© 2024 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Central Standard

Shopping Mall Closures And What They Mean For Our Cityscape

Mike Calasnic
Creative Commons, Flickr

Shopping malls across the city and across the nation are closing their doors or re-imagining their futures. With the recent closure of Metro North and a meeting called to gather community input on redevelopment possibilities for Metcalf South, Central Standard convened local experts to look back on the significance of the shopping mall, in our city and in our lives. 

Our panelists talked about everything from the unspoken role of race in the stories of shopping malls to the ways in which suburbs compete with downtown and other suburbs for shoppers and dollars. Callers, including a few self-professed "mall-walkers," weighed in with their ideas about the future of malls.

Midway through the show, we played a montage combining audio from shopping mall scenes in popular movies. The movies referenced were:

  • Blues Brothers
  • Clueless
  • Mean Girls
  • Mall Rats
  • The Hot Chick
  • True Stories

The song at the end of the clip was "Let's Go To The Mall" by Robin Sparkle.

LANE4 Property Group is hosting two public meetings to gather community input on the future of Metcalf South. The first meeting is at 7 PM Thursday, April 24. The second will take place at 7 PM Tuesday, April 29. Both meetings will be held at the Matt Ross Community Center, 8101 Marty Street in Overland Park, Kan.



  • Michael Frisch, Professor of Architecture, Urban Planning and Design, UMKC
  • Lewis Diuguid, Columnist and Member of the Editorial Board, The Kansas City Star
  • Steve Vockrodt, Reporter, The Pitch

People don't make cameos in news stories; the human story is the story, with characters affected by news events, not defined by them. As a columnist and podcaster, I want to acknowledge what it feels like to live through this time in Kansas City, one vantage point at a time. Together, these weekly vignettes form a collage of daily life in Kansas City as it changes in some ways, and stubbornly resists change in others. You can follow me on Twitter @GinaKCUR or email me at gina@kcur.org.
Matthew Long-Middleton has been a talk-show producer, community producer, Media Training Manager and now the Community Engagement Manager at KCUR. You can reach him at Matthew@kcur.org, or on Twitter @MLMIndustries.
Every part of the present has been shaped by actions that took place in the past, but too often that context is left out. As a podcast producer for KCUR Studios and host of the podcast A People’s History of Kansas City, I aim to provide context, clarity, empathy and deeper, nuanced perspectives on how the events and people in the past have shaped our community today.

In that role, and as an occasional announcer and reporter, I want to entertain, inform, make you think, expose something new and cultivate a deeper shared human connection about how the passage of time affects us all. Reach me at hogansm@kcur.org.