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 pediatrician uses a light to peer inside a young boy's mouth as she examines him at a free clinic for the poor and uninsured.

What Urban Doctors Need to Understand About Patients' Health

Poor health isn’t just a result of individual choice. A program at Washington University in St. Louis teaches first-year medical students how the city’s environment shapes well-being.

An undocumented immigrant who is a recipient of DACA and a nursing student stands in front of the White House protesting the Trump administration's phasing out of the program.

How Universities Are Protecting Their DREAMers

The University of California is suing the Trump administration for rescinding DACA. Here’s what else colleges are doing to help undocumented students.

The NIMBY Fight That Rocked an Iowa City

An uproar over an affordable housing complex in Cedar Rapids gives insight into the NIMBY debates of small-city America.

A young girl and her classmates work on computers in a classroom.

How Housing Authorities Can Shape School Outcomes

In Tacoma, Washington, and other U.S. cities, housing departments are collaborating with school districts to give low-income and homeless students a leg up.

Hundreds of Charlottesville teachers stand in an auditorium for their back to school convocation.

For Charlottesville Educators, a Teachable Moment

Today’s the first day of school in the city. How are teachers handling the recent violence?

A woman sits reading on a rooftop garden, with the dense city of Tokyo surrounding her.

Designing a Megacity for Mental Health

A new report assesses how Tokyo’s infrastructure affects residents’ emotional well-being, offering lessons for other cities.

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.