Building Europe’s first smart canal with Autodesk software

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Eric Suesz September 20, 2022 2 min read

We’re extremely excited to announce the launch of a new film about Europe’s First Smart Canal:

The power of Digital Twin technologies

Produced for Autodesk by BBC StoryWorks Commercial Productions, the film follows Scottish Canals Head of Engineering Peter Robinson as he paddleboards along the Glasgow canals, talking about the challenges their long-neglected canal routes faced and how they used smart technology and sustainable concepts to help rejuvenate the area.

In the film, you’ll see how Scottish Canals has both protected the community from flooding and radically transformed the landscape, adding new housing and connecting this previously cut-off area to the rest of the city. In less than a decade, they’ve turned the canals into a place where people dumped junk they no longer needed into a beautiful haven for people and nature alike.

Key to making it work was creating a Digital Twin of the area’s water network using Autodesk’s Innovyze software, pulling in data from high-tech sensors and weather forecasts to automatically and remotely lower and raise water levels across a vast area. But equally important was Scottish Canals’ commitment to a sustainable solution. They’ve turned a place where few felt safe to traverse into desperately needed new housing and business development where everyone is welcome.

Watch the entire series

This film is part of a new online film series that’s showcasing the incredible innovations taking place across the world of water, highlighting game-changing technological advancements and ways communities are coming together to protect this precious resource.

With themes shaped by the International Water Association (IWA) and the featured films produced on behalf of content partners by BBC StoryWorks Commercial Productions, the stories in the Beneath the Surface series spotlight some of the incredible projects around the world aimed at securing this essential element.

Taking a deep dive into the world of water, the series celebrates pioneers around the world working to keep this precious resource safe – from taking inspiration from nature to filter water in Copenhagen, to monitoring the maze of underground water pipes in a Romanian city, to repurposing a hydroelectric dam in the mountains of Italy to provide a community with a more reliable water supply. The stories range from the microscopic to the vast, showing the ripple effect across the water industry. Valuing every drop of water is critical to preserving the huge quantities required to sustain communities of today and the future.

“Water touches every part of our lives,” says Dr Kala Vairavamoorthy, Executive Director of the International Water Association. “As the UN Sustainable Development Goals show, a great deal of action is needed. Climate change in particular will add to this need. Beneath the Surface helps raise awareness of the work that goes on, often behind the scenes, to secure our water future.”

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Digital twins Sustainability