The purpose of this paper is to suggest a criterion for the optimal placement of collocated piezoelectric actuator–sensor pairs on a thin flexible plate using modal and spatial controllability measures. Consideration is given to the reduction of control spillover effect by adding an extra spatial controllability constraint in the optimization procedure. The spatial controllability is used to find the optimal placement of collocated actuator–sensor pairs for effective average vibration reduction over the entire structure, while maintaining modal controllability and observability of selected vibration modes. It is found that the methodology for optimal actuator placement can be used for a collocated system without damaging the observability performance of the collocated sensors. Experimental validation of our optimal placement is done on a simply supported thin plate with a collocated piezoelectric actuator–sensor pair.