Transforming port infrastructure to meet the increasing demands of urbanization and modernization has been a contentious topic for decades, with push and pull between preserving historic structures and addressing sustainability, economic feasibility and tourism (Babalis 2018). This article takes an interdisciplinary view of these debates by exploring how restoring port infrastructure heritage can align key pillars of sustainable development: a strong local economy, water and sanitation, and social and cultural identity. An ongoing restoration project in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, serves as a case study of integrative approaches and strategic objectives implemented by project developers and government stakeholders. The project addresses the challenge of rebuilding sustainable and resilient port infrastructure while still preserving heritage and making room for modern urban developments. The approach presented potentially creates new arenas for water and heritage management in spaces that have experienced rapid urban change and commercial exploitation in ways that have affected historic port infrastructure and human well-being.