Traditionally, informal settlements have been viewed as a troublesome component of the city that is out of reach for the government authorities to oversee. Universal approaches to resolve issues resulting from informal settlements have denied potential positive contributions of such communities and residents, and instead, stigmatised them by denying their meaningfulness. In order to facilitate the coherent development of areas with informal settlements and maintenance of them in the long term, it is crucial to take a more neutral and open-minded stance on the issue. From this perspective, this article argues that the cultural significance of informal settlements should be taken into account. Recognising cultural significance will encourage inclusiveness within urban environments, appreciation of self-sufficient lifestyles that carry traditions and history of cities. This article aims to provide a series of curative and preventative approaches that can be adopted to preserve the cultural aspect of these settlements, with a focus on Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam.