The proliferation of a sharing culture in Seoul’s apartments

From cars to bikes to laundry rooms, everything is up for sharing.

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Can you imagine what sharing culture in apartments look like?

Normally, you’d think that it’s like an extension of platforms like Airbnb, where apartment rooms are rented out — room sharing in a nutshell. Yet recently in Korea, there are various sharing services available for new apartment complex residents, a stark contrast from the services provided by platforms like Airbnb.

Sharing culture is now in the spotlight. While sharing culture has conventionally expanded from the center of local communities, it has now reached far enough to be adapted in the lives of apartment complex residents.  According to the construction companies, there has been an increase in consumers who are looking for reasonably priced apartment complexes because of the recent economic recession. In response, the apartment complexes on the market now aim to relieve some of the potential residents’ burden and provide several public facilities and services.         

Hillstate Dongtan, a product of Hyundai Engineering & Construction, uses the affiliated Hyundai Capital car sharing service to provide shared cars for apartment residents’ use. Unlike commonly used rental cars, the service is relatively inexpensive, and returning the car is also simple given that residents just park the car at the apartment complex. Ilsan Edu Pore Prugio, a product of Daewoo Engineering & Construction, provides bicycle sharing services. If one does not cycle everyday, there really is no point in purchasing a bike. The bicycle sharing service not only lets a resident rent a bike freely, but also relieves residents of the pressure to park bikes at home. 

There are other creative sharing services not only pertaining to sharing material goods that build trust and familiarity between residents.  

In July, “Dongmoon Goodmorning Hill”, a product of Dongmoon Engineering & Construction in Pyeongtaek, work with ‘Mom’s Academy’ which supports the self development of women and provide personalized extracurricular activity lessons to women, as well as ‘Mom’s Cafe’ and a sauna space called ‘Mom’s Sauna’.

‘Newstay’ housing projects also provide various sharing services to its residents. The Newstay housing projects of Lotte Engineering & Construction will support a sharing culture and lifetime learning opportunity as its residents’ voluntarily skill share in fields such as consulting, health, and foreign languages. The government driven “Happiness” housing projects which target the youth, such as college students, the incoming workforce and newlyweds, also provides sharing services and facilities to its young residents.    

The Happiness housing projects of Seoul Chunwang district Apts. 7, which took residents from last October, and the Happiness housing projects of Gangil district Apts. 11, which took residents from last December, provided its residents with a public laundry room comprised of washers and dryers. As a public laundry room also came about in the Chunwang district Apts. 8, there has been plans to collaborate with the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family to form a joint infant care Center, where neighbors are available to look after each other’s children in the stead of busy parents.

U & R’s President Sang-un Park states that “there are many family units in apartments and are generally well managed; it is easier to maintain a sense of community and has an advantage in sustaining facility use payments” and that “the apartment environment is well suited to developing a sharing culture, and there are increasing incidences of implementing sharing services in apartments.”  

 

This article was originally published on Yonhap News Agency.

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