Monuments, memorials and plaques contribute significantly to the historical legibility and emotion of public space. There is a large critical literature on public commemoration as a social and cultural practice, but little attention is paid to it as a problem of public management. Australian capital city governments deal with many proposals to use public space within their jurisdictions for commemorative installations. However, the development of policy frameworks to manage public commemoration is a relatively recent initiative. This seminar discusses the social and political dynamics of public commemoration in major Australian cities, and examines some recent policy responses. It discusses three issues that shape these responses: the democratization and contestation of collective memory in urban public space; concern over the erosion of landscape and heritage values through ad hoc decision-making; and greater attention to physical asset management by local governments.