The presented study deals with the issue of an assessment of an area within the boundary zone between the city and the countryside in terms of predicting future investments. The main aim was to develop a procedure for determining an area's investment potential (AIP) for urban and suburban areas. The Analytic Hierarchy Process method was applied to assess the intensity of the investment potential location based on its planning and infrastructural features as well as on the features resulting from the current use. The developed procedure was tested using the area of a rapidly developing part of the Polish city of Olsztyn. Based on the prepared graph presenting the hierarchy of features, the final ranking of areas was prepared and the investment potential (AIP) was determined by specifying the probable directions of the city development. The proposed procedure may appear to be a useful tool in controlling the process of developing and investing in the land. The study results indicate that for the investment potential of location, the factors defined as planning factors are of key importance, while particular importance should be attached to spatial barriers which are the most difficult to overcome in a rapidly developing area. The features associated with the current land use appeared to be the least important.

Key words: location, assessment of location, spatial development, city development, investment potential, Analytic Hierarchy Process, AHP