Site planning is both an art and a science. Professional Landscape Architects (PLA) like me create outdoor spaces for people to enjoy. Licensed Landscape Architects develop site plans for the grounds surrounding homes and businesses.
I start by analyzing the site and the factors above the ground, below the ground and on the ground. Things like native vegetation, views to/from the site, surrounding properties, sun angles, wind patterns, soil conditions, hydrology, erosion, existing land use, utilities and many other elements must all be taken into account. Additionally, all designs must be in compliance with local zoning laws.
For example, one client couple–Blake and Betsy–had three acres of heavily vegetated land with an existing pond. They came to me to help them locate their house on the site so they could take full advantage of the pond and its water feature while still maintaining front door views from the street.