This is a student project concerning development of an urban village in Xi´an, China. The main concept and analysis is presented on this webpage. In the book we present a more thorough review of the project. The references, calculations and the research are all included in the book for you to download.


If you read the webpage and want more information about something, you can always click this symbol       in the menu at the right and it will redirect you to the book.












Let us take a closer look at the difference between the

village Hou Wei Zhai and the highrises just across the road


Our comparison shows that there is a lot of potential for the village to develop, and that there might not be much to gain by replacing it with high-rises. Some of the qualities in the village, such as trust and social relationships between the neighbours, take time to develop.


It is wise to make use of the villagers in the process of future development. They know how the village works, and have established both social and economical relationships. Qualities in the household, such as flexibility and adaptability, could make the village into a motor that will have a positive influence on the city’s economical and ecological structure as a whole.

Our goal is therefore to develop the village from within, by using the potential in the economy and ecology of the household. By using these existing resources the village can become a self-sufficient motor in the urbanization of Xi’an.

The goal!


The household

Scenarios for the household structure

The household economy and ecology is about to change yet again. The demolition of the village is closing in, with factories closing down, migrants moving elsewhere and a poorer market in the village. The insecurity the demolition represents makes investing in the village hard. We have to invest these money now to be able to develop the village.

The premiss

The healthcare situation

Hospitalization can easily cost up to several times the average annual income. It is not unusual that people forego healthcare or drive themselves into deep debts because of healthcare expenses. There is a big uncertainty involving savings for healthcare, since you never know when you get sick and how serious the illness is.

Nearly every Chinese citizen is covered by some kind of public health insurance. Despite this healthcare there remains a major expense for most Chinese. Research shows that fear of health related expenses is still the single most important reason why Chinese people keep their money in savings accounts.

In average every household in the village save 1500 CNY every month for healthcare. The strike of disease is nothing but unfair. While some families never have any major health related problems, others are bankrupting themselves to save their loved ones. This means that there in fact is a lot of people sitting on a big pile of money they never use .

The average health expenditure per capita per year in China is 2300 yuan

The out-of-pocket expenses are 1150 CNY per capita per year

This means that every household saves 18000 CNY for healthcare every year, but they only need 5750 CNY in average

When we look at the average numbers of health expenditure the savings are unreasonably high. But given that China don’t have any way to save for these expenses collectively, they can’t account on the average numbers. The security in the average numbers require that more people save together.

 save 650 CNY every month

 save 7550 CNY every month



As the situation is today only the owners in the village have the opportunity to save money. The renters work long hours for low salaries, and don’t have much money left after all the necessary expenses. This is why the Hou Wei Care have to start with the money from the owners, they are the only ones with money to invest. They are also the ones who have the strongest relationship to the village.

Management of HWC

Hou Wei Care´s economy need to grow in order for them to invest further in the village. They need to invest in something that can create profit, and by doing this the fund will grow and the improvements in the village can become bigger and better.

Ripple effects

Resources in the village

Existing factories and services

Investment analysis


The garbage situation today


Inside the biogas plant

Transportation line

The economy of the biogasplant


The incentives listed below are the main reasons why the owners and the renters would benefit from Hou Wei Care. For Hou Wei Care to work it is important that the investors, the owners, has enough incentives for them to take the risk and invest in the project.


Improved health situation

The waste lying in the streets will be gathered in new waste bins, and collected every day. This will result in clean streets and a better environment in the village.


Hou Wei Care invests in factories that fill the empty factories and use the empty space. This will result in more people in the village, and a need for more services. New shops will pop up. With investments benefiting the common good such as dancing squares and sewage planting the village is improved.



The Team

Per Kristian Solem

Oda Sivesind Holthe

Mathias Midbøe

NTNU       Urban Triggers AAR4540       2015

Learning resources


Ole Møystad       Tarjei Zakarias Ekelund       Mads Nermo       Jostein Breines


Lisbet Sauarlia       Thea Hougsrud Andreassen


Special thanks to


 Benedicke Aasen for proofreading       The Chinese students and teachers

Hanne Hammerseth

Xavier Font Sala

Mads Eivind Berglie Fikkan