Creating Edinburgh is a groundbreaking interdisciplinary course at the Edinburgh Futures Institute that sets out from the seminar room to explore the city of Edinburgh, on foot and online. It offers a unique opportunity for students to engage with the contemporary city as a site for new ideas, designs, and methods. The course responds creatively to Edinburgh’s various sites and routes, bringing together students from across the University of Edinburgh to work in interdisciplinary teams.

Below we are delighted to showcase experiential walking tours produced by students on the Creating Edinburgh course. You are invited to explore the tours online and, even better – if you are in Edinburgh – in person!

2023/24 Tours

Creating Edinburgh: The Interdisciplinary City – Student-created OERs

These open educational resources, created by the 2023 / 2024 cohort of Creating Edinburgh students, will take you on a series of journeys through Edinburgh to explore different aspects of the city. All resources are licensed CC BY-SA 4.0, unless otherwise indicated.

Artistic Edinburgh

Artistic Edinburgh examines the question of representation in Edinburgh’s artworks. The resource explores various pieces dating from the 19th century to the present day, including the Colinton Tunnel, and considers how these different art forms may be treated by society.

Artistic Edinburgh by S. Ayatillah, R. Buxton-Leow, D. Holder, C. Lamphear, D. Lee, R. Mackie, A. Malhotra, G. Palacios, K. Uoyama, R. Zhu, A. Zila, University of Edinburgh, is licensed CC BY-SA 4.0, November 2023. This resource was developed with tuition from Giulia Pinton.

Explore Artistic Edinburgh.


Eduburgh sets out to explore education in Edinburgh. We will learn about learning, as it influences the physical and social structures of a city. We will examine and compare four educational spaces in Edinburgh, and consider how these work together to shape the educational landscape of the city. Educational institutions serve as social hubs, bringing together individuals from diverse backgrounds. Schools and universities provide spaces for interaction, dialogue, and the exchange of ideas, fostering social cohesion within the city. Education contributes to the development of human capital, equipping individuals with knowledge, skills, and competencies. A city with a well-educated population often has a more skilled and diverse workforce, fostering economic growth and innovation.

© S. Azizah, K. Gert, N. Nishimura, S. Rodrigues, H. Singleton, Y. Sitorus,  E. Stamper, C. Walker, W. Wilsky, C. Yonandi, Y. Zhang, University of Edinburgh, CC BY-SA 4.0, 2023, unless otherwise indicated.  Eduburgh was developed with tuition from David Meinberg.

Explore Eduburgh.

Literary Edinburgh

Literary Edinburgh focuses on the meaning and impact of literature in the city of Edinburgh. It explores different types of bookshops, from big chain shops to smaller independent and second-hand shops, which sell antiquarian and specialized books, keeping the revenue within the community. Literary Edinburgh pays tribute to Edinburgh’s great writers and works, looking back to the past, and invites people to put literature in a contemporary context and interrogate its present and future. This resource encourage groups to engage in the gorgeous world of literature in Edinburgh and to contemplate the role of literature and its relationship with the city, daily life, other disciplines, and ultimately, the world.

Literary Edinburgh by A. Kelly, A. Ueno, C. James, D. Riffle, E. Lopez Salcedo, J. Jokinen, K. Cao, L. Öhrnell, N. Cho, S. Kurniawan, S. Cullinan, Y. Shen, University of Edinburgh, 2023, is licensed by CC BY-SA 4.0, unless otherwise indicated. This resource was developed with tuition from Eftihia Saxoni.

Explore Literary Edinburgh.


Music Edinburgh

Music Edinburgh explores how music and music venues have shaped the city of Edinburgh.  Embark on an auditory odyssey that takes in Saint Cecelia’s Music Hall, the Usher Hall, Assai Records, Stramash, Mash House, Bannerman’s Bar, the Jazz Bar and Vinyl Villains.

Music Edinburgh ©W. Xu, Y. Tang, Z. Zhao, M. Li, O. King, G. Chaudhry, T. Pierce, M. Takahashi, B. Pyott, A. Zealey, L. Adair, E. Rivera, E. Curran, S. Bingaman is licensed under CC BY 4.0. This resource was created with tuition from Eftihia Saxoni.

