Thursday, Aug. 28, 2008 | CCDC, and the Redevelopment Agency as a whole, needs a major overhaul. We should remove developers and their deep pockets from the process and leave the design of buildings to architects. The City should have open competitions — not requests for quotations and permits that are so specifically written that only the Agency’s predetermined choice qualifies for the project. Open competitions will tap into a huge resource of architects willing to submit work for free in hopes of landing an important civic project. As Mike Davis notes in his book “Under the Perfect Sun,” San Diego has a long history of out-of-town developers coming to our city and dumping garbage buildings on our landscape. Has any city built so many disposable, ugly buildings in such a short time as San Diego has in the last five years? A change has to happen. Or we can maintain the status quo — which actually has given us the perfect new city hall. It looks like a fat-cat politician with their belly busting out. It’s an appropriate metaphor for our current situation. We should name it after Nancy Graham for the mess she has left with us.

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