The paper investigates the efficiency of a recently developed signal control methodology, which offers a computationally feasible technique for real-time network-wide signal control in large-scale urban traffic networks and is applicable also under congested traffic conditions. In this methodology, the traffic flow process is modeled by use of the store-and-forward modeling paradigm, and the problem of network-wide signal control (including all constraints) is formulated as a quadratic-programming problem that aims at minimizing and balancing the link queues so as to minimize the risk of queue spillback. For the application of the proposed methodology in real time, the corresponding optimization algorithm is embedded in a rolling-horizon (model-predictive) control scheme. The control strategy's efficiency and real-time feasibility is demonstrated and compared with the Linear-Quadratic approach taken by the signal control strategy TUC (Traffic-responsive Urban Control) as well as with optimized fixed-control settings via their simulation-based application to the road network of the city centre of Chania, Greece, under a number of different demand scenarios. The comparative evaluation is based on various criteria and tools including the recently proposed fundamental diagram for urban network traffic. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.