www.groovekorea.com / December 2014 88 Edited by Jenny Na (jenny@groovekorea.com) COMMuNITy auTomaTic For The PeoPle Changwon revolves around the strength of its Community Story by Niall J. Ruddy / Photos by Victoria Majeika Y ou would be hard-pressed to find many travel blogs that sin- gle out Changwon as a must- see highlight for anyone trav- eling through Korea. In spite of this low profile, the city was remarkable enough to warrant a mention in The Guardian’s recent series of articles on the pen- insula. So what would a visitor find extraordi- nary about this city described on its website as a “world masterpiece” and an “energetic city”? Changwon is the provincial capital of South Gyeongsang Province and, with a population of just over a million residents, the largest city in the province. It is Korea’s first planned city, based around the Australian capital of Can- berra, and developed toward its present sta- tus as a modern industrial hub in the 1970s when it was given the romantic title “Industrial Base Development Area No. 92.” In 2010 the adjoining cities of Masan and Jinhae were in- corporated to create the current mix of pictur- esque mountains, factory complexes, modern residential areas and traditional markets, all set within the Masan bay area. Wandering around the city, what often strike visitors first are Changwon’s wide, open spac- es. There are many boulevards and parks in the metropolitan area, whic h lends the city a polished, pedestrian-friendly air. The main park, Yongji Lake, is directly behind Changwon City Hall and contains Yongji, housing an impressive nightly fountain and a light show projected onto water. Next to this is a large grassy space set among small, forested areas where couples of all ages mingle with joggers, cyclists and young families. The city is also home to the Sangnam Sijang (market), which offers everything from florists to butchers to clothing stores and is open any date that contains a 4 or 9 (14th, 19th, 24th, etc.). ExpAT ENCLAvES Expat Enclaves offers a snapshot of the communities that expats in Korea call home. — Ed.