The retina is one of the most metabolically active tissues in the body, consuming high levels of oxygen and nutrients. A well-organized ocular vascular system adapts to meet the metabolic requirements of the retina to ensure visual function. Pathological conditions affect growth of the blood vessels in the eye. Understanding the neuronal biological processes that govern retinal vascular development is of interest for translational researchers and clinicians to develop preventive and interventional therapeutics for vascular eye diseases that address early drivers of abnormal vascular growth. This review summarizes the current knowledge of the cellular and molecular processes governing both physiological and pathological retinal vascular development, which is dependent on the interaction among retinal cell populations, including neurons, glia, immune cells, and vascular endothelial cells. We also review animal models currently used for studying retinal vascular development.