From the hints it seems certain that canals will be in the new game. On the same general subject of land transformation, I have a vague recollection of Ed Beach saying 2 or 3 years ago that he would like to see land tiles reclaimed from the sea in a future version of the game. I think he added that it might be tricky from the point of view of naval AI. I haven't seen any mention of this in Civ6 discussions. Did I imagine Ed saying that? Could be an interesting special ability for the Dutch if they are in the game.