Stephen Lawrence Memorial Lecture Event

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Stephen Lawrence Memorial Lecture – Event

Peter Morrison call for increased investment in sporting facilities

9 Sep 2009

Stephen Lawrence Lecture

CALL FOR GREATER INVESTMENT IN COMMUNITIES TEN YEARS AFTER MACPHERSON INQUIRY REPORT INTO MURDER OF STEPHEN LAWRENCE

Speaking alongside Attorney General Baroness Scotland QC at the annual Stephen Lawrence Memorial Lecture tomorrow (10 September], Chief Executive of international architecture firm RMJM Peter Morrison, is to call for increased investment in sporting facilities in deprived inner city Britain to promote community cohesion and crime reduction.

Doreen Lawrence OBE and Peter Morrison of RMJM at last year’s lecture:
Doreen Lawrence

At tomorrow’s Lecture established by Doreen Lawrence OBE, the mother of the murdered teenager, the Attorney General Baroness Scotland QC will focus on whether community relations and public services have improved in Britain ten years after the MacPherson Inquiry Report into the murder of 18 year old Stephen Lawrence in 1993.

Doreen Lawrence was outspoken in her views on the 10th anniversary of the Macpherson report, saying that “racism continues to haunt our institutions”.

Peter Morrison of RMJM which is one of the world’s largest architectural practices, will speak alongside Doreen Lawrence and the Attorney General to give his views on how local authorities should be looking at the physical landscape, as well as the social landscape and criminal justice system, to promote community cohesion and crime reduction.

In front of an audience of over 300 people from different backgrounds, from community groups to politicians, Morrison will kick off the debate of why it seems to take the prospect of hosting a lucrative international sporting or cultural event for councils and administrations to promote massive investment in deprived areas, saying:

“It seems clear to me that sporting and cultural events trigger regeneration more than any other factor – more than shocking mortality rates, more than headline-hitting levels of unemployment or substance abuse. Perhaps it is because an event creates a sense of common purpose, a clear goal…with a fixed, non-negotiable completion date.
Morrison will outline how major sporting events create jobs as well as leading to a long-awaited and massive investment in affordable housing, improved transport and community facilities. He warmly welcomed the examples of the forthcoming transformation of the deprived communities of Stratford, the site of London’s Olympic Games in 2012 and Dalmarnock in Glasgow, site of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, as part of which RMJM is designing the Athletes’ Village which will lead to 1500 new affordable homes for the community.

Six Architecture for Everyone winners who attended Harvard earlier in 2009:
Architecture for Everyone winners

However, he added: “Certainly, for developing countries and regenerating cities, there’s nothing quite like the prospect of hosting a major event to prompt massive investment. But, why can’t the powers-that-be find the money to invest in those areas which have waited so long for radical regeneration without the hook of a major international event? Other areas should be looking at how altering the physical landscape can lead to hugely significant improvements and providing community sporting facilities to youngsters offers some of the most immediate results. We can’t cricitise youngsters for hanging about on street corners if we’re not willing to invest in providing them with uplifting social spaces in which to socialise.”

Morrison has been publicly vocal in his views that deprived inner city areas can only be transformed “from the outside in” by encouraging the younger generation to influence the landscapes in which they live. Last year, he launched ‘Architecture for Everyone’, a partnership between RMJM and the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust which was endorsed by the Prime Minister Gordon Brown and led to six youngsters from inner city Britain winning an all expenses paid scholarship to study architecture at Harvard University in the USA.

Stephen Lawrence Memorial Lecture Event information from RMJM


To see all listed projects on a single map please follow this link.

RMJM Architects – Selection:

Okhta Tower, Russia
Okhta Tower
picture from architect

Palm Island Dubai

Beijing Convention Centre

Capital Gate Abu Dhabi

Mies van der Rohe Awards

American Architecture Awards

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Stephen Lawrence Memorial Lecture Event