Mimi Kirk

Mimi Kirk

Mimi Kirk is a contributing writer to CityLab covering education, youth, and aging. Her writing has also appeared in The Washington Post, Foreign Policy, and Smithsonian.

A homeless woman stands with her two dogs at her encampment.

Homemaking While Homeless

A recent book explores domesticity on the margins.

High school teacher James Ford jokes with students in his class.

The Repercussions of the Black Teacher Shortage

A recent study found that black students who have at least one black teacher do better in school. Making policy around this research is complicated.

An illustration of a monkey holding a banana amid soda bottles.

Urban Monkeys Are Too Chunky

Put down that banana! Eating human food is making the world’s city-dwelling simians sick.

Human skulls and bones are stacked in a pile in Paris's catacombs.

Catacombs Are Making a Comeback

In the face of shrinking space for the dead, Sydney and Jerusalem are building underground cemeteries.

A Syrian refugee holds her child as she begs on the streets of Beirut.

The Social Ties Urban Refugees Need

To make a good life in a new city, recent research stresses that refugees must connect with those outside their national or ethnic group.

Uber drivers sit in their cars waiting for passengers.

What Uber Drivers Say About Uber

Researchers conducted in-depth interviews and discovered a lot about the pitfalls of working in the rideshare business.

Police tape closing a street near a public school.

How to Make a Safer School

Groups are pushing for funding to bolster security infrastructure; some researchers say there are better preemptive measures.

Two young men graduate from a Chicago public high school.

Why Chicago's New Graduation Requirement Exacerbates Inequality

Starting in 2020, Chicago students must prove they have post-high school plans to receive their diploma. Critics argue low-income students will suffer.

Families play in a splash park in Corktown Common, a green space near Toronto's waterfront that opened in 2014. New residential towers are being built in the area.

The Quest to Make Vertical Living Family-Friendly

Toronto wants its high-rises to be better places to raise kids.

Young immigrants from Yap Island, Micronesia, perform a dance at a Portland, Oregon Parks & Recreation event.

The City Parks Welcoming Immigrants

Parks departments across the country are listening to immigrants and designing events and facilities with them in mind.

An illustration of a cat, with many others in the background

When Neighbors Raise a Stink

Across the globe, those in close proximity clash over each other’s smells. Here are five of the most litigious cases we found.

An exterior shot of the late Lee Kuan Yew's residence shows its proximity to downtown skyscrapers.

In Singapore, the Preservation Debate Comes Down to a Single House

The question of whether to demolish the home of the city-state’s former leader raises questions in a country that paves over the past.

Michelle Echevarria sits with her baby in their Bronx apartment, which has a severe mold problem.

Why Asthma Is a Housing Issue

A bill introduced to New York’s City Council would compel landlords to eradicate mold, vermin, and other asthma triggers that are particularly pervasive in low-rent units.

A young man fills out an application at a Chicago job fair.

The Crisis of Unemployment Among Chicago Youth

A new report teases out the causes and costs of joblessness among the city’s young people without high-school diplomas.

Amirah Mitchell, 14, harvests beets on a suburban Boston farm.

Envisioning Nature-Rich Cities

Author Richard Louv invites us to imagine a future filled with urban parks, greenery, and gardens.

A woman combs her mother's hair outside their home in a Kolkata slum.

Rethinking India's Slum Resettlement Policy

A recent study makes a case for the government to engage with slums, rather than relocating inhabitants to cities’ outskirts.

The team waits in the locker room before a match.

Meet the Migrant Workers Building Qatar's World Cup Stadiums

A new film follows the men playing in a soccer match comprised of laborers constructing buildings for the 2022 tournament.

Wedding-cake toppers of same-sex couples

The Challenges Stacked Against Aging LGBT Americans

A lifetime of discrimination puts this generation at higher risk for social isolation, health problems, and economic insecurity. What can be done?  

Fourth-graders Rocio Belmontes and Juan Patino attend class in Naranja, Florida.

Southern Schools Are Resegregating

Splintered school districts and the rise of charter schools are among the forces separating black and Latino students from their white counterparts.

A kid rides a bike through a fountain

How to Build a Better Kids' Bike

Isla Rowntree started a company to give children the best ride possible. Now she’s working to make the bikes sustainable.

The End of the Neighborhood School

Trump’s education budget aims to deliver a big boost to “school choice”—and siphon resources from urban schools in low-income areas.