For Immediate Release — Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2006


Mary E. McCrank

Media Relations Officer

(585) 245-5516

Sprawl-buster comes to SUNY Geneseo

GENESEO, N.Y. — Anti-sprawl guru Al Norman will speak at the State University of New York at Geneseo Thursday, Feb. 23. Norman is an internationally known opponent of suburban sprawl and the development of big box retailers such as Wal-Mart, Lowe's and CVS. The talk is free and open to the public.

Norman has written two books, "The Case Against Wal-Mart" and "Slam-Dunking Wal-Mart!" He is also the founder of Sprawl-Busters, an online clearinghouse for research on issues relating to megastores.

A former Newsweek journalist, Norman's crusade against sprawl began in 1993 when he stopped development of a Wal-Mart in his hometown of Greenfield, Mass. Since then, he has garnered international attention and has been featured on "NBC Nightly News," "60 Minutes," "The News Hour with Jim Lehrer," "Nightline," and hundreds of national and local magazines and newspapers. In 2004, The Wall Street Journal called Norman "a one man anti-Wal-Mart cottage industry."

Norman's visit to Geneseo is timely. A 204,137 square-foot Wal-Mart Supercenter recently opened in the village, and the town is considering a large and controversial new shopping center anchored by a 170,000 square foot Lowe's.

Norman will speak on how local community groups can successfully campaign against undesirable large-scale development. The presentation will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23, in the MacVittie College Union Ballroom. It is sponsored by the Contemporary Forum of SUNY Geneseo Activities Commission. For more information contact Christy Panagakis at (585) 245-5876. To find out more about Norman, visit