Beijing, you may have heard, has a smog problem. The lung-collapsing weight of the pollution in China's capital city has actually gotten so bad that people have started suing the government over it. One obvious solution might be polluting less, but until China can make that happen, London-based architectural firm Orproject has a different idea.
The "Bubbles" concept is designed to be an encapsulated oasis of clean air, much like the planet-sized air shield from the movie Spaceballs. Bubbles won't be anywhere near planetary, of course. Instead, this air shield will house a park and botanical garden. Above the canopy, an undulating glass roof will contain translucent solar cells meant to collect whatever light actually penetrates Beijing's Mordor-like perpetual gloom.
Along the park's edges a series of buildings are planned, housing anything from apartments to hospitals and even sports venues. These lucky residents and businesses would have access to the clean air being pumped out by the smog-sheltered botanical garden. Breathing clean air in Beijing will likely command quite the premium, creating a sort of air-quality aristocracy. We'd like to think that by the time something like this concept actually got around to getting constructed, the smog problem would have been solved by simply creating less smog, which would be better for everyone. But, just moving wholesale into an artificial bubble of cleanliness might actually be easier, since you don't have to tackle any big socioindustrial problems to do it.