In Guayaquil, given the deterioration of the area once occupied by port activities, it quickly became clear that some kind of dedicated operational structure was required to plan, develop, build, administer, fund and maintain the future « Malecón Simón Bolívar ». In response, the Fundación Malecón 2000 was set up in 1997. Legally, the Foundation is a private, non-profit entity that brings together Guayaquil’s most diverse and representative institutions. Under a 99-year emphyteutic lease, the city of Guayaquil granted the Foundation a concession for all of the Malecón’s land, a total of over 17 hectares along the river.

Malecón Simon Bolivar, waterfront promenade © AIVP

Two complementary funding methods were set up. On the one hand – a fairly classic solution – concessions were granted for the commercial operation of certain private facilities (retail outlets, restaurants, IMAX cinema, etc.). On the other hand, a law was passed on 15 October 1997, establishing that 25% of donations or grants made by natural or legal persons to projects developed by the Foundation could be deducted from tax liabilities for the period 1997-2002.

The latter financial mechanism provided access to considerable private funds to spend on the project immediately, whereas the municipality’s initial input at the time had been limited to just US$ 25,000. The number of private donors reached the remarkable figure of over 47,000 in 2001, a clear sign of the initiative’s popularity with the wider public. This injection of funds meant that the public spaces, which made up 80% of the overall surface area concerned, could be equipped with high quality materials and installations from the outset, and in particular quality street furniture. Some 90% of the funds received by the Foundation must be earmarked specifically for the realisation of projects, under a very strict system of supervision.

Museum of Contemporary Art © AIVP