A Mesa, Az., housing development is set to become a laboratory for tougher design standards aimed at chasing away criminals, reports the Arizona Republic. The idea has been around for a long time, going by the CPTED, crime prevention through environmental design. Now, the concept is evolving from simply requiring new homes to have deadbolt locks to the total design, including the way buildings are oriented toward the street, how much open space is included, and which design elements tell criminals they’re not welcome.
Mesa’s push has come largely through the efforts of Police Chief George Gascón, who leaves this month to become chief in San Francisco. The project must include specific measures to discourage crime. Every building, for example, will have windows or balconies so people can keep an eye on the premises, including parking and recreation areas. Lighting and landscaping will be designed for safety. Even dumpsters must be placed so as to “not create blind spots or hiding places.”