Kameshwari (Kami)  Pothukuchi

Kameshwari (Kami) Pothukuchi




 3198 Faculty Administration Building, 

Wayne State University, 

656 W. Kirby, 

Detroit, MI 48202



Social Media


Youtube Videos

Kameshwari (Kami) Pothukuchi

Research Interest/Area of Expertise

  • Community food systems (browse SEED Wayne, watch a video). Watch other videos with interviews of SEED Wayne student leaders and campus and community partners. Read 2013 article by SEED Wayne's first Student Leader, William Ahee.

  • Community participation in planning

  • Race, gender, ethnicity issues in community planning

Education – Degrees, Licenses, Certifications

  • Bachelor of Architecture, University of Bombay, Mumbai, India, 1987 (honors with high distinction)
  • Master of Urban Planning, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, May 1990
  • Master of Architecture, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, May 1991 (with high distinction)
  • Ph.D. in Urban, Technological, and Environmental Planning, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Dec. 1995

Awards and Grants


    2017 Ford Motor Company Fund, College Community Challenge Legacy Award for Outstanding Service
    2013 Dr. Arthur L. Johnson Community Leadership Award, Wayne State University
    2011 Michigan Plaque Award for SEED Wayne, Keep Michigan Beautiful
    2011 Detroit Free Press Michigan Green Leader Award, Honorable Mention, Individual Category
    2010 Faculty Service Award, Wayne State University Alumni Association


    2015 WK Kellogg Foundation, ‘Supporting Leadership: A campus-community collaboration for sustainable food systems in Detroit,’ $100,000.
    2015 Ford Motor Company Fund, ‘From volunteering to employment—cultivating student leadership and capacity in sustainable food systems,’ $25,000.
    2013 Ford Motor Company Fund, ‘Student Advantage at Wayne State Farmers Market,’ $25,000.
    2013 Michigan Fitness Foundation, ‘Healthy Eats Project,’ $45,247.
    2012 Michigan Economic Development Corporation, ‘Increasing access, strengthening markets,’ with Grandmont Rosedale Community Development Corporation, $50,000.
    2009-16 Fair Food Network, Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB) at the Wayne State Farmers Market, $47,715.
    2012 University of Wisconsin-Madison, ‘Campus-community collaborations in sustainable food systems,’ USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, 2011-68004-30044, $25,000.
    2011 Eastern Market, Wayne State University Farmers Market Marketing Grant, $5,000
    2009 Erb Family Foundation, ‘Healthy Food Enterprise Development on Detroit’s Eastside.’ $90,000
    2008 Ford Motor Company Fund, 'Sustainable Food Systems Education and Engagement in Detroit'. $100,000

Selected Publications

For citation counts, browse my profile on Google Scholar. Note that Tom Sanchez's webpage for planning faculty citations counts only those of my publications that identify me with the shortened version of my first name, "Kami." Note also that the APA Policy Guide (Kaufman et al 2007, above) is typically cited with the American Planning Association as author. These citations are not included in my Google Scholar citation count.

Browse a page from a recent article (Greenstein et al, 2015, Journal of Planning Education and Research) that showcases the influence of my research on the teaching of food systems planning across the country. Click here for the full article.

Selected publications aimed at community-based audiences, food advocacy community; opinions.

