A walk through Yongsan: the complications of urban renewal

Date: 
Saturday, June 28, 2014 -
3:30pm to 6:00pm
Destination(s): 
Around Yongsan Station
Cost: 
20,000W for members and 25,000W for non-members
Tour Leader: 
Jon Dunbar

This excursion will be like no other, as much of what we will visit is already demolished and gone. We will meet at the top of the front steps of Yongsan Station (see picture above), where one can get an appreciation of the scale of urban renewal that has hit the area. From there, we will walk through a tent village of street food businesses built on empty land in between Yongsan and Sinyongsan stations.

Next, we will visit the location of the so-called "Yongsan Disaster," a highly politicised urban renewal zone that claimed the lives of five evictee protesters and one police officer on January 19, 2009. Since demolition, the area has become an empty field full of garbage and reeds, a black hole in the center of a high-price real estate area. We will revisit the former site of Namildang, where the deadly rooftop battle took place, and imagine the events that took place there, which should garner sympathy for both protesters and police but also criticism for their respective strategies.

After that, we head south to the former Yongsan Railway Hospital, more recently absorbed into the Joongang University Yongsan Hospital complex, which now all sits abandoned. Next, we will move faster southward where we will see an old neglected Hanok neighbourhood, then get a view into the abandoned Yongsan railyard, formerly the site of the failed Yongsan Dream Hub project. We will stop at Saenamteo, a beautiful holy place high on historical relevance for Catholicism. Once an execution site for major criminals and traitors, it became a martyr site for Catholics through four major persecutions. Eleven of those martyred here were canonised as Catholic saints, and the remains of nine martyrs are still interred there. We will visit a small museum on the grounds of Saenamteo and have a small look around the magnificent architecture of the 1987-built church. Mass is at 3pm and 6pm, so anyone wishing to attend mass may stick around here.

After Saenamteo, time-permitting, we will walk through Seobu Ichon-dong, an embattled riverside community that has for years been resisting urban renewal while slowly giving in. Now that the Dream Hub project is cancelled, its fate is uncertain. Last, we will walk up through Yongsan Electronics Market and cross the overpass where we can get one last good look at the empty railyard.

The tour will conclude in front of Yongsan Station, where we will visit one of the food tents for dinner.

Reservations confirmation: Wednesday, June 25, 2014

TO: R.A.S.

PLEASE RESERVE SPACE ON THE YONGSAN WALK, SAT, JUNE 28, 2014, FOR THE FOLLOWING:

NAME________________________ MEMBER________ NONMEMBER________
NAME_____________________________ MEMBER________ NON-MEMBER_________
PHONE NO. (MOBILE) _______________ (OFFICE / HOME) _______________

☞ Please make an excursion payment on or before Wednesday, June 25, 2014 to the following account: Shinhan Bank Account # 100-026-383501 (RAS-KB)

Contact Us

Royal Asiatic Society Korea Branch
Room 611, Korean Christian Building, Daehak-ro 19 (Yeonji-dong), Jongno-gu, Seoul 03129
왕립아세아학회한국지부
[03129] 서울시 종로구 대학로 19 (연지동) 한국기독교회관 611호

Office is open Monday through Friday from 10 to 5 but we are short staffed and there are meetings elsewhere often: please call or email before your visit.
Phone (02) 763-9483 FAX (02) 766-3796
Email - royalasiatickorea@gmail.com

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