Kansas Citians Go 'Beyond Our Borders,' Discuss Lines That Unite, Divide Metro

Nov 6, 2015

When out-of-towners visit Kansas City, they are fascinated by the state line. 

That's one of the messages we took away from our community dinner on Wednesday at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

"Living here we take for granted what a unique situation this is," one community member wrote on a Post-It before sticking the message to a map of the metropolitan area.

The same could be said for three other lines that unite and divide Kansas City — Troost Avenue, the Missouri River and the Wyandotte County-Johnson County border.

After KCUR staffers presented content from the Beyond Our Borders series, members of the audience were invited to speak about their own experiences with Kansas City's biggest dividing lines.
Credit Alyson Raletz / KCUR 89.3

KCUR has spent the past year and a half on an intensive reporting series — Beyond Our Borders —examining how each of these lines affect the daily lives of Kansas Citians.

During a dinner presentation of the stories the community helped us uncover, we asked people to write their reactions, concerns and questions on Post-Its and stick them to a large map of the metro area.

One person asked, "Why do we continue leap-frogging into the northern reaches of our city limits?"

Another person wrote, "How many commercial buildings remain along Troost from streetcar days?

We also heard, "We live in Overland Park — one reason is that I feel pretty safe there," and "Does the city have any plans for revitalizing Harlem?"

If you missed the event, follow some of the other conversation the presentation sparked online:

[View the story "Going 'Beyond Our Borders' At KCUR's Community Dinner" on Storify]

This is part of KCUR's months-long examination of how geographic borders affect our daily lives in Kansas City. KCUR will go Beyond Our Borders and spark a community conversation through social outreach and innovative journalism.

We will share the history of these lines, how the borders affect the current Kansas City experience and what’s being done to bridge or dissolve them.

Alyson Raletz is KCUR's social media editor. She can be reached at alyson@kcur.org or follow her on Twitter @alysonraletz.