example of this trend. The winning application allows people to measure the number of calories burnt during their daily commute. Besides, it is a nutritionist who came up with this idea, following demands from his patients.

  • Verticality #2 - Rooftops, terrae incognitae

    When analysing urban verticality, one also has to challenge the role of horizontal spaces - here the rooftops - in cities. Still under-exploited by contemporary urbanism, rooftops will be the second dimension we will analyse in this series of posts .
    Looking at aerial pictures of urban areas, many would be able to name the cities because the lighting, the architecture and the design or rooftops vary widely from one place or one culture to another. On night-time pictures, Copenhagen thus appears very dark, because there is little street lighting compared to cities like London, New York or Paris, which can be seen as clearly in both daytime and night-time.

  • Verticality #1 - When elevators become hubs for the everyday life

    First "urban object" when it comes to verticality (click here to read our introduction on this subject ), elevators deserves a focus in this first blog post. Viewed as spaces for interactions between neighbours or colleagues, elevators now face new challenges due to economic, social and environmental stakes. Actors working in this field will have to go beyond the mere technical aspect of the object and envision its social and societal dimensions. Considering the numerous landlords who cannot bear the costs associated to elevators anymore, their business model will also have to be questioned.

  • Ghent - how to give a human face to places

    Ghent, the second biggest city in Flanders, is viewed as a model when it comes to urban renewal projects. The specificity of the municipality is to develop these projects in a "one to one" dynamic: local renewal projects are carried one after the other, for the municipality to only focus on one project at a time and thus better reach its objectives.

    Oxigen for the Brugse Poort , which started in 2002, is one of those flagship Ghent's urban renewal projects. The Brugse Poort is part of the so-called 19th century belt, an industrial working class neighbourhood. It has faced different types of problems: lack of public spaces, poor housing conditions and a negative public image.

Présentation de Chronos


Chronos est un cabinet d'études et de prospective dont les travaux s'articulent autour de quatre grands thèmes : les mobilités, les territoires, le numérique et le quotidien.

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