Ideas Contest for Integration Guadalmedina River in Málaga (Spain)

Ideas Contest for Integration Guadalmedina River in Málaga (Spain)

Ideas Contest for Integration Guadalmedina River in the city

The city of Malaga is crossed from north to south by the river Guadalmedina, having produced until 1918 periodic flooding in the city center. There were two hydraulic interventions to prevent the "Swamp of the Agujero" and the "Dam of the Limonero", who have turned the river from 1980 to a dry riverbed that is only used to relieve the dam waters when rainfall provided and collect the flow of streams under the same. The use of urban channel for public use has been claiming since the late 80 for the public, but because it is a complex project with multiple administrations skills has not been able to solve so far.

The starting point was the agreement of the Council about CIEDES Foundation (driving the Strategic Plan) to head up the project to be made between all administrations with competence and economic, cultural and social agents of the city.

It was decided by all begin with the completion of a public contest of ideas, led to multidisciplinary teams with recognized professionals, with the aim of proposing different solutions to the integration of the river and city.

The contest rules were drafted by experts from the four administrations concerned and was formed a jury and an Advisory Committee with representatives from all of them and the main agent in town (employers, unions, neighbors, college, financial sector etc). This Committee and the Jury analyzed the 16 proposals submitted and awarded prizes to 10 teams.


Mª del Carmen García Peña. Managing Director

Date: 2012-07-10

State: completed

City: Malaga

Country: Spain

Category: Urban Planning, Sustainability and environment

  • Innovation and Strategy



    Innovation has been primarily in the approach and procedure:

    • In the approach: the City Council, with the agreement of all political parties, is who decides that is a private foundation leads a city project.
    • In the process: it is a participatory process, where citizens can also comment on a major development project, for which it generates a methodology of participation and consensus of all administrations, the main actors economic and social, and the citizen himself. For all this, we took example of other cities that had been addressed in a macro-owned and generated its own model.

    In terms of application of new technologies, citizen mailbox was enabled on the CIEDESA Foundation website where you can post pictures, videos, projects, comments, etc.. Also digitized historical documents and technicians on the river, creating the largest existing digital library on the Guadalmedina and freely accessible to all.

    In methodological innovation should be noted that a jury was formed with 13 CIEDES patrons, representing all players in the city. They created a contest rules agreed with the four competent authorities in the river through the work of a Technical Committee with members from all of them.

    Such technical Commission also incorporated the four administrations and a person chosen by the participants and two by the jury. Foundation devised a method of participation and consensus specific to each of these groups.

    The objectives were:

    1. Remove from political debate and electoral processes a strategic project for the city.
    2. Receive the best proposals (understood as those that provide better environmental quality, water and urban) for the integration of the river in the city life.
    3. Designing the project comprehensively with a view of the river as a whole, even outside their urban section.
    4. Disseminate and publicize these proposals citizens to ensure their involvement.
    5. Enlarge the evidence they had to support decision-making by the relevant actors in the integration of the river.

    The strategies developed were:

    • Involvement of the four authorities with responsibilities in the river through a Consensus Statement and participation in decision-making forums (Jury and Technical Committee).
    • Search for consensus and unanimity among all governments and main economic and social agents in decisions on the next steps.
    • Creation of a representative figure of the contestants, who participated directly, as a member in the Technical Committee.
    • Publication of the Rules of the Contests and invitation to the participation of multidisciplinary teams.
    • Public presentation of all proposals and direct work with the media to give the widest possible dissemination.
  • Concertation



    Project partners were:

    • City of Malaga
    • Chamber of Commerce of Malaga
    • Unions (Comisiones Obreras y U.G.T.)
    • Employers Confederation of Malaga
    • Delegation of Government Junta Andalucía
    • Provincial Council of Malaga
    • Provincial Federation AA.VV.-Unit
    • Technological Park of Andalusia
    • Port of Malaga
    • Prefectures
    • Unicaja Bank
    • University of Málaga

    All partners involved in the project through their participation in the Jury and the Technical Committee:

    • The Committee met 4 times to evaluate the various proposals and make a decision on the winners.
    • The Technical Committee met 6 times, was performed  a baremation to analyzed and evaluated the projects, and proposed the winners to the jury.

    CIEDES Foundation, conducted a coordination among all participants.
    Also helped to finance the proposals: City of Malaga, Andalusia, Provincial, Unicaja bank, private entities and the Foundation.

  • Impact and evaluation



    The main findings with respect to objectives, are:
    • 16 projects that propose a solution to the integration of the river.
    • The largest digital library on the river
    • Mailbox Guadalmedina with all the suggestions of the citizens
    • Track open for dialogue and consensus between the competent authorities (public-sector) and economic and social actors (public-private), out of political debate.

    Moreover, the city has managed a permanent permit use of the river with the Junta de Andalucía for various activities and are preparing small interventions of improving it (cleaning, mouth, greenway cyclist), while still agreeing leaf final route of the river.

    As part of the financing of the contest came from public funds, from the first moment has generated a system of monitoring and evaluation of activities and results.

    Results Indicators:

    • Creating a mailbox Guadalmedina
    • Agreed preparation of tender documents
    • Call Contest
    • Advertising Contest
    • Public failure Contest
    • Mounting exhibition proposal
    • Media involvement
    • Activities at the river

    Impact indicators

    • Mailbox views
    • Participants in the drafting of tender
    • Participants in the Technical Committee and the Jury
    • Number of teams presented
    • Appearances in the media
    • Exposure visits proposals
    • Participating in the activities of the river
  • Sustainability



    CIEDES Foundation is still in charge of the impulse of the project so it is still alive and still involved the same agents.

    The Mailbox Guadalmedina is operating and receives input and consultation on the river. It has created a task force in the Town Planning Department of the City Council to submit proposals agreed to reach the final definition of the project selection.

    Moreover, different administrations have created a platform for political and technical decision to sign a memorandum of understanding and agreement on the river.

    On this platform are: City of Malaga, Andalusia Govermment, Central Government, Provincial Government and Port Authority. In addition, the 13 patrons of the Foundation periodically review project progress.
    In this moment, the Foundation assumes labor costs of coordination and consensus, but in the protocol are to establish the skills and administration costs each must take towards the future.

  • Transfer capability



    This action is perfectly replicable, there will always agreement between the administrations on the issues affecting the future of the city. It is fundamentally agree with various government and representative bodies of the city more global projects that benefit the entire population.

    In Latin America there are cases of strategic projects that have benefited from the participation and agreement of all administrations, the main actors and the general public.



Ordenación del Guadalmedina