The Public Works departments of Cambridge, MA and St. Paul, MN have a Sidewalk Poetry Program that annually requests residents to submit original pieces of poetry to be stamped into fresh cement. A group of individuals then reviews the poems and select a few to be used. The cost of this program is minimal: the poetry stamps would be used only on sidewalks that are being repaired or on new sidewalks. This means the cost would be the stamp and a few moments of the public works employee’s time to place the stamp in the sidewalk. If you go to this link, you can see what the stamp looks like as well as one of the poems. (You can also page through it to see other poems that have been stamped.) http://publicartstpaul.org/poetry/poems27.html
This would serve a dual purpose: engaging pedestrians —including visitors-- with art and inspiring Lowellians to submit their original work. Furthermore, the poetry/ public art will have a lasting impression since the sidewalks could exist for decades.