Publication date: February 2022
Based on an example of a redundant and neglected city church, the authors are reflecting on the concept of historic values, how the these are differently interpreted by different actors and what consequences this might bring for preservation, management, and use of redundant churches. We are also discussing how historic religious buildings, instead of not contributing, or even being seen as obstacles, to sustainable development of cities, can be regarded as assets in the regeneration of decayed city areas.Caroli Church was built 1879 in central Malmö, Sweden´s third largest city (2021). It is situated in an area in the historic city centre that was renewed in the 1960s and 1970s with demolition of many old buildings. The church was deconsecrated in 2010 and sold to the owner of the nearby shopping mall Caroli City. The County Admin- istration granted permission to remove most of the ecclesiastical furnishings. The National Heritage Board, argu- ing that these measures would destroy legally protected historic values, appealed to the Administrative Court. In 2016, the Higher Administrative Court finally rejected the appeal, giving the owner right to make substantial changes to the interior. The church, which for many years was in a state of decay, is now (2021) finally restored, but is still without use.The analysis of the case, aiming to lead to proposals for solutions, is conducted based on the concepts of author- ized heritage discourse, integrated and values-based conservation and adaptive re-use of historic buildings. In this context the paper is reviewing European policies and approaches as well as previous research on the inclu- sion of cultural heritage and adaptive reuse in circular economy, smart specialisation strategies, local business, and action plans.