According to the 2010 US Census Bureau, the city of Atlanta has a population of 420,003, however the metropolitan area of Atlanta has a population of 5,268,860.  That means that 4,848,857 people live in the surrounding suburbs of Atlanta, some of which have become small cities themselves, such as the city of Sandy Springs. The two photos above are of the neighborhood I live in, The Branches, which is located in both of the cities of Sandy Springs and Dunwoody. The suburbs serve as a pastoral place far enough from the hustle and bustle of the city for people to live. They began as an escape from the city, its blight and its costs. According to Garth, the suburbs were a place separate from the city, but not completely separate, as to be considered rural. 
While living away from the city, suburban residents wanted to have schools near their homes for their children to attend, such as the high school in the picture above and my alma mater, North Springs Charter High School. The location of these schools and their quality greatly affects the real estate prices of the surrounding homes in the suburbs, such as Sandy Springs.
Having escaped the costs and blight of the city, suburban residents still wanted the benefits and services the city had to offer, such as water treatment, street lights, fire fighters, public libraries, and police. The two pictures above show the Sandy Springs Public Library and a patrol cruiser of the Sandy Springs Police, which became its own force when Sandy Springs became a city in 2005.
Although, the city saw the innovation of the department store , the suburbs had the space and resources for larger commercial areas. A variety of stores and restaurants propped up to serve the local suburban residents and provided further growth for cities’ suburban areas. Of the two photos above, the top one is of Roswell Road, a major artery of Sandy Springs, which connects residential areas to the many businesses along its sides. Roswell Road also connects the suburbs of Roswell, Sandy Springs, and Buckhead to each other. The bottom photo is of Sandy Springs Circle, a commercial area within Sandy Springs just off of Roswell Rd. An innovation of the strip mall, it includes the businesses of a strip mall without taking more space than it needs to and without spilling into residential areas, with its circular design and apparent separateness from the homes of the residents it serves.
Parks were pioneered as necessary green spaces within the brick, metal, and glass jungles that are American cities. They were viewed as places for the public to escape the dreariness of the city and enjoy. Suburbs, for the most part allowed their residents to live within a green space, however as cities become larger, surrounding suburbs become more urban, and parks are created as a buffer or balance. For instance, in Sandy Springs, right outside the previously mentioned commercial area of the Sandy Springs Circle, is the Sandy Springs Park. The park allows people to get together from their relatively private suburban lives to enjoy the green space together. The top photo is of Sandy Springs park and the bottom photo is of the sandy spring, located in Sandy Springs Park and for which Sandy Springs is named.
Lastly, as the suburbs grow larger and their residents live further and further away from cities’ centers, transportation between the city and its surrounding suburbs progresses to allow easier access to and from the city for its suburbanites.  The above photo is of the North Springs MARTA Station, the northernmost station of the MARTA lines and 1 of 2 stations serving Sandy Springs, the other being the Sandy Springs MARTA Station, which is only 1 mile south of the North Springs station. The station’s location allows for easy access from Sandy Springs and other suburbs to the MARTA train which connects them to the city of Atlanta and to the airport, connecting Sandy Springs residents to their jobs or education within the city, the rest of the country, and the rest of the world.
All photos taken with my iPhone 3G.
2. Barth, Gunther. City People: The Rise of Modern City Culture in Nineteenth-Century America. Oxford University Press: New York. 1980. p.41
3. Barth, Gunther. p.130
4. Barth, Gunther. p.41