This text discusses the hypothesis that rules and transgression are not two opposites or two alternatives, but that a complex, structured relationship exists between these that has (at least) two aspects: transgression of the rules and the rules for transgression. The frame of reference is the field of urban planning. Therefore I consider the rules for the use and transformation of real estate (buildings and land) and the transgression of these rules, or rather illegal, unauthorised buildings and urban planning. I analyse in particular the first of the two aspects, the transgression of rules, for which I propose an classification. This allows me to show that the world of urban transgressions is more complex and structured than is expressed by the term ‘illegal’, that transgressions have features that are different, differentiable, and frequently paradoxical, and above all have a deep, complex relationship with rules.
Keywords: Rules; actions; transgression