The firm declaration came as council planners waved through changes to the New Street Station car park design.
But Network Rail's initial plans to retain the Navigation Street footbridge were withdrawn following widespread objections.
Council development director Waheed Nazir said: "It was always clear from the city's perspective that we would not compromise on the design for the station - this will be one of our legacies."
Planning committee chairman Mike Sharpe added: "This sends out a message from this planning committee that Birmingham will not accept second best."
Network Rail has now agreed to work with a city design panel on fresh ideas for the footbridge.
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