Kathryn Lynch Underwood

Kathryn Lynch Underwood

Center for Regional Food Systems

Senior Planner, City of Detroit City Planning Commission

Kathryn Lynch Underwood is a senior planner with the City of Detroit City Planning Commission.  She has been a planner for nearly 30 years, with experience ranging from development of zoning code and comprehensive plan policies to policy related to sustainability and urban food systems.  Her areas of expertise and current work focuses around urban agriculture/livestock policy and innovation; and, developing models of community engagement to inform public policy.  She currently has an advisory role with the City’s Office of Sustainability, co-chairing the Food Policy Working Group and chairing the Urban Agriculture subcommittee. Kathryn helped create the Detroit Food Security Policy, and is a founding member of a number of organizations including the Detroit Agriculture Network, the Detroit Food Policy Council, Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice, the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network, and Slow Food - Detroit Central City.  She also has, or currently serves on a variety of boards and advisory groups related to urban agriculture and food systems such as The Greening of Detroit, the Great Lakes Leadership Academy, the Detroit Food Policy Council, and the Healthy Food Policy Project. Kathryn has presented locally, nationally and internationally on urban agriculture. She was a presenter at the 1st Global Summit on Metropolitan Agriculture in Rotterdam, The Netherlands in September 2010 and has participated in U.S. study groups in both The Netherlands and Italy related to food systems. She has represented Slow Food USA as a delegate in Turin, Italy at Terra Madre in 2010 - 2016; has presented at international Slow Food events and, serves on the board of Slow Food USA and as an US International Councilor to Slow Food International.


Kathryn has bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Environmental Studies from the University of Michigan-Dearborn, and a Masters in Urban Planning from Wayne State University. She is a life-long resident of Detroit.