A first step in any revitalization planning process is to establish a baseline understanding of the economic, physical, and social conditions that characterize a community. Population demographics, resident occupations, homeownership rates, types of neighborhood businesses and services all matter in shaping an urban revitalization program. Is the area facing a shortage of affordable housing? Is crime a problem in specific areas? Is there a shortage of access to healthy foods? We can gather public data to answer many of these questions and go into the urban revitalization planning process with informed knowledge of the community. Whether we are working in a shrinking city, an inner suburban neighborhood, or a gentrifying central city area, understanding a community’s characteristics is crucial. This knowledge allows us to identify and better understand opportunity areas and important challenges and, ultimately, set an agenda for urban revitalization.