Food Innovation Districts: An Economic Gardening Tool in Michigan Planner Volume 17, Issue 3

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May 30, 2013 - Author: Sarah Lucas, Laura Goddeeris, Patty Cantrell

The May/June edition of Michigan Planner, a publication of the Michigan Association of Planning, featured the release of and key concepts and examples from "Food Innovation Districts: An Economic Gardening Tool," a project of CRFS.


Food is an increasingly important area of work for community planners and economic developers. The business opportunities, public health benefits, and quality of life assets involved in the emerging local and regional food sector are driving significant interest, innovation and investment across the country.

The New York Times, Cooperative Grocer and Crain’s Detroit Business newspapers, for example, recently highlighted local food-oriented business districts now forming in Grand Rapids, Marquette, and Traverse City. These articles illustrate the power of local and regional food to simultaneously stimulate entrepreneurship, strengthen neighborhoods, and promote community health and wellness.

Now a new guide, “Food Innovation Districts: An Economic Gardening Tool,” provides information, definitions, resources, and tools for communities interested in growing similar clusters of local and regional food and farm entrepreneurs and related activities through planning and economic development initiatives.

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For more information visit:

Center for Regional Food Systems

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