Before you start laying down roads and zoning, take a look first at the data mapes, the link to these is at the bottom right corner of the screen. You'll need to look at both the wind direction map (image below) and the water table map. Basically you don't want to start zoning industry close to your main water supply nor where it will blow it's air pollution onto residential zones.
Wind Direction Display
You can see from the screenshot below that I will choose to zone my industry towards the top of the map, ideally away from the water. However in this case there is ample water in this city so I may still zone industry initially close to water and either utilise it before the ground gets polluted or just rezone ontop of the polluted water at a later date. Ground pollution does dissipate over time.
Forward planning matters a lot in Sim City, and while it is easy enough to rezone and change roads, it will save you aggro and Simoleans in the long run if you zone as correctly as possible initially.
Consider the following before you lay anything:
Where is the water?
What direction is the wind blowing?
What sort of power dow I want to lay, will it pollute (coal and oil) or will it need a lot of space (wind and solar)?1
Where will I lay my garbage and recycling plants (away from residential)?
Where will I lay my industrial zones (away from water and at the end of the wind path)?
Where will I lay my residential and commercial zones?
So, now hopeuflly you have a vague idea of the answers to the above in your head - lets start laying some roads.