January 01, 2015

The Los Angeles Times gathered 13 experts on a variety of topics to give readers a glimpse of what to expect from 2015. Meléndrez Principal Melani Smith was included among the experts, predicting unexpected urban spaces for 2015.

Acknowledging that there are tradeoffs in the dynamic and rapidly changing urban Los Angeles environment, Melani predicts that 2015 will bring creative solutions for finding public places for human-scaled relaxation and interaction. That space could be over a freeway or on parts of roadways or along our river, innovatively increasing the sustainability, health and urban environment of our City.

Meléndrez’s past and current work speaks to innovatively creating public spaces for people. We’re currently reclaiming public space through work on the Space 134 freeway cap park in downtown Glendale, the Terminal Island defreewaying project in Long Beach, and the temporary road diet on Broadway in Downtown Los Angeles.

Among the other expert predictions, 2015 will be an economically robust year that furthers the trends of 2014 in the way we work and play. As millennials now represent one-third of the workforce, we’ll see individualistic outlooks and flexible work schedules. Major political milestones may be met as the US Supreme Court will take up the issue of marriage equality and Congress will have a dual-personality. Locally, socially responsible products will be driven by consumer demand and food activists will strive to make a fairer food landscape. Social media and technology advances will continue to affect our lives. Cable will continue to become outdated as we stream through other avenues, artificial intelligence will touch humans in fascination rather than fear, and sports arenas will attempt to keep up with Wi-Fi technologies so we can continue to have instant replay at our fingertips. Lastly, as we have seen throughout 2014, water conservation and planning will continue to have utmost importance as the climate continues to change.

LA Times Article