Selected invited lectures/ invited presentations

  • 2018. Invited lecture, "Food system collaborations in Detroit: Expertise, participation, and trust," at University of Heidelberg, Center for American Studies, Heidelberg, Germany, June 28.
  • 2018. Invited lecture, "Community Food Justice: Lessons from collaborations in Detroit" at Lillian Fountain Smith Nutrition Conference, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, May 15-16.
  • 2017. Public lectures, "Lessons from Detroit FRESH," "Urban Agriculture in Detroit: Reimagining urban, reimagining agriculture," at Montreal Department of Public Health (April 12), and University of Quebec, Montreal (April 12); public consultation with Systeme alimentaire montrealais (Montreal Food Policy Council convening) (April 13).
  • 2016. "Addressing disparities in access to healthy foods." Mayor's Summit on Health Equity in Detroit, Wayne State University, May 3-4.
  • 2016. Public lecture   Western Michigan University, Center for the Humanities, Reimagining Community Series: 'What is the community that feeds you? Reimagining food, reimagining community." March 17. Office for Sustainability, Community conversation on universities and sustainability, March 18. Listen to WMUK interview, March 9.
  • 2014. Iowa State University (College of Design, April 9; Graduate Program in Sustainable Agriculture, April 10), "Planning for Sustainable Food Systems," Ames, IA.
  • 2014. "Urban Agriculture in Detroit: History and prospects," American Bar Association, Local and State Government Section, Asheville, NC, April 25.
  • 2012. "Models of food planning in the United States," Planning for food – towards a prosperous, resilient and healthy food system through Victoria’s Metropolitan Planning Strategy, forum organized by Victorian Health Alliance and Heart Foundation, Melbourne, Australia, November 9.
  • 2011. "Sustainable food systems in large public institutes: SEED Wayne in Detroit, USA," OtherWise Lecture Series, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands, November 29.
  • 2011. "Campus-community collaboration for sustainable food systems: The SEED Wayne experience," Berea College, Kentucky, October 21.
  • 2010. Food Planning: A Resource for Healthy People, Communities, and Regions, Regional Food Summit, St. Louis, MO, March 4.
  • 2009. “The Food and Transportation Systems: Convergence for Health” presented at American Public Health Association Annual Conference, Invited participation on panel convened by Prevention Institute, Philadelphia, PA, November 11.
  • 2008. Keynote, “Community and Regional Food Planning,” at Feeding the City conference, Cardiff University, Department of City and Regional Planning, Cardiff, Wales, UK, November 5-6.
  • 2007. Keynote, “Community and Regional Food Planning," University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, September 14.
  • 2007. Keynote, Future Foods for Future Health Conference, co-sponsored by VicHealth, Melbourne, Australia, July 25.
  • 2007. "Community and regional food planning," lectures to planners, public health and food system advocates, Melbourne (July 23-25) and Sydney (July 19), Australia.
  • 2007. “Food planning for (d)well-being” (April 5), (D)wellbeing Lecture Series, and presentation to environmental planning class (April 6), University of British Columbia, Vancouver.
  • 2007. “State policies and planning for food access,” Southwest Food Marketing Network Annual Conference, Phoenix, Arizona, March 26.
  • 2006. Public Lecture (Sept. 26) and panel participation (Sept. 27) “Community Food Security: Concepts and practices,” organized by New Orleans Food and Farm Network, New Orleans, LA.
  • 2006. “Lessons from successful supermarkets in low income areas,” National Conference of State Legislatures Food Policy Field Trips, Philadelphia, PA, Sept. 8.
  • 2006. “Building capacity for community food security,” Food for Talk Seminar Series, York University, Toronto, January 27.
  • 2006. “Getting more: Policy tools for the Triple Bottom Line in Retail Grocery,” at From Pilots to Practice Conference, Prevention Institute, San Francisco, CA, January 11-12.
  • 2005. Keynote panel. “Planning for sustainable food systems” Sustainable Landscapes Conference, Utah State University, Logan, UT, April 5.
  • 2004 Public Lecture, Toledo Botanical Society, “Building a Sustainable Food System: What Works,” Sanger Public Library, Toledo, August 13.

Selected professional leadership/ governance experiences

  • 2018-19  WSU's representative on the DIA Plaza Design Student Competition and Summit Planning Team, convened by Midtown, Inc.
  • 2014-2017  Chair, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Wayne State University (2014-15, Interim Chair).
  • 2008-Curr  Founding Director, SEED Wayne, Sustainable Food Systems Education and Engagement in Detroit and Wayne State University (clas.wayne.edu/seedwayne). A campus-community collaborative dedicated to building student leadership in sustainable food systems through activities in education, research, and engagement on WSU’s campus and in Detroit area communities. Community partners include nonprofit organizations involved in urban agriculture, food security, farm-to-institution linkages, and food planning and policy development. Browse newsletter SEEDLING archive.
  • 2009-14  Co-founder, Member Detroit Food Policy Council, Detroit, MI. Vice Chair, 2009-11; Chair, Research and Policy Committee, 2011-14  Member, Convening Committee (charged by Detroit City Council), 2009.
  • 2005-13   Founding Co-Chair (with Jerry Kaufman and Deanna Glosser), Food Interest Group (initially, Food Planning Steering Committee), American Planning Association.
  • 2005-08  Board member, Detroit Agriculture Network, Detroit, MI.
  • 2003-07  Board member, Agrarian Adventure, Ann Arbor, MI.
  • 1999-2005  Board member, Community Food Security Coalition, Los Angeles, CA; Secretary, 2003-04; Chair, Healthy Food Access Committee, 2000-2004.


Currently Teaching

  • UP 7810, Internships in Food Systems Planning (All semesters, with instructor permission only)

  • UP 7010: Planning and Decision Theory

    GPH/HIS/PS/US 2000: Introduction to Urban Studies

Courses taught