China is a country where land is at a premium, even more so in the fastest-growing coastal areas. So having a home built on a land area of between three and five hundred square meters in a landscaped compound with lakes, ponds and 24 hour security, is proof of serious money. But the suburban compounds raise a host of serious issues: their growth has been at the expense of arable land, the shrinking supply of which is already a major problem in China. And while “suburban flight” has been a common pattern in other countries, what are the social and political implications of the emergence of a wealthy class that wants to physically separate from the rest of the population? What will be the effects on urban China if the new rich flee the cities just as a vast horde of landless peasants move in?