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Stephen Lawrence lecture: RMJM boss backs city-centre sports

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Peter Morrison calls for more investment in sports facilities in Britain’s deprived inner cities at the Stephen Lawrence Memorial Lecture in London

Morrison believes that councils must use physical and social landscape to boost community cohesion and reduce crime.

He will tell the Stephen Lawrence Memorial Lecture in London this evening (10 September): ‘Sporting and cultural events trigger regeneration more than any other factor: more than shocking mortality rates and 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.’

He says 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.

He has launched Architecture for Everyone, a partnership that sends youngsters from inner cities on all-expenses-paid scholarships to study architecture at Harvard University in the US. The scholars blogged for the AJ about their experiences.

The lecture will also be attended by the attorney general, Baroness Scotland, who will ask whether community relations have improved since the MacPherson Inquiry Report into the murder of Stephen Lawrence in 1993.

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