At the heart of the debate surrounding the development of cities in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries lies the resource and fundamental dimension of the urban environment, open space, its definitions and its uses. The pressures accompanying the advent of the industrialized city and the increasing urbanization of society gave rise to a large-scale reconsideration of the question of the organization of the urban landscape. These pressures were also at the heart of the tendency of members of the urban elite to distance themselves from the city centre and move towards the outskirts.2 Inspired by the desire to get closer to nature, this relocation on the part of elite groups disrupted the periphery surrounding the city and significantly transformed it. The definition of space on the fringes of the urban milieu, along with what constitutes nature and what use to put it to, would become major issues that would bring ‘colonizing’ elites into conflict with the largely rural populations that were already in situ.