Those large windows and airy landscaping aren't just for letting the light in and keeping things nice and open. They're designed to create an environment where anyone could watch you on the street at all times, and there's no place to hide.
The same applies to business areas:
The cop car skulking there needs no explanation.
Again, the element of constant surveillance is there: large windows, clear signage, and lighting all plot together to turn the street into a "you're being watched, bitch" environment. This is known as Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED), a "multi-disciplinary approach of deterring criminal behavior."
One of the first designs to take advantage of the phenomenon was for prisons, because of course it fucking was. In the late 18th century, social theorist Jeremy Bentham designed the Panopticon, a round structure with a central, closed watchtower that could be manned by a single guard. The inmates, aware of the guard's presence but unable to observe where and when he was peeking out of the tower, had no other option but to assume he was looking directly at them, all the time.
Although Bentham's invention has only seen limited use, elements of the concept exist within a ton of urban design tricks. In the early 1970s, American architect Oscar Newman came up with the idea of "defensible space," which was meant to implement surveillance into architectural design by dividing urban areas to different "stages" of privacy, and enforcing them with careful architectural elements. This later evolved into CPTED and other nifty tricks that, along with a whole bunch of surveillance cameras, turn your city into Big Brother.
These tricks work, too. In 1991, the Five Oaks community of Dayton, Ohio decided to redesign the area according to Newman's principles, and violent crime alone dropped by a whopping 50 percent.