INTA is sorrowful to learn about the death of Reg Ward, member of INTA since the 80's.Reg Ward was one of the most crucial figures responsible for the London Docklands and the creation of the Canary Wharf estate. Among other projects, he also inspired the Docklands Light Railway and London City Airport.
During his time as chief executive of the London Docklands Development Corporation between 1981 and 1987 and long afterwards, he participated to INTA Advisory Panels, generously sharing his extensive experience to the benefit of practitioners worldwide. He was the fabulous host of INTA's World Congress that was held in London in 1987.
In a tribute to Reg Ward, Jackie Sadek, now chief executive of UK Regeneration says:"He was one of the biggest figures to ever strut the stage in British regeneration: this really does mark the end of an era. He ruled the roost from 1980 - 87 and he established a can-do culture from the outset. And it was his vision and chutzpah which set the tone, and from which flowed so much of what you see in Docklands today. He was more than just the gaffer, he was our mascot and touchstone, andremained so, long after he had moved on. He empowered his people and he allowed the notion that anything was possible. A truly great man has been taken from us. A force of nature.
Whilst Michael Heseltine was a great admirer (and, bizarrely, Reg got on fabulously with the Duke of Edinburgh) sadly Nicholas Ridley was not a huge fan.
One wonders whether it would have been possible for London to win the bid to stage the Olympics Games in 2012, had not Reg Ward been there and bigged it up for infrastructure in the East End. I know where my money would be. But the name Reg Ward will forever be associated with London Docklands and the greatest city expansion scheme of our age. There are a number of Docklands types who are incandescent with rage that Reg never received even a minor gong in recognition of his extraordinary achievement and, yes, that is something of a scandal. But our Reg broke all the rules and thats why we all admired him so much. Call me a simple soul, but I would I hazard these last two facts are connected."
With the loss of Mr Ward, the urban development community loses one of its crucial contributors.
In his tribute to Reg Ward, George Iacobescu, chief executive of Canary Wharf Group says: "Reg Ward had a great ability to see the potential of the area, when most people saw only problems."