178Changes in manufacturing are reshaping both cities and regions. Since the start of the 21st century, cities and urban-edge locations have increasingly become specialized in particular industries and manufacturing lines (Helper et al., 2012,12-13). In the United States, production in about two-thirds of the metropolitan areas is clustered around “anchor” industries (e.g. chemicals, machinery). The process of clustering is also connected to the fact that innovative companies operate at the intersection of software on one hand, and hardware and fabrication on the other (e.g. software in Silicon Valley, biopharmaceuticals in Boston, robotics in Pittsburgh). In this process of industrial specialization, developing a regional planning approach becomes critical for economic growth (Storper, 1997). This approach also reflects the spatial shift from the “metropolis” concept, viewed as a central, dense area which expands into adjacent and less dense “streetcar suburbs,” to the “new regionalism” concept describing a spatial, economic, and a-hierarchical synthesis of varied urban forms. As described by political geographer and urban theorist Edward Soja, “the urban and the regional, formerly quite distinct from one another, are blending together to define something new and different, an evolving regional-urban synthesis that demands new modes of understanding” (Soja, 2015,376).