May 2022 Philosophy Walk: “Place, Climate Change & Urban Design – Some Practical Applications”

In this walk led by Dennis McCahon and Patrick Judge, we explored the connections between Helena’s “sense of place,” climate change, and urban design.  Some of the things we focused on included:

  • Sense of Place & Urban Environmentalism
    • What is urban environmentalism
    • Space vs. anti-space
    • Walkability & Connectivity
  • City Sustainability Plans/Measures/Challenges
    • Sustainability & resilience
    • Helena’s history & current state (overview)
    • Challenges posed by climate change & its relationship to urban planning/design
  • Alternative Energy
    • A physics lab visit!!!

Audio Recordings

There was a significant amount of unavoidable ambient noise present in our recordings for this walk which made it impossible to produce a legible recording for our archive page.  Try though we did, we were not able to digitally edit the noise out enough to have viable audio for our archive page.  We deeply regret this : (


About Our Walk Leaders

Patrick Judge has had the great pleasure of working on local, state, and regional energy issues since 1996. He has held sustainability positions with the Montana Environmental Information Center (MEIC), the NW Energy Coalition, and the City of Helena. While at MEIC, he was appointed to the Governor’s Climate Change Advisory Committee (2006-2007) and the Helena Climate Change Task Force (2008-2009).

Patrick is currently employed as a physics instructor at Carroll College, and delights in teaching the “Energy and the Environment” course each spring. He stays connected to environmental work through the Helena Citizen Conservation Board, the Montana Renewable Energy Association board, and NorthWestern Energy’s USB Renewable Energy Advisory Committee. As for recreation, Patrick is passionate about distance running and other endurance sports, and is actively involved in the Helena Vigilante Runners club.

A fourth-generation Helenan, self-taught artist, and former Helena city planner, Dennis McCahon has been fascinated by Helena’s architecture for decades.  His interests are wide-ranging and deep.  Dennis can often be seen walking the trails and streets of Helena, contemplating big ideas about our natural and built environments, history, and art.  A self-described urban design geek, Dennis offers a unique “urban environmentalist” perspective — which he defines as a perspective informed by an interest in “walkability” and the “preservation of habitat for curious pedestrians.” 

Thank You’s

Thank you to our philosophy in the community grantors, the Philosophy Learning & Teaching Organization and Humanities Montana.  Thank you also to our generous community donors for helping to support this walk and our philosophy in the community programs, to our walk guides — Dennis & Patrick — for leading us through our discussions, and to our walk participants.

Comments are closed.