Signum - can see where you're coming from - but sharpen the tools: the lack of a built environment which is to your standards is not due to lack of imaginative architects - surely you realise the process of construction is more complex than letting loose a 'genius' to conjure bricks and mortar? If you accept this, then you'll realise its the system, the pipeline, the delivery infrastructure - whatever you want to call it - that is preventing quality from surfacing - (hey, this is no let off for shit designers - they do indeed plague the poorly paved streets of the UK).
So.....a bold idea, such as scrapping the listing system, is ultimately a positive step towards redefining inherent systems - otherwise no one will listen. It got you on board with yer (gratefully received) comments, efter aw.
The proposal anyway, does not suggest city's should be comprised of only new buildings, all of which are shit - the suggested changes to our built environment regulations would instead have a more rigourous civilian/professional advisory board which could determine urban needs in relation to a particular development â€“ at the same time, generally rasing expectaions and quality in regard to construction and design as well.
My only problem really, with the overall suggestion, is that it views the city almost purely as a commercial entity, the basic premise being: only keep a old banger if it is commercially useful or culturally relevant (okay, this is not strictly cash orientated - the preservation and exploration of culture within an urban contect is of course immeasurably uselful to citizens, although culture now, in 21cst Cent. UK is as commercial an industry as coal once was).
My own view of cities actually sees as very important, the dead spaces, abandoned warehouses and back alleys, completely devoid of apparent commercial or cultural gain. The places where deviant behaviour, shadow economies and unplanned action takes place (here also, you will find the 'places' where the cats tend to their kittens, porn mags flower out of dustbins, and fake lacoste crocodiles are sewn onto cotton). It's the situationist view: take an aimless wander through the city and let the invisible signs drag you from here to there, and try not to spend: it's the supreme anti-capitalist statement: to walk in the city and simply, 'drift'.
There always has to be some give - oterwise the citizens will make those spaces themelves. Sometimes it's better to leave the entropic spaces to develop in their own time.
So, aye bin Greek T's shabby office by all means, but please don't turn the city into one big shining monument to commerce and state-chosen culture.