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Planning Public Facilities for Next Generations

Jayun HeoㆍDami MaengㆍGain Lee

Population in Seoul is expected to continue to decline to 8.45 million by 2045. For sustainable Seoul, it is necessary to pay attention to next generations who have experienced financial crisis, low growth, climate change, and pandemics. In addition, they pursue different lifestyles from the older generations. This study focuses on lifestyles and facilities used in daily life of next generations, especially the Alpha Generation (Next generations mean new generations of all ages. But this study focuses on young generations under the age of nine called Alpha generation.), using Time Use Survey and examines supply-and-demand status of urban public facilities.

Learning and playing are absolute necessities in daily time use of Alpha generation. They spend 86.4% of their Activity Time on learning and playing in educational and child care institutions. During the day, 98.2% of Alpha generation use educational and child care institutions and 95.8% of them use amusement facilities. Nevertheless, the majority of their parents feel that they do not have enough time for learning and playing.

New types of facilities for kids are emerging due to increased burden of raising children and increased demands for learning and playing desired by parents. These demands have been supplied mainly by the private sector, resulting in alienation and disparity between regions or classes. Some of them are unevenly distributed because it is difficult to change locational conditions due to differences in forest experience center for children and a facility’s own characteristics and roles. To resolve this discrepancy between places where consumers wish to be and real locations of facilities for kids, it is necessary to diversify the types of public facilities and the methods for supplying these facilities.

Current supply standards for public facilities do not fully take into account characteristics of the Alpha generation's behavior of using public facilities, who exhibit parenting-dependent lifestyles. Their usual travel distance is no more than 10 minutes on foot or 17 minutes by car. This is why the location standards of facilities for kids are more important than anything else. Thus, multidimensional location standards for public facilities are needed to ensure that public facilities are within reach of children. In addition, they should be balanced based on demand. For facilities that are difficult to change their locations, they might need to flexibly adjust their sizes or utilize private facilities for the most effective use of existing properties.

Urgent issues and values of next generations have changed. Their lifestyle and desired public facilities are also different from those of the older generations. Therefore, it is very meaningful to consider the lives of Seoulites who are consumers of urban planning in order to react immediately to a new era led by next generations for sustainable Seoul.