Economic development & easier transportation brought a new rise in population, new plans of modernization & new prominent buildings that spread both in & out of the city center. Art Nouveau buildings like the new Central Post Office, Neo-Baroque like the Parliament House & Neo-Renaissance buildings like Södra Teatern became the new landmarks of the capital.,_Stockholm

In 1897, on the occasion of Stockholmsutställningen, Stockholm’s International Industrial Exposition on the island of Djurgården the bridge of Djurgårdsbron is constructed along with the Open Air Museum and zoo of Skansen, the Nordic Museum and the funicular railway of Skansens bergbana. Four years later Stockholm becomes the venue of the first Nobel Prize ceremony in history, following the wishes of one of its most famous sons today, named Alfred Nobel, four years after his death.

Sweden was neutral during the First World War & its industries rose up to meet the great demand for Swedish steel. Post-war economic growth and prosperity elevated all well being indicators & formed the foundations of the renowned Swedish social welfare.

During the 1930’s new public parks & playgrounds for children were installed & suburbs began to expand. The modernist & functionalist movements took a somewhat radical form, with historical buildings, even whole districts like Klara demolished for more contemporary constructions.

Sweden managed to stay neutral during World War II avoiding the fate of most occupied by the Nazis countries. The whole country became a safe haven for tens of thousands of refugees, especially from Scandinavia as well as people of Jewish origin. Stockholm started taking the form of a Scandinavian cosmopolis by the beginning of the 1950’s with people of all nationalities flocking in the city with dreams of a new life. The quality of life of Scandinavia and Sweden in particular was already a famous and commonly accepted reality and it was rooted to a great extent to the policies followed by the Social Democratic Party which held government for 44 years, from 1932 to 1976, years that formed the country’s welfare state.

In May 1971 a large crowd of Stockholm’s citizens organized by the Stockholm branch of Friends of the Earth would stage a protest, one of the first of its kind against the felling of 13 ancient Scots elm trees that would cause damage to the subway structure. It would be known as the Battle of the Elms, a landmark protest that underlined the city’s deep love for the natural environment, something evident in its modern city-scape. The protest achieved its goal and the trees that were supposedly near their natural end still stand bearing the marks of the first chainsaw cuts.

In 1986 Olof Palme, one of the most popular politicians in the country, leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Party & Prime Minister from 1969 to 1976 & 1982 until his unexpected death, is assassinated in Stockholm for unknown until this day reasons causing a shock that would last for years in the psychic of the Swedish people.

Today Stockholm is considered one of the most sophisticated & environmentally aware capitals of Europe with its metropolitan area of 26 municipalities housing a population of more than 2 million people. According to the European Cities Monitor 2010 Stockholm is today the best city in Europe in terms of freedom from pollution. Water and tress are two ever-present features of the city. Green technologies and waste management in Stockholm set the standard for the rest of the world in a time of climate crisis. Most importantly Stockholm is today one of the most beautiful cities in the world, most cosmopolitan than ever before and more confident about its own future than ever.