The story is about the historic role Troost Avenue has played in Kansas City as a physical and symbolic dividing line.
Never calls himself an urban geographer. His work includes identifying communities underserved by human services and he teaches courses in research methods, public policy analysis, program evaluation and public-private partnerships.
In a 2016 UMKC Bloch Magazine article, Never said he is concerned about equity in the availability of services. His research looks at ways to identify situations in which services are not readily available to people in need. And he contends that geography has a profound influence on where service providers locate.“As a community, Kansas City has stark boundaries: Troost Avenue, the state line, the Missouri River,” he said in the article.
As a professor, Never’s work also includes introducing students to gentrification within cities, showing them the history and talking about the legacy. He and other UMKC professors often take their students out in the community. He said young people value the history of Kansas City, and are determined to make some positive changes.
“Kansas City is a city of neighborhoods,” Never said. “At UMKC, we’re a city university. Our students need to feel this community is part of the university.”