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MT10: Community Design and Safety

Framework Component

Changes - Multi-Sector

Indicator Description

Community-based design and safety policies and systems changes that create safer, more appealing places for physical activity.

Background and Context

Indicator MT10 is a "developmental" indicator that examines community-level multi-sector efforts to adopt policies and systems changes that result in safer, more appealing places for physical activity. This indicator measures the number of communities within a defined geographic area (e.g., local, state, territorial, or tribal) that have adopted policies or systems change approaches that directly address community design and safety. The role SNAP-Ed plays is focused on cultivating partnerships and providing education to support the creation and adoption of community design and safety policies and systems changes.

As a "developmental" indicator, there is not an existing authoritative secondary data source that provides the necessary data to measure this indicator. Instead, information such as lists of communities that have adopted Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) or Complete Streets policies or Community Policing approaches could be found on websites like the Community Commons, the National Complete Streets Coalition, or the Department of Justice.

Outcome Measures

What to Measure

Whether local zoning and planning codes and regulations include elements consistent with Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles

Access: Local zoning and planning codes and regulations include access control standards, such as:

  • Clearly defining point of entry
  • Fencing defining access is opaque or designed to have open space so as to avoid a visual barrier
  • Foliage defining access that is between the heights of 3 and 6 feet is designed and maintained so as to not impede line of site
  • Installing a locking gate (if appropriate for the context)

Signage: Local zoning and planning codes and regulations include signage standards, such as:

  • Ensuring signs are clear, consistent, and legible (e.g., design, messaging)
  • Locating signs by entrances and activity nodes
  • Placing signs at the proper height to maximize visibility
  • Creating a wayfinding signage system
    • Information signs that orientate someone to the built environment
    • Directional signs that provide distance and direction to destinations
    • Identification signs with information about individual locations
    • Warning signs that indicate safety procedures or regulations

Lighting: Local zoning and planning codes and regulations include lighting standards, such as:

  • Lighting that is installed to ensure consistent levels of Illumination to prevent areas of shadow or glare-blindness
  • Using shielded lights to control glare
  • Placing lighting at proper heights to illuminate the faces of people using the space
  • Adequately lighting inset spaces, signs, entrances, and exits
  • Proper maintenance of lighting fixtures to prescribed standards (e.g., practices of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America)

Operating Hours: Local zoning and planning codes and regulations include details such as:

  • Standard operating hours for each facility type (e.g., 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. or dawn until dusk)
  • Indication at the entrance of when and where exits are closed

Complete Streets

Whether the policy includes at least five Complete Streets elements:

  • Includes a vision for how and why the community wants to complete its streets
  • Specifies that "all users" includes pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit passengers of all ages and abilities, as well as trucks, buses, and automobiles
  • Applies to both new and retrofit projects, including design, planning, maintenance, and operations, for the entire right of way
  • Makes any exceptions specific and sets a clear procedure that requires high-level approval of exceptions
  • Encourages street connectivity and aims to create a comprehensive, integrated, connected network for all modes
  • Is adoptable by all agencies to cover all roads
  • Directs the use of the latest and best design criteria and guidelines while recognizing the need for flexibility in balancing user needs
  • Directs that Complete Streets solutions will complement the context of the community
  • Establishes performance standards with measurable outcomes
  • Includes specific next steps for implementation of the policy

Community Policing

  • The number of partnerships between the law enforcement agency and those they serve, including government agencies, community members/groups, nonprofits/service providers, private businesses, and media.
  • Measures of police performance include improvement in the quality of life for residents, less fear of crime, and greater neighborhood satisfaction.



Surveys and Data Collection Tools


Additional Resources or Supporting Citations

National Complete Streets Coalition

Trust for Public Land ParkScore

LISC Community Safety Initiative Safety Team Assessment Tool (Please contact the original developer for access to this resource. For additional questions, please contact

LISC Community Developer-Police Partnership Survey

LISC Quality of Life Survey

LISC Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design Resources List

National Crime Prevention Council Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design Guidebook

Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Services - Resources