Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) has existed for over three centuries and has developed into the financial capital and most important economic hub of Vietnam. Throughout the citys evolution, urbanisation has presented itself as an unavoidable step towards modernisation and industrialisation. The urban forms produced today reflect the urban utopia mainstreamed in many official discourses. Once low, dense and organic, the Southern Vietnamese metropolis has engaged into a steady pace verticalisation process, especially in new urbanized areas flourishing at the edges of the city. The urban development of HCMC evolves within what can be called an “urbanism of projects”, which is leading to a rupture with its historic organic urban growth. However, after experiencing colonisation, decades of war, socialism and de-urbanisation, followed by the national reunification of 1976 and Đổi Mới reforms (Thrift and Forbes, 1986), HCMC reveals a very unique urban trajectory which explains the distinctiveness of its urban fabric. The core element of the citys urban identity is the alleyway neighbourhoods, who until this day form 85% of the living environment of the citizen. Shaped like a labyrinth network between the linear axes of the existing urban grid, the alleyways emerged during the uncertain times of the 1950s and 1960s as part of a migration movement to the city and a spontaneous densification and urbanisation process. Much more than just an infrastructural element, the alleyway system of HCMC forms an integral component of the urban territory associated with multiple usages and strong ownership of its space by the residents and is where the everyday production of the city takes place. This calls into question the politics of contemporary projects led by the urban authorities replacing the organic system of alleyways with new vertical urban forms aiming to achieve the hygienists vision of a modern city. Thus, the goal of this research is to analyse how the metropolisation process affects the inherited urban patterns and the daily life of ordinary residents in Ho Chi Minh City today. Reading the contemporary production of urban space in this context provides insights not only on the evolution of an inherited spatial apparatus, but also on the social and political dimensions of the Vietnamese urbanity today. The aim to strive is to tackle the inadequacy of the Western conceptual framework in urban studies. Applied out of its context, this hegemonical toolbox of globalised urbanism has become a ‘black box (Latour, 1999), invisibilising the specificities of Vietnamese cities. Therefore, it is essential to explore the possibility of transcending ‘the West and the Rest categorisation, inherited from colonial times. The elaborated project, located in a typical alleyway system of District 5, proposes an alternative direction in the modernisation process of HCMC, demonstrating the high potential of HCMCs alleyway system in terms of inclusive design, supporting a strong sense of community, the capacity to welcome such a diversity of activities through a temporal rotation of functions throughout the day and the flexible, efficient and diverse space for every social range of local communities. In this perspective, the street is envisioned as a highly multifunctional object, with its spatial organisation adhering to the local way of life and customs, and despite its low-rise urban pattern, can achieve a high density.