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 man walks his dog on a hilltop overlooking San Francisco in the early morning hours on Mount Davidson.

When Millennials Battle Boomers Over Housing

In Generation Priced Out, Randy Shaw examines how Boomers have blocked affordable housing in urban neighborhoods, leaving Millennial homebuyers in the lurch.

Supertrees, giant tree-like vertical gardens, in Singapore's Gardens By the Bay

The Selective Singapore of ‘Crazy Rich Asians’

Does the film really show us Singapore? It's a city where more than 80 percent of people live in public housing blocks called HDBs, yet we never see one.

In East Chicago, Indiana, where lead levels in the soil are high, EPA signs warn against contact with the dirt.

Lead's Other Toxic Toll: Fertility

New research sounds the alarm on how high levels of lead in topsoil can reduce birth rates.

A young resident of a group home for foster children in Los Angeles.

Does Privatized Foster Care Put Kids at Risk?

The number of kids in foster care is climbing, and so are public costs. In search of efficiencies, many states have at least partially privatized their systems.

Occupy Wall Street protesters rally in Canal Street in Lower Manhattan in November 2011.

How Centuries of Protest Shaped New York City

A new book traces the “citymaking process” of riots and rebellions since the era of Dutch colonization to the present.

A detail from a 1942 British Mandate map of Haifa, now a city in Israel.

Mapping Palestine Before Israel

A new open-source project uses British historical maps to reveal what Palestine looked like before 1948.

A jogger runs in front of the Phillips 66 refinery in the Wilmington neighborhood of Los Angeles.

The Kids Trying to Green One of L.A.'s Most Polluted Neighborhoods

For generations, oil refineries brought jobs—and pollution—to the residents of Wilmington. Can a new generation of youthful activists make it a healthier place to grow up?

A boy sits in front of Stone Mountain—the Atlanta-area monument to the Confederacy.

What Should I Do With My Family's Confederate Hero?

My great-great-great-grandfather, a Civil War general and reputed Klan leader, sits atop an equestrian statue in front of the Georgia State Capitol. Some local lawmakers think it’s time for him to come down.

A child draws as part of a therapy program designed to help kids deal with trauma.

The Spaces That Can Ease Childhood Trauma

Children’s Advocacy Centers make sure kids only have to tell their story of abuse once.

The Seductive Power of a Suburban Utopia

Serenbe, an intentional community outside Atlanta, promises urban pleasures without the messiness of city life.

Highland, Utah, fourth-grade teacher Cori Sorensen receives firearms training from a personal defense instructor in 2012.

What Research Says About Arming Teachers

Bottom line: It creates risk and the potential for further violence.  

Students who walked out of their Montgomery County, Maryland, schools protest the NRA in front of the White House.

When Teens Protest, Race Matters

The media and the public have tended to offer support for the teen protesters from Parkland, Florida, and other predominantly white communities. It’s been a different story for youth of color.

A shuttered elementary school in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, west of San Juan. The government recently announced more than 300 public schools will be closed.

Why Puerto Rico Is Pushing to Privatize Its Schools

Pro-statehood leaders are re-envisioning the territory’s schools in the wake of Hurricane Maria. But the privatization process started before the storm hit.

A family embraces as they say goodbye after a visit at San Quentin state prison in California.

Where American Kids Are In Crisis

Kids repeatedly exposed to violence, homelessness, and addiction are more likely to carry the long-term effects into adulthood. A new report breaks down the geographic and racial distribution of this trauma.

Samuel Cole, 85, of Los Angeles, poses in his motorhome. Cole moved into the vehicle when he wasn't able to afford a $100 rise in his rent.

The Age-Friendly City Can't Just Be for the Wealthy

University of Manchester researchers argue that the movement to make cities more livable for older residents must expand its work on inequality.

Characters from the small area plan-turned-graphic novel of Frogtown, St. Paul, Minnesota, are pictured.

How to Fight Gentrification With a Comic Book

To catch the eyes of city officials, St. Paul’s Frogtown neighborhood is launching a small area plan in cartoon form.

A child plays in Santiago, Chile.

How to Design Cities for Children

A billion kids are now growing up in urban areas. But not all cities are planned with their needs in mind.  

A black elementary student raises his hand in a majority black classroom.

When White Parents Won't Integrate Public Schools

Can a grassroots movement succeed where policy has failed?  

A small accessory dwelling unit—known as an ADU—is attached to an older single-family home in a Portland, Oregon, neighborhood.

The Granny Flats Are Coming

A new book argues that the U.S. is about to see more accessory dwelling units and guides homeowners on how to design and build them.

An aerial view shows buildings clustered around a wadi, or dry stream bed that fills with water after it rains.

Can Oman Build a Better Planned City?

In a region of crazily ambitious megacities, this Persian Gulf urban project may be more viable.

Boards cover windows of a shuttered elementary school in Chester, Pennsylvania.

When It's Too Cold For School

This week’s cold snap revealed the sorry state of infrastructure in many urban schools on the East Coast. But there’s no quick fix.