Explore Music Edinburgh

2022/2023 Tours

Creating Edinburgh: The Interdisciplinary City – Student-created OERs

Panoramic photo of city of Edinburgh.

These open educational resources, created by the 2022 / 2023 cohort of Creating Edinburgh students, will take you on a series of journeys through Edinburgh to explore different aspects of the city. All resources are licensed CC BY-SA 4.0, unless otherwise indicated.


Deadinburgh examines the ways in which the people of Edinburgh have treated their dead over time.  This resource looks to the past to examine historical practices and traditions, and consider how practices have changed over time. It explores different places of the dead around the city and considers what their historic and modern treatment imply about the values of the living.

Explore Deadinburgh.


A vision of Scotland in relation to colonialism, immigration, and globalisation; through food. Eatinburgh examines Scotland through the lens of food. Looking at themes such as colonialism with India, immigration with Italy, and globalisation with China, three communities that have significantly impacted Scotland and its tastes.

Explore Eatinburgh

Haunted Edinburgh 1

Walk around the Royal Mile and you will see numerous advertisements selling a ‘Haunted Underground Tour’ or ‘Edinburgh Ghost Tour’. A quick internet search on Edinburgh’s tourism also brings up a plethora of haunted vlogs and ghost bus tours. Edinburgh is considered by many to be one of the most haunted cities in the United Kingdom, and even Europe. This resource explores Edinburgh as a ‘haunted’ city and how the ghost tourism industry affects the city’s reputation and tourists’ expectations for what they will experience here.

Explore Haunted Edinburgh 1.

Haunted Edinburgh 2

This open resource is centred around the eerie history of the city of Edinburgh. Join this exploration of the city and walk into the past. Learn more about the history surrounding the city through historical buildings, underground passageways, and cemeteries. Are these just wives’ tales turned into tourist attractions, or do these stories have more truth to them than we’d like to believe?

Explore Haunted Edinburgh 2.

Legendary Edinburgh

This resource will introduce you to some of the historical myths and urban legends of Edinburgh. This incredible city has been the capital of Scotland since 1437, and is the home to many myths and legends. As you walk through the cobblestone streets of the city, you will be guided towards a number of notable locations to learn more about the history of the city. The route will allow you to explore the history of the Unicorn (the National animal of Scotland) across the city of Edinburgh, and take you to some fabled parts of the city including: Princes Street Gardens, the Storytelling Center, and Mackenzie’s Mausoleum. This route was crafted with accessibility and equity in mind.

Explore Legendary Edinburgh.

Queer Edinburgh

This resource examines the historical and present-day legacies, resources and activism present within LGBTQ+ spaces of Edinburgh. Known as one of the safest places for LGBTQ+ people in the world, Edinburgh has long hosted the largest gay scenes within Scotland. This resource will look closely at the historical, activist and societal legacies that have left a large and positive impact on Edinburgh and Scotland’s current relationship with LGBTQ+ identities and social issues.

Explore Queer Edinburgh.

Header image cropped from Edinburgh by Camilla Hoel, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0, on Flickr.


2021/2022 Tours

Witchcraft Edinburgh

Cross in bricks on a stone plinth

This week of the course examines the legacy of the Scottish witch trials in Edinburgh. It visits sites around the Royal Mile and Grassmarket, including the Mercat Cross, the Witches’ Well, and Covenanters’ Memorial.

Cinematic Edinburgh

Front of Cameo Cinema, Edinburgh with image of film strip over it

This week focuses on the history of cinema and film in Edinburgh. It starts at the site of the Cameo Picturehouse and follows the Edinburgh Film Map, visiting locations from films including Trainspotting, One Day, and The Da Vinci Code.

Artistic Edinburgh 1

Side of building covered in a mural with many people

This week explores art in different contexts and settings across Edinburgh. It visits the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and the Scottish National Gallery, along with the various public artworks along Leith Walk.

Artistic Edinburgh 2

Image of mountains painted onto staircase

This week offers an encounter with several Scottish artists, visiting artworks by Eduardo Paolozzi and Helen Monro Turner, located at various galleries and outdoor locations around the city.


All images provided by students on the Creating Edinburgh course.

These student-created tours are also available for students on future years of the course. The main Creating Edinburgh website, including a selection of staff-created topics, is available here.