AFIRE Podcast #15: Looking for Community

Landscape designer, conservationist, author, and television host P. Allen Smith discusses the shift towards walkability, density, and community accelerated by the COVID-19 crisis.

This podcast is based on the conversations from the AFIRE 2020 Winter Conference | Read More

With more drastic climate change effects on the near horizon, and COVID-19 still in the room, it will be critical for investors to track policies and regulations alongside changing social attitudes. As the pandemic continues, healthy buildings aren’t just engineering novelties and shiny facades for trade magazines—they’re the new baseline for ensuring safe experiences in the built environment at all scales, including an increasingly popular trend in sustainable, walkable, and community-focused exurban developments.

In this podcast, P. Allen Smith, prolific designer, author, and host of the P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home and P. Allen Smith’s Garden to Table series on American Public Television (and keynote speaker at this year’s AFIRE Winter Conference in New York) discusses the need for a shift in thinking about value in real estate. What’s the real difference between real estate that takes a myopic view of maximizing value per square foot, with little regard for context, and more thoughtful and integrated approaches to urban design, development, and value creation?

Featuring: P. Allen Smith, Landscape Designer, Conservationist, Author, and Television Host

P. Allen Smith, often described as one of America’s most talented landscape designers, is the product of five generations of southern nurserymen. His foundational childhood experiences in planting naturally led to an appreciation for horticulture, genetic diversity, plant pairing and an orderly, holistic approach to work.  Later as a graduate student in England he traced—200 years to the day—Thomas Jefferson and John Adams’s famous tour of important English country homes.  Historical precedent and context being ever prominent in his mind, Mr. Smith sidelines fashion and identifies and then sensitively accentuates the natural gifts of the landscape, imparting balance, harmony and beauty in the classic tradition of Palladio, Brown, Repton and Soane. His designs are an expression of his client’s lifestyle, melding site with living material and improvements to create environments that mature and improve with the seasons while framing arresting viewsheds.

Mr. Smith’s esoteric interests provide for a broad diversity of inclusions in his designs such as poultry houses, sheep pastures, walled gardens rooms, fruit orchards, herb gardens, container gardens, stumperies, rare rose collections, wildflower fields, pollinator drifts, apiaries, ponds, and follies. Many of these devices are on display at his Ferme Orneé, Moss Mountain Farm–a 600 acre estate on the Arkansas River.

Known for his television work on Good Morning America, the Today Show, his PBS programming, and his six book publications, Allen is also deeply passionate and involved with preservation and conservation efforts. He is a trustee of Winterthur House, a former board member of the Royal Oak Society (the British National Trust), a certified fellow of the Royal Horticultural Society, an honorary member of the Garden Club of America, the honorary President of the Herb Society of America, and a life member of the Livestock Conservancy, the Rare Breeds Trust (UK) and the Society for the Preservation of Poultry Antiquities. He is a TEDx speaker and the founder of the Heritage Poultry Conservancy. 


Benjamin van Loon, Communications Director | +1 202 312 1405


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