Assistant Professor Larissa Larsen to moderate CLOSUP Panel on the role of urban food retail in Detroit

The conventional grocery industry has been known to skirt the perimeter of Detroit; urban food distribution is patchy and often, expensive. Larissa Larsen, Assistant Professor of Urban Planning at Taubman College, will moderate a panel titled “The Role of Urban Food Retail in Detroit’s Economic Development and Revitalization” on Wednesday, Oct. 21 from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The panel discussion, free and open to the public, will present a number of approaches to urban food retail in the city of Detroit. From developing local grocery sector entrepreneurs to establishing alterative vehicles for urban residents to get fresh food, the panelists will discuss various programs to create a new model for community grocery stores.

The event is sponsored by the Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP) and the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.

  • Panelist Olga Savic Stella, Vice President of Business Development at the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, will discuss the DEGC’s “Fresh Food Access Initiative” which strives to expand and improve the conventional grocery sector in the city.
  • Panelist Margaret Garry, Director of Special Projects at the Michigan Department of Human Services will discuss the “Detroit Grocery Project” which supports the development of a diverse community of new grocery entrepreneurs to serve Detroit neighborhoods.
  • Panelist Brad Wilson, Community Development Director of United Food and Commercial Workers Statewide Community Development, will discuss the “Detroit Community Grocery Store Coalition.” This initiative is comprised of churches, community organizations and individuals working to create community-based grocery stores in underserved Detroit neighborhoods.
  • Panelist Randall Fogelman, Vice President of Development for Eastern Market Corporation will discuss two important initiatives: The “Green Ribbon Collaborative” a coalition of food security and urban agricultural groups working together on alternative food retail programs, such as food boxes, mobile food trucks, farmers markets, cornerstore displays, and so on. He’ll also discuss “MI Food Movers” a state-supported program that assists mobile food trucks.

For more information visit or call (734) 647-4091. The event will be held in the Annenburg Auditorium, 1120 Joan and Sanford Weill Hall; 735 South State Street, Ann Arbor.