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Writer Jung Yerin
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Subject Gangdong-gu’s spatial innovation ‘dream smile’ The Senior Citizens Center is transformed into a child care facility in the afternoon.

A shared space project that makes full use of empty space is actively being operated in Gangdong-gu (mayor Lee Jung hun).

‘Dream Smile’, a shared space for the first and third generations, is a representative spatial innovation case of Gangdong-gu, which created an after-school child care space using a limited space.

By taking advantage of the excellent accessibility of the elderly love room, which is everywhere, the existing facilities have been remodeled so that children and the elderly can use them together. During the day, it is used as a love room for the elderly, and from 4 pm, it is used as a child care space.

Starting with the opening of the first 'Dream Smile' store in Giriul Senior Citizen's Hall in Gil-dong in 2017, finally today (14th), the 10th store will open at the old people's room in Dunchon 2-dong.

We are rapidly expanding our facilities in each district, such as Gildong, Cheonho, Amsa, Myeongil, and Dunchon, and plan to expand two more within this year. The secret to being able to build 10 locations in 5 years is because they were able to open with a much smaller budget than new ones using existing facilities.

As about 18,000 children used it last year alone, ‘Dream Smile’ has become a reliable care facility for after-school children, making it a facility with high satisfaction for parents and children.

In particular, counseling experts in the facility are resident and if abuse or neglect is suspected among children using Dream Smile, preemptive measures such as counseling or reporting are becoming a social safety net for children from vulnerable groups.

In order to support children's independence activities, each store has organized and operated the Children's Autonomy Committee, 'Dreamjae'. Through 'Dream Dreamer', it helps children to plan and execute the activities or programs they want to do on their own.

Unlike the previous store that was remodeled, the 10th store of 'Dream Smile', which is opening this time, has built a nest in a room for seniors who have moved to a new construction. The attic of the elderly love room, which has a two-story structure, was created like a book cafe so that children can freely mingle and stay, and also have books and board games that children prefer. In addition to being able to watch movies in a cozy space by installing a screen, there are plans to operate specialized programs such as cooking and art programs.

Anyone under the age of 18 who lives in Gangdong-gu can use it for free, and it is open from 4 pm to 10 pm on weekdays.

Gangdong-gu mayor Lee Jung hun said, “Like Dream Smile, we plan to continuously expand the living welfare infrastructure through efficient space operation, such as creating shared spaces using existing facilities. I will spare no effort to support you so that you can go.”