Sustainable Food Systems Education and Engagement in Detroit

Recently, in the process of writing an international research proposal, I had an email exchange with Dr. Kami Pothukuchi, Associate Professor in Urban Planning at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences of Wayne State University. Dr. Pothukuchi is, together with Prof. Jerry Kaufman, one of the founders of food planning in the USA. She was the first to write about food as a stranger to the planning field in 2000 and is one of the authors of “Community and Regional Food Planning: A Policy Guide of the American Planning Association“. This policy guide was a major source of inspiration for organizing the first European Sustainable Food Conference under auspices of the AESOP.

In our email exchange Dr. Pothukuchi informed me that she has recently become director of SEED Wayne. SEED is the acronym for Sustainable food systems Education and Engagement in Detroit. 

SEED Wayne is dedicated to building sustainable food systems on the campus of Wayne State University and in Detroit communities. SEED Wayne works in partnership with community-based organizations promoting food security, urban agriculture, farm-to-institution, and food and fitness planning and policy development. SEED Wayne embraces core university functions in teaching, research, engagement and operations. 

I think SEED Wayne is a perfect example of the role a university can and should play in enhancing sustainable food systems as well as in creating a learning-by-doing environment for students in which close collaboration with local communities is an intrinsic part of university teaching and research. For those interested in SEED Wayne download the brochure or simply browse SEED Wayne’s website.