head office

Via Paolo Emilio, 7
00192 Roma, Italy
Tel: +39 06 323971
Fax: +39 06 32 272 98



Patrizia Lotti
Francesca D'Amato
Tel: +39 06 32397 300

international director

Francesco Fusco
Alessandra D'avanzo
Tel: +39 06 32397 232

technical director

Massimo Capasso
Valentina Pellegrino
Tel: +39 06 32397 239


Alessandro Motta
Tel: +39 06 323971

tender office

Valentina Pellegrino
Tel: +39 06 32397 239


Alessandra D'avanzo
Tel: +39 06 32397 232


Country ECUADOR, Guayaquil
Client European Union
Municipalidad de Guayaquil
Services provided Technical Assistance
Period of execution 01/2002 – 01/2006
Construction cost € 8,650,000.00

73,000 inhabitants


During the last two decades the Guayaquil municipality (2 millions inhabitants in 2001) has strongly invested in urban renewal. Nevertheless, in the early 2000s’, 70% of Guayaquilians had still no piped drinking water, sewerage, storm water drainage, and no paved roads; for many of them public schools are often too far. This could expose the whole population to serious health risks and reproduce a generation of citizens with little/no access neither to education nor to job opportunities.
The objectives of this project were the improvement of the Social Services and infrastructures of the district of Bastion Popular, in order to contribute to improve the living conditions of population while maintaining its ethnic and social context.
In particular, main objectives to be achieved were:

  • creation of a multi-functional centre;
  • roads network rehabilitation;
  • improvement of water supply system;
  • rehabilitation of the rainwater drainage canals and sewerage network construction;
  • environmental recovery (including green areas and improved solid waste management);
  • rehabilitation and construction of some public buildings: kindergartens, playgrounds, sports fields;
  • creation, strengthening and supporting base organizations.


The interesting proposal - and revolutionary – of the Program is to carry on simultaneously and intersected two fronts, the engineering and the social, and be able to ensure that the two aspects can be really and effectively complementary. To one side it is trying to meet the basic needs of the population and contribute to improving the living conditions, on the other hand it ensures the sustainability of the various technical actions and introduces a new concept: the active participation by the citizen in Community action.
It is in fact a program of integral development, which aims at achieving an overall development of the quality of people's living.
There is, on the basis of this objective, the will to tackle the problems at the root, and not just superficially.

The Multi-functional Centre represents the meeting point of engineering and social contributions to this program.
The structure of 32,000 m2, completely new, is the most visible part of the program. Inside, users will find several places for socialization and some answers to their basic social and health needs:

  • a maternity and childcare medical centre;
  • a CAMI (Centro Acciόn Municipal Integral;
  • a recreation centre;
  • an area for elderly;
  • a crèche;
  • a theatre.

In the district of Bastión Popular various standing Committees have arisen to represent the interests of individuals both within the neighborhood, both towards the external reality, with the purpose of solving practical problems, such as, for example, the connection to services and other problems that the individual could not absolutely manage if not supported by a group.

THE FILLING-IN (El relleno)
Water is the problem at Bastión Popular: there is no sewer system; there is just a single canal that collects both drainage and rainwater. The drinking water network does not reach all houses and often suffer major leaks; of course during “el Invierno”, the rainy season, from December to April the main problem occurs. Part of the Bastión Popular rises on a hill and inevitably, when it rains, due to the lack of drainage system, or one that is extremely poor, all the houses and roads downhill are inexorably and totally flooded by water that rapidly becomes infected.
One solution proposed is the so-called “relleno”. The resident people are freely provided with raw material , “the Soil” to enable them to fill-in (hence the term “relleno”) the hollow areas and carry out the smoothing of the roads at the same level of the housing, respecting the natural drainage of the side of the roads.

The talleres are training courses for residents to Bastión Popular, organized by external organizations.
During the meetings people were encouraged to develop various concepts such as social conscience, the planning of life, the pursuit and understanding of personal and community problems and their possible solution.

The real difficulty was that to try to propose to the inhabitants of the district a different architecture of the living space, stimulating a new existential vision, no longer limited in the context of individualism and the daily struggle alone to the mere survival, but more focused on the community through the concept, completely new, of active participation in community life.
So, while the technical activities were actually completed - with regard to the social and cultural transformation of the local residents - certainly far more ambitious goal - we can certainly affirm that the program has succeeded in creating good bases for an improvement of conditions compared to the period prior to the start of our project.


  • Technical assistance