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In this paper we present a model-based traffic flow control approach to improve both traffic flow and emissions in a traffic network. A model predictive control (MPC) is implemented using a microscopic car-following traffic flow model and an average-speed-based emission model. We consider reduction of total time spent (TTS) and total emissions (TE) as performance measures of the control strategy. Moreover, with the help of simulations we illustrate that a traffic control strategy, particularly an MPC strategy, aiming at the reduction of the TTS does not necessarily reduce the level of emissions. In particular, when the traffic flow is congested, we demonstrate that a traffic control strategy that addresses TTS (or improvement of the traffic flow) alone can cause an increment in the level of emissions and vice versa. Therefore, in this paper we explain how to integrate both requirements so that a balanced trade-off is obtained.