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Seoul Urbanism on TBS eFM’s Koreascape: Yongma Land, the Amusement Park Time Forgot

Each month I join Kurt Achin, host of Koreascape on Seoul’s English-language radio station TBS eFM, for an exploration of one of Seoul’s urban spaces. This time, along with producer Jamie Lee and a few Koreascape interns, we make the journey to Yongma Land, a long-abandoned neighborhood amusement park in eastern Seoul that has recently drawn such crowds as couples on dates, engagement photographers, Instagrammers, and no small number of music videos and television drama shoots.

But though it has become beloved again, the question remains: who abandoned Yongma Land, letting all its attractions — its rideable space ships and squids, its Madonna and Bruce Springsteen portrait-adorned disco ppang ppang, its much-photographed merry-go-round — all go to seed? We dig into the park’s conflicting but always fascinating histories, even sitting down with the facility’s current owner to get his idea of how long Yongma Land has lasted this way, and can last this way, in a development-obsessed city like Seoul.

Stay tuned for further explorations of Seoul’s architecture, infrastructure, and other parts of the built environment. You can hear our previous segments here.