Changwon is a city in and the capital of South Gyeongsang Province in South Korea. The city is approximately 40 kilometres (25 miles) west of Busan on the Namhae Expressway, and has a population of approximately 550,000. Along with adjacent cities, namely Masan; Jinhae; and Jang-yu, Gimhae, Changwon constitutes Ma-Chang-Jin metropolitan area, which has a population of approximately 1,200,000.
It was established in 1974 to be an industrial and residential centre, as well as the future provincial capital, and has grown since this time. Unlike most other Korean cities that are just urban sprawl, Changwon has many parks and gardens throughout the city which give it a much different feel.
The city has two large department stores, Lotte and Daedong, and also an E-mart and Home plus. There are also 20 cinema screens in the city spread between three recently built western-style cinemas: Lotte, CGV and MegaLine.
Perhaps the most well-known tourist site is the Junam Reservoir which is an important bird migration site and the largest in Korea. During the peak winter season, an average of 30 to 40,000 birds a day can be seen there.
Changwon is a hub of factories for many major companies, including Samsung, GM-Daewoo and LG Electronics.
It is also home to three soccer clubs - K-League side Gyeongnam FC, National League side Changwon City FC and K3 League team Changwon United.
The city contains the head offices of archaeological research institutes such as the Gyeongnam Institute of Cultural Properties and the Changwon National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage (see below) and is the centre of cultural heritage resource management and contract archaeology in South Gyeongsang.
Changwon's symbol is a blue square with each line being extended slightly in one direction. Four small squares appear outside the square on the non-extended side of each line. They are colored red, green, yellow and blue following clock-wise starting from the top. The extended square represents the planned road network system of Changwon, and the city advancing in all directions. The small blue square represents the state-of-the-art industrial base, the small green square represents the environment friendly city, the small yellow square represents the citizens, and the small red square represents the energy that represents that sustains the city.
The Changwon character's are Chang-e and Won-e; two cute alien like characters holding hands. Chang-e is blue with headphones for ears symbolizing technology development. Won-e is green with leaves for ears symbolizing the natural environment. Together, the symbol shows that Changwon city is where the environment and technology coexist harmoniously.
The city's slogan is "Young City Changwon", signifying that the city is relatively young with a strong spirit of challenge toward the future and dynamic energy.