2021 Faces of Community - Ricardo Cosentino

2021 Faces of Community - Ricardo Cosentino

Ricardo Cosentino

Crossroads Community Association

 

 



A curiosity into the role of community associations in Calgary got this volunteer hooked, now he stays involved to bring more to the community.

Ricardo is the treasurer for the Crossroads Community Association; he’s been volunteering with Crossroads for four years.

“It was kind of a sleepier neighbourhood in the past, I think,” says Ricardo. “Now we’re having more and more young people move into the community and they have kids.”

“I still feel that there is a lot more that can be done, there’s so much more to do,” explains the treasurer. “There are a lot of projects that we could do, and a lot of events that we have ideas for that could be planned.

“There are just so many things that people want, and we have to work with the city to get to get the ball rolling on all of these things.”

He has found that the people in his community want more events and opportunities to gather, as well as a safer community and development.

“People want more stores, or different types of stores,” says the volunteer. “Community associations are a good way to get the city to start looking into things like that.”

In 2020, the Crossroads Community Association was a part of The Federation and University of Calgary’s project, Citizens Plus Students, put on by the School of Architecture, Planning and Design.

The project partners community associations with Master of Planning students and together they come up with a plan on how to improve the community.

“The idea that those students had was from the community association – it’s directly from us,” says Ricardo.

“It was cool to see them take it [our ideas] and say ‘yeah, this makes sense’ to the whole industrial area in the south there [of the community]. That is a prime candidate for inner-city high-density development.

The project’s whole point was to say ‘hey, you know, maybe we don’t need to build a community on the outskirts and build roads and infrastructure. Why don’t we look at some of these areas that are close to transit, close to downtown? They have the utilities, everything’s there. It’s just a matter of connecting it and, you know, getting landowners on the same page.’”

He feels that community associations can bring a lot to their communities.

“Community associations in general improve Calgarians’ quality of life by giving them a reason to get together within the community and surrounding communities, and giving them a sense of community.”