The Halland Model was organized to make priorities of specific meanings and needs. These were of cultural and local identity, cultural history, employment, training needs and the overall importance of sustainable development. These specific meanings were discussed and negotiated during the feasibility studies, where key words for the success of conservation projects, as well as for cross-sector and multi-problem-oriented approaches, were formulated as “flexibility among stakeholders, trust for the partners, and transparent methods”.
How to cooperate in comprehensive projects was a new kind of experience for the representatives of the cultural heritage. The knowledge about the comprehensive structure in which the Halland Model was operating and the role of the historic environment in this context had led to the understanding of the importance of cultural heritage to regional sustainable development.
This scheme was based on approximately one hundred building adaptive reuse conservation projects, in which almost one-third of the construction workers in the region were trained in traditional building techniques. This meant a close collaboration between several public sectors, private enterprises, NGO’s and researchers. The cross-sectoral and trans-disciplinary network acted with a multi-problem-oriented approach, which implied that conservation of the built heritage played the role of a catalyst for job creation, training and education in areas of concern, increasing a region’s attractiveness, strengthening democracy, regional growth and sustainable development. In this context the concept conservation was promoted for probably the first time in Sweden in connection with strategic development.
In the Halland Model, each of the various cooperating public sectors had their own planning instruments with differing political perspectives and priorities. The planning instruments of these various sectors were joined together in a “trading zone”, or “feasibility studies” as it was called, in a process where it was of great importance that the conservationists were able to make themselves understood. A large number of actors entered the conservation arena, representing various types of power structures (e.g., County Administrative Board, County Labour Market Board, various local authorities, etc.), commerce and trades (e.g., Constructors’ Federation, and the Building Workers’ Union), and knowledge-oriented mechanisms (museums and universities), as well as citizens and their NGO organisations (e. g. historical associations).
In the Halland Model almost 100 historic buildings at risk was preserved and conserved/restored, to be reused, with traditional buildings techniques and traditional material. One third of the buildings were after completed restoration used by culture and creative industries.